Suse basically fell off my radar a decade ago, I thought the next announcement I was going to hear about them was going bankrupt and being sold off for parts. Guess they've been super quiet achievers and have managed to accrue an Annual Revenue of 300M that I've somehow missed behind the release/announcements of flashier distros, but here we are with news of a 2.5B acquisition - congratz to the team.
Based on this expertise, the only real competitor in their business is Red Hat.
In my country (Denmark), most enterprise runs Redhat, but my personal opinion is that Suse would make more sense after the IBM purchase, especially for public sector usage.
IBM is my first employer and while my inside impression has been great, I'm wondering what the danish view from outside is!
That’s not what I meant though, IBM is an American company, that holds inherent problems for the European public sector. Basically I think we should bet on our own, because recent years have shown us that we may not always have a great political relationship with the US. I think it’s highly unlikely that we’ll have a bad relationship with the US, but it’s a risk assessment we need to think about when we enter into multi-million or billion dollar decade long contracts.
IBM happily helped Hitler plan the Holocaust during World War II. Not even war could stop them from making a buck, so I doubt Trump's shenanigans would.
Indeed, I think that RedHat & SuSe are very similar in their ideas and in their usage patterns. Both contribute quite a bit to upstream projects (there is a lot of work being done on CNCF-stuff in both places, both are RPM-based and both offer a number of different "tracks" depending on your needs). openSUSE also has been very good at keeping up with things that are in development.
On the desktop-side, I think openSUSE is actually nicer, since they officially support a myriad of DEs (notably both Gnome and KDE).
For what it's worth, I use (and have been) using openSUSE both on my work laptop and my private laptop as my daily driver, and I use openSUSE on various private projects as a server OS, though I'm using CentOS 7 at work for all our servers because some of the software we use only supports Ubuntu LTS and CentOS (because the vendor is incapable of building non-idiotic RPMs/DEBs...).
For years, Suse was the de-facto reference implementation of KDE, where it was the primary desktop. I believe this changed after the Novell acquisition (but it’s been so long, I might misremember), and KDE had to find other ways to get an equivalent “showcase” distro.
Unfortunately, that legacy remains with us today, and SUSE is not very friendly to KDE for the enterprise, which I think is really a shame.
Suse has SLES and IBM has RHEL. I am not in the position to compare them.
The non-paid variants are OpenSUSE vs. CentOS. One big difference there is the support life.
CentOS 6 with an ancient 2.6.32 kernel and upstart came out 2011 and is still supported. OpenSUSE releases are supported ~ 1.5 years. There are different opinions whether upgrading from one OpenSUSE release to the next one should be done or not. I typically prefer new installations because they result in cleaner systems. But I also upgraded once an it was painless.
LEAP is exactly the same package versions as in the newest SLES I believe. I would expect them often to be a bit older package versions than Fedora, but I haven't compared recently.
Tumbleweed is a leading/bleeding edge rolling release distro. The closest equivalent is Fedora Rawhide.
This despite SLES' controversial and never-working-quite-right "vm.pagecache_limit_mb" kernel parameter (which they're finally ditching in SLES15, I hear).
Don't get me wrong, SLES these days is a mature, high-quality distro (I'm working with hundreds of installations running SAP products), but sometimes they do weird things, like bumping kernel version from 2.6 to 3.0 within one service pack (sometimes back in SLES10 or SLES11 days, iirc).
>As already mentioned several times, there are no special landmark features or incompatibilities related to the version number change, it's simply a way to drop an inconvenient numbering system in honor of twenty years of Linux.