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Scott Spence

WSL openSUSE for web dev

3 min read
Hey! Thanks for stopping by! Just a word of warning, this post is over 3 years old, . If there's technical information in here it's more than likely out of date.

So I had a play around with the openSUSE Leap 15.2 you can get on the Windows store and after familiarising myself with it decided to see if I could use it for web development.

Well, yeah, you can, that’s it, that’s the post!

There’s a few subtle differences between doing it with Ubuntu/Debian which I’m going to cover here.

First up, I couldn’t get GUI app working for using tools like Cypress, Playwright etc. I did get it to a state where you could run node on it and have git working with VS Code.

I couldn’t spend any more time trying to work out the missing parts and this was more to see if I could use it like any other Linux distro I use.

Update and upgrade

The equivalent to sudo apt in openSUSE is sudo zypper so in openSUSE to do a sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade you do this:

sudo zypper ref && sudo zypper up

In openSUSE ref or refresh are equivalent to update in Ubuntu/Debian and up or update in openSUSE are equivalent to upgrade in Ubuntu/Debian.

Install dev tools

I’ve recently become a fan of using Zsh over Fish, I made notes on it and also done a stream on a full customisation.

I’ll start with adding in Zsh:

# search for zsh
sudo zypper search zsh
# install zsh
sudo zypper in zsh

Then set the default shell to Zsh and install Oh My Zsh:

# default the shell to Zsh
chsh -s $(which zsh)
# install git
sudo zypper in git
# one liner to install OMZ
sh -c "$(curl -fsSL"

Nano is my preferred terminal text editor, I’ll nee install that too:

sudo zypper search nano
sudo zypper in nano

Rather than install Node with zypper I’ll use nvm:

curl -o- | zsh
source ~/.zshrc
# confirm install
command -v nvm
# install preferred node version
nvm install 14

Add Yarn

Install yarn, the script is for bash here but it also adds the $PATH variable to the .zshrc file.

curl -o- -L | bash
source ~/.zshrc
yarn -v

Check that the following has been added to the .zshrc file and add it manually if it’s not there:

export PATH="$HOME/.yarn/bin:$HOME/.config/yarn/global/node_modules/.bin:$PATH"

Add SSH keys

As with Ubuntu/Debian I can pop open the openSUSE file system in the Windows file explorer by using the handy dandy explorer.exe . that comes with WSL2.

This means I can open the home folder of my user and add in some SSH keys I use for other WSL instances.

Be wary here, when pasting the files in they have a default owner and group of root:

# change ownership of folder and contents
sudo chown scott:users .ssh/ .ssh/* .gitconfig
# change .ssh/ .ssh/* permissions
# change to the .ssh folder
sudo chmod 644
sudo chmod 600 id_rsa
sudo chmod 644 known_hosts
# change out to set the folder permissions
sudo chmod 700 .ssh/
# authenticate with GitHub
ssh -T [email protected]

Recap and wrap!

That’s it for this, like I said at the top this is just me seeing if I can use openSUSE for doing web dev on.

What I covered:

  • The differences to updating and installing on Ubuntu/Debian
  • Installing required tools for web development, Zsh, git, nano
  • Adding SSH keys from another Ubuntu/Debian install

I can now clone git repos and work on them as I would with Ubuntu/Debian. Just no GUI app at the moment!

Thanks for reading 🙌

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