What’s the life span of a Novell openSUSE Linux release?
In the case of openSUSE 11.0, it’s two year and one month (25 months). The openSUSE 11.0 release debuted in June of 2008 and has since been replaced by more recent releases – with the most recent release being the openSUSE 11.3 release earlier this month.
As part of the end of life announcement, openSUSE developers have compiled some really interesting statistics on how the release was updated over its life span in contrast with its predecessor openSUSE 10.3.
Overall, openSUSE developers reported that the 11.0 release had a 7 percent reduction in the number of security patches when compared to 10.3. The top package fixed in openSUSE 11.0 over its lifespan was Mozilla Firefox with 18 patches, which is 5 more than 10.3 had.
Novell’s openSUSE, like all Linux distros, relies on upsteam project for many of its security disclosures, so the reduction in patches for openSUSE 11.0 may well be a good sign for Linux (and open source) overall.
Then again, openSUSE developers noted that the number of CVE identified items that were fixed actually went up by 13 percent – which leads me to believe that perhaps more patches were more efficient at tackling multiple vulnerabilities.