openSUSE Gains Momentum: A Look at its Growing Popularity

From strength to strength! The popular Linux distro openSUSE has doubled its user base in a year. Here's more on that!

openSUSE is a popular Linux distribution known for its stability, versatility, and ease of use. Developed and maintained by the openSUSE community, the distribution offers comprehensive features, including a powerful package management system, an intuitive installer, and robust security features.

With its strong focus on user experience and flexibility, openSUSE has gained a loyal following among Linux enthusiasts, developers, and businesses. However, the distribution does not come under the spotlight as often as other company-backed ones, such as Canonical’s Ubuntu or Red Hat’s Fedora.

This is entirely unfair because in the case of openSUSE, we’re talking about a high-end enterprise Linux distribution that you can rely on from your home PC to your company servers, and it will not let you down. Furthermore, unlike Ubuntu, which bombards its users with unpopular moves, the most recent of which is this, with openSUSE, the user can rely on predictability.

That’s why the stats below make us happy; they show that more and more Linux users are recognizing and betting on openSUSE as the distribution of choice. Here’s what it’s all about.

openSUSE Doubles Its User Base

openSUSE has seen a massive surge in its user base over the past year. According to recent reports, the number of people using openSUSE has doubled since last year, indicating a growing interest in this open-source operating system.

But first, let’s clarify the statistics we’re talking about. The data, available at, shows the number of downloads reported by the distribution for each of its releases. Information that can be considered a sufficiently reliable criterion based on which further analyses can be done with high certainty.

openSUSE downloads stat (unique by-product).
openSUSE downloads stat (unique by-product).

It is clear that after its release in June 2022, the number of downloads of openSUSE Leap 15.4 skyrocketed to around 360K in February 2023. At the same time, its predecessor, openSUSE Leap 15.3, had 190-200 thousand downloads until last July, when it dropped, expectedly, with the release of the new version.

What is causing this near-doubling? Does it mean that openSUSE 15.4 is twice as good as 15.3? Of course not. These two and all previous Leap releases offer their users uncompromising release quality and top-notch support throughout their lifecycle. More than anything, the explanation for the sharp increase in interest in Leap releases seems elsewhere.

We’re already in the realm of speculation. Still, the most logical explanation is that more and more Linux users recognize and rediscover in the openSUSE Leap release the reliability they need and trust. Furthermore, it is possible that some Ubuntu users, disappointed with the company’s policies and decisions, have lost trust in Canonical’s distro. In this line of thought, openSUSE, especially its Leap release, looks to be a natural response to their demands for enterprise-ready Linux distro.

This opinion is further confirmed if we look at the statistics of the number of downloads of Tumbleweed, the openSUSE rolling-release edition. Over the last two years, it has been steadily hovering around the 150-160 thousand downloads mark without any sudden ups or downs.

As we know, Tumbleweed primarily aims at advanced Linux users who don’t mind using the command line more often. This somewhat excludes it from the group for users migrating from Ubuntu to openSUSE and explains the preservation of the curve in its downloads.

You can learn more about the differences between openSUSE Leap and Tumbleweed in our article.

The graph below clearly shows the increased popularity of all Leap 15’s releases and the 15.4 fast upward climb.

openSUSE downloads stat (max unique by-product).
openSUSE downloads stat (max unique by-product).

So, what can we say in conclusion? As Linux continues to gain popularity, openSUSE’s growth demonstrates the increasing demand for open-source solutions in today’s technology landscape. The distro is gaining momentum as a popular Linux distro for personal and enterprise use. Its with-user-in-mind approach, reliability, and community-driven development model have attracted many users and contributors.

The data can only make us happy, as we wholeheartedly sympathize with the distrо, among the most prominent players in the Linux field, but undeservedly gets less attention than it deserves. Well, it looks like that’s about to change. If you want to help in this effort, you can visit DistroWatch’s openSUSE page.

So, we’ll end with this – dear openSUSE, keep being stable and predictable, and we’ll love you forever!

Bobby Borisov

Bobby Borisov

Bobby, an editor-in-chief at Linuxiac, is a Linux professional with over 20 years of experience. With a strong focus on Linux and open-source software, he has worked as a Senior Linux System Administrator, Software Developer, and DevOps Engineer for small and large multinational companies.

Think You're an Ubuntu Expert? Let's Find Out!

Put your knowledge to the test in our lightning-fast Ubuntu quiz!
Ten questions to challenge yourself to see if you're a Linux legend or just a penguin in the making.

1 / 10

Ubuntu is an ancient African word that means:

2 / 10

Who is the Ubuntu's founder?

3 / 10

What year was the first official Ubuntu release?

4 / 10

What does the Ubuntu logo symbolize?

5 / 10

What package format does Ubuntu use for installing software?

6 / 10

When are Ubuntu's LTS versions released?

7 / 10

What is Unity?

8 / 10

What are Ubuntu versions named after?

9 / 10

What's Ubuntu Core?

10 / 10

Which Ubuntu version is Snap introduced?

The average score is 68%


  1. I’ve been using this distro since 1997. I have never understood why it has been so underrated. Obtaining and using it has always been completely straightforward, no conditionality or promoting one towards paying for support, excellent forums. It comes with everything. On first install it used to offer Gnome or KDE as the default desktop but one could chose to install as many desktops as desired and swap during logon. In the past it was criticized for attempting to play nice with Microsoft but I believe they were just ahead of the curve and it was never a requirement. FWIW

  2. I have been using SuSE since version 6.2 back in the 1990’s. It has always been a solid distro and a delight to use.
    I started building the first kernels on an old company Toshiba laptop with 2 floppy disks and later distros MCC, Slackware, Redhat, Mandrake, SCO and Gentoo.
    I currently use Ubuntu x86_64 and ARM64, Debian aarch64 and Fedora.
    Favourites by far are openSUSE tumbleweed, leap and Fedora.

  3. I’m one of those statistics. I recently downloaded and installed Tumbleweed because I wanted a stock Gnome desktop and was fed up with Ubuntu because of their decision to force snaps on their users. The “F” in FOSS stands for freedom but canonical seem to have forgotten this!

    Anyway, opensuse has been great so far. Easy to install, fast to boot, easy to get drivers and codecs and hopefully will be reliable, as per it’s track record.

  4. I love openSUSE, especially tumbleweed. I use the KDE flavour and openSUSE has one of the most polished Plasma desktops out there. What’s more Wayland, Screensharing, etc has been well tuned. I used to struggle sharing screen under Wayland as Zoom defaults to “GNOME” support and even though one can force environment to look like GNOME for Zoom, screen sharing was always a hit-and-miss from Plasma. openSUSE worked out of the box!

    I have several Linux distributions multi-booted on my computer but since long, openSUSE has become the default for me as everything literally “just works”!

  5. Absolutely the best.

    I have used Linux starting from 0.96 kernel on Slackware and used a lot RHEL and Debian based. …servers and workstations like Fedora, Ubuntu etc.

    But you just can not beat openSUSE Thubleweed on workstation. I switched into it years ago from Fedora. And Ubuntu is something I have never liked.

    On our test servers we run now Leap and it is a very goo candidate to replace RHEL based servers next! …going to SLES soon.

    Even better. SUSE is European choise!

  6. I’ve been a user of SuSe/OpenSUSE since 6.3, and use it exclusive and for everything. I’m a photographer and author and also produce cabaret shows in London. Downloads only hint at the size of the installed base. I personally use Leap on eight computers right now, plus several installations on computers belonging to friends. I doubt I’m alone in this, so the true number, compared to licenses for non-free OSs, may be ten times the stated figure. Especially when one considers that most of those computers I use were originally sold with a Windows license, which is still counted as market share, even though deleted without use.

  7. I have been using Linux since the early 1990’s. I started out with RedHat v5 with Gnome pre v1.0 then discovered KDE, also pre v1.0. With KDE I was very pleasantly surprised to see a beautiful and extremely configurable desktop environment, WOW. After awhile I found Mandrake 7 Linux, big difference from RedHat, similar to openSUSE is today. Mandrake 10 changed everything. It was not to my personal liking. I switched to openSUSE at v9.3 and although since having tried many other distributions, I have been unable to find one that comes close to being as awesome as openSUSE, it is the GOAT.
    A quick note before I continue, if you are coming from Windows or Apple OS and just want a PC to surf the web and do email, there a plenty of Linux distributions that will work fine for you, including openSUSE. For those who would like to learn the ins and outs of Linux, then openSUSE is the one for you. Because of its power, openSUSE can be as simple or complex as you want. For me, having ‘root login’ enabled be default is huge benefit for administrating your system. The best way to become Linux Guru is to brake it, then learn how to fix it. Learn to write bash scripts do configurations for you. The Command Line Interface (CLI) is the most powerful tool in the Linux toolbox and your best friend.
    YAST is the Swiss army knife of Control Panels you will love it and wonder why all distributions do not employ. From installation to configuration of everything it is simply the best. You can add repositories, install applications you want or need and remove those you don’t. There is a openSUSE-software: Search at

  8. I am also one of those people. I have always run openSUSE. Currently Leap has been rock solid on my system.
    RON: I remember Mandrake, it was one of my first Linux Distro. I eventually made my way to openSUSE, and was immediately impressed, and have been for years,

  9. I’m a home user (retired) with a pretty ordinary PC (e.g. 5.7 Gi RAM). I moved to Tumbleweed about 18 months ago and, even with the KDE Plasma desktop (though minus the KDE PIM), TW has been surprisingly light and responsive. I love tinkering with it and also never miss a distribution upgrade, but I haven’t yet succeeded in breaking it.

  10. The influx is largely a result of there not being any other good production options. SUSE has had a good name right up there with Redhat for years. The problem with Redhat, and other production distros is they eventually go the monopoly route to monetization.

    Previously, Ubuntu was making inroads up until about 18.04 LTS, after which they continuously backslid, and then made design choices that eliminate user agency, and corrupt separation of concerns at the distro integration level. Its not surprising that there would be a large influx given that Ubuntu has effectively communicated (by non-communication), through a number of longstanding items that they simply no longer care what their user’s needs are.

    Any professional using them would have noticed the bug portal prevented login without a UbuntuOne account to report bugs, and that was down for at least a year. Something that critical, with no announcement, for that period of time communicates where their priorities are. I haven’t checked it more recently but its clear to me they’ve decided to destructively monetize their marketshare over providing a solid product that can flexibly be used for what their users need.

    Its a great opportunity for OpenSUSE to snag marketshare.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *