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Bodega, app stores and the Open Build Service

April 3rd, 2014 by

Welcome to the Bodega store!

Bodega is a project making use of the Open Build Service. Aside from that, there are many other connections between the Bodega team and openSUSE – time to find out more! We spoke with Aaron Seigo, and discussed Bodega, Appstream, zypper, ymp and the beauty of Free Software.

What is Bodega?

First off, let’s find out what Bodega is all about. Aaron explains:

Bodega is a store for digital stuff. In fancy words: it creates a catalog of metadata which represents digital assets.

The most important thing is of course the ‘digital asset’ term. That can be anything. For example, applications. Applications can be self contained – think how android does its APK files. Of course, things on Linux are often more complicated. Apache isn’t exactly a self-contained thing. And look further – perl, php, ruby, they all have their own addons like gems that need managing. Generalizing further, there are manuals. And books in general. Music, movies, pictures, you can go on.

Setting up a Bodega account

Of course, the competition has these too – look at Apple or Google.

And how about Linux…

Linux does not have a store where you can get such a wide variety of things. For a game, you can use Appstream, get it from Apper or GNOME’s software center. They all give a view on applications. Unfortunately, that is only useful for desktops and can handle things barely above the level of Angry Birds. If you want a python module as developers – these fancy tools won’t help you. Nor are they useful on servers. For those you have to rely on command line tools or even do things completely by hand. And it is all different between distributions.

Going further, where do you get documentation? For openSUSE, that’s activedoc or the forums or our support database on the wiki. Not from zypper. Music – you can get that from Magnatune and so on.

What if you can have one place where you can get a book, game, applications, isn’t that nice? That is what Bodega is.

The main screen of the store

How is Bodega different?

So, Bodega offers a digital store which can handle a wider variety of things than our current solutions. But what sets it apart from proprietary technologies like the Playstore and of course Canonical’s store solution? Aaron:

Most Linux solutions like Appstream assume their audience are users who play Angry Birds and use spreadsheets. Fair enough. Bodega takes a different approach and is far more ambitious.

Bodega has all the meta data in one place and offers ‘stores’ which are views on that data. That means you can have a software developer store, for example listing all languages and their addons separate; and a server section etc. And a separate UI for the angry-bird-and-spreadsheet crowd. All from the same bodega system, filtered by tags (not static categories!).

Talking about Appstream, Bodega can of course benefit from the metadata gathered for Appstream. And GNOME’s Software Center could be reworked to be a front-end to Bodega, adding books, music and lots of other digital data to its store. This is not meant to be a rewrite of what is there, or an isolated effort!

An application in the store

And why would you build on Bodega?

Bodega is open: everybody can quite easily add their own stores; or their own data sources; and add content and even sell it through their channels. It is not a closed system, on the contrary.

Open is a must, especially for Linux:

Take the 440.000 users of openSUSE. That would be a minimal amount of sales… The top-10 of paid apps in ubuntu makes less than a $100 per month of sales. Not really worth the effort. But if we could aggregate the sales between distributions, it would become relevant for third-party developers. Bodega as a cross-distribution is important!

And Bodega is useful for people outside of Linux. You can have your store on your own website so it is realistically possible for a independent author to sell their books in a bodega instance on their own website and never even SEE Linux. Yet the openSUSE users can get the books and benefit from the larger ecosystem…

The beauty of it is that it is all Free and Open Source Software, front and back. You can self-host all you want.

How do Bodega and OBS relate?

Preview of a wallpaper

Bodega and openSUSE have something in common: the Open Build Service. Not only is OBS used by the Bodega developers and do they run openSUSE on their servers, Bodega supports ymp files!

Bodega is well integrated with the Open Build Service. If you create an app from OBS in Bodega, you just have to take the yaml file and fill in the missing details, adding screen shots for example. Bodega will not pull the package from OBS and store it somewhere. Instead it simply uses the one-click-install and when a user clicks on the install button, it sends the one-click-install file through. It thus does not interfere with updates, but it can show users that a new version is available and let them update from Bodega if they want.

Packagers still have to add their apps to the store but we could kickstart Bodega with the apps already shipped in openSUSE, using the Appstream metadata. Non-official repos can then be added and so on. It would be quite easy to import all of the openSUSE packages. Same with the and documentation and drivers (it can show “developer: nvidia” so users know to trust it). And if there is a new revision of the documentation, Bodega can take care of that, just like it handles software updates (through zypper of course).

This is where you can come in: the team is looking for help in this area and if you are interested in making this happen, come talk to the Bodega folks! You can find them on the active mailing list or the #plasma active channel on Freenode.


Famous books included!

You might be eager to find out what is there, today. Well, if you’ve seen the screenshots to the side, you know there is an app to access the store. It is build for touch screens but works just fine and you can get it in openSUSE through software.opensuse.org. Once installed, you can fire it up typing “active-addons” in a run command dialog.

Shawn Dunn (of cloverleaf fame) is putting together a more traditional desktop UI, while maintaining these packages as well. You will be able to have a conversation with him as he’s going to be at the openSUSE Conference in Dubrovnik this month where he will present a session about Bodega! He is known as SFaulken online and pretty much always hangs in the #opensuse-kde channel on Freenode where you can ask how to get things running or how to help him break stuff anytime. He’s also yelling at the world on google plus.

Bodega now contains the entire book set of Project Gutenberg (thousands of awesome, free books) as well as a number of wallpapers and applications. Aaron:

There is work to be done to include all openSUSE Software in Bodega. The store can use a little work too, but is based on QML which makes it very easy to improve. If you’re interested in helping out, let us know!

You can contact Aaron on IRC as aseigo in the #plasma active channel on Freenode, ping him on Google+ or shoot him a mail on aseigo on the KDE.org servers.

Sneak Peek openSUSE 13.1: What we have for Plasma Desktop Users

November 4th, 2013 by

Release Geeko Biting KDEA few days ago we featured a GNOME Sneak Peek and today it is time for the Blue camp! Whereas GNOME is still going through radical changes, KDE has been in incremental mode for quite a while, polishing their Plasma Desktop, Netbook interfaces and developing the new Plasma Active interface for touch devices. In this article we’ll introduce Plasma, providing a background to the choices behind Plasma and then review some of the major changes for this release. (more…)

Coming soon: openSUSE 13.1 with YaST in Ruby

October 10th, 2013 by
YaST during installation

YaST during installation

On July 31st the YaST team announced that the final Ruby conversion of YaST YCP code is over and YaST is now at version 3.0. It took about a week for the new YaST to enter Factory, which makes it a part of the upcoming openSUSE 13.1 release. In the following article we’ll answer the questions of why this change took place, what exactly happened, and where YaST is going. We spoke to two SUSE developers who had been involved with the port, Josef Reidinger and David Majda. (more…)

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

About ARMv7 progress and ARMing for AArch64

April 15th, 2013 by

openSUSE 12.3 introduced the 32bit ARMv7 architecture as new, fully supported architecture and brought experimental 64bit ARM (AArch64) images. Since the release, support for new hardware was added and more build power brought to the Open Build Service. And as far as we can tell, we now have the first large scale KVM deployment on ARM! We also introduce support for the Calxeda Highbank ARM server SoC, a major step forward for both ARM and openSUSE. Read on for details on where the openSUSE ARMy is going. (more…)

openSUSE for new geekos

March 22nd, 2013 by

get it logo
It is almost weekend and you want to try another Linux distribution? We’ve got you covered!

The Linux ecosystem is a varied one with hundreds of distributions, each having their unique set of abilities and limitations. Some compile the source on your system, others let you choose between init systems, try to be as small as possible, experiment with security solutions and more. There is also variation in governance: some are strongly top-down organized, others decide in a meritocratic way or vote. Some have strong corporate sponsor pushing decisions – others don’t. Some care to collaborate, others don’t value the wider ecosystem much and go their own way.

The variety in solutions shows people want different things and the different distributions provide that. But people change, so do their needs. And so, for those looking for Greener pastures, we wrote this articles with an overview of ‘the openSUSE way’ and the major differences between our tools and those from other major distributions. (more…)

Sneak Preview III: There and Back Again: a Distro’s Tale

March 11th, 2013 by

Thundering herd of geekos... What do Qt 5, Linux 3.8 and LibreOffice 4 have in common? They were not released in time to be included in our leading edge, but stable openSUSE 12.3 in time. But fear not: the power of the Open Build Service comes to the rescue! The herd of almost 35000 Geekos working there creates a wide variety of packages for openSUSE 12.3 and we’ll highlight a few of those in this article. (more…)

Sneak preview II: openSUSE 12.3 for Servers

March 8th, 2013 by
postgres in openSUSE 12.3

postgres in openSUSE 12.3

The new openSUSE is just around the corner so let’s take a closer look at some of the new features that you can look forward to. This time, we will concentrate on the features for servers: databases, virtualization and OpenStack packages. (more…)

Sneak Preview I: openSUSE 12.3 for Desktop Users

March 6th, 2013 by

release counterIn less than two weeks, openSUSE 12.3 will be on your doorstep. Or rather, on the mirrors, ready for use. If you are curious to know what is coming, this first sneak preview is for you! We’ll talk about what’s new on the desktop: GNOME, KDE, XFCE and Enlightenment as well as the applications. Enjoy! (more…)

openSUSE 12.2: Brought to you by “an extremely talented group of people”

January 23rd, 2013 by

social media logos

In September, the openSUSE community released openSUSE 12.2 all around the world. So what have the responses been since that Wednesday a little over three months ago, and what can we learn for openSUSE 12.3, which is just three months away?

Community feedback

Everyone was very enthusiastic about the release. On the social networks we had hundreds of +1′s, likes and shares for the release announcement from the over 12000 Google+ users with openSUSE in their circle. With almost as many followers on Twitter and about 7K on Facebook, these networks were also full of discussions about the release and the sharing of the good news. The general vibe was a good one and there was lots of excitement. (more…)