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openSUSE Weekly News, Issue 156 is out!

January 1st, 2011 by

We are pleased to announce our issue 156.

openSUSE Weekly News

openSUSE Weekly News

openSUSE Weekly News Team





We are pleased to announce our 156 issue of the openSUSE Weekly News.

The openSUSE Weekly News Team wishes all readers a good year 2011.

You can also read this issue in other formats. Just click here.

Enjoy the reading :-)

Header PictureAnnouncements

Next years FOSDEM takes place again in
Brussels on Feb 5th and 6th 2011 and openSUSE will be present as usual!

Apart of the well known high level open Source tech conference there will be for the 2nd
time the Distribution Miniconf.
The Miniconf provides the perfect place for different projects to share ideas, talk about
challenges each project has and to foster collaboration – and as openSUSE is all about
collaboration we want to play a major role there.

The Miniconf is open for every project. For more information please subscribe on the
Miniconf mailinglist.
We are looking for talks about cross-distro collaboration and presentations on openSUSE
technology – like OBS, openFATE but also where we are going – things like Tumbleweed!

Our contact with FOSDEM is Henne
, if you think about giving a talk, contact him.

Figure 1. The elusive Thirsty Thirteen

The elusive Thirsty Thirteen

In February 2010 openSUSE held the openSUSE survey 2010 to find out more about the community. Who are the openSUSE users? What do they want? Who are our contributors?
What motivates them? How can openSUSE improve? These questions and more have, to some extend, been answered by the over 27.000 participants in the three months the survey
was live. Just before the end of the year we finally managed to get the winner of the Chumby Figure 1, “The elusive Thirsty Thirteen” his prize. Konrad Schlichtherle from Dortmund,
Germany, is the lucky winner. Read on for more!


The winners of the prizes we gave away were, in no particular order:

  • Yosef Peretz from Jerusalem Israel

  • Carlos Gárzon from Colombia

  • Mityunin Alexander Vladimirovich from Russia

  • Dong Xiaoyan from China

  • Mar’yan Rachynskyy from Ukraine

  • Roland Ortmann from Germany

  • Sergey Goncharuk from Russia

  • Wolodja Pskowskaja from Russia

And the main prize, the Chumby, went to Konrad Schlichtherle from Germany.

We managed to catch Konrad on IRC – he is currently not involved with Free Software but looking to change that so tips for him are welcome!

      News.o.o: So, Konrad, you got the Chumby?
      Konrad: yes, i got it on the 27th. Many thanks for it. Its a nice gadget!
      News.o.o: So it’s working for you?
      Konrad: Yes, what else can I say about the Chumby? He stands beside me and plays music. I have to say, I use Linux since one year and have a lot to learn. I hope to 
      use the Chumby with some other useful things so I can learn more about Linux.

Survey results

The survey results are available as pdf file and on the openSUSE Survey
2010 wiki page an extensive analysis has been made. The results have helped make project
decisions, be it technical, marketing or otherwise – and we call upon all openSUSE community members to keep using these numbers to back up their choices! We want to be
close to ourselves and the opinions of 27,000 users and contributors is nothing to be sneezed at.

We’d like to thank everyone who answered the questionnaire again for their time and efforts and wish the winners a lot of fun with their prizes and their future
endeavors in the world of Free Software! And as usual, if you’re looking into getting involved, you can simply contact anyone on IRC or mail – that includes me, your
humble writer. Find me on IRC (freenode.net in the openSUSE channels like #opensuse-project) under the
nick jospoortvliet!

Header PictureStatus Updates

Team Report

Header PictureBoosters Team

Figure 2. The elusive Thirsty Thirteen

The elusive Thirsty Thirteen

At the end of the year it is the time for reviews and the openSUSE Booster Figure 2, “The elusive Thirsty Thirteen” team did not
want to let that opportunity slip. So what was important in 2010 from an openSUSE Boosters
perspective? What happened, what progress was made, how did the boosters help openSUSE? A
report from Klaas Freitag.

Who are the Boosters

For those who do not know who the Boosters are: We’re not Tuxies favorite boy group, but a bunch of people
dedicated to help the openSUSE Project in any way we can. The team consists of 13 people (BTW:
widely known as the thirsty thirteen) with skills ranging from low level C hackery over Ruby
on Rails mastering to Graphical Design or Project Management. Our team picks milestones and
works on them in a agile fashion while always following our mantra: Grow community by enabling
community. You can meet us at the usual places like IRC, the mailinglists or events were we
show up and spread the word about openSUSE. We’re there to make contributors life easier and
more fun, so if you have anything do not hesitate to talk to us. We’re here for you.

Events in 2010

So let’s quickly fly over the year of 2010 and see what was nice and important.


    Lets start with a very important event, FOSDEM in Brussels in February. We traveled
    there by coach the first time. That was remarkable because there were some push back
    against before (long journey) but we did it because it is cheaper, which means more people
    can go. The result was that we all were quite pleased by the coach trip as it was
    comfortable and fun, and finally not so much longer than the flight. And yes, consider how
    much carbon dioxide was saved? Since that trip I am constantly nagging for budget for an
    openSUSE Coach…

    I held a talk about Hermes at FOSDEM which was, well, not a great success, that thing
    seems hard to market. That happens, others were more succesfull, like Christopher with his
    talk about image building with Kiwi. Michal had a meeting with MySQL packagers from all
    over the world at FOSDEM, which was probably the first real initiative to collaborate on
    cross distro topics. I also bought a GNOME T-Shirt, met tons of old friends, had cherry
    beer and got a cold as usual on FOSDEM.

  • Dev meeting

    Also in February, we hosted a dev meeting of 25 KDE hackers here in the Nuremberg
    office. They worked on the highly rated plasma workspace for KDE 4.5. I still wonder how
    Will managed to get around with definitely no sleep for days.

  • Bento and wiki work

    At home, at the beginning of the year we worked on projects called “Integrate all
    Infrastructure under one Umbrella
    which resulted in the Bento web theme nowadays at all
    openSUSE sites use. It provides short ways from one site to another by thought through and
    pretty menus. Robert did a real great job with that and we got a lot of external
    recognition for it. At the same time the Wiki project started which was a huge project the
    Wiki community was pulling together with Henne and Tom. The decision was to create a new
    Wiki from scratch, implement reviewing features and transfer all relevant content into the
    new one while making sure to not transfer stuff nobody needs and maintains any more. That
    was a big thing and caused a lot of discussion. Today we can look back and say that we now
    have a well structured Wiki with valuable content. Fortune favors the bold :-)

  • OBS

    In parallel to that, Coolo and Tom were contributing to the new BuildService web interface. After long working hours we
    finally came out with a great web interface for OBS which was a big bum for the whole
    project, as it makes working in OBS much more fun. I remember that whole thing being
    started as a sprint called “Factory status”, aiming to provide a good overview
    for the Factory project in OBS. It grew a bit more ambitions, but, well,
    that’s how it goes if things are in movement ;-)

  • LinuxTag

    In June, there was LinuxTag in Berlin where most of us participated with talks in the
    free program or workshops on our booth. We educated a lot of people how to contribute to
    openSUSE in various ways. From submitting code fixes through the Build Service to creating
    great Geeko graphics with Inkscape to how to twist their own Geeko out of pipe

  • openSUSE 11.3

    In July, openSUSE 11.3 was released. That was lots of work beforehand with quite some
    boosters involvement, as Mr. Distro Coolo is part of the team. However not only he is
    contributing to the distribution, we all have our shares in it. 11.3 was a good one, it
    got good press and showed that we as a community are doing great. All over the world
    release parties were organized, some Boosters took over the one here in Nürnberg. Nice party with some talks, along with BBQ and beer. The latter ran out at 7pm,
    because many community members showed up. Cool, I love that kind of stress to organize
    food and beer quickly to let the party go on :-)

  • GNOME and KDE conferences

    Also in Summer, GUADEC as well as Akademy took place for our desktop Boosters. Vincent
    rocked GUADEC and gave away Geekos and stuff and advertised openSUSE as a good platform
    for the upcoming GNOME3. Will could not go to Akademy this year for a very good reason
    called Anna :-)

  • openSUSE conference

    In autumn, the for me most exciting event of the year took place, the second openSUSE Conference. We were
    heavily involved in organizing, program committee work, giving talks and presentations and
    all what is involved with that kind of large event. It was a huge success, as a very
    active and passionate community showed up. Discussions went from a “This is what we did”
    in the last year to a “this is what we could do” which is so great to see as that is
    resulting in innovation for the whole project. As a result some very concrete sub projects
    were created such as “Project Brezn” and openSUSE Invis which slowly evolves.

  • openFATE, Connect and more

    After the conference and the release of 11.3 we started to dig into milestones again
    with openFATE and Connect. Since a couple of weeks we have a
    nice looking openFATE that has the features that make it possible for the feature
    screening team to work on one of our most important tasks in our project: Looking into the
    future of the distribution with feature evaluation. We also implemented the future of the
    user/group handling for all the openSUSE services with a social twist: Connect. Our own
    instance of a social network that makes it possible to connect the people that make this
    project what it is and at the same time makes it possible to centralize the user

Busy 2010

So all in all the boosters had a very busy and prosperous year 2010. All of us carried
their individual share of work in the various areas of the openSUSE project we participate in,
be it in the openSUSE KDE and GNOME Teams, the openSUSE Distribution, the openSUSE tools or
the openSUSE Board. We attended a lot of events and organized a couple of our own with great
success. And we worked together on the most pressing milestones we saw for contributor growth
in a fun and clever way. All in all we helped a lot of contributors to stand up, take
responsibility and do get their hands dirty for the openSUSE Project. That makes us proud and
we will do this smarter, faster, better and stronger in 2011. Promised!

Header PictureGNOME Team

“Follow effective action with quiet reflection. From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action.” // Peter F. Drucker

This has been one of the guidelines in my life for quite some time… It started as a curiosity a long time ago with Notify OSD and evolved to full project
in openSUSE. It is important to acknowledge at this point the motivation provided by the openSUSE GNOME Team from which I’ve been getting plenty of guidance and
help, namely from Vincent Untz (vuntz) and Dominique Leuenberger (Dimstar). Thanks to them, we have now a GNOME:Ayatana Project on OBS (openSUSE Build Service),
currently being populated with the support libraries for Ayatana’s Unity and Indicators.

Susan Linton has made a small article for Linux Journal about this project in the past. Though some people pointed to me that it was advertising and excelling
Ubuntu… I would like to leave a statement… We’re not taking a hike on Ubuntu visibility, and it isn’t bad at all, on the contrary… In fact it will help Ubuntu, us
and many others… specially if some Ubuntu patches are accepted faster by upstream. I hope other RPM distributions will follow the way we, openSUSE, proudly seem to
pioneering! From my personal point of view… a distribution “distributes”… and despite this software isn’t attractive for some openSUSE users, I’m happy
it is available (totally or partially) for all those who want to test it… Wait… you don’t even need to install Ubuntu or changing the platform you run!

Due to several reasons, being the most important of them versioning, this repository will start on the next release of openSUSE in March 16th (World day
of Conscience, interesting point). This is also interesting as if YOU are willing to improve a package or submit a package you can now do it to this repository.

This goes with a very huge cookie for Dimstar and Vuntz for taking care of this repository and making sure that everything will comply with the openSUSE
Guidelines. You are my personal heroes. (…)

Header PictureMarketing Team

On the 6th of December, the openSUSE marketing team held the first of three Collaboration
Days. The goal of these days was to get on IRC together and get some tasks done. Each day was
organized by a team of two volunteers who build up a list of possible task which on the day
itself were to be picked up by the attendees.


Before talking about the material results, an important note: while indeed it was great to
get so many things done, the most important was something else. Working together like this was
fun. Really, the team spirit was great and everyone involved deserves a big kudos for simply
being such a great person! During the 24 hours that the event took, some members were online
for a much longer time than you could expect anyone to stay – true dedication! The meetings
really showed what the spirit of Free Software and openSUSE means – making a difference
together. Because we made a difference.

Among other things, the following things were accomplished:

Documentation created and updated: organizing booths and
launch parties; Ambassador documentation; Talking points; example Letters of Sponsorship; and
a general WIKI reorganization and cleanup.

Totally new: two short presentations, one about SUSE
Studio and one on OBS; short descriptions of openSUSE to be used in marketing materials; a
series of keywords associated to openSUSE for SEO usage; a photo gallery showing openSUSE
related images;

We also made significant strides in the feature list for openSUSE 11.4, which we hope to
turn into an informative and fun to read feature guide for the release! Based on the work on
short descriptions of openSUSE and the latest state of our Strategy, two folders are now in
development: one for potential openSUSE users and one for potential contributors. Anyone
interested in helping out: please contact us!

Moreover two short presentations on SUSE Studio and OBS were created which can be used in
presentations from the Ambassadors. Already some Greek ambassadors are using them and they
promised to contribute back translated versions.

Thanks all!

We would like to thank the whole marketing team and everyone else who joined for a great
job. We made a few significant steps forward and surely there will be more collaboration days
in the future!

Thanks especially to the volunteers who prepared the Collaboration days:

  • Review of Ambassador materials: Kostas Koudaras and Carlos Ribeiro

  • Marketing Review: Chuck Payne and Bryen Yunashko

  • Social Media: Manu Gupta and Jos Poortvliet

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.

Ray’s comment starting with “Every flicker and mode change in the boot process takes away from the whole experience.” is especially interesting.
Is it okay to track the “don’t show grub by default” here?”

“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. (…)”

“We need a feedback about packages that are preferred by users and actively
used. Debian already has a tool named Popularity contest (popcon) (…)”

“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.

“Every year around Christmas, openSUSE changes the bootloader screen to some winter wonderland with animated penguins. To me it is confusing, annoying and
childish. Please remove it from future releases.”

“openSUSE has continuously been outranked since 2009 by 3 GNOME-based distributions on distrowatch.com. openSUSE has failed to re-capture its spot as hot
contender in 2010 by betting everything on the KDE-4-card.

The only way to re-gain popularity and some of the buzz of those early years of SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop introduction seems to me to strengthen the
visibility of GNOME in openSUSE and preferably be at the forefront of GNOME 3 adoption; a position that Ubuntu has foolishly relinquished of its own
accord. (…)”

Feature Statistics

Statistics for openSUSE 11.4 in openFATE

Header PictureTesting Team

The next Testing Core Team IRC meeting will be held 2011-01-31 at 18:00 UTC and
will discuss 11.4 M6.

Attendance at the December 27 meeting was optional. As many of the team were on
holiday, only two were present. Neither of us had any particular problems with
11.4 M5, thus we took some time to get to know each other. As we did not have a
real meeting, the IRC log will not be posted.

The openSUSE forums have not had many complaints about M5, thus it appears to be
shaping up quite well. In addition, the 2.6.37 kernel, which is used in 11.4,
will have its release in roughly 1-2 weeks, thus there will be approximately 3
months of kernel testing before 11.4 is released. That is good timing.

Wishing everyone a happy and prosperous new year.

Header PictureTranslation Team

Header PictureIn the Community

Postings from the Community

FOSS.in day 2 continued.. yes I know after a long ten big days but I was too lazy to write a blog post, so I will summarize things quite fast over here. The second
day was quite good as compared to the previous days and I attended a few workshops and was able to attend and somewhat understand a few of them like MariaDB and I
specially liked the talk by security in mobile devices by Tobias Mueller. Yes, and I was able to get all the openSUSE DVDs given to the Delegate Kids provided by
FOSS.in guys and so the DVDs were too less for us :-( . The 3rd day was the worst in terms of talks for me as I could not get into a lot of talks and missed a few
interesting talks. Also the mediawiki miniconf turned out to be more of a waste of time rather than fun, at least for me. An Hacker’s apology by tuxmaniac was just
awesome and the Raghu Dixit Project totally rocked :D . I immediately boarded the train to my home after FOSS.in

As I reached my home, I was again anxiously waiting for the for the next openSUSE Collab Event – Social Media and PR which was quite successful and I enjoyed it
thoroughly. In the last few days I also played with the flickr api, and came up with a bunch of php based libraries. The best flickr api wrapper which I found was
phpflickr. The reasons being this guy has wonderfully wrapped all the functions of the flickr api. I played it around and used
Robert Lihm’s bento theme to make a photo gallery for openSUSE at my site.

You can find a view of my tinkerings at http:// suseware.com/flick. Man I am such a copy cat. Please give put in your
comments, improvements or anything, I will really appreciate it.

Also, if you may notice I have come up with a new blog design, this looks much cleaner imo and finally I inserted Google ads into my blog. Also removed a host of
plugins that were actually not required and I had added them for fun. Finally the title shows up in the blog pages.

In the past ten days I rather cleaned things up… and yes lazed quite a bit but then I am at home :) Enjoy Guys.. A happy new year

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 3. Merry Christmas to everyone

Merry Christmas to everyone

Yesterday a small team of the Greek openSUSE community decided to go on a Christmas roadtrip. We traveled about 2 and a half hours to go to the beautiful border
town of Florina. We were invited by teachers of The Educational Computer Association of Florina to help them promote FOSS. In the central square of the city they
hard wooden houses with different themes (you can see the pictures). openSUSE Greek team with KLUG and a very active elementary teacher, Mr Ioannis Kaskamanidis,
were informing people who was interested in what we do. Mr Kaskamanidis, brought his students with their XO laptops. Kids were showing their laptops with pride
and giving away info packs (PromoDVDs, stickers, brochures). We also met with a local doctor, Dr Evangelos Tsoukas. He translated and supports the Electronic
Medical Records program called openEMR.

openSUSE team was pretty happy about promoting our distro to citizens of Florina. We didn’t mind that we drove 200km to reach the city or the soft rain that made
us to put all our equipment inside the wooden house. What is left from this event was:

We did our job and we had fun!!!Figure 3, “Merry Christmas to everyone”

The first Kokoa and Friends meeting took place the 20th of December at the Computing and Electrical Department of ESPOL.

This meeting supported by the openSUSE community, gathered people from different levels of the Kokoa community and the ESPOL university. From students that are just
getting interested in using FLOSS (a.k.a. newbies), students who are “candidates” to join the Kokoa community, the current “active” members
and the experienced “senior” members.

In this event different topics were discussed covering FLOSS usage in the academia and the industry. Stories of success and guidelines were shared with people
interested in going forward in the world of FLOSS.

Special thanks to Cristina Guerrero, Nervo Verdezoto, Marisol Villacrés, and from Jarflex, Adonis Figueroa and Jessica Zuñiga the speakers of this meeting and
specially to Arturo Tumbaco, who helped me with the logistics to make this event possible.

Here some pictures about the meeting.

Figure 4. Merry Christmas to everyone

Merry Christmas to everyone

On December 28-29-30, 2010, we joined the calling from our friends from the web page xariseto.gr. They had a bazaar in Hortiatis, Thessaloniki (Greece). The place
was far from our city but it was near for some people that live there.

Many people were bringing items they didn’t need, but can be used by someone else that need them. You can see on the last picture Figure 4, “Merry Christmas to everyone” what
it was all about. We were there to inform people about FOSS and openSUSE. We had a lot of people asking questions about it. Mostly they didn’t know that there’s
something different than windows. We hope we made a difference even to 1 person.


Header PictureNew/Updated Applications @ openSUSE

“yamdi stands for Yet Another MetaData Injector and is a metadata injector
for FLV files. It adds the onMetaData event to your FLV files. It uses little
memory, is fast, and can handle big files (over 1 GB).

“Pogo is probably the simplest and fastest audio player for Linux. Its
elementary-inspired design uses the screen-space very efficiently. Pogo is
especially well-suited for people who organize their music by albums on the
hard drive. The main interface components are a directory tree and a playlist
that groups albums in an innovative way.

“Mupen64Plus is a plugin-based N64 emulator which is capable of accurately
playing many games. It includes four MIPS R4300 CPU emulators, with dynamic
recompilers for 32-bit x86 and 64-bit amd64 systems. It supports plugins for
audio, graphical rendering (RDP), the signal co-processor (RSP), and input.

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.

Header PictureKernel Review

Jon Masters talks about features in the 2.6.37 Linux kernel and
describes debugging a kernel problem using the Git bisection feature…

We’re now free of the Big Kernel Lock (in many configurations – it’s a config option that
will hide other not-yet-compatible options when used) and I have been running systems BKL-free
for some time now. Arnd Bergman and others have done an excellent job to rid us of this last
vestige of truly ancient non-scalable Linux and unless you need a V4L (Video-4-Linux – TV
tuner, webcam etc) device, you can probably run BKL-free today too. It is hoped that V4L will
be fixed soon, maybe in time for 2.6.37. You probably won’t notice a huge performance benefit
of running without the BKL unless you happen to have something more high end than a desktop,
but it’s still pretty cool to know that you could get higher performance if only you could
afford to have a system with dozens of CPUs to take advantage of it.

calability is great on the high end, but another more impressive feature for those working
with more down-to-earth systems is (at last) near-complete support for running as a Xen ‘Dom0’
(or host kernel) under the Xen hypervisor. For years, the support for Xen host kernels lived
in patches separate from the mainline kernel and had to be added separately. This constrained
which Xen kernels could be used and made life more difficult for those using it in their
virtualisation setups. It’s not (yet) possible to fully run an official Linus kernel without
any patches as a Dom0 host kernel, but the remaining extra driver pieces and other work should
be complete in time for 2.6.38. This incidentally prompted some folks in the Fedora kernel
community to wonder about scheduling. They would like this to land in Fedora 15 (for those who
want to use Xen instead of hardware-based KVM virtualisation) but are unwilling to accept
large patches for things not yet in the official kernel (especially given historical
experiences with having to maintain large patches for Xen). Only time can tell what will
happen there. (…)

This article originally appeared in issue 95 of Linux User &
magazine.The kernel column #95 by Jon Masters Subscribe and save more
than 30% and receive our exclusive money back guarantee – click here to find out more.

Support for fast USB 3.0 storage devices with USB Attached SCSI Protocol (UASP), an audio
loopback driver plus extensions to support Apple’s Magic Trackpad are only some of the
advances that improve the hardware support of the forthcoming Linux kernel version 2.6.37;
final release is expected in January. (…)

Header PictureTips and Tricks

For Commandline/Script Newbies

PC World – It’s a testament to how far Linux has come that users today don’t typically have to use the command line if they don’t want to. Such is the quality of the graphical user
interfaces in many modern Linux distributions that there’s simply no need, in general.

Yet the command line can be a highly efficient way of getting things done in the Linux
world–it’s often a much simpler, easier and more direct method than clicking through all
the menu choices, in fact.

I believe fear of the command line is one of the
top mistakes newcomers to Linux sometimes make. For that reason, let’s look at
some of the main commands any Linux user should know. (…)

Making your New Year’s Resolutions for 2011? How about adding, “learn Vim” to the list?
We make it easy, with all the Vim tutorials we’ve run on Linux.com in 2010.

This year we ran a series of tutorials on Vim ranging from the basics to more advanced
topics like extending Vim with scripts and plugins. If you missed them the first time
around, here they are again to help you get ready for efficient text editing in 2011.

  • Vim 101: A Beginner’s Guide to Vim

    This tutorial covers Vim’s modes, the basics of moving using Vim’s keybindings,
    editing, searching and replacing, and much more. Read the rest in A Beginner’s Guide to Vim.

  • Vim 201: An Intermediate Guide to Vim

    Many use Vim, but don’t make use of nearly all the features. In this guide, we’ll
    take a look at some of the intermediate features offered by Vim, including
    abbreviations, word completion, and editing multiple documents in the same Vim session.
    Get the full scoop in An Intermediate Guide to Vim.

  • Vim 301: Getting Adept at Vim

    If you’ve worked your way through the first two guides, you should be in for smooth
    sailing using Vim. But even with all that under your belt, you’ve only scraped the
    surface of what Vim can do. This tutorial covers setting up a Vim configuration file,
    using the “folding” features, getting to the shell from Vim, and the dot.

    It’s all in Getting Adept at Vim.

  • Vim 401: Extending Vim and More

    The next installment goes into more detail on plugins and scripts, using Vim’s GUI
    (yes, it does have a GUI!), bookmarks, and where to find scripts and plugins. Check out
    Extending Vim and More.

  • Using Spell Checking in Vim

    If you’re new to Vim and/or using Vim in text mode, it’s not obvious that Vim even
    supports spell checking. But it does, and it’s easy to use once you turn it on. If
    you’re tackling prose in Vim, you’ll definitely want to read Using Spell Checking in Vim.

Look for more guides and tutorials in 2011 on Linux utilities and tools. Have some
suggestions? Drop us a note in the comments!

For Developers and Programmers

This article by Daniel Arbuckle, author of Python Testing, introduces code coverage and continuous integration, and teaches
how to tie automated testing into version control systems. In this article, we will

  • Discuss code coverage, and learn about coverage.py

  • Discuss continuous integration, and learn about buildbot

  • Learn how to integrate automated testing into popular version control systems (…)

While looking for existing C coding standards I discovered that the GNU and Linux projects officially suggest very different styles. Inside the Linux kernel
documentation, Linus Torvalds goes so far as to mock GNU coding standards:

“First off, I’d suggest printing out a copy of the GNU coding standards, and NOT read it. Burn them, it’s a great symbolic gesture.”

At this point I wanted to understand the difference between the coding styles of established open source projects. When I say “styles” I mean mainly
the source code appearance, and the standards that help to read and maintain the code. Here’s a list of coding styles that I read:

  • Linux kernel coding style

  • GNU Coding Standards

  • Qt Coding Style

  • Code Conventions for the Java TM Programming Language (PDF version)

  • Style Guide for Python Code

  • GNOME Programming Guidelines

  • Kdelibs Coding Style

  • Mono Coding Guidelines

  • Christian Neukirchen’s Ruby Style Guide

  • The Unofficial Ruby Usage Guide(…)

For System Administrators

Figure 5. Zimbra


Following tutorial will covers DomainKeys/DKIM implementation using OpenDKIM on SLES or
openSUSE. Domain Keys Identified Mail (DKIM) is a technology designed to make it difficult
or impossible for criminals to steal the identities of legitimate organizations. This
authentication technology allows good senders to “sign” a message to prove that it really
did come from them..

DKIM originally written as sender authentication protocol developed in order to address
the problem of forged email messages. Yahoo! released the DomainKeys specification and Cisco
released the Internet Identified Mail specification. Both methods are based on cryptographic
message signing. The two efforts have been merged, and the combined specification is known
as DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM).

These are various options for implementing DomainKeys Signature : by using DK-Filter,
DKIM-milter, OpenDKIM and also by using Amavisd-new DKIM implementation. Don’t be confused
with all the terms. All method have similar function, signing your email as “trusted” or
legitimate email. (…)

Header PicturePlanet SUSE

Couple of things to blog about accumulated again, so I guess I will be posting bunch of articles soon. For such a long gap, a general update is in order,
I suppose.

Aside of my studies, continuous MCTS (Go) research, grinding away on random glibc bugs and such, I most notably got involved in brmlab
this summer – the Prague hackerspace. We got a pretty thriving community there now, with various cool events, a lot of great
projects (I’m involved in quite a few), and so on!

Well, I wanted to mention more, but I can’t remember it right now. I suppose it will just come together. Oh, and seeing my last post – I have a new bike, this time
with insurance. ;-)

As we (well, mostly other people than me) were dealing with a rather obscure micro-controller when hacking our laser projector in brmlab, the only datasheet we have
found has been in Chinese. This is quite often the case with obscure China-made parts (including event stuff like LEDs) and it’s annoying to deal with.

So I hacked together a simple datasheet translator – you feed it a PDF with your datasheet, specify the source language, let it munch away for a minute and then it
spews out a link to the English translation!

Its user interface is extremely rudimentary, if someone wants to add an AJAXy progressbar and what-not, just let me know. :-)

The “technology” is not much to mention either – thankfully, pdftohtml can do quite nifty stuff nowadays (just needs a lot of beating to properly zoom the
documents), and Google Translate can do awesome job with technical documents.

On 15th October 2010, Novell was presented a Readers’ Choice Award from
ComputerWorld Singapore for winning in the Open Source Platforms/Operating Systems category.
It was a very proud moment for us in Novell Singapore and I’m sure it will pleased all SUSE supporters everywhere.

Above is a photo of the trophy presented and its now sitting in a prominent place in the Novell Singapore office. :)

Just to inform everyone (who reads Planet openSUSE ;)) that we have started a crucial discussion on the packman mailing-list about (potentially) changing the layout of repositories.

As most if not all of you are using Packman on openSUSE, your opinion is more than welcome and if you would like to chime in, please give us your feedback (by
email, NOT as comments on this blog post).

Ultimately, the Packman team will obviously take the decision, but we are very concerned about what would suit
our users best and, hence, we’d love to hear what you’d prefer us to do.

Header PictureopenSUSE Forums

This thread is about the annually returning phenomenon of the cute little penguins taking over the GRUB boot menu appearance. New users suspect virus infections, worms et cetera. In the thread you will learn, that it’s not. Not a Christmas theme either, just a winter theme, given to us by the GRUB developpers.

Many times we meet issues on how to mount partitions. Here we have the opposite going on: how to keep end-users from mounting partitions the administrator does not want them to mount, for example partitions containing other operating systems. Filemanagers like Dolphin on KDE show these partitions as “Places” that can be accessed, where the administrator does not want these “places” to be exposed to end-user access. Various options to achieve this “isolation of partitions” are shown.

A returning issue. With a lot of new technologies to speed up the boot time, some of them already in use on other distros, this question/issue arises. The thread starter found a difference in boot time speed between the latest Linux Mint and openSUSE. Read how members jump in to explain about the many improvements, that will definitely come to openSUSE as well.

This week’s subforum:
How to use the forums

One of the main issues for the Forums Team is to make the forums access fast and easy. Some users prefer NNTP (newsgroup) to read and post, others prefer the web interface. In this subforum you may find instructions on how to make things even better for you by using the forums software’s features, there’s threads to help you to use NNTP, explanations of the legenda etc.

Header PictureOn the Web


What is Project Bretzn?

Apart from being a tasty Bavarian bread-snack, Bretzn is a code-name for a collection of
technology aimed at solving a problem which has existed in software development for a very
long time: How do you get your applications build for all available platforms and get it to
your users?

In the open source community, we already have many individual bits of this dream in
place. We the great cross platform toolkit Qt, we have the powerful openSuse Build Service
which allows for the easy creation of binaries for a great number of Linux distributions, we
have the Open Collaboration Services (OCS) which allows for the easy and socially adept
distribution of packages both to and from central software download sites such as
KDE-Apps.org, and we have a great many powerful integrated development enviromnents such as
Qt Creator, KDevelop and Eclipse.

In the spring of 2010 these many powerful and successful technologies and tools made up
mostly isolated islands, and it seemed the obvious choice to begin the process of bridging
them. Finally, in August the same year, the project was begun and and announced during the
openSUSE conference in October. Project Bretzn would make it possible, with a few clicks, to
publish software projects directly from the IDE. The development of this project is
sponsored by Nokia. (…)

The Indian KDE community will organize its first conference at Bengaluru in March 2011.
The 5 day event will bring together KDE contributors, Qt developers, users and FOSS

We realise that there are not many KDE/Qt related events that are accessible to Indians.
FOSS conferences or meetings are an excellent way to show people the technology first hand
and ways to contribute to it. We not only dazzle them with the world of KDE, but show them
first hand how simple it is to get involved and make a difference. This is our motivation
for conducting this event. (…)

The KOffice team is happy to announce the 2.3 release of KOffice. This release brings
many small improvements to all the KOffice applications, but not as many large new features.
Among the most important new features are:

* Krita is now ready for professional artist use. This is thanks to the very focused
effort by the Krita team after a meeting which resulted in a clear vision and well defined
goals. More details are available in Krita 2.3.0

  • A new slide sorter view in KPresenter, which has been greatly missed by some users.
    There is also a new shape animations feature for KPresenter.

  • Improvements of the core engine and plugins in the support of the OpenDocument
    Format. Especially text rendering has seen much work.

  • Even more improved support for reading Microsoft file formats (doc, xls, ppt, docx,
    xlsx, pptx).

  • A new report engine used in KPlato and Kexi. (…)


Figure 6. The Barnix distribution was designed by students at Barnfield College to ease people
into the world of Linux

The Barnix distribution was designed by students at Barnfield College to ease people into the world of Linux

Using free software in education is not just about saving money. It’s also about
preserving choice, not locking a student’s experience into a certain way of doing
something.Figure 6, “The Barnix distribution was designed by students at Barnfield College to ease people
into the world of Linux”

With Linux, there’s no vendor lock-in. Free software is more likely to be
open-standards compliant, and it’s going to be more open to different languages,
localities and curricula.

It also removes what can sometimes be a barrier to learning; using the same software on
your own machine at home. And because there’s usually more than one piece of open
source software for a job, free software makes it easier to broaden your experience and look
at a variety of methods for completing that job.

All of which is essential in a world where technology is turned on its head every five
years and where training needs are so unpredictable. It’s also never too early to start
training in IT skills, and in the UK at least, computer training starts for many at primary
school level.

For some, this will be their first experience of a computer. It’s also likely to be
the first time they’ve had any kind of formal training on how to use one, and these
first impressions are going to last. So there’s a strong argument that teaching should
be as unbiased as possible.

Yet for a variety of reasons most schools favour Microsoft. There’s nothing wrong
with this, as experience with Microsoft’s ubiquitous products is never going to be
wasted, but as Linux users, we all know there might be a better option.

Linux and open source offers a genuine alternative, with many advantages over
proprietary training that aren’t costrelated, although there’s no reason why this
can’t be part of the overall solution. (…)

Back in February openSUSE held a survey to find more out about its community. Who are
they? What OS do they normally run? What do they want? How can openSUSE improve? Well, the
results are in and quite interesting to openSUSE users and the community at large.

Most questions received approximately 8,500 responses. Generally it was found that young
male adult students with moderate to high technical knowledge and prefer stability, hardware
support, and security, many of which dual boot with some version of Windows for work, who
install openSUSE for personal use and are not involved with openSUSE development or
promotion for email, chat, and surfing the Internet think openSUSE has a good amount of
software and is easy to install. (…)

The Open Source Initiative (OSI) is stepping into the Novell sale. The organization is
asking the German Federal Cartel
to investigate the sale of Novell’s patents to the Microsoft-led

OSI is primarily known for being the keeper of the flame for the Open Source Definition (OSD) and approving
licenses that meet the
. But members of the self-appointed OSI board, in particular Simon
Phipps, have said they wish to nudge OSI into becoming a more active organization with an actual representative membership structure. So far, little has happened, but this
is at least a minor step in that direction.

Reviews and Essays

There are often reports regarding concerns about computer games having negative effects
on children and adults, with the fear that these games can lead to violent behaviour and
addiction. However, studies by leading researchers have shown that there are many positive
attributes to playing computer games, some of which we have alluded to in our earlier
articles. Computer games can help players to improve their cognitive skills, enhance
creativity, deepen language and maths skills, and help people to think on their feet and
outside the box, the latter referring to novel, creative and smart thinking. However, above
all these things, games offer pure, unadulterated fun.

Linux is vastly underrated as a gaming platform. This may be due to the fact that there
is no significant marketing of Linux games. With a lack of big-name games featuring in the
computing press, coupled with a low market share for Linux on desktop PCs, things might seem
bleak, with major barriers to the growth of Linux games.

However, the reality is that Linux has a huge range of games (predominately free to
download). Whilst they do not gain much publicity, many of them offer real depth and
gameplay. The purpose of this three part article is to help draw attention to these unsung
gems. (…)

Sure, unlike me, you’re probably not reading this on a Linux desktop–Mint 10 for those
who care about such things–but do you use Google, Facebook or Twitter? If so, you’re using
Linux. That Android phone in your pocket? Linux. DVRs, network attached storage (NAS), trade
stocks? Linux, Linux, Linux.

I think one of the most telling stories about Linux this year came from a friend of
mine, Joe “Zonker” Brockmeier, who told me of a friend who said “Linux
was too hard.
When Zonker asked him about his Android phone, he replied something
like, “Oh, but Android is easy. It’s not Linux!” (…)

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the CPTN gang that’s buying Novell’s patents and speculated that it might
be a Google they’re after. Whether Google or another company, a few folks have
commented that the Open Invention Network (OIN) can protect members against patent threats
from other OIN members. When it comes to Linux, that’s true. When it comes to other
things? Not so much. (…)

Continuing to advocate “for all things Open Source or built
with Open Source” is on Slashdot blogger yagu’s 2011 to-do list — “and I
resolve to call out any and all reaping the benefits of Open Source who don’t give
back.” Also, “I resolve to be respectful and humble in regards to everything
Microsoft,” he asserted sincerely before adding, “I always like to pick at least
one resolution I can break early.”

Now that New Year’s Eve is almost upon us once again, there seems little to do with
2010 but bid it a fond farewell and set our sights on what’s to come.

We’ve already taken the required look back over the year;
we’ve even put the “year of” debate through one more round. Now, all that’s left to do is
formulate the hopes, dreams and resolutions that will carry us forward into 2011.

That, at least, is what Linux bloggers have been doing in recent days down at the
blogosphere’s seedy Broken Windows Lounge, where the snow drifts have now all but
blocked any remaining view out of the already grimy windows.

The mood has been somber and contemplative, aided no doubt by the Peppermint Penguins,
the Sudo Santas and the Command Lime Coolers that have been so freely flowing.

What are FOSS geeks hoping might
happen in this coming year? What are their own resolutions and plans? Linux Girl settled
into her favorite bar stool and took it upon herself to find out. (…)

I’ve been thinking and thinking about everything, and I’ve figured out what I
need to explain to you next. Reading the log of the recent OpenSUSE board meeting discussing setting up a foundation
for the project turned on the light in my head: you need to understand bylaws. Because
corporations are setting up foundations to get you to donate code to them, and they set them
up to suit themselves, not to benefit you. There’s a difference between the community
setting up a foundation to be a project’s home and a corporate sponsor doing it.
I’m going to write about that in more detail later. To really explain it, I need to
explain some things that you might think will be boring or too foreign, but if you can learn
Perl, you can learn bylaws.

I’ll tell you that my favorite task when I was working as a paralegal was drawing
up bylaws for new businesses and entities setting up for the first time. It interests me, so
I’ll try to make it interesting to you. But what should motivate you is this: whatever
the bylaws say is what the entity legally can and can’t do. It matters. It will affect
you. So, just as you’d try to learn a language before visiting a foreign country, at
least enough to get around so that if you get lost, you’ll have some way to find your
hotel again and a bathroom en route, you should understand enough about bylaws and
incorporation so no one can blindside you.

I’m still working on the Comes v. Microsoft exhibits project, and I swore I’d
finish first, so it will take me a while to get to this to explain in detail, but in the
meantime, I just want to say to the community stakeholders in the OpenSUSE Project,
here’s what I think you should do:


Hire your own lawyer. Don’t rely on Novell’s lawyers to represent the
community’s interests in the foundation. (…)

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

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Header PictureTranslations

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One Response to “openSUSE Weekly News, Issue 156 is out!”

  1. Anonymous

    Please go back to normal font instead of italic/oblique font – it looks terrible!