With 15.2 supporting the pi 4 I decided to give the JeOS pi image another try.
While it still feels kinda large unpacked, it does actually run rather tight, just like one might want or need for a dedicated device server. It is also substantially smaller than the “ubuntu server” image for the pi4, though not as small as raspianlite can be.
This actually has made me reconsider the few potential challenges of an openSUSE only world for deliverables, in that they are not actually as big as I initially thought they might be. And of course one can migrate to SUSE itself…
For docker I had been playing with multi-stage docker files, which can be used to create intermediary build environments and then produce a final tight image at the end. This answers some of my issues for making tighter opensuse images, especially for ruby, as I can now generate a ruby vendor directory for bundler in an intermediary stage and copy it to the final one, so I have less need to package ruby gems in opensuse itself, at least for tumbleweed. In some ways Debian is a friendlier ruby distro in terms of officially packaging gems I care about, but in some ways openSUSE is a better ruby distro in that it has things that actually depends on ruby (yast) so one expects it will continue to be treated as a first-class language on the platform.