Portal:Tumbleweed

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The Tumbleweed distribution is a pure rolling release version of openSUSE containing the latest stable versions of all software instead of relying on rigid periodic release cycles. The project does this for users that want the newest stable software.

Tumbleweed is based on Factory, openSUSE's main development codebase. Tumbleweed is updated once Factory's bleeding edge software has been integrated, stabilized and tested. Tumbleweed contains the latest stable applications and is ready and reliable for daily use.

This idea has been discussed in mailing lists for a long time and was conceived into action by Greg Kroah-Hartman, originally as an 'add-on' set of rolling updates which could be layered on top of a regular openSUSE release. On November 4th 2014 the Tumbleweed rolling release and Factory rolling release merged, leaving the single openSUSE Tumbleweed rolling release we have today

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Who should try Tumbleweed?

Any user who wishes to have newer packages than are available in the openSUSE Leap 15.0 repositories. This includes, but is not limited to, an updated Linux kernel, SAMBA, git, desktops, office applications and many other packages.

Also, Tumbleweed should appeal most to Power Users, Software Developers (who require the latest software stacks and IDEs) and openSUSE Contributors (who need a reliable platform that is as close to openSUSE Factory as possible while remaining usable).

Due to the Linux kernel being updated very frequently, users who rely on 3rd party kernel driver modules including graphic drivers should not use the Tumbleweed distribution unless they are familiar with updating these drivers from source on their own or they have supported hardware. For more details please refer to the "Third Party Drivers" section below.

Note that the additional Packman repositories are available for Tumbleweed!


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Who should use openSUSE Leap instead of Tumbleweed?

While every effort is made to build them, at this point there is no guarantee to have all additional modules available in openSUSE Tumbleweed like for example, Vmware or Virtualbox. And while the Packman Tumbleweed Essential repository attempts to deliver them there is no guarantee they will always succeed due to the incompatibilities with the quickly advancing Linux Kernel. The problems with proprietary graphics drivers are similar and there is no guarantee they will work tomorrow, even if they do today. If you don't know how to compile your own additional kernel modules and you don't wish to learn or keep a very close eye on what is being updated, please don't use Tumbleweed.


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How to try Tumbleweed?

To get started with Tumbleweed follow the Tumbleweed Installation Instructions

Follow the opensuse-factory mailing list to get notified about updates. New snapshots are released as often as they are ready and automatic QA has passed. This can be as often as daily but sometimes also takes a few weeks, when bigger changes are integrated.


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Rolling release means no updates, only urgent patches and upgrades

When updating Tumbleweed, always use the dist-upgrade method (as shown below). Using the normal update method (this includes using YaST and PackageKit) rather than the dist-upgrade method will not move the system to the latest snapshot and may cause issues.

To keep Tumbleweed updated to the latest snapshot, run the following command as root (ideally inside a screen or tmux session):

zypper dup

Note that there can be some subtleties with updates, especially with multiple repositories. See for example recent discussion about using zypper dup versus zypper up and zypper dup priorities.


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Multimedia Codecs

Due to the licensing issues, openSUSE cannot include certain multimedia codecs such as H.264. Without these codecs, videos from certain websites, music files, sounds, etc may fail to play. Fortunately, the Packman repository provides these codecs (along with many other things) for openSUSE. More details about Packman can be found at additional package repositories.

To add the entire Packman repository and install missing codecs, run the following commands as root:

zypper ar -cfp 90 http://ftp.gwdg.de/pub/linux/misc/packman/suse/openSUSE_Tumbleweed/ packman
zypper dup --from packman

To add only the Packman Essentials repository (provides codecs, audio, and video player applications) and install missing codecs, run the following commands as root:

zypper ar -cfp 90 http://ftp.gwdg.de/pub/linux/misc/packman/suse/openSUSE_Tumbleweed/Essentials packman-essentials
zypper dup --from packman-essentials

After installing the codecs from Packman, YouTube's HTML5 Video Player test may be ran to see if H.264 is working properly in a browser.


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Third Party Drivers

Due to the fast pace of kernel upgrades on Tumbleweed, 3rd party kernel driver modules may not be fast enough to catch up with the latest kernel version. In the unlikely case that your kernel driver module does not work on Tumbleweed, please consider using openSUSE Leap instead.

NVidia’s proprietary driver generally works very well with Tumbleweed.

NVidia proprietary drivers for GeForce 400 series and newer GPUs can be easily installed in Tumbleweed using the following commands as root:

zypper ar https://download.nvidia.com/opensuse/tumbleweed nvidia
zypper inr

In extremely rare cases, for example if you require a beta version of the driver, you can also manually install the driver. Read NVidia – The hard way for details. Please remember to also re-compile and re-install these third party drivers with every kernel upgrade on Tumbleweed.

Alternatively, the dkms-nvidia openSUSE Build Service repository may be used. This repository provides NVIDIA drivers that work with dkms (NVIDIA's modules will be automatically recompiled for each new kernel update). It also contains a variety of NVIDIA driver versions for use with cards that are not supported with or do not behave well with the latest drivers. To make use of this repository, simply click the 1 Click Install link for the driver version you wish to install here or run the following commands as root for the latest NVIDIA driver from dkms-nvidia:

zypper ar -f https://download.opensuse.org/repositories/home:/Bumblebee-Project:/nVidia:/latest/openSUSE_Tumbleweed/home:Bumblebee-Project:nVidia:latest.repo
zypper in dkms-nvidia

Please note that the dkms-nvidia repository is not officially supported and anyone who wishes to use it will most likely be on their own for troubleshooting problems.

As for AMD, AMDGPU-PRO is not supported for Tumbleweed. Tumbleweed comes with a Radeon driver installed out of the box that is usually the superior choice anyway.


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How can I contribute?

  • You can test the Tumbleweed distribution and give feedback, share experience and participate in the development discussions. To do so, send your mail to the list address, opensuse-factory@opensuse.org.
    You may also choose to receive messages from the list by explicitly subscribing to it. To do so, send a blank mail to opensuse-factory+subscribe@opensuse.org. Be sure to reply to the subscription confirmation you will get back a few moments later — this is a mechanism to avoid other people subscribing you involuntarily.
  • If you encounter trouble with your Tumbleweed instance you can report issues to openSUSE bugzilla
  • If you are a packager, you can submit new packages to the openSUSE:Factory project.