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openSUSE Weekly News 186 is out!

July 30th, 2011 by

We are pleased to announce our new openSUSE Weekly News 186.

openSUSE Weekly News

186 Edition

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We are pleased to announce our 186th issue of the openSUSE Weekly News.

You can also read this issue in other formats here.

Enjoy reading :-)

Header PictureAnnouncements


The Articles inside this Section are in full. If you are already knowing the stuff in
news.opensuse.org, then you can skip this section through using the TOC.

As you know, the third international openSUSE
 is happening in a couple of weeks. You already should be registered. For the organization teams that means they are really coming onto speed
now and it starts to feel dizzy.

We had a couple of public meetings which resulted in a nice list of stuff to do, like
organizing hardware for the venue, set up internet, foods and drinks and so on. This is all
done by community members and open for your help. If you want to help, you’re more than
welcome to contribute to the conferences success. A good start is to subscribe to the
mailinglist opensuse-conference@opensuse.org .

If you prefer to give a hand during the conference days, also great, we are looking
forvolunteers. Many hands are needed to get the event going
and it would be good if we could share the work so that it’s more fun for everybody.

Please go through the list on the volunteers page and
find where you could jump in and help. Simply add your name or nick into the list where you
feel comfortable to help.

Thanks a lot!

Header PictureGoogle Summer of Code

Tasks completed this week:

  1. Replacing of ArgumentParser with Thor. I’d given a mid-week update about this on
    the mailing list. Please check there for complete details.

  2. Implementing the general commands (checkout, commit and status). As a direct
    consequence of using thor for the command line parsing, we get to use the invoke method
    to call other actions. This made writing these commands quite easy.

  3. Started on refactoring the DirectoryManager module. The NewDirectoryManager is
    currently in use in the general commands and will gradually replace the older version
    which is a mess of helper functions right now. There will be separate classes for
    handling each of the local storage files (for software, repositories and files) deriving
    from a parent LocalStorageFile class which implements the
    generic #read and#save methods.

  4. The gem is now hosted on rubygems.org . So, you can install it with gem install ssc.
    Use the fantastic thor generated usage instructions to help you use the app.

The tasks for next week are:

  • Write integration tests

  • Implement a command to get information about installed packages from the currently
    run system.

  • Commands for Appliance building and build status reporting.

If you have any suggestions for features. Please do write in on the studio-users mailing

Last week has been quite dull after the mid term evaluations. The week started off with me
trying to improve the documentation and a home page for it. While the latter went pretty
smooth, the documentation is quite baffling. Most of the source code was quite well documented
and small hacks with the Doxyfile seemed to produce the proper results. Nevertheless, there
were cases (quite a few) where the results seemed out of place. While struggling with the
docs, I also started working on the libyui-gtk-pkg package. This package provides the libzypp
plugin for the libyui-gtk module. This has been separated from libyui-gtk package so as to
make it platform independent. I am nearly there on getting this package to compile. A day or
two should be sufficient, I guess.

By the end of last week, I switched over to writing examples for YUI in the hope that it
would give me further insight into what a developer might expect from the docs. After a few
not-so-great ideas, I settled on an IRC client written with YUI. The library to manage the IRC
protocol is self-implemented and is complete. At this point in time, it handles only
conversations and a single channel. This is very small compared to the span of the IRC
protocol. But since the main aspect of the example is to showcase YUI as a UI library, I guess
the features are sufficient.

Hello again, this is my report for the 10th week of GSoC. Unfortunately i wasn’t able to
create the beta packages i was hoping. There are still some issues to be resolved within the
aug_process_tree that hopefully will be solved this weekend. (…)

It’s nice to write to you again. I’ve been having a 10 days vacation (that’s why there was
no week 8 report), enjoyed it and now I’m back with fresh forces.

This short (started slowly on Tuesday) week’s activity regards:

  • almost fixing a bug that prevents my PackageKit software-center from prime time:
    package information isn’t correctly refreshed after an installation/removal

  • starting work on the openSUSE integration (the corresponding Distro class, removal
    of forgotten apt related imports, dependency identification and testing).

I will continue work on this side and hope that by the
end of the next week, will have everything working and up for testing in openSUSE.

NB: I will have to provide for testing a trunk version of pygobject since a release is
delayed by another awaited merge;

Header PictureStatus Updates

Team Reports

Header PictureBuild Service Team

Build Service Statistics. Statistics can found at Buildservice

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?

An easy way to remove Software! For example: you installed an application with “1-click install” (which will install all the packages that you need), there should be an easy way (also with 1 click) to remove what you have installed with that 1-click operation… in another words: an “1-click Uninstall” to remove installed software (dependencies and packages included).

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.

To improve the look of fonts, enable the Sub-Pixel-Hinting.
The patents that lead to subpixel font hinting being turned of by default in the freetype2 library have now expired!

So please enable this feature in version 12.1.
Ubuntu (since 10.4?) has already enabled it.

openSUSE Linux 12.1/LXDE: Create a
screenshot program with the features of
xfce4-screenshooter for

I tested all available in SUSE repositories CAD CAM solutions but no one of them is enough good. Searching for sulution elsewhere I found the ‘DraftSight: The Free CAD software for your DWG files’.
This is a product of Dasault Systems and is free for single user use. The Linux version of the software looks very professional and I found it working perfectly.

So please if possible contact them and agree to make possible to provide from Yast their free Linux version. This software will be the really useful fully functional free native Linux CAD CAM solution for SUSE.

AutoYaST allows to specify pre, chroot, post, init scripts via location tags as URI.
At the moment it is not possible to handover parameters to scripts specified by a location tag.

At various customer scenarios it turned out to be needful to have this feature cause scripts could be
written for a broader usage.

A new tag is needed which fulfills this task.

Feature Statistics

Statistics for openSUSE distribution in openFATE

Header PictureTesting Team

The Testing Core Team held an IRC meeting at 17:00 UTC, July 25 on Channel
#opensuse-testing on the Freenode IRC Network.

Our first agenda item was for discussion of our experiences with 12.1 MS3. The test of
a patched plasmoid applet that fixes at least part of Bug #702461 was reported. The new
version recognized the network devices; however, it was unable to make a wireless
connection. Networking with a wire-connected device was OK. Wireless worked fine on a
Gnome desktop. Another member of the TCT reported putting MS3 on a laptop and not having
any problems. It seems that putting the 3.0-series of kernels on 12.1 has not caused any
new problems other than the difficulty with 3.0-rc6 that delayed MS3. This matches my
testing of the mainline kernels. 

Our second agenda item concerned our upcoming Open Bugs Day to be held on August 21,
2011 from 0:00 to 23:59 UTC. This date is 10 days after the scheduled release of 12.1 MS4.
The emphasis will be on testing whether bugs reported for 11.4 are still in 12.1. They
will be fixed if possible, or updated to reflect the fact that they still exist. All
individuals interested in making 12.1 be an exceptionally good release are welcome. As we
get closer to the date, more specific instructions will be posted. As usual, we will have
special on-line tools to help you select a bug for investigation. In preparation for OBD,
we discussed our plans for publicizing the event, and updated the web page for the event,
which is at 

Our next IRC meeting will be at 17:00 UTC, August 15 on Channel #opensuse-testing on
the Freenode IRC Network. irc://irc.freenode.net/opensuse-testing. We will discuss our
experiences with MS4 and finish the planning for Open Bugs Day.

Header PictureTranslation Team

Header PictureIn the Community

Postings from the Community

Dear awesome Ambassadors and Marketeers,We are very excited to announce a new program
for our Ambassadors to beable to travel to important events in their regions and
promoteopenSUSE. Over the past few months, Jos and I lobbied and recentlyreceived approval
from Attachmate to create this program. Each quarter,the Ambassador Team will be allowed to
reimburse up to $5,000 (USD) fortransportation/hotel expenses.

Events & Meetings


You can find more information on other events at: openSUSE News/Events. – Local Events

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/podcast.


Header PictureNew/Updated Applications @ openSUSE

I have made a new release of ruby-dbus, a Ruby language
binding for the D-Bus IPC

  • Added ASystemBus and ASessionBus, non-singletons useful in tests and

  • Fixed handling of multibyte strings (Issue#8, by
    Takayuki YAMAGUCHI).

  • Allow reopening of a dbus_interface declaration (Issue#9, by

  • Fixed ruby-1.9.2 compatibility again (Issue#12).

  • Fixed authentication on BSD (Issue#11,
    by Jonathan Walker).

  • Fixed exiting a nested event loop for synchronous calls (reported by Timo Warns).

  • Fixed introspection calls leaking reply handlers.

  • “rake test” now works, doing what was called “rake env:test”

Get a gem from
 or an rpm
from the openSUSE Build Service

Header PictureGames Corner

The Section provides the Game of the Week, and Updates in the Game Repository

There are literally thousands of games that can be played on Linux, if you’re a casual
gamer or hardcore Linux fan who is looking to have a bit of fun on your favourite distro,
there’s plenty of games to choose from.

If you are unsure what to get, this list will help you out. This list includes all the
popular and free high quality games that runs on Linux natively, from action/first-person
shooters to real-time and turn-based strategy games to rpg/mmorpg etc.

If you have more games that you would like to recommend, feel free to share it.

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. SUSE Security Announcement
Package: compat-openssl097g
Announcement ID: openSUSE-SU-2011:0845-1
Date: Wed, 27 Jul 2011 16:08:25 +0200 (CEST)
Affected Products: openSUSE 11.4 openSUSE 11.3
Vulnerability Type: CVE-2008-5077 CVE-2009-0590 CVE-2009-0789CVE-2009-3555 CVE-2010-4180

Table 2. SUSE Security Announcement
Package: freetype
Announcement ID: openSUSE-SU-2011:0852-1
Date: Thu, 28 Jul 2011 00:08:34 +0200 (CEST)
Affected Products: openSUSE 11.4 openSUSE 11.3
Vulnerability Type: Fixed several off-by-one / length checks missing

Header PictureKernel Review

Takeaway: Linux turns 3.0 and does so with little to no fanfare. Read why Jack Wallen believes this might be one of the more significant (and fanfare-worth) releases of the Linux kernel to date.

Ah vacation. It was a week of blissful lounging around a breezy beach side and playing in
a water-filled world where I was no longer at the top of the food chain. There were no
computers, no talk of networking this, security that, or anything in between. But then the
hard reality of the world wormed its way back into my mind and I now find myself trying hard
to get back into some sort of groove…an open source kind of groove (of course).

And although it’s officially next month (the month of my forty-fourth birthday, thank you
very much) Linux is about to turn 3.0. And although Linus Torvalds himself has said this is
not a big deal, it is. Why? Because of the very fact it is not a big deal. (…)

After not being updated for a few mainline kernel release cycles, the real-time (RT) Linux kernel has been updated against the Linux 3.0 kernel release.

Thomas Gleixner announced the Linux 3.0-rt1 kernel on the kernel mailing list yesterday, which integrates the RT patch-set atop the vanilla kernel. (…)

Rares gives his weekly Kernel Review with openSUSE Flavor.

Header PictureTips and Tricks

For Commandline/Script Newbies

I store all my photos on a Linux server and mount the remote directory containing all the photos on my local machine using sshfs (see Manage Photos from Multiple digiKam Installations). This way, I can access my photos from multiple digiKam installations. This setup works like a charm, except for one thing: when I inadvertently launch digiKam before I mount the remote directory, the application doesn’t show photos from remote albums. What’s worse, after I mount the remote directory and restart digiKam, it takes the application a long time to rescan all remote albums. To fix this annoyance, I wrote a simple Python script: (…)

Here’s a little trivia for everyone out there: Did you know that Pidgin also makes a text-based version of their popular instant messaging client?

The application is called Finch, and it feels exactly the same as its GUI based brother Pidgin but… you know… in a shell. (…)

If you think that the operations about users are only: creation, deletion and change of the passwords you are in error, in the standard GNU/Linux system about authentication and authorization of users there are some interesting flags regarding the age of an account.

These parameters are usually ignored, but can be very useful in particular situations, or to help enforce internal policies on the use of personal accounts.

All these parameters are stored in /etc/shadow can be viewed and modified with the command chage (…)

For System Administrators

One of the most frustrating things when doing system administration is having no idea how long a process will take to finish or how much progress it’s made. To get a better look at what’s going on, try the Pipe Viewer utility.

Pipe Viewer, or just pv when you’re invoking it at the command line or in scripts, is a utility for monitoring data flowing through a pipeline. It gives you an idea of how fast the data is moving through the pipeline, how long it’s taken so far, and when it will be finished. It’s the digital answer to the administrative question, “are we there yet?” (…)

Editors Note:
Pipe Viewer (pv) packages for openSUSE are available from Contrib repo.

In previous tutorials we’ve learned SUSE has made life very easy for System Administrators having developed graphical tools to manage many system components including the iSCSI target. As with most things in life there is a price to pay for this ease: YaST only writes to the configuration files and the changes do not come into force until the service is restarted. Command Line knowledge lifts us out of troublesome pit and gives us full control of our systems. Additionally we will add in ISNS (Internet Storage Name Service) to locate ISCSI Targets on our network. (…)

Header PicturePlanet SUSE

Seeing Mark’s blog over the weekend promoting corporate ownership aggregation reminded me
of an overdue response to Project
. Mark writes compellingly, as normal, I’m just not so convinced about the
moral excellence of generosity, without sensible safeguards, towards profit chasing
corporations. But anyhow, Project Harmony:

Having initially been involved with the project, I’m rather disappointed by its output.
There are many applications of Harmony that are problematic legally, pragmatically, ethically
and from a software freedom perspective. I’ve written about the practise of
to-corporate Copyright Assignment though that title would better be expanded to certain
licenses, such as Harmony’s, which are tantamount to (C) assignment enabling an unhelpful
corporate ownership aggregation. Others writing in detail on this are Bradley KuhnRichard FontanaDave
 and Simon
. (…)

Are you looking to start your own business? You can purchase a computer that most likely
has Windows on it, but did you know that most of the software pre installed has a time limit
on it?

If you see “Starter Edition” it means that most likely after 60 days you have to pay to
upgrade to the full version of the software by purchasing a key card from either the
supermarket or pc store.

Lets add onto this all the new hardware your going to purchase, Printer, Broadband Router,
Scanner etc, each of these programs installs their own software as well as the required
drivers which you really don’t need!!

Header PictureopenSUSE Forums

The reason I’m mentioning this thread is because it contains a lot of information on GRUB, the default bootloader, the piece of software allowing you to boot multiple operating systems, most used: a dual-boot with some Windows flavor. Our member @nrickert uses a special configuration, with some unexpected, or unwanted results. In the meantime Milestone 3 gets involved as well.

A returning conversation in our Chit-Chat subforum: “Why do other members use openSUSE”. No matter how often this question has already been asked, always interesting to read people’s motivation to use openSUSE. Take your time to read and let others know what brings or brought you to openSUSE.

An answer first: Yes, kernel 3.0 is available for openSUSE, for those who want to try it it’s in the Kernel: repos, and as per today it’s the kernel for openSUSE Tumbleweed, This thread started before Linus Torvalds officially released the new kernel, but there are those who test/try the release candidates.

openSUSE Language specific subforums:

We now host the following language specific subforums under the umbrella of the openSUSE Forums:
Main forums, english
Nederlands (Dutch)
Français (French)
Deutsch (German)
Ελληνικό (Greek)
Magyar (Hungarian)
日本語 (Japanese)
Pусский (Russian)

Header PictureOn the Web


KDE is delighted to announce its latest set of releases, providing major updates to the
KDE Plasma Workspaces, KDE Applications, and the KDE Platform that provides the foundation
for KDE software. Version 4.7 of these releases provide many new features and improved
stability and performance.

GNOME Shell provides core user interface functions for the GNOME 3
desktop, like switching to windows and launching applications. GNOME
Shell takes advantage of the capabilities of modern graphics hardware
and introduces innovative user interface concepts to provide a
visually attractive and easy to use experience.

Call for participation

We are pleased to announce the Desktop Summit social events, bringing even more excitement and fun to the Conference program. The social events vary from sports to parties, and will take place throughout the week in different locations in Berlin. They will provide opportunities for attendees to get together informally while enjoying foods and drinks provided by our sponsors—Intel, Collabora, SUSE, Igalia and corporate partner, c-base. (…)


Microsoft and SUSE have renewed the interoperability deal which has existed between Microsoft and Novell
for the last five years. That agreement saw collaboration between the two companies over
Windows and Linux interoperation and support. The new accord sees the relationship extended
four years through to 1 Jan 2016. The renewal of the deal confirms that the newly
independent SUSE business unit of Attachmate will not be moving away from its controversial tie-up with Microsoft.
The controversy around this centred around the intellectual property protection offered by
Microsoft to SUSE’s customers which some believe is GPL incompatible. (…)

Reviews and Essays

It’s undoubtedly good to give back to a community you take so much from.

And in doing so, you can also help improve the software that you use every day, both for your benefit and for everyone else.

Here are 19 ways you can help open source projects. (…)

Here is a record of my initial explorations and findings about
the recently released OpenSUSE rolling distribution repository, Tumbleweed, as experienced
on a netbook.

I almost bought an Android phone. I hesitated, wondering whether it would be
upgradeable to 2.2 or 2.3? I am not in the habit of changing phones even once a year. So, I
got myself a phone that is, well, ‘just a phone’. Upon reflection, all I needed was the
ability to receive calls and SMS messages and, rarely, make some calls. If I couldn’t
upgrade the software versions, its value as a playground for experimenting with mobile
applications was very limited. (…)

Header PictureFeedback

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Header PictureCredits

We thank for this Issue:

Header PictureAcknowledgements

We thank for this Issue:

Header PictureCopyrights

List of our Licenses


SUSE ®, openSUSE ®, the openSUSE ® Logo and Novell ® are registered Trademarks of
Novell, Inc.

Linux ® is a registered Trademark of Linus Torvalds

Header PictureTranslations

openSUSE Weekly News is translated into many languages. Issue 186 is available in:

Coming soon:

First published on: http://saigkill.homelinux.net

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