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- Board Election 2011
- Hackweek VII
- Status Updates
- In the Community
- Games Corner
- Security Updates
- Kernel Review
- Tips and Tricks
- Planet SUSE
- openSUSE Forums
- On the Web
We are pleased to announce our 196 issue of the openSUSE Weekly News.
You can also read this issue in other formats here.
Enjoy reading :-)
Last Friday Dirk Müller send an email to
openSUSE-Factory about the status of the openSUSE ARM port. SUSE employees Adrian,
Alexander, Dirk and Reinhard had spend their Hackweek revitalizing the initial work by
Jan-Simon and Martin by getting openSUSE Factory on ARM to build and work. The current build
status on OBS shows that almost 2500 packages are working successfully and the team
invites anyone interested to come and help increase that number!
The 2011 openSUSE Board term is soon coming to an end. In the last few project meetings as
well as at the conference, the board has called for people to step up for the Election
Committee. Five openSUSE contributors have offered their help and we’d like to introduce them
The openSUSE Board is proud to welcome the following members of our openSUSE Community as
this year’s Election Committee:
In the coming days and weeks, this committee will act independently to implement a formal
plan for the oversight and election of a new Board for the 2012 term. Currently, three board
seats will be up for election. These seats are currently held by Rupert Horstkotter, Pavol
Rusnak, and Bryen Yunashko (whose seat is vacated due to term limits.)
The Election Committee will announce the nomination process and election period as part of
the election plan. Please stay tuned for further news from the Committee itself.
We are sure this team will perform its duties to the best benefit of the openSUSE Project
and we look forward to an exciting election term and seeing many openSUSE Community members
stepping up as candidates in the upcoming election.
Hackweek is an event in SUSE where developers can work on
any pet project for a week (like Google’s 20%) This year’s edition happened last week in SUSE. Since I am
part of the openSUSE community, I too participated in the spirit of this event in my night
time. The project is codenamed Arattai.
I tried to bring a prototype to provide IM/Chat support built-in to the Chromium browser.
Watch the screencast below. Please
click here in case you do not see the embedded video. Please see the video in
full screen HD.
During this hack week I worked on making LibreOffice build also against the MacOSX 10.5,
10.6 and 10.7 SDKs. We had some support for that in the configure.in already, but it had
apparently never been tested what then happens if one actually tries something other than the
Mostly, with some changes here and there, and except for 10.7, I got it to work, and also
the resulting LibreOffice built against the 10.6 SDK seemed to work.
Building against the 10.7 SDK fails because some APIs that were deprecated already in
10.4, but the Mac code in LibreOffice still uses, have now then finally been removed in the
10.7 SDK. This shows the sad state of our Mac code.
I also experimented with building against the 10.6 SDK but with MacOSX 10.4 as the target
OS API level. I didn’t get such a build to finish yet, but I am continuing on it in the
background. The idea here is that if it would be possible to build LO to run fine on 10.4 even
if you build it using the 10.6 SDK, we could get rid of one requirement for our (at least
Intel) Mac build that is getting more and more silly: That you need to install the old Xcode 3
(with 10.4 and 10.5 SDKs) in addition to, or instead of, the current Xcode 4 (with 10.6 and
Last year for some reason that I can’t recall I only managed to take 1 day of hackweek,
back then I started oletool.py. oletool.py is intended to be like a cheap & nasty (zip/unzip)-like
command-line tool for OLE compound documents. I started this for 2 reasons
I often play with Libreoffice filters, many times I want to either extract some
stream or other from a document to examine it or maybe quickly modify a stream re-inject
it into the document to test some code or theory
Libreoffice has support for Python, I know nothing about Python and I wanted to
learn a new scripting language ( I know I could have used libgsf for this tool – maybe
something for some spare cycles )
So, has to be said I wasn’t starting completely from scratch, Kohei already created mso-dumper for
dumping the content of Excel documents in python. Last year I was happy with my one day’s
work, I managed using Kohei’s mso-dumper code to quickly cobble together a tool that allowed
the contents of the document to be displayed ( ala gsf list type format ) and also extract one
or more streams. (…)
Build Service Statistics. Statistics can found at Buildservice
Many improvements to the CSS theming support;
Width-for-height support in many more widgets (ex: GtkPanel, GtkMenuBar,
New experimental Wayland and HTML5 ‘Broadway’
GtkFileChooser and GtkAssistant received face-lifts;
New widgets (ex: GtkLockButton and GtkOverlay, etc);
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)
Features newly requested last week. Please vote and/or comment if you get interested.
Enable automatic screen-lock with password required. E.g. after 5mins and 10seconds respectively
add a default “lock” button to the GUI taskbar
Statistics for openSUSE distribution in openFATE
The next meeting of the Testing Core Team will be October 10, 2011 at 17:00 UTC on
Channel #opensuse-testing on the Freenode IRC Network
(irc://irc.freenode.net/opensuse-testing). Our preliminary agenda includes our experiences
with 12.1 Beta, and a discussion of the Beta Pizza Party.
The Beta 1 release of 12.1 was released approximately one week ago and has been
getting quite a bit of testing. On my systems, I have been doing updates from the Factory
repos nearly every day. Most things are working without problems.
Ladies & Gentlemen, months after the first virtual party organized for 11.4 launch,
Francoise (aka Morgane Marquis) and myself (tigerfoot) organize 3 new parties on
SecondLife  to welcome and fest our next release openSUSE 12.1, coming around the
Three virtual great Saturday: October 22th, November 12th and December
From 6 to 8am Australian DJ Ariella is back again.
From 9 to 11am (SL time : utc-9) we will have the pleasure to listen American DJ
You should take this opportunity to try Second Life, creating an avatar, coming to dance
and drinking some beers with us at Geekos Place. (…)
We are happy to announce the new openSUSE Members!
The openSUSE Weekly News are available as podcast in German. You can hear it or download
it on http://saigkill.homelinux.net/podcast.
The Section provides the Game of the Week, and Updates in the Game Repository
Xonotic is a free first-person shooter game
for Linux, Windows and Mac OS X. The Xonotic project started as a fork of Nexuiz, a game which
was popular for many years on Linux. The fork was created because Nexuiz was licensed to
IllFonic game studios, and it is to be used as a platform for developing a commercial game for
Steam, Xbox and PlayStation.
Xonotic uses the Darkplaces game engine, an engine which started as a Quake modification,
but it was under heavy development and new improvements were made. Currently the developers of
Xonotic state that the game is “on the par with most commercial games from 2006-2007″. Which,
for the Linux platform is pretty important. (…)
I’ve just noticed that Frozenbyte is already
doing the beta for Trine 2, a fun platform game.
The fun thing is that according to several sources on their forums they are planing to launch
Trine 2 for Linux alongside with the Windows version or “shortly after”. I never heard of this
game before and the video makes me remember of a very old DOS game called Goblins III. Either
way the video is awesome and I’m pretty sure this is a potential purchase for my game
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.
|Package:||Update to Mozilla Thunderbird 3.1.14|
|Date:||Tue, 4 Oct 2011 15:08:20 +0200 (CEST)|
|Affected Products:||openSUSE 11.4 openSUSE 11.3|
|Description:||fixing various bugs and security issues.|
Rares gives his weekly Kernel Review with openSUSE Flavor.
GNOME3 and the GNOME Shell are no doubt, major improvements. They bring in usability and
quite a bit of eye candy (in a different way compared to compiz) while at the same time, a
few features went missing in 3.0 release – like Emblems, for instance. Nevertheless, GNOME3
is a great release and has been extremely stable so far (Yes, i have been using it since
it’s release in April.).
One major complaint that I hear from people is that GNOME3 is not as easy to customize
as 2.x. A lot of people seem to think that they are “stuck” with the blue-black theme that
comes by default. Ofcourse this is not the case. In this post, I ll explain a few ways in
which we can customize GNOME3 and the GNOME Shell. (…)
Sometimes it’s useful to work offline, and once the article it’s finished publish it on your Blog.
yes you can do it with an html editor, or also with a simple text editor like Vi or Emacs, but there are specialized programs that can ease your work of publishing and management of your online Blog.
So we’ll take a look at Scribefire, BloGTK, Blogilo and Qumana. (…)
The Linux find, grep, and awk commands are amazing power tools for fine-grained file searches, and for finding things inside files. With them you can find the largest and newest files on a system, fine-tune search parameters, search for text inside files, and perform some slick user management tricks. (…)
You write a C program, use gcc to compile it, and you get an executable. It is pretty simple. Right?
Have you ever wondered what happens during the compilation process and how the C program gets converted to an executable?
There are four main stages through which a source code passes in order to finally become an executable. (…)
If you work in a mixed environment in which non-English characters are used, you need to
understand character codes and code pages as they relate to your locale. You also need to
understand Linux and Windows environments differ when interpreting name spaces. Although
Samba supports internationalization, if you work with older Windows clients , Samba 2.x
versions, or otherwise need to use a specific character set other than Unicode, you’ll need
to do a bit of configuration tuning. Depending upon the environment’s locale in use,
building and patching conversion libraries may also be necessary. In this article, learn how
to handle internationalization in your Linux environment. (…)
Linux is, by design, a very secure operating system, but so what? You can have the best
security system in the world on your house, but if you leave your front-door open anyone can
still walk in. Even people who know better, like Linux kernel developers, blow it sometimes.
That’s what happened to the Linux Foundation’s constellation of sites. Multiple important Linux sites were down for weeks and as of October 3rd, kernel.org is still down. This doesn’t have to
happen to you. Here are a few simple suggestions from me, and some more advanced ones from
Greg Kroah-Hartman, one of Linux’s lead
As I mentioned before, we have an initial target platform identified for testing the
work of all those involved in the openSUSE ARM port. The problem is we need to obtain the
I am in discussions trying to get some corporate sponsorship of hardware, but we can not
rely soley on those kind companies that would like to see us succeed. We as a community need
to help ourselves succeed, as such I’ve set up a campaign on Pledgie to enable us the
community to contribute to the effort for obtaining hardware. (…)
Well, once again, I had a chance to meet a community, one of which, I have never met
I arrived at Zentrifuge on the
10th of September for the warmup to the oSC. Immediately after arrival, I was greeted with warm smiles, open discussions,
and cold beer ;-) No one knew who I was, but they all welcomed me. As the evening continued, I
was witness to how the community also made sure that they welcomed everyone, once they
arrived. This is pure class and I would like to say is very important to a newbie who is
entering the community. This is one aspect where openSUSE makes the difference, since it is
not practiced to this extent in many other communities.
On the 15th and 16 of September 2011, following the oSC, the marketing team held a
Marketing Hackfest at the SUSE headquarters in Nuremberg, Germany.
I was asked to attend this event for several reasons aside from the normal Marketing
related things, two of which were the most important to me being new to this event. One, was
to observe how the marketing team functions as a unit. And second, to hold meetings with
different people to discuss certain issues with an outlook of solving them for the benefit of
the openSUSE community. Moreover, many of us had a chance to further discuss (in person)
initiatives started at the oSC, since we had a chance to digest them and come with some
valuable input that was used to move things forward ;-)
Now it is out, our new Boxdesign:
The development of openSUSE 12.1 has gone past the Milestones stage, and has now achieved Beta status. As usual there’s a lot of activity around this in the forums. If you’re interested in the comments. reports etc by forums members testing the release, this is the thread to watch. Some solutions for current issues can be found here as well.
It’s already a while ago, that we were presented with openSUSE Tumbleweed, the rolling release version of openSUSE. Also a while ago, that KDE 4.7 was released. Yet, there’s still no KDE 4.7 in Tumbleweed, using the KDE:/Release: repos is not the way to go. Greg Kroah Hartman, maintainer of Tumbleweed, stated in one of the forums threads that there are some issues in KDE 4.7 that keep it from being in Tumbleweed. So, patience seems to be the best for now. Greg will probably let us know, when things get cleared.
The title says it all. Adobe released a 64bit version of their Flash player 11. Some members report erronious behaviour, others, like me, have no issues. Read the thread to find out about the details
We now host the following language specific subforums under the umbrella of the openSUSE Forums:
Main forums, english
The Internet, October 4, 2011 – The Document Foundation (TDF) publishes some details of
the security fixes included with the recently released LibreOffice 3.4.3, and included in
the older 3.3.4 version. Following industry best practice, details of security fixes are
withheld until users have been given time to migrate to the new version.
RedHat security researcher Huzaifa Sidhpurwala identified a memory corruption
vulnerability in the code responsible for loading Microsoft Word documents in LibreOffice.
This flaw could have been used for nefarious purposes, such as installing viruses, through a
specially-crafted file. The corresponding vulnerability description is
CVE-2011-2713,”Out-of-bounds property read in binary .doc filter”. (…)
Following a series of embarrassing intrusions that hit the servers used to maintain and distribute the Linux operating system, project elders have advised all developers to check their Linux machines for signs of compromise.
Emails sent Friday by Linux kernel lead developers Greg Kroah-Hartman and H Peter Anvin arrived as volunteers with the open-source project worked to bring LinuxFoundation.org, Linux.com, and Kernel.org back online following attacks that gained root access to the multiple servers that host the sites.
Among other things, project leaders are requiring all developers to regenerate the cryptographic keys used to upload source code to the site, and to ensure their systems are free of rootkits and other types of malware.
One of the great things about the original Star Wars trilogy, was the “lived in”, junky, hacked together aesthetic of the Star Wars universe. Everything was a bit trashed, as if real people actually lived there. Thankfully, that’s one of the things that George Lucas hasn’t tinkered with in his endless quest to ruin the childhood memories of a generation. So it’s heartening to see this tradition carried on with the playing of the imperial death march on miscellaneous hacked together hardware. Enjoy … (…)
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