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openSUSE ARM Gets new Raspberry Pi Images

September 9th, 2013 by
Raspberry Pi in action

Sadly, the sticker doesn’t fit…

Over the weekend, Bernhard Wiedemann has been working on new armv6 based images for the Raspberry Pi. It is built using a set of alternative build scripts aiming to make the building of the image easier. He’s put the scripts as well as an image online, you can get it from oSC or here (image) and here (scripts). If you’re playing around with Raspberry Pi and want to create images for your device(s), this is for you!

The Image and Building It

As Bernhard explains on his blog, the image he created is only 82mb compressed, so it is pretty minimalistic. The image also contains the scripts he created for building under /home/abuild/rpmbuild/SOURCES/.

If you’re interested in playing with the building itself, creating custom images, the following commands will get you going:
osc co devel:ARM:Factory:Contrib:RaspberryPi altimagebuild
cd devel:ARM:Factory:Contrib:RaspberryPi/altimagebuild
bash -x main.sh

He notes: If you have 6GB RAM, you can speed things up with export OSC_BUILD_ROOT=/dev/shm/arm before you do.

This package doesn’t build in OBS or with just the osc command as it requires root permissions for some steps. That is why you have to run it by hand and let it do its magic. The under-250-lines of script will go through the following steps:

  1. First, osc build is used to pull in required packages and setup the armv6 rootfs.
  2. Second, mkrootfs.sh modifies a copy of the rootfs under .root to contain all required configs
  3. And finally, mkimage.sh takes the .root dir and creates a .img from it that can be booted

Bernhard claims that: “this can build an image from scatch in three minutes. And my Raspberry Pi booted successfully with it within 55 seconds.

Todo and Open Issues

He also points out some remaining open issues:

  • the repo key is initially untrusted
  • still uses old 3.1 kernel
  • build scripts have no error handling

Compared to the old image, this one has some advantages:

  • It is easier to resize as the root partition is the last one
  • Compressed image is much smaller
  • Reproducible image build, so easy to customize
  • It is armv6 with floating point support, so could be faster
  • We have 5200 successfully built packages from openSUSE:Factory:ARM

If you wanted to play with building images for the Raspberry Pi, this might well be the easiest way doing so! And as always, merge requests are very much welcome.

Have a lot of fun

OBS Stopped Building, Will be Back Tomorrow

September 5th, 2013 by

Failed geeko We’ve got some bad news: OBS has decided to stop building images. Our Geekos are hard at work to fix it but they don’t expect to have it all back up and running until tomorrow morning.
obs-in-action
The lights are (mostly) out…

Winter is Coming, Get Your Code Inside!

September 5th, 2013 by

WinterIsComingFinal

    It is already September! Haven’t you noticed? Bad weather is coming, it will be freezing soon!

According to the roadmap, Full Feature Freeze will be upon openSUSE Factory on September the 19th. On that day, openSUSE 13.1 Beta will see the harsh light of day.

But already, the Toolchain and Base System are deeply frozen and only leaf packages have time left to scurry in. Two weeks, to be exact, 14 days and it will be Winter in Factory. Time to get your package updates in before they freeze in the cold! Read on to learn how to make it happen. (more…)

Upcoming openSUSE 13.1 will be kept Evergreen

August 26th, 2013 by

logo evergreen
The openSUSE Evergreen has just announced that the upcoming openSUSE 13.1 will be the next Evergreen release. This means that the Evergreen team will continue to provide openSUSE 13.1 with with security updates and important bugfixes after the usual 18 month maintenance cycle until it has had a total life time of at least three years.

What is Evergreen?

The openSUSE Evergreen team was started to keep openSUSE releases alive by issuing security and stability fixes after the regular 18-month lifespan of openSUSE releases. The team has kept selected releases maintained for an additional 18 to 30 months. The first Evergreen release was openSUSE 11.1. Current releases in the Evergreen maintenance program are openSUSE 11.2 to be maintained until November 2013 (a total of 4 years) and 11.4 to be maintained until July 2014 (reaching almost three-and-a-half).

You can find more information about Evergreen and how to keep your openSUSE release alive on the Evergreen wiki page.

Have a lot of fun!

openSUSE Conference BoF sessions can be scheduled!

July 10th, 2013 by

oSC 2013 Conf Logo Single
Within two weeks, in thessaloniki, the openSUSE Conference will start off again. Like last year, we have not only an awesome program but also reserved time for small sessions to get work done. We’ve got a wiki page where you can schedule such sessions before the event and on the event itself we’ll allow scheduling more sessions Unconference style. Read on to learn more about the BoF session, based on an article from our famous RW conference in 2011! (more…)

openSUSE Conference Registration CLOSING!

July 4th, 2013 by

We opened registration back in February and now we’ve just passed the mark of two weeks from the conference! If you have not yet registered, please hurry up: we need these numbers to plan for the event. You have until end of day tomorrow (Friday the 5th of July) to finish your registration! If you did plan on going but had to cancel, we’d appreciate it if you would make sure this is reflected in your registration status.

Be nice, help us out by registering!

Attending the openSUSE Conference is entirely free of charge, thanks to our generous sponsors but please respect our work and put in the little effort to register. It helps make our work easy – and that work is plenty. We won’t say no to anybody – registration is greatly appreciated but penalty for not doing so doesn’t include anything like torture. However, you might not be able to secure yourself a place at one of the social events and even the conference lunch could become problematic.

Please note that registering for an account and actually registering for the openSUSE Conference 2013 event are two distinct steps!

We’d also like to remind you that it is possible to support our event by purchasing supporter tickets ($50) or professional tickets ($250) during registration. Funds from these ticket sales are a very important part of the budget for the overall conference. The money is used to fund the event and help with the openSUSE Travel Support Program to allow as many contributors as possible to attend the event. You can also get them in the SUSE Shop:

As supporter or professional ticket holders you will receive a special thank you surprise upon check-in.

Last minute!

We’ve got a few things for you to keep an eye on when joining us.

    • As you might have seen in the announcement of the schedule yesterday, we’re recording the main tracks of the event and there will also be plenty of people with camera’s. This is a open and public event and while we try to respect your privacy as much as reasonable, we can not in any way guarantee that you won’t get digitized and end up on the web. This does indeed mean that Obama can see you. Sorry.
    • Being in a public place does also mean you’ll have to behave at your best. We’d like to remind you of our Code of Conduct. In short: “We, as a community, value and respect people of all stripes – genders, orientations, races, abilities, shapes and sizes – and will not tolerate vilification, abuse or harassment in any form.” Note that this often requires you to be a tad more polite than you might be among friends at home: we’re an international community and with that come additional opportunities for misunderstandings. Bonus is that being smiling and being nice makes you happy, so it is no wasted effort!

We’ll be counting on the folks who have registered – and if you plan on coming but didn’t yet, you have until end-of-day tomorrow to add yourself!

openSUSE Conference Schedule ready!

July 3rd, 2013 by

ChameleonBustPosterDraftWe’ve got great news for you: the openSUSE Conference Paper Committee has finalized the conference program! We’ve got inspiring keynotes, interesting talks, in-depth workshops and intensive parties all lined up! Read on to find out what we’ve got in store. (more…)

Thanking the openSUSE Conference Sponsors!

July 1st, 2013 by

ChameleonBustPosterDraftIn about a month, the openSUSE conference will kick off in Thessaloniki, Greece. We expect that about 300 visitors will join us for 4 days featuring over 60 talks, workshops and meetings covering everything from low-level Linux hackery to debating the state of Free Software marketing. Entree to the openSUSE conference is free, as always. Of course, organizing an event like oSC is not exactly without costs, both in terms of hard work and hard cash. For the work we can’t thank our volunteer crew enough, and they deserve some attention. So do the sponsors, who help make this event possible, either by providing equipment and services or money. We’d like to introduce the core team and our sponsors to you! (more…)

Announcing the First Keynote for oSC: Georg Greve on Freeing our Data

June 19th, 2013 by

Georg Greve 2013 The openSUSE conference will feature Georg Greve as first keynote speaker, opening the event on Friday morning. He will talk about “Freedom in the world we live in and the value and importance of communities and Software Freedom”. That’s a mouthful and we’ve asked him to tell us a bit about himself and what he’ll talk about.

Personal life

We managed to catch him just before he was going to Hamburg for the holidays with the family, actively cleaning up the house and preparing for an early leave the next morning. Georg, born in ’73 on the tiny island of Helgoland outside the coast of northern Germany, spent the first 8 years of his life in this reclusive community before moving to the big city. There he studied biophysics and came across Free Software in 1993. Five years later he was the European speaker for the GNU Project, writing the well known ‘Brave GNU World’ column and in 2001 he initiated the Free Software Foundation Europe. Since 2009 he is the CEO of Kolab Systems AG and lives with his wife and “two utterly gorgeous” twin boys in the neighborhood of Zurich, Switzerland.

Free Software

We asked him about what he will share with us at the openSUSE Conference.

Georg: “I’m sure everybody is aware of current events around the leak of Prism. Watching it all unfold has been interesting from a variety of angles, both for our communities as well as the larger version of community: society at large. It is awesome that people look at what is going on, care and get upset. But at the same time, it is weird that they get upset now as much of this has been known for quite a while. If you cared for this topic at all you could have learned all of this from public sources in the past. Not with such detail and in such depth or with the drama, but the gist of it was actually not very much hidden. The fact that the USA treats its own interest above everything else and isn’t shy to use its power, knowledge and military for its self interest and most importantly the interest of its corporations isn’t exactly news. It has been like this for quite a while and they have been quite upfront about it.”

Jos: But at least people are angry about it, now…

social media logos

Frenemies?

Georg: “People are shocked. But a few years too late. It is good that they are but we should ask the question: why is it worse to give your data to the government (which may use it in name of the corporations) rather than giving it to the corporations directly?

And people give their data willingly. Even the public sector is affected, just last week the Swedish government banned Google Apps usage in Sweden. They noted that it could not be guaranteed that the data would remain private. News, really? Perhaps there will be some rethinking of our over-eagerness to try new things (which is good) but will that message reach far enough? Will people realize that the problem is not the behaviour of the USA?”

Jos: Shouldn’t we, in the rest of the world, be angry at the USA?

Georg: “The United States are a sovereign nation and they can do what they want to do, nobody can stop them. The real question is about the control over our data. And this control (or lack there-of) results from the software handling it.”

Jos: So to control the data…

Georg: “… we need to control the software, yes. Of course, this is what we are about, as Free Software community: we create the tools to control our data ourselves, or make it possible that we can let someone we trust exercise that control. What we have to learn is that it’s not just about building the best tools in the world and throwing them out. From that follows too little. Good technologies have lost in the past. We need to evolve a professional ecosystem around these technologies to make sure that what we build reaches people, becomes available, accessible, is FUN to use for people. We need to target and reach that part of society which can’t do it themselves, who are not geeks. Geeks can always protect themselves – sure. But if we are satisfied with that we withhold the ability to protect themselves from the 98% who do not have the skills and knowledge to do so.”

Jos: Your message is then that we need to communicate more about our software?

Georg: “We need to go out more, become more professional. More grown-up in a way, at spreading that technology into the world at large. Some companies have successfully been doing that, but it is still not sufficient. We need to do this more pro-actively, and also build more of an understanding in some Free Software Communities about the important role that companies play in bringing the freedom to users. At the end it is about getting better as an ecosystem in providing that freedom to people in all ways that matter, including economically, so they can afford to take control over their own data.”

In the end, it’s about creating the world I would like to live in, and working with others to help us get there.

Register now for oSC 2013!

Learn more at oSC!

At this point the twins decided to derail our conversation, having discovered a new and innovative way of getting themselves soaked in some puddle. Making the world a better place while taking care of kids isn’t easy for sure. But Georg is working on it. He decided to join Kolab because “Groupware is the final pillar of Free Software that needs to become ubiquitous before Free and Open can become a choice for corporations on the corporate desktop”.

We’ll hear how that is going in about 4 weeks: on July 18, registration and opening party starts in Thessalonki! If you have not registered yet, you should do so as soon as possible. Of course, we plan on live streaming as many of the sessions as we can and make them available after the event as well. But nothing beats being there in the flesh so if you can, gear up and get ready to join oSC!

See you there and have a lot of fun!

Server outages the coming days

May 18th, 2013 by

Failed geekoBelieve it or not: a car crashed into the Nuremberg SUSE office building. Our geekos are fine but the power will have to be shut down so repairs can take place. You can expect some availability issues for our servers the coming days. Hopefully things will be back up next week!