openSUSE Weekly News 162 is out!

12. Feb 2011 | Sascha Manns | No License

We are pleased to announce the openSUSE Weekly News #162.


openSUSE Weekly News

### openSUSE Weekly News Team

163 Edition

Published: 2011-02-15

Table of Contents

Status Updates

Distribution Team Report In the Community

Postings from the Community Events & Meetings openSUSE for your Ears Communication Contributors New/Updated Applications @ openSUSE Security Updates Kernel Review Tips and Tricks

For Desktop Users For Commandline/Script Newbies For Developers and Programmers For System Administrators Planet SUSE openSUSE Forums On the Web

Announcements Call for participation Reports Reviews and Essays Warning! Credits Acknowledgements Feedback Translations

We are pleased to announce our 163 issue of the openSUSE Weekly News.

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

Enjoy the reading :-)

Counter for openSUSE 11.4

Header PictureStatus Updates

Header PictureDistribution

Important Links

Team Report

Header PictureBuild Service Team

Build Service Statistics. Statistics can found at Buildservice

Header PictureGNOME Team

      [Nelson Marques: AppMenu-GTK and Indicator-appmenu](//

This is probably one of the most controversial features that has been subject of continuous work from the Ayatana Project. This two pieces of software work as one and allow to export GTK+ application menus through DBus, being the end result: application menus present on the gnome-panel and unity-panel.

This feature requires at least one patch on GTK stack. I’ve talked to Ubuntu devs regarding this patch, and it was told to me that GTK+ upstream had no interest on upstreaming this patch. I’m not the one to comment this move from upstream, but I find it at least interesting that QT has upstreamed an identical patch which includes the same functionality. Since they are competing products (one can replace other totally or partially), such actions only strengthen QT. Adding a bit of speculation and the latest statements from Shuttleworth regarding QT, I wonder if it is to be expecting some ‘wind of change’… who knows?!

For us at openSUSE what does matter is if we can Factor’ize this at least the Menu Proxy patch so we can offer Unity and Indicators at the original form and not crippled. I will request soon this changes to GNOME:Factory and we’ll see what people say, regardless of upstream positions.

This is on-development software, and has some itches, but for the most it works (GTK+ applications), I would expect some polishing in the future from upstream, either way, it’s another option.


Required Patches on GTK:

  • 043_ubuntu_menu_proxy.patch

  • 072_indicator_menu_update.patch (still figuring if this is actually required and the possible sidekicks of not having it there)

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. **

        [Run download and install in parallel
          (Score: 339)](

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

        [Look at plymouth for splash during
          boot (Score: 173)](

“I wanted to open a fate feature about this when I first heard of plymouth, but reading // 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?”

        [1-click uninstall (Score: 141)](

“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).”

        [Replacement for Sax2 (Score:

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

        [Popularity contest (Score: 88)](

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

        [Off-Line one click install (MSI for
          Linux) (Score: 74)](

“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. (…)”

        [YaST-Qt: More informative
          "Installation Summary" (Score: 68)](

“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.”

        [Less scary yast conflict dialogs
          (Score: 55)](

“The YaST2 sw_single dialog for conflicts, vendor change, architecture change etc. is very scary for many users.

The dialog asks the user to select one of usually three offered solutions for each problem without giving much help. This is a cause for many complaints, and contributes to myths of RPM dependency hell still existing today. (…)”

Recently requested features

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


Free and OpenSource 3D modelling tool.

Better suited to smaller 3d projects than blender.

Download from // does not work on 64 bit OpenSuse

        [install time enhancement for

NB: too late for 11.4, to be seen for next (12?) one.

when somebody have to install openSUSE, the moment he have to partition his drive is the key moment. Any error could make him lose his favorite (previous) system. The install system makes it’s best to guess the better way to do this, but unless the disk is brand new, the result is random. (…)

        [Hide loading modules and running
          services from user](

Add new PolicyKit enabled deamons to load/stop services and load/unload kernel modules.

For outdated tools, we can add running dbus oriented service into running script, like OpenOffice will automatically starts CUPS service on startup, but when OO will be integrated too, we will remove automatically start of CUPS from script.


I want the old and stable squid 2.7 for the next opensuse release. It would be better to have a stable software than the bleeding edge ones.


The fdutils package contains utilities for configuring and debugging the Linux floppy driver, for formatting extra capacity disks (up to 1992K on a high density disk), and for sending raw commands to the floppy controller.

        [Two tier option to Community
          repository list](

In brief:

Working in Yast > Software Repositories

Add > Community Repositories

  1. Make a default community repo list Eg: OSS, NON-OSS, UPDATES, PACKMAN, NVIDIA, ATI, LIBDVDCSS

  2. And offer an advanced option available with a toggle (That should include a warning that it is for advanced users) Where the full community list will be available

Like this:


        [Configure ALLMULTI on an interface
          from YaST](

It would be nice if ALLMULTI could be configured from YaST as a ‘rcnetwork restart|start|stop’ removes ALLMULTI.

ifcfg- could have the following parameter in it:

ALLMULTI=on off in terms

it would run:

ifconfig allmulti

        [Remove or prevent error messages when
          mounting a removable](

Currently when mounting a removable (usbstick, dvd, etc) often an error from “” or a “DBus error org.gtk.Private.RemoteVolumeMonitor.Failed: An operation is already pending” occurs. These errors occur mostly when using media with multiple partitions. This request is to surpress these errors and only start one filemanagerinstance for the specific medium.

These errors appear to be DE-agnostic, until now they show up in GNOME, KDE and Xfce on openSUSE 11.3.

        [Include Warsow and FreeOrion](

Warsow is a multiplayer-designed FPS like OpenArena but in a cartoon-like style and with special moves.


FreeOrion is a turn-based space empire & galactic conquest game. A good complement to FreeCiv in my opinion


Feature Statistics

Statistics for openSUSE 11.4 in openFATE

Header PictureOpenOffice/LibreOffice Team

      [Petr Mladek: LibreOffice 3.3.0 final available for openSUSE](//

I’m happy to announce LibreOffice 3.3.0 final packages for openSUSE. They are available in the Build Service LibreOffice:Stable project. They are based on the libreoffice- release. Please, look for more details about the openSUSE LibreOffice build on the wiki page.

The openSUSE LO team hopes that you will be happy with this release. Though, any software contains bugs and we kindly ask you to report bugs. It will help us to fix them in the future releases.

**False error during update **

You might see some installation errors about missing extensions when updating from, for example:

ERROR: There is no such extension deployed: com.sun.reportdesigner

Please, ignore them. They are caused by a bug in the OOo packages and can’t be avoided easily. They does not affect the LibreOffice installation!

**More known bugs **

**Other information and plans: **

LO switched to a time based schedule and more frequent bug fix releases. The purpose is to keep quality and avoid infinite RC phase at the same time. The idea is that all serious blocker bugs can be found and fixed within few weeks. Then the application is ready for masses who want to enjoy new features and more complicated fixes. The history says that bugs in less typical scenarios are found weeks after the release. Such bugs will be fixed in pure bug fix releases and released few weeks after each other. It means that more conservative people should rather wait for the 3.x.1, 3.x.2, 3.x.3 releases. We hope that it will help all people to get faster what they want.

We are already working on LO-3.3.1 bugfix release. I have just published 3.3.1-rc1. The final 3.3.1 release should be available within 2 weeks.

Header PictureTesting Team

        Finger: Weekly News for February 12](//

The next Testing Core Team IRC meeting will be held February 14, 2011 at 18:00 UTC. Happy Valentine’s day.

This meeting will discuss the Team’s experiences with openSUSE 11.4 RC1.

Since doing my first install about 30 hours ago, I have installed the new release on 3 different instances with the following results:

  1. I did a NET i586 upgrade from M6 to RC1 on a VirtualBox VM. All was going well till the host had a kernel panic. The reason is not yet known, but the host kernel is 2.6.38-rc4, and this is not the only panic encountered. Just more to debug. If this were a job, there would be considerable security.

  2. After the crash, I could not recover the upgrade, thus I did a full install on that VB VM of the KDE desktop from the i586 NET install CD. Everything went well.

  3. The x86_64 NET install CD was used to update from M6 to RC1 on my main machine. In an initial reboot, NetworkManager has failed to start, but it is not known if this was a one-time event. With the Configure Desktop => Input Devices => Touchpad GUI, I could disable tapping, which is essential for me as my personal capacitance always leads to unintended clicks whenever tapping is enabled. This action was much more difficult with 11.3. After running for more than 1 day with my own home-built 2.6.38 kernel, I have found only one problem. VirtualBox has not yet packaged their software for 11.4 and the 11.3 version has a set of library requirements that cannot be satisfied. As a result, there was some difficulty in building the necessary kernel module for my kernel. By using the source tree from my 11.3 system, I could build the necessary kernel module for my kernel. As this workaround only came to me while writing this newsletter item, I have not tested extensively; however, it appears that this workaround will allow me to use RC1 for general work.

Once again, I issue my plea for testing. Your hardware, software and computing needs are unique - you will be testing combinations unlike anyone else. Please look at the “most annoying bug” list to see if there any killer bugs. Thus far, the only such bug that is posted is a problem with the KDE Live CD. No doubt, we will add to that list during our meeting.

Header PictureTranslation Team

Header PictureIn the Community

Postings from the Community

openSUSE TV: Example of cross-distro collaboration: Application Installer (Vincent Untz)

Nearly all distributions are slowly moving towards making it easier to deal with applications, and get information about those. However, many of us are working in our own corners: unfortunately, this is often what happens with many topics that would move faster if they were looked from a cross-distro perspective.A small team of people from various distributions will meet in January to discuss what can be done in a cross-distro way. This talk will present the conclusions from this meeting, and will come back on the experience of organizing work in a cross-distro way.

openSUSE TV: Distribution collaboration manifesto (Stefano Zacchiroli, Jared K. Smith, Jos Poortvliet)

The FOSS distribution communities work toward very similar goals: each distribution aims at providing a coherent set of (Free) softwares to their users.A good deal of work (and patches!) can be shared across distributions and in part already is. The more we collaborate, among us and with our (common!) upstreams, the more we can improve Free Software as a whole. Sometimes, however, social obstacles get in the way of collaboration: volunteers don’t like each other or each other distro; they might also easily get “religious” about the everlasting question “which is the best distro out there?”.Understanding why we should collaborate across distros is the first needed step in improving how we collaborate.

openSUSE TV: Downstream packaging collaboration (Hans de Goede, Michal Hrušecký)

patch sharing or start a new upstream?Most distributions contain packages where upstream is completely dead or very close to it, yet there still is a significant user group for the packages in question, be it directly or through other packages depending on them. But even when upstream is alive, packages often needs some additional patching.All distributions seem to end up carrying some custom distro grown patchset, with some patches being shared and other patches being unique per distro. Clearly not an ideal situation and one which most distributions try to avoid by feeding all necessary changes upstream and aiming for having packages which use the upstream provided code as is.Clearly the usual model of sharing code fixes / integration work done at the distribution level between distributions by pushing it upstream does not work for projects where there is no upstream. And even with upstream around, distributions sometimes needs to fix bugs in versions that upstream no longer care about or fix bugs that are not important/considered feature upstream and it may take a long time to get them fixed there. In the end we can’t avoid all patching. But we can try to avoid duplicating the work by better sharing the results.The plan for this sessions is to give a short presentation sketching the problem, show two possible approaches to help solving this problem together with few generally helpful ideas. After presenting these hopefully somewhat structured discussion with the audience about this topic is planned.

openSUSE TV: ZYpp your distro (Dominik Heidler Duncan Mac-Vicar P.)

ZYpp is an opensource project originated in the openSUSE distribution which groups the most advanced and fast dependency solver (satsolver), a package management library and a command line package management tool (zypper). Over the years ZYpp has matured to become one of openSUSE most appreciated features.This talk will show ZYpp’s main features and work being done to have it running on other rpm-based distributions.

Katarina Machalkova: I survived FOSDEM 2011

After some reports from other LibreOffice crowd members (here and here), I’m adding mine to the heap:


The fun has started at Prague airport already. Due to (to put it mildly) incompetence of the printing shop I’m not gonna name, Kendy and me had exactly 10 minutes to dispatch 45 kilos of swag through the check-in – that meant distributing the load into our luggage and shipping the remaining boxes as overweight ( including paying criminal surcharge for it). I hereby apologize to Czech Airways check-in clerk for spoiling her shift with it ;-) Getting the material from Brussels luggage claim to the train station was rather challenging as well, but fortunately there were some helping hands waiting for us at Brussels Nord (thanks Thorsten, Rene and Kohei). In Kendy’s words: “The experience doesn’t necessarily have to be positive, but it definitely has to be remarkable. We would have nothing to talk about otherwise.” Friday’s beer event (my first ever) was also an enchanting experience. Met Caolan and Florian ‘flr’ Reuter for the first time (who, in slightly boozed state, asked me “Hey, so you are my successor at Novell?”). It was amazing to see LibreOffice crew almost having blocked the street in front of Delirium Cafe :) (…)

Florian Reuter: FOSDEM

Just came back from FOSDEM. Felt really good to meet the “usual suspects” again. Thanks for the great weekend!

I also had a chance to talk with Jos about ODF Web and ODF Collaboration. Jos gave a great talk about his ODF Web Javascript Framework which emerged from his ODFKit efforts.

Jos had a very important slide in his talk which echoed my own believe: NO CONVERSION! This principle guided the design of his ODF Web Framework. NO CONVERSION simply means that Jos does not try to heuristically (aka lossy) map ODF to HTML and then map HTML heuristically (aka lossy) back to ODF. Instead Jos decided to have a clean 2-tier architecture which cleanly separates the content- and the view layer: ODF is content and HTML is the view. I think that’s the right approach. Even more: I think if you start adding “smart conversions”/”heuristics” and other “intelligent mappings” things will get ugly sooner or later. [And from my experience on filter hacking things will get messy sooner than you like. Always keep Murphy’s law in mind: What can go wrong will go wrong!].

We also had a chance to talk about Operational Transformation (OT) in the context of ODF. I tried to argue that what is really missing in ODF is a list of “atomic changes” a user can make to an ODF document. If we had this list of “atomic changes” we could build a transformation on top of it. For OT it is very important that you have “atomic” operations, since you need operation transformations for every pair of operation. E.g. if you have |OPS| operations you need |OPS x OPS| transformations. So keeping |OPS| small is quite important!

Assembling the list of atomic operations is a lot of work — admitted. However it is work that every designer of an API needs to do anyway. I really believe that some input from the ODF API projects like Oracles’ ODFDOM, IBM’s Simple API for ODF, ANR’s LPOD and Jos’ ODFKit could really help.

Let me finish my post by a classification of change to an ODF document:


I believe that for change tracking we only need “atomic operations” and a way to combine them to “compound operations”. I don’t think we need to be able to track changes to the XML tree or the XML text. In fact I think it does more harm than good.

Pascal Bleser: FOSDEM 2011 EOL

So FOSDEM 2011 is over, at last, and it was a huge success, as always (mind you, I’m one of the organizers, my opinions might be just a little subjective here ;)).

From the organizational point of view, I was less active this year compared the the 7 previous ones (yes, it’s already the 8th time for me, and I noticed how annoying it is to say “8th” in English quite a few times during the weekend): lots of procastrination and my “spare time” being vampirized by other activities, most prominently work on the openSUSE Board (which I am now no longer part of). Definitely something to fix for next year, and a big mea culpa to my mates on the FOSDEM organization team.

That being said, it was still a lot of work, as it is for every edition, and while I suppose that most if not all the visitors are sorry that the event is already over, we’re pretty happy it is, I’m sure you can understand why :).

All in all, it was very successful. There were more visitors, as each year, and I believe that we’ve really reached the limits of the infrastructure we’re using at the moment. That means we’ll have a few “interesting” challenges ahead of us for the next edition (no, we won’t move away from the ULB nor from the Solbosch campus, we’ll just have to stretch the space used by FOSDEM a bit more to use more and larger rooms). But more about that in a few months’ time.

It was also very smooth for everything else. Having so many volunteers to help us out during the weekend, including for the very tedious task of setting things up, was really ${deity}-send. Thanks to the support of the ULB networking team, Belnet as well as Cisco made FOSDEM provide what must be the best possible wifi infrastructure at an event of such size. Our usual collaboration with LPI went great as well (was awesome to meet my good friend Fabrice Mous again) as it provided the opportunity for ~130 exams to be taken by FOSDEM visitors.

We even managed to fill up our largest room, Janson, which is one of the largest auditoriums in Belgium with 1400 seats, up to the limit and even a bit more for the keynotes. That was impressive, to say the least.

It was a great pleasure to meet so many fine people and friends again (including, but not exclusively, Henne Vogelsang, Peter Linnell, Andrew Wafaa, Jürgen Weigert, Will Stephenson, Bruno Friedmann, Pavol Rusnak, Michal Hrusecky, Vincent Untz, Michael Meeks, Daniel Seuffert, Frank Karlitschek, Delphine Lebedel, Tristan Nitot, William Quiviger, Tom Marble, etc etc etc… – sorry if I forgot you, I’m just too lazy and tired to keep pulling names out of my brain at this point, too many to list :)), even if it was usually only for a short chat as I have to keep running around all over the venue to get things done.

That’s usually the point where one realizes again that it is so much about the people, more than anything else (you are fine to disagree here, dear reader, it is just my very humble opinion). So many FOSS projects are driven by so many great people, I’d just love it to last for a couple of weeks to have the time to have beers (or coffee) with every single one of them, at the very least the ones I already know. I’m really happy and thankful – to FOSDEM, I guess – to be so lucky to have been in touch with so many interesting people, and obviously hope to still be in the future.

And FOSDEM is also a very inclusive event, where projects and initiatives covering the whole spectrum in terms of technologies, domains and (OSI compatible) licenses get together to have a great deal of fun. I believe that every single visitor would agree that it is the most effective way to get our motivation batteries loaded to spend our spare time, energy, love, sweat and blood into doing such great things.

On the cross-pollination front, which is more and more of a priority for us, I’m happy to see the Crossdistro developer room clearly evolve into the right direction (thanks to Wouter Verhelst (of Debian fame) to take care of that); where not quite there yet, as intentions need to be followed by much more action, but it is a step forward already, and such things do take a good deal of time, as much as many of us would like to see it happening as soon as possible, especially at openSUSE. FOSDEM is such a great opportunity to get together with other projects and people, as so many of them are on the spot.

For a couple of final words, my big “thank you” goes out, in no particular order, to the volunteers who helped us during the weekend, to the sponsors that support the event, to the visitors who have donated money in order to keep giving us the chance of remaining independent, to the people and projects who were there at the stands, devrooms, lightning talks, to the speakers who accepted our invitations, obviously to the other members of the FOSDEM organization team (we did it again! :D), to the ULB and CI for providing us with their infrastructure, and, of course, to the people who attended.

On a side note, if you were at FOSDEM 2011, please take a minute to fill out our census as well as our feedback form.

Events & Meetings



You can find more informations on other events at: openSUSE News/Events. - Local Events

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.



Header PictureNew/Updated Applications @ openSUSE

Packman: eMount

“EMount is a free system administrator tool for Linux that can mount, encrypt and manage disk image files and physical disk drives. It relies on cryptsetup, which implements the LUKS disk encryption specification.”

Packman: cmus

“CMus is a small and fast text mode music player for Linux and *BSD. Supported file formats include FLAC, Ogg, MP3 (via libmad), wav, and all module formats supported by libmodplug. Included output plugins are ALSA, ARTS, OSS, and Sun. It can be controlled through a UNIX socket. Background playlist loading and a metadata cache make loading files very fast. Playqueue, playlist filters and directory browser. Three playlist views are available: artist/album/track, shuffle list, and sorted list. There are three play modes: all, artist, album.”

Packman: aegisub

“Aegisub is an advanced subtitle editor that assists in the creation of subtitles, translations, and complex overlays using audio or video. Developed by enthusiasts it builds on workflows created and perfected through professional, hobby, and everyday use.”

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

  [h-online/Thorsten Lemmhuis: Kernel Log: Consistent names for network interfaces](//

**A new version of the AMD driver from improves support for modern Radeon graphics chips. An updated mdadm, initially only designed for developers, allows the RAID functions of modern Intel motherboard chip-sets to be used. After nine months, the ALSA project has published a new version. **

AMD’s kernel and developer Alex Deucher has published version 6.14.0 of driver package xf86-video-ati. It contains the driver for Radeon graphics hardware, which provides much better support for the latest version of Radeon graphics chips. For example, it now not only controls the graphics kernel of the Fusion processors developed under codename “Ontario”, but also the Northern Islands GPUs based on Radeon HD models 62xx to 68xx. With both of them, 2D acceleration via EXA now works, as does video acceleration with the antiquated Xv (Xvideo), but in both cases the driver remains dependant on Linux kernel 2.6.38, which is still under development and is expected to be released at the end of March or beginning of April. Its DRM driver with functions for KMS (kernel-based mode-setting) is required anyway for Northern Islands GPUs because the driver does not support UMS (user mode-setting) on these chips.

In combination with KMS in kernel 2.6.36 and later, the driver also supports EXA and Xv on Evergreen GPUs on Radeon HD 5,000 series models. The developers have considerably upgraded the man page in the new version. Along with kernel 2.6.38, the driver offers page-flipping support so that image updates are more precisely synchronised with the start of frame re-draw. For further information on this new technology in Linux 2.6.38, see the first part of the series “Coming in 2.6.38”.

Rares Aioanei: kernel weekly news 12.02.2011

Rares gives us this week a great Kernel Review. Thanks Rares :-)

Greg Kroah-Hartman: How not to piss off a kernel subsystem maintainer - part 5

Fifth in a long series of complaints… See part 1 and part 2 and part 3 and part4 for previous atrocities.

Heck, It’s not like I haven’t said all of this before, but it sure seems like no one learns from the past, or reads the documentation that we write for how to actually submit a patch for the kernel. Linux has one of the best documented procedures for how to do this, it’s not like it’s a secret or something…

Anyway, here’s a list of patches that people have sent me in this week alone that have caused me major problems:

  • patch was never even build tested, and of course, it breaks when you do build it.

  • patch does build, but it was never tested because the patch does the opposite of what the submitter wanted to do.

  • patch sent with no authorship

  • patch sent with no signed-off-by line

  • patch sent with no description of what the patch did

  • patch sent with a description, yet it was not the description of the patch itself

  • patch sent with a description that the patch only did one thing, yet the patch did 4 different things

  • patch sent with a description that made no sense at all

  • patch sent in a series of 13 patches, all with the same exact subject, and no description of what the patch did

  • a one line patch that if applied, would instantly break the build

  • patch that asked for reviews, yet gets angry when you ask why something was done a certain way

  • patch that asked for reviews, and when asked, can’t explain why code was done a certain way, blaming a non-existent person for that portion

  • patch that said it fixed a bug, yet added a new feature without fixing the original bug

  • patch for cleaning up coding style issues

  • yet adds different coding issues patches asked for review, yet had obviously never been even run through our automatic “test this patch for sanity” tools.

Yeah, it’s been a fun week…

And if anyone ever wonders why code reviewers are grumpy, just look at the above list and understand.

Header PictureTips and Tricks

For Desktop Users

    [LinuxJournal/Bruce Byfield: Working with Frames and Objects in Scribus](//

“A Scribus document consists of a series of objects that are added to a page, and contained within a frame. In addition to the usual cut, copy, and paste functions available in most applications, frames in Scribus share a general set of editing attributes and, so far as possible, the same set of properties. As you can see from the Insert menu, Scribus supports four basic types of frame: text, image, table and drawing primitives. Table frames are collections of individual text frames, which may be edited either as a group or as individual cells, while drawing primitives are sub-divided into shape, polygon, line, Bezier curve, and freehand line. Frames for primitives are added with the content, while the content of other frames must be added separately.” (…)

For Commandline/Script Newbies

    [ A
      Practical Guide to Linux Commands](//

This article lists various practical Linux commands to be used only as a reference guide and by experienced Linux users. Not all Linux commands will be available on your system by default so consider install a relevant package before use. This Practical Guide to Linux Commands may list Linux commands you already know but cannot remember usage syntax as well as it may introduce some new Linux commands to improve your Linux command line efficiency. Note, this guide will not teach you how to use Linux commands since it relies on your experience to alter Linux commands syntax below to fit your needs. (…)

For Developers and Programmers

    [Brent McConnell: Celery and

“I’ve been working with Celery, Twisted and Cyclone recently on a side project I have going on, however the integration between Celery and Twisted is not ideal for asynchronous programming which prompted me to jot down some notes for what I’ve worked out. Hopefully this will be useful to someone, also if anyone wants to offer a better way I’m all ears :) .

Celery has some built in methods to allow you to check the completeness of a remote job by calling the successful() method on a returned AsyncResult object. For example you can do something like this…” (…)

For System Administrators

      developerWorks/Sean A. Walberg: Learn Linux, 302 (Mixed environments): Concepts](//

In this article, learn about these concepts:

  • Server Message Block (SMB)/Common Internet File System (CIFS)

  • File sharing

  • Print service

This article helps you prepare for Objective 310.1 in Topic 310 of the LPI’s Mixed Environment speciality exam (302). The objective has a weight of 1. (…)

      Builder/W. Jason Gilmore: Top 10 phpMyAdmin Tips and Tricks You May Not Know](//

First released in 1998, phpMyAdmin is one of the longest running and most popular PHP projects on the planet. One of the first utilities mentioned within PHP and MySQL tutorials, and ubiquitously available on Web hosting providers, over the years phpMyAdmin has grown to be an indispensable tool within every PHP developer’s toolbox.

Despite approaching its 12th birthday, phpMyAdmin is still under active development, with at least one significant version released every year since the project’s inception. In fact even after almost a decade of use I still marvel over discovering features which I had no idea existed. In this article I thought I’d highlight 10 useful phpMyAdmin features which may have escaped you during your daily interaction with this fantastic utility. (…)

Header PicturePlanet SUSE

  [Bruno Friedmann: ATI Amd flgrx 8.812 catalyst 11.1 available also for 11.4/factory](//

“A quick note for the week-end, I’ve build and uploaded the new fglrx drivers.

The good news, they are also available for 11.4/factory,

Unofficial-but-working repository

For openSUSE 11.4 (factory) NEW !

zypper ar -c -f -n “ATI/AMD fglrx non-official” // “ATI/AMD FGLRX”

I would like to have feedback about how that works for you, please comment !

Factory specifics troubles

on a fresh auto-configuration factory install : libomp43

Problem: fglrx64_7_6_0_SUSE114-8.812-1.x86_64 requires gcc, but this requirement cannot be provided uninstallable providers: gcc-4.5-16.1.i586[openSUSE-11.4-11.4-1.35] gcc-4.5-16.1.x86_64[openSUSE-11.4-11.4-1.35] Solution 1: deinstallation of libgomp43-4.3.4_20091019-5.23.x86_64 Solution 2: do not install fglrx64_7_6_0_SUSE114-8.812-1.x86_64 Solution 3: break fglrx64_7_6_0_SUSE114 by ignoring some of its dependencies

Choose from above solutions by number or cancel [1/2/3/c] (c): 1 Resolving dependencies… Resolving package dependencies…

The following NEW packages are going to be installed: binutils-gold fglrx64_7_6_0_SUSE114 gcc gcc45 glibc-devel kernel-default-devel kernel-desktop-devel kernel-devel kernel-source kernel-syms kernel-xen-devel libgomp45 linux-glibc-devel make patch

The following package is going to be REMOVED: libgomp43

15 new packages to install, 1 to remove. Overall download size: 127.9 MiB. After the operation, additional 600.9 MiB will be used.

Normally this bug (in M5/M6) should has been resolved in RC1.

See full details on my previous dedicated post //

openSUSE TV: Amazing openSUSE

openSUSE has developed both great infrastructure technology and a powerful enduser product; where is it going now?

Over 5 years ago Novell decided to turn their new asset, SuSE Linux into a community distribution. It was a long and laborious process but since almost 2 years now the development processes have been opened up to the community. We now speak of openSUSE, a community which is now searching for it’s direction. The project has state-of-the-art infrastructure at its disposal and develops a modern, stable and powerful linux distribution. Meanwhile, communication and marketing are it’s weak points - innovative technologies like the openSUSE Build Service and SUSE Studio do not get the exposure they deserve. In this talk an overview is given of openSUSE’s history, the developments in the community and the latest openSUSE technology is presented.

JP Rosevear: Sleeping on a Couch: Transferring Culture

In the first half of 2009 the Preload department at Novell was building a team in Taiwan. There were two main reasons for this – our customers (the OEMs and ODMs) were located there and we wanted to be near them and the first question a customer in Taiwan always seemed to be “how many people do you have here”. Local support in the native language backed with a large team is very important to companies in Taiwan.

We hired excellent people who were both experienced Linux engineers and people straight out of university. However, all were pretty inexperienced working with open source communities and I had a perception that any previous workplaces they were at in Asia was more likely to be hierarchical in nature where open communication was discouraged because you don’t question the boss. I believe this type of work place leads to the surfacing of issues until its way too late to solve them and leads to sub-optimal problem solving. I wanted to ensure that the new team understood open source was a key component of our work and that open communication was important both internally and externally in support of this.

This type of situation is not one I would have thought about at all when I first became a manager, but a couple of prior experiences (including failure) suggested this was something I could and should address. In particular the OpenOffice “indoctrination” about 4 years ago when we were expanding the team. At that time I managed the OpenOffice team at Novell and Michael Meeks interviewed everyone we hired during the expansion and many of them spent 1-2 nights sleeping on his couch in the UK or getting trained in the Toronto office in person. Due to this, that team (now the team working on LibreOffice) to this day cares a lot about tenacious fixing of customer problems, reducing code duplication/bloat and particularly about building a great community around the project.

So for Taiwan Greg KH, Michael Meeks, Aaron Bockover and Stefan Dirsch all visited the office within a year to cover engaging with community, supportability (no one time throw away code here!), upstreaming commitment to debug and find the real root cause and more. This had two major benefits. First the culture of open source and open investigation into problems was transmitted by people who lived it. Second communication pathways were built so that the engineering team in Taiwan felt comfortable asking questions and had people they had met to ask the questions to, without needing “big boss” (me) to facilitate or hear potentially “dumb” questions. So what do we have now? Those previously inexperienced with open source engineers who are now proposing, submitting and maintaining code upstream.

(BTW Greg is really great at the kernel piece of this and was able to help Ralink in a similar manner with these two items as well – in fact Novell is happy to help any component vendor this way).

Don’t get me wrong, you can’t just hire anyone and expect to imbue them with your organization’s culture, you have to have to get people that are interested in and receptive to the culture. For instance its unlikely every single Facebook engineer was previously part of a culture of shared code base ownership and review that required them to be in the room to fix bugs on the fly or allowed them to change and submit code to any part of the app or required checkin review. These are cultural pieces that are transmitted post hire, but you still have to pick people who are in general receptive to that culture.

I will always think about training engineering people in a cultural context not just in a technical manner now, particularly when building new teams or offices since it will be tougher for them to get it by osmosis. Future communication connections are built and you display the culture you have and want to have in the organization.

  [Andrew Wafaa: Smeegol
    NoGo MeeGo GoGo](//

As many people will know I’ve spent around 18 months of my spare time packaging and building the Netbook UX for Moblin/MeeGo on openSUSE. Not on my own, but with a community around me. I would just like to say a huge thank you to that community, you’ve been great and spurred me on when I felt like the whole world was conspiring against me.

Sound a bit morose? Well in a way it is. Basically by all accounts MeeGo is stopping all work on the Netbook UX. Yup, all our hard work is now almost for nothing :-(

The first piece of evidence is the Release Engineering Plans for 1.2. If you look at the bottom, you’ll notice that the Netbook doesn’t get any mention in Features, just bugs. Actually the same is for the 1.1 release. In all honesty, the biggest change between 1.1 and its predecessor is that all refernces to Moblin was replaced with MeeGo. The next piece of info came at the fabulous FOSDEM XI (I’ll do a seperate post on the event later). I spoke to several people directly and indirectly involved with MeeGo, especially the Netbook UX, about the lack of info on the Netbook UX. Each one of them said the same thing - MeeGo is putting the Netbook UX into Maintanence Mode, stopping any further development on it, and only providing bug fixes for major issues. I asked if there was going to be any announcement, basically the answer was nothing official. They’re just going to let it drift away - just like netbooks themselves have.

There are most likely a huge number of reasons, which is fair enough. I was given a couple of reasons - 1: Netbooks arent selling anymore, the Netbook ship didn’t really sail away, but was sunk. 2: MeeGo doesn’t want to invest anymore time or effort in gtk development, and wants to concentrate on Qt. Now I take this last one with a tiny bit of salt, only because both Intel and Nokia employ (or at least did so) a sizable team of GNOME developers. Saying that though, if they want to keep a roof over their heads they have to do what their employer says, and both originally started working with touch devices. So it does make sense as much as it doesn’t.

So, I herby give immediate notice that I am now no longer going to be doing any further work on the MeeGo UX for openSUSE or anyone else. I wont delete the repo for 1.0 but will clear out the 1.1 and 1.2 repos that I had - might as well give those resources back :-) . Now if anyone would like to continue what I and others had started, then let me know and I would be more than happy.

I cant say what the other distros are going to do, I’ve spoken to my counter part in Fedora, and they’re having a think about it as they were busting their chops to get things in for the F15 release. Either way I wish all involved luck.

Now before any of you conspiracy theory junkies get worked up - this has nothing to do with the whole MeeGo Trademark issue that Smeegol had with the Linux Foundation. As it happens I was due to have a conversation with the Linux Foundation about the issues between us and them, but have had to re-schedule due to travel constraints from one party or the other. I still intend to speak with the LF about the issues, as they are still present in the other UX’s that they are developing.

So it’s time for me to close off and say, so long and thanks for all the fish! I’ll still be around, I’ll probably start getting back into the GNOME swing of things, and help fcrozat with GNOME3 etc. Oh and I’ve got a lunatic idea for a project which I intend to kick off (stay tuned ;-) ).

MeeGo is a trademark of the Linux Foundation.

Header PictureopenSUSE Forums

GRUB at higher resolutions

  Many of us today have larger monitors with higher resolutions, than we used to have. This thread is started by a member that has a full HD resolution monitor, yet he cannot seem to find a proper resolution setting to make GRUB look good on new large widescreen monitor. Read and see if it all can be done. 

We would like support for this feature

  Maybe we should see this more often, it's an example of how the community can contribute to the development of the distro. Through openSUSE's openFATE a feature request is done to improve certain aspects of the package- and repositorymanagement. Now support for the request is asked in the forums. By voting for the feature request, users can support this.

KDE to get Release:46 Repository

  Recently [KDE](// released KDE4 4.6.0, this thread announces the creation of a repository for this KDE version, like at the time of release of KDE4 4.5.0 a Release:45 repo has been created. The repo will follow the KDE4 monthly releases. In short: not bleeding edge, just updated released stable packages. For those users, who want to keep their desktop environment up-to-date, yet don't want to use the Factory, let alone the UNSTABLE repos.

This week’s subforum: Multimedia

  The word "muldimedia" covers a lot, and so does this forum. To start, you'll find [Multimedia in one click](//, but there's more. About installing codecs (covered in mentioned sticky post), about using HDMI output on various videocards, about sound issues and so on and so on. Short instructions, as well as long threads to help out members with multimedia related trouble.

Header PictureOn the Web


    [Novell Makes it Easier to Run Business-Critical Linux Workloads on HP ProLiant and
      BladeSystem Servers](//

Novell today announced it has made it easier and more affordable for customers to run business-critical applications in a Linux* environment on HP ProLiant* and BladeSystem* servers. Available immediately, Novell has bundled SUSE® Linux Enterprise High Availability (HA) Extension for no additional cost with select SUSE Linux Enterprise Server subscriptions sold through HP and authorized resellers for a limited time. (…)

    [The Ada Initiative launches](//

Ada Initiative launches to promote women in open technology and culture

Open source activists Valerie Aurora and Mary Gardiner announce the launch today of the Ada Initiative (//, a non-profit organization to promote women’s participation in open technology and culture.

Open technology and culture, including open source software, open content, and related communities, suffer from a dearth of women at all levels. “Open technology and culture are shaping our future and must reflect all people. Involving more women in the creation of our future is a critical step in building a healthy Internet world,” says Mitchell Baker, chair of the Mozilla Foundation. The Ada Initiative will concentrate on focused, direct action programs, including recruitment and training for women, education for community members, and working with companies and projects to improve their outreach to women. (…)

Call for participation

    [Welcome to Camp KDE 2011!](//

The 3rd annual Camp KDE will be held on the 4th and 5th of April, 2011 in San Francisco, California at Hotel Kabuki. Held annually in the United States, Camp KDE provides a regional opportunity for KDE contributors and enthusiasts to gather, learn about the latest KDE happenings and share their experiences. The event will feature in-depth talks by core KDE developers.

This year Camp KDE is co-located with the Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit, which takes place April 6-8, 2011. Co-location with the Collaboration Summit will allow Camp KDE attendees a unique opportunity to learn from and share their experiences with members of many other successful Free and Open Source software projects and companies. All Camp KDE attendees are invited to attend the Collaboration Summit. (…)


    [Prashanth Venkataram:
      Preview - GNOME 3 ](//

Usually, when I review desktop environments, I review KDE, specifically version 4. Why? It’s constantly evolving and improving, and it’s nice to be able to see such changes occurring on all fronts so quickly. By contrast, GNOME and Xfce (not to mention other WMs like Openbox) have remained relatively the same over the past few releases. Sure, Nautilus got tabbed browsing in version 2.22 (I think) and split-pane viewing in version 2.30. Sure, there may have been a couple other back-end changes. But generally speaking, where KDE 4 has changed pretty noticeably between point releases, GNOME has been quite stable. That’s all going to change, because GNOME is about to be released under a whole new number: 3. That’s right: the number preceding the decimal point in a GNOME release will no longer be ‘2’.

There are some pretty big changes in store for GNOME 3, much of which can be seen in the front-end. Because many major distributions are planning to upgrade to GNOME 3 once that gets released (in a few weeks, apparently), it’s important that users try GNOME 3 beforehand both to get accustomed to it as well as to find and report lingering bugs. Happily, the good people at Fedora and openSUSE have put together live CD ISO files with vanilla GNOME 3 on them, just for the purpose of trying out GNOME 3. I downloaded both files and intended to make a multiboot live setup using MultiSystem, but unfortunately MultiSystem reacted with error messages to both ISOs. Knowing that openSUSE doesn’t play well with UnetBootin, I decided to just try out the Fedora version on a live USB through UnetBootin. Follow the jump to see how it goes.

Unfortunately, I initially had a bit of booting trouble when I selected the default boot menu option. The OS hung halfway through booting, so I forced a cold restart. I then selected the “Boot ”option instead of either “Default” or “desktop_[stuff] ”(the name of the ISO file) and that seemed to work fine — I even got to see the lovely Fedora boot splash screen (the Fedora logo “filling up”). After the boot process came the login screen. I guess GDM hasn’t changed a whole lot since GNOME 2.30, though for some reason the GTK+ theming looked really ugly. Upon seeing it, I hoped it was just an issue with GDM and not the whole GNOME desktop theming ability, and thankfully, as I found out shortly thereafter, I was right. I then proceeded to the desktop. (…)

    [ du Preez: Oracle and IBM to share open-source Java

Oracle has agreed to share governance of the OpenJDK Java community with IBM, in a move that demonstrates considerable good will, according to one analyst.

The company has created a series of bylaws outlining the way the governance will be structured, with Oracle appointing itself chairman and the OpenJDK lead, and IBM taking the role of vice chairman. (…)

    [Asiajin/Akky Akimoto: Facebook Japan Takes Hard Line, Banning Pseudo Names And Requires

Today February 8, some Japanese web users who are influential in tech communities like Hatena and Twitter, started reporting they were locked out from Facebook. After trying to log in, they were taken to the form, which title is “Complaints against a ban of your account, identity demanded”. (…)

Reviews and Essays

    [ LibreOffice-The Future of Office in Linux](//

LibreOffice 3.3 was released a few weeks ago and this marks a very important milestone in the Open Source Office environment. In my previous post I talked in detail about but completely forgot to mention LibreOffice and all of the exciting things that are happening at The Document Foundation.

The Big Bang of Open Source

In September of 2010 many of the top developers of Open Office parted ways from Oracle and the Open Office project. They went on to form the Document Foundation.

“Our mission is to facilitate the evolution of the Community into a new open, independent, and meritocratic organizational structure within the next few months. An independent Foundation is a better match to the values of our contributors, users, and supporters, and will enable a more effective, efficient, transparent, and inclusive Community. We will protect past investments by building on the solid achievements of our first decade, encourage wide participation in the Community, and co-ordinate activity across the Community.”

This split from Oracle was in a sense a revolution. used to be sponsored by Sun Micro systems. After Sun was bought out by Oracle there were rumors and fears that would go the way of OpenSolaris which lost support from Oracle. The Document Foundation initially hoped to keep Oracle and have a strong working relationship, but Oracle decided not to support LibreOffice and the rest is (or will be?) history.” (…)

    [ Useful Open Source Software #2: GIMP](//

GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is a very powerful piece of image editing software that is comparable to Photoshop. It is free to use, and offers you many of the same basic to advanced image editing capabilities as Photoshop without the hefty price tag. It is available on Mac, Windows, and Linux.

GIMP is now at version 2.6 and has come a long way since its humble beginnings. It started off as a small project designed to create a Photoshop-like program in the Linux environment and since 1995 has exploded into a very powerful graphic design system. It is one of my favorite pieces of open source software and I am constantly amazed by the amazing capabilities of this program.

The program has many features that computer graphics designers will find useful, but at the same time beginners may be intimidated by the amount of options that are available. When first run, you are met with several screens, tons of menus, and tons of options. If you are new to graphic design it may be very intimidating and overwhelming. Luckily there is a lot of documentation on how to effectively use GIMP. There are free tutorials for all ranges of expertise available on the website. There are also a lot of books that have been published about GIMP, the newest being GIMP 2.6 for Photographers: Image Editing with Open Source Software by Klaus Goelker.” (…)

    [ Useful Open Source Software #3: FreeMind](//

Freemind is a free mind mapping program which has some amazing functionality and a variety of uses. A mind map is nothing more than what people have done for years with a pencil and pad of paper – Brain Storm. You start with a main idea, then you expand it with branches of related concepts, then you expand those concepts with specific details. Before you know it, you have just cured cancer, invented the first car that runs on water, or successfully taken over the world.

The best part about Freemind, is that unlike a pad and paper you are able to insert images, objects, links, files, and pretty much anything that you desire into your mind map which allows you to have one place to organize all of your thoughts. Mind maps are an alternative way to study, take notes, organize your ideas, make decisions, and solve problems. I have been using it for about a year in school. Personally, I am in love with it. I used to take vigorous notes in classic format. But I found myself getting lost, confused, and unable to really feel a sense of organization in my notes. Freemind allows you to have all of your information on a single page. You can expand and reduce the categories as you see fit to first learn major concepts, and then specific details.” (…)

    [Linux Journal/Johan Thelin:
      CUPS and Sun](//

I recently spent some time getting one of my long term projects built. For quite some time I’ve had an old desktop computer serve as my printer server. As this machine is kind of loud, I’ve turned it off when not using it. This led to some client machines not appreciating the printer becoming available at the wrong time.

In my posession I also had an old mini-itx board with passive cooling (large heat sinks) and a pair of sun portable scsi hdd cases. Incidentally, the latter fit into the former. The plan for a new print server was born. (…)

    [Adventures in Linux: Software Review: The KDE 4.6
      Desktop Environment](//

**Author’s note: **

most of the screenshots contained herein were taken from the KDE release announcement. Thanks to KDE for making these pics available for re-use.

**Ancient History: **

It’s been three years, and it’s still hard to put the KDE 4.0 debacle behind me. I was running KDE 3.5 on Debian stable happy as a clam, and then one fine day in January of 2008 the KDE folks dumped their brand-new, completely re-vamped desktop environment into our laps. I couldn’t get it for Debian so I installed another distro just to check it out… and used it for less than 24 hours. I could see what they were trying to do, and there were some good ideas there, but the implementation was so unbelievably bad that I missed out on the next two releases altogether. I didn’t try KDE 4.x again until January of last year, when I installed Debian testing with the KDE 4.3 desktop. It was great! Since then KDE has gone from strength to strength. KDE 4.4 was mature and stable, and KDE 4.5 added polish and finesse. KDE 4.6, released a little over a week ago, ups the ante once again. (…)

QTBlog/Daniel Kihlberg: Nokia new strategic direction. What is the future for Qt?

Wow, what a day… Nokia outlined its new platform strategy for smartphones, with Windows Phones as it primary smartphone platform in a proposed partnership with Microsoft… and Microsoft’s tools would be used for Nokia Windows Phone application development … and guess what, it has raised a lot of questions in the Qt community.

So the question is, what is the future for Qt?

Qt will continue to play an important role in Nokia. Consider the following:

  • The retention of Nokia’s 200 million Symbian-users is vital and Nokia has targeted sales of 150 million more Symbian-devices in years to come. To achieve that Nokia needs to continue the modernization of Symbian in Qt – to keep existing consumers engaged and to attract new customers, either upgrading from existing Symbian devices to Qt enabled devices or entirely new to Nokia.

  • Nokia also announced it will ship its first MeeGo-related device in 2011, which will rely on the Qt ecosystem – and then will continue with MeeGo as an open source project for future disruption. Nokia can’t afford to be behind the next disruption again and Qt can play an important role in making sure it isn’t.

  • With Qt Quick and Qt SDK 1.1 releases in the coming months we are expecting the Qt developer community to continue to grow – adding to the 400.000 developers using Qt today. Qt is developed together with the community and we expect the pace of innovation to increase even further as the community grows.

  • We in Nokia are one of tens of thousands of companies in multiple industries actively using and contributing to Qt, making Qt relevant for both mobile, desktop and other embedded developers

  • Qt expansion: We have continued to hire Qt developers and we will continue to improve and expand Qt in the future. Qt is great at delivering innovation; we have been doing that for 15 years. With the upcoming release of Qt Quick, we will reach out to new users and make it even easier to create great apps and UIs for many platforms including Symbian and MeeGo.

  • The new Qt SDK 1.1 technology preview. We now offer only one SDK for both desktop and mobile developers, which makes it easier to target more platforms by using just one SDK.

  • Qt everywhere. Qt continues to make vast inroads into especially low end Linux devices and distro’s. Qt also continues to provide a platform for others to innovate and differentiate upon. For example Dreamworks switching all their internal animation tools to Qt and making cool movies like “MegaMind” and “How to Train Your Dragon”.

Qt is increasingly popular. During 2010, we had 1.5+ million downloads at (alone) – twice as much as during 2009 – and with the up-coming innovation and additional investments in Qt combined with the introduction of open governance, I believe Qt will be used more than ever before.


      autorun attacks against Linux](//

Many people think that Linux is immune to the type of Autorun attacks that have plagued Windows systems with malware over the years. However, there have been many advances in the usability of Linux as a desktop OS - including the addition of features that can allow Autorun attacks.

This Shmoocon presentation by Jon Larimer from IBM X-Force starts off with a definition of autorun vulnerabilities and some examples from Windows, then jumps straight into the Linux side of things. (…)

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