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Factory: Over 6000 installations and growing!

September 5th, 2014 by

Since the announcement at the end of July of the new Factory development model, the machinery worked tirelessly releasing more than 15 Factory snapshots during the next month. As you can see in the changelogs that are published in the openSUSE-Factory mailing list following every snapshot, the changes are not restricted to leaf packages. The core of the distribution is moving together with the desktop applications. Factory is rolling!

The new process includes several mechanisms to deal with that controlled chaos that a development distribution should be, like OBS staging projects to control the package flow from the devel projects, and openQA to implement pre-integration and post-integration tests. All those extra checks are there to serve an ultimate goal: make Factory a usable platform for openSUSE contributors including, of course, bug reporters. No automatic system can detect that the new version of systemd breaks the suspend function of your laptop or that the new kernel package conflicts with the proprietary driver of your graphic card. Therefore, the rolling Factory will only succeed if it can attract new users willing to help in the early detection of bugs. So the question is: can it?

Show me the numbers

So Alberto Planas decided to check how is the acceptance of the new Factory in the first month after the official announcement. He wheeled out the statistical tooling and checked the current status, comparing it with the innovative Tumbleweed. To do a fair comparison he counted the number of different UUIDs that access to ‘/factory/repo/oss/’ per month to get the number of different installation of Factory, and ‘/repositories/openSUSE:/Tumbleweed/standard’ per month to do the same for Tumbleweed. There is aggregate information since 2010, so we can see a clear picture of the overall evolution. And this is the result:

Factory & Tumbleweed. August 2014

We can observe a big increase of the number of users in Factory during this July and August (from 1952 in June to 5969 at the end of August). Factory nearly tripled the number of installations without hurting Tumbleweed (5471 installations in June and 5637 at the end of August).

Help us to make a better Factory

The numbers show that Factory is gaining users quickly, and we all hope that some of those new users can find in Factory a good place to develop, play and work (on and with). This fast grown on the number of users means also that Factory needs to take extra care when a very deep update happens, and test is as thoroughly as is technically possible.

The work on Factory is not finished (not by far). Developers are still improving the tooling, and one area where more help is needed is in the creation and monitoring of scenarios where Factory can behave badly to test them inside openQA. That’s something that everybody can do and that would have a big impact in our beloved openSUSE distribution!

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9 Responses to “Factory: Over 6000 installations and growing!”

  1. Is that installations?

    Or is it downloads?

    How many install attempts were successfull and how many were aborted or abandoned?

  2. Ben

    Opensuse Factory is fantastic. I was able to upgrade the packages without any issue. I do like how the packages aren’t trickling in, but rather come in batches which seem to guarantee that the set of packages won’t have issues with each other.

    The only problem I found with openSUSE was that I was unable to get the s2tc package to work which made all my games unplayable. The driver that I was using, the r600 was compiled without any support to load the s2tc or s3tc packages so no textures were able to load. This is pretty major.

  3. Ankleface Wroughtlandmire

    “No automatic system can detect that the new version of systemd breaks the suspend function of your laptop or that the new kernel package conflicts with the proprietary driver of your graphic card.”

    This is my main concern with using Factory. I’m excited about openSUSE rolling Factory, and I’m more than willing to report bugs with other packages that I can easily roll back. But I am concerned about major breakage, especially proprietary drivers that lag behind the newest versions of the kernel and/or Xorg. Any ideas on how to prevent this from happening, or at least mitigate it? Thanks!

    • aplanas

      openQA with QEMU is quite powerful. There is a path to minimize (never avoid) this problem: we can setup multiple kind of virtual machines with different hardware configuration, and provide tests for those cases.

      This is an area where the project need more help.

  4. Conan


    By taking advantage of Btrfs and snapper. When an update is broken, rollback and report it.

  5. Holger


    I’ve given factory a try a few weeks ago. But I go back to OpenSUSE 13.1. One big issue was the installation of Nvidia’s proprietary driver. I’ve tried it “on the hard way” but no success. I’ve removed all nouveau stuff, I’ve modified grub2 but after rebooting the nouveau driver was still loading. I’m familar with siduction, a rolling distribution based on debian unstable. For proprietary Nvidia you’ve to create a small xorg.conf, then you’ve to install some packages and after a reboot Nvidia works without any trouble. Why it is so difficult with Factory? Could you give a howto for Nvidia, which works?

  6. LaƩrcio de Sousa

    I’ve tried openSUSE Factory PXE (netboot) installer, and I’ve noticed there’s no option to configure network-based authentication methods like NIS at installation time, as we have for release 13.1. Could it be a bug or just a design choice?

    • RArnold

      Likewise. Factory installed well. Gnome works well. But very few of the YAST modules were functional, which made it difficult to configure hardware and authentication. Too bad. Rolling distro would be fun to use, but I need a stable, working distro. Back to 13.1