Slowroll: A Slower Alternative to openSUSE Tumbleweed

Although openSUSE has always been well-loved by the community, it is true that leap (its very stable version aimed at end users) seems to be dying. This would lead one to think that Tumbleweed would remain as the only SUSE community distribution, but this is not the case. Details of the openSUSE SlowRoll project have recently been announced.

In short, openSUSE SlowRoll is a new distribution that will be based on Tumbleweed. But, unlike Tumbleweed, will not contain such aggressive updates.

The idea behind SlowRoll is to offer a middle ground between the rapid updates of Tumbleweed and the stability of openSUSE Leap.

Unlike Tumbleweed, which receives frequent updates, Slowroll introduces updates at a slower pace, allowing for more extensive testing and validation of packages before they are included.


So one would expect an improvement in stability without losing as many new features in the distribution’s base packages such as the kernel, desktop environments and packaging.

To achieve this, the developers propose that updates will arrive to the distribution every two or three months. This is to have more room for testing. In the case of security updates, these will arrive to the distribution as they are released.

Why SlowRoll?

The current status of openSUSE Leap is that it is on version 15.5. OpenSUSE Leap is a stable distribution that is based on proven and reliable packages and technology. The problem with Leap is that it has gradually lost users in favor of other alternatives, such as Ubuntu or Fedora itself. This makes for fewer contributors and thus complicates some things.

openSUSE 15.5 Leap
openSUSE 15.5 Leap

One of the reasons that some users may say is that while it is true that leap is a very stable base for development and work, it is also true that their packages are old. In the case of the kernel, this can be an issue on computers with modern hardware or desktop users who do not need so much stability.

As an answer to this, Tumbleweed was born, which is a rolling release distribution like Arch Linux. The difficulty with this distribution is that it is not as stable as expected. Also, its market is focused on enthusiasts but not for production or even for a family computer.

So, it is between these currents that SlowRoll wants to move. It would like to be a nice modern distribution with updated packages but at the same time stable and usable by many.

Where can I try SlowRoll?

Before I tell you how you can get it, it is important to know that the project is in an early stage of development. So you must be patient.

The first option is to simply download an experimental image from this link. As the developers point out, it is necessary to disable the network during the installation to prevent it from downloading packages from Tumbleweed.

The installation process is similar to the rest of the openSUSE family. In fact, you should have no problems completing the installation.

The second option is to make the jump from Leap. To achieve this, you must change the system repositories to these new ones.

rm /etc/zypp/repos.d/*
zypper ar []( base-oss
zypper ar []( base-non-oss
zypper ar -p 80 --refresh []( update
zypper ar --disable []( base-src-oss
zypper ar []( h264
zypper ar -p 70 []( packman

Then it would be enough with a

sudo zypper dup

I think it goes without saying that this should only be done for testing purposes and in a secure environment. You should not do it on your main computer or in production environments.


In summary, openSUSE Leap is a solid option for those who are looking for a stable and reliable Linux distribution. But SlowRoll also keeps in mind the users who are looking for something more up to date and without sacrificing stability.

It only remains to be attentive to the project and start using it to get a better idea about it.

Tell us, did you know about this project? Have you used openSUSE? Please let us know in the comments.

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