Port to openSUSE - Development Considerations
This is only preliminary reserach. There are no serious plans to port to a different base distribution at time of writing.
date of check: Jan 19, 2024
- Tumbleweed: 8.1.3
- Leap: Not in Leap.
There is no official package available for openSUSE Leap 15.5
last update of this wiki chapter: 01 Feb 2024
- qemu upstream:
- 8.1.3 was released on 21 Nov 2023
- 8.2.0 was released on 19 Dec 2023
- source of release dates: https://download.qemu.org/
- OpenSUSE Tumbleweed: still on 8.1.3
- OpenSUSE Tumbleweed: source version number: https://software.opensuse.org/package/qemu
- Leap: Not in Leap.
Conclusion: From 19 Dec 2023 until 01 Feb 2024, OpenSUSE Tumbleweed is late uploading the new QEMU version for more than 1 month. Nothing happened in all of January 2024.
Addendum: While not the latest version it is a an active, maintained branch, an "ESR" (extended stable release) as discussed here. By comparison, Debian freezes all software also in cases where upstream is not providing a maintained ESR branch.
Tumbleweed / Leap
experimental also only 7.0.12
upstream: VirtualBox 7.0.14 released January 16th, 2024
upstream 4.19.2 on Sep 27, 2023
- official release Official: 4.18.5
- X11:xfce:rat Experimental 4.19.2+git.25.211e64a1
comment: It's nice that at least experimental has it. Tumbleweed default (stable) however does not have the latest version.
Actually not outdated.
> If you take a look at the upstream [releases page](https://github.com/xfce-mirror/xfce4-panel/tags), you will notice that 4.18.5 and 4.19.2 are released on the same date. You willl also see looking at the previous releases that 4.18 and 4.19 are developed in parallell. The reason is, this is also the official stance of the upstream xfce project. You look at their [downloads page](https://xfce.org/download), you see 4.18 as the latest version. That is because I think, refering to 4.19 releases as experimental is not a openSUSE team decision, it is already what xfce officially says. > > So in fact, the latest version is in the repos, I think.
openSUSE advocate opinion (not verified by Kicksecure lead developer)
OpenSUSE as a project is among other things known for YaST. YaST is GUI tool and is one of its kind. In the GNU/Linux world, where any advanced configuration requires using the terminal by the end user, YaST not only provides an intuitive and easy way to graphically configure these settings, it allows to configure things that would normally not be configurable on other distributions, even using the command line. This ease of use and the possibility gain more power over the system one owns is not limited to post-installation use cases. openSUSE's GUI installer is also quite intuitive and is based on YaST. Creating or maintaining a custom installation ISO can be reduced to maintaining a configuration file 'autoinst.xml' for YaST. One can not only customize the standard repositories, installed packages, names and logos, mount options and partitioning, user settings and files, kernel parameters and various other settings, but also on demand these can be left upto the user. For example, we can choose to left the partitioning to the user in the installer, but the default suggestion by YaST will be what we declare in the configuration file. It is also within our control to not prompt the user at all in the installer and choose the partitioning for them. This would make no sense obviously, but it is an example to demonstrate the freedoms one might gather using a SUSE base, and the degree of ease they come in.
It should be mentioned that, if Tumbleweed were to become the base, this is not how Kicksecure would maintain the ISO. All these great features are user features. If wanted, a distro can use more advanced mathods to create custom images based on Tumbleweed. Automation and/or configuration of such undertakings is also made easier with SUSE Studio Express
Rolling & Stable
The rolling nature of openSUSE Tumbleweed assures that all the newest firmware, kernel, drivers and packages are on the system, making it compatible with much many devices on the market per default. It also provides an extra layer of security. New features for packages are still thoroughly tested within a reasonably brief and sufficiently long time period to ensure nothing breaks, and packages are also cross tested for inter-compatibility. This is all done on the go.
Not only the a SUSE does not ignore file permissions when installing packages (unlike Debian), it also makes it easy for the user to set these permissions. The permissions package is a SUSE specific package that controls the privilege settings for a number of global system files and security sensitive package files in the distribution. This reduces the problem of having to play along with apt carefully and having a hand written daemon run set permissions to us maintaining a mere configuration file.