The inner workings of openSUSE
How does a company harness the efforts of outsiders who want to contribute to its software, without making things too unwieldy and difficult to manage within its own framework?
In the case of the open source company, SUSE, that sells a Linux distribution of the same name, the solution has been to create a community distribution, called openSUSE. The project kicked off in 2005, some time after Novell had bought the SUSE Linux company, which until then had been releasing code only about two months after a release had gone on sale.
As users of Linux turned more and more to the internet to download their distribution of choice, the model of selling a release as boxed sets and CDs became unprofitable; openSUSE was set up in order to serve as a development hot-house and spread the use of the distribution.