search vs eg. Packman


I’m trying out openSUSE to see if I like it better than my current RPM-based distro. I am liking it so far. But, there is one thing I find really confusing.

I didn’t find the Lazarus package in YaST after install, so I did a web search. I found I thought, “Okay, it is available. Perhaps I need to enable another openSUSE repository.” I explored Community Repositories and found Packman interesting.

After adding the suggested Packman repository (, Lazarus was then found in YaST. Sweet! But…

The version available through Packman is 1.0.10 while the version shown at is 1.4.4. At least I assume that second column is the version number column.

Please pardon my ignorance, but:

Why the significant difference in version numbers?
And, if Lazarus is available through, why didn’t it how up in a YaST search? Because it is labeled “unstable”?
How do I enable to show “unstable” packages in YaST?
And, how can I determine what repository provides a package found through so I can verify its credibility and add it? I simply have no idea how to use the information provided through links on the search results page. And, I have not found any documentation explaining it.

I would appreciate any help to clear my head of this confusion.

Thank you,

hi and welcome to the opensuse forums :slight_smile:
about Lazarus the only reason it’s not in the main open source repository and not findable with a yast search is user base and software management, if the main oss repo housed all open source projects it would be huge and lazarus does not have a large user base, lazarus is available in several community repositories and a few user ones, the rpm from the Education and the one from devel:languages:pascal are community rpm’s ones from home:<user name> are user builds, you can still check the source to all builds but community should be preferred, I am not sure why packman has Lazarus it could be that some time ago it was not available from the opensuse repositories and someone from packman added it and it gets automatically rebuild and nobody removed it (I do belive it should be removed as a few of it’s so are causing problems for pascal apps), it’s there but you should ignore it and install ether from the Education or devel:languages:pascal repo’s the pascal repo should get updates sooner but the Education repo has more packages.

you can add the pascal repo to yast with this command

zypper ar -f

and the education with

zypper ar -f

then you’ll be able to search and install Lazarus from yast, but don’t add both repo’s having too many repo’s can be problematic

Thank you very much for your response, I_A.

With your information and more research and reading, I think I am finally wrapping my head around this.

From what I now think I understand, software packages found through are from the Open Build Service and are to be preferred over packages from more external repositories such as eg. Packman.

Anyone, please correct me on that if I am wrong.

And, the left column in the package search results is the repository containing that particular package.

And now on to how I would determine the URL to use to add a repository in YaST or zypper. As an example, I found Gambas using the package search. It is in, among others, the Education repository. So…

I click on the Education link and then the Repositories tab. I don’t understand what all the Flags mean. But, if I click on one of the “openSUSE Leap 42.1” links, I get a page where I can, “Go to download repository”. Once there, I just look for the .repo file, copy its link, and use that for the URL to add the repository.

Is this correct?

If I am correct with the above, then I should be good to go with openSUSE. And I think I’m going to like it. :slight_smile:

Thanks again,

Sounds complicated to me. How I do it:

  1. search a package by name or part of. For example, Lazarus

  2. If found, you get a list of distros. Click yours, say it’s LEAP, or the little triangle to the right of it. It will expand to show the distro official package, if any, and an option to show unstable packages.

  3. In our case, there are no stable packages, so let’s click the unstable packages link. It will expand to show… but you get the idea.

  4. Choose your version/provider. I tend to stay with the distro repos (like devel:languages:pascal) if possible, although in time you’ll learn to recognize some user names, like Wolfi.

  5. Now you can use the 1-click install, for a newbie it’s perhaps the easiest way, and it lets you decide if you want to keep using the package repo or just for this install.
    Alternatively, you can copy the link of any of the 32/64/source packages and use the part up to the version name (in our case, …LEAP_42.1/) and use it as the repo URL in Yast>Repositories>Add or with zypper in the command line.
    Or you can download in the rpm package you want (clique the 32/64/source link) and install it in a myriad of ways.

Hope it helps.

… and Welcome!

Wow, that is much simpler. I was not aware that the 1-click install would optionally add the repository to the package manager database.

It’s almost too easy since one might get into trouble indiscriminately adding repos potentially causing conflicts. As a reminder to myself and others, regarding the unofficial repositories, “Warning: Use at your own risk.”

Thank you.

Well no, packman is a special kind of repo that houses patented stuff and is not connected to opensuse for legal reasons but should be preferred to any other repo, I don’t know why it houses Lazarus as it’s mainly a repo for multimedia and some extra packages, packman should be preferred and it will cause you (and other lazarus users) problems when you decide to setup multimedia, I’m not sure how to contact the packman maintainers but they need to remove all pascal and lazarus opensource packages, maybe someone from packman will read this and clean house.
The 1 click installer is easy for new users but imo using zypper to control your repo’s is much easier
there is another pascal package on packman that is old and buggy
that one needs to be removed too, if you need qt4pas install the one from the devel:langauges:pascal repo

maybe a mod or an admin who’s reading this and is on the packman mailing list can send a request for an update or removal of Lazarus and libqt4pas
as the packman versions are too old and will cause problems when doing a zypper dup --from packman
fpc too as I don’t see the reason packman is hosting free pascal as it is available from several repo’s on obs
strangely enough fpc is not as ancient as lazarus and qt4pas

Packman should be preferred even over OBS repositories? That really puzzles me.

I sent an email to the Packman mailing list at with a link to this thread. I’m not subscribed, so I don’t know if it’ll go through.

BTW, I don’t know to whom this should be reported, but there’s a “Note to new users” panel at the top of the page with a broken link. It links to which is “404 Object not found”.
EDIT: It shows only once upon initial login:

NOTICE TO NEW FORUM USERS: Downloads for openSUSE can be found here: Either while downloading, or before downloading, please go to the new user article section and read articles there. You also may want to search our Forums to see the wealth of information already here.

Packman should be preferred even over OBS repositories? That really puzzles me.

it really should not, packman houses patented multimedia related codecs, without packman added and set as the system repo Firefox and Chromium can not render mp4 files, and you can not view/listen to any media audio and/or video file (the exception being ogg and webm as open formats), packman is a troll patent firewall, without packman we can’t have multimedia on opensuse, that being said packman also has some rare packages but Lazarus and Free Pascal are neither rare nor patented and are available from the pascal repo and should not be on packman, for instance I use doublecmd and to keep it working I have to lock qt4pas 2.5 from the pascal repo if not it gets replaced with the old 2.1 version from packman and that breaks any pascal app that uses qt bindings.

Okay, I think I’ve finally gotten it now.

In the back of my mind, because Lazarus was found on Packman and on OBS, I was thinking that there is some overlap of packages on both repos. From what I understand now, or think I do, the packages stored on each of those repos should be mutually exclusive.

Thank you for your diligence in beating that confusion out of me. :slight_smile:


P.S. Doubting the my email to the Packman mailing list actually got posted, I sent a message to #packman on I have yet to get any reply.

Still, it’s way better/safer/nicer than searching a program in the internet, download a binary executable from some site you mostly don’t know and running an installer with admin privileges.

You do have to be careful not to subscribe to repos not of your oS version, nor that have conflicting packages - which Yast’s software manager warns you about, anyway.

But yes, standard repos + packman is usually what you need, plus, perhaps:

google-chrome (or -earth)

That said, I just checked, and there are 25 enabled repos in my main desktop…

Agreed, most definitely.

LOL! lol!

it seams someone at packman read this thread and updated lazarus and fpc, qt4pas is still at 2.1 and breaks peazip and doublecmd, I really thought they wore going to remove those packages, I still don’t get why packman is hosting pascal rpm’s.

My email to the Packman mailing list actually went through, apparently. I got a response from Olaf:

Thanks for the feedback. I will take care of this. Looks like winff
requires the packages.



In the preceding posts, I don’t see any answer that I’d totally agree with about your question about various package sources.
As you continue to use openSUSE, IMO it’s important to understand the strengths and weaknesses of each source so you can find packages.

The official openSUSE repos (main and update) provide the packages that are used to create and maintain the core operating system. A number of popular “standard applications” which include network server applications are also stored here.

The OSS and a few other repos are in your default repo list when you have a brand new openSUSE install. If you’re looking for more than what is in these beginning repos, then you find what you want in the resources that are described next.
This web search searches all official repos, plus a variety of community and private OBS repos. Community OBS repos are often very reliable because their contributors are generally well known, and members of a widely known Project. Private OBS repos can be risky because anyone can have one, but sometimes individuals are the most motivated to create something unique you might want or need.

** **
This is where all openSUSE repos are located, both the OSS and a variety of special interests. Everything here is searched in You can browse these repos with a web browser, and use the URL to add to your system repo list using YAST or zypper. If you do any coding, try to install an application which is missing a dependency or want apps related to a particular interest, a repo here could provide what you want or need.

Community repos
Packman is the most popular because it has files essential to running multimedia. Multimedia files like codecs can have restrictive licenses which won’t be found in the main openSUSE repos because openSUSE has a very strict policy regarding distributing and maintaining software which is not free to distribute and use. There are other community repos, and a simple checkbox list is available in YAST’s repo manager. Update your system before running the YAST repo manager to get latest list.

A closing note, you can also run the following “cnf” on your system. I’m not clear why it can sometimes return a result that won’t be found in other types of searches, so don’t overlook it

cnf *app_or_filename* 

Apps that are installed from any of the above repos can be considered equal or nearly equal in trustworthiness, with a high degree of confidence you won’t experience problems (although things can still happen, so if a problem happens you can post in these Forums).


Thank you for that, TSU.

Some information on package repositories is found at:, and

But, they have broken links and do not provide nearly as detailed and useful comparison and explanation as you did.

I especially like the tip about ‘command-not-found’ (cnf). Though, cnf lazarus only gave me “lazarus: command not found” :rolleyes: (I know, it’s probably ‘lazarus-run’ or some such.)

Note that Yast software management will show the names and locations of all files in an installed package. This is useful when you don’t know the correct name for an app

Also, the community repo list you find in Yast>Software Repositories>Add, select Community Repositories radio button. Yast then download an updated - and I presume, curated - list of useful repos, like packman, video drivers (AMD/NVIDIA), Libreoffice, games, languages, wineCVS, etc.

That’s always my first stop after a new install. It’s even easier than search+1click to install these repos.