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! Read the rest of this entry »
KDE desktops and applications - background, tips and tricks
Release is coming soon!
GNOME 3.10 - what's new!
Get excited about our second openSUSE Summit.
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:
- North America, Latin America and Asian Pacific: Supporter ticket, Professional ticket.
- Europe, Middle East and Africa: Supporter ticket and Professional ticket.
As supporter or professional ticket holders you will receive a special thank you surprise upon check-in.
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!
We’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. Read the rest of this entry »
More than twenty years have passed since GNU/Linux was born, and more than twenty five since the GNU manifesto by Richard Stallman. Free Software has become widely used in the industry and has been successfully introduced in many Computer Science Department syllabi’s all over the globe. But the Bachelor degree achieved by studying Computer Science not the one of Linux Administrator or Free Software Programmer. While Free Software specific MSc programmes exist, scientific research with its focus on publication, study and review is rather different than the required skills of application of technical knowledge in the business world.
Meanwhile, Free Software communities, born from the ashes of late 80s hacker communities, had the character of social movement. They attracted people from various social, economic, science sectors. Many of them, realizing the potential of Linux and its momentum, created a new generation of university dropouts. But their skills, even if they had tremendous knowledge of computer systems and networks, were undocumented and hard to prove in a ‘HR department-compattible‘ way.
Introducing the Linux Professional Institute
These were the reasons creating the need of certification in GNU/Linux. In 1999, in the midst of dot com bubble and just eight years after the first Linux Kernel came out, the Linux Professional Institute was founded to fill this gap in Free Software and networking professionalism. The great adoption of the LAMP stack by web servers during the dot com run led to high demand for Linux technicians, no matter if they were graduated or not. But employers are always happy having someone with proven knowledge of her skills, if not for them, than to prove to their customers that they employ skilled workers.
Having the LPI as vendor-neutral GNU/Linux certification helped make this proof of knowledge widely available. No matter what distribution the corporate server room runs or what is available in on the desktops in the cubicles, the LPI Certified professional is always capable of offering a solution fitting to the requirements.
LPI collaboration with SUSE
Regardless of how fanatic we in the Free and Open Source world can be, calling-writing-arguing on terms like Free Software, Open Source, Linux or GNU/Linux, the painful truth is that there are not many widely used distributions which sport an enterprise solution besides the ‘community version‘, a place in computer history and the resulting reputation – bringing a certification to the table.
Actually, there are only two, one of them being SUSE. With roots in Slackware, SUSE has a dominant place in Linux distribution market but also a large piece of Linux Desktop & Server pies. For this reasons, LPI and then-Novell committed in 2010 on a still on-going partnership for granting SUSE Certified Linux Administrator (CLA) certification at no additional cost or exams to holders of LPIC-1. To further support this initiative SUSE Training Services has formally agreed to include the required LPIC-1 learning objectives in its CLA course training material, making this process work the other way around as well.
Many people, after using SUSE and openSUSE, became dedicated users and later determined to continue this path professionally. In this context the LPIC 1 – SUSE CLA partnership is very important because is the first step of the certification path at SUSE. Having a full certification from LPI and one of the main Linux vendors, be it SUSE or Red Hat, is an important mark in the market place as professional specialization is what market needs today.
LPI at oSC
If you are a dedicated SUSE or openSUSE user – power user – admin – magician, you should consider getting LPIC 1 certified. It might be the first step to a more successful career in Free Software. The upcoming openSUSE Conference in Greece will feature a LPI Exam room, where you can take your test and get going with these professional certifications. See the oSC LPI page for more details. There will also be a session by Konstantinos Boukouvalas on the subject of Linux certification. Be there, it’s a great place to start your Linux career!
Article contributed by Konstantinos Boukouvalas, Operations Manager LPI MA Greece
In 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! Read the rest of this entry »
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.
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.
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…
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.
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!
For those of you waiting for (or working on) openSUSE 13.1, we have good news: milestone 2 is now out for you to download. As to be exptected, the inclusion of newer software versions is the highlight of this release. Broken in M1 and fixed now are automake, boost, and webyast. But first, let’s talk openSUSE 12.1: it is no longer maintained. Read the rest of this entry »
the openSUSE Conference kicks off in less than 6 weeks! The conference Paper Committee has been receiving and judging a lot of presentation proposals and while there is still time to send in papers, a number of sessions has been confirmed already. In this article we will present you some of these sessions!
Community and Project
The Community and Project track gathers talks around openSUSE and community activities, quoting the CfP page: “including but not limited to project governance, marketing, artwork, ambassador reports, collaboration with other FOSS communities and other topics”.
Currently accepted talks will introduce local openSUSE communities, intro the new ambassador and merchandising programs and discuss Free and open in general.
One particularly interesting subject will be openSUSE statistics. It is given by Athanasios Ilias “zoumpis” Rousinopoulos, student and Greek openSUSE ambassador from Spain (long story…) and Alberto “aplanas” Planas from the openSUSE team. They will each talk about numbers in a different area. Zoumpis is a MSc student doing research on doing quantitative analysis on communication in Free Software projects. He has studied the openSUSE repositories, mailing lists and bugzilla and extracted information from them. He will analyze the activity of the openSUSE community with interesting graphs and statistics!
Alberto has been working on measuring statistics before, during and after the openSUSE release. How many downloads does openSUSE have, how many installations? And where do these numbers go? This gives interesting insights in where we, as a community, are going and what options we have before us.
An interesting array of speakers will give attendees insight into the inner workings of openSUSE during the great workshops and talks on the Geeko Tech track. Although it often seems that openSUSE works by an act of magic, reality is that there are very dedicated developers behind it. Here is a snippet of sessions dealing with the more technical aspects of openSUSE.
Starting with the Open Build Service, Henne Vogelsang will deliver a two-part masters workshop on how to get your packages processed by OBS. Ranging from the conception of new packages to updates for older releases, Henne will show the way.
Making sure that openSUSE stays stable is important for a good User-distribution relationship! What started as a way to improve quality for the final release of openSUSE by Bernhard Wiedemann became a important project to improve development of openSUSE. Through his mighty Perl scripts openQA is able to provide information to users about the state of openSUSE’s stability during development. A workshop and a talk dealing with the subject will teach attendees to use openQA to find and report issues and build further test cases, helping make sure that we all have the best openSUSE available.
Other talks include Lars Vogdt presentation of openSUSE’s infrastructure, showing what’s behind building and serving a Linux Distribution; a review of what openSUSE can do to make a tastier Raspberry Pi, making sure that openSUSE’s installations are secure and how you can carry server virtualization through OpenStack in the size of a flash drive.
For this area we invite other FOSS projects to share their work and collaborate with the openSUSE community. Submissions are not limited to technical content, you may choose to talk about your favorite pet project such as building a boat, a robot, or anything else you care about.
Two prominent and disrupting Window Manager presentations make their way into the conference. The MATE desktop with the latest changes and features will join the illumined Enlightenment Desktop in two great presentations about their awesomeness. Since the inception of drastic changes to the most popular window managers Gnome and KDE, many have sought to find alternatives that sit better with individual needs. MATE attempts to bring back a traditional Gnome 2 experience even after Gnome moved their packages to version 3. Enlightenment being an old classic in the bunch but always with fresh and daring ideas makes its appearance on stage with great ideas on how to show speed and a polished system to manage your files.
The Open World track helps you learn as well. Every morning Jos Poortvliet will teach you improved presentation skills and coupled with the presentation by Salih on how to evangelize Linux this becomes the perfect combo for those looking to help make more openSUSE adepts.
Now go and book!
The conference is soon but if you have not booked yet – there is still time. Go, prepare!
Master oSC13 Kostas just published his “only 58 days to go” blog in his series of daily how are we doing posts and it should be clear that with less than two months to go, we’re getting close! openSUSE conference 2013 is already just around the corner… And starting today, you can sign up to volunteer and help out at the venue!
Join the Team
Many people are already helping with the organization in trello.com/osc13 – if you have not seen where we are yet, just follow the link and check it out! We want to organize our event as openly as possible, and Trello is a great way of doing that.
But there is more than preparation. We also need an ‘army on the ground’: the people who make it happen on the conference days! If you want to get more involved and help out during the conference days, you can apply to be a volunteer for oSC13 by filling out the form at http://bit.ly/10s5HDJ. We need you!
One important thing to have in mind is that ALL Volunteers must attend the Volunteers Training, which means that you have to be at the venue on the 18th of July at noon. This year the training of the volunteers will be something you have never seen before. Beyond the regular volunteer training you will be able to get some basic knowledge on First Aid and how to react on-site in case of emergency or disaster (such as a fire or an earthquake). All the training will be conducted by professionals. Our purpose is for volunteers to acquire knowledge that can be used basically everywhere.
As a quick refresher of your memory, this year the openSUSE Conference takes place in the beautiful city of Thessaloniki, Greece. The to-be-awesome event is organized by our Greekos, an elite team of Greek contributors to openSUSE.