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The openSUSE Tumbleweed distribution is the rolling release version of openSUSE containing the newest stable applications including such things as an updated Linux kernel, SAMBA, git, desktops, and office applications.  It is a popular choice for power users and software developers who need to develop using the latest software stacks and IDEs.  Users of the Tumbleweed distro need to have advanced skills including the ability to compile additional kernel modules, because the frequent Linux kernel updates will cause problems with proprietary graphic drivers and other 3rd party kernel driver modules.  For less experienced users who do not want to compile kernel modules, openSUSE Leap, with its slower release cycle, is a better fit than Tumbleweed.

Tumbleweed is built just like any traditional distro, but much more quickly.  As with any distro, all of the packages are built and shipped together as a cohesive distribution.  They make sure that the packages that are checked in are compatible – if they invalidate another package, the dependent packages are rebuilt.  They use the Open Build Service (OBS) to accelerate the build processes and use openQA to automate the testing, using real-world scenarios that test installations, upgrades, dual booting, live CDs, network installs, and much more.  Thousands of tests can be run very quickly, testing a full snapshot in about three hours, and a new version of Tumbleweed is released automatically if it passes.  Instead of taking weeks to build and test disk images and repositories, Tumbleweed does it about five times a week.

Both Tumbleweed and Leap are created by the openSUSE project which is part of the worldwide free and open source software community.  openSUSE is sponsored by SUSE, which contributes engineering, infrastructure and other resources to the project.  SUSE uses openSUSE as the foundation for its suite of enterprise Linux products, which they refine and harden until they are supportable commercial products that can meet the requirements of enterprise data centers.