OpenSuse23 Apr 2017
Given the changes around Ubuntu, and the fact that I’m not a fan of Gnome Shell in the slightest, I figured it was time to have a look around for a new daily driver on my laptop. I’ve been on a Debian derivative since Crunchbang, and for the most part I’ve been sticking to LTS versions of them. There’re pluses and minuses with LTS installs: They’re stable, but they’re normally a bit of a faff to upgrade, and I’m bored of the yearly “reinstall all my apps” dance that comes with it. That’s not a show stopper, but when you’re waiting months for updated drivers, or fixes to apps, it starts to drag. I figure it’s time to go rolling…
I could go to Arch and be done with it, but I really don’t like downtime, and I REALLY can’t be arsed fixing things, especially if that means I’m sat at my computer but not coding on my own games. A bit of tinkering here and there, when I’m in the mood? OK, but day-to-day maintenance? Nah, my shit has to work. I’m old.
I’ve been eyeing-up OpenSuse Tumbleweed for the better part of a year. They make big claims about the stability of their rolling release, and I’m increasingly hearing good things about the way they’re run. So for the last two weeks I’ve been running Tumbleweed on my laptop as my daily driver. With KDE Plasma…
I’ve not used KDE since the KDE3 days, but wow, it’s lovely. Fast, tidy, well integrated, stable, and good looking even at HiDPI. I’m seriously falling in love with this desktop and I’ve only used it for a couple of weeks. All the K-Apps I’ve tried seem polished, and although a few are a bit basic, it looks like they’re all under strong, active development.
Philosophically I have leanings toward Qt anyway. After looking at GTK3 and Qt - with an eye to writing the tools for Neutrino in them - I’ve got a strong preference for the way Qt is engineered. It’s easier to grok, the code looks cleaner, and most of the tools just seem nicer. I think that shows from the quality of some of the bigger apps that are written using the toolkit.
We’ll see. Bear in mind I also backed HD-DVD because it was cheap, and fuck Sony, so you know. :D
Tumbleweed’s done a couple of snapshot updates over the last week. I’ve had more than 300 package updates, and - touches wood - no breakages. I’m on the latest kernal, I have the latest Mesa (fuck yeah!) and everything seems good.
There’s one little problem, though… As far as some commercial vendors are concerned, there is only Ubuntu, which means you’re going to get a .deb, or fuck all. I’ve managed to get around this a couple of times (Overgrive, Texture Packer) by using alien to convert the .deb to a .rpm, but Spotify? Absolutely fucked if I can get that to install.
Fortunately the bigger commercial apps that I use (Modo, Substance Painter, etc.) seem to expect people to be running RedHat, so they’re .rpm by default, but I can see that there’re going to be more things that cause me an issue over time. The fact that this is a problem AT ALL in 2017 is fucking mind-blowing to me, so here’s hoping that Flat Pack, or Snap Packages, finally put this package management shit to bed, once and for all.
That being said, Yast is as great as people say it is, by far the best package manager that I’ve run. With the Packman repos added, the amount of software I have by default is amazing.
So yeah, tentative two thumbs up for OpenSuse Tumbleweed. I will report back if I get any breakages.