openSUSE to Offer a Rolling Release Repo

by Ostatic Staff - Dec. 01, 2010

Although news of Ubuntu's switch to rolling release was denied, it seems another distribution thinks it just may be a good idea. Greg Kroah-Hartman, openSUSE kernel developer, today announced "openSUSE Tumbleweed."

Greg K-H, as he is commonly known, described openSUSE Tumbleweed as, "a repo that is a rolling updated version of openSUSE containing the latest "stable" versions of packages for people to use." In a post to the opensuse-project mailing list Kroah-Hartman offered further information in the form of a Q & A.

The first question tried to distinguish between Factory and the proposed Tumbleweed. Factory is much like Mandriva's Cooker, in that it contains many bleeding-edge and potentially unstable packages. Tumbleweed would offer packages that have been declared stable and found to work properly.

As to which packages should be included, K-H explained that would primarily be up to developers and maintainer of any given package. He added that this project would particularly help with major projects whose release do not coincide with openSUSE release such as GNOME 3.0, which may be released, for example, one month after an openSUSE release. Users would normally have to wait six months in order to use it. Tumbleweed would allow users to use it right away.

K-H said he would like to start implementing the repository soon after the upcoming 11.4 release. It will take some time to gear up and populate. " I anticipate trying this out to start with based on 11.3 but I don't guarantee it all working properly right at the moment, " he added.

A discussion concerning Packman sprung up after the announcement and a point of contention was the closed-sourced and legally encumbered code, such as certain wireless drivers. Greg said nothing closed-sourced would be included, but the conclusion was drawn that just as with Factory, any dependency changes would trigger an automatic rebuild of Packman packages.

So, for those that like the idea of updating daily, weekly, or monthly instead of reinstalling every six months, openSUSE will soon have you covered. For those that don't like it, please note that Tumbleweed is an additional repository not a foundational change. It is another choice.