SUSE forks RHEL, SUSE Liberty Linux reloaded?

> posts > 2023 > Jul


I will not go into details about the recent announcement from Red Hat to stop publishing RHEL sources on and the millions of reactions from all sides of the community.

What I want to quickly comment on, but from a probably very different view, is the announcement that SUSE made today about a hard-fork of RHEL, as communicated in SUSE Preserves Choice in Enterprise Linux (Archive: [1], [2]) and At SUSE We Make Choice Happen (Archive: [1], [2])

I saw a lot of reactions and comments about it on various platforms and realized, most people doesn't seem to be aware, that SUSE already has a "RHEL Clone" and provides commercial support for Enterprise Linux compatible systems, for many years.

Until last year, the offering was called Expanded Support and was then basically just renamed into SUSE Liberty Linux. Rumors said, SUSE had in mind to create a own Enterprise Linux compatible Distribution and to release it under this new name. But then decided to keep it low and proceed with the, in my opinion not very well known, commercial offering, which mainly targeted customer that want to migrate to SLES at some point.

I also wrote a letter to the editor (german only) (Archive: [1], [2]) about those history, after an Article about SUSE Liberty Linux was released last year in the iX Magazine in Germany.

Don't get me wrong, I really like what SUSE already did all the years and have the feeling it's a logical step to use the existing knowledge and finally publish SUSE Liberty Linux (or whatever name they will give it now). I just think we should keep in mind, they not going to start something from scratch and personally I assume that existing costs for SUSE Liberty Linux are, to a certain extend, already included in the nice sounding $10+ Million dollar investment :)

Still, SUSE is 30 years in the business and now seem to get serious with SUSE Liberty Linux, I really hope they moving fast, publishing what they have and start building an active community around their very own version of an Enterprise Linux compatible Distro.

Maybe at some point, people can get commercial support from SUSE for EL and switching from a community supported to a commercial supported operating system, and vice versa, as easy as it's possible today with openSUSE Leap 15 and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 15.

[ Show Source | Download PDF ]