As noted I recommend OSS, Non-OSS, Update, and Packman. To explain:
- applications that are typically on the packaged DVD - these are typically tested by Novell and by the community
- typically applications that are not open source free software, but for one reason or another, Novell/SuSE-GmbH have decided to include these applications with openSUSE - these are typically tested by Novell and by the community
- these are official Novell/SuSE-GmbH updates to OSS and Non-OSS - usually security updates, although if there is a really serious bug, one may also see bug fixes - test are typically tested in house in Novell/SuSE-GmbH
- this is a 3rd party repository put together by a group of volunteers, and contains lots of multimedia, some utilities, games and other neat 3rd party packages. The testing is limited but I believe there are non-enforced guidelines that the Packman packagers follow, which means the Packman repositories tend to have a higher quality than most of the other repositories
Now the remaining repositories are not official updates. Their applications may or may not have been built against OSS/Non-OSS/Update, and they may introduce applications that will cause breakage in either existing or other repositories. And typically they have mininal to absolutely no testing.
Why risk that breakage? IMHO in general terms it simply not worth it, … and one must have a very specific reason before updating from another repos.
Now on occasion I have briefly added Mozilla repos to get the latest firefox (and disable Mozilla after the firefox install). And on occasion my firefox has been broken. So I typically roll back to the OSS version of firefox. This is an isolated case, so its easy to address. I don’t have a zillion repos clouding the issue.
The same is true for “wine”. On occasion I have briefly added wine repos to get the latest wine (and disabled wine repos after the wine update). And on occasion my wine has been broken. So I typically roll back to the OSS version of wine. Again, this is an isolated case, so its easy to address. I don’t have a zillion repos clouding the issue.
But multiply that by 20 extra repos, and this is havoc. It makes no sense to me that someone would want to inflict that on them selves.
Having typed that, don’t get me wrong on this. I am in favour of the massive repository proliferation we are seeing, as it is making available a host of applications that were not packaged before for openSUSE. Its also making available cutting edge versions of applications that were not packaged for openSUSE before (not until the next release). But don’t over look the down side. Caution is the operative word, and so many New Users THROW CAUTION TO THE WIND and add 20+ repositories. Thats begging for trouble, and trouble they get.
… < and I get frustrated because its hard to help them … >
New users IMHO really need to learn to add what they need for a repos when they need it, and immediately remove the repos after their install is done (back to the basic 4 I recommend: OSS, Non-OSS, Update, Packman).
Kernel updates are a pain. Its a major linux PITA, and impacts not only openSUSE but every Linux distribution. Its a design implementation in Linux with major side effects, and not every distribution handles the side affects well.
But one thing about kernel updates, is the solutions are known and can be easily addressed. Typically only boot config files or drivers are impacted. Boot config files can be easily fixed as the knowledge to do so is common. With caution, the problems can be predicted in advance, and corrected in advance (before the reboot after a kernel update).
Drivers for a new kernel can be preopositioned before accepting a kernel update, so that their re-install or rebuild is easy to do.
So in general, its relatively easy to recover from kernel updates. Its only a temporary PITA.
But adding 20+ repositories is a receipe for forcing a complete re-install, and in the case of New Users almost a guaranteed receipe for pushing them back to Windoze. The simple answer is DON’T DO IT !! Stick with the 4 repos I mentioned. …