OpenSUSE Software Install Failures

Sometimes Linux distros just fail and openSUSE is no exception. This is my experience attempting to install software in openSUSE Leap 15.2 using One Click Install and RPMs.

Update: a partial solution.

Non repo RPMs can be installed.

Installing RPMs

Many Linux distros rely on either DEBs or RPMs to package software and make it easier to install. These packages will usually install without a hitch and users won’t need to think twice about the process. After a fresh install of openSUSE Leap 15.2, I ran through my usual setup. While openSUSE requires a little more input from the user, most updates and software installs aren’t difficult. When I downloaded RPMs, however, they failed.

  • OpenSUSE Discover Error

For example, I downloaded Google Chrome Beta directly from Google. Chrome is an RPM package built specifically for Fedora and openSUSE. I opened the package in Discover to install it but all I got was a vague message about an “Internal error.” Discover is KDE’s default app store and package handler.

After trying a few more RPMs in Discover only to have them fail, I decided that Discover sucks. Surely a command line wouldn’t fail me. This is Linux after all. I attempted to install Mailspring this time. Zypper couldn’t find a missing package in order to install Mailspring. Not a huge loss as it is Mailspring. The missing dependency was reason enough for me to give up on Mailspring. I doubt more novice users would have even tried the command line.

One last attempt, I thought. Let’s try Mega. Yeah, that slightly controversial cloud storage service that I may have raved about in my review of Linux Friendly Cloud Services. I want Mega on my system because that’s what I use. Apparently, openSUSE doesn’t think I need it. Mega releases packages for numerous Linux distros and they even keep old versions around. No one should be running Fedora 26 anymore but if you are, there’s a Mega RPM just for you and your insecure nightmare. I attempted to install Mega’s Leap 15 RPM. Just like my other attempts, Mega crashed and burned. Or didn’t even take off.

I’m not really sure where to place the blame. Mailspring isn’t a widely popular application so I didn’t count on it. Google Chrome is extremely popular. If I had to speculate, I would say its one of the first programs most users install. Google claims that the RPM is built for OpenSUSE and it is in Google’s interest that Chrome will install easily on any system. I’m chocking this up to a failure on the part of openSUSE.

Don’t Click the One Click

OpenSUSE uses this super handy, user friendly method to install software called One Click Install (or 1 Click). In theory, One Click should kick start a software install via YaST and voila, software installed. It is called “one click.” So it should be one click, right?

Is anyone else having flashbacks to Click N Run? That Lindows/Linspire/Freespire shortcut to install software? Oh just me? Never mind…

VLC is the uber popular open source media player that runs on anything and will play everything. VLC is available in Discover to easily install so again, in theory, One Click will install VLC without a hitch. I clicked the One Click button from the Getting Started Guide for 15.2. A window popped up giving me the option to open with YaST 1-Click Install or save the file. No need to download the file so I clicked “Open with.”

A new window opened explaining what vlc is. I clicked Next to continue. I thought One Click would work and VLC would install. Egad. A warning. VLC requires an additional package to continue. I’m confronted with three options: downgrade a package, forget about installing VLC, or push through and break something. Since I would like my system to work correctly in the future, I did not install VLC this way.

Give me Konsole or give me death!

I tried the command line again. That’s weird. It was already installed. Why didn’t One Click inform me of this?

I really, really want technologies like One Click to work. It could simplify tasks for new users. It could speed up tasks for veteran users. Until openSUSE works out the kinks in One Click, I cannot recommend anyone use.

Solutions

If you came here looking for answers, I don’t have any. Not any that involve continued use of openSUSE. I think openSUSE has all the makings of a phenomenal Linux distribution. There is major corporate backing, there’s an outstanding community around it, and openSUSE has dedicated developers preparing it for the enterprise life. OpenSUSE could blow Fedora (and Red Hat) away. It just needs to install software first.

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