Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-project (194 mails)

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[opensuse-project] [RFC] - Attempt to build open SLES-based distro
Hello community,

this mail is the result of years of continuous development in my (corporate and
private) environment as engineer favoring SUSE, and I kindly invite anyone to
send thoughts, comments and ideas regarding this mail. I see this topic "as in
progress" and if there aren't any ultimately bad reasons why not to do so, I
will continue and support this as long as I can.

- Disclaimer: This is all IMHO ;) -

My idea is to build a SLES binary-compatible distribution completely supported
by the community (and optionally supported by companies which are willing to do
so) - most of you will probably see lots of similarities with CentOS in this
way - And in fact: This is exactly what I intend it to be.


- SLES is one of two key players in the major distribution league. RH has
CentOS, and whereever you see "respins" like for appliances, they use CentOS
(or maybe some debian/ubuntu/knoppix-stuff) - no SUSE. Examples: Trixbox, ESVA,
and _lots_ of projects in which I've been involved in development however its
not officially communicated as CentOS.

- SUSE is the best Distro in terms of packaging and distribution technology
(OBS), has a huge community-base and uses technology which IMHO is unmatched
for various reasons such as KIWI (thx to Marcus Schaefer ;)).

- openSUSE is a "moving target" in terms of its faster release cycle and it in
fact is a problem that older releases disappear from the mirrors pretty soon.
(I would not change anything here) - But: This doesn't really allow you a
"LTS"-like behaviour if things change so fast.

- SUSE has a great community of highly motivated and skilled guys (and gals) ;)
- lots of developments in openSUSE find their way right into SLES, approved and
tested by SUSE engineers.

What I can and will provide:

- I'm just building up a rack to provide various build nodes. Target arch's
include: x86, x86_64, sparc64, ia64, ppc64. Most of the parts are already
available, but since I'm currently moving and I need to get a stable permanent
internet connection this could take up to 2 months. So this enables us right
from scratch to set up a parallel OBS for the intial build setup. Official OBS
could always be used as soon as we have reached a "staging" level where we can
provide a base set of packages.

- I will provide anyone with an account and try to build a full
"infrastructure" which then should also should get the transition to
"community-controlled" behaviour.

For all (eventually) upcoming questions:

- Yes, I do know about openSUSE Evergreen, but it lacks some points I've
mentioned above like "Enterprise Features", 1-on-1-("binary")compatibility with
SLES and the great quality work by SUSE to get SLES certified by OEM's etc. -
and no one really points its OBS tree to build against Evergreen, it points it
to major channels like SLES11, SLES11SP1, oS11.4, etc.

- No, I do not want to work "against" SUSE or anything like that. The complete
opposite is the case: Without SUSE this would not work well. In fact I really
think SUSE also can profit from a community base around the SLES packages. Take
a look at CentOS - Does it really hurt RHEL? I don't think so, at least not to
a major extent. Lets get the facts straight: If you are in a corporate
environment you _will_ (or at least you _should_) buy a SLES. Reasons: Support,
Updates, Faster upstream process, tracking, direct contact, etc. But: If you
want to build a steady home system which you do not want to upgrade less than
every year in a major way or you might want to build a distro fork for special
purpose (like for system integrators, etc.) you (probably) wouldn't want to go
with the fully blown SLES.

- Yes, I see this as lots of work. Please let me know if you are willing to
help. ;)

Can't await reading your comments.


- mike
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