According to Douglas DeMaio, a leader of the openSUSE project, the idea behind this is to make it easier for those who want to switch to the enterprise distribution to carry out tests before they decide whether to go ahead or not.
openSUSE also has a rolling branch of development known as Tumbleweed which can be used by those who want the latest software packages.
Announcing the release of the beta, Tim Imich, openSUSE developer community architect, wrote in a blog post: "This release is an important milestone for openSUSE and SUSE, our users and customers: Leap 15.3 is the first release where openSUSE Leap and SUSE Linux Enterprise share the same source code and use the exact same binary packages."
DeMaio said: "Leap has a rolling development model during both its alpha and beta phases. After the gold master and public availability of Leap is released, the rolling development model stops; the release then shifts into a supported release model with maintenance and security updates until its end of life.
"Leap has an extended life cycle greater than 12 months per release. Leap ideal for desktop and server environments."