How to convert OpenSUSE Leap to Tumbleweed

If you are tired of waiting for the latest OpenSUSE Leap software updates, then surely this guide will be for you. In fact, in the next lines we will explain how to convert OpenSUSE Leap to Tumbleweed without too many problems.


OpenSUSE Leap is a very solid Linux distribution that provides a stable platform designed for users looking for an efficient distro. The problem is that, being focused on stability, new software updates are released after a long time, so we’ll have to wait. For some this is not a big problem but for others it could be a real nuisance.

So, if you are trying to abandon Leap to get the latest software, the simplest method is to upgrade it to a distribution that involves the progressive release of new versions. In this case, then, let’s talk about OpenSUSE Tumbleweed.

Preliminary operation

Before discovering how to convert OpenSUSE Leap to Tumbleweed, you need to back up the software sources so, if the software update fails, you can easily restore the old sources by taking advantage of the backup. So, to back up the old OpenSUSE Leap software sources , open the terminal and execute the su command and then cd /etc/zypp/repos.d/. Inside the repos.d folder create a subdirectory called backup or any other preferred name using the command mkdir foldername (eg mkdir backup ).

Once the backup folder has been successfully created, it is now necessary to move all OpenSUSE Leap software repositories into this directory. Keep in mind, however, that once you have moved all the software sources to the main folder, you will no longer have access to the OpenSUSE Leap software sources. Furthermore, if you use programs that do not work with Tumbleweed, you will need to install them using a compatible version. To quickly find a compatible program, we suggest you take advantage of the Internet site of OpenSUSE.

That said, to move the software repositories, use the command mv /etc/zypp/repos.d/*.repo /etc/zypp/repos.d/backup.

Once the mv command is successfully executed, all Leap software repositories will no longer be active. Do not try to update and/or install new software until the Tumbleweed software sources are added.

How to add new software repositories

The core of OpenSUSE, regardless of the version used, consists of the software sources to which the operating system has access. This means that if you have the Leap software sources and proceed with an update, the latest version of the software for that release will be installed.

The same thing can be done if the software sources of Leap are changed with those of Tumbleweed and an update is performed. A conversion will be made in the latest version of the distro available.

To do this, open the terminal and give the following commands:

zypper ar -f -c repo-oss

zypper ar -f -c repo-non-oss

zypper ar -f -c repo-debug

zypper ar -f -c repo-update

How to convert OpenSUSE Leap to Tumbleweed

How to convert OpenSUSE Leap to Tumbleweed

Once you have downloaded the new software sources within Leap, you can now proceed with the conversion. However, it is necessary to perform an update of the distro that allows you to delete the old software and obsolete files. In OpenSUSE it is possible to do this by using the Zypper package manager and it is also a very simple and fast operation that simply executes the command sudo zypper dup inside the terminal.

When this command is entered into the terminal, a message is displayed stating that “you are about to perform a distribution update. Before continuing, make sure these repositories are compatible. See man zyp for more information on this command. ”

When the zypper dup command is executed , everything should be fine, as long as all software sources have been added to the system correctly. If instead you get an error message, it means that something has been lost.

The distribution update process takes a long time. This is because you download different browser updates and so on. So, we suggest you let the update tool do its job and maybe do something else while waiting.

How to downgrade from Tumbleweed to Leap

It is possible to downgrade from Tumbleweed to Leap always acting from the terminal using some commands. First, log in as root using su and then use the cd command /etc/zypp/repos.d/ to access the software repository folder.

Once this is done, it is necessary to delete all the traces of the Tumbleweed software repositories previously added using the command rm /etc/zypp/repos.d/*.repo.

In the next step, you need to move all the files in the backup folder to the main repository with the command mv /etc/zypp/repos.d/backup /etc/zypp/repos.d/.

Finally, you need to restore the old repositories using zypper dup.

As seen before during the conversion, the downgrade will also take some time to complete the procedure. The process should work smoothly, although problems might occur as it is generally not recommended to downgrade an operating system to a previous version. So, if you followed the upgrade from OpenSUSE Leap to Tumbleweed and now you want to go back, the best way is to restore the data back up and reinstall it all.

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