How To Update openSUSE Tumbleweed From The Terminal?

Updating or upgrading openSUSE is different from Ubuntu. Many new Linux users use Ubuntu or Ubuntu-based Linux distributions at the start. They learn Ubuntu commands to update, upgrade, install, and remove packages from the system.

I am a long-term Ubuntu user also. But when I first tried openSUSE, I stumbled upon some basic things that are completely different from Ubuntu.

Then I did a quick research and found that openSUSE has a different package manager and it works completely differently.

I found that openSUSE uses Zypper as its package manager whereas Ubuntu uses Apt. And they are not the same. Then I decided to write about managing software packages in openSUSE.

In this blog post, I will be covering how you can update/upgrade openSUSE Tumbleweed from the terminal.

What Is A zypper Command In OpenSUSE?

Zypper is a package manager command-line tool used in OpenSUSE Linux distributions. It can be used to install, remove, update, and manage packages and repositories on the system. Some common zypper commands include:

  • zypper update: updates all installed packages to their latest versions
  • zypper install <package>: installs a package and its dependencies
  • zypper remove <package>: removes a package from the system
  • zypper search <pattern>: searches for a package with a specified pattern
  • zypper addrepo <repository>: adds a repository to the system
  • zypper refresh: refreshes the package and repository cache on the system.

Update openSUSE Tumbleweed From The Terminal

openSUSE uses Zypper package manager. Zypper is a command-line package managing tool for installing, updating, and removing software packages. It can also be used to manage software repositories. It features subcommands, arguments, and options that can be used to perform specific tasks.

Zypper handles the patches and updates management and also checks for file conflicts and dependency errors.

To update openSUSE Tumbleweed, use the following command in the terminal.

sudo zypper dup
sudo zypper dist-upgrade

Update openSUSE Tumbleweed from the terminal

openSUSE Tumbleweed uses zypper dist-upgrade or zypper dup to do system updates including Linux kernel. You should not use the zypper up or zypper update command in openSUSE Tumbleweed.

In openSUSE TW, Zypper tells you to use dup command because zypper dup gets the latest snapshot, adds new packages, and removes old and unused ones.

zypper up command won’t do this and will just update your currently installed packages without removing the old packages.

zypper up is more suitable if you use openSUSE Leap. openSUSE Leap releases a new version on a set schedule whereas Tumbleweed is a rolling-release distribution.

To update openSUSE Leap, use the following command in the terminal.

sudo zypper up
sudo zypper update

You may need to reboot your system after finishing the update.

If you are a Debian/Ubuntu user, things may not look the same. The update command in Ubuntu refreshes the software repositories to check for new updates. But the zypper update is different.

If you want to refresh the software repositories like sudo apt update in Debian/Ubuntu, you may use this command in the terminal.

sudo zypper refresh

sudo zypper refresh command

And use this command to get the list of available updates.

sudo zypper list-updates

sudo zypper list-updates command

Update openSUSE Tumbleweed Using Discover

You can also update openSUSE using GUI tools. I am currently using KDE as my default desktop environment. KDE has a software center called Discover. You can easily install, remove, and update software using Discover.

Update openSUSE using GUI Tools

Discover also allows you to add or remove repositories. It’s an easy tool to operate. If you don’t like the terminal, you can use it with no problem. But I suggest you use the terminal as it uses fewer resources and works much faster.

And if you are on a different desktop environment, the software center may vary. For example, GNOME has GNOME Software Center.

Update openSUSE Tumbleweed Using YaST/YaST2 Control Center

There is another tool called YaST in openSUSE. If you want more granular control over your system, you can use YaST. You can use YaST in terminal mode and also in GUI mode. The GUI mode is called YaST2.

If you open up Settings or search for YaST in the application menu, you can find YaST. YaST Control Center offers a lot more than what a basic general user needs. If you are a beginner I would suggest not using it in the first place.

YaST Control Center

How Often Does OpenSUSE Tumbleweed Update?

OpenSUSE Tumbleweed is a rolling release version of openSUSE, providing the latest stable applications, including an updated Linux kernel, desktops, and office applications. It is updated about five times a week using the Open Build Service (OBS) and openQA to automate testing. Users should have advanced skills, including the ability to compile additional kernel modules, due to frequent kernel updates that can cause problems with proprietary graphic drivers and other 3rd party kernel driver modules.


There you have it. You can now update your openSUSE Linux system easily. The GUI method may look easy but the terminal is much for effective. The terminal is not hard, it just looks different.

If you are new to openSUSE, I would highly suggest using the terminal.

If you find any difficulties updating your openSUSE system, feel free to ask in the comment section below. I will be very happy to help you out.

And if you find this post helpful, don’t forget to share this with your friends.

I will be posting more about openSUSE in the future. So stay tuned and subscribe for the notification.

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