OpenSUSE is a Linux-based project and distribution sponsored by SUSE Linux GmbH and other companies. Formerly known as SUSE Linux and SuSE Linux Professional, the openSUSE Project has a large global community which develops openSUSE in collaboration with corporate sponsors. It is entirely open source, and users are free to download one of its two current versions any time at no cost. The openSUSE Leap version is the more stabilized version and is intended for users who are relatively new to Linux or those who want the most usable and stable version with regular updates. OpenSUSE Leap is popular with Linux developers, administrators and software vendors. OpenSUSE Tumbleweed is a rolling release version that provides the latest stable versions of all software whenever they are available rather than in periodic release cycles. Tumbleweed is popular with power users, software developers who need to have the latest software stacks and IDEs, and openSUSE contributors.
OpenSUSE features both a KDE and GNOME desktop, and a package management system called Yast, and supports thousands of software packages from a wide range of free and open source software, such as Open Build Service, openQA, Snapper, Machinery, Portus and Kiwi. It is considered to be one of the more complete Linux distros available today and is consistently among the top five downloads at distrowatch.org.
The difference between the openSUSE freely downloadable versions and the SUSE Linux Enterprise suite of products is the stability/reliability of the versions. The SUSE Linux Enterprise products, such as SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, receive more intense and rigorous testing than the openSUSE community products, ensuring that only mature, stable versions of the included components will make it into the enterprise-ready, supportable version of the products. Major versions are released every 3-4 years with service packs every 18 months, as opposed to releases of openSUSE Leap every 8 months. SUSE Linux Enterprise customers can also purchase support subscriptions which give them enhanced security protections, access to updates and service packs, and technical support.