OPI | OBS Package Installer

A project within openSUSE that I think is absolutely fantastic is called the “openSUSE Package Installer.” This allows you to install packages from various third party vendors such as the “Packman” repository or other “community repositories” of the openSUSE Build Service. What this means is, the multi-step process of adding repositories and installing the desired software can be greatly simplified, at least, from a user perspective.

Bottom Line Up Front: OPI is absolutely fantastic and makes short work of installing software available through the Open Build Service. This is a tool that I now use to quickly search and install the software I need to get my computer to do the things I want it to do. It probably won’t change my procedures for all the bits of software I install but it sure will make short work of future software searches.


There is a fantastic documentation on the openSUSE wiki that spells it all out clearly and really renders this entire article kind of useless but my excitement over its use compels me to continue with writing this blathering.


Within the terminal run this:

sudo zypper install opi

Alternatively, if you really want to install it the graphical way; which I don’t understand why because it is a terminal program, use the point-and-click, graphical installation method.


Once installed, there is not much more you need to do to get going with it. Just use it.


The use of this is so simple and straight forward there is not a whole lot to say here. You type in “opi” and whatever it is you want to install. Some examples could be: sublime, vscode, zoom, even teamviewer. This can be used to install multimedia codecs as well by simply typing sudo opi codecs although, I can’t exactly vouch for that at this time but I am told it works smashingly well.

I have used OPI to install a few things quite nicely. Some of those being to install syncterm, NsCDE, and vscodium

It worked out as simply as this:

sudo opi vscodium

Then I was asked:

Do you want to install VS Codium from paulcarroty_vscodium repository? (Y/n) 

Pressing Y will begin the installation process.

Just as you would experience in running zypper in the terminal, you will see the refreshing of your repositories as the software is prepared for installation.

Retrieving repository 'Visual Studio Codium' metadata ................[done]
Building repository 'Visual Studio Codium' cache .....................[done]
Loading repository data...
Reading installed packages...
Resolving package dependencies...

The following NEW package is going to be installed:

1 new package to install.
Overall download size: 116.1 MiB. Already cached: 0 B. After the operation, additional 332.8 MiB will be used.
Continue? [y/n/v/...? shows all options] (y):

Pressing y and hitting enter will initiate the downloading and installation of vscodium

Retrieving package codium-                                                                                                                                                            (1/1), 116.1 MiB (332.8 MiB unpacked)
Retrieving: vscodium- .............[done (4.2 MiB/s)]

Checking for file conflicts: .........................................[done]
(1/1) Installing: codium- .....................[done]
Do you want to keep the repo "vscodium"? (Y/n) y

The choice of whether or not to keep the repo you downloaded the software is a cool feature because there are many instances I can think of where I may not want to keep it. In this case for vscodium, I want to ensure it stays updated and working nicely with openSUSE Tumbleweed.

What I Like

This makes for short work on installing software outside of the official repository. It does a great job of unifying software installation user experience in openSUSE. It saves a lot of time on searching for specific repositories to set up to then install the desired software.

The terminal interface has fantastic syntax and is easy to understand. For better or worse, there are not any options to mess you up when installing anything. OPI does one thing, search for and give you options to install software from the various Open Build Service repositories.

When there are multiple options, you are given an easily understood set of options.

sudo opi mgba
[sudo] password for root: 
1. mgba
2. mgba-sdl
3. mgba-debuginfo
4. mgba-sdl-debuginfo
Pick a number (0 to quit):1
You have selected package name: mgba
1. Emulators ?                         | 0.10.0                    | x86_64
2. home:Dastingo !                     | 0.10.0                    | x86_64
3. home:KAMiKAZOW:Emulators !          | 0.10.0                    | x86_64
4. home:raptir !                       | 0.8.1                     | x86_64
Pick a number (0 to quit): 

Not only do you select the specific package but then the repository from where you want to get the software. This is super cool and super handy.

What I Don’t Like

The lack of options doesn’t allow me to set the auto-refresh flag to “yes” on a repository that is being added. Not a big deal, I would just like the option. Changing the autorefresh flag is pretty trivial so this is not a big deal at all.

Final Thoughts

OPI is such a fantastic bit of software that I am a bit puzzled by why it isn’t installed by default. I would like to see some of these capabilities, somehow, rolled into Discover to make available in a graphical tool to install software. I also think it would be great if Discover could perform the “zypper dup” function for Tumbleweed as well but I realize that is a bit of a pipe dream at this point.

Regardless, OPI is fantastic and a simply brilliant tool to install software on openSUSE from unofficial sources in the Open Build Service. It does such a great job of simplifying the installation by reducing the number of steps involved with installing software on openSUSE.


Terminal Applications

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