Long-term support for free SUSE Linux discussed
The reduction of the support duration for openSUSE from 24 to 18 months has sparked a discussion among the openSUSE community about a free SUSE Linux version with long-term support. Several community members are of the opinion that reducing the openSUSE support has created a gap between the free openSUSE and the commercially supported SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES). They suggest this could be filled by a free and non-commercial version of SUSE, intended for server use, that is supported with updates and security patches for several years. Such a distribution could be particularly attractive for small businesses that can't afford SLES, but don't want to switch to a new version every one and a half years, and so choose alternative versions of Linux as a result.
Following a suggestion on the openSUSE mailing list, members have been discussing two options: an Ubuntu-style model which involves regular versions of openSUSE with long-term support ("openSUSE LTS"), and a CentOS-style model which involves creating a free "openSLE" version from the available SLES source code packages. That both models have their pros and cons is evident from the discussions, which have now been moved to a separate mailing list.