Leap or Tumbleweed on desktop: need advice

I have some experience running both openSUSE versions and now I’m considering choosing one as my daily driver with the KDE Plasma desktop. As such, I’m not sure what to go with. Some doubts and thoughts:

  • is Tumbleweed REALLY as stable as Leap? What I mean is a possible risk of breaking things like sound playback or codecs after another upgrade.
  • what is the preferred upgrade method? Just ‘zypper dup’ or tumbleweed-cli? Do you upgrade at a random time, or schedule regular upgrades?
  • I plan to use Virtualbox on my host, but I’m not sure that it won’t break after getting another bleeding edge kernel update in Tumbleweed. How’s Virtualbox work with TW?
  • are there any issues with running third-party closed-source apps like Edge or Softmaker Office in Tumbleweed?

Please share your insights if you have some. Many thanks in advance!


I use TW with KDE on various every-day multi-purpose desktops for some years now. Usually I do zypper dup once a week, only caveat imho: when a new major kernel version drops in or gcc is updated. Then I start with a minor machine, if everything works I start with the more important desktops. If you are in doubt (have absolutely no time for trouble-shooting, in case something doesn’t work), simply skip updates for a week or two…

No troubles with upgrading Leap every year or so. Latest kernel and software all the time, with good stability. I would recommend TW…

I use on different TW install Virtualbox (mostly Win 7/10) from time to time, no problems here…

Thanks for your reply!

Continuosly, i.e without hopping away?

Also, I recently compared running the latest KDE version on Leap (I followed the official guide for Leap) and TW and was surprised how different one was from another. KDE in TW felt much more polished and way less buggy. In contrast, in Leap I had Discover broken, and even some plasmoids (eg. keryboard layouts indicator) behaved differently. That’s of course a reason to go with TW, yet I’m not still very sure.

Jepp, I only use opensuse as my preferred linux since 12.2. I play around with Debian (old machine, graphics no longer supported in suse), Fedora NomadBSD and alike (just playing around for some hours, installed on SSD or USB-stick).

Raspberry Pis and Odroids are a different piece of cake, they are mostly raspbian/Debian, I have some SD-cards with (old) TW/Leap installs for raspberry pis, but usually they broke after some zypper dup in the past, so ARM is better with Debian and derivatives imo…

Take my regards!

I use Leap on my main desktop. I have Tumbleweed installed in another computer. And I have Tumbleweed in a virtual machine that I can run for testing updates.

I have thought about switching those around (i.e. Tumbleweed on the main desktop). But I’m reasonably happy with what I am doing, so I’ll probably just continue.

Yes, Tumbleweed has a newer version of KDE. But newer isn’t necessarily better. When Leap 15.4 is released, it is expected to have a newer KDE. I can wait.

It is up to you to decide what better meets your needs.

True. For instance, there is no infamous Korner bug in Plasma 5.18 LTS used in Leap 15.3.
But the ‘freshness’ issue is wider though. Over the time my Leap installation has become cluttered with too many extra community repos. Eventually I needed newer Nodejs, Python3 etc and each time there was an extra repo for this and that. Honestly at some point I became unable to track their priorities and therefore doing ‘zypper up --allow-vendor-change’ was a risky thing.
Tumbleweed is free from that hassles, that’s why I’m tempting to use it instead of Leap…

I use Tumbleweed as my primary desktop, Leap on laptops and virtual machines. I’m a GNOME user though and have had very little issues from a desktop perspective, every thing runs fine. I have an outstanding bug with amdgpu, hdmi and screen save/sleep, so have to use amdgpu.dc=0 for the moment, so no hdmi sound :frowning:

If your developing then I would give Tumbleweed a whirl and see how it pans out for your needs, be careful adding repositories. If there is a package/program you need that is not in the release, then ask the maintainer to push to Tumbleweed. I get the occasional request to push something I have packaged and am happy to oblige if up the standard.

I use leap 15.3 as my primary with tumbleweed in a virtual machine. Both installs have kde desktop along with mate and gnome. mate is my go-to but kde runs fine on both.

I like the stability of leap based upon forum threads I have seen regarding sporadic anomalies in tumbleweed. These seem to be rapidly corrected though.

But, I have found that compiling new versions of source code on leap 15.3 can be problematic due to not having the most recent versions of needed software. I have several programs that compile easily on tumbleweed but are a real task or impossible getting to compile on leap. This is expecially true of “current” versions of software. Older versions mostly compile well on leap 15. but this has not been meticiously tested.

tom kosvic

Last November I wanted to switch from Leap 15.2 to Leap 15.3 or Tumbleweed. So I installed and used Leap for a few days and then Tumbleweed for a few days. So I switched it up one more time and ended up staying on Leap 15.3.

Although actually as a Slovak translator of KDE I should stick to the latest version of this desktop environment, I didn’t like the big weekly updates in Tumbleweed. I prefer the conservative approach in Leap.

In short, the operating system is supposed to work for me, not me for the operating system.

To keep track, I have Tumbleweed installed in the Virtualbox virtual machine and I run and update it every now and then.

I would say that depends on your hardware. If you have e.g. a nvidia graphics card I would recommend Leap. With Intel graphics you should be fine with Tumbleweed. I have Tumbleweed as main desktop for at least 5 years and experienced no problem with stability. My wife uses Leap as her main desktop. I am no IT person and need help from time to time from this forum and so far with the help of those knowledgeable guys at the forum I could resolve all problems so far. I use openSUSE since v. 9.2 (switching from Fedora 2, tried a little Ubuntu etc…) and so far it does everything I need.