Of course, I never really stop experimenting and openSuSE Tumbleweed had tremendous potential.
Sure enough with Tumbleweed’s bleeding edge, the bug in the video drivers was fixed, which made it more than worth my time to try to find where the hell you get third party packages from. It’s called the Packman repo and once I was a bit more serious about looking for it (having used Fedora back when it was Red Hat Linux, it was much easier to find their non-free stuff as I remembered FreshRPMs) I found it quite quickly in their list of additional repos.
Also I quite like the package manager from Tumbleweed, zypper – although I’m not so keen on the GUI version. However, the upside is that it does actually work, whereas I’m found both Kubuntu’s Muon and Manjaro’s Octopi to be just plain non-functional. Muon doubly so because it is recommended for use in adding repos and doesn’t work for that very purpose. People simply recommend the CLI.
Zypper is lightning fast and dead easy to use, although it took a little getting used to parameters only being relevant to the previous command. zypper -u rm package is not the same as zypper rm -u package.
Problem is I’m used to apt-get and worse, Gentoo’s portage, both of which are better at cleaning up after themselves. For example, with apt-get when you remove a package it will remind you that you have uncleaned dependencies that can be removed with a command, whereas Zypper if you forget to zypper rm -u package will just remove the package and not clean up dependencies. Worse, reinstall the package and remember to -u, and this time the dependencies won’t be cleaned up, they have become part of the system. Like I say, a worse comparison is to Gentoo’s portage which works even better for cleaning up – you have a master list of programs you definitely want on your system and it maintains their dependencies. Remove a package, run a command and its dependencies vanish.
Zypper’s sheer speed trump both however, and so it feels like less a compromise, and more just a different tool with its own advantages and disadvantages.
We’ll see how it goes, but so far I am very impressed. I get the latest packages, it’s actually very stable, and maintenance is not only easy, but very fast.