Ludwig Nussel, the new release manager for openSUSE Leap, on Tuesday announced the alpha release of openSUSE Leap 42.2. I downloaded it in a virtual machine and took it for a spin.
For those who don’t know, the openSUSE community recently restructured and now maintains two releases of the operating system: openSUSE Leap and openSUSE Tumbleweed. While Tumbleweed is a well-tested rolling release version, Leap is a very well tested and stable release of the distribution.
With Leap, openSUSE has also moved its codebase to SUSE Linux Enterprise (SLE). The alpha of openSUSE Leap 42.2 is based on the second beta of SLE 12 Service Pack 2.
OpenSUSE, along with Arch Linux, is my main distro. I love it not just for the polish and gems like YaST but also for the extra patching the openSUSE community does to better integrate the desktop environment (DE) with the rest of the OS. openSUSE supports many DEs and you can choose your desired DE during installation, though Plasma is checked as the default. That contrasts many other distributions where you have to download a totally different distro to use different desktop environments.
As I mentioned previously, I installed 42.2 in a virtual machine. As expected, it worked just fine. The reasons being: first it’s based on already stable SLE 12 SP2; second, the openSUSE community has developed many top grade automated testing tools like OpenQA (which is now even being used by Fedora) that vigorously test any package before it lands in a release.
That said, it is an alpha release and not intended to be used used in production. It is meant for testers, enthusiast and developers. This is your time to spot any bug, file a report and get it fixed before the final release. But do pay attention to Nessel’s advice, “Many components are still to be updated, so it’s not that useful to check for bugs in e.g. KDE or GNOME in the context of 42.2 yet. However, since we have a new kernel already Alpha1 is still worth a try esp on physical hardware.”
Nessel also suggests that developers check their bug lists and “move old bugs you intend to fix in 42.2 to the new version in Bugzilla and close ones you will never fix.”
The team plans to have another alpha before the upcoming openSUSE Conference and the final release of 42.2 is expected in November. Nessel says that the team plans to integrate even more packages from the SP2 of SLE 12 before the next alpha. He said, “Among the more than 700 packages there are major updates of YaST, X, GNOME and systemd coming. The KDE team has also indicated that they plan to update KDE for 42.2.”
You can download openSUSE 42.2 alpha from the download page.