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openSUSE Weekly News, Issue 191 is out!

September 3rd, 2011 by

We are pleased to announce the openSUSE Weekly News 191.

openSUSE Weekly News

191 Edition

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Published: 2011-09-03

We are pleased to announce our 191 issue of the openSUSE Weekly News.

You can also read this issue in other formats here.

Enjoy reading :-)

Header PictureAnnouncements

Fire up your virtual machines, get your test machines motoring, and start tweaking your
fingers. It’s testing time!

openSUSE 12.1′s next milestone 5 is now ready for download. Thanks to the men and women of
openSUSE Factory who kept their eye on the ball with all the wonderful flurry of activities
going on in our Project these days, they never lost sight and we’ll be sure to have an awesome
final release in November.

There’s a lot of interesting updates to the 12.1 release and some cool new technologies
including GNOME 3 and SystemD. You’ll definitely want to take this milestone for a spin and
see what you can expect in 12.1. And if you’ve never tested before, its easy if you follow
these instructions. Being a tester is
one of the great ways of contributing to the free software movement, and there’s plenty of
room for testers in openSUSE Project. (…)

openSUSE Conference 2011

Big mistake, big mistake. At the call for papers deadline, we ended up with not having any
sessions about packaging at all except one by Jan Engelhardt.

Now, that would have been quite a ludicrous situation, as our core activity is precisely
to build packages, without which it wouldn’t be a distribution in the first place.

So I picked up an early email from Lars Vogdt who proposed a few sessions on the topic of
packaging. Unfortunately, it was really early in the call for papers phase and we weren’t
quite organized yet, which caused his proposal to remain unanswered for a few weeks. I tried
to contact him by email a few times, but he didn’t reply (until now, that is), and I
nevertheless took it up on myself to do a few packaging related sessions at the conference.

Disclaimer: the next paragraphs may sound presumptuous, but they’re not. I swear.

It has occurred to me, time and time again, that some people consider others as semi-gods.
People who are highly active e.g. in open source projects, and are sometimes even regarded for
their work. Well, it sucks.

I know that this has happened to me a few times (being seen as a semi-god, that is), and I
hate it. Not only does it not have any ground for being, we’re just folks like everyone else,
and while hard and good work should be appreciated, and while a simple “thank you” is way too
rare and rewarding, taking it to that level is a very-bad-thing ™ (…)

It’s been quite a while since I wrote a decent blog and it might be a while longer until I
really get to it. I do have a lot to write about, however. First about the Community
Leadership Summit – the notes of which I’d like to turn into a few blogs. Second, the Desktop
Summit, which was awesome. And third my trip to Taiwan. Finally the upcoming openSUSE
conference which is going to be awesome. But let me get the most important stuff out of the
way first. (…)

Among other things, the openSUSE project is about “having a lot of fun”. In that spirit we
would like to add a bit of diversion and an extra incentive for everyone to register and
attend the openSUSE conference.

Join the Drone On! contest and have a lot of fun.

We’ve purchased an AR
, small flying aircraft which can be controlled by a computer or mobile phone
over wifi, to be given away at the openSUSE Conference. There is an open sourced SDK for
Linux. The SDK site provides the software and shows how to guide the drone from a Linux
workstation; with a console to show the drone operating parameters. Let’s get it up and
running on openSUSE for the fun of it! (…)

I was asked the other day “What do you expect from the openSUSE Conference?” The simple
answer is I only expect to have fun. Seriously, I expect nothing more, nothing less. I hope
for a whole lot more, but I certainly don’t expect it.

This may sound somewhat silly, but in all honesty that’s how I feel. This conference (as
are most others) is a great way to meet the people you interact with online, there’s something
satisfying to be able to replace the digital person with a real flesh and blood person. You
can thank someone in a real sincere way with a gift (could be a pint or something else) or
slap them and let your anger out. Digital is pretty good, but having the physical is always
better once in a while :-D

As announced in my previous post there
will again be a keysigning party at the openSUSEconference 2011. As
time flies by and I have yet only received very few keys, I thought it might be a good idea to
talk a little bit about what this whole thing is about and why you should participate.

Header PictureGoogle Summer of Code

The changes I have made in SaX3 in the following week

  1. Fixed a few nasty bugs.

  2. The monitor module does not work which works now ( I need to be more careful the

  3. Tried porting to openSUSE 11.3 ( Testers Required)

  4. Pushed to factory, but it is hghly recommended to add X11:sax as your project
    repository for sax until 12.1

Last week was very busy for me and also very exciting. The end of Google Summer of Code
period overlapped the beginning of a new period of my life. During these days, i moved from
Salamis(Greece) to Amsterdam(Netherlands) where i am going to study towards a master degree in
Artificial Intelligence. As you may understand there were and still are many things for me to
arrange, as a person in a total new place/city/country.

So enough about me, what is up with the project? Well, i am very glad to say that the
project “ended” and reached a very satisfactory level, the merging functions are now working
and i can say that the application is now in an alpha testing phase. There are of course
things that always can be improved and a lot of testing to be done in order for this project
to take its place and be useful and ready for use in openSUSE. This is the last GSoC report
for this project. (…)

Header PictureStatus Updates

Header PictureDistribution

This week saw the release of Milestone 5
of openSUSE 12.1
. This is the last milestone, next comes on 22nd of September
Beta1 with a check-in deadline for packages on the 16th of September (see the roadmap for details).

Major package checkins

In the last two weeks 457 package checkins were done for openSUSE:Factory. The legal
queue is very small and contains only 7 packages including two large packages: chromium
which might end in Factory and LibreOffice 3.4 – with a large tarball instead of many
smaller ones.ý LibreOffice has 110.000 files, so the legal review will take some time. Out
of the 457 package checkins, I’ll only highlight a few below. Quite a few package checkins
were to fix build failures from the –no-copy-dt-needed change and on improving systemd
support in openSUSE. (…)

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.

Please add support of Atheros AR81Family network cards into DVD. There is a existing kernel module for that (atl1e for Atheros AR8151), it can be found in file: AR81Family-Linux-v1.0.1.9.tar.gz (on first page when googled).
I was a little stacked when i installed OpenSuSe 11.4 without network running. I encounter AR8151 NIC already on 2 newer devices so i think it will become really common. (…)

The currently available version of phpunit is old and essentially bitrot.
The distribution model has changed to pear.

I am in the process of adding the current phpunit suite and its dependencies to factory.

Feature Statistics

Statistics for openSUSE distribution in openFATE

Header PictureTesting Team

I was quite disappointed in the community participation in our Open Bugs Day. I cannot
believe that no one cares about the bugs! I guess everyone wants someone else to do the
work. I really thought this is to be a community distribution.

Despite the low turnout and the resulting poor coverage of hardware and software, we
were able to clear some of the 11.4 bugs, and demonstrate that others do not affect 12.1.

I certainly hope for more participation when we have the next open Bugs Day that will
have the goal of cleaning up 12.1 bugs before the final release.

With the release of 12.1 MS5, I am now running the new code on 3 of my 4 real machines
that were running 11.4. So far, the only problem has been with the plasmoid network
manager for KDE. On all of those machines, I have switched to NetworkManager-Gnome, also
known as nm-applet. It works OK, but will take a little fiddling before it works

Our next IRC meeting will be at 17:00 UTC, September 12 on Channel #opensuse-testing
on the Freenode IRC Network. irc://irc.freenode.net/opensuse-testing. We will discuss our
experiences with MS5.

Header PictureTranslation Team

Header PictureIn the Community

Postings from the Community

A few weeks ago the results of the voting for the openSUSE Strategy came in. 90% agreement,

And another number – I’ve talked about the openSUSE strategy in no less than 8 posts
already. Sjeeminee. Re-reading, I noticed this one
where I mentioned that Fedora was also ‘doing strategy’. I see that the Fedora Board has created a Vision statement.

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 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: MozillaThunderbird
Announcement ID: openSUSE-SU-2011:0935-2
Date: Mon, 29 Aug 2011 20:08:38 +0200 (CEST)
Affected Products: openSUSE 11.4 openSUSE 11.3
Vulnerability Type: An update that contains security fixes can now be installed. It includes three new
package versions.

Table 2. SUSE Security Announcement
Package: MozillaFirefox
Announcement ID: openSUSE-SU-2011:0957-2
Date: Mon, 29 Aug 2011 21:08:18 +0200 (CEST)
Affected Products: openSUSE 11.4
Vulnerability Type: An update that fixes 10 vulnerabilities is now available. It includes one version

Header PictureKernel Review

Rares gives his weekly Kernel Review with openSUSE Flavor.

Header PicturePlanet SUSE

During our work in our preload department at SuSE we have to install our current image on
several machines for each image version for smoke testing, which meant burning several DVDs
per iteration (and there is typically one iteration per week!).In order to ease this work flow
I created a kiwi image for a CD or an USB stick
for installing the latest image via network – the Network Image Installer. It’s also
capable of installing arbitrary openSUSE / Fedora / Ubuntu versions, so you never have to burn
another DVD if you have a reasonably fast internet connection. Network detection is automatic,
wireless requires the SSID etc. changed in a config file beforehand.

Find the sources on gitorious, I will
eventually try to understand the functionality in the openSUSE build service to create images
automatically, but for now you’ll have to build the image yourself. I’ll post when there is a
downloadable image available.

Now I’m off to Fantasy Film Fest

As you might know, the horde project does not only release a set of production quality
software (and an interesting bunch more which are not yet release quality) but also provides
over 80 well-designed loosely coupled libraries which help you build websites, business
applications or even commandline tools. To stress that point, the Horde Project now put a link to the list of components right on
their frontpage. Use Horde_Rdo, a lightweight ORM layer or use the RFC-compliant Imap_Client
library which performs equally or even better compared to PHP’s interpreter extension written
in c. Horde_Auth, a versatile and pluggable authentication layer, has recently been featured in a series of blog posts by lead developer
Jan Schneider
. Like in Symfony or Zend Framework, Components are released along with
a PHPUnit based
test suit
e adapted in the Horde_Test class and can be obtained individually through
the Horde Pear Channel.

Today, openSUSE Program Manager Andreas
Jaeger announced that openSUSE will stop shipping Sun Java in the upcoming 12.1

Distribution users will now only be offered the GPLed openJDK. In a recent announcement,
Oracle declared openJDK to be the new official reference implementation for Java SE7. Along
with that move, Oracle dropped the “Distributor’s License for Java (DLJ)” which was required
for redistributing Sun Java. Users depending on Sun/Oracle Java are now required to download
it directly from the oracle website. Since the acquisition of sun by oracle, the companny has
been known for questionable moves which alienate parts of the opensource community. Among
these was the OpenOffice dispute which led to the departure of many developers to form
LibreOffice. The former sun-owned mysql database has also seen a fork called MariaDB.
According to Jaeger, openSUSE will continue to provide the existing packages in the Java:sun:Factory project but will not update them anymore and won’t ship them with
the new distribution. Users are urged to switch to either openJDK or the versions available
directly from Oracle.

Yesterday was my last working day at SuSE Linux
. After exactly 7 years of working for this awesome Linux distribution there was an opportunity I
couldn’t refuse. I made innumerable friends in this company (and it’s the people that define a
company!), and there were many great moments that will stick in my memory forever

.Now I’m moving (back) to academia, and will start teaching and researching at
the Georg-Simon-Ohm University of Applied
, as “Professor for Applied Computer Science” (which is the official job
title).Currently, it’s the free period of the summer semester, and the University is almost
deserted. I’m currently only starting to get used to the new environment, prepare courses,
meet with other professors, etc.I’m pretty excited about the new opportunities in this
position, and will keep you posted how everything turns out!Now back to Fantasy Film Fest again ;-)

Disk Usage

YaST installer estimates used disk space in the final installed system. This is possible
thanks to the disk usage metadata in installation repository (located in file

This file contains disk usage statistics for every package, so YaST needs just to sum them
for all selected packages. (Actually it’s slightly more complicated, the disk usage is stored
per directory, so YaST/libzypp has to sum it up according to the proposed disk partitioning.
Imagine you have separate /usr or /boot partition…) (…)

This is a simple but quite powerful feature of installation. By using a modified
installation repository you can add several other repositories automatically (or let user
decide which repositories to add). The only thing you need to do is to create an add_on_products.xml file describing all the additional repositories
and add it either to root of the installation repository or root of the installation

Installation repository can be easily modified just by adding the file there, installation
system (inst-sys) can be easily extended by Linuxrc DriverUpdate. (…)

Header PictureopenSUSE Forums

Here’s what happened: user accepts a kernel update, afterwards needs to reinstall the driver for his NVIDIA graphics card, and to recompile the kernel module for VMware, a virtualization program. No way the system lets him do that. The compiler “gcc” segfaults in all attempts. Nasty, since the user depends on the machine for his work. Read how, in the end, the user himself finds the solution.

Today the official release of Milestone 5 on the road to openSUSE 12.1 was announced. Installation images are available for downloading. Like always we have a thread, still quite empty now, to share user experiences. Interested? Check the thread.

This subject is one of the issues we see in the forums on a regular basis: when trying to install/update software, Yast’s Software Management prompts the user to insert the install CD/DVD, or gives an error on not being able to read the contents of a repo. Cause: during install the CD/DVD entry in the repolist was not removed (as far as I know it should). Solution: start Yast – Software – Software repositories and remove the CD/DVD entry from the list. After doing so, Software Management will not try to refresh or check the contents of this “repo”, and thus the errors will be gone.

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


Development of kdelibs 5.0 has begun in the framework branch of its git repository. The main goal for kdelibs 5.0 is that
there will be no more kdelibs as it is now. kdelibs (and kde-runtime) will be split up into
smaller pieces to lower the barrier for non-KDE developers to use part of the power we as a
KDE development community provide. The rough idea is that there will be three groups of

  1. Tier 1: components which only depend on Qt and no
    other lib/component from KDE.

  2. Tier 2: components which depend on Qt and other
    libraries from Tier 1.

  3. Tier 3: components which depend on

This of course includes Nepomuk and is a great opportunity for us to reorganize code and
get rid of deprecated junk we needed to keep around for binary compatibility.

I’ve had a little time to play with my ExoPC tablet kindly provided by Intel, and after
a brief look at the MeeGo/Intel tablet UX decided that Plasma Active was the way to go
(sorry Intel!). The MeeGo UX is far from complete and the lack of applications made the
tablet next to useless for anything besides basic web-surfing. Plasma Active, on the other
hand, is a full openSuse and KDE install and so has many apps to play with. Plasma Active
itself is remarkably usable already and has some nice features that actually work the way I
expect a tablet to function. It’s amazing how far the Active team has come in such a short
time and that’s a tribute to both the Plasma architecture that Aaron put in place and the
flexibility of our Platform/Frameworks. If only Intel had approaced KDE first…

Related Posts: Plasma Active Experience

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Header PictureCredits

We thank for this Issue:

Header PictureAcknowledgements

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Header PictureCopyrights

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Header PictureTranslations

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

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