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openSUSE Weekly News Issue 206 is out!

December 17th, 2011 by

We are pleased to announce our new openSUSE Weekly News 206.

openSUSE Weekly News

206 Edition

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We are thanking the whole openSUSE Weekly News Team and the open-slx gmbh for spending time and power into the openSUSE Weekly News.

Published: 2011-12-17

We are pleased to announce our 206 issue of the openSUSE Weekly News.

You can also read this issue in other formats here.

Enjoy reading :-)

Header PictureAnnouncements

The openSUSE Election Officials is pleased to announce the 5th openSUSE Board elected by openSUSE community.

The new board members are Pascal Bleser,
Will Stephenson
Andrew Wafaa

We would like to congratulate all Board Members and wish them all the best. We would also
like to thank all candidates for their time to run for openSUSE board. We’re really proud to
have so many good candidates. (…)

It has been suggested that I write a post explaining some of the big changes that we have
been doing with the forums, wikis, and blogs over the last few weeks.ý Here is a quick

  • Forums, wikis, and blogs have been moved from iChain to Novell Access Manager

  • Wikis have been upgraded to MediaWiki 1.17

  • Blogs have been upgraded to the latest version of WordPress

  • Blog and wiki servers have been patched to the latest kernel, Apache, and PHP

Now for the details…

FOSDEM is the biggest event organized by and for the Free and Open Source (FOSS)
community. Its goal is to provide developers a place to meet, come together and share and
discuss ideas. The event happens 4-5 February 2012 in Brussels, Belgium. And there will again
be a cross-distribution mini conference at FOSDEM this year. By organizing a mini conference
where all distributions participate in we foster collaboration and cross pollination. You are
hereby invited to hold a session.

If you’re interested let your intention be known on the mailinglist,
with the following information and we will factor in your contribution.

Header PictureStatus Updates

Header PictureSUSE Studio

New DB2 appliances are now available in SUSE Gallery, as seen in the search results shown below.

For quite some time the DB2 Express-C appliances (32-bit, 64-bit) have been available in SUSE Gallery. Without any publicity, these
appliances have been found by a relatively large number of Gallery users, who have
downloaded or cloned these to build new appliances. The great thing about these appliances
is that they are published by IBM. (…)

Today our SUSE Appliance Workshop week ended, so I want to write down a little bit of
what we did this week. “We” means a teammate of mine
(Johannes Renner) and I continued our work on the SUSE
integration into SUSE Manager. We started that with a slightly bigger team
at the workshop 6 month ago but with the end of this AWS, we have reached a state where we
want to present it to the public (that’s you ).

As you might already know, you can create virtual machines with SUSE Manager by
installing them with AutoYaST or Kickstart on a virtual host.

We thought, we have this really great SUSE Studio, where you can build VM images very
quickly, so why not using SUSE Manager to deploy those Studio images? So here is what we

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.

New PAM modules should be reviewed by security
team. Just like any suid/daemon/DBUS service.
In particular if they are installed
by default.

Moved from https://bugzilla.novell.com/show_bug.cgi?id=737105

icedtea-web should be pulled-in when browser and JRE is (or is requested to be) installed on a system.


I enjoy using openSUSE to work on both 2D and 3D graphics. However sometimes it’s hard to keep up with the current versions of the popular applications. For example the latest versions of Blender, Inkscape or MyPaint is usually worth upgrading.
So I thought it’d be very cool for graphic enthusiasts to have a single official repository with the latest versions of the most popular graphic applications for the current versions of openSUSE so that it’s easy to install them.

Feature Statistics

Statistics for openSUSE distribution in openFATE

Header PictureTesting Team

The Testing Core Team held a meeting on Monday, December 12, 2011 at 18:00 UTC on
Channel #opensuse-testing on the Freenode IRC Network

For most of the meeting, we discussed the openSUSE 12.1 release cycle. The full
transcript of the meeting is found at http://tinyurl.com/cnog4af, but we agreed that too many bugs make it into the
released version. Our discussion centered around two main points.

1. Many people do not start testing until RC1 or RC2 are released; however, by then
there is too little time for the bugs to be fixed. For 12.1, this problem was worse due to
the late release of some of the milestones, which made the RC cycle shorter than it
usually will be.

2. Not all testers actually file bug reports. The cause may be that they find the
whole process to be too difficult, or they do not think it is worth the effort. Perhaps
the time between bug filing and the assignment is too long.

We also discussed the art work for a new release. It is common for the final version
of the graphics to become ready late in the cycle, which means that for much of the
testing, it is impossible to distinguish at a glance what version is running.

If anyone has any suggestions on how we can get more testers involved at an earlier
stage, or any other ideas on how testing can be improved, please send them to us.
Remember, it is only about a month until 12.2 MS1 is released. As it is likely that
SystemV will disappear in 12.2, it is critical that your systemd issues be resolved before
August when the final version of 12.2 is released. A testing version of systemd (37-317.1
from OBS) has fixed my one system that failed to boot with systemd.

The next meeting of the TCT will be on Monday, January 16, 2012 at 18:00 UTC on
Channel #opensuse-testing on the Freenode IRC Network

Header PictureTranslation Team

Header PictureIn the Community

Events & Meetings

  • No News!

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

The third version of the Oyranos Colour
Management LiveCD
is based on openSUSE-12.1 and will run on x86_64 compatible PCýs. I placed the ISO
image yesterday after some preparations on the better accessible SourceForge site for
The CD project starts into a instantly colour managed desktop, which is unique under
Linux. (…)

Version of the monitor profiling front end to Argyll CMS was released on 08.12.2011 with a
new option to share profiles via the ICC Profile
service hosted by openSUSE. dispcalGUI is thus the first application we know of supporting the online
data base (DB). The Linux package is available on openSUSE and will be
in the next update to the Oyranos Colour Management Live CD. (…)

We are glad to announce the release of Razor-qt 0.4.0, after a months of development
since the last release:


Last weeks of development were dedicated to overall stability – the Razor team will
focus on new features in the new release phase.

Also we’d like to receive any valuable feedback. And many more – contributors are
welcomed too.

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. openSUSE Security Announcement
Package: jasper
Announcement ID: openSUSE-SU-2011:1328-1
Date: Fri, 16 Dec 2011 13:08:23 +0100 (CET)
Affected Products: openSUSE 11.4 openSUSE 11.3
Description: a buffer overflow

Header PictureKernel Review

It’s been a bit over a week, and I’m sad to report that -rc5 is bigger
(at least in number of commits – most of the commits are pretty small,
so it’s possible that the *diff* ends up being smaller, but I didn’t
check) than both -rc2 and -rc4 were.

So much for “calming down”.

Yeah, part of it is probably that Ingo is back, and had a backlog
(mainly x86 and perf). But quite frankly, that isn’t enough to explain
it all – we have xfs and btrfs changes, we have network updates, and
we have the usual 50% random driver updates (sound, target and gpu
drivers stand out, but there’s some network amd MD driver noise too). (…)

Changes to the memory subsystem promise improved response times and performance. From Linux 3.2, device-mapper supports thin provisioning and is able to use this ability for improved snapshot functionality.

Just before last weekend, Linus Torvalds released the fifth
pre-release version of Linux 3.2. In his release email, he expressed some disappointment about
the increase in commits since RC4 compared to the second and fourth release candidates.
Torvalds says that there’ “nothing really scary” in RC5, noting that the
changes tend “to be pretty small, and many of them are solid regression

Torvalds has not yet given any indication of an expected release date for kernel 3.2. But, with many kernel developers away from their keyboards over the Christmas and New Year period, to avoid having the Linux 3.3 merge window fall within this period, the next major Linux version is unlikely to be released before early January. The Kernel Log will nonetheless complete the “Coming in 3.2″ series before Christmas. Following articles on new features in the areas of network drivers and infrastructure, filesystems and architecture and processor support, this article is concerned with other kernel infrastructure. The series will conclude with an article on drivers. (…)

Rares gives his weekly Kernel Review with openSUSE Flavor.

Header PictureTips and Tricks

For Desktop Users

We’ve already touched upon some of the best plasma widgets that are out there for KDE. While those may be enough to make your GNOME-loving friends jealous, it sounds much more fun when you get to brag about them on social media and IM. And, even though there are many apps that let you do that, nothing beats updating your social networks right from your main desktop. So, if you’re looking to add a social twist to KDE, read on as we list some social plasma widgets ( or plasmoids ) you can fill your desktop with. (…)

In the graphics and animation software arena, you can find plenty of expensive, proprietary applications, but few are as powerful as Blender, which is a free, powerful open source 3D modeling, graphics and animation product. Blender is so powerful that it’s been used to create very professional looking full-length animated movies. Here are six movies and animations created with Blender. In this post, you’ll find our updated collection of resources for getting started with this powerful–and extremely fun–application. All the learning resources collected here are free and instantly available. (…)

This article is about how to use the S/MIME encryption function of common e-mail clients to sign and/or encrypt your mails safely. S/MIME uses SSL certificates which you can either create yourself or let a trusted certificate authority (CA) create one for you. (…)

For Developers and Programmers

The version control system (VCS) debate is one of the less heated “holy wars” in the Linux/Unix world. Most of the conversation revolves around Git vs. Subversion vs. CVS, but other systems may be a better fit for your needs. For instance, Mercurial is written in Python and C, which makes it easily hackable if you need some functionality the project doesn’t offer already. It’s also fast. And it has other advantages that make it the choice of popular open source projects such as Mozilla, OpenOffice.org, Dovecot and Vim.

I read somewhere an interesting comparison that said “Git is McGyver, Mercurial is James Bond”; in other words, while Git is a collection of tools like git-pull, git-merge, and git-checkout that do most everything except repair your sink, Mercurial is one thing, does one thing, and does it well. And it’s easy to learn, too. (…)


Learn to use the shortcuts. Seriously!

Did you know that if you need to scroll suddenly while typing, you don’t need to reach out for your mouse? Just use the Ctrl-↑ or the Ctrl-↓ key combinations to scroll up or down. (…)

For System Administrators

Nmap is a powerful utility for scanning your network and discovering all kinds of information about who is on it and what they’re doing. You can discover used and unused IP addresses, hostnames, services, and operating systems, and their versions – information that can help you monitor who is on your network, and lead you to unsafe or unauthorized servers. (…)

There is a lot of debate over whether or not one should defragment file systems on Linux. Frankly, in most cases fragmentation of Linux file systems is probably not a problem. However, in a very few cases fragmentation might be a problem. When such a scenario has arisen is up to the reader of this article to decide. Recently here at ERACC we experienced access / speed degradation of the XFS file system on a heavily used /home partition. Part of the problem was that the file system was over 90% full. Another part of the problem was when we checked it with xfs_db the file system was roughly 20% fragmented. Besides cleaning up the file system by deleting and archiving old data from user’s directories, we came up with a defragmenation strategy for the entire server. This script is the result: (…)

Header PicturePlanet SUSE

There has been a lot going on in MySQL community and I didn’t blogged about MySQL for some
time. So this is a small update regarding MySQL in openSUSE Build Serviceýand in openSUSE in general. This post is intended to let you
know what, where and in which version we’ve got in Build Service. And as I recently dropped server:database:UNSTABLE repo, everything is now in server:database,
so the where part is quite easy. (…)

Today finally my new PandaBoard
arrived from Digi-Key. Here the new features compared to the former PandaBoard:

  • Dual-core 1.2 GHz ARMý Cortex™-A9 MPCore™ (OMAP4460) with SMP from Texas

  • provides 25% increase in graphics performance over OMAP4430 (but use a Imagination
    Technologies’ POWERVR™ SGX540 graphics core as the PandaBoard)

  • DSI Support

  • Bluetooth Low Energy Capable

  • Sysboot switch available on board

The rest of the board should be the same as on the OMAP4430 based PandaBoard.
Here some pictures:

I finally found some time the last days to play with my new PandaBoard ES. As first Dirk Müller helped me by
providing an image for my SD-card with an image that worked with the normal PandaBord. Thanks!
Unfortunately we couldn’t get the machine running with this image.

Later I tried a Linaro
Android build
and the machine booted. As I copied some of the files from the boot
partition to the SD-card with the openSUSE installation it booted into openSUSE. After a hint
from Alexander Graf (to change the console in u-boot to ttyO2) I could also access the serial
console. (…)

As I wrote in my recent post, Firefox has many colour management bugs and one is of
special concern toward the Oyranos Colour Management LiveCD III. This bug is now reported
upstream and I proposed a patch to fix. It is double color correction with X Color Management,
which is in close relation to Hal V. Engels report about Firefox color management does not
honor _ICC_PROFILE X11 atoms. It affects all X11 builds and inhibits automatic selection of
the system ICC monitor profile. A properly detected system monitor profile in Firefox will
show default sRGB colours as well as images with ICC profiles much more in line with other
colour managed applications. Getting this bug fixed is a major improvement for presenting
colours on the web for Linux. (…)

The ownCloud project is 2 years old next month!!
Today is an exciting day because today we announce a company as an addition to the open source
project to push ownCloud forward. ownCloud Inc. will offer
ownCloud services and support to enterprises in addition to to the normal open source version.

ownCloud Inc. will help us to spread ownCloud and free cloud services in general – way
more than we could have done without. (…)

Some colleagues told me they have only ~750 MByte RAM available on their PandaBoards. So I
checked my PandaBoard ES and it was the same there. As first I tried to set mem=1024M in
boot.scr, but this didn’t help. After some research I found that our kernel from the
openSUSE:Factory:ARM repository wasn’t build with HIGHMEM support. But the kernel need
HIGHMEM-support to access the memory above 768MB on ARM/OMAP.

I changed the kernel config for the omap2plus package and build a new kernel RPM locally.

As soon as I installed the new kernel and rebooted, I got

root@pandboardES:/ # free
total used free shared buffers cached
Mem: 1010680 54604 956076 0 3516 29384
-/+ buffers/cache: 21704 988976
Swap: 0 0 0

I’ll submit a new kernel package, but for now you can get the RPMs here.

Header PictureopenSUSE Forums

openSUSE 12.1 was released with GNOME 3.2 as one of the main desktop choices. Many users running GNOME 3 on openSUSE 11.4 will have noticed that the GNOME shell extensions they used to run on 11.4 did not work on GNOME 3.2. This article provides a link to extensions.gnome.org, which can be used to install/manage GNOME shell extensions. At the moment the site’s functionality is only working in full when visited with Firefox.

The annual report on the annual return of an annual thread… No, it’s not a virus, no trojan, no bug, no easter egg, you haven’t gone mad. If you see cute little penguins at boot, you’re not hallucinating, this is a feature. If their appearance bothers you, there are plenty threads in the forums on how to disable the feature, if you love them, use the same threads to have them running at boot all the time. And, to end all debate on this once and for all: they’re just funny red hooded penguins in a winter wonderland having fun on your desktop. No more, no less.

Hot, hot, hot. Added today, the new Virtualization subforum. So hot, it’s still empty at the moment. Post your questions, experiences, suggestions on Xen, KVM, VMware, VirtualBox, Qemu, dosbox and so on here.

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


Plasma Active Two has been released. In just two months, the Plasma Active development
team has made significant improvements over Plasma Active One. The
has more information, including a video and sites for downloading and
installation instructions.

A video introduction to Plasma Active Two, which also appears on both the live and
installable device images, can be viewed below or downloaded. (…)


Among organizations that favor closed technology development, DARPA would have to qualify as one of the most traditionally closed outfits of all. The United States’ Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency routinely pops up with new inventions, many of which would impress James Bond, but the inventions are typically shrouded in secrecy and mystery until they arrive. After all, lots of them are intended for battlefields, where the element of surprise can matter a lot. But Ars Technica reports that DARPA is exploring some new technology development models, including embracing open source principles. This makes a lot of sense. (…)

The libbluray project put out its first official release a few weeks ago. This open-source (GNU GPLv2) library is intended to support Blu-Ray disc playback by media players such as VLC and MPlayer.

The libbluray 0.21 release is the first from the project and it happened on the 30th of November. This release hasn’t been widely publicized and I just happened to know about it this morning from an indirectly-related message on another mailing list. This project was born out of the Doom9 community and has been under development since 2009.

There aren’t many details on the 0.21 release but the VLC announcement simply states: “VideoLAN and the libbluray developers would like to present the first official release of their library to help playback of Blu-Ray for open source systems.” (There also isn’t any change-log or useful documentation distributed with the libbluray package.)

Reviews and Essays

Sales Ninja, Linux Geek, Marketing Rockstar. These are all real job titles being used in the business world today, and according to data from online business card printer Moo.com, these creative titles are on the rise.

You’ve probably seen some of these tongue-in-cheek titles at digital conferences or among savvy startup entrepreneurs. But is an imaginative title like Word Herder or Copy Cruncher a fit for you? (…)

Well, here we are, another year almost done for. Time to look back and take stock of the year that was. You know what? It turns out that 2011 was a banner year for open source projects. So much so, that picking the 10 most important was pretty difficult.

So what do I mean by “important,” anyway? Clearly, it’s not just projects that are widely used. That list would be just too long to even contemplate. You’d have to include Apache, GCC, X.org, Debian, Fedora, openSUSE, Linux Mint, not to mention a bazillion and one libraries and utilities that we depend on every day.

So to judge importance, I looked at projects that are influential, gaining in popularity, and/or technical standouts in new areas. In other words, projects that are even more noteworthy than the other noteworthy projects. This means that many projects that are crucial didn’t make the list. And now, in no particular order, the 10 most important projects of 2011. (…)

It’s been a long, strange trip for SUSE. What started in 1992 as a small German company (SUSE was an acronym derived from “Software und System Entwicklung,” or “software and systems development”) with a derivative of Slackware Linux became a mighty Linux distribution in its own right. Money problems led to a sale to Novell in 2003, which had its own share of troubles.

Finally Novell was sold to Attachmate in a deal that closed in April of this year. Attachmate then decided to spin SUSE off into its own business, and tapped Nils Brauckmann as president and general manager of the unit.

To get a sense what SUSE is in for in 2012, I talked to Brauckmann this morning. Brauckmann’s involvement with SUSE started with Attachmate’s purchase, so the first time we spoke was earlier this year just after he took over the role. This time I found him much readier to discuss details of the SUSE strategy, if not every minor product detail. (…)

In the days of yore we had a System V (SysV) type init daemon to manage Linux system startup, and it was good. It was configured with simple text files easily understood by mortals, and it was a friendly constant amid the roiling seas of change. Then came systemd, and once again we Linux users were cast adrift in uncharted waters. Why all this change? Can’t Linux hold still for just a minute? (…)

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Header PictureCredits

We thank for this Issue:

Header PictureAcknowledgements

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Header PictureCopyrights

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SUSE ®, openSUSE ®, the openSUSE ® Logo and Novell ® are registered Trademarks of
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Header PictureTranslations

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