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Archive for September, 2010

openSUSE Conference 2010 – Collaborate Across Borders

September 13th, 2010 by

The openSUSE Conference brings together users, contributors and friends of the openSUSE project from 20th to 23rd October in Nuremberg, Germany. Over four days, more than seventy talks and workshops explore the theme of ‘Collaboration Across Borders‘ in Free and Open Source software communities, administration and development. The conference is the yearly get-together of  the openSUSE project to give its people a chance to meet face to face, talk to and inspire each other. It takes place in the Berufsförderungswerk Nuremberg in the beautiful surroundings of the Franconian metropole. Everybody interested is welcome to join and enjoy the program which starts each day at 9am, the admission is free.

Read on to learn more about details of the program, involved people and the event in general.


Forum Users Benefit from openSUSE KDE Repository

September 12th, 2010 by

Without question, users who frequent the openSUSE forums are very appreciative of all the work being done by ALL the various development teams. The progressive nature of KDE4 continues to spark a great deal of interest generally, though especially do users want options to try the latest and greatest, yet at the same time maintain a level of stability. With KDE development moving so quickly between distribution releases, users don’t want to be stuck with the distro release version of KDE. The much requested 4.5.* stable repo has now been provided for openSUSE 11.3 users. Those currently using the Factory repo will now be able to switch to:

A great shout of praise must go out to all those involved in making this repository possible.

openSUSE Weekly News, Issue 140 is out!

September 11th, 2010 by

We are pleased to announce our new openSUSE Weekly News.

New Search for openSUSE Wiki

September 10th, 2010 by

Here is the news that a lot of you have been waiting for!  The new wikis (en.opensuse.org, languages.opensuse.org, and dewiki.opensuse.org) have been switched to the new Lucene search engine.  The legacy wikis are still running the old search, but they will start using Lucene as they are migrated to the new wiki system.  So what should users expect with the new search?

Relevance and Ranking

The new search uses more complex algorithms to determine search rankings.  This means that you can find what you want faster.


The new search engine can produce suggestions based on the wiki content.  This means that it can suggest names, obscure terms, and other words that wouldn’t be found in a standard dictionary.  In addition, it can provide suggestions for whole phrases, even if all the words within the phrase are correct.

Fuzzy Searching

Not sure how to spell it?  Just add ~ at the end of the word or term!  For example, the search term “linus~” will return results for Linus, Linux, and any other similar word.

Related Articles

If you click on the “Related” link by a particular search result, you can view all related articles.  Two articles are considered related if they are both referenced in a third article, so this feature will get better as the wikis continue to grow.

Wildcards and Namespace Searching

These are actually not new features, but some people might not be aware of them at all.  If you want to search on a specific namespace, you can prefix the namespace to the query with a colon.  For example, if you only want to search the support database for information about Nvidia, just use the term “sdb: nvidia”.  If you want to search all namespaces for Nvidia, just use “all: nvidia”.

Wildcard searches work exactly the same way as before.  You can use a * either at the beginning or the end of the word, but not in the middle.  Single character wildcards (?) are not available, as with the default search.  However, the fuzzy search can handle that functionality much better, so consider using that in its place.

Stemming and Synonyms

Basic word stemming is available for the more common languages (English, German, Spanish, etc.).  For example, the term “stopped” will return results for “stop” and “stops”.  Synonym searching is available for English but is not enabled yet.  If enabled, this will allow for context free synonyms to be searched, such as “11” in place of “eleven”.


For now, the index will be rebuilt once a day, which means changes should show up in the search within 24 hours.  After some performance review, indexing will probably start happening more frequently.

Many thanks to Robert Stojnić for creating such a fantastic search engine and for his personal assistance on a technical issue I had while implementing it.

As usual, problems should be directed to webmaster@opensuse.org or the wiki mailing list.  Thanks!

SUSE Studio Contest – you have until the end of this month!

September 8th, 2010 by

For those who didn’t know yet, about two weeks ago Novell introduced SUSE Gallery.com where you can submit your SUSE Studio Appliances for the world to see and download. Over the last year, the 400.000 appliances have have already been downloaded 3 million times and now they are available from the Gallery that number will surely skyrocket.

Together with the launch Novell started a contest with a grand prize of $10.000! Creative minds have until the end of this month to submit their crazy/cool/unique/useful appliance to SUSE Gallery.com and enter the contest. So those looking for Fame and Fortune, enter your software appliance into “The Disters” contest and see how you stack up to the rest!

If you haven’t registered for a SUSE Studio account, be sure to request an invitation to get signed up. It’s a quick and easy process and you’ll be able to get started with your appliance in minutes!

openSUSE Weekly News, Issue 139 is out!

September 5th, 2010 by

Now we are ready. We’re pleased to announce our new openSUSE Weekly News #139. Enjoy it! :-)

Strategy sucks

September 3rd, 2010 by
strategy statement from team

Hi all,

Over the last weeks there has been a lot of disussion, both internally and externally, about the strategies which have been proposed. However, we also missed a lot of voices from our community. We take responsibility for leaving many of you behind by focusing on a very corporate-management solution to the initial question which prompted this process. A question we think still is relevant: The identity of openSUSE both as a Community and as a Project.

Initially our goal was to answer: “Who is openSUSE and what does it (want to) do?” prompted by the discussion about the default desktop at the openSUSE conference last year. In five years the openSUSE project has evolved from a fully company-driven project to a communty project where everybody can contribute. This has brought uncertainty and a lack of direction. The current lack of a clear ‘story behind it all’ is hampering our ability to establish a common identity and sense of security. From a marketing point of view, it becomes an uphill battle…

Throughout the process, we consulted some people and the discussion about a strategy started with the goal to solve this issue. However, many feel that ‘strategy’ and the approach to find one is not fitting our community. We lost most of you in the second paragraph of the strategy pages on the wiki – too much talk.

We would like to go back to the start and focus on describing who we are, as a community, instead of finding new ways to go. The input you all have given us by mail, forums, IRC and in person was valuable and we will use that. So that is what we will do:
  • Highlight the story behind openSUSE
  • Identify what users we target and illustrate what we offer to them,
  • Connect it with the issues that matter most to our community
And then we will document this story, image, direction, strategy – or however your call it ;).

From you all – we will continue to seek your input on it once we post it. By mail, forum, IRC or in person – again. Without your help it won’t be much, so please think about that!


Your strategy team

openSUSE Connect Beta

September 3rd, 2010 by

As a result of the openSUSE Boosters’ ‘HackMeck‘ two weeks ago at FrOSCoN we are proud to present you with a new beta of openSUSE Connect.

Connect is supposed to become the central user database for the openSUSE project. Sounds bland, don”t it? But you know the Boosters, everything we do comes with a grain of spice and Connect is no different. The spice here are a lot of nifty social network features like user profiles, friending, groups, an event calendar and possibly more. Thats possible because on top of the user database we use a Free Software social network framework called Elgg. Elgg will help us to go a step further in one of the most important areas of the openSUSE project: Connecting our community. We do a very good job connecting code at the moment but there is no central place for openSUSE users to mingle, form relationships and meet collaborators.

Try it!

Did we whet your appetite? Want to try it? No problem, just head over to our beta instance http://connect.opensuse.org and login as user geeko with the password opensuse to try it out. Make some friends, create a group or run a poll. This instance is regularly deployed with the newest code from our git repository so you will always get the latest and greatest. But please don’t forget that this is a beta :-) If you encounter any problems, guess what, make a bugreport in our bugzilla!

Help out!

Or how about you get your hands dirty? So far our experience with Elgg is wonderful. It’s a tidy, extensible and well designed piece of software. The community is very helpful and there is a lot (if not to say a butt-load) of functionality available. And if something is not there already we have found that we can easily add it. You could too you know? Elgg runs on a combination of Apache, MySQL and the PHP scripting language and as this is the most popular web server environment in the world we hope we can attract more people to help to fit Elgg to openSUSE’s needs. And on top of that it’s really easy to hack on it! The changes we did so far at the HackMeck and the last couple of weeks are self-contained in plugins that extend the basic functionality. The powerful data model and view system of Elgg make it possible to change it to openSUSE’s needs without ever touching the core functions. So if you are interested in helping, get to know Elgg and then get in contact with the openSUSE Boosters.

We hope you will enjoy this new openSUSE tool. And remember: Have a lot of fun…

openSUSE Announce First 11.4 Development Milestone With Improved Package Management Performance, New XOrg, KDE and GNOME

September 2nd, 2010 by
Broken-up chocolate bars symbolising parallel download of packages

Metalink multichannel download, so package candy melts your screen, not your internet connection.

openSUSE 11.4 Milestone 1 is available today, Thursday, September 2 for developers, testers and community members to test and participate in the development of openSUSE 11.4. M1 starts off openSUSE 11.4 development at a cracking pace with performance improvements in the package management network layer and version updates to major components.

This milestone contains libzypp version 8.1, which has a new backend for http and ftp package downloads. MultiCurl replaces the old MediaAria backend, and brings support for zsync transfers and better Metalink download support. These will improve both repository refresh and package install and update performance. Metalink allows the multi-channel download of packages by downloading the individual blocks of a package in parallel from multiple servers. ZSync reduces the amount of data to download by only fetching the changed parts of a file instead of the whole file. This speeds up repository refreshes, since due to the way the repository data is structured, it is easy to locate the parts of the metadata that changed since the last update. The new Curl-based zypp backend also gives libzypp and therefore zypper and YaST better support for network proxies, by using the same proxy configuration as the rest of YaST instead of its own, and adds support for HTTP BASIC password-protected repositories. And as an added bonus, MultiCurl should eliminate slow and hanging package installations that occurred due to bugs in the old MediaAria backend.

Broken up chocolate bars symbolising partial download of repo metadata

Zsync efficiently downloads only the changed metadata. Sweet!

Other major components that have received updates from upstream projects for Milestone 1 include XOrg 1.9, KDE 4.5 and GNOME 2.32.0 Beta 1. Automated testing and brave openSUSE Factory testers have been validating early builds to make sure that Milestone 1 is suitable for others to test, so please download Milestone 1 and report bugs – the earlier a bug is reported in the development cycle, the more likely it is that it will be fixed on release day, March 10, 2011.

The next milestone is scheduled for September 30.