We are pleased to announce the openSUSE Weekly News 201.
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- Status Updates
- In the Community
- New/Updated Applications @ openSUSE
- Games Corner
- Security Updates
- Kernel Review
- Tips and Tricks
- Planet SUSE
- On the Web
We are pleased to announce our 201 issue of the openSUSE Weekly News.
You can also read this issue in other formats here.
Enjoy reading :-)
We’ve recieved an Congratulation-Mail from the Debian Project:
Dear Editors of the openSUSE Weekly News,
Wow, we just heard that you published the 200th issue of your newsletter! That’s awesome! Congratulations on that!
Keep up the good work! We are not ashamed to admit, that we read your newsletter from time to time too, to stay informed about the work in your distro, and your are doing a really good job of explaining your project to outsiders like us. I hope you don’t mind if we “steal” one or two of your ideas ;).
Alexander, for the editors of the Debian Project News
The last few days those of you linked to the planet by http://planetsuse.org/ are experiencing connection problems. This is not because
openSUSE Planet is down but as Pascal Bleser announced a few days ago into the openSUSE
Project ML because this domain name is not under the Project’s control but by and individual
who left the openSUSE Project some years ago.
The only way to go to the openSUSE planet is now by typing http://planet.opensuse.org/ and
the correct way to connect your RSS is by adding that .xml .
In case you are experiencing troubles with your aggregator please contact
firstname.lastname@example.org there is someone there to help you solve any problem you might have.
The IT world moves fast and along with it does social networking. It’s been only a few
days since Google announced the limited availability of Google+ pages and already thousands of
Google-plussers have created a Google+ page. Of course, we’re social too and thus the openSUSE
project now has an official Google+ page!
If you are created a page for an openSUSE community, like Kostas for the Greece
community, then don’t forget to add your page to openSUSE Social
media contacts so that openSUSE enthusiasts can easily find the official pages and add it to their
circles. That page is also a reference for other social media activities that openSUSE is
involved in like Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.
Also, if you like to get involved promoting openSUSE on social media and networks, please
talk with the openSUSE marketing team.
I’d like to thank Roger Luedecke for taking care of the new openSUSE Google + page and
invite everybody to share contents on it, promote it and follow what we do!
The development process of the Open Build Service (OBS) code base as well as it’s
accompanying tools is largely test-driven. Major parts of the OBS source code are covered by a
comprehensive test-suite. Traditionally, after each new code submission, these tests have been
run by a custom shell-script on a local machine that wasn’t publicly available for several
reasons. Even though this setup served us well for a long time, but we needed more. We want to
provide a more transparent solution that allows the community to participate and maybe take
over some responsibilities. Thus, your hard-working OBS-team hereby kindly introduces
ci.opensuse.org, our new public interface for continuous integration (CI) testing!
Build Service Statistics. Statistics can found at Buildservice
First of all i would like to apologise for all this period of time that i didnt
respond to the mails . I have just return back from the “Libre Software World Conference”
(http://www.libresoftwareworldconference.com/) and i’m a bit tired.
Secondly , Stathis thanks for your wish. It’s a very interesting idea that you want to
lead the project.
Furthermore , Eric i think that you are able to take part in one or more sections of
the Project. As well in the traslation and also in the “other piece of stuff” available.
I would like to thank as well for the article that you posted in the mailing list the
last days, it’s really interesting.
Stathis : From now on you can Lead the Project and you are the new openSUSE Medical
Leader!! Congratulations! I think that you will do the best!! Go ahead!!!
I would like to say that i give up from the project but i will try to contribute in
translation and maybe in packaging. Thanks a lot guys!
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.
Around the world users still like the Gnome 2 DE. Gnome2 has forked now in to Mate DE https://github.com/Perberos/Mate-Desktop-Environment , so i think that beside a kde3 repo, a Mate repo for Gnome2 users of openSUSE is needed.
For every distribution, make the best working desktop default.
Right now, KDE is default even though it is obviously broken.
Let’s decide for each release, which desktop is the best working and give that one the honor of being the default.
Which metrics to apply to decide which desktop is good working and which one is not is open to debate, we could go for things like “open bug count” for example.
Maybe we should limit the selection to “general purpose desktops” and leave out the more esoteric ones like awesome, larswm and such, but decide at least among
Which are all full featured desktops ready for end users.
Many people are interested or working on security projects and pen testing. It would be useful to have a repository with security tools. The fedora project has already a security spin for a while, opensuse could also make a similar effort.
(…) OpenSolaris finally contains a version of cron that understands and correctly handles having different timezones. You can also specify a different home directory (useful when you don’t want NFS to get involved in your cron job for any reason) and shell to run jobs in. It should be in build 106 of OpenSolaris & Nevada. (…)
acpi_osi=Linux identifies the OS to the BIOS helping fix power and other issues.
pcie_aspm=force fixes power regression issue shown here; http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=linux_2638_aspm&num=1
When installing a openSUSE system from an netinstall CD it justs takes all data just out of the OSS repo so it needs an upgrade just after installation.
It would be nicer if it would take the data out of the update repo, to have an installed system which is up-to-date.
currently you can not specify the priority for entries in the addon products list. so in a normal installation yast will then always use the latest package even though you might prefer the original distro package instead of a 3rd party repository. for this I propose a <priority> sub element in the <listentry> element.
of course it would be nice that packages could still be installed from a lower prioritized repository. for that it would be required that the package element in the packages list would have a repositories attribute that references the source repository. you could use the product or name tag as identifier.
zypper/zypp have an option solver.onlyRequires (see /etc/zypp/zypp.conf). it would be nice to have an equivalent option in the autoyast xml file so you can avoid getting recommended packages installed. currently you have to put all those packages into the remove-packages list, which is a bit tedious and can easily run out of sync with the distro.
atm if you add additional repositories/products in your autoyast xml file, the resulting .repo files get named like
proto-host-somehash.repo. If you want to integrate with e.g. puppet this becomes a but cumbersome.
It would be nice if you could have an alias subelement for the listentry element which would define the name of the repo file. (using alias as term as this is what matches zypper is using in zypper lr) (…)
Statistics for openSUSE distribution in openFATE
The next meeting of the Testing Core Team will be November 28, 2011 at 18:00 UTC on
Channel #opensuse-testing on the Freenode IRC Network
(irc://irc.freenode.net/opensuse-testing). Our preliminary agenda includes an analysis of
the 12.1 testing cycle. We hope to answer questions such as “What worked?”, “What did
not?”, and “How can we improve for 12.2?”.
In our last meeting help on November 7, we discussed our experiences with 12.1 RC2,
and what bugs we had encountered. The full meeting log is available at http://community.opensuse.org/meetings/opensuse-testing/2011/opensuse-testing.2011-11-07-18.00.log.html.
As oppenSUSE 12.1 will be released before my next communication, I wish everyone a
good installation. Three of my machines have been updated to 12.1 GM, and all are working
The openSUSE Weekly News are available as podcast in German. You can hear it or download
it on http://saigkill.homelinux.net/podcast.
This development cycle was very much affected by work around the integration of the
Akonadi based address book. I
have gone through a lot of cycles of tries and tests, with various combinations of KDE-
and PIM libraries and Akonadi and Nepomuk setups. Not always the stack was transparent
to me nor the integration of the various parts perfect. But we’re KDE with our welknown
community, and so I finally had the pleasure to go through my and other code and fix it
togehter with Kevin and Tobias on Desktop Summit this summer. That brought back
motivation, thanks :-)
So now one of the strengthes of the KDE platform from the application developers POV,
which is the availability of powerful software building blocks such as an easy
integratable address book, is now back to Kraft and users can again fully benefit from
Apart from that I did a lot of small and larger bugfixes, for example 0.44 contains a
full rewrite of the text template management for head- and footer texts. It contains a
more clear UI and context sensitive help now for the users benefit.
Kraft now also comes with localized PDF templates for documents. It was possible to
use custom templates before and there were localized ones around, but it was an
administrative task to use them. Now Kraft picks automatically the right one depending
on the language settings which should be a nice improvement for new users evaluating
As usual I am happy to get feedback. Kraft is also very open to contributions, as in
code, documentation, marketing bug reporting and such. Please check the Contribution Page on
the project website for details.
A couple of days after the release of Kraft
0.44 with new features I had to prepare a bugfix release. It’s labeled 0.45
and was released today. It fixes a bug that prints wrong decimal places on the PDF
documents which results in wrong calculations on the document.ý
That is a very severe and not acceptable bug, as the wrong documents could make it to
a customer of a Kraft user and as a result harm the business. I apologize for any
Please skip Kraft 0.44 and use version 0.45 instead.
“We have doubled the speed and have halved the memory
The latest version of WebYaST has many improvements regarding speed, memory usage,
usability and developing environment:
Due a new caching mechanism the startup time of each module has been
decreased to a maximum of 1-2 seconds. So the user is able now to click
through WebYaST without any notable waiting time. We have made a video which
shows the speed improvement: WebYaST Comparison VideoFor more technical information have a
WebYaST Caching Howto
Former versions of WebYaST were split into a service and into an UI part.
Each part has run in a own HTTP server. We have decided to bring these parts
together in order to save one HTTP server which halves the memory usage. One
additional benefit is that the architecture of WebYaST has simplified a
Simplifying WebYaST architecture
Due the use of one HTTP WebYaST server only the development environment
has been simplified very much:
Setup an environment system is much more easier now. Even a
setup based on the GIT repository is quite easy. For more
information have a look to : WebYaST Installation
Writing an own WebYaST plugin has been reduced to a minimum
effort. Everyone who has read a Ruby on Rails tutorial is now
able to write a plugin. You do not believe ? Then have a look to
the Example plugin . (…)
The gpodder project introduced its
new major release 3.0.0 today and, unfortunately, it seems like I didn’t pay
attention to the complete change announcement, as I just bumped the gpodder package in
Packman to 3.0.0 (from 2.18).
Now, gpodder 3.0.0 does introduce a lot of changes, notably in the UI but also
regarding its database format and requires migrating the database from 2 to 3. It
doesn’t seem to have all of the features of 2.20 either. So what happens is that when
you just upgrade the gpodder package, you end up with something you don’t necessarily
want to use. At least as of now. (…)
The Section provides the Game of the Week, and Updates in the Game Repository
The development around Unknown
Horizons and FIFE has been
intensified in the last months, and a few days ago FIFE has released a maintenance
version (FIFE 0.3.3r2) aimed to correct a few bugs and help the deployment of Unknown
The development repository of Unknown Horizons for openSUSE is made on games:unknown-horizons
repository (courtesy of the games maintainers), and it currently provides the latest
Release Candidate (RC4) of the upcoming version 2011.3 to be released during the next
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.
So it’s been two weeks since 3.1, and you know how it works by now.
I have to say, this wasn’t my favorite merge window ever. I really
wanted to take only things that had been in -next, but verifying it
was fairly painful, since a lot of the trees had been rebased, and the
ones that hadn’t been rebased often had some extra patches that still
showed up when I did my “git log linux-next..FETCH_HEAD” thing.
On the whole, most of it was all good, and I didn’t really end up
complaining to people. I’m pretty sure that there were trees I
shouldn’t have let through, but the majority really had been in -next. (…)
Rares gives his weekly Kernel Review with openSUSE Flavor.
Let your computer do the talking. Install eSpeak and you can make your computer say anything, in a wide variety of languages.
Looking for a lightweight text to speech program? Whether you want to listen to your favorite blog while doing the dishes, or just make your computer say naughty words to your friends so you can giggle like schoolchildren, eSpeak is a great tool for the job. It’s “a compact open source software speech synthesizer for English and other languages” according to its website. You can use official versions of eSpeak on Linux (Editors Note: the link is just for Debian/Ubuntu users) and Windows. (…)
Editors Note: eSpeak packages for openSUSE are available via OBS.
gEdit is a serious text editor in the tradition of many editors that the programmer or code jockey will appreciate – syntax highlighting in many source codes, script formats, markup formats, and even some Scientific formats.
I write a lot of HTML code and I find the multiple undo/redo, find, search & replace, and the built-in code-aware spelling checker essential on a daily basis.
But that’s me. I’m writing about what I use on a daily basis and gEdit is always open on my PC of the moment. I do HTML coding for my personal website, keep lists of “To-Do” items, use it as a scratch pad to paste whatever nuggets of wisdom I find on the Internet and generally use it for quickly jotting down whatever I need to note. (…)
This article lists some of the more useful ways of utilizing the find command.
These commands will work on most Linux distributions, and have been tested on recent versions of Ubuntu and SUSE. (…)
In a compiled language, the makefile is arguably the most important part of any programming project. To compile your project, you first have to compile each source file into an object file, which in turn needs to be linked with system libraries into the final executable file. Each command can have a considerable number of arguments added in. That’s a lot of typing and a lot of potential for mistakes. The more source files you have, the more complex the compilation process becomes, unless you use makefiles. Most Linux users have at least a cursory knowledge of make and makefiles (because that’s how we build software packages for our systems), but not much more than that. Most developers probably don’t have too much in-depth experience with makefiles, because most Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) have the capability of managing makefiles for them. Although this is convenient most of the time, knowing more about how make works and what goes into makefiles can help you troubleshoot compilation errors down the road. (…)
This blog entry describes how you would install and configure the TFTP (Trivial File
Transfer Protocol) server for the purpose of building a PXE boot environment. The tftp
server would transfer the syslinux binaries to boot up your physical machine. It will also
present a text-based menu for the user to select what operating system to install.
Some time ago we were trying to get SSH fingerprints for all machines in our local
network. Solution is not that straightforward, but it’s not a rocket science either:
for i in $(seq 2 254); do
ssh-keyscan -t rsa,dsa,ecdsa 192.168.1.$i > > $tmpfile
ssh-keygen -l -f $tmpfile
rm -f $tmpfile
for i in $(seq 2 254); do
ssh-keyscan -t rsa,dsa,ecdsa 192.168.1.$i >> $tmpfile
ssh-keygen -l -f $tmpfile
rm -f $tmpfile
First, we retrieve the keys using ssh-keyscan, store them into temporary file and
compute fingerprints afterwards using ssh-keygen. Or is there a less complex and more
PS: Thanks David for kicking in the right direction.
OpenSSL, the open source toolkit for implementing the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocols, is an everyday essential for most Linux admins responsible for secure networking. But OpenSSL includes a wealth of features that even grizzled veterans may not be familiar with. You can use OpenSSL to test POP and IMAP servers, and test server connection speeds, among other interesting tricks. (…)
The question is:
Where did all my disc space go?
The answer? An ncurses based application called NCDU. NCDU is a simple, light-weight disc-usage analyzer. I like NCDU because of it’s few dependencies, in fact installing in on my system took less than 1mb worth of additional space. It is fast, because like all good applications it is written entirely in C. (…)
Editors Note: ncdu packages for openSUSE can be found in utilities repo.
The Oyranos Colour Management System will be
in the upcoming openSUSE-12.1 release. With the
new library users can configure their ICC profiles and settings in one central place. It
brings as well a set of command line tools like oyranos-policy for handling policy configuration files and oyranos-profiles for installation of ICC profiles. KDE users can
install the KolorManager package. This Oyranos front end
adds a system settings control panel for individual settings adaption. But most systems will
run fine with Oyranos defaults. (…)
Several people have reported in the past that during installation the system hangs
“forever” (see bug bnc#722858) starting udev. The problem was that this did not appear
reproduceable. It appeared once on my machine and when I brought the machine to Steffen to
help debugging, I couldn’t reproduce it. After some more tries, it was reproduceable but not
everytime. Steffen initially thought it was a kernel race with module loading and thus we
added “maxcpus=1″ to the kernel command line. This made the bug less likely but it still
happened. But now Christian, Coolo and myself had each a machine for reproduction and figured
out that udevadm was waiting for some events and timing out after 10 minutes as that was the
timeout in the installation system. So, one idea was to use the normal 30s as timeout so that
fewer people noticed. In the end Coolo found the culprit: A bug in udev that got fixed in
upstream udev a month ago that we got with a udev update a couple of months ago. Coolo fixed
this with a new udev package that has been updated for 12.1 now. So, these hangs might have
not only happened during installation but also at normal booting and I’m glad that Coolo
decided to hunt down this bug. (…)
We’re about to put the finishing touches on openSUSE 12.1 and the amount of activity in
the openSUSE IRC channels is impressive. I see people working 12-14-16 hours a day,
fixing the last issues, writing release notes, and in short getting this release ready for our
users. Respect! I myself have upgraded my laptop to openSUSE 12.1 RC2 now and I got to see the
new Plasma Desktop. Overall, the difference between Tumbleweed and 12.1 are minimal. As
expected, considering Tumbleweed
(openSUSE’s cool rolling release repository) was a hair away from 12.1, the biggest
differences are probably artwork and of course Plasma 4.7 instead of 4.6…
As reported on Thursday, GNOME Shell / Mutter no longer requires OpenGL-accelerated hardware drivers. It’s possible to run this GNOME3 desktop with a software back-end via Gallium3D’s LLVMpipe.
Reaching this milestone can be attributed to Red Hat, Google’s Chrome/Chromium OS developers, and others working on the Mesa / Gallium3D software stack. Just recently LLVMpipe gained support for GLX_EXT_texture_from_pixmap, the GLX extension that’s required by many Linux compositing window managers. These improvements allow the desktop effects to all be done on the CPU without any dependence on any GPU hardware driver. GNOME Shell on the VESA driver or within a KVM/QEMU guest is fair game. (…)
Mozilla’s rapid release train has pulled into the station on time, with the fifth major Firefox browser release of 2011. Firefox 8 is being released today, providing developers with new capabilities and offering users more security via a new add-ons policy.
“We’re proud of the way Firefox continues to move the web forward in this release,” Gavin Sharp, Firefox engineer and the Firefox module owner told InternetNews.com. “Our support for Cross-Origin Resource Sharing (CORS) in WebGL lets developers build incredible 3D experiences on the Web in a secure way.”
Sharp noted that Firefox 8 also introduces a simpler way for HTML5 applications to provide a right-click menu, to provide a more complete experience. He explained that this release of Firefox introduces better support for Web applications, allowing them to provide context menu options without requiring complicated custom code. (…)
Sources close to Adobe that have been briefed on the company’s future development plans have revealed this forthcoming announcement to ZDNet:
Our future work with Flash on mobile devices will be focused on enabling Flash developers to package native apps with Adobe AIR for all the major app stores. We will no longer adapt Flash Player for mobile devices to new browser, OS version or device configurations. Some of our source code licensees may opt to continue working on and releasing their own implementations. We will continue to support the current Android and PlayBook configurations with critical bug fixes and security updates.
Additionally, the e-mail briefing to Adobe’s partners has been summed up as follows:
Adobe is Stopping development on Flash Player for browsers on mobile.
Open source is about more than code: it’s about unlocking all possibilities. Here are four unusual projects made possible by open source.
Years ago I hung out with a friend who had a prosthetic hand. It was a stiff plastic hand, like a store mannequin hand, that could open and close in a simple grip. It didn’t have much functionality, but it had a bit of fun factor — my friend liked to remove it to scratch his back. In public, of course, with a freaked-out audience. Americans seem to have a hard time looking at these sorts of things. (…)
It would be hard to overstate the contribution of Richard Stallman to the digital world. The founding of the GNU project and the creation of the GNU General Public License laid the foundations for a wide range of free software that permeates computing from smartphones to supercomputers. Free software has also directly inspired like-minded movements based around sharing, such as open access and open content (Wikipedia, notably).
At the heart of everything Stallman does lies a desire to promote freedom, specifically the freedom of the software user, by constraining the freedom of the developer in the way the code is distributed. That’s in contrast to BSD-style licenses, say, where the developer is free to place additional restrictions on the code, thus reducing the freedom of the user. (…)
Job seekers with Linux smarts have the upper hand in the Linux job market right now, but the right combination of technical and people skills are still required.
“When we look to hire Linux system administrators, there are a few key aspects that get our attention,” says Peter Baer Galvin, Chief Technologist for Corporate Technologies. “Natural curiosity is one. Is the candidate interested in technology, finding solutions to problems, inventing new solutions, and experimenting? We find those attributes to be a good indicator of whether the admin will be able to improvise, learn, and determine the best course of action.”
Obviously, no Linux admin can have all the skills every employer will want. But as Galvin says, natural curiosity can help make you stand out as a job candidate. (…)
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