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The new generation of openQA hits the production server

April 4th, 2014 by

Bad news for the bugs: the new version of openQA is ready for prime time. Everybody following the blog of the openSUSE Team @ SUSE or the Factory mailing list during the last months, should be aware of the ongoing work to improve openQA and to promote it into a key component of the openSUSE integration process. Finally the new openQA is ready for public production environments, so thanks to the collaboration between the openSUSE Team and the original developers of openQA -Bernhard M. Wiedemann and Dominik Heidler- it’s finally deployed and accessible at openqa.opensuse.org

This new version brings a lot of changes at many levels, but probably the most relevant difference is the approach for tests execution: instead of running every step sequentially and comparing the needles at the end, the new version evaluates the status several times per test, deciding what to do next based on that status or aborting the whole tests as soon as a critical error is found. This approach enables both a better usage of the resources and more precise results.

This enhanced control of the execution and the results, alongside other improvements, makes possible to extend the scope of openQA. Tests of Factory isos are still there and running. But apart from them, you can see test results for the so called "staging projects", used to merge potentially dangerous packages. Generally speaking, you can just browse the test results and see what state is Factory in and how dramatic changes are about to happen.

Fuzzy matching in action: ignoring the floppy icon

Another main new feature is the use of fuzzy area matching for interpreting test results. That means much less false positives. Tests do not break that often and that easily. There is also a nice interface to figure out what failed. Try going to some failed test, selecting a needle and dragging the vertical yellow line. Pretty neat, isn’t it? You can also check how the test is written and what is it looking for. Feel free to play with it, enhance the current tests and needles and submit them via GitHub ;-)

There are even more changes, not directed towards users, but improvements in the interface that service operators use to set things up, including users management, job control or a new REST-like API. These will not affect most of you directly, just indirectly by making operators job easier.

So go ahead, play with it and if you want to help, sources are on github and we even have some easy hacks in progress.o.o to ease you into the development ;-)

FreeDesktop Summit about to start

March 27th, 2014 by

Next week, from Monday the 31st of March to the 4th of April, developers from the major Linux Desktops (GNOME, KDE, Unity and RazorQt) will meet again in Nuremberg for the second FreeDesktop Summit.

The summit is a joint technical meeting from developers working on ‘desktop infrastructure’ on the major Free Desktop projects and the event aims to improve collaboration between the projects by discussing specifications and the sharing of platform-level components.

Like last year, the event is supported by SUSE, which is offering the venue, the hotels and some help with organization.

Check the report from last year to get an idea of what this event is about.

Development for 13.2 Kicks Off

March 19th, 2014 by

openSUSE Factory development is going steady and our venerable release manager has made a first milestone available. No development schedule has yet been determined, although it has been decided that we will aim for a release in November of this year. Major changes include X, Y and Z.
oSC14 banner

Release Plans

Our normal 8-month release cycle would warrant a release in July, but the openSUSE team has proposed to change the schedule due to the work they are doing on our tooling and infrastructure. In the discussions on our mailing list it became clear a November release has much support. This is now the tentative plan and we will decide the specific schedule as well as who’s gonna do what and where at the upcoming openSUSE Conference in Dubrovnik.

Meanwhile, the openSUSE team is asking for feedback, bug hunting and fixing of the new-and-improved openQA and Staging tools for the Open Build Service.

Changes in the first milestone

Although we’re just at the start of our release cycle, this milestone already introduces a number of significant changes. Plans on what exactly will be included will be created at oSC14 next month.

  • The btrfs filesystem is default (and comes with btrfsprogs 3.12), as is the wicked network management tool (replacing ifup) and the dracut initrd replacement
  • YaST sports a new look and its Qt front-end is ported to Qt5
  • Zypper is at the 1.10.x branch for the next release, introducing a number of bug fixes and minor improvements
  • KDE Frameworks 5 packages are included, as well as the latest Application and Platform releases in the 4.x series
  • Our infrastructure is updated: rpm 4.11.2 introduces weak dependencies, PackageKit 0.8.16 comes with a new appdata format and there are binutils .24, Bluez 5.15, systemd 210, pulseaudio at 5.0 and the latest 3.14RC kernel
  • In the graphics area we now have packages for wayland 1.4, freetype 2.5.2 (changing font weights) and Mesa 10.1
  • Cloud and databases bring xen 4.4, virtualbox 4.3.8 and postgresql 9.3.
  • For developers we’ve included GCC 4.9 (default still 4.8.2), make 4.0, llvm 3.4, cmake 3.0(rc), gdb 7.7, git 1.9.0 and subversion 1.8.8
  • In the language area, we’ve now got ruby 2.1, php5 5.5.9 and python 2.7.6 and 3.4.0(rc)

Getting and playing

You can get the milestone as usual on software.opensuse.org/developer. You can get involved in development discussions on the factory mailing list (subscribe).

Have a lot of fun!

oSC14 Keynote Confirmed, More Awesome Coming

March 5th, 2014 by

oSC14 Logo_FinalWe are very pleased to announce Michael Meeks as our keynote speaker for the Saturday opening session at oSC14, held in Dubrovnik April 25th – 28th, 2014. Besides Michael Meeks, the openSUSE board will talk, opening the event on Friday and over 20 of the 60 currently submitted talks have already been accepted. Last but not least, we’d like to tell you that the deadline for the Call for Papers has been extended until the end of this month. (more…)

openSUSE participates in GSoC 2014

March 4th, 2014 by

GSoC 2014: First Steps

openSUSE is part of yet another Google Summer of Code. After a rocking ride in last year’s edition, our Geeko’s are gearing up for another awesome program. This year promises to be more special, as Google is celebrating its 10th anniversary of the program.

About the Program:

Google Summer of Code (commonly called as GSoC) is an annual program conducted by Google which pays students code to write code for open source organizations. It is one of the most best ways for organizations such as openSUSE to get some quality work done, and gain long term contributors. In the last edition, we had 10 students complete their projects and gain recognition within the community.

openSUSE and GSoC:

Last year, we collaborated with ownCloud, Balabit(makers of syslog-ng) and Hedgewars under a common umbrella. It worked very well for all of us. This year, we are collaborating with ownCloud, Zorp(a Gateway technology by Balabit) and the MATE desktop along with the bucket load of awesome projects from openSUSE itself. Our mentors are quite enthusiastic, and recognize the role played by GSoC in moving the community forward.

For Students:

If you are a student who wants to participate under openSUSE, and ‘have a lot of fun’, do check out our ideas page and guidelines. As always, the key is to start early and to interact with mentors and the community at large. Fixing bugs and working on Proof of Concepts is a good way to start.

Student application period opens on 10th March, and continues till March 21.

Contact:

You can find out all about our GSoC programme on the wiki or contact the GSoC team for further questions
Manu Gupta
Saurabh Sood

You can reach the community at our Mailing List and on #opensuse-project on IRC (Freenode).

This article has been contributed by Saurabh Sood

openSUSE Board F2F Meeting

February 25th, 2014 by

The openSUSE Board has pleasure to announce the minutes from Face to Face Board meeting that happened in February 7th to 9th, 2014 in Nuremberg.

Please read carefully and see how it was productive.

http://en.opensuse.org/openSUSE:Board_meeting#Face_to_Face_Meeting_2014-02-07.2C08.2C09

Thanks to SUSE for hosting the meeting and thanks to those meeting with the board over the weekend for taking the time.

Meet_The_Board
There are plenty of opportunities to help the project. The booth boxes are right around the corner and with this a reboot of the advocate and local coordinator effort.

We have also reach agreement to re-instate the reimbursement of locally produced materials. We’ll create some guidelines and a new team needs to be formed. We hope that with some modification to the TSP app both reimbursement streams can be handled in a similar way.

 

 
We all feel we got a lot of stuff sorted out and ready to roll. As always if you have questions or concerns please feel free to send a message to board at o.o

Another good reference can be find here  http://andrew.wafaa.eu/2014/02/19/opensuse-board-in-the-flesh.html

Have a great week!

The openSUSE Board

oSC14 – The openSUSE Travel Support is open!

February 24th, 2014 by

oSC14 Logo_Final

The openSUSE Conference 2014 will happen in Dubrovnic, Croatia. The TSP goal is to help everybody in and around openSUSE to be able to come to the openSUSE Conference! You don’t have to be one of the top 10 packagers to apply – if you’re translating, building a local community or helping out at the forums, we might still be able to offer you some support, so apply!


When and how
The application period started February 20th and closes on February 28th.  All requests will be managed through our application at http://connect.opensuse.org/travel-support.

You will need an openSUSE Connect account in order to log in and apply for sponsorship.

A few reminders

– Please, read the Travel Support wiki page http://en.opensuse.org/openSUSE:Travel_Support_Program carefully
before you apply. We want everybody to be there! Even if you think you would not qualify for travel support, just submit a request! If you don’t ask we can’t help you!

– The Travel Committee can reimburse up to 80% of travel and/or lodging costs. That includes plane ticket, train or bus tickets, even car gas on some occasions, and/or hotel/hostel costs.

Remember: Food and all local expenses are on you!

– The Travel Team won’t be able to book or pay anything in advance, reimbursement comes after the event is over, based on your receipts expenses. Again: no receipts = no money – it’s the rule!

– Those sponsored by the Travel Support Team will be welcomed to write a blog or report about the event.

– The TSP expects the sponsored to be available for helping with tasks at the Conference. Please, in any way step in.

– Sponsorship decisions are influenced by the openSUSE history of the requester. Your involvement with openSUSE is really relevant!

– Having an abstract submitted for presentation at the conference is relevant. Note that the CfP ends on February 28th so there is
still time https://conference.opensuse.org/osem/

– If you got support before and complied with all the requirements, this gets you bonus points too.

– The amount requested must be detailed according to your request, like the airport you will be departing from, sharing hotel/hostel rooms, all the costs associated with your trip.

– Try to get the best fare for tickets and lodging. Remember if you are approved at least 20% or more will be paid by you.
Suitcase
Hurry up!

Our goal is to support as many people as possible. We will attempt to send the approvals before March 5th, 2014 then you can start to book.

Remember, the request can not garantee you’ll be sponsored.

The conference is getting close and the deadline for travel support is tight so start searching for flights right now! Set up your openSUSE Connect account and send in a request as soon as possible!

Hope to see you there!

Your Travel Support Team

oSC14 CfP and Registration Open!

January 29th, 2014 by

oSC14 Logo_FinalStarting today, the oSC14 Program Committee is ready to accept your proposals for sessions!We’re also ready to register visitors interested in joining us. Your talk and workshop submissions should be fit in one of the four main tracks: end users, business, community and project, technology and development.

You can submit your abstracts in our conference submission tool. The submission period begins today, 29 January, and closes 28 February. Note that we will start accepting talks before the deadline.
First acceptance emails will be sent 14th February, allowing you to start planning your trip already. And –of course– First come, first served! So, be in time!

The four tracks

The openSUSE conference traditionally has a theme. This year, the theme is: “The Strength to Change“.

Change has been a constant in Free Software. With the rise of mobile devices and the associated operating systems like Android and Chromebooks, we have to adopt as a project. We discussed strategy again on our mailing lists and by the time of the conference, we can hopefully all talk together and come to some conclusions. Change is never easy, but it is important!

Session proposals that connect in a meaningful way with change and strength would be appreciated!

End user track (Geeko Enthusiast):
The user track provides the opportunity for the power users of any application to share their knowledge and share tricks they apply to get the most out of the applications they use. Know of a non-obvious but very useful feature, present it’s usage to fellow Geekos and users in this track. Topics include, but not limited to, applications, desktop environments, multimedia solutions and games.

Business track (Geeko for suits):
The business track provides the opportunity for those that use openSUSE and/or FOSS in their business to describe the unique challenges they face. This includes, but not limited to, issues and solutions of interfacing with regulatory institutions, other business, staff training, and changing technology course.

Community and Project (Geekos around the world):
Sessions in this area should focus on project and community activities,
including, but not limited to, project governance, marketing, artwork and advocate reports. In many cases, this sessions bring a strong sense of unity to the project as a whole as we discuss some of the unique challenges that an Open Source Community confronts. If you have ideas that can help a community be stronger, join this track.

Technology & Development (Geeko tech):
Sessions in this area should focus on system technology and distribution development. Including, but not limited to, software packaging, development/testing/debugging tools/practices/methods. Infrastructure
software, deployment strategies and monitoring. These sessions will help a few of our members gain understanding of the many tools they can use when working in development for the distribution and other exciting projects.

Detailssubmit_paper

We will have four types of sessions:

  • Short talk (30 min)
  • Long Talk (60 min)
  • Lightning Talk (15 min)
  • Workshop (2 – 4 hours)

You can send in proposals until February 28 but the sooner the better as we will start accepting submissions on February 14.

Find our speaker guidelines here. This page also has tips on how to create smashing presentations and we ave some articles about organizing workshops and BoF sessions at this site.

Registration for oSC14

In other great news: registration has opened! That means you can now visit the conference site and register yourself for oSC14.

openSUSE Forums – back on-line

January 16th, 2014 by

OWN-oxygen-openSUSE-ForumsAs we reported last week, our public forums have been compromised and defaced. Passwords were safe but the cracker did manage to get access to the database with our forum posts as well as email addresses. Read on to find out what happened, what we did to prevent further damage and what we’re going to do in the future.

vBulletin hacked

openSUSE has used vBullentin forum software for a very long time. While we haven’t always been happy with it, the issues never prompted us to put in the (substantial!) time and effort required to move to another solution.

On January 7, 2014, we received word from The Hacker News that our public forums were compromised and defaced by a cracker exploiting a zero day flaw in the underlying vBulletin forum software (vBulletin 4.2.1). A Pakistani cracker has claimed responsibility. According to The Hacker News, the cracker confirmed that he/she uploaded a PHP shell to the openSUSE Forum server using a private vBulletin’s zero-day exploit, that allows him/her to browse, read or overwrite any file on the Forum server without root privileges.

Damage?

The cracker claimed he had accessed almost 80.000 openSUSE Forum users’ passwords. However, openSUSE uses a Single Sign-on system (Access Manager from NetIQ) and the ‘passwords’ the hacker obtained were random strings. The cracker did however get access to the forum database which also contains the email addresses of our users.

Forums down

As Matthew Ehle told infoworld.com, the openSUSE admin team believes the crackers’ claim that a zero-day exploit was used. The openSUSE Forums were one patch behind the current release but the change/release log of the latest patch does not indicate it would have prevented this attack.

Because the vulnerability in vBullentin did not have a fix available, we took our forums offline and started looking for a solution.

The forums are back!

The forums are back!

What now

As Matthew said, “VBulletin provides some highly functional software, which is of course why it is so popular”. But last summer, the same attacker also breached the openSUSE vBullentin software and Matthew has had “a number of concerns about the architecture and security” of vBullentin for a while. We are therefor going to look for an alternative.

In the mean time, of course, we will update the vBullentin software with the latest patch. But even small patches have been known to cause issues with themes, plugins and other things, so this will take time. vBulletin v4 is still supported so there’s no real reason to move to v5 soon.

Protecting the current set-up

But there are ways to protect the server even when we don’t trust some of the software on it. Since the attack in the summer, our sysadmins have locked down the file system and the folder used in the attack has now also been made read-only.

Thanks to this locking, the hacker was only was able to read and overwrite some of the files on the forums server without root privileges. We were using “paranoid” file permissions, which greatly restricted his access on the server and did not allow him to escalate privileges and take over the system. This unlike some recent high-profile vBullentin breaches which compromised the entire operating system.

Back online

Kim Groneman, taking care of our forums, noted: “Though we will probably never know exactly how the cracker was able to put a script file in our system, with the file system locked down, here’s a good probability that it can’t happen again. Also, because we use Access Manager, there never was any danger of the cracker gaining access to user passwords. They are and always have been secure.”

Based on that, the team felt confident that the forums could be put back online.

Future

The openSUSE sysadmins have the use of Apparmor or SELinux in their public policy. This is enforced on all new services, but the old ones (including the forums) have not all yet been updated. Obviously, priorities have been re-shuffled in this regard.

But in the long run, working around the security problems of proprietary software is not the ideal solution. The team is thus looking at other solutions. bbPress and PHPbb are on the top of the list and people experienced with these solutions (and especially migrating to them from vBullentin) would be very welcome. Another piece of work needed is to move the NNTP gateway script to whatever the new solution will be – a PHP developer could be a great help. The team is working on a list of features that are required (and nice to have) and suggestions for other solutions can be ran by this.

openSUSE Conference 2014 Takes Place April 24th – 28th in Dubrovnik, Croatia

January 9th, 2014 by

Logo_Final
As announced at the openSUSE Conference 2013, this years openSUSE conference will take place in Dubrovnik, Croatia. This beautiful city will welcome us Geekos from the 24th to the 28th of April. The team has been hard at work to prepare things and below they start by giving you a taste of the city, the venue and themselves!

The openSUSE Conference

The openSUSE Conference is the annual gathering of the openSUSE Community and other Free and Open Source contributors and enthusiasts. This year will be the 6th event where the talks, workshops and discussions provide the framework to exchange knowledge, collaborate and create lasting connections and incredible memories. Last year our event took place in Greece – read reports on day one, day two and day three. Before we’ve had a smashing time in Prague and in a old factory hall in Nüremberg.

The theme this year

The openSUSE conference traditionally has a theme. This year, the theme is: “The Strength to Change“.

Change has been a constant in Free Software. With the rise of mobile devices and the associated operating systems like Android and Chromebooks, we have to adopt as a project. We discussed strategy again on our mailing lists and by the time of the conference, we can hopefully all talk together and come to some conclusions. Change is never easy, but it is important!

Subjects and conference schedule

Like always, we will cover a wide range of subjects at the event. This year, there will be the following tracks:

  • End user track
  • Business track
  • Community and Project
  • Technology & Development

More details are coming in the Call for Papers on the 20th of January, with proposals starting to get accepted February 14. The submission period will end on February 28.
CC by trishhartmann on flickr

Croatia and Dubrovnik

Republic of Croatia is a unitary democratic parliamentary republic at the crossroads of Central Europe, Balkans, and the Mediterranean. It joined the EU on 1st of July 2013, and it is best known for it’s sunny beaches, islands and warm adriatic sea as it is a summer vacation destination for many Europeans.

Dubrovnik is the southernmost city in Croatia, a gorgeous former city state which joined the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in 1979. The prosperity of the city of Dubrovnik was historically based on maritime trade. As the capital of the Republic of Ragusa, a maritime republic, the city achieved a high level of development, particularly during the 15th and 16th centuries. Dubrovnik became notable for its wealth and skilled diplomacy. The Republic was an early adopter of what are now regarded as modern laws and institutions and Dubrovnik became a cradle of Croatian literature. The city successfully balanced its sovereignty between the interests of Venice and the Ottoman Empire for centuries.

(Gorgeous picture on the right Creative Commons photo from Trishhartmann)

Local Community

The openSUSE conference proposal came from a team from the Croatian Association for Open Systems and Internet (HrOpen) and the Croatian Linux Users’ Association (HULK). The team has support from the UNIDU (which is where the event will take place) and is also backed by the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing of University of Zagreb.

The leadership of the core team:

  • Svebor Prstačić, president of HrOpen
  • Tomo Sjekavica, assistant professor at UNIDU
  • Ivan GuÅ¡tin, president of HULK
  • Darko Grabar, vice president of HrOpen

SVEUCILISTE - OTVARANJE CAMPUSA, 07.05.2012. BY ZT - (2)

The conference venue

The conference venue is provided by the University of Dubrovnik, (UNIDU). The University of Dubrovnik is the ‘youngest‘ university in Croatia. It was established in 2003 on the foundations of a very long tradition which goes back to the 17th century, but also on decades of modern higher education. In terms of program, organization and technical equipment, the University of Dubrovnik stands among the most modern of educational institutions.

The venue, called the New Campus, is situated just 5 minutes walk from the Dubrovnik old town, and is in walking distance of many hotels and private apartments that offer affordable accommodation deals. It was originally built as a hospital, then renewed and repurposed for the University in 2012. From the outside it displays the soul of Dubrovnik, but from the inside it is a very sleek and modern design.

Find it on Google Maps here and see some more pictures here.

If you want to get to know the university in advance of joining us, check out this great walk-around video on youtube!

(Pictures provided by the university)

What’s next

Next up is setting up the conference website and opening the Call for Papers and registration. This is all planned to take place later this month – keep an eye on this site! We will let you know when conference.opensuse.org is updated. You can already join our visitors’ mailing list (subscribe).

Want to help with oSC14?

Awesome! Please join our team mailing list (subscribe)and our regular IRC meetings. We can use every helping hand to work the program, the promotion and the local organization. Tasks range from keeping our news outlets up to date over designing artwork to lay cables at the venue. There is so much to do, we need you!

Article written by Svebor and the openSUSE conference team