why no fork of OpenSUSE?

Let me say at the outset, neither I nor anyone else in my know has any intention of forking OpenSUSE (after all, I am a newbie!). With that out of the way, I have found OpenSUSE to be a very good distro- quite stable, predictable and repeatable in behaviour, and the administration tools are excellent, comparable to Mandriva.

So why no fork yet? Ubuntu has multiple flavours and forks, PCLOS is a fork of Mandriva, CentOS of RedHat, etc- all major distros, it seems, have been forked with the notable exception of OpenSUSE. Is this because of Novell-Microsoft relationship, a patent concern of some kind? Why has Yast not been ported to another distro?

The intent is not to troll, but a sincere one. I am thinking of dedicating some of my time to furthering the OSS and Linux cause by contributing to tools development down the line, and intend to start out things with a distro and stick to it for a while.

Also, any pointers to developer documentation ( especially, design documentation ) pertaining to Yast and admin tools in OpenSUSE would be much appreciated.


There are 2 other versions that I know of, 1 Educational Suse and JackLab Suse.

Plus openSUSE is a fork in itself from SLE…

Cheers Malcolm °¿° (Linux Counter #276890)
openSUSE 11.1 x86 Kernel
up 2 days 17:22, 1 user, load average: 0.51, 0.26, 0.18
GPU GeForce 6600 TE/6200 TE - Driver Version: 177.82

thx, BoloMarkIII, I was aware of only one of those, but still those aren’t among the mainstream distros ( although one could differ ).

Malcolm, but did not SLS project end a long time back, sometime in the 90s? Surely, Suse is not a young distribution and has evolved considerably from the early days, or did you mean to refer to Suse Linux Enterprise??

It surely isn’t. If anything it’s the other way around. But it’s not really forking, more branching.

openSUSE is the base of SUSE Linux Enterprise.

You could also mention KDE3 Livecd respins by Carlos Goncalves btw.

SLES/SLED use openSUSE as the staging ground for future release,
likewise Redhat use CentOS, Solaris uses openSolaris.

Of course it use to be SUSE linux :wink:

I currently use SLED 10 SP2 on my main machine which is based around
openSUSE 10.1, SLED11 should be out by mid-year based on 11/11.1

Cheers Malcolm °¿° (Linux Counter #276890)
openSUSE 11.1 x86 Kernel
up 2 days 17:53, 1 user, load average: 0.15, 0.15, 0.09
GPU GeForce 6600 TE/6200 TE - Driver Version: 177.82

Do we really need a zu :wink:

I personally think one is enough, install and un-install what you want and don’t want, leave the zu animals in their perspective cages where they belong. :wink:

Fork = Fragmentation. Fragmentation without a cause = Bad.

There’s way too much fragmentation on Linux as it is - without consolidation it will never rise from the insignificant share that it currently holds.

Take a look at Apple - in 12 months they’ve gained more market share than Linux in the last 15 years.

thanks, Bruce, Chrysantine- I agree with you that there are already too many distros, and its best for OpenSUSE not to be forked.

But that’s precisely why I asked the original question- when every distro gets forked left and right why has OpenSUSE not been forked as often, why have the nice admin tools not been adopted by other distros? One sees RedHat/ Fedora’s Network Manager everywhere even though many are not particularly impressed with it ( in Fedora 10, people have had a lot of trouble with it, especially when configuring for static IP ), but I haven’t seen (so far ) Suse admin tools elsewhere.


There is some “fork” of openSUSE - See a previous post here : Is there any openSUSE based distros? - openSUSE Forums

Btw, there is not so much much fork of openSUSE for historical reasons (in the past, you can’t sell YaST - so no possibility to have a commercial drived distribution), and you can’t have a “big one” because you’ll need a huge infrastructure to release it (need lot of money - need to have a compagny with a smart business plan to lead your fork).

And really, there is not so many “fork” - most of them are only “syncronized” time to time with the original (it’s even the case of Ubuntu, which depends of Debian).

Spyhawk, thanks for your input and the link- that certainly throws some light on the matter.


I’m excited to see how Suse Studio will progress. There are some build issues right now, but I was able to test out a couple builds, and it’s pretty fricking schweet!:wink:

I’m quite sure that 50% of their sales are to themselves to use in commercials/movies/tv as somehow every single ‘PC’ in a random tv show is a mac.
Okay… maybe that just a way to state that linux doesn’t get much public attention compared to OS X.

Anyways… don’t know why suse isn’t forked much, something like mint would be nice for the new users. Or should I say, some fork that doesn’t care too much about everything needing to be opensource and having the patents sorted.
It seems to be something that can leave a good or bad impression for the people giving it a quick try.

CentOS is a community clone of Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

RHEL may be somewhat based on Fedora, but not as directly as the SLE/openSUSE relation afaik.

To my mind apple is well marketed. Particuluarly in a hardware senes. The hardware is very well made. No argument there. Especially with the shift towards Intel CPU’s. But thats all they have. Marketing. So many folk come into our shop and think by getting an Apple they get paint and word and a three button mouse etc.

MINT was a great mention. To my mind it is the best Linux beginner Desk Top OS around. But it is “synced” with the relevant Ubuntu repos’ in turn with Ubuntu’s syncing with Debian.

Isn’t it wonderful to here the phrase “and YAST cant be sold”

There is one really purist distro and that’s SLAKWARE. But OpenSuSE is pretty tough to expand/modify/capitalise on. Whats to make better? Someone can make YAST better?

I think the answer is a fork distro of OpenSuSE would just be to hard. With Novell’s backing and a huge community…where and how would you begin?

Just my thoughts

Just to be clear : That was the case before Novell bought SuSE GmbH. YaST is now under GPL, and you can sell it if you want :wink:

Totally agree on that.