openSUSE dev notes and status

This document represents the current and pending state of our move to openSUSE as our linux distro base for Rockstor and is not an endorsement of it’s use or support status but is simply intended to share the progress and development made to date. It is intended as a developers document so any changes made should be in accordance with keeping this text up to date with the current code state, including in this case pending pr’s.

If you wish to comment on our openSUSE move in general, as opposed to the specifics of what is actually in play currently: please consider contributing to the following forum thread: Rebasing on to openSUSE? which also details some prior committed changes relevant to this move. Comments and edits here are welcomed in the context of code or development contributions only as it is intended as a current state of play doc.

In the interests of aiding those willing to assist with this move the following are the current steps required for building Rockstor on an openSUSE base. Currently this means both openSUSE Leap 15.1 and Tumbleweed. It is hoped that the Rockstor code, in time, can adapt to a transition of it’s base from one to the other and back again as this should provide for much greater flexibility. The current in code (master branch) basis for ‘sensing’ our base linux distro / version is to use the ‘python-distro’ package: introduces as a dependency in the following pr pertaining to git tag 3.9.2-45:

which basically adds the python distro library / package.

In the above pr this was used to inform the required docker start procedure which differs between all 3 of our current distros of interest CentOS (legacy but current stable channel release rpms) openSUSE Leap 15.1 and Tumbleweed (NG or Next Generation Rockstor base).

openSUSE install requirements

Irrespective of variant, Leap15.1 (see Roadmap) or Tumbleweed, the following is expected of a development environment for contributing to Rockstor when based on openSUSE which is a work in progress and as yet not suited to actual use. Note that all current Rockstor code contributors are already testing all pr’s on both Leap 15.1 and Tumbleweed in an effort to not add regressions to our current partial functional state in comparison to our CentOS base installs/releases. This document is intended primarily to aid ‘on boarding’ of code contributors so that we constantly move forward with this move and don’t take backward steps with only considering CentOS which due to their lack of involvement with btrfs are now deemed unsuitable as a distro base for a btrfs based NAS. Note that to have root snapshots and swap enabled by default a system disk of 20 GB is required (19 GB min).

Installer options

  • Server (non transactional) for the time being at least.
  • Default partitioning (which is btrfs root as per Rockstor’s expectation)
  • Skip user creation (then only root password to enter and leave all additional users as Rockstor managed)
  • “SSH service will be enabled” (default in Leap 15.1 on server install, and in Tumbleweeds)
  • “SSH port will be open” (Leap 15.1 default)
  • switch to/using NetworkManager, if presented (Thanks to @Flox for spotting this one).

Note 1: re ssh and firewalld defaults change in Leap 15.1, see:
Note2: re firewalld enablement status see: subsequent changes in:
[openSUSE] remove firewalld associated code #2024
enable firewall by default in server install profiles #166
Open suse 15 1 #167

Apply all upstream updates

If Leap

zypper update --no-recommends

If Tumbleweed

zypper dup --no-recommends

Switch to Network Manager from wicked (if not already selected during install)

Rockstor is heavily invested in Network manager and so we switch to this for network configuration using openSUSE’s marvellous yast tool:

zypper install --no-recommends NetworkManager

System > Network Settings > Global Tab (Alt G) > Network Setup Method (Alt N):
change from Wicked Service to Network Manager Service
(Alt E) to disable IPv6 Protocol Setting (no Rockstor support)

OK (F10 key)
Ignore Applet advise as we have no desktop and only need the Network Manager Command Line Interface program (nmcli).

Alt Q (F9 key) to exit yast

The ‘nmcli’ command should now work to display network settings.

Packages for Building Rockstor from source

zypper --non-interactive install samba docker docker-compose nut nginx nfs-kernel-server at yum gcc python-devel gcc-c++ postgresql10-devel postgresql10-server libblkid-devel yum-changelog python-distro firewalld python2-setuptools python2-requests python2-chardet

Thanks to @Psykar for the ‘firewalld’ prompt: Leap 15.1 (currently beta) dropped this package on default server installs. See the following consequent issue: [openSUSE] remove firewalld associated code.
Amendment re no firewalld package by default, could pertain to Minimal System Install: see 15.1 (beta) release notes Minimal System Installation
such as may be found in docker images, or JeOS.
Thanks to @Flox for the prompt re specifying postgresql10 versions, which in Tumbleweed pull in the 11 variants and thus give us the required alternatives to ‘fix’ no pg_config: see next section.

Select Postgesql 10 variant (Tumbleweed only currently)

At least for now we are sticking with version 10 as we have already moved from 9.x in our CentOS build. In recent versions of Tumbleweed there is an auto setting in play (the usual default) for version 11 but this fails to establish an ‘in path’ pg_config. To resolve this we select 10 and this then provides our required in path pg_config:

alternatives --config postgresql
There are 2 choices for the alternative postgresql (providing /usr/lib/postgresql).

 Selection    Path                   Priority   Status
* 0            /usr/lib/postgresql11   110       auto mode
 1            /usr/lib/postgresql10   100       manual mode
 2            /usr/lib/postgresql11   110       manual mode

Press <enter> to keep the current choice[*], or type selection number: 1
update-alternatives: using /usr/lib/postgresql10 to provide /usr/lib/postgresql (postgresql) in manual mode

and as we selected 1 -> manual for 10, we should now have:

alternatives --config postgresql
There are 2 choices for the alternative postgresql (providing /usr/lib/postgresql).

  Selection    Path                   Priority   Status
  0            /usr/lib/postgresql11   110       auto mode
* 1            /usr/lib/postgresql10   100       manual mode
  2            /usr/lib/postgresql11   110       manual mode

Press <enter> to keep the current choice[*], or type selection number: 

Thanks to @jcdick1 for helping to highlight this recent Tumbleweed issue re postgresql and no in path pg_config: see: Build instructions

Building from source

Build as usual, but not in /opt/rockstor :slight_smile: as this is reserved for rpm installs and we have an going efforts to allow for a move from a source install to an rpm based one in the hopes that this will provide a welcome convenience for single issue contributors and further aid in speeding up this distro switch effort by allowing source installs to transition to rpm based ones: N.B. this feature is awaiting a backend repo server arrangements that is currently in progress and will support our existing subscribers when our openSUSE rpm releases are made available.

See our regular Developers subsection in our Contributing to Rockstor - Overview official docs.

General Advise

In many cases is it advisable to peruse any pending pull requests/issues as they may pertain to ongoing work re Rockstor development, especially with regard to building from source or openSUSE related issues / development and remember that reviews are always welcome and will assist in this openSUSE move as all code is reviewed prior to merge and all rockstor-core code is merged by project lead @suman.

OpenSUSE related issues of note:

Current Known issues

Each of the issues listed here should, in time, link to their own GitHub issues. Please keep each issue as specific as possible and where it pertains to an openSUSE base only then it is proposed that we name each such issue beginning with an NG (Next Generation) and further clarify this fact in the issues text. I will soon create an example issue and update this doc accordingly.

Please view the following list as a TODO: for all prospective code contributors. Normal collaboration methodology stands: i.e. if the issue is not created then create it if you have sufficient knowledge to reproduce the issue and have done so on the target platforms; Leap 15.1 and Tumbleweed. Also note that it is frustrating and disheartening to duplicate each others efforts so if you end up working on an issue please ensure that you state this in the relevant GitHub issue first. That way others looking to such issues will know that they are a work in progress. We have as yet a pending pr which simultaneously fixes the following issues:


plus an unreported btrfs in partition regression I found a few releases ago.


and so it is currently inadvisable to make any changes to our current low level disk/pool management as I have significantly changed elements of this and their counterpart unit tests.

And @Flox has current un-submitted/uncommitted code relating to Rock-on / docker improvements.

However in all of the above ‘works in progress’ / pending code we have current feature parity between CentOS and the openSUSE variants.

TODO (non exhaustive):

  • SAMBA authentication fails:
    When last tested on Tumbleweed there was an authentication issue with SMB shares when setup by Rockstor.
    Missing GitHub issue link.
  • YAST compatibility:
    In the process of investigating the SAMBA issue above it was found that our config file ‘tag’ is not in compliance with that of yast’s tags and so once yast has been used to configure samba the smb.conf file is incompatible with Rockstor as yast ‘comments’ our ‘comment line’ tags. This should be a simple matter of changing Rockstor’s written tag to comply with what yast will accept as a commnet, but we have to maintain what we look for tag wise so that we pick up on prior Rockstor configurations. Hopefully we can propagate this yast compatibility across all services that Rockstor configures but each must be considered and GitHub issued separately so as not to grow this issue to something unmanageable and cumbersome. See issue #2035 for another example of a potential clash between YAST/sysconfig and Rockstor’s direct editing of config files.
    (Missing individual GitHut issue links in this section)
  • smartctl.conf file location
    It seems we need to adapt to an issue re the location or lack of ‘/etc/smartmontools/smartd.conf’. Reproducer: System -> Services - S.M.A.R.T (spanner icon) -> Submit button
    GitHub issue link.

Again all of the above need GitHub issues first, detailing their exact reproducer and any other pertinent details, ie log entries at the time of the issue occurring, exact distro base / version etc.

What is working

Quite a lot actually

  • Replication has been successfully tested in both directions between our current legacy CentOS install (stable channel) and I think (from memory here as it was a while ago) both openSUSE variants. And as our full cycle replication system exercises almost all subvol mechanisms within Rockstor, plus a few special ones of it’s own, this bodes well for basic Pool (btrfs volume), share, snapshot, and clone (btrfs subvols) functions.
  • Rock-ons / docker functionality (see above 3.9.2-45 git tag reference re distro based docker auto config).


Once we have feature parity, or are clearly near to it, we start to release Leap 15.1 and Tumbleweed rpms, the distro aware code for this is in the following pending review pr:

And once we are sure we have a working upgrade cycle, including db migrations etc (which shouldn’t be affected by this move anyway) we can move to establishing our new openSUSE based installer.

This doc’s initial author (@phillxnet) favours providing an image based installer such as can be created by openSUSE’s Next gen KIWI:
quoting from this we have:
“CD/DVD Deployment
Boot the OEM installation image and let KIWI’s OEM installer deploy the OEM disk image from CD/DVD or USB stick onto the target disk

This has only had cursory research / investigation to date and represents the end goal of our transition. First we must transition all our current CentOS function to the openSUSE variants.


Note that @phillxnet would also like to see 100% functional test coverage using openSUSE’s openQA. As this is a tall order any assistance with this would also be appreciated. This tool is used extensively in openSUSE and consequently SUSE (SLES) releases and is slowly being adopted peace meal by many of the other major linux distros. In the mean time we have to perform manual functional testing and use the existing unit tests for osi and btrfs and the now neglected API tests.

osi unit tests

Can be run in a dev environment via:

cd <root dir of rockstor ie /opt/rockstor-dev>
./bin/test --settings=test-settings -v 3 -p test_osi*

btrfs unit tests

Here we are referencing Rockstor’s own btrfs interaction unit tests, not btrfs’s own unit tests.
Can be run in a dev environment via:

cd <root dir of rockstor ie /opt/rockstor-dev>
./bin/test --settings=test-settings -v 3 -p test_btrfs*

API based tests

We also have extensive but now rather neglected API tests. These API based tests last received attention in the following pr:

As per the above pull request the API tests, along with all the above osi/btrfs tests, can be run via:

cd <root dir of rockstor ie /opt/rockstor-dev>
./bin/test -v 2 -p test_*

With the current failures/errors, down to bit rot mainly, at around:
Ran 193 tests in 22.924s
FAILED (failures=32, errors=4)

Please note that these tests are in need or attention and as a result should not be run on installs that have access to ‘real’ data. If you have an interest or experience in this area you are more than welcome to chip in with a view to producing improvement pull requests, but keep in mind that many of the API tests fail due to tested code changes that were not reflected in the tests themselves. Shame though that it is, it is where we find ourselves and unit test writing / maintenance is not everybodys ‘cup of tea’ and is in itself a skill. If this interests you then it can be a good way to learn a piece of codes functions/capabilities, in abstraction, prior to extending/modifying them and, if done right, provides a safety net to ensure proposed changes introduce the minimum breakage.

But our osi and btrfs unit tests are current and all currently pass: but we could do with better coverage.

Thanks for any help you can provide with Rockstor’s development. Our core code (rockstor-core) is under a GNU license along with a variety of opensource licences that pertain to our various js libraries (rockstor-jslibs). And our docs (rockstor-doc) are under CC BY-SA. We run a subscription model for current rpm releases to help maintain the project financially and accept donations via the Web-UI.


There is no need to install yast in most cases.
Disable wicked with systemctl disable wicked (you can press tab twice to see the extra parts of this systemd unit)
Enable NetworkManager with systemctl enable NetworkManager

nmtui is the curses GUI based tool, a bit easier to use.

1 Like

I’m currently trying to build from scratch on TW_20190423 and noticed a few things:

  1. The installer now gives you the option to switch from Wicked to NetworkManager. Even though the cli instructions you listed are still useful, they are not needed if this choice is made at install.
  2. Postgresql10: wasn’t installed so there was no alternatives available to switch back to 10. I had to manually install it with:
zypper install postgresql10-devel postgresql10 postgresql10-server

which thus lets me change using the alternatives --config postgresql you listed.

I’m not sure this is the ‘proper’ way to do that, but it fixed my issue.

1 Like

@Flox Thanks for you help here.

I’ve now updated the doc so it installs the postgresql 10 variant and this in turn bring in (at least on Tumbleweed) the 11 variant also. So thus we auto get our ‘alternatives’ fix for whatever the reasons is that we don’t have ‘in path’ pg_config anymore.
I’ve also added in the new options to select NetworkManager. That was a very welcome addition, especially since we depend so heavily upon it. Not sure if in Leap 15.1 yet so left yast instructions for the time being. Also moved all 15.# references over to 15.1 as no point aiming at 15.0 now especially since it’s docker broke for us and 15.1 docker was last reported as OK (by yourself: thanks).


Looks like ‘grubby’ needs to be added to the required install packages now.

@Psykar Thanks for the input.

I think we simply error out and move along if we find no grubby command and given, in our openSUSE variants, we will no longer be managing the kernel (at last) as that will be, more correctly, firmly in the hands our our upstream. I’m leaning towards not including this as a dependency on the final rpm and sticking with current behaviour.



So in the later case installing grubby would actually cause us to complain when we need not: given our new standing on not managing / watching kernel versions.

We also have:

So it does look like we should not include grubby in our openSUSE variants.

Hope I’ve not missed something but as is I’m going with leaving grubby out as per above reasoning. And once we are properly moved over I’m keen to remove this kernel management code completely as it’s really beyond the scope of our project, especially as time move on and all relevant distros get more appropriate kernels anyway. But back when Rockstor was started it was a must given the relative age of btrfs then. Have to keep in while we are still serving CentOS of course.

Hope that helps.