How to Install RPMs on openSUSE

I may have been harsh and quick to judge openSUSE when I said it failed to install RPMs. I may have even taken a lot of heat for it. Okay, a lot of heat. Non repository RPMs will install on openSUSE but it is not as straightforward as it should be. It involves ignoring KDE’s Discover Software Center and counterintuitively ignoring every error or warning message that pops up.

In every other Linux distribution I’ve tested, a software package is opened by a default package manager or installer. For example, Pop!_OS opens DEBs in Eddy. A simple click and the package is swiftly installed. In Fedora, an RPM will open in Gnome Software Center with an option to install. Click install and voila, its installed on the system.

I asked around on an openSUSE Facebook group why my software would not install on Leap 15.2. I was told that it wasn’t possibly openSUSE. It had to be my system, my ISO, my flash drive, my RAM, my install, and my brain.

Ultimately, I was told my problems weren’t real. Before I go on to my solution I have a message for the Linux community at large: You’re pushing users away. Obviously not all of you. Not even most of you. If I had this trouble as a new Linux user and received these comments, I would have fled to Windows. I would have told everyone how rude Linux users are and never to try it because it doesn’t work. Linux is almost 30 years old and the community needs to act like it.

Install RPM Software on openSUSE Leap 15.2 with YaST

Step number one on openSUSE: throw out Discover. Forget it exists. Don’t use it. Every single time I tried to install an RPM through Discover, it spit out a cryptic “Internal Error” message. No indication that openSUSE is picky about signed packages or missing dependencies.

Download the RPM and navigate to the Download folder. Right click on the file and use Open With to select YaST Software. Enter your password when prompted.

YaST will open the packages and show proposed changes. These additional packages are necessary dependencies. Click Continue to accept these changes.

An error message may pop up about a failed integrity check. Click Ignore.

Your package should be correctly installed at this point.

If you receive any error message about a missing dependency, proceed with caution. Research the missing dependency first. Libappindicator was missing for me. The package installed safely without it.

3 thoughts on “How to Install RPMs on openSUSE”

  1. I was using Ubuntu/Kubuntu before, SUSE around 20 years ago. I came back to try Plasma desktop which I really liked in Kubuntu, but I anticipated that it is more native on SUSE. So let’s try it, I thought.

    I agree with all your words of your article!

    1. I failed to install it at first attempt, as a black screen appeared after pressing on installation. Solution: Nvidia propriatery driver is not installed right away, so you have to edit the grub line with ‘E’ to add to one of those linux lines the ‘nomodeset’ word. This way it started. Half of the world uses Nvidia, what could go wrong with a newbie, right?

    2. Finished with installing, first login, welcome screen with hints. It tells I can install Chrome from their website, link included. I right click on it to open it in a new tab, which is offered, as I don’t want to lose the welcome page, but nothing works. It worked finally with the left-click and the page remained there too, but it is awkward that the new tab is offered even though it is not working there.

    3. Downloaded the Fedora/OpenSuse rpm for Chrome. Double-click, Discover (installer) starts, installs, stops with error: “internal error”. Cool, that tells a lot. Quick google search with Firefox, finding a site telling to do these:

    To install: “sudo zypper in ./”
    To keep package updated from Google’s repository: “sudo zypper ref”

    First command gives me warnings (abort/retry/ignore) of public key is missing or what. I ignored. Finally works.

    4. I couldn’t believe this is that bad to install something, so googled further and found your site, amazed what an amateur team puts this OpenSuse together. As it is a small issue, and instead of Discover, they should just use that YaST. Now I’m not sure if I once use the command line with zypper, then YaST, and again Discover later because of I’m forced to do it by something, whether I screw up system consistency.

    So these have happened to a fresh starter on OpenSuse, waiting for more. I think I’ll suck with the Nvidia driver as a next step.

    One more thing: because of the google ad below the “leave a comment” box is covering the comment window if long, I cannot press on the send button! Need to copy-paste it to work.

    • Thanks for visiting and commenting!

      OpenSUSE was previously one of my favorite distros. SuSE was one of the first Linux distros I tried in the late 90s. So perhaps its nostalgia talking but I have a soft spot for Geeko.

      Unfortunately, I think for all that openSUSE gets right (openQA, Open Build Service, Tumbleweed, super stable), the team needs to work on making things a little more user friendly. There is a push in Linux to be more desktop friendly and be more accessible to end users. I’m afraid that openSUSE will be pushed into obscurity if they can’t make it simpler for the average user to install something as basic as RPM.

  2. Can’t help but agree the Linux community needs to smarten up. I still to this day hear people saying they ran back to Windows because Linux was a pain. I love Linux and if you have just a little patience and listen to people, it’s probably an easy problem to fix, not look down on them and belittle them. I’m about to install leap 15.3 now. Been on Mint for ages but got a new laptop and it only boots if it’s in the mood. Tried Endeavour but everything is either a deb or rpm file. Fedora didn’t see my SSD at all! 🤷. I’m trying Leap now. Here’s hoping it all goes smooth.


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