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openSUSE Weekly News, Issue 153 is out

December 12th, 2010 by

We are pleased to announce our new openSUSE Weekly News.

openSUSE Weekly News

openSUSE Weekly News

openSUSE Weekly News Team





We are pleased to announce our 153 issue of the openSUSE Weekly News. Enjoy the reading :-)

Header PictureAnnouncements

Figure 1. Old Toad Poster

Old Toad Poster

The Januari edition of the German Linux-Magazin this year will feature something this Magazine has not featured for almost 10 years: a Free Software Event calendar. Sponsored by SUSE, this calendar features many of the upcoming Free Software events in 2011 mingled with interesting tidbits about Linux and Unix history! While this geeky piece of paper (offering the date and time of events in unix time) is cool, the back offers an even more exciting layer of ink: Beer! Our very own Robert Lihm, openSUSE artist Extra-Ordinaire has taken a picture of the famous “Old Toad” beer, featured at the openSUSE conference. Uttering the infamous words “A good beer is a good beer”, he decided this would form a good foundation for a poster. Hence, everyone who gets his or her hands on this first 2011 edition of Linux-Magazin can use the back of this Calendar to show how much beer and openSUSE go together (read more about the beer).
The Linux-Magazin folks have also thought about those for whom German is not a first language – they have made an English translation of the Calendar and the graphics for both Calendar and Poster are available on the openSUSE wiki for re-print under liberal licensing terms – the magazine is for sale now, get it or just download and print the calendars and of course the awesome poster! For the poster we hope to have sources online soon, if you want them now, ask Robert Lihm!Figure 1, “Old Toad Poster”

With the openSUSE distribution, we have a set of openSUSE manuals and QuickStart guides.
You can read them online via http://doc.opensuse.org. They are installed by default on your system so you can
access them there as well.

Figure 2. docs.opensuse.org


For openSUSE 11.4, we face the usual challenge of updating the manuals: The documentation
writers know what’s in the manuals but do not know everything that’s changed and the
developers know what’s changed but may not know all the manuals. For openSUSE 11.4, I created
feature 310944 Read the
documentation at doc.opensuse.orgin openFATE which will be the one reference point for
documentation. Please add there things that need to be changed in the manuals. I’ve already
added a few things that came to mind. Figure 2, “docs.opensuse.org”

The Novell documentation
will concentrate on updating the Startup Guide, the GNOME and KDE Quick Guides
and the Reference guide. They plan to also add a short chapter on the top use cases so that
for example new users know to use LibreOffice as their Office Suite and where to find more
information about it.

If anybody is interested in helping improve the documentation, please reach out to the
documentation team on the opensuse-doc mailing list or on IRC on the #opensuse-doc channel on
the freenode network. You can also find the sources of the manuals at https://developer.berlios.de/projects/opensuse-doc/.

Call for help Please add to feature 310944 new comments that explain
what needs to be changed in the manuals for openSUSE 11.4.

We are pleased to announce the Greek sub-forum is now live and ready for business. I have
been working closely with: @warlordfff, who will be one of the Forum Moderators. The full list
of openSUSE forum Moderators can be seen here: http://en.opensuse.org/openSUSE:Forums_team

openSUSE forums offers a warm welcome to all language groups and we are especially pleased
to see the successful launch of the Greek Forum. Now if only I was fluent in Greek! I could
make this announcement look really impressive. Enjoy.

On Saturday the 27th of November a Bug Day was organized to solve
the issue with Zombie bugs
, bugs against old, non-maintained versions of openSUSE. A
team got together in the #opensuse-bug channel on the freenode
network to review the bugs for any important and still valid information, otherwise closing
them to clean up bugzilla.

Results The outcome has been awesome:

Table 1. Results

open Bugs in: openSUSE 10.2 openSUSE 10.3 openSUSE 11.0 Total
Before 40 162 526 728
After 15 89 360 464

Join us in this effort! Here is what you need to

  • A recent version of openSUSE like
    or a milestone of
    . It’s of course okay to run openSUSE in a virtual machine.

  • An IRC client to interact with the other participants

  • Good mood :-)

But the most important thing that you should know is that everybody can help: just join us
and we’ll guide you, even if you only have 30 minutes of free time! A small team will organize
the event by providing lists of bugs, and will be available to guide new contributors if
needed. So it will be easy to help, you just have to come to the #opensuse-bug channel on the
freenode network at Saturday!

The team had a lot of fun last time, so be sure to join them and help out!

Earlier this week, the openSUSE Marketing Team held the first of a series of Collaboration
Days in December. This was, without a doubt, a success with many of our team members showing
up as well as many newcomers offering to lend a hand.

Figure 3. Apparently not build in a day

Apparently not build in a day

The focus for the 6 December event was to review existing support materials for our
Ambassadors. Moderated by Kostas Koudaras and Carlos Ribeiro, a variety of assignments were
tackled, from a list that included booth design and organization, kits for Ambassadors,
presentations, talking points, 2011 planning and much more. To be sure, not everything can be
accomplished in one day. Heck, even Rome wasn’t built in a day! Still, this day was long – after
all, we’re an international bunch, so there were a few more hours than usual :D

But the coolest thing was that at the end of the day people volunteered to take on the
assignments that were not done and committed to finishing them! We’re confident that in the very
near future, we’ll have just about everything on the list of last Monday will be finished.
Koudras and Ribeiro are busy sorting out the “dones” and remaining to-dos and the results will
be posted on the marketing
.Figure 3, “Apparently not build in a day”

More Collaboration Days coming!

Meanwhile, Linux Journal is noticing the spirit of
– mentioning the Collaboration days in the linked article! The team feels
full of energy and is looking forward to the next two Collaboration Days scheduled for this
month. On Monday, 13 December, we’ll have the Marketing Materials Review Day and on Tuesday, 21
December, we’ll have the PR and Social Media Review Day.

To quickly summarize again what we’ll be doing on those two days:

Marketing Review Day, under guidance of Chuck Payne and Bryen Yunashko, will review current
posted materials including, but not limited to, brochures, slide presentations, talking points,
etc. with the goal to strengthen existing materials and add new materials where needed.
Moreover, the wiki will be, where needed, reorganized so things will be easier to find.

Manu Gupta and Jos Poortvliet will host a Social Media day to focus on improving our
press/media communication, especially through social media outlets like Twitter/Identi.ca, bogs,
Facebook and more. If you’re interested in helping out, just do so! It’s great fun and we are
getting things done.

How it works

The day begins at 9:00 UTC and ends at 24:00 UTC in the #openSUSE-Marketing channel on
Freenode IRC The moderators of the day will post the list of suggested assignments. When you
come by, simply review the list and volunteer for an assignment to complete. Or, if you feel
there is something else more relevant to your preferences, you may create your own assignment.

At the end of the day, the moderators will review the day’s accomplishments and list what
has been completed and what needs to be completed. This subsequently will be posted on the
marketing wiki.

This is an opportunity for people to come together, not just marketing folks, and provide
their expertise in their areas, whether you are an OBS expert, openSUSE expert, design expert,

Header PictureStatus Updates

Header PictureDistribution

openSUSE 11.4 Milestone 5 release

  • Milestone: installation workflow is feature frozen

  • Proofreading of all software starts so that we have a new baseline.

  • Milestone: Feature and version freeze for the complete distribution (exception: patchlevel update of leaf packages until Beta1+)

  • Milestone: All features are coding and function complete.

  • Milestone: Kernel and install works on all targeted machines.

  • Milestone: Last round of software translation starts – “hard text freeze”

Team Report

Header PictureBuild Service Team

We just released a new osc version: 0.130. The main changes/features are:

  • – new “revert” command to restore the original working copy file (without
    downloading it)

  • – rewrote “diff” logic

  • – added new “–http-full-debug” option, “–http-debug” filters the “Authentication”
    and “Set-Cookie” header

  • – added new “–disabled-cpio-bulk-download” option: disable downloading packages as
    cpio archive from api

  • – added new “repairwc” command which tries to repair an inconsistent working

  • – workaround for broken urllib2 in python 2.6.5: wrong credentials lead to an
    infinite recursion

  • – support –interactive-review option when running “osc rq list

  • – improved “osc rq show <id> –interactive-review”

  • – do_config: added new options –stdin, –prompt, –no-echo:

    • –stdin: read value from stdin

    • –prompt: prompt for a value

    • –no-echo: prompt for a value but don’t echo entered characters (for instance
      to enter a passwd)

  • – added template support for a submitrequest accept/decline message

  • – lots of internal rewrites (new working copy handling etc.)

  • – support added for osc search ‘perl(Foo::Bar)’

  • – New “service” command to run source services locally or trigger a re-run on the

  • – setlinkrev is setting now the revision to xsrcmd5 by default to avoid later
    breakage on indirect links by default.

  • Features which requires OBS 2.1: support reliable diff for an accepted

Due to the rewrite of the working copy handling osc might fail with the following
error: Your working copy ‘.’ is in an inconsistent state. Please
run ‘osc repairwc .’ (Note this might _remove_ files from the .osc/ dir). Please check
the state of the working copy afterwards (via ‘osc status .’)

Simply run “osc repairwc” which might fetch files from the api or delete some files
from the storedir (.osc/). It won’t touch locally modified files. For more information see

The new packages should be available soon in the openSUSE:Tools

Thanks to everyone who contributed to osc!

Build Service Statistics. Statistics can found at Buildservice

Header PictureGNOME Team

The first package I pushed to openSUSE was Notify OSD (Canonicals Notification
Agent/Bubble) with a small patch for extended features (skinning/theming) maintained by Roman
Sukochev. This patch is popular and wasn’t merged with Notify OSD because it ‘breaks’ the spec
of Notify OSD that states it shouldn’t be skinnable/themable on Ubuntu.

Now I’ve packaged a lot of dependencies… cracked and patched GTK with a patch taken from
Ubuntu, spended hours of mind crushing frustration…. but finally it has landed! The first
‘Indicator’ has landed… Often known as “Ubuntu Me Menu”, under openSUSE it will be known as

Figure 4. Indicator ME Screenshot 1

Indicator ME Screenshot 1

This screenshot was taken on openSUSE Factory 11.4 Milestone 4. It’s a clean install with
Sonar and the only tweak is the Faenza-Dark icon theme, which I also packaged and pushed to
openSUSE:Contrib. Figure 4, “Indicator ME Screenshot 1”

Top right corner… Indicator ME on openSUSE. It works… I won’t backport it and will only
maintain it from 11.4 forward. I’m doing this for personal reasons, mainly to become an
alternative on a localized openSUSE Spin that will be named ‘openSUSE IBERIA’, which was
already taken into openSUSE-Project by Javier Llorente.

The main reason to bring this to openSUSE and into IBERIA is tightly related to the fact
that most people on the Iberian Peninsula use Ubuntu, so we find the best approach possible to
offer something as close as Ubuntu and hopefully even a better offer when it comes to
localization. We don’t want to make of openSUSE a ‘clone’ of Ubuntu, instead we want to make
the openSUSE experience more close to what people already use.

I’m also going to post a small pic of the same software, this time with Canonical’s
Radiance Theme, which introduces a small ‘tab’ like visual on the bar. This theme is awesome…
regardless of what people think of Ubuntu and Canonical… This is the kind of polishing that
makes Canonical successful, not just the ‘marketing’ many point and even despise.

Figure 5. Indicator ME Screenshot 2

Indicator ME Screenshot 2

Indicator ME as landed… soon others will follow… My plans are to submit this pieces of
software to GNOME:Apps, and not to push as default, but instead offer them at the distance of
a ‘zypper in package’ to the openSUSE users out there. And at the same time, since the
libraries behind it are also packaged… be more attractive to developers who might want to use
them. I see no loss neither an identity crisis on openSUSE by providing more packages and
alternative software to improve users Desktop experience… Figure 5, “Indicator ME Screenshot 2”

Future work (after indicators):

  • Synapse Launcher;

  • Unity (depending on some wild dependencies and some progress in understanding

I’ve manage to hammer in 2 more indicators. Indicator-session provides a quick and
easy method to manage your GNOME session. The options are pretty intuitive and it works ok
so far. A simple screenshot.

Figure 6. Screenshot


Then we have also indicator-network which was a bit more problematic to build and required a couple of very ugly quick fixes. Though I’ve built a package for it and it’s dependencies (including The Connection Manager). My concerns about it: Figure 6, “Screenshot”

  • It’s a piece of software under heavy development;

  • The user configuration interface is very fuzzy and provides cool clear text passwords for LAN;

  • nm-applet is far superior;

  • Requires ‘connection manager’ – Connection Manager is a pretty cool application, and it’s compat mode with Network Manager makes it’s integration pretty easy… Though ‘connection manager’ seemed to be an outstanding piece of software, I’m not going through all the trouble to package and integrate it in openSUSE (integration should be pretty fast, just a init script, since it allows compat mode with Network Manager).

I personally don’t like this network indicator… Though I’ve packaged it, I’ve decided not to share it because of 4 points above. I really don’t see anything positive about having it for openSUSE users, it would most likely turn their GNOME experience into something a bit fuzzy.

Either way… that’s how it looks…

Figure 7. Screenshot 2

Screenshot 2

Figure 7, “Screenshot 2”

As the indicator saga continues… some new indicators were built… Indicator-messages is
a small indicator that pics up messages and stuff from applications to display them on a
nice all-around indicator. It works fine with evolution (plugin also built and doesn’t
require patching for what I’ve seen).

This indicator support more applications, though they require some patching. As being
discussed on the opensuse-GNOME mailing list as as proposed by Vincent Untz, this
indicators are moving to GNOME:Apps and there _might_ an effort to support some features
in applications like empathy. Keep in mind this is not a priority, but if it’s possible to
support some more feature, it might happen.

Figure 8. Screenshot


AdditionallyFigure 8, “Screenshot”, I’ve also tried some other indicators… indicator-application for what I
can tell is an indicator that removes the menu’s from the GTK applications and places them
on the panel (MAC style). I’ve built this indicator, but I have no means to test yet
because further patching is required at least in GTK and eventually on glib. I don’t think
there’s actually any need to have this indicator, specially when it will bring additional
efforts on GTK maintenance, and this feature is somehow supported by software like
gnome-globalmenu (which I’ve also packaged for myself and works dearly with supported

I’ve done some hammering on indicator-sound as well… Ubuntu’s sound widget… I’m stuck
with some error and I have 2 possibilities… downgrade to the last version of the previous
branch which should built, or work the current branch (more dependency demanding). I’m
working on it… it will happen one way or another during the next days. I guess this one is
actually one of the most wanted :)

There are few other indicators… for time and date, calendar and so on… Those will be
last ones. After indicator-sound is done, I’m starting to clean up the packaging and make
sure it’s compliant to the GNOME team methodology and submit them to GNOME:Apps and the
support libraries that are required as dependencies forwarded to projects where they might
be useful (need to check out with the people which ones those will be).

A special thanks to Ken Vandine from Canonical for some guidance with libindicate.

I’ve seen around some ‘hate’ waves towards Canonical, and I would like to say that so
far in the few times I’ve interacted with them, either on bug submission or asking help,
they have been awesome and caring. It’s really something I would like to point… they are
pretty cool, and their devs are very helpful (but hey… so are our devs ;) ). Also a very
special thanks to Vincent Untz, Dimstar and mrdocs which have been a great help and from
whom I’ve learned already a lot.

So picking up the useful stuff… and placing it up together in a single Indicator:

Figure 9. Screenshot 2

Screenshot 2

Figure 9, “Screenshot 2”

Header PictureopenFATE Team

Top voted Features

* Features with highest vote, but no one has been assigned to yet. We are looking for volunteers to implement.

Network installation could be improved by running package download and package installation in parallel.

“I wanted to open a fate feature about this when I first heard of plymouth, but reading http://fedoramagazine.wordpress.com/2008/10/21/interview-fedora-10s-better-startup/ really makes me think we should go this way. (…)”

“An easy way to remove Software! For example: you installed an application with “1-click install” (which will install all the packages that you need), there should be an easy way (also with 1 click) to remove what you have installed with that 1-click operation… in another words: an “1-click Uninstall” to remove installed software (dependencies and packages included).”

“We need a replacement for sax2 in 11.3, as a safety measure for when auto configuration fails to detect certain monitors/keyboards/mice. (…)”

“The YaST Qt package manager should provide as much information in the “Installation Summary” view as zypper, esp the overall download size to expect and how much disk space will be freed/used after performing the operation.”

“Idea from community member Raúl García.
Same concept as MSI packages for Windows but exploiting the One Click Install concept of openSUSE (and therefore inheriting the simplicity, code and security. (…)”

Recently requested features

* Features newly requested last week. Please vote and/or comment if you get interested.

can I suggest this could be valuable addition to OpenSuse for mobile broadband?”

“As harddrives with capacities more than 3TB’s are available, we need to ensure that those drives are fully supported. (…)”

“When installing/updating with zypper and “–download in-advance” zypper shows a counter of how many packages are to be downloaded and at which position we currently are: (…)”

“Mumble, a groupchat system, should go into next Release. It could improve the support. A testchannel “openSUSE” is alreday set up at “openMafia.org”. Working repos exist at buildservice.”

“Bcache is a patch to use SSDs to transparently cache arbitrary block devices. Its main claim to fame is that it’s designed for the performance characteristics of SSDs – it avoids random writes and extraneous IO at all costs, instead allocating buckets sized to your erase blocks and filling them up seqentially. It uses a hybrid btree/log, instead of a hash table as some other caches.”

“We need for openSUSE 11.4 a review and update of the startup guidee and of other manuals. Let us add in the comments what we need to change in the documentation.”

“chkconfig can be used to enable/disable init scripts and [x]inetd services. e.g.
chkconfig vsftpd on -> disable xinetd config and turns on vsftpd init script
chkconfig vsftpd xinetd -> turns off init script and enable xinetd config
chkconfig vsftpd off -> turns off init script and/or xinetd config (…)”

“The description from the application’s website [
http://gtk-apps.org/content/show.php/PAC+Manager?content=125533 ]
“PAC is a Perl/GTK Gnome replacement for SecureCRT/Putty/…
It provides a GUI to configure SSH/Telnet connections: users, passwords, EXPECT regular expressions, macros, etc…””

“as per the first beta announcement:
“This new release brings a lot of new features. The following features are critical and need a lot of testing to make sure they are top-notch for final release at the beginning of 2011. We need your help with this, so try them out and report any problems you find! (…)””

“It would be nice if OpenSUSE would make special releases which have much life time than 18 months, as like as Ubuntu does with its LTS releases.
Ubuntu release a LTS version each two years, and they have five years of support, updates, and repository life. OpenSUSE could adopt a similar policy about this.
Believe me, many people love to can install an OS and not have to touch it in years, and this is a main reason about why I deploy Ubuntu LTS releases in some systems instead of OpenSUSE.”

“Many people today use an OpenVPN server to access their personal networks or networks at work.
The set up of an OpenVPN server is complex also, as several adjustments must be made at various points in the system.
e.g. OpenVPN Configfile, SUSEFirewall, /etc/sysconfig Files.
A module would make it easier to set up a OpenVPNserver.”

“Installing ATI Catalyst is problematic, possibly due to pre-existing FGLRX drivers which need to be removed before installation of the ATI drivers. It’s remarkably easy for a non technical user to come up with a botched installation. Doubly so for the 64 bit version which has 32 bit dependencies. (…)”

Feature Statistics

Statistics for openSUSE 11.4 in openFATE

Header PictureTranslation Team

Header PictureIn the Community

openSUSE for your Ears

The openSUSE Weekly News are available as livestream or podcast in German. You can hear it
or download it on Radiotux.

From Ambassadors

Figure 10. Braselieros


The openSUSE Brasileiros!
A few weeks ago, Latinoware offered an opportunity for the Brazilian openSUSE ambassadors to organize an ambassador meeting, combined with a great showing at the Latinoware event itself. The ambassadors gave a series of talks and workshops while answering questions at the booth and helping users with the installation of openSUSE. International visitors Bryen Yushenko and Jos Poortvliet flew in to attend the ambassador meeting, get to know the team and give keynotes about the importance of accessibility and the openSUSE community itself. It is safe to say that the event was hugely successful and of course a lot of fun! Figure 10, “Braselieros”

Venue Many semi-government organizations or
government-run companies in Brazil, operating important communal services, have a dual
purpose. A library provides books and a Museum shows it’s guests the beauty of art. But they
have other goals too like creating jobs or improving welfare. Latinoware itself is an
example as it is hosted by Itaipu. Itaipu is ‘s worlds largest hydroelectric dam located
across the Brazil-Paraguay border (also close to Argentina) and near to Foz do Iguaçu, a
city with about 500.000 inhabitants. Foz do Iguaçu is a very touristy place, as it features
the world largest water fall (Cataratas do Iguaçu in English is Iguassu Falls, the water
falls of Foz do Iguaçu). It used to feature an even larger waterfall – the building of the
worlds largest hydro-electric dam has however turned the worlds second largest waterfall
into the biggest. This collaborative effort between the two countries generates about 19% of
Brazil’s and almost 90% of Paraguay’s annual electricity needs. Itaipu invests heavily in
social programs to decrease social inequality, build schools and care for the environment.
And it organizes Latinoware – an attempt to increase education and support the local
economy. I don’t have to argue with you why Free Software is far better for the local
economy than proprietary – great to see this is recognized by Itaipu. Itaipu itself makes
heavy use of Free Software, running thousands of openSUSE and SUSE Enterprise systems. John
“Maddog” Hall explained on the bus to the conference location: they have a long term
investment here. When they started building the dams, software was new – and so were
software businesses. Even now, the time needed to recoup the building costs (and hence the
minimum life expectancy of the project) exceeds that of most software companies. Imagine the
damage if Itaipu would suddenly be stuck with unsupported software running some of it’s most
crucial infrastructure! Itaipu wisely decided to go for a more long-term, durable solution
build on Linux. This provides them with software which is maintained by a huge international
community of large and small businesses and individuals – and even if they would fail to
maintain it, Itaipu has the freedom to do it by themselves as they have access to the source

Figure 11. Jos Poortvliet gives a keynote at the Conference

Jos Poortvliet gives a keynote at the Conference

The conference Latinoware is a big conference with
thousands of visitors and many simultaneous tracks accompanied by a large exposition area.
Many prominent Free Software projects gave presentations and featured a booth, as did the
openSUSE team. Most of the openSUSE ambassadors arrived late on the night before the
conference so the breakfast at the hotel turned into a meet-and-greet. At the conference the
team quickly set up the booth and started to prepare for the talks and workshops which were
scheduled. There was quite a turnout and unfortunately the supply of openSUSE DVD’s provided
a serious stumbling block – customs had stopped a shipping of 1000 DVD’s at the border so
there were only a hundred or so to give away. The ambassadors mitigated the issue by
performing openSUSE installations at the booth, thus ‘sharing’ the DVD’s in true Free
Software fashion. The first day ended with a party including a rock band at conference
venue, openSUSE people fueling party spirit with Bryen Yushenko in the lead and yours truly
bouncing around as well.Figure 11, “Jos Poortvliet gives a keynote at the Conference”

Figure 12. openSUSE Brasil Meeting

openSUSE Brasil Meeting

The second day had two keynotes given by openSUSE visitors.
Bryen Yushenko talked about how thinking about accessibility impacts common software
development and your writer spoke about the open and collaborative atmosphere in openSUSE
which has resulted in such innovative technologies as the openSUSE Build Service, KIWI and
upcoming projects like Bretzn. Like the first day there were other talks and workshops, same
as the third day. Friday the openSUSE team further organized an ambassador meeting with over
20 people attending. We did a round of introductions and spoke about the future of openSUSE
in Brazil and South America in general. The ambassadors who volunteered at Latinoware to
help out received some cool rewards including openSUSE branded soap, courtesy of the
creative brain of Carlos Ribeiro.Figure 12, “openSUSE Brasil Meeting”

Figure 13. Carlos Ribeiro introduces openSUSE Edu-L-Ife to Latinoware

Carlos Ribeiro introduces openSUSE Edu-L-Ife to Latinoware

Finishing things up Friday night the openSUSE team
invited people from the KDE, GNOME and Latinoware event teams at the hotel together for a
party. A few ambassadors went out to get Pizza and Beer, and upon their return the 25 FOSS
enthusiasts enjoyed some quality time together. Rest assured that the openSUSE team in
Brazil is very much alive and kickin’ and has great plans for the future. A big thank you
for the invitation from openSUSE ambassadors Carlos and Izabel – and extra special hugs for
Izabel who organized both the openSUSE and the GNOME booth, took care of hotel, travel – in
short, without her Latinoware would have missed two excellent projects ;-)Figure 13, “Carlos Ribeiro introduces openSUSE Edu-L-Ife to Latinoware”

Figure 14. Izabel Valverde discusses openSUSE at our booth

Izabel Valverde discusses openSUSE at our booth

openSUSE Everywhere At the end of the event, we heard
many visitors say that it seemed like openSUSE was everywhere. Many other stands like the
GNOME and KDE booths but also TV-Radio Latinoware featured openSUSE desktops; the openSUSE
ambassadors organized a large number of well-attended talks and workshops; there was the
openSUSE keynote; and at the booth many visitors brought their laptops to be equipped with a
fresh openSUSE installation. In short, we made quite an impact at the conference and brought
fun with us!Figure 14, “Izabel Valverde discusses openSUSE at our booth”


Header PictureNew/Updated Applications @ openSUSE

XBMC is an award-winning free and open source (GPL) software media player and
entertainment hub for digital media. XBMC is available for Linux, Mac OS X (Leopard, Tiger and
Apple TV) and Microsoft Windows, as well as the original Xbox game console. Created in 2003 by
a group of like minded programmers, XBMC is a non-profit project run and developed by
volunteers located around the world. More than 50 software developers have contributed to
XBMC, and 100-plus translators have worked to expand its reach, making it available in more
than 30 languages.

HandBrake is an open-source, GPL-licensed, multiplatform, multithreaded video

Clementine is a modern music player and library organiser. Clementine is a port of Amarok
1.4, with some features rewritten to take advantage of Qt4. Features: * Search and play your
local music library * Listen to internet radio from Last.fm and SomaFM * Edit tags on MP3 and
OGG files, organise your music * Cross-platform – works on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux *
Native desktop notifications on Linux (libnotify) and Mac OS X (Growl)

  • Search and play your local music library

  • Listen to internet radio from Last.fm and SomaFM

  • Edit tags on MP3 and OGG files, organise your music

  • Cross-platform – works on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux

  • Native desktop notifications on Linux (libnotify) and Mac OS X (Growl)

MythTV provides a unified graphical interface for recording and viewing television
programs. Refer to the mythtv package for more information. There are also several add-ons and
themes available. In order to facilitate installations with smart/apt-get/yum and other
related package resolvers this meta-package can be used to install all in one sweep.

VLC media player is a highly portable multimedia player for various audio and video
formats (MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DivX, mp3, ogg, …) as well as DVDs, VCDs, and various
streaming protocols. It can also be used as a server to stream in unicast or multicast in IPv4
or IPv6 on a high-bandwidth network.

You can find other interesting Packages at:

Header PictureSecurity Updates

To view the security announcements in full, or to receive them
as soon as they’re released, refer to the openSUSE Security Announce mailing list.

Dan Rosenberg published a new local root exploit for the kernel,
linked e.g. in this LWN article http://lwn.net/Articles/419141/
and for our german readers on

The exploit itself uses 3 seperate security issues in chain, all
found by Nelson Elhage.

CVE-2010-4258: This is the core vulnerability, which can basically turn
any user program triggered Oops into a local privilege escalation. This problem affects all
SUSE Linux Enterprise and openSUSE products (but needs another problem to trigger it.)

In the published exploit this Oops is caused by: CVE-2010-3850: Associating a ECONET address with any network interface.
This is possible in older SUSE products before SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 SP1 and openSUSE

CVE-2010-3849[3]: A kernel Oops caused by a NULL pointer dereference in
ECONET. This vulnerability does not affect any SUSE Linux or openSUSE product, as we do not
have the the sub-configuration of ECONET enabled that are necessary to exploit this.

As the ECONET parts of this exploit are not effective on openSUSE and
SUSE Linux Enterprise, the published exploit will not work as-is.

However, as SUSE kernels are affected by CVE-2010-4258,
an exploit could be written that uses a different method to Oops the kernel.

To mitigate this issue until updates are available, you can switch your
kernel to cause a panic on any Oops by doing as root:

echo 1 > /proc/sys/kernel/panic_on_oops

We will be of course also be releasing updated kernel packages containing

Table 2. Security Announce
Package: acroread
Announcement ID: SUSE-SA:2010:058
Date: Wed, 08 Dec 2010 14:00:00 +0000
Affected Products: openSUSE 11.1
openSUSE 11.2
openSUSE 11.3
SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 SP3
SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 11
SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 11 SP1
Table 3. 
Announcement ID: SUSE-SR:2010:023
Date: Wed, 08 Dec 2010 14:00:00 +0000
Cross-Reference: CVE-2010-0542, CVE-2010-1323, CVE-2010-1324
CVE-2010-1748, CVE-2010-2941, CVE-2010-3073
CVE-2010-3074, CVE-2010-3312, CVE-2010-3702
CVE-2010-3710, CVE-2010-3860, CVE-2010-3870
CVE-2010-4005, CVE-2010-4008, CVE-2010-4020

Header PictureKernel Review

With the next kernel version, Ext4 will reach new levels of performance and use a trick to increase its storage media formatting speed. Other new features include a discard function that is interesting for slow-trimming SSDs, the “Rados Block Device” for cluster devices, bug fixes and optimisations to Btrfs.

The Kernel Log takes the recent release of RC4 of kernel version 2.6.37, whose final
release is expected around the end of the year, as an opportunity to continue its “Coming in
2.6.37” mini series and describe the file systems improvements. Part 1 of the series described the changes in the graphics hardware area and in the
coming weeks, further articles will discuss the changes to the kernel’s architecture code,
drivers and surrounding infrastructure. (…)

Header PictureTips and Tricks

For Desktop Users

There are lots of options for creating 3D characters for animation, and they are often
made from scratch by mesh-modeling artists. But it’s obviously a very often-needed task,
using a lot of common elements, so you’d think someone would come up with a tool to make it
easier. And you’d be right. The free-software tool of choice for this task is MakeHuman. I
had looked into a much earlier version of the software before, but today it is rapidly
approaching the first real release, version 1.0 (currently it’s at 1.0-Alpha 5, with plans
to go through several more alphas still). The progress is remarkable, and this is going to
be a really important tool for 3D modeling in the future. (…)

For Commandline/Script Newbies

Have you every wanted to know how many hard drives a system has? Or how to find that USB
drive that you just plugged in, that isn’t showing up? It very simple with fdisk. Fdisk —
Partition table manipulator for Linux. Is also a great tool to help you. To see your drives
run the following command… (…)

For System Administrators

Here’s the latest in our new series on OS tips from power users: a seemingly trivial
task. You have a computer, most likely a laptop, that you wish to keep suspended while
you’re not working. For example, let’s say overnight. At the same time, you wish to run a
handful of maintenance tasks, like backups and cleanup, which you don’t normally do during
the day. So you need a mechanism that will send your machine to sleep, wake it up when
necessary, run cron jobs, then send it back to sleep again.

Possible? Well, if it weren’t, I would not be writing this tutorial, but it definitely
is not trivial. In this tutorial, I will show you how you can do this, in a relatively
simple and safe manner. We will check the requirements for the task. We will examine a
typical use case. We will discuss the many small-print items revolving around this idea,
e.g. why you need to be extra careful with waking from sleep for cron jobs. And we’ll do a
few other things, besides. . (…)

Header PicturePlanet SUSE

For a long time that I actively search the Portuguese Ambassadors… unfortunately I was unable to find them. I’ve learned once with someone which is very dear to me a single line that ended up by translating one great universal truth: “Stopping is dying”.

This afternoon, I’ve traveled northeast to the beautiful city of Oliveira de Azemeis, where I’ve met one of the unknown faces of the Portuguese openSUSE Community, João Matias. We’ve had a small chat about several topics… amongst them:

  • OBS – openSUSE Build Service – howto, examples and how useful it can be for students

  • University Campus – Event creaton… how openSUSE can represent itself on 3rd parties
    events inside of the campus;

  • Concerns about the growth of the Portuguese Community;

  • Ambassadors or Campus Activists?

  • The new ‘Portuguese’ Forum at forums.opensuse.org (Special Thanks to Jim Henderson and
    the Forums Team for their outstanding guidance during the submission process);

  • Christmas Dinner @ 11th December and hot-topics.

We look forward to a smiling future full of work and hopefully with a stronger openSUSE
presence in the Portuguese University Campus.

Looks like it’s been a while since I mentioned anything about our dear friend Smeegol –

As most will know MeeGo made a couple of releases:

  • 1.0.5 mostly an update to their original release

  • 1.1.0 the new release with new API, and renaming most packages

So where is Smeegol? Well we’re pretty much there, although not 100%. I have
1.0.5 all built and packaged including an image. Problem is I seem to have hit a bug with
network-manager-netbook – it doesn’t seem to be displaying networks which is a fairly
fundamental issue :-(

I have also got 1.1.0 built, but for factory only atm – I’m having some issues with
tracker on 11.3. Problem is when I try and run the image, I basically have an unusable system
thanks to some Gconf fubar but I don’t really know what.

You may have also noticed that I’m still calling it Smeegol ;-) Well the simple reason is
I have requested clarification from MeeGo, Nokia, Intel and the Linux Foundation and so far
I’ve received bubkiss!! I heard loads of talk from the recent MeeGo Conference about how open
MeeGo was, but it seems that they are only open to partners who can help them make money; not
open to the wider community. I am not alone in waiting for a response from them, Fedora and
Debian are also in limbo waiting for information/clarification and general communication from
them. The difference between us is the fact that in openSUSE if you want something done the
best way is to Just Do It :-)

So in a nutshell, before I make an official release of either I need people to test and
report back to me what does and doesn’t work. I haven’t tried doing an upgrade from 1.0.3 to
1.0.5 or 1.1.0 so maybe someone could try that. Jump onto #opensuse-moblin on Freenode or the
opensuse-goblin mailing list and let’s continue to be trail blazers. Yes I know I need to
align the mailing list and irc channel names, but I’m waiting for a conclusion to the name
debacle first.

I would really love to get both releases out as a little christmas present to you the
community, so who’s up for some festive fun? ($ ld: 10.12.10 sm $)

Yearly the LinuxNewMedia give away an Award for some Free and Open software projects. A
jury give away some prizes for organizations, companies, and individuals who performed
exceptional feats in the Linux and open source scene in the past year. That prizes are given
from a jury with well know people from the FLOSS world. Normally there is no choice for the
readers, but this year is different. The best Linux distribution can be choosen from the

Its definitly so that openSUSE made in the last year big steps forward not only the
distribution himself even the tools that come from the project, like the Buildservice or such
tools like SUSE Studio makes the distribution of one of them the move the Open Source world
forward. So when you think also, then get out and vote. to the vote

Header PictureopenSUSE Forums

On the road to openSUSE 11.4 the news to wait for was the release of Milestone 4. This thread is a good example of how things like that go on the forums: users keep eachother informed on latest developments, exchange their first experiences.

Here’s a user with sort of a download problem. He wants to download entire repos at a friend’s place, and use rsync to do so. Like often, the problem is not whether this is possible or not, the problem is which choices to make to get optimal result. Contains some good advice and suggestions.

More and more people look for solutions to make their networks manageable. Linux provides some very nice solutions. This thread is started by a user that wants to use NIS to centralize his user administration and homedirectories. What starts as a bit of advice, becomes a small wiki on how to implement NIS and NFS on openSUSE with the use of Yast. Interested in having all your linux users and their data and settings in one place? Read ahead.

This week’s subforum:

Information for New Users

This subforum of the openSUSE Forums has three subforums: New User Howto and FAQ, Advanced Howto and FAQand Unreviewed HOWTO and FAQ. The first two are maintained by the forums staff, the last one is open for contributions from the forums members. The content is not only valuable for new users of openSUSE, these subforums also provide a knowledge base for more experienced users. Thanks to user contributions a wide area of subjects is covered, varying from hardware driver install to software migration. New users: a bit of reading in these subforums may save you a lot of time in getting aquainted with openSUSE and linux in general.

Header PictureOn the Web


The KDE community today announces the start of the Calligra Suite project, a continuation of the
KOffice project. The new name reflects the wider value of the KOffice technology platform
beyond just desktop office applications. With a new name for the Suite and new names for the
productivity applications, the Calligra community welcomes a new stage in the development of
free productivity and creativity applications for desktop and mobile devices.


The Amarok development team has released a first beta for version 2.4 of the open source music player for the KDE desktop, code named “Closer”. According to the developers, the first beta is aimed at developers and early adopters and includes a number of new features that require “a lot of testing to make sure they are top-notch for final release at the beginning of 2011”.

The 2.4 Beta 1 release features a completely re-written collection scanner that better detects compilations, the option to have Amarok write statistics and album covers back to the files directly and the inclusion of transcoding support – the developers note that transcoding will be expanded to media devices in a future release. A new applet for guitar and bass tab information, map and calendar views for the upcoming events applet, and the new Playdar collection that allows users to listen to music provided by a local Playdar service have also been added. Other changes include an option to show and hide the menu bar, a mass-tagging user interface using the Musicbrainz open content music database and support for the third generation iPod Touch.

As with all development releases, use in production environments and on mission critical systems is not advised. Users testing the release are encouraged to provide feedback and report any bugs that they encounter.

Further information about the development preview, including a full list of changes and
new features, can be found in the official release announcement. Amarok 2.4 Beta 1 is available to download from the project’s web site and
is licensed under version 2 of the GNU General Public License (GPLv2). The latest stable
release of Amarok is version 2.3.2 from the 20th of September.

Header PictureCredits

We thank for this Issue:

  • Sascha Manns, Editor in Chief

  • Satoru Matsumoto, Editorial Office

  • Gertjan Lettink, Forums Section

  • Thomas Hofstätter, Eventeditor

  • Thomas Schraitle, DocBook-Consultant

Header PictureFeedback

Do you have comments on any of the things mentioned in this
article? Then head right over to the comment section and
let us know!

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Header PictureTranslations

openSUSE Weekly News is translated into many languages. Issue
153 is available in:

Coming soon:

Both comments and pings are currently closed.

3 Responses to “openSUSE Weekly News, Issue 153 is out”

  1. Adenozinas

    Hej guys and girls,
    could you please bring back “previous like”
    news layout. It’s pain to read this “stack”…

    • Thanks a lot for commenting. We’re working hard to make the Weekly News friendlier. Since 2 Issues we’re using the XML/DocBook System for creating our HTML Code. We’re working on our Stylesheets too. Sure, it isn’t perfect, but i hope that we can make it better in future Issues. Can you explain please, what you dislike in this new Style? Maybe we can patch this in the next issue. (Sorry for late answer. I’ve seen it just now).

  2. seleko

    Do we really need italics?
    @-moz-document domain(“news.opensuse.org”) {
    p { font-style: normal !important; }