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Thread: Why I switched from openSUSE to Manjaro

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    Default Why I switched from openSUSE to Manjaro

    This isn't truly goodbye: I still love openSUSE and am very happy with the nearly 10 years in which I've been a constant user! I'll definitely keep an eye on what changes with this OS, while my experience with it remains a great lesson in Linux.

    That being said, I can announce that for the first time since I've become a Linux user a decade ago, I've moved away from openSUSE Tumbleweed to Manjaro. While openSUSE remains my second favorite and a very user friendly distribution, I consider that Manjaro has taken the lead over SUSE in most areas. There are a few reasons why I feel this is the case and why I decided to make the switch... I shall list the most important ones in case any point here helps with further improving openSUSE.


    • There's been a lot of debate over which packaging system is best. While rpm never let me down and I never experienced corruption or other major issues, I do believe it's growing rusty and out of fashion compared to other package management systems. One thing I can now say from experience is that pkg appears to be faster than rpm: While "sudo zypper dup" would often take minutes if not hours, "sudo pacman -Syu" seems to find ways to move notably quicker. One reason might be the dynamic mirror management, which allows users to get their updates from the closest and fastest server instead of a fixed default location (download.opensuse.org). The only thing I miss is the ability to add custom repositories via URL which initially made Manjaro feel like a deal breaker: I later changed my feelings on this too, realizing that in a system where software must be compiled against precise libraries to work the ability to install stuff from random servers maintained by different people is more likely to propagate a dependency nightmare. Now for the first time I no longer need to make decisions about which package to switch to which repository based on which dependencies broke or became available.
    • Speaking of packages: At least when it comes to the Tumbleweed version, I felt the package maintainers have become a bit sloppy as of recent. I recently dealt with software in core repositories having broken dependencies which could stick for weeks before being resolved. A recent example is the game 0ad which broke for over a month until its package was patched, which coincidentally made it difficult to play it with a friend I was introducing the game to. I can only speak for myself here, but even as a lover of the rolling release model I prefer waiting just a bit longer for an upgrade if that helps prevent breakage for all software in the official repos. Manjaro managed a wonderful balance in this regard, being fully based on a rolling release model but with a 2 week testing period for the stable branch, while users who feel adventurous or wish to help are able to get the latest stuff immediately.
    • Manjaro offers some nice builtin tools I really like, in spite of how much I'm going to miss YaST. The most famous is its Kernel manager: You can install and remove any kernel version you like from a GUI integrated in the system settings panel, after which the grub bootloader is rebuilt and your kernel is ready to boot into! openSUSE has a good kernel management system too, with the kernel being updated automatically but a given number of kernels being stored in memory before being pruned... this always worked out for me but it doesn't offer the same control. The same Manjaro toolkit automatically detects your drivers and lets you switch between open-source and proprietary ones which can be handy! Yet another part designed in this fashion lets you add or remove language packages for various applications you have installed.
    • One thing I greatly disliked with openSUSE and some other distributions is that basic media formats aren't installed by default due to patent issues; Even today openSUSE users who want support for mp3 / mp4 / mpeg (which I assume includes 99% of desktop users) have to add the Packman repository and install those formats separately. You only need to do this once after which they update together with everything else, though sometimes updates lag behind and cause annoyances in the dependency chain. Still those separate codecs are an idea that never sat well with me... especially when you have to maintain an important dependency like Packman which occasionally breaks its mirrors, for example http://packman.inode.at still isn't back after months since it went down. I know this isn't a fault of openSUSE as the team fears potential legal risks implied by absurd patent laws limiting commonplace software (which should be immediately abolished). None the less a lot of distributions like Manjaro managed to get around this problem and ignore those alleged patents, making users feel safer knowing they have basic music / video formats working out of the box.
    • Lastly Manjaro appears to be a bit more lightweight than openSUSE. Not by much but I've seen some differences I like: The default installation reaches around 20 GB for the root partition, whereas for openSUSE I remember having more than 40 GB of the root partition used without installing many packages I haven't added back in Manjaro (like games or LibreOffice). More importantly Manjaro seems to be lighter on RAM usage, with my used system memory capping out at some 500 MB / 1 GB less than it did on openSUSE on average. Startup / shutdown times and application response isn't noticeably different, though if I try hard to feel a change I get the impression Manjaro is just a tiny bit snappier.

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    Default Re: Why I switched from openSUSE to Manjaro

    Hi
    For Tumbleweed, it's not the package or management, first is the meta data download and at present there are issues with mirroring which is W.i.P.

    Core packages or do you mean repository packages in general. Core packages are from the likes of Base:System, Desktop environments, anything else is a leaf package. If you following the Tumbleweed (Factory) Mailing List then you would see some issue are legal review, but it takes time for fixes and/or new packages to get through review, testing and openQA....., it just takes time....

    You can follow here: https://build.opensuse.org/project/r...enSUSE:Factory

    For example, a dependency one I submitted to get the latest gscan2pdf into Tumbleweed.. https://build.opensuse.org/request/show/883886

    Codecs, the likes of SUSE would have a target on their nose ($$$).... mp3 has been available for awhile, ffmpeg has a few free now, I don't think will change in the foreseeable future, I don't use Packman except testing a few leaf packages I maintain there. There is Fluendo for the legal solution...
    Cheers Malcolm °¿° SUSE Knowledge Partner (Linux Counter #276890)
    SUSE SLE, openSUSE Leap/Tumbleweed (x86_64) | GNOME DE
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    Default Re: Why I switched from openSUSE to Manjaro

    Quote Originally Posted by malcolmlewis View Post
    Hi
    For Tumbleweed, it's not the package or management, first is the meta data download and at present there are issues with mirroring which is W.i.P.

    Core packages or do you mean repository packages in general. Core packages are from the likes of Base:System, Desktop environments, anything else is a leaf package. If you following the Tumbleweed (Factory) Mailing List then you would see some issue are legal review, but it takes time for fixes and/or new packages to get through review, testing and openQA....., it just takes time....

    You can follow here: https://build.opensuse.org/project/r...enSUSE:Factory

    For example, a dependency one I submitted to get the latest gscan2pdf into Tumbleweed.. https://build.opensuse.org/request/show/883886

    Codecs, the likes of SUSE would have a target on their nose ($$$).... mp3 has been available for awhile, ffmpeg has a few free now, I don't think will change in the foreseeable future, I don't use Packman except testing a few leaf packages I maintain there. There is Fluendo for the legal solution...
    By official packages I'm referring to everything from a default opensuse.org repository... meaning not experimental or something under the home: category. I temporarily added a few user repos too when I couldn't find a package in the standard ones.

    Mirroring: That's great news and will surely help! In particular if there's an automated system to scan for all available mirrors, then store them ordered by the lowest ping; Whenever zypper runs the #1 entry on the list is picked. Though once there's mirror support it seriously feels like a good idea to have concurrent downloads also, so multiple packages can be downloaded from various servers at the same time causing the update to reach the user much quicker. Repositories are currently registered as one http(s) URL, so for this to make sense I assume a new category of repository would be useful, where you can add a list of multiple URL's (txt file) representing different mirrors with the same content. As a safety measure and to ensure consistency, the refresh procedure can error out if the mirrors are detected to not be identical, but in that case you'll have to wait until they've synced.

    Oh... does that mean mp3 works OOTB in openSUSE now? What about mp4? Those are the ones that truly matter today. But yeah; It's mind boggling that after so many years such restrictive patents on a mere file format still aren't allowed to expire. I hope a legal solution is found for distros like openSUSE to not have to worry about those things and offer a fully functional OS from the start. The problem with needing Packman for this is that "zypper dup" likes to switch vendors, and packages there often have different capabilities compared to the OSS versions... users thus have to choose which version of a package to install often times (openSUSE or Packman) which so far hasn't gone wrong but I can imagine it causing obscure problems over time.

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    Default Re: Why I switched from openSUSE to Manjaro

    Quote Originally Posted by MirceaKitsune View Post
    While "sudo zypper dup" would often take minutes if not hours, "sudo pacman -Syu" seems to find ways to move notably quicker.
    I have KaOS installed in a VM. It uses "pacman" as package manager. Updating is very slow.

    I also have Solus installed in a VM. I've never checked how they manage packages. But updating is quite fast.

    I think it has more to do with the repo connectivity than with the package format.
    openSUSE Leap 15.2; KDE Plasma 5.18.5;

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    Default Re: Why I switched from openSUSE to Manjaro

    Quote Originally Posted by MirceaKitsune View Post
    By official packages I'm referring to everything from a default opensuse.org repository... meaning not experimental or something under the home: category. I temporarily added a few user repos too when I couldn't find a package in the standard ones.
    Hi
    Yes, I meant that too, however there is a priority with base packages, desktop packages, the rest (leaf packages). The base and desktop packages get major attention, the leaf packages which is the one I linked to and others I maintain take time to get through the process. For example my cherrytree update was submitted on 3/28 accepted on 4/12 it will likely be in the next snapshot but still about 2 weeks to get through the process (folks go on holiday etc). If there is a particular package waiting, you can go and add a comment to see if it can get priority. AFAIK Legal review has been a major hold up, but again the process has changed to look at skipping this until it's in the release and then action if required.

    The openSUSE Distribution is a do-ocrity, a friendly request won't go missed if you need something, you don't need to be a packager... but if you stay quiet no one knows....

    Get involved/helping with the mirror infrastructure, if the Heroes don't know of user issues, how can it be resolved?

    Likewise CVE's will get released pretty quick and if necessary pushed to the update repo to avoid the likes of above.

    Packagers get notification of build issues, likewise I get updates of source updates for some, I expect other maintainers get the same. On the Mailing List there are build failure notifications, if no action they get deleted from Tumbleweed.
    Cheers Malcolm °¿° SUSE Knowledge Partner (Linux Counter #276890)
    SUSE SLE, openSUSE Leap/Tumbleweed (x86_64) | GNOME DE
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    Default Re: Why I switched from openSUSE to Manjaro

    Quote Originally Posted by nrickert View Post
    I have KaOS installed in a VM. It uses "pacman" as package manager. Updating is very slow.

    I also have Solus installed in a VM. I've never checked how they manage packages. But updating is quite fast.

    I think it has more to do with the repo connectivity than with the package format.
    That makes sense. The thing that would affect speed is less so package format and more so connectivity. Except for compression: No idea if pkg uses better compression than rpm, though as far as I'm aware they're both tar.gz unless I'm mistaken.

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    Default Re: Why I switched from openSUSE to Manjaro

    Quote Originally Posted by MirceaKitsune View Post
    That makes sense. The thing that would affect speed is less so package format and more so connectivity. Except for compression: No idea if pkg uses better compression than rpm, though as far as I'm aware they're both tar.gz unless I'm mistaken.
    Hi
    No, was xz now zstd....

    Code:
    rpm -qp --queryformat '%{PAYLOADCOMPRESSOR}\n' /var/cache/zypp/packages/download.opensuse.org-oss/x86_64/tesseract-ocr-4.1.1-3.6.x86_64.rpm
    
    zstd
    Cheers Malcolm °¿° SUSE Knowledge Partner (Linux Counter #276890)
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    Default Re: Why I switched from openSUSE to Manjaro

    Quote Originally Posted by MirceaKitsune View Post
    I know this isn't a fault of openSUSE as the team fears potential legal risks implied by absurd patent laws limiting commonplace software (which should be immediately abolished). None the less a lot of distributions like Manjaro managed to get around this problem and ignore those alleged patents, making users feel safer knowing they have basic music / video formats working out of the box.
    Hello,

    Here I found an explanation that is good enough for me:
    https://lists.opensuse.org/archives/...ZIXFBJUNJ2M4R5

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    Default Re: Why I switched from openSUSE to Manjaro

    Quote Originally Posted by MirceaKitsune View Post

    • There's been a lot of debate over which packaging system is best. While rpm never let me down and I never experienced corruption or other major issues, I do believe it's growing rusty and out of fashion compared to other package management systems.
    There's package managers proposing getting rid of postinstall scripts, multi-version install side-by-side, user-level installs, run directly from package archive. rpm might not get these. You might want to keep looking, as you might be looking at the wrong place.

    Quote Originally Posted by MirceaKitsune View Post

    • One thing I can now say from experience is that pkg appears to be faster than rpm: While "sudo zypper dup" would often take minutes if not hours, "sudo pacman -Syu" seems to find ways to move notably quicker. One reason might be the dynamic mirror management, which allows users to get their updates from the closest and fastest server instead of a fixed default location (download.opensuse.org).
    As said, this is mostly mirror infrastructure. Some geographical areas might be better served than others, but we could use more mirrors. Also, I download updates in advance, and I'm told when it's ready to upgrade, no need to wait even a couple minutes downloading anything at all. Install is blazing fast now since the move to zstd.

    Quote Originally Posted by MirceaKitsune View Post

    • Speaking of packages: At least when it comes to the Tumbleweed version, I felt the package maintainers have become a bit sloppy as of recent. I recently dealt with software in core repositories having broken dependencies which could stick for weeks before being resolved. A recent example is the game 0ad which broke for over a month until its package was patched, which coincidentally made it difficult to play it with a friend I was introducing the game to. I can only speak for myself here, but even as a lover of the rolling release model I prefer waiting just a bit longer for an upgrade if that helps prevent breakage for all software in the official repos. Manjaro managed a wonderful balance in this regard, being fully based on a rolling release model but with a 2 week testing period for the stable branch, while users who feel adventurous or wish to help are able to get the latest stuff immediately.
    There's tumbleweed cli to mitigate the issue, although I'm not an user myself. And I'm not convinced this is fixed by design in your next distro.

    Quote Originally Posted by MirceaKitsune View Post

    • The same Manjaro toolkit automatically detects your drivers and lets you switch between open-source and proprietary ones which can be handy!
    What problem is this solving?

    Quote Originally Posted by MirceaKitsune View Post

    • One thing I greatly disliked with openSUSE and some other distributions is that basic media formats aren't installed by default due to patent issues;
    Although not out of the box for TW, but possibly for MicroOS, programs relying on codecs might be installed as flatpaks.


    Quote Originally Posted by MirceaKitsune View Post

    • Lastly Manjaro appears to be a bit more lightweight than openSUSE. Not by much but I've seen some differences I like: The default installation reaches around 20 GB for the root partition, whereas for openSUSE I remember having more than 40 GB of the root partition used without installing many packages I haven't added back in Manjaro (like games or LibreOffice). More importantly Manjaro seems to be lighter on RAM usage, with my used system memory capping out at some 500 MB / 1 GB less than it did on openSUSE on average. Startup / shutdown times and application response isn't noticeably different, though if I try hard to feel a change I get the impression Manjaro is just a tiny bit snappier.
    That doesn't look like an openSUSE installation at all.

    Probably a bit late for you, but not for others. TW is a great system once you get the hang of it, and the future MicroOS Desktop is an interesting take on many pain points on TW. I often don't advise newbies going for TW, but Leap instead. As you can tell from your 10-year experience, it's not the passage of time that counts, but how much effort you put into getting things to work for you. TW is not newbie-friendly as others, and it takes some regular upkeep. It's a self-service solution, it's not reasonable to expect all things to be working as you expect 100% of the time, with others doing chores to achieve that. A bigger community might provide this experience, but once it looses momentum it is deemed to fall apart.

    I wish you good luck, and thanks for sharing your thoughts.
    openSUSE Tumbleweed

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    Default Re: Why I switched from openSUSE to Manjaro

    I've been running OpenSUSE since around 2009 (so also about 10 years). A couple of years back I decided to switch to a rolling release. For a while I ran dual-boots of Leap with Manjaro and Tumbleweed. Eventually I decided to go with Tumbleweed. I decided the automated testing regime behind OpenSUSE inspired more confidence than the Manjaro approach, which as I understand it, is pretty much based on delaying updates feeding through from arch. Plus there are web pages such as the following: https://rentry.co/manjaro-controversies.

    The arch community produces good work, but it also appears to be a bit grumpy, with RTFM-replies being quite common. There are a few grumps around here too, but I find it an acceptably civil/friendly community. I'm reluctant to put up with grumpy behaviour. I would admit that I in the position of "it takes one to know one", but over time I've come to the conclusion that while my thoughts might be grumpy it mostly best not to express them.

    However, I accept that any distro has it warts, and any bleeding edge distro will result in pain at times. Either Tumbleweed or Manjaro could be made to work adequately providing you know your way around Linux and take some precautions - I'm not sure either are quite right for beginners.

    Distros all seem so close these days it's hard to build up the momentum to switch.

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