APT for openSUSE?

Discussion in 'all things UNIX' started by tlu, Jan 28, 2010.

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  1. tlu

    tlu Guest

    After using Kubuntu for several years I've moved to openSUSE recently as I found more and more quirks in Ubuntu lately. Mrk's articles were very helpful during my decision-making process. openSUSE is now running very smoothly.

    However, package management is very different from the Ubuntu/Debian style. I still have to learn about such peculiarities like setting the proper priorities for my repos and about why and when to "Switch system packages to the versions in this repository" and to solve the often numerous resulting dependency problems. Indeed very different from Ubuntu ...:ouch:

    While reading about package management I found to my surprise that APT is also available for openSUSE - see http://en.opensuse.org/APT . Does it offer any advantages over Yast/zypper? Is it faster? Does it resolve dependency problems more elegantly? Does it work reliably in openSUSE?

    In short: Has anybody of you gained some experience with APT for openSUSE?
     
  2. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    I have experience with apt on suse enterprise and it works superb.

    apt is definitely faster. zypper likes faster networks and stronger cpus, but you conserve quite a bit of bandwidth due to delta rpms. If you feel like configuring apt, then sure, by all means, do it. It works excellent.

    Mrk
     
  3. Ocky

    Ocky Registered Member

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    The priorities thing is identical to what I have in CentOS. For instance I have assigned a priority of 13 for the RPMForge repo. This ensures that no package from RPMForge will ever replace a package from the important base or updates repos. (which have a priority of 1). When I run an update, yum update, there are about 500 packages from third party repos. that are ignored due to the priority protections ! This is great stuff as my CentOS is absolutely stable even after having upgraded from 5.2/5.3/5.4
    There is also an obsoletes package that I have installed. Apparently this prevents some packages that specify obsoletes in their metadata from allowing a high priority package being upgraded by another one claiming to replace the obsolete package.
    I intend to try openSUSE shortly based on Mrk's glowing review(s). Their website is rather complicated and the package info seems to be scattered all over the place. For instance I would not have found your link to APT as I did not know it existed. :(
     
  4. tlu

    tlu Guest

    Thanks - sounds good. One additional question: In Debian/Ubuntu it's not recommended to use both apt-get and aptitude since they use different databases. Using both simultaneously can result in heavy dependency problems in the long run. I guess that the same logic applies to apt for openSUSE, doesn't it? This would mean if I start using apt I should stick with it and not use, e.g., zypper any more.
     
  5. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    Yup, that sounds logical to me. One package manager at the time, although you have the rpm database, so you prolly won't be getting anything twice. Not unless you force the installs, ignore dependencies and such.
    Mrk
     
  6. tlu

    tlu Guest

    I see. The problem for a openSUSE newbie is to determine the proper prio values for additional repos.

    Aside from this the whole update process is considerably more complex compared to Ubuntu, IMHO.
    • By default, the Updater Applet reports only updates from the update-repo - this corresponds to zypper update --repo update-repo. It takes some time for a newbie to recognize this.
    • It's possible to change that behaviour by configuring the applet so that it corresponds to zypper update where all repos are updated - provided that packages don't change their repos.
    • If they do you can install them (at least as far as I understand it) by selecting Package -> All Packages -> Update if newer version available (or whatever it's called in the English version) in the Yast update module. I guess that corresponds to zypper dup.
    The funny thing is that 2 or 3 weeks ago when I still had Firefox 3.5.6 installed but 3.5.7 was already out the new version wasn't offered to me even when I applied step 3 above. Only after selecting "Switch system packages to the versions in this repository" in the Mozilla repo ( http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/mozilla/openSUSE_11.2/ ) I got a notice that 3.5.7 was available. Perhaps that was due to the fact that at that time all my repos had a default prio of 99. In the meantime I've changed that for several repos. Right now it looks like this:


    All things considered I still lack a full understanding of all the intricacies of the openSUSE package management. That's the major reason that I hesitate to switch to apt since I'm afraid that I might run into new problems.
     
  7. tlu

    tlu Guest

    Some additional remarks about what I wrote recently (although this is nearly worth a new thread as it might help openSUSE newbies like myself to overcome some initial problems).

    This is actually not correct. After a lengthy discussion in a German openSUSE forum I found out that the behavior of zypper, Yast and the Updater Applet (at least the KDE one - I don't know about the Gnome one) is not consistent.
    • It's correct that, by default, the Updater Applet reports only updates from the update-repo - this corresponds to zypper update --repo update-repo.
    • However, this behavior does not change even if you check "Show available upgrades when backend provides them (for experts only)". This means: If you added additional repos like, e.g., the KDE or Packman ones, the Applet will not report any updates for them. The reason: The Updater Applet uses the PackageKit backend by default.
    • While the Updater Applet also supports the libzypp backend, you can't select that as the necessary package kupdateapplet-zypp is not installed by default. Only after installing it and after a reboot you can select Zypp in the Updater Applet settings - and success, success: From now on the Applet reports updates from your additional repos and is thus consistent with zypper up.
    I have no idea why this default configuration, which leads to this inconsistent behavior, was chosen in openSUSE. In any case it contributed a lot to my initial confusion.

    This is also not correct: This is equivalent to zypper up and to the "new" behavior of the Updater Applet as outlined above. zypper dup will try to sync your currently installed packages with the ones available from (all) the repos you have enabled.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 4, 2010
  8. wat0114

    wat0114 Guest

    So just imagine the loop it throws at a mere mortal, like myself for instance. It had my head spinning out of control during my much less than pleasurable experience with it when trying to find and select the kerner modules necessary to install the VBox Guest additions o_O I really hate this aspect of openSUSE. Why can't they just make it basic easy?
     
  9. tlu

    tlu Guest

    I'm afraid that I also belong to this species unfortunately :D

    Yes, that was also one problem that took some time to be solved... :'(

    I agree that some things are more difficult at the beginning compared to Ubuntu. On the other hand, I have the impression that it has fewer glitches once you've made it work.
     
  10. Ocky

    Ocky Registered Member

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    Hello tlu, I have read the marathon thread - you underestimate yourself, certainly no longer a Suse newbie. Your persistence has paid off :) (Nur weiter so).

    PS . Maybe one day you will try CentOS .. zero glitches. :)

    Edit: Thanks for sharing. I am just trying SUSE in VBox for now and am totally confused. :argh:
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2010
  11. wat0114

    wat0114 Guest

    Your modesty betrays you ;) Actually, I like so much about openSUSE. It's one of those distros that I perceive as having so much going for it, that it ranks in my top 5, so even though I have some misgivings about it, I will keep one an eye on it, especially for the next major release.
     
  12. tlu

    tlu Guest

    Oh yes - I am! I've learned a bit about some peculiarities of its package management. But there are still many areas that are unfamiliar. I guess that I was rather knowledgeable about Ubuntu but I'm certainly not yet about openSUSE.

    :D Thanks for motivating me!

    I'll have to read Mrk's review again. At the moment I'm happy that openSUSE is running well, and I'm not really after trying another distro again (well, perhaps in Virtualbox). Are there any advantages of CentOS compared to open SUSE?

    What about? Perhaps I can help. If not, I'm sure that Mrk will.
     
  13. tlu

    tlu Guest

    Yes, it's a good and solid distro. As already mentioned, package management is very different from Debian/Ubuntu - not to say: complicated. In Ubuntu it was definitely more straightforward. It needs some time to get used to it.
     
  14. Ocky

    Ocky Registered Member

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    Only that the package management is much easier to use and understand. Downloads of packages are as fast as Ubuntu thanks to the fastestmirror plugin (=all except rpmforge from local server). Also one is never left in doubt as to the package sizes.
    With SUSE in VBox I found that in terminal there is no indication of size at all (only overall size) when using zypper install. Also in SUSE Add/Remove Software only gives the size of the selected package. I didn't see the sizes of the dependencies.
    CentOS, both in terminal and using the Yum Extender GUI will show you exactly what's going on i.e. size remaining of total size, ETA, and a nice progress bar.
    (See also my posts in this thread re: Yast & Guest Additions https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showpost.php?p=1617464&postcount=40
    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showpost.php?p=1617826&postcount=44
    Some screenshots below showing a typical GUI update (omitting the window showing the 2 updates and their sizes with option to select them and proceed.)
    I am running CentOS on an old HP laptop (512MB RAM) on behalf of my wife :D
    It might be a tad too stable for some that prefer a challenge. :p

    PS. Supported till 2014 - It was a pleasure upgrading from 5.2/5.3/5.4 in situ - very smooth absolutely no problems.

    Yum Extender.jpg

    Updated packages installed.jpg
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2010
  15. tlu

    tlu Guest

    Thanks, Ocky. I've just downloaded the CentOS iso file. Will try it in Virtualbox.
     
  16. tlu

    tlu Guest

    I've just found this site that contains a cheat sheet covering the differences between Debian/Ubuntu and openSUSE package management. Useful for all converts :D
     
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