Last Sunday Parallels released Desktop version 18, their virtual machine management system. Ostensibly created for, and meant to be used with, Windows, I use it instead to run various Linux virtual machines. I’ve been using Parallels for about as long as I’ve owned this MacBook Pro, since mid-2020. And all that time I’ve run Linux distributions only. I will never run Windows.
This latest release has fixed a number of problems, not the least of which is successfully installing Parallels kernel drivers in kernel versions 5.15 and higher. I have no doubt that when Linux kernel 6 is released that Parallels’ kernel drivers won’t compile and install, but I’ll wait until I have to really worry about that. Right now all my Linux VMs are fully integrated with Parallels and macOS and work quite smoothly on this MacBook Pro with macOS Monterey version 12.5.
One VM I’m glad I installed is openSUSE Tumbleweed. I’ve been a SuSE/openSUSE user going back to SuSE Professional 7.2 in 2001. I still have the big green boxes those versions came in. When SuSE started to trade hands (as it were) and wound up being owned by Novell, that’s when I turned to Ubuntu. I dabbled a bit with Fedora in between long sessions with Ubuntu, but I eventually “forgot” about openSUSE until recently, when I was looking for a better distribution (for my needs) than either Ubuntu or Pop!_OS. Right now I’m happily running Linux Mint 21 on my little development system, but just in case something goes sour with Linux Mint I have Tumbleweed running in a VM, and I find it quite interesting.
If nothing else the desktop environment, based on Plasma/QT6, is reason enough to keep it around. It’s also the first rolling release I’ve ever run that didn’t eventually destroy itself because I didn’t keep it up to date often enough. Go back through my posts about the Raspberry Pi, and you’ll see that I was keen into running Arch on ARM on the Raspberry Pi, until every single Pi with Arch installed eventually corrupted itself. That’s when I moved back to Raspbian/Raspberry Pi OS, and that’s pretty much where I’ve stayed ever since. I trust Raspberry Pi OS; I don’t trust Arch. And it would appear that I can trust Tumbleweed as well. My lack of trust in a rolling release in general is why I installed Linux Mint 21 on bare silicon. It might very well have been Tumbleweed. And in the future, I might give Tumbleweed another shot as my daily development driver.
But before that would ever happen I’d need to install all my tools on a Tumbleweed VM and see if everything worked as well as it does on Linux Mint 21. That would take time and motivation for me to move away from Linux Mint.
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