Why does not tumbleweed get any updates? Is not it suposed to be a rolling distribution?

can someone explain to me how the rolling aspect in the rolling release tumbleweed distribution works?
Over the last years i only used the stable releases of openSUSE and i was used to the fact (and i found it kind of comforting too) that every day i the update applet wanted to install
some updates for the system. But i was a bit cuirous so i tried tumbleweed on my notebook (i installed it directly from the iso, and i did changed the repositories too like explained on the wiki *).

But one thing irritates me, that is the facts that since i installed the distribtion no updates at all where installed, this is strange because at the same time my main PC which uses 13.2 got a lot of updates.
Another thing that is strange is that when manually starting the updater i get the message that no update repository is added, i know that there is no update repository at the moment but i thought the other repositorys are checked too?!

How exactly does tumbleweed is “rolling”?*

You are supposed to run:

# zypper dup

every so often.

That does a “distribution upgrade”.

You can check your current version with:

cat /etc/os-release

Then look at


and find the version of the most recent iso. At present, the most recent iso is 20141112. So if your os-release version is older, then there is an update available for you.

It is recommended that to do the “zypper update”
1: you use CTRL-ALT-F1 (or similar) to get a text session.
2: run: zypper dup
in that text session. That way, if the upgrade crashes your X-session, it won’t cause a problem.
3: it is probably a good idea to reboot after the update, though not always necessary.

You can run the KDE update notifier, or the Gnome equivalent. But it is best to treat that as just a notifier. If you use the update applet to update, it won’t fully upgrade your system.

Tumbleweed is a rolling distribution, but it has a little twist on the normal definition of that.

In a normal rolling distro (like Arch and it’s derivatives), once a package is released, it’s in the repos for downloading. openSUSE decided to go with a staged rolling release.

So, when source code is release, the package maintainer will upload and build it in the specific Factory repos. These packages then flow into Factory. Every day, the openQA automated test system takes all the packages, builds the ISOs and runs automated tests. If all those tests pass, then the snapshot of factory passes, and then packages flow from Factory into Tumbleweed, which is when you can download them to your computer.

If any of the tests fail, then the snapshot fails. Until someone goes in and either fixes the package or the test (which can also be part failing), then there are no packages that flow through to Tumbleweed. So, you can get into a situation where while various packages are updated behind the scenes, none are actually available for downloading on Tumbleweed.

You can check the iso download page to see when a new snapshot passes. For example, the last passing snapshot was 11-12. Since they made Factory a rolling distro, there have been many 5+ day delays between snapshots.

So, it’s a rolling distro gated by automated QA testing.

On 2014-11-17 05:56, TeutonJon78 wrote:
> Tumbleweed is a rolling distribution, but it has a little twist on the
> normal definition of that.

> So, it’s a rolling distro gated by automated QA testing.

True. Good explanation.

You can get the “untested” packages from the “factory” repos somewhere.
Of course, things can break hugely… or not. Depends.

Cheers / Saludos,

Carlos E. R.
(from 13.1 x86_64 “Bottle” at Telcontar)

I don’t think it is quite that strict.

More likely, somebody looks at the failures and decides whether they are serious enough to delay publishing.

Thanks for the explanation, that was helpful.

I tried this and then noticed that zypper tried to change the repo for a lot op packages to packman! I have the packman repo for tumbleweed
added too.
Is that i problem? Is in general ok to allow that or should i in general prevent that?

zypper dup doesn’t care from which repo a package comes, it just installs the highest available versions.

And actually it is preferable to install the Packman versions, as they either contain full multimedia support and/or are a newer/higher version.

I encourage that. I have given packman repo a priority of 98 (instead of the default 99) to make it preferred over the opensuse repos. As wolfi323 said, the packman version usually has full multimedia support.

A little secret (but not very secret): the people who manage the development projects for the main opensuse repos are often also managing the packman repos for opensuse. That’s why packman updates are usually well coordinated with opensuse updates.

Thanks i will do it then.

It IS that strict: if openQA tells us it’s not good, it’s not ready for release… there are usually two ways to correct this:

  • Fix the broken packages
  • Fix the test suit ran by openQA (sometimes it’s the test that’s broken…)

nevertheless, openQA has to give green light to open the gates.(which is also why there were no snapshots between 1208 and 1216)