You are here
openSUSE Leap 42.1 Review Supplement
openSUSE, like Fedora, requires just a minute of work after installation to make it practically usable with respect to proprietary software, for most users. This can be done by simply adding the excellent PackMan repositories for openSUSE.
In the case of the laptop with the Intel graphics, it also requires an adjustment to the kernel command line options to allow backlight control.
Adding PackMan Repositories
It is an absolute must to add PackMan repositories, which in addition to providing proprietary codecs, drivers, and software that support these proprietary software, distribute other software that are not available in the default openSUSE repositories. PackMan is such an excellent and complete solution, I would even suggest not obtaining this type of software from other sources. For example the Video Lan website offers a YaST 1-Click installation of VLC Media Player, but I would install VLC and its codecs from the PackMan repository.
The PackMan repository has several sub-repositories that can be added individually or the entire repository can be added. The subrepositories are the Essentials, Extra, Games, and Multimedia repositories. All of the PackMan repositories can be added with the following command.
zypper ar -f -n "PackMan for Leap 42.1" http://ftp.fau.de/packman/suse/openSUSE_Leap_42.1/ PackMan_for_Leap_421
In the above,
ar is a short alternative for the zypper subcommand
addrepo, the option
-f sets the added repository to be auto fefreshed during zypper operations, the option
-n specifies naming the added repository with the string in quotations, and the string after the URL is the alias for the repository. The repository URL here is for the entire packaman repository which includes the Essentials, Extra, Games, and Multimedia repositories. If you want to choose just one of the reppositories, maybe the most necessary repo Multimedia, append the name of the repository to the above URL as in:
zypper ar -f -n "PackMan Multimedia for Leap 42.1" http://ftp.fau.de/packman/suse/openSUSE_Leap_42.1/Multimedia/ PackMan_Multimedia_for_Leap_421
Note that the Extra, Games, and Multimedia repositories require the Essentials repository, so that must be added also to use these repositories. Also note that you can choose the actual URL to specify for the repository by visiting the PackMan mirrors page. Clicking any of the links on the mirror page will open a directory listing of the repository.
In addition to adding the PackMan repositories, they must be prioritized over the default openSUSE repositories to prevent a change in package version during updates to those in the default openSUSE repositories. This is important for packages like vlc and vlc-codecs where the PackMan versions, besides being ususally newer, support proprietary codecs and the openSUSE ones don't.
It is also important to be aware of the concept of vendor in openSUSE. If software available from the openSUSE repository has been installed, then the PackMan repository is added, already installed packages can be changed to the versions in the PackMan repositories. This can be done in the YaST Software Management module by viewing packages by repositorym, selecting the PackMan repository, then clicking "Switch System Packages to Versions in this Repository".
It would be helpful to refer to for general information on repository management in openSUSE, and the openSUSE wiki regarding vendor change, and the openSUSE active document page on Installing or Removing Software which also discusses the rationale that Zypp uses for selecting packages during an update when the same packages exist in multiple repositories.
Backlight Control on Intel Integrated Graphics
On laptops using Intel graphics it is necessary to add the
video.use_native_backlight=1 to the list of options for
GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT in /etc/default/grub and then updating GRUB by running
grub2-mkconfig -o /boot/grub2/grub.cfg
This modification to /etc/default/grub is the simplest and most appropriate method for those using openSUSE's GRUB to boot openSUSE. It is also possible to add this directly to the file generated by the
grub-mkconfig command /boot/grub2/grub.cfg file in openSUSE or the grub.cfg file of whatever installed Linux distribution's GRUB is being used to boot.