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Review: openSUSE Tumbleweed (2018)

My experiment with openSUSE's Tumbleweed was a mixed experience. On the positive side, Tumbleweed stays constantly up to date, providing the latest packages of software all the time. For people who regularly want to stay on the cutting edge, but who do not want to re-install or perform a major version-to-version upgrade every six months, Tumbleweed provides an attractive option. I also really like that file system snapshots are automated and we can revert most problems simply by restarting the computer and choosing an older snapshot from the boot menu. On the negative side, a number of things didn't work during my time with the distribution. Media support was broken, the Discover software manager had a number of issues and some configuration modules caused me headaches. These rough edges sometimes get fixed, but may be traded out for other problems since the operating system is ever in flux. In the long term, a bigger issue may be the amount of network bandwidth and disk space Tumbleweed consumes. Just to keep up with updates we need set aside around 1GB of downloads per month and (when Btrfs snapshots are used) even more disk space. In a few weeks Tumbleweed consumed more disk space with far fewer programs installed as my installation of MX Linux. Unless we keep on top of house cleaning and constantly remove old snapshots we need to be prepared to use significantly more storage space than most other distributions require. Tumbleweed changes frequently and uses more resources to keep up with the latest software developments. I would not recommend it for newer Linux users or for people who want predictability in the lives. But for people who want to live on the cutting edge and don't mind a little trouble-shooting, Tumbleweed provides a way to keep up with new versions of applications while providing a safety net through Btrfs snapshots. Read more

Linux 4.20-rc6

Hmm. Things look fairly normal. just under half of the patch is to drivers (gpu, networking, nvdimm, block, media..), with the rest being tooling (mostly bpf selftests) core networking, documentation and some arch updates, Some filesystem, core kernel and mm fixes in there too (we've had some last-minute THP reverts and discussion for how to re-do it next time). Most of it looks pretty small and normal. Would I have preferred for there to be less churn? Yes. But it's certainly smaller than rc5 was, so we're moving in the right direction, and we have at least one more rc to go. I say "at least", not because I'm particularly worried about the technical details and any outstanding bugs, but because of the whole holiday season timing. I still suspect that what I'll do is release 4.20 just before xmas (so with the usual "rc7->final" cadence) but then just leave a dead week for the holiday season. Again encouraging everybody to send in their pull request for the merge window *before* the holiday season, but I might just either ignore them for a week, or take it very slow and easy. And of course, if we have something worrisome come up, any technical issues can derail that plan, but I don't think there's anything bad pending now. Linus Read more Also: Linux 4.20-rc6 Kernel Released - "Looks Fairly Normal"