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openSUSE Weekly News, Issue 190 is out!

August 27th, 2011 by

We are pleased to announce our new openSUSE Weekly News, Issue 190.

openSUSE Weekly News

190 Edition

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We are pleased to announce our 190th issue of the openSUSE Weekly News.

You can also read this issue in other formats here.

Enjoy reading :-)

openSUSE Conference 2011

Announcement about my Contribution in the openSUSE

As i checked the Timetable from the Conference, i’ve seen that i’m holding the Workshop at Monday
from 9:30 h to 10:15 h. I’m happy about that. The official Abstract can be viewed there. (…)

Just like at last years conference, this years openSUSE conference will also feature a
keysigning party, read on to find out how to participate and what to do.

What is a Keysigning Party (KSP)

A key signing party is a get-together of people who use the PGP encryption system with the
purpose of allowing those people to sign each others keys. Key signing parties serve to extend
the web of trust to a great degree. Key signing parties also serve as great opportunities to
discuss the political and social issues surrounding strong cryptography, individual liberties,
individual sovereignty, and even implementing encryption technologies or perhaps future work
on free encryption software. (…)

As we continue to work towards making this years conference the best
ever, there’s one cool new thing we’ve never done before: Introducing the openSUSE
Conference App
for your Android phone. With this app you’ll be able to:

  • Look at the daily timetable of sessions

  • Read the abstracts for each session

  • Mark the ones you want to attend and/or set an alarm to remind you

  • Get a refreshed version of the schedule whenever you want (…)

The Zentrifuge, our conference
this year, is build in an old factory that was used for the production of
washing machines (centrifuge, get it?). The bridging between technology and art is an
important concern for them and thus our conference, as a technology conference, tries to cross
that bridge too. Of course we also follow our motto Have a lot of fun…in this endeavor and throw a little
party into the mix as well. So here is our blend of social events at OSC11. (…)

Header PictureGoogle Summer of Code

Today the official coding period of GSoC 2011 ends. It’s been a four months journey, with
challenges, failures and achievements, but nevertheless fun :-) .

You may be wondering what is the status of my project; here it goes: current version of
Software Center can be tested in openSUSE Factory; it can populate its database with data from
an AppStream XML; it shows application information (fetched from the package manager); it
installs and removes software, in the same friendly manner the ubuntu does (showing progress,
handling dependencies).

Moreover, my patches to gobject-introspection, PackageKit and obviously software-center, are all upstream and released; kudos to the project managers and
the community for helping me get them there.

Header PictureStatus Updates

Header PictureDistribution

August looks like a surprisingly busy month, we already have 709 package checkins and
thus I expect we’ll beat the 926 from last month. Also, there’s a lot to write about since
the last report.

Note that the Milestone 4 was not really released since Coolo is on vacation and we
decided to make a soft release (just update via zypper dup) instead of a full release this

A plea: Please help documenting major changes of factory in the openSUSE wiki so that the
marketing team can start speaking about openSUSE 12.1 and does not miss important features!

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.

I would like to see a installation option in YAST that would allow me to install update a installed system from source. Maybe using the following steps:

1.) Do a normal install from the distribution DVD or a Network install and configure the system as required.

2.) Optionally download the sources for each library and application, compile with user specified complier flags, such as CFLAGS=”-mtune=native -march=native -O3″, MAKEOPTS=”-j5″ etc.

3.) Replace the original vanilla libraries from the distribution DVD and their updates with the complied applications.

The pcspkr module is used to control the computer’s internal speaker, which is very rarely used on the desktop. It isn’t strong enough to serve as a passable replacement for real sound devices, and it hurts the user experience more than it helps.

I have openSUSE installed on two computers, my laptop and desktop (11.3 on the laptop, 11.4/Tumbleweed on the desktop), and on both computers I’ve had to disable the PC speaker because otherwise it would beep very loudly every time I would shut down or restart. It seems to me that this behavior was intended more for server than desktop use.

Having to spend the time to learn what the speaker is, what drives it, and how to disable it is obviously not a great experience. I think it would be better for end users to have this module disabled by default, and if any seasoned admins really want it back, they know how to re-enable it.

Feature Statistics

Statistics for openSUSE distribution in openFATE

Header PictureTranslation Team

Header PictureGames Corner

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

“Little games” is a term I use to describe those that are quick to start, easy to play,
and quick to exit. These are the ones that usually come installed by default with most Linux
distributions. Some have GNOME and KDE counterparts, but all are fun. Here are a few of my

1. KMahjongg

KMahjongg is basically a tile matching game. It really doesn’t require any specialized
skills. In fact, it really only requires reasonable eyesight and the ability to click a mouse.
The object is to clear the board by clicking matching tiles until all are removed. It bears no
real connection to the ancient Chinese tile game of the same name, which as I understand it,
actually plays much like our classic card game Rummy. KMahjongg is the version that ships with
KDE, but I’m just almost sure there is a version for GNOME. But it’s a great time-killer with
each game taking about five or 10 minutes to complete. Your score can be saved at the end of
each board, and you can save your game at any point and come back to it later.

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: mozilla-nss
Announcement ID: openSUSE-SU-2011:0935-1
Date: Tue, 23 Aug 2011 18:08:42 +0200 (CEST)
Affected Products: openSUSE 11.4 openSUSE 11.3
Vulnerability Type: The mozilla NSS libraries were updated to 3.12.11 to align with newer Mozilla
seamonkey and Firefox releases.

Table 2. SUSE Security Announcement
Package: xen
Announcement ID: openSUSE-SU-2011:0941-1
Date: Wed, 24 Aug 2011 21:08:18 +0200 (CEST)
Affected Products: openSUSE 11.4 openSUSE 11.3
Vulnerability Type: CVE-2011-1898

Table 3. SUSE Security Announcement
Package: libmodplug
Announcement ID: openSUSE-SU-2011:0943-1
Date: Wed, 24 Aug 2011 21:08:24 +0200 (CEST)
Affected Products: openSUSE 11.4 openSUSE 11.3
Vulnerability Type: fixes several security problems: CVE-2011-1761 CVE-2011-2911 CVE-2011-2912
CVE-2011-2913 CVE-2011-2914 CVE-2011-2915

Header PictureKernel Review

It’s a day late – I was just too hungry tired after the DM class to
release it yesterday. But there it is, all fresh and new.

And a few thank-yous are in order: things are looking good. The
diffstat looks reasonable (the one big addition is in Documentation),
and while I could have wished for even less churn, I’m pretty happy.
The rc2 to rc3 shortlog is appended, and I think it mostly looks
pretty reasonable and short. Which is not to say that I’m not hoping
that things will calm down even further in the later rc’s, but at
least so far I don’t think I’ve had much reason to complain.

Another thank-you goes to Intel: this release has been full of travel
(happily now all completed), first due to a week of vacation during
the merge window, and then for my DM class weekends and LinuxCon. And
the new laptop made it much less painful to do even “allmodconfig”
builds while on the road.

So go out and test. (…)

Rares gives his weekly Kernel Review with openSUSE Flavor.

Header PictureTips and Tricks

For Desktop Users

One of the best features of Gnome 3 are the dynamic workspaces. Using some simple keyboard shortcuts, it is possible to assign an application to a workspace and quickly switch between them. If you run a standard set of applications, this process makes switching between them very efficient.

The problem with running applications in their own workspace is that you have to spend some time once Gnome 3 has booted moving the applications to their proper workspaces. However, using a tool called devilspie, it is possible to setup a script that will automatically rearrange your windows for you. (…)

Editors Note: openSUSE users can install devilspie via OBS.

Inkscape is the premier open source vector graphics editor for Linux. Inkscape is cross platform and is available for Windows and Mac OS X for free download. We have dealt with a bunch of really good Inskcape tutorials before, here are even more of those. Following is a collection of 10 of the very best and descriptive Inkscape tutorials from around the web. (…)

For Commandline/Script Newbies

Learning find can seem daunting at first, but it is worth learning. There is no single more useful search tool for UNIX like systems. You could almost consider find a very primitive scripting language in itself as find can find the files you request and then perform tasks. (…)

For Developers and Programmers

In the last few tutorials we have been looking at various parts of what make up a graphical user interface. We’ve created labels and buttons and have attached images to a label (and a button if you did the homework). We have also associated an action with pressing a button. In this tutorial we’re going to put these together to make a simple image viewer application. As with the previous tutorials, this will only work with images which are saved as a “gif” format. Also, a word of warning – you need to do pretty much all of the code before any of it will work.

Here are some images for you to use. As with the earlier tutorial, you can either use ‘save as’ to download a copy, or you can use the Python code in the note below to download them (if you use Python you should be in your python4kids directory when you do the download otherwise the files will get saved somewhere else). A gold star if you use Python for the download. (…)

For System Administrators

This is AWESOME! Open Source, FREE, and it handles nearly everything that you need for disk imaging! Also,
there is a FREE Server Version as well as the regular PC Client Version!

Clonezilla – The Free and Open Source Software for Disk Imaging and Cloning

You’re probably familiar with the popular proprietary commercial package Norton Ghost.
The problem with these kind of software packages is that it takes a lot of time to massively
clone systems to many computers. You’ve probably also heard of Symantec’s solution to this
problem, Symantec Ghost Corporate Edition with multicasting. Well, now there is an
OpenSource clone system (OCS) solution called Clonezilla with unicasting and multicasting!

What we will look at

  1. Installing the DHCP Server on openSUSE

  2. Configuring the Server with YaST

  3. Configuring the Server from the command line (…)

Header PicturePlanet SUSE

I just push a new GNOME 3.0 live image labelled as 1.5.0 (yes, I forgot to push 1.4.0
after I built it, so we are at 1.5.0 now ;) No big changes, it is based on GNOME 3.0.2 + some
additional fixes.

As always, it can be downloaded from http://www.gnome.org/getting-gnome/ (…)

Header PictureopenSUSE Forums

Handbrake is an extensive tool to rip DVD’s to another file format, amongst other things it can do. The starter of this thread is looking for support in using it, embedding a problem he has with regard to mounting DVD’s. A lot of members jump in with advice. A good read for those interested in the features and possibilities of this excellent tool.

This is one of the threads in the forums on issues with the Chromium, Google’s browser, packages. We decided to warn users not to upgrade, since the released versions (by Google) resulted in broken packages, i.e. software not working as it should. Thanks to the cooperation of some of our memnbers and the interaction with one of the packagers, this didn’t last long. If you experience problems with Chromium read this thread, also search the forums for “Chromium” to find the other threads on this subject.

This one opens rather funny, if you don’t have the problem on your own hardware. Any keystroke of the poster’s laptop is picked up by the microphone, and audible through the speakers. It ends with “Well done oldcpu. Bleeding edge but encouraging, and another satisfied user”…

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


today I finally pushed a completely new version of the Akonadi Google Resource. Since
last update cca 2 months ago I’ve completely rewritten the resources, moving most of the
functionality into libKGoogle . The library now provides access to Google services and can
be easily used by any other project. So what’s new? A lot of things changed for programmers.
I’ve begun to fulfill my threats about providing a C++/Qt library for accessing Google
Services. It’s not pure Qt, I’m using some KDE stuff in there, but that will change.

LibKGoogle now provides API similar to QNetworkAccessManager (KGoogleAccessManager)
through which you can send KGoogleRequest and if it works, you’ll receive a KGoogleReply.
Each Google Service is represented by a KGoogleService subclass, implementing XML and/or
JSON parser and serializer and providing informations about fetch/create/update URLs. Each
object (contact, event, calendar) is represented by KGoogleObject subclass. For now, Event
class is implements KCalCore::Event as well, the Calendar and Contact classes provide their
own implementation of everything. Porting it to KABC/KCalCore is on TODO. (…)

Reviews and Essays

When Linus Torvalds released Linux 0.01 on the internet 20 years ago, his idea of a free Unix clone to which anyone could contribute touched a creativenerve in people. Today, it would be impossible to imagine an IT world without Linux.

It has been twenty years since Linus Torvalds programmed the first few lines of what
would become the Linux kernel. An IT student at the time, Torvalds wasn’t yet thinking of an
operating system, he just wanted to explore the capabilities of his PC’s 386 processor.
Eventually, his memory management, process switching and I/O experiments developed into
something that resembled a rudimentary operating system kernel. (…)

The Linux kernel was originally created by Linus Torvalds, a Finnish computer science
student, and first announced to the world on August 25, 1991—exactly 20 years ago today. At
the time, Torvalds described his work as a “hobby” and contended that it would not be “big
and professional” like the GNU project.

But the Linux kernel turned out to be one of the most significant pieces of open source
software ever developed. Over the past two decades, it has grown from a humble hobby project
into a global phenomenon that runs on everything from low-cost e-book readers to a majority
of the world’s supercomputers. Here’s how it grew.

If you’ve been following the pretty intense battles between the many different browsers,
as well as the subtle but still important operating system battles, you’ll know that people
are definitely scattered all over the place with their favorite choices. Email clients
aren’t any exception either, as you’ll find people use various tools to manage their email,
the two most popular being theGmail website and theThunderbirddesktop app.

Today we’ll be looking at a top KDE choice that has plenty to offer for those of you who
crave some power and control over their applications.

I’ve spoken about Amarok’s Dynamic Playlists before. Despite my best attempts, I couldn’t quite get it to work correctly.
However, Amarok 2.4.3 has revamped the dynamic playlists engine and interface, so I wanted
to check it out and see if it worked better as well as testing out some of the new features.
For one thing, they changed the interface to more closely match the interface for static
playlists. See:

Linux and open source development is not a zero sum game. This was the explicit message from Ubuntu Technical Architect Allison Randal’s keynote speech at LinuxCon, but the sentiment had been articulated in a number of ways all week long from everyone here. The processes by which a company makes great open source software improve the world for everyone.


There are many ways to thrive within the open source ecosystem. Whether its an unwavering dedication to kernel excellence (a la Linus Torvalds and Greg Kroah-Hartman) or a dedication to producing viable, usable tools for everyone to use to avoid reinventing the wheel. The Yocto project is working on this for the embedded space, just as SUSE, under the fresh leadership of Attachmate, is making available their Open Build Service to help people roll packages for multiple distributions. SUSE is also sharing their SUSE Studio to allow ISVs and companies to develop and maintain their own Linux build for use in appliances and “golden master” images. You don’t have to be a SUSE customer to use these tools. (…)

Distributors lose their rights when they violate GPLv2, but the Free Software Foundation is more forgiving in its license enforcement to encourage continued participation in the free software community. GPLv3 has improved termination provisions to codify this approach, giving developers one more reason to upgrade.

Thanks to Android’s commercial success, the kernel Linux, which is released under the GNU General Public License (GPL) version 2, is being distributed more than ever before. Whenever someone distributes GPL-covered software, they must follow a few conditions set forth in the license. These conditions try to give anyone who receives the software both the legal permission and the practical tools necessary to change and share the software themselves if they wish.

Not all of the companies that distribute Android heed these conditions. We’ve witnessed an uptick in GPL violation reports—some convincing, others incomplete or misinformed—against these vendors. We generally can’t pursue these violations directly, because only copyright holders can enforce free software licenses in most countries, and few Android devices use FSF-copyrighted code. However, people still seek out our opinions about the relevant parts of the GPL, and that discussion has recently turned to GPLv2′s termination provisions. Section 4 of the license says, “You may not copy, modify, sublicense, or distribute the Program except as expressly provided under this License. Any attempt otherwise to copy, modify, sublicense or distribute the Program is void, and will automatically terminate your rights under this License.” (…)

If you guessed again that there isn’t much else to write about, you’d be right! That’s why I’m looking at openSUSE 11.4 GNOME today.

A few months ago, I took a look at openSUSE 11.4 KDE. Before that, I had compared openSUSE 11.3 KDE to other distributions that primarily used KDE. I found that version 11.4 was a dramatic improvement over version 11.3, to the point where I heartily recommended it to anyone who wanted to try it. It was fairly fast, stable, looked great, and had or could easily get all the applications I wanted. But to call openSUSE a primarily KDE distribution is slightly misleading, because while openSUSE does indeed try to promote KDE a little more, it puts just as much effort into making the GNOME edition a unique experience as well. Plus, the developers that created openSUSE also created Mono, which is basically the C# programming language for Linux, and helped develop the applications written in it that are now popularly used in many GNOME distributions, such as the Evolution mail client (UPDATE: Evolution is not written in Mono, though it was developed by the same group/a group close to that one that developed openSUSE — thanks to an anonymous reader for the correction), Tomboy note-taking application, F-Spot photo manager, and GNOME-Do launcher. So I figured it’s time to see what openSUSE GNOME is really like. (…)

San Francisco (CNN) — Ross Turk would be happy to
explain the tattoo on his arm.

By now, he’s used to the penguin being met with bewildered stares. It represents, as
he’d tell you, the Linux computing software, not the slightly less obscure character from
1950s cartoons.

“A lot of people see it and they think it’s Chilly Willy or something,” the West
Hollywood, California, man lamented in a recent interview. “The Linux logo is still kind of
grass-roots.” (…)

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Header PictureCredits

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Header PictureAcknowledgements

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Header PictureCopyrights

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Header PictureTranslations

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