The Power of Zypper

Distributions and package management concepts are an ideal topic for flamewars. I always switch between RPM- and Debian-Distributions: My notebook runs Opensuse, my servers Debian and Ubuntu, my 64-bit-desktop at home Suse, and at work Ubuntu Hardy does a good job – including the full power of remote “apt-get dist-upgrade” over three generations of Ubuntu.

Nevertheless I still find it hard to tell which package management is best, since I always find new things (new for me, Ok) that make me think “Wow this is really cool.” Someday I’ll write about my experiences about the remote Upgrade of an Ubuntu Desktop, but now I found another stunningly easy thing in Suse’s Zypper tool.

As you may know, KDE 4 is still in a sort of beta-testing phase, but the recent version combine acceptable (for me) stability with great graphical details, and new packages with bug-fixes drop in daily.

Today I came back home after three weeks in hospital and thought – let’s update my suse 11.1 system to KDE 4.2.1, which was released recently. Ok, I seem to need a new repository for that. Starting Yast was the wrong way – well not wrong, but the slower method.

Thanks to Ben Kevan’s blog i found that only two simple commands at a root prompt were necessary to update my system, including the new repo:

zypper ar KDE\ 4\ Factory

adds the Repo to the package management’s list,

zypper up -t package -r KDE\ 4\ Factory -y

checks for, fetches and installs all new packages to the system.
I doubt that this can be done any faster, this is getting more and more like on Debian.

Hey you folks at Open Suse, you seem to be doing a really good job, thanks a lot!


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