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I've just got a new netbook from HP with SLED 11 pre-installed. It works OK, but I cannot find the software I need in the online repostories. I am a FreeBSD and Debian user, so for me, "if it's not in the ports (or apt-get), it does not exist" :-) Am I asking too much from SUSE? All I need is basic open source stuff, like git, subversion, g++/gdb/ddd, Sun JDK, R, python-scipy, GHC haskell, LaTeX, etc.

Can someone point me to the zypper (or yum) .repo files for SLED11?

Also, can I use OpenSUSE (or other) repos in SLED?

I really want to give SUSE a try, so please help me out SUSE fans!

PS Please don't suggest to download and burn SUSE SDK CD - there must be some online repos!

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Downloading and burning (or storing as an ISO and referencing via a loopback mount) the SDK is the true right answer. Sorry. If you're not willing to do that, I'd suggest ditching SLED for OpenSuSE, which is far more usable for a developer-type personality. Back on the other hand, SLED11 is a much more stable desktop OS than OpenSuSE 11.0 was; things like KDE4 and Compiz along with Flash and my nVidia graphics card "just work" instead of requiring tedious excess configuration and lots of third-party repos.*

I would not try mixing in packages from OpenSUSE, although there are some packages in the Build Service (select SLED/SLES 11 in the dropdown) that are targeted towards SLE 11. Just like Redhat does with RHEL, Novell backports extensively into the SLE line, which can lead to unintended consequences when installing packages compiled either without those backported patches or with more current versions of base development libraries. However, you can safely install packages from the Build Service on SLED/SLES 11, and you can add the specific build service software item as a repository in your zypper/yast config.

( * - Significant exception was getting multiple monitors working in X11 Xinerama, but that's always a headache with nvidia. Ubuntu has it down, everyone else is still in the dark ages.)

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All true. SLED is meant for the corporate desktop environment, thus long term stability. Not development and beading edge software. – David Aug 16 '09 at 17:17
Thank you Karl for the detailed answer! However, I ended up following womble's advice and installed xubuntu.. :) I just don't get why online long-term stability should require installation from CDs :) I think I know better stability examples (Ubuntu LTS, Debian/Stable, FreeBSD-RELEASE). – user16882 Aug 17 '09 at 17:51
motus, everyone's got different priorities. In SLED's case, it's to be a user-friendly desktop for your average office worker in a large environment. Since your average office worker doesn't need development packages, they put them on a separate CD -- in an organization like mine that's deploying it, we'd have that 'add-on' available on the network anyway as a repository. Different strokes for different folks! X/Ubuntu does what you're expecting, SLES does what a Novell/Windows admin would be expecting. – Karl Katzke Aug 17 '09 at 18:56

I'd fire up the PXE server and reinstall the machine with Debian. Life's too short to spend it fighting SLED.

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Haha, come on! However, I can't blame you. The first thing I thought upon reading the question was "just install Debian and get on with it" :P – shylent Aug 16 '09 at 7:44

I have been able to set the repositories up by following, which didn't involve any CDs or DVDs or ISO images. I even got this to work inside a docker container.

Obviously, you need a valid SUSE licence key for this to work.

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