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openSUSE talk:Base for derivatives strategy proposal

tagline: From openSUSE

I object to this strategy. A few years ago, there were voices that said "but Debian has more packages", now that we have the OBS, the problem still is not really gone.

First you would have to add extra repositories, that alone is unacceptible. Having to manually add packman & personal repo already does not scale to well.

Already today, we see posts by forum visitors (and/or other communication media) who seem to have utterly many reopsitories just because they think it is cool or something, when in fact, they are on the edge of breaking something in the process, and nobody wants to deal with the "mess" of finding where exactly in those umpteenth repositories the problem comes from.

I also am inclined to call this a Windows model, where you spend extra time installing all the non-core stuff. Linux distributions' strengths have always been to have more software agglomerated in a single location.

Then, repositories often carry packages also found in others. It raises the problem which to choose.

openSUSE(:Factory) is the effort that has been put into unification, and the proposed strategy just pulls it apart again. As if the world and its users did not already have enough problems choosing which distribution to use of the many (distrowatch lists 317), this strategy would add another handful.

(I certainly don't mind live CDs or installer CDs that carry only part of the packages, but the end result should be that zypper should, out of the box without adding extra repositories, give access to the base repo, that is, /distribution/XY/repo.)

Letting the distribution split into spin-offs also causes update headaches. Someday a spin's maintainer ceases to be able to track it all, or wanders of to other interests, you are stuck. No timely updates, and the failing attempt to get the dependency hell right when trying to pull a package that also happens to be included in another spin.

Getting together or disbanding oneself. I prefer the former.


  • Very few people are interested in making derivatives. Both in general and

within our existing community. I'd hate the thought of going to a lug meeting and a guy asks "Why openSUSE?" and I'd have to say "Oh, it's specialized in being a great base for derivatives and appliances".

  • Even if openSUSE was objectively, technically the best distro for making

derivatives, I think noone would care if it wasn't also the best general purpose distro for them. I think most people will tend to choose their own preferred everyday distro for their derivatives - because this is what they know and what they can support etc.

martin schlander

Thread on this topic in forums did not get single answer by now. That much how non-developer user base cares about.

rajko m.

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