openSUSE Tumbleweed on Raspberry Pi 4/400 plus Base Applications

I have been enjoying running openSUSE Tumbleweed on the Raspberry Pi 400 (and 4, I kind of mean the same thing, I just happen to appreciate the fun of the keyboard with containing the computer of the 400). The point of this blathering is to use the Raspberry Pi 400 in the same way as you would with Raspberry Pi OS but using openSUSE Tumbleweed with the Plasma desktop environment. This is not meant to disparage Raspberry Pi OS or any of the work they have continued to pour into the LXDE project but rather to give an alternative with all the fun tooling that openSUSE has to offer.

openSUSE Logo

I have been putting together, bit-by-bit, a collection of things to make my Raspberry Pi life on openSUSE (and other things) more convenient. The link below is to a link into the openSUSE Wiki to download and image the SD Card with your choice of Leap or Tumbleweed with your preferred desktop. There are also links to the various applications to give your Pi 4/400 software feature parity with the bundled Raspberry Pi OS but on an openSUSE base.

Raspberry Pi 4 Resources

This page will continue to grow and I am working on some other related bits but in short. The links to get the proper image for the Pi 4/400 and the applications you need to do the activities in the Raspberry Pi 400 Beginners Guide.

The other thing I recommend with the Pi 4/400 when running openSUSE is installing the multimedia codecs and VLC. My resource for that is here:

Multimedia Codecs Terminal

Those codecs will provide the Raspberry Pi with the requirements to watch most video formats which is important, especially to use the Pi4 as a multimedia machine. What fun is a “modern” desktop computer that can’t watch videos?

Overall Experience

Running openSUSE Tumbleweed with Plasma on my Raspberry Pi 4/400 systems have been great. The Plasma Desktop environment looks and feels good on the Pi. I threw on a few other applications such as Syncthing to sync some specific files for home education purposes and Qsynergy so I could easily take control of the thing with my laptop. I would say that the Pi 4/400 is absolutely a usable machine for a daily driver, using openSUSE. I would go so far as to say it is one of the best desktop experiences I have in my inventory since the majority of my tech is pretty old.

Because the Raspberry Pi is so flexible and uses such little power to operate, I keep thinking of all the fun and fantastic uses for a low powered computer to shoehorn into some function. The temptation to purchase more of these, even though I don’t have a reason is strong. I know it is probably better to have a single server with multiple containers for various services, but I find it far more enjoyable to have various Raspberry Pis to perform these tasks.

Final Thoughts

I have, historically, been pretty critical with ARM based systems due to the extreme variation between ARM processors. I would say, the work of the Raspberry Pi Foundation and Pine64 have made ARM almost as enjoyable as x86 technology has been with Linux. The work of the open source community and all the incredible tools out there have really enabled the masses to make some really cool projects. This is a great time to be a technology enthusiast and Linux nerd.

If you can get your hands on a Pi4 or especially a Pi400 you are very fortunate. The supply of them is very low as of late and I am hoping that this will change soon. The Raspberry Pi is an incredible machine for learning, doing and experimenting with proof of concepts. At $55 for the 4GB Pi 4 or $75 for the Pi400, this is a great gift idea for the nerds in your life, including yourself! Adding that openSUSE touch to the Raspberry Pi makes the whole thing that much sweeter.

References

Raspberry Pi 4
Multimedia Codecs Terminal
Syncthing on openSUSE

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