OpenSUSE Tumbleweed - lost as new user without proper Welcome info

The Welcome pop-up does not provide much useful info to get started. It is absolutely required to spend time on this forum and the documentation, even if you have been using Gnome and Linux for years.
May I recommend to add the following topics?

  1. I learned I should NOT use Yast to update my system, or to even configure auto updates. Even though the Welcome screen basically guided me in that direction and so did the documentation at first (simply because there is a lot written about Yast, it becomes easy to go down that rabbithole).
  2. I also learned you CAN use Yast to install something, if you cannot find it in Software. Just don’t use it for updates.
  3. At this point I was a bit lost, can I only use commands for updates? Or also Software?
  4. How will I be notified of updates? After more than 2 weeks I have not seen a single notification. Yet when I open Software, 31 updates are waiting :man_shrugging: Strange for a rolling release to not inform users HOW to actually update… and how to receive notifications?

I’m moving to OpenSUSE fTumbleweed for me, my parents and some other people. Also planning to move to Aeon for my homeserver later. But I am quite disappointed how little I had to start with after an initial installation.
You can have a fantastic distro, but without proper info after installation, it can be quite a disappointment for some that don’t have a lot of time and curiosity to figure everything out… the crazy thing is, its a user friendly distro, or it could be easily…

It is still not clear to me if update notifications are enabled by default? If not, why not?
And is there a proper GUI-way to install updates? Or are we forced to use terminal? Is that on purpose?

Additionally, is there a graphical tool to see which kernels are available? And to install the latest recommended/stable kernel?

Sorry for asking so many questions. I’d like to become a fan of OpenSUSE but just slightly disappointed with that initial Welcome sceen…

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Tumbleweed rarely has “updates”. What it has are routine releases, commonly daily, called snapshots, announced as released via the mailing list. Its users should be subscribers to the list, or visit its archives daily, to be apprised of snapshot releases, and any other issues of which its users should be aware.

YaST is like a Swiss army knife, useful for many things, optimal for fewer. Any yet, it’s mostly friendly, and for many, easier than the alternatives.

What is “Software”? You never explained it. YaST is also software.

I can see where you are coming from, yes documentation is not good.

AFAIK it is nowhere clearly stated that for Tumbleweed you need to use “zypper dup” to update and updates are frequent

Portal:Tumbleweed still states

When updating Tumbleweed, you can use YaST or the system update applet just as on Leap.

But AFAIK this is not true.

On the other hand, Tumbleweed is not meant as “low-maintaince” distro, for that there is Leap.

Aeon is new and I think there is even less documentation and knowledge here on the forum. Once things are set up maintenance is lower I think.

I used capital S. It’s literally an app called Software in OpenSuse Tumbleweed Gnome.

But this still doesn’t answer my question.

@mrmazda We are not living in the 90s, surely users cannot be expected to get their notifications through a mailing list? Lots of people barely use mails these days a or don’t even know what or how a mailing list works. Is OpenSuse TW only focused on software developers? And then the more elderly developers (I know a young bunch that really don’t use their email, they prefer things like Discord.)

Is there absolutely no indication of a new snapshot? No push notification? No way to follow up on that notification via a GUI?
That’s really unbelievable to me.

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I checked my KDE Tumbleweed system and the notification area in the bottom right has a hidden status/notification:


Clicking it is gives:


There is even a button to check for updates and it seems to work:


I do not see that notification every likely because I do regularly a “zypper dup”

If you do a standard Tumbleweed installation with one of the desktop Environment patterns (Plasma, Gnome, Xfce, …) each Desktop environment has an applet in the taskbar which notifies you of new updates/upgrades. Additionally the big Desktop environments like Plasma and Gnome have additional Tools which also notifies you about updates/upgrades like Discover, Software, DNFdragora and so on…
The biggest disadvantage of these update notifiers is that if there is a package conflict/solver isuue they fail and don’t tell you why. Only the terminal gives you reasons for the fail and asks you what to do…because the update applets are comming from the desktop environment and can’t implement distribution specific solutions…

I myself let the update plasmoid in Plasma check daily and if there are updates available i apply them via terminal and “zypper dup” as the terminal provides better solver/conflict support.

And yes (contradictary to the broad opinion) you can also use YaST software to upgrade your Tumbleweed. But the correct way is a little bit hidden and not not so obviously documented. Thats why most Tumbleweed users don’t know that way:
open “YaST Software” → “Package” → “All packages” → “Update if newer version available”
That requires that you have a properly maintained repo list with prioritys and so on…

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Ok thanks, than the issue is why I do not see this applet or notification in Gnome, but when I open Gnome Software, it does say 31 updates. :man_shrugging:t4:

I fully understand I shouldn’t use Gnome Software to actually perform the update, because clearly it contains more than just app updates. One of the 31 is called system updates. It’s the complete opposite of user friendly or intuitive UI, to have an notification, but not allowed to actually follow the flow it suggests to update. But that’s a sidenote and just my personal shock about OpenSUSE.

But not having the notification working seems to be an issue with my system specifically, which I only installed a few weeks ago.
It’s unclear to me how I can restore this applet? It doesn’t seem to be a Gnome Extension, all are enabled.

Tumbleweed Upgrades

From Portal:Tumbleweed - openSUSE Wiki

"To keep Tumbleweed updated to the latest snapshot using zypper, 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."

Upgrades Using PackageKit

From package description: “PackageKit is a system designed to make installing and updating software on your computer easier. The primary design goal is to unify all the software graphical tools used in different distributions, and use some of the latest technology like PolicyKit to make the process suck less.”

Hassle-free Upgrades

This may sound a bit harsh, but it is you that choose for Tumbleweed instead Leap. Tumbleweed is a bit different. It does not (almost not) provide Updates. It provides snapshots that are handled as Distribution Upgrades.

And the most easy way to install them is (and you by now will have got the message I assume) zypper dup.

When you do that say once a week, IMHO you are fine. But the Snapshots are announced here on the forum in the News and Announcement section News and Announcements - openSUSE Forums. And many advise you to follow the mailing list for details.

When OTOH you are more happy by getting as normal user an applet that changes colour or so when an update arrives, then better use Leap.

How is a mailing list post not a push? What ain’t broke don’t need fixin. Email can be simple text communication, without the associated bloat required to read text from a web browser, or even a working GUI, something servers commonly have no need for.

Sorry but the way updates are released and the way you actually inform users of that release, and the method of updating, should not have anything to do with choosing between a point release or rolling release.

In this case there is no GUI provided to get the latest snapshot. That’s all. It’s not that a rolling release prevents such a user friendly solution to exist.

Recommending Leap because TW is less user friendly on this end makes no sense to me. Don’t blame it on the snapshot method of providing a rolling release update.

It just means that you rely completely on terminal to.keep your system healthy and safe. Which is fine, as long as this is clear for users.
Again, this is definitely where the Welcome popup fails.

I will probably switch to a rolling release distro that does provide more user friendly method of keeping the system up to date, instead of forcing me to mailing lists and terminal. Simply because I prefer 1 distro for myself and people that really do not even know what OS they are using and just need an OS that stays out of their way.
Hitting a button when reminded once or a couple of times a month should be all that is needed to stay up to date. This is 2023, I really expected TW to be a bit more modern on this front.

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I understand your perspective, makes sense, but nowhere on the website is it stated that TW is designed with servers in mind.
I planned to use it as daily driver on laptop, home minipc etc. For me and other ppl that never touched terminal. And never heard of mailing lists.

It’s pretty clear TW is not meant for those purposes. Thanks for clarifying.

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Servers are implicitly included among the other installation types TW enables, and explicit on the installer screen where a type/role must be selected.

Have you read this?

Who should use Tumbleweed, who not and why zypper dup?

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This here is a forum where openSUSE Tumbleweed/Leap users try to help each other. I don’t think that many developers (if any) are visiting here let alone openSUSE decision makers.

You might be better off with your “recommendations” on the openSuse Factory mailing list or even the openSUSE bugzilla.

You should keep in mind that each openSUSE Tumbleweed release (and there are many, up to 7 and even more in a week) is a set of the latest openSUSE packages “packed” into a release and tested through OpenQA.

To run a openSUSE Tumbleweed system needs a certain amount of regular maintenance (updates, some minor bug fixes now and then, …). This can be kept to a minimum if one follows the openSUSE Factory mailing list (and this forum) closely.

I installed openSUSE Tumbleweed on the machines of some “pure users” (some of them 80+ with now IT knowledge at all) and those systems serve their users without any problems. However the users will never do system updates themself. I will decide when to update their systems. Most of those systems will be updated (remotely) once a month (or on “special events” like new gcc versions). And updates will only take place after I updated my system without any major problem.

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this point put the light on many important things:

  • i spend one year on TW, and i just realize now that i never saw that line : ‘Tumbleweed appeal most to Power Users’ wich is near to the download link :smiley:
  • If there is one thing that i think is badly done in TW, it is the welcome app that i believe need a major overhaul
  • I think that having one line to put on the terminal to update doesnt make TW a poweruser distro :
    i’m dfntly a weak user but i’ll dfntly stay on TW : btrs+snapper, kind/thoughtfull community, yast, political reason (i dont trust redhat/ibm canonical/amazon and so on + I like the fact that OBS is made for every distros - values are more than just words-).
    thats the reasons i choose tw instead of fedora. So to me Tw is easier than fedora: user mistakes are more forgivable and it has this yast gui tool .

if u want a roling release Rpm distro that you update trough gnome software every time u get a notification , maybe take a look at fedora/ (its not btrfs+snapper+propietary codecs ootb, no yast , the community can be harsh)

i have no point of view on the mailinglist vs gui notification thing. But i know that Rss is a good technology from the 90’s :stuck_out_tongue:

at the end no distro suits 100% a user need/wish , i accept the few hiccup i had with TW ( learn a comandline to update, learn to enable my printer trough the firewall) and now i roll with it.

Zilexa, I agree with many of the statements you say, although it is true that this forum will only serve to discuss your feelings about openSUSE. You should address your suggestions directly to the developers, without waiting for them to understand them or for you to get an answer (I get messages about issues that have been open for more than 7 years).

I am not a “distro hopper”, but I do occasionally try other distros especially on “rebel” machines where openSUSE ends up failing in the installation process. I have been a user of both LEAP and Tumbleweed for over 15 years and compared to other distributions, openSUSE is the most advanced and flexible of all distributions available. And not only because of Yast, from where you do all the “technical” stuff, but from the moment you start installing. Most installers use “Calamares” as installer, but it is far away from openSUSE’s installer. Being able to import with a click the installation scheme of the previous distro you had installed is priceless. Likewise, being able to import the users you had in the previous installation. Fantastic.

However, as you rightly say, despite the advanced nature of openSUSE (one of the first to adopt BTRFS) and having Yast, it is striking and incomprehensible that it does not have a Yast application to launch Tumbleweed upgrades using a GUI. It is nothing different from the GUI that appears when you renew LEAP versions and asks you about conflict resolution through a window. So, yes it can be done with GUI, but they haven’t implemented it.

You are also right about software management. Right now, software can be managed through “Discover” (which is from Plasma) or “Yast software”. The problem is that “Yast software” is intended for experienced users, it doesn’t make it easy to search and select the software we are looking for. The “Mageia” distro has a software manager that other distros should learn from, because it has a “simple” mode, so you can search for “applications with GUI” and “applications without GUI”, which makes it very easy for the user to find what he is looking for. Also, the package manager uses MariaDB and is lightning fast.

In conclusion, openSUSE still has a lot of room for improvement, but there is no way you will find a distro similar to this Swiss Army Knife.

Dear Zilexa I humbly suggest that tumbleweed is not the distro you should be trying to wean your parents and friends to. You say that you’ve used gnome and linux for years but you CHOSE a disto that for me is great, it is not hung up on pico and does not try to hand hold me (although I was bewildered by the dmesg saga).
If it does not suit you then use a distro that does eg mint, but I’d hate tumbleweed to become more User Friendy AKA an anal pain