openSUSE Leap 15.6 Released, Here’s What’s New

openSUSE Leap 15.6: Enhanced with Cockpit for better system management, new virtualization and container features, Linux kernel 6.4, and more.

The wait is finally over. A year after the previous 15.5 version, the openSUSE project released Leap 15.6 based on SLES 15 SP6 as the sixth (and probably last) update in the Leap 15 series. It brings many new features and updates that promise to improve the performance and usability of this beloved Linux distribution.

openSUSE Leap 15.6 Highlights

One of the most notable enhancements in openSUSE Leap 15.6 is the integration of Cockpit, a streamlined web-based administration interface that was missing until now.

This powerful addition offers users a web UI that simplifies the administration of systems and containers—a feature that makes it accessible for both seasoned professionals and hobbyists.

As our tests showed, the Cockpit installation goes completely smoothly. For those eager to try it out, just run the following two commands:

sudo zypper in cockpit
sudo systemctl enable --now cockpit.socketCode language: Bash (bash)

Then point your browser to “https://localhost:9090 “and enjoy the tool’s power and convenience.

Cockpit running on openSUSE Leap 15.6.

Moreover, Leap 15.6 takes container management to the next level, including Podman 4.8, specifically tailored for seamless integration with Nextcloud. The release also updates many container-related tools such as Distrobox, Docker, python-podman, Skopeo, containerd, and libcontainers-common.

Of course, openSUSE Leap 15.6 doesn’t hold back on software upgrades, including a significant jump to Linux kernel 6.4 and OpenSSL 3.1. Many tools used by developers, such as MariaDB 10.11.6, PostgreSQL 16, Redis 7.2, PHP 8.2, Node.js 20, and more, have also seen version bumps.

The telecommunications-related software is not left behind, with updates to DPDK, Open vSwitch, and OVN. These improvements support enhanced network performance and reliability, which are critical for enterprise communication systems.

On the desktop front, Leap 15.6 updates the KDE environment with Plasma 5.27.11, Qt 5.15.12, and KDE Frameworks 5.115.0. That’s right—there’s no Plasma 6. Those who want it can find it in the Tumbleweed edition.

openSUSE Leap 15.6

Additionally, introducing Qt6 with updated Python bindings ensures a more efficient and seamless desktop experience. Leap 15.6 also introduces Python 3.11, with many unmaintained Python packages removed as part of the transition to this version.

GNOME 45 also receives significant enhancements, offering new features that elevate the overall user experience on the desktop.

Audio technologies have been boosted with PulseAudio 17.0 and PipeWire 1.0.4 updates. These enhancements extend hardware compatibility and Bluetooth functionality, including new features like device battery level indicators, ensuring superior audio performance for various use cases.

openSUSE Leap 14.6 pays special attention to virtualization. In light of this, Xen, a staple for those utilizing paravirtualization and hardware virtualization, has been upgraded to version 4.18. KVM, a popular choice for Linux virtualization, received an update to 8.2.2.

To support these core virtualization technologies, libvirt, the toolkit for interacting with virtualization capabilities, has been bumped to version 10.0. Virt-manager, a graphical user interface for managing virtual machines through libvirt, has been upgraded to version 4.1.

Refer to the release announcement for detailed information about all changes in openSUSE Leap 15.6. Installation ISO images are available from the download section of the openSUSE website.

The distro ships with separate installer images for offline (4.3 GB) and network (261 MB) installation for x86_64 (Intel or AMD). In addition, openSUSE Leap 15.6 also offers images for aarch64 (ARM), ppc64le (PowerPC), and s390x (IBM zSystems) architectures.

As with previous releases, openSUSE Leap 15.6 receives 18 months of support until December 2025. Meanwhile, the ALP-based Leap 16.0 is expected to appear next year, opening a new chapter in the evolution of the green chameleon. But there’s time until then, and openSUSE hasn’t yet committed to specific timelines.

How to Upgrade to openSUSE Leap 15.6

If you’re running Leap 15.5 and want to upgrade but are still trying to figure out how to do it, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. Just follow our comprehensive “How to Upgrade to openSUSE Leap 15.6 from Leap 15.5” step-by-step guide for hassle-free execution.

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.

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