SUSE Linux Enterprise Opens Its Development Model to the Public

SUSE is beginning the development of an "Adaptable Linux Platform" (ALP) that is expected to be the successor to SUSE Linux Enterprise 15.

SUSE Linux is one of the oldest Linux distributions out there – its first version appeared in 1994. It is widely popular among Linux users with its two free and open-source flavorsopenSUSE Leap and openSUSE Tumbleweed.

In addition, SUSE offers a paid version of its distro called SUSE Linux Enterprise (SLE). It is available in several editions, the most popular being:

  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) is designed for use in mainframes, servers, and workstations, offering enterprise solutions to large corporations.
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop (SLED) is designed to help businesses access various applications and collaboration tools to improve employees’ productivity.
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Micro is a lightweight, immutable OS optimized for edge use cases – embedded devices, real-time applications, and industrial IoT.

The last stable version of SLE 15 was initially released almost four years ago, on July 16, 2018, so all its users are asking, “When will the next SLE major version come out?”.

However, while there is no definitive answer to this question yet, the SUSE team has revealed something intriguing, even using the phrase “radical changes” regarding the future release of SLE. So let’s see what this is about.

SUSE Adaptable Linux Platform (ALP)

SUSE is hard at work on its next generation of SLE under the codename “Adaptable Linux Platform” (ALP). Stefan Behlert, SUSE Product Manager for Enterprise Linux, commented on the plans for the new build on the openSUSE mailing list:

Intending to do radical changes (regarding technology- but also design-wise), we choose “Adaptable Linux Platform” or short “ALP” as a codename for that next generation. This indicates already that some things will be quite different than a “mere “SLE 15++ would be.

Another important point is that we intend to split what was a more generic; everything is closely intertwined into two parts: One smaller hardware enabling piece, a kind of “host OS,” and the and the layer providing and supporting applications, which will be a container (and VM) based.

Stefan Behlert, SUSE Product Manager for Enterprise Linux

But what is that supposed to mean? Sounds very generic, right? Is it hinted that the next SLE release will be some immutable OS like Fedora Silverblue?

Or something like a host OS and container/VM-based userland? However, let’s not forget that SUSE already has an SLE Micro for this purpose.

So, the SUSE Linux Enterprise users have something to think about. Fortunately, Behlert has stated that more information about contributions, impacts on LEAP versions, migrations, and other topics will be provided in the coming weeks.

Another key point in the announcement is the shift in the model under which SUSE Linux Enterprise will be developed in the future.

First and foremost, ALP will be developed in the open. We are not going to put the pieces together internally and then share outside, as in the past. No, we are creating and building in the openSUSE Build Service – in a project next to you. You get to directly see to see what is going on and participate more easily.

Stefan Behlert, SUSE Product Manager for Enterprise Linux

This sounds exciting, as now everyone interested in the distro will be able to know in advance what to expect from the next stable release of SUSE Linux Enterprise.

In conclusion, all we can do for the moment is wait for further, more detailed clarifications as promised.

Anyone interested can find the full text of the announcement via the openSUSE mailing list.

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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