openSUSE Weekly News, Issue 168 is out!

26. Mar 2011 | Sascha Manns | No License

We are pleased to announce our new openSUSE Weekly News Issue 168.


openSUSE Weekly News

### openSUSE Weekly News Team

168 Edition

Legal Notice

This work (compilation) is licenced under Creative Commons attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. The rights for the compilation itself are copyright by Sascha Manns.

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Copyrights of the introduced articles are owned by original authors or copyright owners. If you want to reuse those articles, ask each original copyright owner which license should be applied. We don’t reprint any Article without an free license, we just introduce it then under the Agreement of the German Copyright Law.

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Published: 2011-03-26

Table of Contents

Announcements Google Summer of Code Status Updates

Distribution SUSE Studio 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 On the Web

Announcements Call for participation Reports Reviews and Essays Credits Acknowledgements Copyrights

List of our Licenses Trademarks Feedback Translations

We are pleased to announce our 168 issue of the openSUSE Weekly News.

After some requests we have changed our handling of Licenses. In the last issue we had an Infobox over each Article, and bigger than the Title. So we have removed the Boxes and we have now just a little Link on the End of the Article. We hoping you’re enjoy it. If you have any ideas or comments, just write a Mail to <[](>

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

Enjoy the reading :-)

Header PictureAnnouncements

openSUSE 11.4 still going strong

A bit over one week ago, we released openSUSE 11.4 introducing many exciting new features. The result was, as we wrote on Friday: a big splash. The 100.000 downloads in the first 24 hours and large numbers of blogs, articles and reviews all over the world were certainly impressive! So today we have a look at how the stats looked after one week. Did we keep the momentum going?

On the numbers

6 days after our previous report, downloads on bittorrent moved to well over 36.000 downloads from the 12.000 in the first 24 hours. Still over 900 people are seeding. Meanwhile, the total number of downloads on the download page has exceeded the 300.000 downloads now. Breaking the numbers down a little, we can see what images you are choosing. With over 113.000 downloads, the i586 DVD iso is the most popular, followed by 83.000 downloads for the 64 bit DVD. The live CD’s are going fast as well, with over 37.000 for the KDE (32 & 64 bit) and 31.000 for the GNOME one. Quite a few users are even opting for the networked installation CDs, with about 16.000 downloads as well.

Figure 1. openSUSE on Distrowatch

openSUSE on Distrowatch

After announcing they had openSUSE 11.4 support from day 1, the SUSE studio team let us know last week that they had 1000 appliances build with openSUSE 11.4 in 24 hours. Well, since then, thousands more have been made! On the release day, traffic to the SUSE Studio website spiked by 62%. Right now, SUSE Studio image building still takes significantly longer than usual due to the continued increase in traffic… They also let us know that it is now possible to automatically update your current appliance to openSUSE 11.4 if you want.

Party time!

Right from the launch date on, there were launch parties all around the world. On planet openSUSE, the first reports are showing up and the pizza-fuelled Dutch release party had a report on!

Figure 2. openSUSE Cake!

openSUSE Cake!

openSUSE Ambassadors in Greece brought their growing community together for a release party complete with cake. Yum!

Figure 3. Dancing avatars!

Dancing avatars!

Among the many creative approaches to launch celebrations perhaps the Geekiest was the virtual launch party on Second Life. A DJ, chat, dancing and balloons allowed the online community to celebrate in style at Geeko’s Place.

Reviews and articles

There are many more reviews now on the web. We have not spend much time updating our in-the-press page as there is just too much. Just in Spain, for example, 10 major sites published reviews and notices – that is not including blogs and many smaller sites…

We do want to point to one particular review, the one by The Linux Action show. Both gentlemen doing this are usually not huge openSUSE fans so we greatly appreciate their glowing review of 11.4! And, gents, count on us taking care of the thing you were missing: innovation and fancy stuff! There are several great initiatives upcoming as we reported in this article about 2010 and surely, more will come.

Novell and Attachmate

Of course Novell supported our release with a press announcement, mentioning some of our major new features. Chairman and CEO of Attachmate, Jeff Hawn, conveyed congratulations on the release of openSUSE 11.4 on behalf of his company.

Social media stats

Our Social Media guru Chuck ‘pup’ Payne reports some fantastic participation on our various social networking channels. The top five countries participating in our social pages were the USA, Indonesia (who have created their own page!), Germany, India, and Italy.

Change Your Profile Pix

As a ‘last moment idea’, Chuck posted on the openSUSE page and group that users might like to change their pix to the Geeko character that Carlos had had created. A fun way to celebrate and promote the release. This was very successful, with 20% of users changing their profile pictures to our geeky, suit-wearing lizard!

openSUSE Facebook Page

The stats for the official openSUSE Facebook Page were up 148%.

Figure 4. Facebook Interaction

Facebook Interaction

Weekly and Monthly Active User are on the rise. There was a bit of dip on March 12 (Saturday) after the release – must have been all those machines busy downloading and installing! Page Likes are up 122% with postfeed back up 238%. The highest was the day of the release. Post views went up 118% with post feed back being up 441%.

Figure 5. Interactions on Facebook

Interactions on Facebook


Chuck set up a feed so that posts would be sent to Twitter. It’s hard to get exact statistics for Twitter, but over on the day we had a lot of #openSUSE tweets flying around.

Figure 6. Twitter Charts

Twitter Charts

We started mainly twitting and re-tweeting or news. Chuck sent direct tweets to Linux Magazine, Linux Pro Magazine, Linux Journal, which helped because they return retweeted and then created they own tweets with links to they websites. We really appreciated the support from the media!


Social and more traditional media was buzzing with openSUSE activity since the release. We had hundreds of thousands of users downloading the latest openSUSE. We had parties around the world (and more coming up). OpenSUSE 11.4 got a lot of attention!

Thanks to Helen & Jos for writing!

License: FDL 1.2

openSUSE accepted for Google Summer of Code!

openSUSE has cleared the first hurdle towards a series of successful Google Summer of Code projects! As was disclosed last Saturday by OMGSUSE: Google has accepted our proposal and we are now a mentoring organization. This means that if you’re interested in working a whole summer FULLTIME on openSUSE and getting paid for it, this is your chance!

Figure 7. This could be a very special summer for you!

![This could be a very special summer for you!](/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/2725050242_ed79fa51cd_m.jpg)

Thanks to the ideas on our GSOC 2011 ideas page and the mentors who have already stepped up, you’ll have a great start in openSUSE development. While the number of slots is not decided yet, it is now time for you, potential students and mentors, to start fleshing out those ideas and talk to each other!

What’s next?

Already the#opensuse-project IRC channel (on Freenode) is buzzing with activity. Students and mentors are discussing the proposals – and that is exactly what is needed.


Check out the timeline on the Google Summer of Code site. Right now, you need to know the following dates: On March 28 the student application period opens. Yes, that is next week! Students have until April 8th to send in a formal proposal after which the openSUSE GSOC team will review the applications. Then Google will make the final decisions which will be published on the GSOC 2011 site on April 25th. Mentors should start registering now, and work with their potential students to create good proposals!


If you want to be a student and work on and within openSUSE for this Google Summer of Code, you need to start working on your proposal right away. First up, you should subscribe to the opensuse-project mailinglist. Introduce yourself, and let people know that you are looking for a mentor. If you are keen to dive right in, our development list is opensuse-factory.

Next up, that proposal. You might be inspired by something from the openSUSE GSOC 2011 ideas page. There is a list of project suggestions with a variety of abilitities and skill sets including web programming, Python, Perl and Ruby on Rails. Alternatively, suggest and idea of your own!

Once you have your idea, start to write! Contact the openSUSE team working in the area you’d like to work on and see if it is something they are interested in. Try to find a mentor, get feedback on your idea and find out if it is doable. In case you based your proposal on an idea from the idea page, contact the mentor (if there is one already) on IRC or by mail. If you have more generic questions you can always ask on the #opensuse-project channel on the Freenode servers or mail the opensuse-project mailing list.

More info about GSoC you can find on this site.


If you are willing to mentor a student for GSoC 2011 for openSUSE, you should start with subscribing to the gsoc-mentors mailinglist. It’s also a good idea to keep an eye on the project mailing list and IRC channels for students needing mentors. Next up is registering as a mentor on the Google website and contact our admin Vincent Untz to accept you. Ask questions on the GSoC mailinglist please!

Of course you will now have to help your potential student(s) to finish a good proposal and keep them engaged!

Time to get started

So, gear up, friends. It is time for a Summer of writing great Code for openSUSE. Talk to each other, ask questions, don’t be shy – and remember, there are no stupid questions, only stupid answers! If you are unsure if you are able to do do it, please come talk to us in the #opensuse-project channel on the Freenode servers. Everyone has to start somewhere, and if it turns out you’re not experienced enough yet or we don’t have a slot for you there is no problem. We can still mentor you, help you out with setting up your development tools, answer your coding or packaging questions and teach you the ropes of working in a Free Software community. So you can’t lose – either way, you can be involved in openSUSE, learn valuable skills and have some fun!

License: FDL 1.2

Linux Foundation 20th Anniversary of Linux Campaign and Video Contest

It’s the 20th Anniversary of Linux in August and the Linux Foundation is kicking off celebrations at The Collaboration Summit which takes place April 6-8, 2011 at the Hotel Kabuki in San Francisco. A highlight of the campaign is the annual Video Contest, which this year focuses on the 20 year celebration and will be judged by Linux Torvalds himself.


The Linux Foundation has invited members and the community to create their own 20th anniversary videos in advance, which will be featured on the announcement date of April 6. Videos submitted early enough to be available during the first days of the contest will receive additional promotion by The Linux Foundation.

This is a fantastic opportunity for video makers in the openSUSE community to get some visibility for their work and their favorite distribution! (Not to mention showing off how easy it is to make awesome videos with openSUSE.) So get started right away, and watch this space for details on how to submit your video.

License: FDL 1.2

Header PictureGoogle Summer of Code


Stephan Kulow: GSOC Idea: Improve Clic Filesystem

I really look for the perfect gsoc student: someone who has a brilliant idea, noone else thought of how to improve linux in general or openSUSE in specific and just needs my guidance.

But for those that need some ideas, my best bet is really to rewrite clicfs to make it even better. Right now clicfs is a FUSE filesystem hosting a loop image. So a page read goes from ext4->loop->fuse->clicfs->CD->clicfs->fuse->loop->ext4.

If it lived in the kernel, it could offer a block device you mount your ext4 on, leaving aside loop and fuse:

modprobe clicfs packfile=/read-only/openSUSE-kde.i586 cowfile=/read-write/.COWfile cowlog=/dev/ttyS0 mount /dev/clicfs/0 /mnt chroot /mnt /bin/init

Great idea, no? For someone who wants to become famous, it would be the perfect target!

License: GFDL 1.2

Thomas Schmidt: Summer of Code 2011

Google’s summer of code 2011 is approaching, and got accepted as mentoring organization.

So now we are searching for students that would like to hack on one of our proposed projects from May 23rd – August 22nd (fulltime, 40h/week) being payed by Google (5000$ on success). Sounds like a fair deal, doesn’t it?

There are even some days left to propose a new project to hack on! In that case we would try to find a suitable mentor from our community to get you started.

There are quite some interesting project proposals on our gsoc2011 wiki page, reaching from build service projects to SUSE Studio tools and distribution specific tools, as well as cross-distribution efforts.

I would like to mentor a student in the OBS Mobile project which will create a nice interface to use the buildservice from your handheld. So if you are skilled in web technologies (jquery-mobile, rails) please apply and get the chance to hack this summer of code on this exciting project!

To get in contact with the openSUSE community please join channel #opensuse-project on freenode, or our project mailinglist at <[](> and we will help you to get started.

Will Stephenson: GSoC Idea: Build Service Plasma Widget Suite

I’m blatantly abusing GSoC for a project that I would like to see in openSUSE but that I’ve never had time to work on. But really it’s a worthwhile thing to have: a set of Plasma widgets that users and developers can add to their workspace to make it easy to see what’s going on in OBS in the projects that matter to them. If you want to work on a fun project with cutting edge technologies such as Qt, QML, Plasma then head on over to the GSoC 2011 Ideas Page.

License: GFDL 1.2

Alexander Naumov: GSoC 2011

Google Summer of Code (GSoC) is a program for students across the world to hack on interesting Free Software projects and get paid for their work. Historically, the program has brought together over 4500 students with over 300 Open Source projects, to create millions of lines of code!

Of cource openSUSE hopes to participate in GSoC, while being mentored by experienced members of the community they are working in. We have many different ideas and looking for stundens. This is a good opportunity not only to help openSUSE and have a lot of fun working on interesting project, but also get 5000 $ if your project will be finished successful Time for hacking is from May 23rd to August 22nd.

In my opinion one of the most interesting projects is the Build Service Plasma Widgets. It will be very useful, I guess.

To get in contact with us please join IRC channel #opensuse-project on freenode, or our project’s ML at <[](> and don’t forget – we’re going to help you to start.

Header PictureStatus Updates

Header PictureDistribution

Stephan Kulow: Status: distribution

We finally managed to make the legal review steps transparent. So if you submit a package now to factory, a “legal-auto” group is asked to review it - this is done by a script of Jýrgen, which checks if the package was reviewed before. If not, a “legal-team” group is asked to review.

So the requests no longer appear to be ignored. In future we plan to do the same with some check-auto and check-manual to review build status and basic checks as soon as possible.

Greetings, Stephan P.S. Right now we can’t publish new builds as kiwi requires a package that does not exist ;(

Important Links

Header PictureSUSE Studio

SUSE Studio: New Beta Features: Revision Management 101

We’ve been working on ways to make collaboration on SUSE Studio appliances easier. The first step down that road is to make your appliance’s build history act live a revision control system. To that end, our beta users will find a few new features available to them:viewing an appliance’s complete configuration on one page; the opportunity to branch an appliance by cloning a specific version; and a dynamically generated changelog between each version. (…)

Team Report

Header PictureBuild Service Team

Adrian Schröter: Policy proposal for Factory: Make source of tar balls trackable

I like to suggest a general policy for openSUSE:Factory project to document from where a tar ball (or any other file from upstream) is comming from. Why that ? It makes it much easier to review version updates and it guarantees that no one can inject some mal code via a modifed tar ball.

So far I added the source services “download_url” and “tar_scm” to our OBS instance, which downloads the files and stores them as files via a commit. Some people use them already, some others don’t like them because they store the files with _service: prefix.

In last hackweek, I added another way to handle this, which I would like to request as setup and policy for openSUSE:Factory project. You can add a project wide source service, for example the new “download_files” service. That would mean that no needs to add a _service file to the sources anymore. It is enough to add an URL to the spec file Source: tags. The service will automatically download it from there.

But that does mean we still have have _service:download_files:osc-0.1.tar.bz2 file names ? Not when we also add the new“ trylocal” parameter and use latest osc versions. This parameter will let act osc to execute the services, but name the files without prefix and commit them together with the other files.

Where is the advantage then ? The server is still validating that this is an identical file. It downloads it again and compares it. In case it is the same file, nothing will happen.

What will happen, when the file differes ? We basically have two options, either we can let the service mark the source as broken or we would store the file with _service: prefix again.

The later mode has the advantage that you can still do version upgrades via slow connections and let the server download the files.

Please find some more details about new possibilities with the source services here.

An example setup for this can be tested via

osc bco home:adrianSuSE:FactoryTest bc

and do for example a version downgrade to 1.05 version to see how it works. Please note that you need the osc from openSUSE:Tools:Unstable project for this.

We can also apply the still suse-internal spec formater and validator scripts via this way later one.

Another advantage of this setup would be the new “update_source” service, which could run in some openSUSE:Factory:AutoUpdate project and tries automatic version upgrades when upstream releases a new version. They could be reviewed and just picked (directly or with additional manual fixes).

License: GFDL 1.2

Alexander Naumov: osc plugin – changes

OSC is a console client for openSUSE Build Service. It’s written on python and easy in studying and using packager’s tool. However there are situations when its functionality is not enough; sometimes we need something special. In this case to us will help plug-in mechanism, which in osc is realised very simply.

Plugin can use all of the features, which already implemented osc, as well as provide an output in a convenient format for you. For example, if I want to check changes in kdelibs4 between openSUSE:11.3 and openSUSE:11.4, I can do something like this:

osc rdiff openSUSE:11.3 kdelibs4 openSUSE:Factory kdelibs4

After that I will receive a detailed output about all changes. Yes, that’s great… but not always it’s convenient. For example, in this case output will contain more than 2000 strings, and I need time to find, say, a *.changes file if I want quickly to understand that has been changed. In case if I want to transfer output to processing to another program (as often happens in practice), I have to shape this data. Unfortunately osc is not as intelligent and can’t show changes from one file (from *.changes, for example) only…(…)

Build Service Statistics. Statistics can found at Buildservice

Header PictureGNOME Team

Frédéric Crozat: GNOME 3 Live image, release 0.1.1

As always, another week, another release, aka 0.1.1


This week release is a polish release :

  • very few package changes

  • many services are disabled when booting live CD, improving its loading speed

  • password is no longer asked at all in live CD for root or standard (tux) user

  • when installing the image on a system (add liveinstall parameter on bootloader), some services are enabled back (apparmor, preload, firewall), thanks to Chris comments

Another service announcement : my GNOME3 openSUSE 11.3 repository will soon be removed ; packages will be only available for openSUSE 11.4 (same OBS project). Therefore, I strongly suggest to upgrading your system to openSUSE 11.4.

You know the url to fetch the latest release : //

Frédéric Crozat: GNOME 3 live image release 0.2.0 is out

This week release is version 0.2.0. It features GNOME 2.91.92, including :

  • soon to be released Network Manager 0.9 and new UI integrated in GNOME Shell and GNOME Control Center (be careful, it has still rough edges)

  • a11y support should be improved

If you have installed this image or if you use the home:fcrozat:gnome3 openSUSE and want to upgrade to 2.91.92, you can update using zypper up (if you still want to keep Network Manager 0.8) or zypper dup (if you want to switch to NM 0.9). Some packages might be uninstalled in the process.

Image is, as always, available at //

Header PictureopenFATE Team

Top voted Features

decouple download and installation (Score: 348)

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

Look at plymouth for splash during boot (Score: 181)

“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?”

Replacement for Sax2 (Score: 120)

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

Update to GRUB v2 (Score: 109)

“Every single bug or feature that anyone has developed for GRUB 0.97 has been rejected by the upstream project in favor of using GRUB 2. There has been resisitence in the distribution community to switching boot loaders, but this stalemate isn’t going to go away. The code itself isn’t well written or well maintained. Adding a new feature involves jumping through a lot of hoops that may or may not work even if you manage to work around all the runtime limitations. For example, a fs implementation has a static buffer it can use for memory management. It’s only 32k. For complex file systems, or even a simple journaled file system, we run into problems (like the reiserfs taking forever to load bug) because we don’t have enough memory to do block mapping for the journal so it needs to scan it for every metadata read. (Yeah, really.) (…)”

Recently requested features

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

KDE “System settings” intergration of YaST

“Integrate the YaST modules in the KDE “System settings” application. Not only with just 1 item that launched YaST, but with 1 item for each YaST module being directly visible in KDE System settings - in the right group. YaST NTP for example in the “Networking” group, YaST Boot loader in “System” …”

Global Menu

“Global Menu is a GNOME and KDE plugin making great waves in the ubuntu circa. If it were ported to openSUSE then the Mac look and feel aspect could be furthered and the desktop of openSUSE could receive a face-lift possibility which is very very user-friendly.”


“I use xautolck to close truecrypt volumes after inactivity. Recently I discovered that the max time of inactivity is 60 minutes. I also found that by editing xautolock.c in the source, changing the time given with “define MAX_MINUTES” to another value is sufficient. I changed it to 240, for my case sufficient. But then I have to recompile it. Would it be possible to have a higher default time in the included xautolck rpm, I suppose there are more people who would benefit from it and it is easy to accomplish.”

openSUSE GNOME Spin - A competitor to Mint, Fusion, Fuduntu and friends…

“I’m consulting the openSUSE community regarding the creation of a openSUSE GNOME2 spin featuring some ‘special’ features and with a heavy customization layer, including some testing software. The main purpose for this is to present a openSUSE powered competitor to what is happening on other distributions, and to rival strong names such as Mint Linux, Fusion (Fedora), Fuduntu (Fedora) and friends… (…)”

Make default KDE theme greenish, to match whole system

“We really need to make default KDE theme green, to match whole system greenish appearance. It’s involves just two steps: make default green icon set (like // ) and make default green colours (like // ) “

Feature Statistics

Statistics for openSUSE distribution in openFATE

Header PictureOpenOffice/LibreOffice Team

Petr Mladek: LibreOffice 3.3.1 bugfix release available for openSUSE

I’m happy to announce LibreOffice 3.3.2 bugfix release for openSUSE. The packages are available in the Build Service LibreOffice:Stable project. They fix various crashers, usability and translation problems, see the libreoffice- release news for more details. See also some notes about openSUSE LibreOffice build.

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.

Other information and plans:

The 3.3.2 packages includes KDE3 support again. Thanks Lubos Lunak who fixed all known issues and Ilya Chernykh who helped with packaging.

The 3.3.2 release is in a very good shape, so we decided to slow down the bug fixes release cycle. You might expect the 3.3.3 bug fix release two months from now.

LO-3.4 feature freeze is pretty close and we will start producing test packages in the LibreOffice:Unstable project. Please, be patient because there are many interesting changes in the build framework. They are good for the future but I expect some problems with packaging. I hope that I will manage to provide something by the end of April.

License: GFDL 1.2

Header PictureTesting Team

Larry Finger: Weekly News for March 26

The Testing Core Team will hold an IRC meeting on March 28, 2011 at 17:00 UTC. The time change reflects that nearly everyone is now on summer time.

We will be finalizing our plans for the next “Open Bugs Day”, which will be from 00:00 to 23:59 UTC, Saturday April 2, 2011. As written before, the emphasis will be on identifying those bugs reported for 11.2 and older that are still present in 11.4. We will not attempt to squash these bugs, but to make sure that none have been forgotten. After the release of 11.5 M5, we will have a bug-squashing day. We will also be testing and commenting on the Web application that Bernhard Wiedermann has written to help in bug selection and processing.

This will be the last Weekly News before the event. Please plan to join the bug identification effort. The specific Web links for “Open Bugs Day” are not available to me now; however, you will be able to access them from //

Header PictureTranslation Team

Header PictureIn the Community

Postings from the Community

Jos Poortvliet: The Collaboration Imperative

As you might have noticed, there is a little bit of a brush-up between GNOME and Canonical with KDE involved from the sidelines (just read Planet GNOME). Dave wrote a reasonable summary of this and so did Jeff Waugh in his series on the relationship between Canonical and GNOME. In three sentences:

“Canonical gets a lot of criticism for creating a fork of the GNOME experience with Unity, instead of contributing upstream to GNOME Shell. Canonical responds that Unity was meant to be a GNOME project and their contributions are being blocked (giving libindicators as example). Suddenly Aaron Seigo from KDE weighted in, saying GNOME is indeed hard to work with.”

I’ve been reading up on it and to some extend participating in the discussion on As you know, I’m interested in the subject of collaboration and this is a case where it clearly didn’t work out for a variety of reasons. In this blog I won’t try to weight in on the topic itself but rather argue that the psychological construct of “the fundamental attribution error” can explain much of the conflict and how to avoid it.

But let’s start with a sample of the discussion.

forming an opinion

I’m not exactly the type of person who makes up his mind easily. And the stories that came out of this debate were highly conflicting and confusing. According to this, Canonical discourages its employees from contributing upstream. However, Aaron claims GNOME does not WANT to collaborate. And Mark blogs:

“Jeff also goes on to talk about Ted and Aurelien, who were proposing the app indicators work in GNOME and KDE respectively. KDE apps worked smoothly, Gnome rejected Ted’s proposal.”

So GNOME is uncooperative? Or does Canonical not get it, as Dave claimed? Is KDE just pushing things without listening? Depends on your point of view - the facts are vague. Read for example this thread on about the StatusNotifier (systray) spec - there is about a 50% chance you’ll decide KDE is the uncooperative one… This thread was referenced several times as proof Party X was inflexible and rude - where X was sometimes GNOME and sometimes KDE!

Figure 8. I say opinions are cool!

![I say opinions are cool!](//

Makes you wonder what is going on…

So what is real?

A few days ago I had a call with Jeff Waugh. He offered to talk in a dent and I’m glad he did. Of course, as usual the whole situation is more complicated than what you can discuss in 140 characters on twitter. The talk was very enlightening and made me think of a psychological concept.

The fundamental attribution error

Figure 9. Call it a family trait…

![Call it a family trait...](//

People tend to attribute what happens around us in the world to intentions. We believe things happen for a reason. This is quite a strong human tendency already present in very young children. Put a 3 year old in front of a room where stones are moved around by some invisible means like magnets. Ask the kid what is going on and he or she will describe the events in the room in terms of “the blue stone wants to talk to the reevd one”. We know stones usually don’t really want a lot - so why does the child perceive such intentions? This phenomenon not only forms the base of early religions (attributing ‘intentions’ to weather, trees or growth of crops) but also results in making conflicts worse. Psychologists call it “the fundamental attribution error” and it is fundamental (hence the name) to our perception of the world.

So the reality is, besides that stones and trees don’t have ‘goals’ and ‘intentions’, that often things happen for other reasons than someone having the intent to do that specific thing. Or in English, if a specification gets critical comments - maybe the respondent might have had other reasons than just wanting to be a jerk. Like being busy, tired or having misunderstood/missed a part of the discussion.

Reality applied

Figure 10. Reality?


The talk with Jeff made clear that the major reason for GNOME not supporting the systemtray spec was timing, not lack of interest The focus of the GNOME project right now is understandably narrow: get GNOME 3 out the door. Something like interoperability, no matter how important, is not on top of the agenda. Jeff said he expects the FD.o systray spec to be supported hopefully in GNOME 3.2! The lesson: sometimes things interfere with cooperation. And the ‘other camp’, blissfully unaware of the real reasons behind lack of response or rude behavior, attributes it to a lack of willingness and support.

As another example, take the adoption of the Galago (notification) specification and what went wrong according to this message by John Palmieri. And about GNOME and Canonical having misunderstandings: Stuart Jarvis blogged how hard understanding a Free Software community can be.

Now I’m not going to attempt to unravel all the events that led to this blog as that would simply be impossible. Nor will I attempt to figure out ‘who is to blame’ as that’s pointless (and wrong anyway, as I argued above). What I can do is ask those involved to think about the fundamental attribution error: if someone looks funny at you, it doesn’t mean they hate you. They might have something stuck in their eye!


Ok, so maybe the others don’t hate you. That doesn’t solve the problem - yet. We all need to step up and do something. What?

Make collaboration an explicit focus

Figure 11. snap


I wrote about collaboration before and at FOSDEM there was a cross-distro-collaboration discussion. As I said there, a big blocker for more openness is that we simply don’t think about collaboration. We need to be aware of the opportunities for and benefits of collaboration. The whole discussion that I started this blog with might be negative and things are all a bit tense right now, but it shines the spotlight on something that needs attention! And positive initiatives like Appstream are happening. As Seif Lotfy wrote on his blog:

“And if you haven’t noticed we are working with GNOME Shell, Unity and KDE. So a sense of collaboration is possible ;)”

It just needs us to take notice! So, Mark, maybe blog about Appstream? It’s using Ubuntu Software Center for the GNOME side, after all… Let’s also focus on the positive projects!

Talk together face to face!

It is important to talk about concerns and frustrations. Considering the distance Brazil-Australia the best Jeff and I could do was a phone call but it was certainly enlightening. And I bet that you’ll notice the same when you finally get to talk to those you’ve been fighting with on IRC and mailing lists for so long… Even then, realize that one single person does not define his or her whole project. Not everyone in KDE is as jumpy as Aaron; not everyone in GNOME is as French as Vincent Untz. It is important to share the results of a chat as well - blog about it (if your blog is aggregated on your projects’ planet), or add results to a wiki or commit logs etcetera. Make sure the positive results persist!

Allison wrote he also wants to start a bit of a discussion in the cross-desktop area which I welcome and support. Sounds like something which could make an impact and Allison, if you want my help, let me know what I can do.

Take advantage of events to meet

Don’t overlook the opportunity to meet at events. For example, there is the Linux Foundation’s Collaboration Summit in San Fransisco in a few weeks. It is co-located with Camp KDE which seems to me an excellent opportunity for stakeholders to get together. Go a few days before the Collaboration Summit starts so you can get some face to face time with desktop folks.

Figure 12. Time for a group hug?

Time for a group hug?

Then of course in August, there is the Desktop Summit. I’m one of the organizers and while collaboration isn’t always perfect, the team has a common goal: organize a great event! Like the previous Desktop Summit in Gran Canaria I hope we can make some steps forward. This Desktop Summit will have collaboration even higher on its agenda than the last one and I hope this will have positive effects.

Figure 13. Gran Canaria Desktop Summit

![Gran Canaria Desktop Summit](//

Doing more, moving forward

There certainly is more we can do to solve the conflicts. With apologies for the irony here, more blogs trying to analyze the whole thing may simply be fueling the flames more than extinguish them. Talking to people works better. I don’t claim there was no talk, there was. However, much communication we do happens over the web. And as we are all aware, that can easily lead to misunderstandings. So the face to face meetings I suggest, as well as an awareness of biases like the fundamental attribution error, can contribute to solving these conflicts in a more effective manner. As long as the results get documented in a few (public!) places and as such don’t get forgotten the results of such meetings can be good and long lasting!

Personally, I’ll stay away from the subject now - I’ve dented, tweeted and now blogged enough about it. I’ll focus on the positive - including the Desktop Summit. And making sure the next openSUSE conference will have as much of a collaborative atmosphere as the last one!

License: CC-BY-SA

Klaas Freitag: Chemnitzer Linuxtage 2011

Last weekend I spent on Chemnitzer Linuxtage 2011 which is a popular linux event in Chemnitz, Germany. It was the first time I have been there and was very positively surprised. It is a very well organised event, in a building providing the perfect environment and a large amount of volunteers helping to make the whole weekend enjoyable and relaxed. Thanks for that, it really was fun to meet so many people in this all-inclusive atmosphere


openSUSE had a booth there (thanks Fedora for the picture) and we were lucky enough to have brand new 11.4 promo DVDs there which were handed to interested people. openSUSE 11.4 in general is very well received at most visitors, they were quite happy with our latest release. That is also true for the feelings for openSUSE all over: I heard so much positive feedback about what we do and how we do it, for example the OBS with the collaboration features, the distribution or the activity all over. People recognize our efforts.

I gave a talk about Kraft, as people hinted me that there might be the right audience for the topic of Linux in the small business. The interest was huge, the room was more than full and people seemed to like the way I was approaching the challenge. Unfortunately I had to fight with the notebook/beamer phalanx in the beginning (I apologize for that) so that I had to skip the live demo of Kraft in the end. But still I got a lot of interesting discussions afterwards and got some nice contributions already. Thanks for that.

On saturday noon there was a “Distribution competition” where I was pulled in to show openSUSE. It went ok for all distros taking part and was fun for us presenting

Booster Michal was giving a workshop about creating packages in the OBS for multiple distributions and a very well “received whats new in 11.4?” talk was given by Sirko in the beginners track.

It was a great event, even though I quite exhausted arrived home late on sunday night. I will be there next year again.

License: GFDL 1.2

    [Kai-Uwe Berhrmann: Oyranos on CLT 2011](//

The weekend on Chemnitzer Linux Tage happened in a very nice atmosphere at the TU campus.

The Oyranos booth had this year lots of place to show ideas on the hot topics like desktop and print colour management. Unfortunately my long planed co exhibitor could not make it to Chemnitz to show openSUSE-medical. We planed to display medical images on a properly setup 30-bit system as is required by the DICOM specification. Sirko Kemter designed one artistic 2 meter banner and helped with the basic design of the other posters, which we used for the new space. The Oyranos posters included some schematic graphics and the usual “Why do we need colour management” style explanations. For the later one I sketched a comparison of three non colour managed monitors showing the same fashion person. The SVG graphics from the open clip art library was colour converted to three real world monitor profiles. It resembles a typical shop over web situation, where colour counts for selection of the right looking goods.


Several visitors allowed me to start the actual SuseStudio created Oyranos LiveCD on their laptops with different success. We used the exhibited measurement devices and a camera target to create custom ICC profiles for use in digikam, Scribus, Inkscape and friends. The LiveCD is still based on openSUSE-11.3 and worked in many but not all cases. I found it impressive how good looked the featured KDE desktop, when the CompICC plug-in launched immediately. Working OpenGL, which is needed for the desktop colour server shader, was still not always available.

The newest openSUSE-11.4 version was demonstrated on the neighboring openSUSE booth. openSUSE-11.4 was released only some days ago. The OBS color_management repository was updated with the help of Stanislav Brabec just some days before to have nearly all packages build for 11.4. Thus Oyranos workes flawless on 11.4 too.

All in all a great weekend with lots of good talks and meeting of old and new friends.

Cornelius Schumacher: Show us your work on the free desktop

The deadline for the Call for Participation of the Berlin Desktop Summit is approaching. The deadline for submitting proposals for presentations and lightning talks is tomorrow. So you still have the chance to submit a presentation and talk about your work on the free desktop at the wonderful event in Berlin that the desktop summit promises to be. It takes place from 6th to 12th August this year and combines the annual conferences of the KDE and GNOME communities.

Some of you might think that your contributions to the free desktop to the event are not relevant enough to warrant submitting a talk. That often is not true. While we will have well-known speakers who have done ground-breaking things on the free desktop, we all have started small, and sometimes especially the small projects, which are still young, are the most interesting ones to hear about. So please don’t hesitate to try it, submit a presentation, talk about the projects you are passionate about, share the love for the free desktop with the community. Berlin is the right place for this.

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

Holger Hetterich: SMB Traffic Analyzer 1.2.3 released

Should you read this in a blogroll, and think what you read is from outer space: This article is about the SMB Traffic Analyzer project, more information is here.

The team is happy to announce the release of SMB Traffic Analyzer 1.2.3. It is loaded with new features and lots of bug fixes, driving SMBTA forward in terms of scalability, performance, and functionality. Let’s dive into and begin with the most important news on smbtad, the daemon program collecting data. A problem identified by several users was the fact that the created database grows too large after a short time. Well, at this level smbtad **was doing real data mining and stores any single VFS function in it’s database. A copy of a single file that is larger than a megabyte could create more than a hundred entries in the database. **smbtad now solves this issue with a reworked cache subsystem that is implemented as a bi-tree algorithm adding up similar VFS entries for up to 5 seconds, and thus creating an interpolation of the data to be stored. The result is a much smaller database and should make smbtad much faster. The user can change the time period while smbtad is summing up similar entries, and also force smbtad to do full data mining if wanted. (bnc#669679).

If your main target for using SMB Traffic Analyzer is to generate graphics with rrddriver or to run smbtamonitor, there are good news. The database handling in smbtad can be completely shut down. In this mode, smbtad only acts as a repeater, sending the data to the real-time clients, without the overhead of maintaining the database. The client programs have been adapted for this (bnc#668193).We have implemented a way to parse data from the VFS module without re-allocating the data in the systems memory. This makes smbtad much faster, reduces memory handling a lot, and much of the underlying code has been simplified (bnc#671346). The real time monitor code had problems when several smbtamonitor instances where connected, and the throughput display did not work in 1.2.2. As a consequence, we reworked the monitor code, simplified the code a lot, and removed throughput calculation from smbtad, reimplementing it in the smbtamonitor client (bnc#669809).

Figure 14. This picture is showing the HTML output of a fuzzy search done on a SMBTA Stresstest appliance.

![This picture is showing the HTML output of a fuzzy search done on a SMBTA Stresstest appliance.](//

Due to a bug in the CmakeFile of 1.2.2. both smbtad and smbtatools where unable to install anywhere else than /usr; the installation prefix can now be given with the CMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX variable (bnc#673767). The smbtatorturesrv program, distributing unique filenames and supporting smbtatorture when running networked and in parallel, sometimes crashed on 32bit architectures, fixed in bnc#667101.

Two new functions have been added to smbtatools. First off, there’s now a fuzzy search function in smbtaquery, allowing to do searches over the whole data set and supports unix wildcards. If the given search pattern is found, the function is identifying the object (bnc#599145).

Figure 15. SMBTA Stresstest

![SMBTA Stresstest](//

Also, smbtaquery, now includes a throughput calculation function, to let the user quickly view the data throughput of an object over the last minutes, hours or even days (bnc#668190). As mentioned before, throughput display in smbtamonitor did not work in 1.2.2. smbtamonitor now does this on it’s own, no longer requesting this calculation work from smbtad, and the interface has been slighty reworked. And finally, it now has keyboard handling.

The “top” function of smbtaquery has been reworked to display more information on the entries in the produced list. With every user and share, the domain is listed, and with any file, the corresponding share and domain is shown additionally (bnc#668172).

The SMBTA documentation has of course been updated to reflect the current state and is already uploaded here. openSUSE’s Buildservice already consumed SMB Traffic Analyzer 1.2.3, and downloads are available. Furthermore, with version 1.2.3, SMB Traffic Analyzer debuts on Gentoo Linux, and shall be available in the Gentoo Software directory soon. Of course, SMB Traffic Analyzer should appear in openSUSE Tumbleweed very soon.

Figure 16. The german ADMIN magazine released an extensive article about SMB Traffic Analyzer

![The german ADMIN magazine released an extensive article about SMB Traffic Analyzer](//

In other news, SMB Traffic Analyzer recently got print media attention with a six page long, workshop-like article about it in the German ADMIN Magazine. The article is very detailed and really good in showing what SMB Traffic Analyzer can do and how to configure it, and even describes the SMBTA Stresstest appliance! Good stuff, the SMBTA Development team is happy about this work and suggests to buy the magazine if you read German and are interested in SMB Traffic Analyzer. Moreover, we added a new page “Develop/Contact/Contribute” to the homepage, to make it easier for people to get into SMB Traffic Analyzer development, or for users to talk about SMBTA. A new release of the SMBTA Stresstest appliance is ahead, including SMBTA 1.2.3, making it easy to give it a quick test. Stay tuned.

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.

SUSE Security Announcement: IBM Java (SUSE-SA:2011:014)

Table 1. Security Announce
Package: **java-1_6_0-ibm,java-1_5_0-ibm,java-1_4_2-ibm**
Announcement ID: SUSE-SA:2011:014
Date: Tue, 22 Mar 2011 12:00:00 +0000
Affected Products: SUSE SLES 9 Open Enterprise Server Novell Linux POS 9 SLE SDK 10 SP3 SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 SP3 SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 SP3 SUSE Linux Enterprise SUSE Linux Enterprise Software Development Kit 11 SP1 SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 SP1
Vulnerability Type: remote code execution

SUSE Security Announcement: Linux kernel (SUSE-SA:2011:015)

Table 2. Security Announce
Package: **kernel**
Announcement ID: SUSE-SA:2011:015
Date: Thu, 24 Mar 2011 16:00:00 +0000
Affected Products: SLE SDK 10 SP3 SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 SP3 SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 SP3
Vulnerability Type: remote denial of service

Advance discontinuation notice for openSUSE 11.2

Dear opensuse-security-announce subscribers and openSUSE users, SUSE Security announces that the SUSE Security Team will stop releasing updates for openSUSE 11.2 soon. Having provided security-relevant fixes for the last two releases and two months, we will stop releasing updates after May 12th 2011. Discussions on whether a community driven extension of the maintenance like Evergreen for openSUSE 11.1 are ongoing. As a consequence, the openSUSE 11.2 distribution directory on our server will be removed from /distribution/11.2/ to free space on our mirror sites. The 11.2 directory in the update tree /update/11.2 will follow, as soon as all updates have been published. (…)

Header PictureKernel Review

h-online/Thorsten Leemhuis: Kernel Log: Development of 2.6.39 under way, series 33 revived

Among the additions for kernel version .39 are the Xen network backend, support for ipset, and the rudimentary Poulsbo graphics driver; the kernel hackers have now also completely eradicated the BKL. Greg Kroah-Hartman has taken up maintaining the series 33 kernel again because it is the basis of the real-time branch.

Less than 24ýhours after releasing Linux 2.6.38 on Tuesday last week, Linus Torvalds started merging the changes for Linux 2.6.39. Among the commits that have already been added is the Xen network backend for Dom0 kernels – however, the storage backend also required for operating a meaningful Dom0 has not yet made it into the kernel.

As expected, the last remaining components that use the Big Kernel Lock (BKL) have now been removed, allowing the kernel hackers to completely eradicate the lock via a commit entitled “BKL:That’s all, folks”. Among the new additions is the support for the sixth generation of the ipset program for optimising certain netfilter policies. In the staging area, the developers also added a rudimentary graphics driver for the GMA500 graphics chip found in Intel’s US15W chip-set, also known as Poulsbo. (…)

Header PictureTips and Tricks

For Desktop Users

    [LinuxUser & Developer/Dmitri Popov: Firefox 4 Sync step-by-step](//

Firefox 4′s brand new Sync feature is one of the main attractions of the latest release. It allows you to sync browser data, such as bookmarks, preferences, history, and tabs – but not extensions – across multiple Firefox installations. Here’s how it’s done… (…)

    [ Willis: Using Google's WebP Image Format with Open Tools on Linux](//

Google’s WebM project, the free and open video codec based on VP8, offers tantalizing benefits for fans of Linux and open source: better quality, plus full support in the browser and other applications, thanks to the lack of royalty-demanding patent holders. Often overlooked in the WebM story is the other media format unveiled by Google at the same time: WebP, a lossy still-image format said to provide better-than-JPEG quality at substantially slimmer file sizes. Is WebP poised to displace the stodgy old photo format? Let’s take a look at the free tools available for writing, converting, and displaying WebP files to find out. (…)

For Commandline/Script Newbies

    [ The 5 Days of find](//

Our “5 days of find” tutorial series is in full swing. This short-course includes tutorials, videos and exercises which are rolled out each day in an effort to help admins use the find command more confidently.

For Developers and Programmers

    [Sankar P: Pre vs Post Increment](//

While browsing across some open-source projects, I have seen code snippets of type:

for (i = 0; i < n; ++ i )

The pre-increment “++ i” confused me as to why one should use it, as post increment is most commonly used. Googling told me that pre-increment is faster than post increment as the value of i need not be stored to a temporary register before the increment operation. This sounded logical to me and I believed it and used pre-increment in all my loops. I didn’t bother to measure it though. (…)

    [Berthold Gunreben: iTunes on openSUSE 11.4](//

In order to use iTunes University, I had to install iTunes on my notebook that is running openSUSE 11.4. It is quite easy to get some old version of iTunes from // but trying to install it on a 64bit machine with wine always failed.

In the end, I could install a 32bit version by doing the following:

rm -rf ~/.wine #(don’t do this if you have other wine applications installed, it basically kills any previous wine installation) export WINEARCH=win32 wine ~/Downloads/iTunesSetup1021.exe

To start iTunes later on, it is sufficient to run the following command:

wine c:/Program\ Files/iTunes/iTunes.exe

Unfortunately, with most of the available courses on iTunes University, I get conversion errors. To circumvent this, I just download the respective courses and view them with mplayer:

cd ~/Music/iTunes/iTunes Media/iTunes U/ mplayer -vo xv

This is not too nice, but at least it allows me to view iTunes U courses without the need for an operating system I do not own.

    [Python4Kids: New Tutorial - Increasingly Trivial Questions](//

First Hermit Hello, are you a hermit by any chance?

Second Hermit Yes that’s right. Are you a hermit?

First Hermit Yes, I certainly am.

Second Hermit Well I never. What are you getting away from?

First Hermit Oh you know, the usual – people, chat, gossip, you know.

Second Hermit Oh I certainly do – it was the same with me. I mean there comes a time when you realize there’s no good frittering your life away in idleness and trivial chit-chat.

If you remember back a few tutorials ago, we learnt how to pickle objects so that we could get them back later. To pickle the object triviaQuestions (which was a list object) we first imported the pickle module, then opened a file and dumped the object into the file, then close()d the file:

->code snippet removed to note [1] because I don’t want you typ


Dominique Leuenberger: how to fix brp and rpmlint warnings – today: Expression compares a char* pointer with a string literal

After having seen this kind of question several times, I think it could be interesting to start creating a small ‘series of rpmlint errors and their typical fixes”.

Interested in it? So welcome to part #1 (this issue). The “series” is not really fledged out, but I will try to write post for various errors / topics, as they come along. Just drop me a note with an error you have seen / experienced in OBS while building a package.

So what does it mean, if OBS tells you this:

Expression compares a char* pointer with a string literal. Usually a strcmp() was intended by the programmer

Let’s have a look at a very simple C program, to show the issue:

#include int main() { char *mytext; mytext = "Help"; if (mytext == "Help") { printf("This should raise a warning"); } return 0; }

Trying to compile this very simple C program, which on first sight many would probably say this is correct, will result in this:

$ gcc test1.c -Wall test1.c: In function ‘main’: test1.c:6:14: warning: comparison with string literal results in unspecified behavior

So, even though we had such an easy program, line 6 seems to be an issue for us:

if (mytext == “Help”) {

The issue, as simple as it may sound, is the comparison of a pointer (char *) with a literal (“Help”).

So how do we fix it? It involves changing the code, thus writing a patch (there are many good helps around for this… I won’t dive into patching here).. Of course, after having written a patch, be a good downstream, send it upstream! What you want to do here is to replace this comparison with strcmp (just as OBS’ error message implied).

Look at this code now:

#include #include int main() { char *mytext; mytext = "Help"; if (strcmp(mytext,"Help")==0) { printf("No warning here\n"); } return 0; }

I changed “mytext == “Help” to strcmp(mtext,”Help”)==0 (man 3 strcmp will explain you why… 0 means the texts are equal, or ’0 difference detected’ can help you remember that). As the code was too simple and strcmp was not yet defined (this of course can also happen in packages you patch), I had to add an additional #include .

Not too hard, is it?

So what do you think? Such a series of “how to fix my typical brp / lint warnings” useful?

For System Administrators

    [Berthold Gunreben: Simple udev Manipulations](//

When discovering the /sys file system, one can find quite a number of tunables that look interesting and really have effect on system behavior. Especially when experimenting with different values of read ahead for block devices or e.g. setting the stripe_cache_size for raid5, the performance for my software raid was improved a lot.

To make that settings permanent, one can try and go for /etc/init.d/boot.local. More elegant however is to add some udev rule that does the necessary changes for you. It turns out, that this is quite easy. For example, the read ahead for block devices is found in /sys/block/*/bdi/read_ahead_kb. To check your current read ahead of /dev/sda, you may use:

cat /sys/block/sda/bdi/read_ahead_kb

However you may also want to change that setting. To accomplish that, just echo the desired number into the read ahead:

echo 4100 > /sys/block/sda/bdi/read_ahead_kb

To automatically do the setting when the device appears, just add the following file to /etc/udev/rules.d/83-ra.rules:

cat /etc/udev/rules.d/83-ra.rules

increase readahead for sd* devices

ACTION==”add”, KERNEL==”sd*”, ATTR{bdi/read_ahead_kb}=”4100”

When adding a udev rule for this, one just needs to know that “==” (two equal signs) is a check, and “=” (one equal sign) is a setting.

Note, that some devices may take the read ahead from the underlying device; noteably when using drbd, setting the read ahead on the underlying device will have the desired effect.

    [HowtoForge/luisfreitas: How To Install Apache-Solr And Use It With Drupal And ISPConfig (OpenSUSE/Debian)](//

Solr is the popular, blazing fast open source enterprise search platform from the Apache Lucene project. Its major features include powerful full-text search, hit highlighting, faceted search, dynamic clustering, database integration, and rich document (e.g., Word, PDF) handling. I use this on OpenSUSE and Debian (minor tweaks on Debian, just paths to correct but it’s almost the same). Packages from 4 of March 2011. (…)

    [Bits, Bytes and my 5 cents: Backup und Restore mit Linux](//

Von den bisher vorgestellten Themen in LPIC 201 ist das folgende eines der interessanteren: Backup und Archivierung! Wie in den Artikeln vorher schon erwýhnt, ersetzt RAID nicht wirklich ein Backup und LVM schon gar nicht! Es muss also trotzdem noch eine Lösung her – und um die kýmmern wir uns jetzt!

Header PicturePlanet SUSE

OMG! SUSE! team: On release day, it is like a big dump truck

Shortly after the initial release of openSUSE 11.4, I posted some giant BitTorrent links to speed up your downloading of openSUSE. Now that the initial flood of downloads has come and gone, I wanted to report back with some statistics shared by openSUSE Contributor Marcus Rueckert.

Note: These numbers are for BitTorrent downloads only.

As of last Thursday (March 17th), the numbers broke down as follows:

  • Full DVD images downloaded: 8228

  • Live CD images downloaded: 4009

If you’re not terrifically familiar with the way that BitTorrent works, all users are constantly sharing data with one another but users fall into two buckets: “leechers” and “seeders”. The “leechers” are users who don’t yet have the complete file, while the “seeders” have fully completed their download and are only uploading to the other users. In short, having a lot of seeders means you have a good healthy torrent and downloads for new folks will be fast.

As of last Thursday, both the 32-bit and the 64-bit DVD images had over one thousand seeders, 20% more seeders than leechers too! That is incredibly awesome!

Marcus went on to say:

“I tested on friday morning and peaked at 11.2MB/s download speed for torrent which is almost max speed of my line.”

This means if you download the DVD image right now, you are likely going download openSUSE as fast as technically possible!

License: CC-BY-SA

OMG! SUSE! team: Search openSUSE, powered by Google

Community member Brandon Philips introduced to the world on the opensuse-projectmailing list. The site is a simple, fast Google-powered search engine for, the forums, the wiki and the mailing lists.

If you’re interested in checking out the code behind, head on over to the repository on


License: CC-BY-SA

OMG!SUSE! team: SUSE Studio jumps on the 11.4 bandwagon

With the release of openSUSE 11.4, I would like to start talking more and more about SUSE Studio. While SUSE Studio might not be a terribly useful tool for the average end-user, for power-users and developers it is quite an impressive piece of technology, built on top of openSUSE and KIWI.

For developers, imagine creating an image of the ideal test machine, complete with repositories from the openSUSE Build Service already enabled and all the necessary dependencies already installed. SUSE Studio does that.

For power-users, imagine having a USB stick or a Live CD with your completely personalized, custom version of openSUSE. All set up and ready to go, whenever you need it. SUSE Studio does that.

With the initial release of 11.4, SUSE Studio announced support for 11.4 appliances. Which means you could create a custom openSUSE 11.4 appliance while your ISO was downloading off BitTorrent.

Now the team has gone a step further, allowing you to upgrade existing 11.3 appliances to openSUSE 11.4, with a single button click on See below:


(In case you’re wondering, the SUSE Studio mascot is named “Dister” and he’s a robot. A friendly robot, with three friendly fingers.)

License: CC-BY-SA

OMG!SUSE! team: Poll: Are you using 11.4 yet?

It’s been a little over a week since openSUSE 11.4 was released out into the wild. As with any release of any single piece or collection of software, there will of course be a few pretty annoying bugs, but have they been enough to hold you back from trying out 11.4?

Have you taken the plunge, still cautious?

We want to know!

License: CC-BY-SA

Header PictureOn the Web


EU: European Parliamentarians participate in Document Freedom Day

**Members of the European Parliament and their assistants are participating in this year’s Document Freedom Day, a ‘grassroots effort to educate the public about the importance of Free Document Formats and Open Standards in general’, according to an announcement on the organisation’s website. The three are hosting several presentations, in the Paul-Henri Spaak building of the European Parliament in Brussels, on Wednesday. **

MEPs Malika Benarab-Attou, Indrek Tarand and Karima Delli are taking part “to emphasize the opportunities offered by digital technologies to broaden access to culture in Europe and in the world”, writes MEP Malika Benarab-Attou on her website. The MEPs say all documents formats and document applications should be readably by any machine and for any person. “The public domain needs to be protected from erosion and on the contrary nourished and extended.”

The MEPs have organised three presentations on open documents, by Stefan Gradmann, Professor of Library and Information Science at Humboldt-University in Berlin, by Hýkon Wium Lie, Chief Technology Officer of Opera Software and Kaido Kikkas, Associate Professor at the Estonian Information Technology College and Associate Professor of Social and Free Software at Tallinn University, in Estonia. (…)

Open Networking Foundation Formed to Speed Network Innovation

PORTLAND, Ore. — March 21, 2011 — Six companies that own and operate some of the largest networks in the world — Deutsche Telekom, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Verizon, and Yahoo! — announced today the formation of the Open Networking Foundation (ONF), a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting a new approach to networking called Software-Defined Networking (SDN). Joining these six founding companies in creating ONF are 17 member companies, including major equipment vendors, networking and virtualization software suppliers, and chip technology providers.

In the past two decades, enormous innovation has taken place on top of the Internet architecture. Email, e-commerce, search, social networks, cloud computing, and the web as we know it are all good examples. While networking technologies have also evolved in this time, the ONF believes that more rapid innovation is needed. SDN fulfills this need by enabling innovation in all kinds of networks — including data centers, wide area telecommunication networks, wireless networks, enterprises and in homes — through relatively simple software changes. SDN thus gives owners and operators of networks better control over their networks, allowing them to optimize network behavior to best serve their and their customers’ needs. For instance, in data centers SDN can be used to reduce energy usage by allowing some routers to be powered down during off-peak periods. (…)

Call for participation

LinuxJournal/Katherine Druckman: Wanted: Passionate Geeks

If you love tinkering with your Linux machine, have ninja sysadmin skills, or are an avid user of open source software in general, and you love to share your knowledge with others, I’d really like to hear from you.

We’re looking for a few more passionate techies to join our ranks as contributing authors. We’re particularly interested in articles about System Administration, Linux on the desktop, high-performance computing, embedded Linux, web and mobile development, security, and virtualization. If you have an interest in any of these areas, and useful knowledge to share, drop me a line. We’re always looking for great technical content as well as opinion pieces about the world of open-source software. (…)


techrepublic/Jack Wallen: Will new openSUSE with KDE 4.6 bring distro back from obscurity?

Takeaway: The openSUSE distribution nearly faded away into obscurity. But 11.4 brings this distribution back to serious relevancy. See what Jack Wallen thinks about the latest from the openSUSE developers.

Remember when SuSE Linux was a real powerhouse? YaST was one of the finest administration tools available and SuSE was one of the few distributions featuring the KDE desktop as the default. But then Novell purchased SuSE and things changed. Ubuntu came to be and new users flocked to a distribution that promised Nirvana for Linux users. And with all of the changes happening on the Linux landscape, openSUSE continued moving ever forward, not swaying from its path, not causing rifts in the Linux community, and eating their own dog food.

The only problem? openSUSE seemed to be slowly disappearing. With Ubuntu taking up the majority of the media’s attention and end users looking for something more compatible and easier to use, only the faithful few remained with openSUSE.

But now a new release for the distribution, the project that is controlled by the community, is poised to bring it back out of obscurity…and with good reason. Actually, I will give you two good reasons: KDE 4.6 and Tumbleweed/Factory. (…)

h-online/Linux Foundation switches MeeGo TV on

The Linux Foundation has announced the creation of the MeeGo Smart TV Working Group. The working group is to be tasked with looking at how to use MeeGo in the new “Smart TV” market of internet connected TVs and set top boxes. Among the participants in the group are Intel, Nokia, MIPS, Telecom Italia and Amino Communications. The working group will expand MeeGo’s reach from it’s current target devices: netbooks, tablets and automotive systems.

The group will have its first meeting in April and will be submitting code to produce twice yearly releases (in the first and third quarters of the year) as it establishes how to make use of the MeeGo Linux platform and it’s Qt based user interface. The working group will also have to working out how to create a 10 foot user interface for MeeGo devices which have, to date, been focussed on touch or handheld interfaces. (…)

Networkworld/Jon Brodkin: Linus Torvalds: Android copyright violation claim is bogus

Linux kernel creator Linus Torvalds has said new claims that Android violates the Linux license are “totally bogus”.

Intellectual property attorney Edward Naughton argued last week that with Android, Google improperly took Linux code and passed it on in a derivative work without using the GPLv2 license. But it seems that no lawsuits have been filed on the issue and several open source observers have disputed Naughton’s argument. (…)

Unixmen/Anuradha Shukl: Open source Kimono Lanterns to the rescue

The devastation in Japan is heart rending and compels each of one of us to contribute to help improve the situation. Similar thoughts have been running through developers at Freaklabs . At the hackerspace they are involved with, a solar rechargeable lantern was designed for garden and patio use. Called the Kimono Lantern, today they are able to put it to better use. Donating the complete design to the open source hardware community, they are indeed standing true to the commitments of the Open Source community.


Kimono lanterns are basically designed for small output but with long battery life. Running on solar cells that are recharged due to exposure to sunlight will glow for 8 hours providing the quake victims much needed night light. As flashlights, and the other standard and regular artificial light sources area premium and essential for critical situations as in makeshift hospital rooms, a Kimono lantern should do the desired needful. Light the pathway and generally offer a comforting glow amid all the darkness. (…)

Reviews and Essays

Hubfolio/Matthew Casperson: Five things to do in your new OpenSuse 11.4 Installation

OpenSuse 11.4 is out, and it includes some of the latest and best software available for Linux. But there are still a few things you can do to spruce things up.

With KDE 4.6, Libre Office, the latest Linux kernel, a preview of what is to come with Gnome 3 and so much more, OpenSuse 11.4 is ready to take your Linux desktop to the next level.

But while OpenSuse 11.4 does provide a rich ecosystem of Linux applications, there are still a few things every Linux user needs to make their desktop shine, and to make it functional.

Here are five steps to take after you install OpenSuse 11.4 to put the icing on the cake. (…)

ITworld/Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols: OpenSUSE 11.4: A blast from Linux past

I’ve liked openSUSE since before it was named openSUSE and went by the unlikely name S.u.S.E Linux 4.2 back in 1996. It’s come a long, long way since then. Today, this Novell-supported community Linux distribution makes both a strong, server and desktop. For all that, though I’ve found in this go-around some fit and polish issues.

To test it out, I put openSUSE 11.4, on two computers. The first was a Gateway SX2802-07 desktop. This PC uses a 2.6GHZ Intel Pentium Dual-Core E5300 processor and has 6GBs of RAM and a 640GB hard-drive and was being wasted doing nothing but serving as a full-time Windows PC. The other was VirtualBox 4.04 VM (virtual machine) running on my Mint 10 desktop. Behind the VM was a Dell Inspiron 530S powered by a 2.2-GHz Intel Pentium E2200 dual-core processor with an 800-MHz front-side bus. This box has 4GBs of RAM, a 500GB SATA (Serial ATA) drive, and an Integrated Intel 3100 GMA (Graphics Media Accelerator) chip set. (…)

Das U-Blog/Prashanth Venkataram: Review: openSUSE 11.4 KDE

This review you are about to read was originally going to be about Scientific Linux 6. However, two things changed that: one, openSUSE 11.4 got released yesterday, though I did think about doing Scientific Linux today and openSUSE in a few days, and two, Scientific Linux didn’t play well with either UnetBootin or MultiSystem. In any case, that review will have to wait a bit. (…)

Linux Journal/Susan Linton: Mingle with openSUSE-ites on connect

The ever-inventive openSUSE gang have come up with another cool service to enhance user experience and promote good will. This time it is a little less technical and a little more social. Connect with other openSUSE users, developers, and groups. You can make friends, find out the latest news, and get involved.

Henne Vogelsang introduced the new service a few days ago and he said connect was the answer to “What are we really doing when we develop a new tool to handle openSUSE users and groups?” The purpose is to connect people to projects, groups and with each other; connect faces to names, nicknames and to email addresses; and, ultimately, connect all our other tools to this one so we can share the data, as Vogelsang explained. In other words, it’s openSUSE’s very own little social network. (…)

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