Getting up close and personal with openSUSE 42.2


openSUSE Leap 42.2 for Raspberry Pi 3 comes with different desktop environments. XFCE is lightweight and has a UI similar to that of Windows X, which means there is no learning curve in using it. If you are already familiar with Linux, then you can pick your choice of desktop environment from the download page.

Out of the box, openSUSE Leap 42.2 for Raspberry Pi 3 comes with some basic applications pre-installed so that you can get to work immediately. It comes with the Firefox web browser, Leafpad for text editing, Empathy for chatting, Cheese for web camera, a number of lightweight games, and much more. Go ahead and explore the openSUSE desktop.

Network and Software

If you use Ethernet for networking, just plug in your LAN cable to start using the Internet straight away. If you are using WiFi, the good news is that wireless is fully supported on openSUSE. Just open the networking setting from the bottom panel, select your WiFi network and enter your password (Figure 4).

Figure 4: Choose System Users from the drop down menu to change passwords and configure your users.
Figure 5: WiFi connectivity is supported out of the box in openSUSE.

Once you are connected to the Internet, you can explore openSUSE's software repositories and install new apps. Open YaST and click on Software Management. You can use the Search box in the upper left corner to find the app you are looking for (Figure 6), or you could use the RPM Groups tab that shows software grouped by type.

Figure 6: Install new software and apps with the Software Management utility.

openSUSE has thousands of packages through official and user.supported repositories. For example, search for libreoffice and then select the package from the list and click Accept. YaST will give you a list of all the packages and dependencies that will be installed. Click on Continue and YaST will install the packages. That simple.

openSUSE, like many other distributions, doesn't offer some packages, driver and codecs through their official repository due to patents and licensing issues. Such packages are offered and maintained by third party developers and community members through external repositories. One of the most popular externally maintained repositories in openSUSE is Packman [8]. You can enable the Packman repository by opening YaST and going to the Software Repositories settings. Click on the Add button at the bottom and then select Community Repositories. Click Next and select Packman from the list. Finally click OK. It will ask you whether you trust the key or not, check Trust then click OK. YaST will add the repository to your system. Now you can install hundreds of applications and packages that are available through Packman.

YaST offers a feature called Online Update that does exactly what it says on the box, in that it allows you to keep your system up-to-date. Click on Online Update Configuration option and it will ask to install a package. Let it do so. Once installed, you will see a window where you can configure how often you want to check for updates. This will depend on what you are using your Pi for. Now, whenever you want to update your system, just click on the Online Updates setting in YaST and it will give you an overview of the packages that it will install. Click on Accept and it will start updating packages.

You can also update your system from the command line using the zypper utility. Open the Terminal app from Start Menu > System > Xfce Terminal. Next, switch to root (all administrative tasks, such as system updates, software installation, etc require root access) by typing su into a terminal, provide it with the root password, and run

zypper patch

That will install all patches available for your system:

To run a system update which will not only install patches but also update applications to their newer versions, run:

zypper up

Table 1 shows a partial list of the most common zypper commands. For more, just type zypper without any parameters and you'll get the full list.

Table 1

Zypper Commands


Short version

What it does

zypper install <package>

zypper in <package>

Installs a package

zypper remove <package>

zypper rm <package>

Removes a package

zypper update

zypper up

Updates all your software

zypper dist-upgrade

zypper dup

Upgrades your distribution to the latest version

zypper search <term>

zypper se <term>

Searches for the term in the name or description of all the packages in the repositories.

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