In the Linux lingo, a rolling distribution is one that keeps on updating rather than requiring “distribution upgrades” through periodic releases. Among the likes, such popular distributions are Gentoo and Arch Linux, which are also known as the full-rolling distros.

Tumbleweed-black-greenIn the past openSUSE followed a release cycle of 8 months. With the release of Leap 42.1, a community version distro that obtained a strong code base from the enterprise-class SUSE Linux, it is expected to be maintained through a 3-years cycle, while minor releases are expected yearly.

The rolling edition of openSUSE is called Tumbleweed. An openSUSE installation can be switched to Tumbleweed by following these simple steps.

Let's roll...

The cleanest way for the switch is first by upgrading the current openSUSE installation. Run the below commands as root.

zypper ref
zypper dup

Then backup the repository configuration files.

mkdir /etc/zypp/repos.d/old
mv /etc/zypp/repos.d/*.repo /etc/zypp/repos.d/old

In case we need to rollback the setup, we know the config files are safe and need not any re-writing.

We then add the Tumbleweed repos:

zypper ar -f -c tumbleweed-repo-oss
zypper ar -f -c tumbleweed-repo-non-oss
zypper ar -f -c tumbleweed-repo-debug
zypper ar -f -c tumbleweed-repo-update

Let’s refresh again & run a distribution upgrade.

zypper ref
zypper dup

When I switched to Tumbleweed it required ~1.2G of packages to download. That did take some time. The installation then went smoothly, nothing breaking along the way.

openSUSE Tumbleweed