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openSUSE Weekly News, Issue 174 is out!

May 7th, 2011 by

We are pleased to announce our new openSUSE Weekly News Issue 174

openSUSE Weekly News

174 Edition

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We are pleased to announce our 174th issue of the openSUSE Weekly News.

You can also read this issue in other formats here.

Enjoy reading :-)

Header PictureAnnouncements

Again this year, same procedure as every year, the openSUSE Project
is attending the LinuxTag in Berlin

with more than 30 members, a booth, several talks in the program and workshops. LinuxTag has
been held regularly for 15 years, which is longer than any other Linux fair in Europe. More
than 200 free software projects and companies participate and it attracts nearly 12,000
visitors. The 17th LinuxTag presents all the latest for professional users, decision makers,
developers, beginners and the Linux community — May 11 to 14 at the
Berlin Fairgrounds

License: GFDL 1.2

Header PictureGoogle Summer of Code

Recently I have found out that my GSoC proposal was accepted. Therefore, I thought that it
would be nice to introduce myself and the project I will work on, to the community.

A few words about me

My name is Christos “mpounta” Bountalis and I am slightly over 24, I live in Salamis a small island near Athens
in Greece. I am currently in my final year studying towards a BSc degree in Computer Science.
I spend my free time programming, listening to music, tweaking my system, hanging out with
friends and occasionally playing soccer. I consider GSoC to be a great opportunity for me to
join the openSUSE developers community in a more introductory way. and I plan to take
advantage of it .

Hi everyone,

Just a quick announce that I will be working this summer as a GSoC student, for the
openSUSE Project. My mentor will be Vincent Untz, the so
called father of GNOME 3

What I’m aiming to do is modify Ubuntu Software Center to use PackageKit (an universal
package management toolkit) as a installation backend, and also integrate it with the
AppStream initiative (a cross-distro project for making software installation easier).

My full proposal can be read here (fixed). Feedback and
suggestions are, as always, appreciated.

I would like to thank ROSEdu (which I am a
member of) for the support

Header PictureStatus Updates

Header PictureopenSUSE Project

Projectmeeting 4.5.2011

Meeting started by henne at 18:09:00 UTC

Header PictureDistribution

12. May 2011: openSUSE 12.1 Milestone 1 release

  • Milestone: snapshot release without agenda. We release it once we have several new key components in.

Team Reports

Header PictureBuild Service Team

Build Service Statistics. Statistics can found at Buildservice

Header PictureGNOME Team

Hi everyone,

two news for this week-end :

  • GNOME 3.0.1 is now available for openSUSE 11.4, in GNOME:STABLE:3.0 repository.
    See http://en.opensuse.org/openSUSE:GNOME_3.0 on how to use this repository.

  • Live image has been regenerated to use GNOME 3.0.1. It is available at
    http://www.gnome.org/getting-gnome/ (version 1.2.0)

Oh, I forgot : GNOME3 promo DVDs have been delivered to GNOME Foundation ;)

With the release of GNOME3 I would assume that people are interested in seeing how
YaST2 (suggestion: rename it to YaST3 !!) is going to take form with GTK3. Of course this
means eventually writing another application in GTK3, hopefully different from the old
gnome-control-panel ‘style’ which was actually pretty confusion from the user point of
view as it was far too close to gnome-control-center, thus confusing new comers.

My suggestion (unaware if it’s possible or not) was probably to explore GNOME3
features to serve YaST integrated already with GNOME3. This could be an interesting
approach as it would offer integration and some advantages:

* Better integration with GNOME3 without having to write(/maintain another

* Take advantage of YaST2 modular structure;

* Present YaST in a prime space in GNOME3, thus offering a

* No conflicts with possible KDE existing front-ends for YaST2;

* Improve users experience.

My proposal would be something like (maybe to be served as an extension for
gnome-shell). Please neglect my ‘lame’ photo manipulation skills:

GNOME Team Meeting

Meeting started by vuntz at 15:34:39 UTC.

Header PictureKDE Team

Our two big topics at Tokamak 5 are infrastructural changes and libplasma2, and Plasma
Active. In a session yesterday, we discussed the Plasma Active shell, and how we want to
interact with it. The discussion was very fruitful, and based on a mockup by Riccardo, we
decided to implement a top panel that you can drag out, offering access to the window
switcher, the “system tray”, and a couple of other things. That’s quite a big visual
change from what we have right now, but it allows us to achieve a number of interaction
cleanups. Let’s look in more detail what we’re doing here:

  • Window switching – The top panel has a
    horizontal window list, which you can use to switch between app windows and widgets
    in your workspaces. The window decoration is going away, windows can be closed from
    the window list. The present windows effect has this already implemented, as a
    trashcan you can swipe your window into. It works pretty well and is snazzy.

  • Semantic Resource Visualization – In order to
    display things like files, contacts, bookmarks,
    music, etc. we use separate QML elements for different uses (items in a listview,
    for example). The data comes directly from Nepomuk. This part is also starting to
    work, we can list different resources, and based on its type (defined in the
    ontologies), it will choose a suitable QML file to display this Thing in a suitable way and allow for interaction with

  • Storage of bookmarks – As most of the
    information we use in Plasma Active is coming from Nepomuk, we decided to store the
    bookmarks in there as well. The NFO Ontology has classes for Bookmark and Bookmark
    folder, which is what we’re using here. Last night I’ve restructured the
    metadataengine to make it easier to build special purpose dataengines on top of
    that. These dataengines allow for easy access and usage in QML / Plasma

  • Web Dashboard – I’m doing some work on a nice
    way to view your bookmarks, as interacting with the web is an important use-case of
    Plasma Active. We now have (cached) previews of webpages, we can use directly in
    QML. Combined with the dataengine that lists bookmarks, it’s now easy to implement a
    bookmarks browser, done entirely in Plasma Quick, shippable as
    architecture-independent package. Connecting these bits and pieces is next on th

Some of these things are working already, others materialise as we speak, some will
surely stay on our list until after Tokamak, so we’ve got something to hack on when
everybody’s back. :) (…)

Header PictureopenFATE Team

Top voted Features

Network installation could be improved by running package download and package
installation in parallel.

I wanted to open a fate feature about this when I first heard of plymouth, but


really makes me think we should go this way.

Ray’s comment starting with “Every flicker and mode change in the boot
process takes away from the whole experience.” is especially interesting. Is it
okay to track the “don’t show grub by default” here?

We need a replacement for sax2 in 11.3, as a safety measure for when auto
configuration fails to detect certain monitors/keyboards/mice. (…)

Every single bug or feature that anyone has developed for GRUB 0.97 has been
rejected by the upstream project in favor of using GRUB 2. There has been resisitence in
the distribution community to switching boot loaders, but this stalemate isn’t
going to go away. The code itself isn’t well written or well maintained. Adding a
new feature involves jumping through a lot of hoops that may or may not work even if you
manage to work around all the runtime limitations. For example, a fs implementation has
a static buffer it can use for memory management. It’s only 32k. For complex file
systems, or even a simple journaled file system, we run into problems (like the reiserfs
taking forever to load bug) because we don’t have enough memory to do block mapping
for the journal so it needs to scan it for every metadata read. (Yeah, really.)

We need a feedback about packages that are preferred by users and actively used. Debian already has a tool named Popularity contest (popcon)

* reusing popcon will give us results that are directly comparable with Debian and Ubuntu

* packagers team can take care of the package

* we need a configuration dialog in YaST that is visible enough

* we need a server infrastructure on opensuse.org. (There are certain privacy issues, see Debian FAQ for details)

Recently requested features

Features newly requested last week. Please vote and/or comment if you get interested.

Since the full system encryption was enabled in the openSUSE installation, there was every release a problem with the automatic partitioning suggestions.

Concrete: The installation systems always gives me a partition table that waste, don’t use, the greatest part of my harddrive.

So I have to do the modification manual, which was the first time a strange learning and takes a big amount of time.

It would looks much more professional when this little bug would be fixed for the next distro release.

This is one really really really annoying feature in yast. Here is the scenario, you have a machine with a bunch of storage drives, drives that are normally kept full. Everytime you enter something like package management in YaST it pops up a low disk space warning. This warning should only apply for volumes where YaST utilizes for it’s files (such as download cache, home, etc). A HTPC for example often has volumes full to the max.

I’ve written a small text regarding a possible integration of YaST 2 on GNOME3 and provided a simple mockup.


Fedora 15 is going to use xz compression for their live cds


can we also have xz compression for opensuse livecds so more software can be bundled in?

the forum user please_try_again published a very clever script available in his home OBS directory and called “updategrub”. This script is extremely usefull for debugging boot problems, but nearly impossible to install from the rescue system, so it should be available right there.

Feature Statistics

Statistics for openSUSE distribution in openFATE

Header PictureTranslation Team

Header PictureIn the Community

Postings from the Community

Tokamak 5 has ended, the house is mostly clean and proper again, so time to post some
photographic evidence of what has been an epic sprint. (…)

A big kudos to all our ambassadors who are working very hard to let the world know about
openSUSE! They have been organizing events, speaking to people and writing about the
awesomeness of openSUSE Project. Below are a few events that were openSUSE boosted in the last
few days by our ambassadors. We probably still missed some as it can be hard to track
everything that’s going on! (…)

License: GFDL 1.2

openSUSE for your Ears

The openSUSE Weekly News are available as podcast in German. You can hear it or download
it on http://saigkill.homelinux.net/podcasts.

From Ambassadors

FOSSCOMM 2011 is organized by the Patras Linux User Group (PLUG) and the Computer
Engineering & Informatics Department (Laboratory of Computing/ Computer Center),
University of Patras, Greece on 7-8 May 2011. Every active LUG, Team, and greek communities
are there to make presentations about the work they have done, presentation of technological
developments in the field, the presentation of innovative ideas.

The Greek openSUSE community will be there to promote our Favorite Project. This year we
are marching to Fosscomm in order to make the difference and show people who we are.
OpenFEST 2011 at Pireus was just the beggining.

In our try Bruno Friedman (a.k.a Tigerfoot) is comming to Greece to join forces with us
and present the openSUSE project to the Greek audience. Along with his presentation we are
also presenting the Greek openSUSE community, openSUSE 11.4 distribution, OBS along with a
workshop, SUSE studio and openSUSE with E17 GUI.

Of course we are having a booth with all short of promotional stuff such as
informational fliers about the openSUSE community (both in english and Greek), 11.4 DVDs
stickers, zypper cheat sheets, pins and other free stuff.

Along with all that we are also organizing openSUSE small talks/presentations for
various matters around openSUSE project such as

  • Use of YaST

  • Add/Remove aplications on openSUSE

  • Presentation of Tumbleweed Project

  • Presentation of Evergreen Project

  • How to use openSUSE wiki and other community tools

  • Building a Geekos nest os-el.gr

  • Presentation about KDE 4.6

More information can be found on the organizer’s site at http://patras.fosscomm.gr/ as well as the full
program of lectures http://patras.fosscomm.gr/schedule/

Also at Saturday’s night we are organizing an openSUSE 11.4 Release party where everyone
is invited to join us and celebrate :D

Have a lot of fun!


Header PictureNew/Updated Applications @ openSUSE

We are pleased to announce, that the actual version 0.7.59 are checked in.

Header PictureSecurity Updates

To view the security announcements in full, or to receive them as soon as they’re released,
refer to the openSUSE
Security Announce
mailing list.

Table 1. Security Announce
Package: MozillaFirefox,seamonkey,MozillaThunderbird
Announcement ID: SUSE-SA:2011:022
Date: Thu, 05 May 2011 11:00:00 +0000
Affected Products: openSUSE 11.2 openSUSE 11.3 openSUSE 11.4 SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 SP3 SUSE
Linux Enterprise Software Development Kit 11 SP1 SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 11 SP1
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 SP1 SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 SP4 SLE SDK 10 SP4
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 SP4
Vulnerability Type: remote code execution, remote denial of service

Header PictureKernel Review

In 2.6.39, the Big Kernel Lock (BKL) disappears for good. The kernel
can now process interrupts, which reduces latency. The Xen code now has a network backend
needed for Dom0 operation, but it doesn’t look like the storage backend will be coming
anytime soon.

On Wednesday morning, Linus Torvalds released the sixth release
candidate of Linux kernel 2.6.39. It contains several mostly minor changes. Torvalds says
kernel developers are still looking into a number of problems, so it will not be the last RC,
and it will probably be more than 10 days before 2.6.39 is released.

Prompted by the progress in 2.6.39, the Kernel Log is taking this opportunity to continue
the mini-series Coming in 2.6.39 with a description of the innovations in the
kernel’s infrastructure and architecture code. The first part dealt with changes to network drivers and infrastructure; the second, with storage and file system code. An article on drivers will follow
next week.

This weeks Issue of Rares Aoianei’s Kernel Weekly News.

Header PictureTips and Tricks

For Desktop Users

This issue of Linux Journal is all about how to get
Linux in your pocket. In this article, I go one better and tell you how to get Linux on your
fingernail. Now, before you get too excited, I won’t be discussing some new nano-computer
being used by James Bond, unfortunately. Instead, I discuss how to put Linux on a micro-SD
card (or any other USB drive, for that matter). Using this, you can run Linux on any machine
that can boot off a USB device.

One of the first utilities to receive widespread attention and use is UNetbootin (http://unetbootin.sourceforge.net). This
application is available under both Linux and Windows. It has built-in support for
downloading and installing several Linux distributions, including Ubuntu, Fedora, Debian,
PCLinuxOS, Linux Mint, Sabayon Linux, openSUSE, Gentoo, Arch Linux, MEPIS and many others.

When you’re ready to move up from simple audio recording applications like GNOME’s Sound Recorder, take a look at the excellent Ardour digital audio workstation. Ardour is one of the shining jewels of FOSS, a robust professional-level multi-channel recorder, editor, and mixer. Follow along as we learn the basics by making a simple recording. You will need a computer with a sound card, even a cheapo on-board chip, and a microphone or instrument to plug in to your sound card. (…)

Editors Note: Ardour packages for openSUSE are available from multimedia:apps repo.

For Developers and Programmers

Welcome back! Today we will walk through a slightly bigger example to understand the way
event handling works in YUI. We will also learn use two new widgets that we see in almost
all the applications we use : Radio Buttons and Combo Boxes.

We will create a program that contains a combo box, two radio buttons, a label and a
push button. The radio buttons are called immediate and event1. If immediate is selected,
the label reflects the selected value of the combo box without clicking the push button. If
event1 radio button is selected, the push button has to be clicked for the label to reflect
the value of the selected element of the combo box. Simple concept, right?

Before we proceed, please note that all the examples found in this blog are available at
: https://gitorious.org/libyui. So feel
free to compile and see the output for yourself! (ofcourse, only on openSUSE at the moment.)

HTML and CSS have come a long way from where they started. In the 90′s, before CSS was formally introduced, the focus was purely on the functionality of web pages. They looked ugly, but no one really complained since they were not aware of what promises CSS would bring. The only way to make the page look beautiful was to use loads of images but the lack of high speed internet connections prevented developers from using that approach since it hampered the user’s experience.

Over the years, as CSS advanced, it enabled the developer to style certain form elements like text fields and textareas. Other elements like select menus, radio buttons and checkboxes were left unstylable. When I first read the discussions about CSS3 on the internet, I became hopeful that it will allow us to style these form elements too. Unfortunately, my wishes were not granted. So until they do, we are forced to use work-around solutions for it. (…)

You do not have to debug the whole script, you can just debug the sections giving you the most difficulties. In this example, “set -x” and “set +x” encompass the section that you want to debug. The output shows how this section is sent to screen while the rest of the script functions normally. (…)

Header PicturePlanet SUSE

Yesterday I’ve seen in facebook a few photos by Chuck Payne from the Marketing team
showing his collection of SuSE materials… I do have a few ‘vintage’ items as well… Back in 98
when I tried SuSE Linux 5.3 for the first time, it was somehow expensive to burn DVD’s and I
was hanging around on a 56K line back then, so pulling them over the internet was not really
an option. (…)

If it comes to decisions there is always the aim to just do the right thing. In a lot of
cases there is the one right thing. In quite a few cases there is no right thing but the
consequences are small enough that it does not really matter which decision one takes. And
then there are those use-cases where the only right thing to do is to ask the user because any
other decision would just be guessing and lead to RAM and CPU wasting.

Yet even in the latter situations some apps are too lazy to ask the user or even claim
that not asking the user – not even once – is the best solution – and even more astonishing:
for the user’s good. So basically they claim to be smarter than the user or just do not care
about the user’s resources or opinion. (…)

My team has been busy the last months with the release of SUSE Manager, which was received
with very good reviews. There is lot of room for improvements, some of them specific to SUSE
products/integration but others in Spacewalk itself.

There is lot of work to do and lot of patches being reviewed. Lot of them are already

One common question is: if I already have a Spacewalk server, how do I setup openSUSE

Thanks to Michael Calmer, we submitted the required packages to a repository in the
openSUSE Build Service. You can find the instructions looking for the SUSE section in the
Registering Clients page of the official Spacewalk wiki.

It was brought to my attention through I article (german) the existence of
gpick, an advanced and high featured
color picker. I’ve taken a quick look at it to make it available for openSUSE as it seems an
interesting tool for artists and web designers (maybe GTK3+ themers) and others.

To build this package a few files are generated with the Lemon Parser Generator which isn’t really
available. I’m contacting upstream regarding the possibility of including the generated
files in the tarball, or eventually if that fails, I’ll probably need to include lemon.c,
hand compile it and hack scons build to use the local binary to generate those files.

Header PictureopenSUSE Forums

Well, talking about “different”, one could say a lot about GNOME 3, at least one of the things should that it’s different. Different compared to GNOME 2, compared to the other linux desktops as well. It needs some maturing, but it’s funcional, and on my laptop it’s stable for what I use it for: browsing, mail, work. Then, when we have all that, we want to apply some changes to the look and feel etc. This thread is about how to do this. Our member malcolmlewis is running his feet off to provide GNOME 3 users with advice, support and suggestions on how to configure GNOME 3. I suggest GNOME 3 users to join the forums, and read his contributions in various threads. It brought me a nice and comfortable GNOME 3 experience.

This thread is a good example of what can happen if users follow instructions for older versions to get video card drivers installed. Configuration files are being generated for the Xorg display server, where these files have become obsolete from openSUSE 11.2 on. A bit of advice before reading the thread: in cases like this, first thing one should do is find the most recent information on the forums.

An ongoing thread with quite a mix of startup troubles using openSUSE 11.4. Probably the title invites people to jump in with their own openSUSE startup problem. Yet a very interesting read, not only if you meet trouble installing openSUSE, but also if you’re interested in seeing the community help posters to get things working like they should. Prepare, it’s a long read.

his is one of the threads on this subject. Caused by the latest kernel update, which needs something to be added to a config file. Read the thread and find the solution.

Header PictureOn the Web


• Linux creator Linus Torvalds tops LinuxCon Japan agenda, will share his thoughts on the 20th Anniversary of Linux

• A dedicated day titled, “Open Forum: Power of Collaboration in Crisis,” will facilitate collaboration among open source project leaders working on technology to address crisis

• The Linux Foundation to donate program funds to tsunami relief efforts (…)

Call for participation

The LSB workgroup is preparing FHS 3.0, which will be the first FHS release since 2004. As part of that release, we are soliciting contributions from all interested parties.

Our goal is to release FHS 3.0 by July 1 if possible. (…)


Attachmate is moving swiftly to re-organize the Novell business it acquired for $2.2

Today Attachmate laid off an unknown number of U.S. based Novell developers that were
working on the open source Mono project.

Mono is the Novell led effort to provide an open source implementation of the Microsoft
.NET framework on Linux. (…)

The Tor project has announced that it
is to launch its own fork of Firefox that will include Tor integration. At present, users
who want to use the decentralised Tor network to browse the internet anonymously install the
Firefox extension Torbutton and additional Tor software. As developer Mike Perry has written on the
project blog, the need to install additional software creates an unnecessary and
complicating hurdle for many users. They also often find the toggle system for turning
anonymity on and off confusing. Users would also often not remember in which mode certain
tabs were opened, thereby putting anonymity and privacy at risk. (…)

On its DefectiveByDesign.org
campaign page, the Free Software Foundation (FSF)
has announced that 4 May (today) will be this year’s “Day Against DRM”. With this day of
action, the organisation wants to focus the public’s attention on the risks of what it
considers to be an anti-social technology. The FSF has created a wiki page which allows users to swap campaign banners and event ideas. (…)

David Braben is a very well-known game developer who runs the UK development studio Frontier Developments, but is just as well known for being the co-developer of Elite.


Braben has developed a tiny USB stick PC that has a HDMI port in one end and a USB port on the other. You plug it into a HDMI socket and then connect a keyboard via the USB port giving you a fully functioning machine running a version of Linux. The cost? $25. (…)

Reviews and Essays

Today is great day in the UK. Day of another Royal Wedding.
Not only because this is just another Bank Holiday in this country. But also because this day continues monarchy. Hopefully Prince William and Kate Middleton will have baby soon, who can inherit British throne.
I actually don’t know if William and Kate are Linux fans or not. Maybe they even have not heard about this great operation system.

But let’s imagine they are great Linux lovers.

How can this change Royal Wedding ceremony? (…)

The Banshee media player was first released in
early 2005 and has since come on leaps and bounds. Probably the closest thing Linux has to
iTunes, Banshee comes with an
integrated music store, Internet radio, podcasting and compatibility with Apple’s range of
media players, including the iPhone. (…)

Well, that didn’t take long. I had thought that after Attachmate bought Novell it would be keeping its open-source teams working. Indeed, Attachmate CEO
Jeff Hawn had told me that, Business will operate as usual. While Attachmate
will be keeping SUSE Linux as a spin-off company, Mono, the open-source implementation
of Windows’ .NET, is being shut down and there have been hundreds of additional Novell
layoffs. So much for business as usual.

In a statement, Hawn told me, We have re-established Nuremburg [Germany] as the headquarters of our SUSE business unit and the prioritization and resourcing of certain development efforts–including Mono–will now be determined by the business unit leaders there. This change led to the release of some US based employees today. As previously stated, all technology road-maps remain intact with resources being added to those in a manner commensurate with customer demand.

Open Source software development has drawn increasing attention as its importance has
grown. Open source communities have been able to challenge and often outperform proprietary software by enabling better reliability, lower
costs, shorter development times, and a higher quality of code. But the question/fact that
“why would skilled programmers, devote their time, effort and knowledge for an opensource
project, where they might not get any reward interms of money?” So what are the motivations?
Continue reading!

To discuss this eccentric phenomenon Hemetsberger (2002, Fostering cooperation on the
Internet: Social exchange processes in innovative virtual consumer communities-Download the Book) established a set of five categories of motives, in his research work, to
explain why individuals voluntarily engage in collaborative online projects such as open
source communities. These five categories include: (…)

Now with the GSoC application timeline ended, I feel like blogging about some more ideas
what I want to see in KWin in our next releases, but are not enough for a GSoC. Nevertheless
most of it is in the scope that it can also be handled by new developers. But some parts
have to be done by KWin/Plasma developers. (…)


Few gamers will be feeling sorry for Sony and the mess caused with this PSN hacking debacle. But if you were just annoyed by what has happened, be prepared to now start getting a bit angry.

Dr. Gene Spafford, CERIAS Fellow and professor of Computer Science at Purdue University, has been talking at a hearing about the PSN security breach held by the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade. He explained that independent security experts monitor Sony’s systems such as PSN, Qriocity, and SOE and report in an open forum Sony employees view about anything they find.

Those security experts apparently reported some major failings with Sony’s servers some three months before the April 17 hack occurred. These weren’t small issues, they are blatant oversights and laziness on the part of Sony’s engineering team. (…)

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Header PictureAcknowledgements

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