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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.

Done


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.

SUSE Speeds up Building AArch64 Software in QEMU

October 1st, 2013 by

ARM AArch64 logo
Following the announcement of much improved Raspberry Pi support, there is more news coming from the openSUSE ARM team! The SUSE team has been developing an AArch64 port of QEMU which is much faster building 64 bit ARM code in emulation and this code is aimed for upstream inclusion. Read on to find out what this is all about. (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

Help Wanted: openSUSE Review Team

August 28th, 2013 by

Package review image

The openSUSE Review Team is interested in adding 1 to 2 new members to the team.  This person will review submissions to opnSUSE Factory that will improve the quality of the product and add great new functionality to the already awesome openSUSE distribution.  Details of the tasks performed by the members of the Review Team can be seen on the openSUSE Review Team wiki page and the associated openSUSE Factory Submissions portal.

Ideally we want to add a non-SUSE employee from the community, but all qualified candidates will be considered.  (Dominique “Dimstar” Leuenberger would really appreciate some more non-SUSE folks on the team.  Who can blame him?!)

A qualified candidate would display the following characteristics:

a) works well with the Review Team and the openSUSE (and greater Linux) community
b) considerable expertise with RPM packaging
c) considerable expertise with openSUSE packaging methods and standards
d) reasonable awareness of Linux security concerns
e) an appreciation for quality controls and the value of solid, quality software
f) an availability to routinely perform these tasks for the community.  Typically a few hours per week divided over several days during the week.
g) willing to apply the rules to everybody; primary goal is to safeguard quality, not friendship :)    You’re even allowed to decline coolo’s request!

Applications will be considered until 9 September 2013.

If you’re interested, please send email to the Review Team via review@opensuse.org.  In your email, tell a little about yourself, particularly about the “a” through “g” qualifications listed above.

Oh, and don’t forget to have 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!

Open Build Service version 2.4 released

April 30th, 2013 by

obs-logo

Over at openbuildservice.org they have released the Open Build Service (OBS) version 2.4 which supports yet another package format (Arch’s PKGBUILD), secure boot signing, appstream metadata, introduces a new constraint system and makes everything a lot snappier. Go check out their release announcement to learn all the nitty gritty details of OBS 2.4.

On the OBS reference server, build.opensuse.org, which we use to build our most awesome GNU/Linux distribution we have followed the road to this release since early January and of course the final 2.4 release is already deployed there. We are very happy that the openSUSE community was able to help make this a rock solid OBS release with a lot of great features and we congratulate the OBS team on this new version.

„It is exciting to see the Open Build Service team move forward with such a great feature release. OBS forms the base of the collaborative model which makes openSUSE such a successful distribution and we are proud to work with them and their sweet technology.”

– said openSUSE Community Manager Jos Poortvliet.

New OBS Version, new OBS power

And by the way, last Tuesday the truck with the new compute rack came and we were able to move it into the openSUSE sever room in the SUSE offices. After our amazing admins set up power and network, which we had to expand for all these nodes, the OBS team deployed the shiny new appliance image based on openSUSE 12.3. The workers immediately started to build jobs and after some minor glitches with the bios and network time setup, all the workers are now in production mode.

We already configured some of the build hosts to have less workers on them so the individual workers have more RAM for bigger build jobs and we’re thinking about making some of them build only in RAM for smaller build jobs. More optimization might follow, but even without that you’ll notice building on OBS will once again be as quick as a bunny!

– check out more pictures of OBS hardware in the Google+ group

„The server monitor is telling the awful truth: now that we have the build power we have to work on the other hardware bottlenecks, like the server delivering binaries across the build hosts and to our mirrors pronto!”

– said openSUSE Release Manager Stephan “coolo” Kulow.

So don’t forget that you can make a difference with your support and sponsorship for the openSUSE and OBS communities. If you happen be able to, or know someone who can, donate serious I/O power to the Open Build Service reference server – it’s time to tell us!

Go Check It Out!

See all the awesomeness of this new release. Either download the appliance and run your own instance or head over to the reference server to get your taste of OBS 2.4. And don’t forget to let us know how it goes on twitter, G+, facebook or simply in the comment section below. We’re looking forward to hear from you!

OBS Gaining More Power

April 23rd, 2013 by

Linux Power logoIn the last weeks, the Open Build Service has received support from several sponsors. SUSE brought in a new, powerful x86 compute rack, ARM support was beefed up with Samsung Arndale boards and today we are happy to announce that IBM has provided us with two IBM PowerLinux 7R2 servers to increase build capacity for its Power platform! (more…)

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…)

SUSE sponsors new hardware for the Open Build Service

April 8th, 2013 by

UTSmOKcQdU_bodybgOver the last year, the Open Build Service (OBS) reference server, a service to build and distribute packages from sources in an automatic, consistent and reproducible way, has been flooded with new packages, new distributions and even entire new architectures, deluging its build servers with compilation jobs. But spring is coming: SUSE has has just sponsored a rack server with some serious compute power for us to speed up your compilations. OBS will kick into high gear again! (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…)