Installing openSUSE Factory on laptop

First let me explain why openSUSE Factory and not in fact Gentoo.

Factory points:

  • + Much faster install/update
  • + Better out of the box experience – no need to fiddle with everything to get it running
  • + I can throw stuff to OBS and get it back fast as a binary when I am on battery
  • - It has more issues than Gentoo stable in some areas
  • - Unable to remove things like pulseaudio easily

Gentoo points:

  • + More stable on stable – this will change a lot in near future if everything goes right for openSUSE
  • + Faster system (matter of few percents)
  • + Possibility to remove stuff you really don’t want
  • - Compilation of everything – I update/install on battery often
  • - Smaller chance to fix anything while I am traveling as I have to compile it on the box

So how should I install it? (Break your machine in 3 easy steps)

We will need ISO that is easy to grab from our build service.
Sometimes when we do fancy TM stuff on Yast side the ISO might not work, YAY, but fear less you can still grab latest released version and start from there.

Installation

You really don’t expect me to give you guide on how to install it right? Just get it to state where it reboots for the first login.

Actual migration

Check the repositories and verify that they are pointing on the Factory target, depends on media we went from but it is not hard to change.
Just remove the repositories installer provided us during the installation and put the following ones in (or edit them if you want) the yast:

mosquito:~ # zypper lr -u
# | Alias              | Name                     | Enabled | Refresh | URI                                                    
--+--------------------+--------------------------+---------+---------+--------------------------------------------------------
1 | repo-debug         | openSUSE-Factory-Debug   | No      | Yes     | http://download.opensuse.org/factory/repo/debug/       
2 | repo-non-oss       | openSUSE-Factory-Non-Oss | Yes     | Yes     | http://download.opensuse.org/factory/repo/non-oss/     
3 | repo-oss           | openSUSE-Factory-Oss     | Yes     | Yes     | http://download.opensuse.org/factory/repo/oss/         
4 | repo-source        | openSUSE-Factory-Source  | No      | Yes     | http://download.opensuse.org/factory/repo/src-oss/
Q: How should I add them in the zypper from cli?
A: zypper ar -f -n openSUSE-Factory-Oss http://download.opensuse.org/factory/repo/oss/

After this change we just migrate to the Factory by updating the whole distribution (even if nothing changed as the ISOs sometimes won’t build for a bit).
I recommend running this from CLI and not having anything running at the time, even if it won’t hurt much it is just safer :-)

zypper dup

As a note keep in mind that you should always run zypper dup on factory as we actually sometimes even downgrade and so on, so forget the zypper up there.

I did it. Now what?

Well mate, now you have rolling based binary distribution that is quite usable and working even despite all the openSUSE contributors trying to break it every day ;-)

If you find any problems during the usage just drop by on respective development IRC channel (#opensuse-kde/…) for the package that might be causing the trouble for you and ask the members if they already have fix and if yes if it is on its way to Factory. Then sit back for a while and in ~1 day enjoy your updated/fixed package.

If there is no fix, or nobody else willing to fix your issue (as that might happen as we all see our priorities differently), just try to file a bug or do even better. Hack on it and fix it yourself and get some cool stuff like irc cloak and email alias for being contributor (that does not come with the first fix obviously :P).

What are your current issues with the Factory?

Actually it is running quite well and if I find some issue I can annoy somebody/fix it pretty fast but let me list some things I am currently indiferent or are not annoying enough to fix:

  • Czech translation of SUSE internals is sometimes funny
  • Disk decrypt password dialog shows the disk name the way it overflow the screen, not a biggie
  • Artwork for obvious reasons is moving target so sometimes it says 12.3 sometimes it changes every day and so on, that is not bug that is expected
  • Akonadi is PITA, not a problem of Factory at all but it is biggest issue I have on all my machines
  • Kernel updated too often – that was my bad as I approved the 3.11 too early and then I had to put in the fixes so you guys do not suffer :-)

As endnote I have to mention I udpated bit our wiki to explain who we are and what we do. It is more of work in progress but it should give at least some explanation how we achieve the Factory and what are the issues we face. We are always looking for contributors that want to work on fixing the current factory state or improving our tools. If you are bored help us out so 13.1 is awesome release for everyone…

Mandatory screenshot

Excuse the Nexus 4 camera, too lazy to reach out for normal one :-)

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