openSUSE Weekly News, Issue 191 is out!

3. Sep 2011 | Sascha Manns | No License

We are pleased to announce the openSUSE Weekly News 191.


openSUSE Weekly News

### openSUSE Weekly News Team

191 Edition

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Published: 2011-09-03

Table of Contents

Announcements openSUSE Conference 2011 Google Summer of Code Status Updates Distribution Team Reports In the Community Postings from the Community Events & Meetings openSUSE for your Ears Communication Contributors Security Updates Kernel Review Planet SUSE openSUSE Forums On the Web Reports Feedback Credits Acknowledgements Copyrights List of our Licenses Trademarks Translations

We are pleased to announce our 191 issue of the openSUSE Weekly News.

You can also read this issue in other formats here.

Enjoy reading :-)

Header PictureAnnouncements▼

And the Milestones Keep On Coming!

Fire up your virtual machines, get your test machines motoring, and start tweaking your fingers. It’s testing time!

openSUSE 12.1′s next milestone 5 is now ready for download. Thanks to the men and women of openSUSE Factory who kept their eye on the ball with all the wonderful flurry of activities going on in our Project these days, they never lost sight and we’ll be sure to have an awesome final release in November.

There’s a lot of interesting updates to the 12.1 release and some cool new technologies including GNOME 3 and SystemD. You’ll definitely want to take this milestone for a spin and see what you can expect in 12.1. And if you’ve never tested before, its easy if you follow these instructions. Being a tester is one of the great ways of contributing to the free software movement, and there’s plenty of room for testers in openSUSE Project. (…)

openSUSE Conference 2011▲▼

Pascal Bleser: My talks at the openSUSE Conference 2011

Big mistake, big mistake. At the call for papers deadline, we ended up with not having any sessions about packaging at all except one by Jan Engelhardt.

Now, that would have been quite a ludicrous situation, as our core activity is precisely to build packages, without which it wouldn’t be a distribution in the first place.

So I picked up an early email from Lars Vogdt who proposed a few sessions on the topic of packaging. Unfortunately, it was really early in the call for papers phase and we weren’t quite organized yet, which caused his proposal to remain unanswered for a few weeks. I tried to contact him by email a few times, but he didn’t reply (until now, that is), and I nevertheless took it up on myself to do a few packaging related sessions at the conference. (…)

Pascal Bleser: On communication, cultural differences, and the openSUSE Conference

Disclaimer: the next paragraphs may sound presumptuous, but they’re not. I swear.

It has occurred to me, time and time again, that some people consider others as semi-gods. People who are highly active e.g. in open source projects, and are sometimes even regarded for their work. Well, it sucks.

I know that this has happened to me a few times (being seen as a semi-god, that is), and I hate it. Not only does it not have any ground for being, we’re just folks like everyone else, and while hard and good work should be appreciated, and while a simple “thank you” is way too rare and rewarding, taking it to that level is a very-bad-thing (tm) (…)

Jos Poortvliet: CLS, DS, COSCUP… Plasma Active, ARM, …

It’s been quite a while since I wrote a decent blog and it might be a while longer until I really get to it. I do have a lot to write about, however. First about the Community Leadership Summit - the notes of which I’d like to turn into a few blogs. Second, the Desktop Summit, which was awesome. And third my trip to Taiwan. Finally the upcoming openSUSE conference which is going to be awesome. But let me get the most important stuff out of the way first. (…)

Drone On!

Among other things, the openSUSE project is about “having a lot of fun”. In that spirit we would like to add a bit of diversion and an extra incentive for everyone to register and attend the openSUSE conference.

Join the Drone On! contest and have a lot of fun.

We’ve purchased an AR Drone, small flying aircraft which can be controlled by a computer or mobile phone over wifi, to be given away at the openSUSE Conference. There is an open sourced SDK for Linux. The SDK site provides the software and shows how to guide the drone from a Linux workstation; with a console to show the drone operating parameters. Let’s get it up and running on openSUSE for the fun of it! (…)

Andrew Wafaa: What the openSUSE Conference means to me

I was asked the other day “What do you expect from the openSUSE Conference?” The simple answer is I only expect to have fun. Seriously, I expect nothing more, nothing less. I hope for a whole lot more, but I certainly don’t expect it.

This may sound somewhat silly, but in all honesty that’s how I feel. This conference (as are most others) is a great way to meet the people you interact with online, there’s something satisfying to be able to replace the digital person with a real flesh and blood person. You can thank someone in a real sincere way with a gift (could be a pint or something else) or slap them and let your anger out. Digital is pretty good, but having the physical is always better once in a while :-D

Jan Weber: Keysigning Party, Web Of Trust, PGP? What’s that all about?

As announced in my previous post there will again be a keysigning party at the openSUSEconference 2011. As time flies by and I have yet only received very few keys, I thought it might be a good idea to talk a little bit about what this whole thing is about and why you should participate. (…)

Header PictureGoogle Summer of Code▲▼


Manu Gupta: SaX3 – Status

The changes I have made in SaX3 in the following week

  1. Fixed a few nasty bugs.

  2. The monitor module does not work which works now ( I need to be more careful the future)

  3. Tried porting to openSUSE 11.3 ( Testers Required)

  4. Pushed to factory, but it is hghly recommended to add X11:sax as your project repository for sax until 12.1

Christos Bountalis: A utility for merging configuration / sysconfig files – Final GSoC Report

Last week was very busy for me and also very exciting. The end of Google Summer of Code period overlapped the beginning of a new period of my life. During these days, i moved from Salamis(Greece) to Amsterdam(Netherlands) where i am going to study towards a master degree in Artificial Intelligence. As you may understand there were and still are many things for me to arrange, as a person in a total new place/city/country.

So enough about me, what is up with the project? Well, i am very glad to say that the project “ended” and reached a very satisfactory level, the merging functions are now working and i can say that the application is now in an alpha testing phase. There are of course things that always can be improved and a lot of testing to be done in order for this project to take its place and be useful and ready for use in openSUSE. This is the last GSoC report for this project. (…)

Header PictureStatus Updates▲▼

Header PictureDistribution

Andreas Jaeger: openSUSE Factory Progress 2011-09-02

This week saw the release of Milestone 5 of openSUSE 12.1. This is the last milestone, next comes on 22nd of September Beta1 with a check-in deadline for packages on the 16th of September (see the roadmap for details).

Major package checkins

In the last two weeks 457 package checkins were done for openSUSE:Factory. The legal queue is very small and contains only 7 packages including two large packages: chromium which might end in Factory and LibreOffice 3.4 - with a large tarball instead of many smaller ones.ý LibreOffice has 110.000 files, so the legal review will take some time. Out of the 457 package checkins, I’ll only highlight a few below. Quite a few package checkins were to fix build failures from the –no-copy-dt-needed change and on improving systemd support in openSUSE. (…)

Important Links

Team Reports

Header PictureBuild Service Team

Build Service Statistics. Statistics can found at Buildservice

Header PictureopenFATE Team

Top voted Features

decouple download and installation (Score: 362)

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

Look at plymouth for splash during boot (Score: 188)

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: 164)

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).

Update to GRUB v2 (Score: 144)

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.) (…)

Popularity contest (Score: 108)

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

  • reusing popcon will give us results that are directly comparable with Debian and Ubuntu

  • packagers team can take care of the package

  • we need a configuration dialog in YaST that is visible enough

  • we need a server infrastructure on (There are certain privacy issues, see Debian FAQ for details)

Recently requested features

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

Add support of Atheros AR81Family NIC

Please add support of Atheros AR81Family network cards into DVD. There is a existing kernel module for that (atl1e for Atheros AR8151), it can be found in file: AR81Family-Linux-v1.0.1.9.tar.gz (on first page when googled). I was a little stacked when i installed OpenSuSe 11.4 without network running. I encounter AR8151 NIC already on 2 newer devices so i think it will become really common. (…)

Recent PHPUnit Test Ssuite

The currently available version of phpunit is old and essentially bitrot. The distribution model has changed to pear.

I am in the process of adding the current phpunit suite and its dependencies to factory.

Feature Statistics

Statistics for openSUSE distribution in openFATE

Header PictureTesting Team

Larry Finger: Weekly News for September 03

I was quite disappointed in the community participation in our Open Bugs Day. I cannot believe that no one cares about the bugs! I guess everyone wants someone else to do the work. I really thought this is to be a community distribution.

Despite the low turnout and the resulting poor coverage of hardware and software, we were able to clear some of the 11.4 bugs, and demonstrate that others do not affect 12.1.

I certainly hope for more participation when we have the next open Bugs Day that will have the goal of cleaning up 12.1 bugs before the final release.

With the release of 12.1 MS5, I am now running the new code on 3 of my 4 real machines that were running 11.4. So far, the only problem has been with the plasmoid network manager for KDE. On all of those machines, I have switched to NetworkManager-Gnome, also known as nm-applet. It works OK, but will take a little fiddling before it works seamlessly.

Our next IRC meeting will be at 17:00 UTC, September 12 on Channel #opensuse-testing on the Freenode IRC Network. irc:// We will discuss our experiences with MS5.

Header PictureTranslation Team

Header PictureIn the Community▲▼

Postings from the Community

Jos Poortvliet: strategy!

A few weeks ago the results of the voting for the openSUSE Strategy came in. 90% agreement, nice!

And another number - I’ve talked about the openSUSE strategy in no less than 8 posts already. Sjeeminee. Re-reading, I noticed this one where I mentioned that Fedora was also ‘doing strategy’. I see that the Fedora Board has created a Vision statement.

Events & Meetings



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

openSUSE for your Ears

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



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.

openSUSE-SU-2011:0935-2: important: MozillaThunderbird: Update to 3.1.12

Table 1. SUSE Security Announcement
Package: **MozillaThunderbird**
Announcement ID: openSUSE-SU-2011:0935-2
Date: Mon, 29 Aug 2011 20:08:38 +0200 (CEST)
Affected Products: openSUSE 11.4 openSUSE 11.3
Vulnerability Type: An update that contains security fixes can now be installed. It includes three new package versions.

openSUSE-SU-2011:0957-2: important: MozillaFirefox: Update to Firefox 6

Table 2. SUSE Security Announcement
Package: **MozillaFirefox**
Announcement ID: openSUSE-SU-2011:0957-2
Date: Mon, 29 Aug 2011 21:08:18 +0200 (CEST)
Affected Products: openSUSE 11.4
Vulnerability Type: An update that fixes 10 vulnerabilities is now available. It includes one version update.

Header PictureKernel Review▲▼

Rares Aioanei: kernel weekly news – 03.09.2011

Rares gives his weekly Kernel Review with openSUSE Flavor.

Header PicturePlanet SUSE▲▼

Matthias Hopf: Network Image Installer

During our work in our preload department at SuSE we have to install our current image on several machines for each image version for smoke testing, which meant burning several DVDs per iteration (and there is typically one iteration per week!).In order to ease this work flow I created a kiwi image for a CD or an USB stick for installing the latest image via network - the Network Image Installer. It’s also capable of installing arbitrary openSUSE / Fedora / Ubuntu versions, so you never have to burn another DVD if you have a reasonably fast internet connection. Network detection is automatic, wireless requires the SSID etc. changed in a config file beforehand.

Find the sources on gitorious, I will eventually try to understand the functionality in the openSUSE build service to create images automatically, but for now you’ll have to build the image yourself. I’ll post when there is a downloadable image available.

Now I’m off to Fantasy Film Fest again.

Ralf Lang: Horde Project pushes libraries to the frontpage

As you might know, the horde project does not only release a set of production quality software (and an interesting bunch more which are not yet release quality) but also provides over 80 well-designed loosely coupled libraries which help you build websites, business applications or even commandline tools. To stress that point, the Horde Project now put a link to the list of components right on their frontpage. Use Horde_Rdo, a lightweight ORM layer or use the RFC-compliant Imap_Client library which performs equally or even better compared to PHP’s interpreter extension written in c. Horde_Auth, a versatile and pluggable authentication layer, has recently been featured in a series of blog posts by lead developer Jan Schneider. Like in Symfony or Zend Framework, Components are released along with a PHPUnit based test suite adapted in the Horde_Test class and can be obtained individually through the Horde Pear Channel.

Ralf Lang: OpenSUSE 12.1 drops Sun/Oracle Java

Today, openSUSE Program Manager Andreas Jaeger announced that openSUSE will stop shipping Sun Java in the upcoming 12.1 release.

Distribution users will now only be offered the GPLed openJDK. In a recent announcement, Oracle declared openJDK to be the new official reference implementation for Java SE7. Along with that move, Oracle dropped the “Distributor’s License for Java (DLJ)” which was required for redistributing Sun Java. Users depending on Sun/Oracle Java are now required to download it directly from the oracle website. Since the acquisition of sun by oracle, the companny has been known for questionable moves which alienate parts of the opensource community. Among these was the OpenOffice dispute which led to the departure of many developers to form LibreOffice. The former sun-owned mysql database has also seen a fork called MariaDB. According to Jaeger, openSUSE will continue to provide the existing packages in the Java:sun:Factory project but will not update them anymore and won’t ship them with the new distribution. Users are urged to switch to either openJDK or the versions available directly from Oracle.

Matthias Hopf: Bye bye, SUSE…

Yesterday was my last working day at SuSE Linux Products. After exactly 7 years of working for this awesome Linux distribution there was an opportunity I couldn’t refuse. I made innumerable friends in this company (and it’s the people that define a company!), and there were many great moments that will stick in my memory forever

.Now I’m moving (back) to academia, and will start teaching and researching at the Georg-Simon-Ohm University of Applied Science, as “Professor for Applied Computer Science” (which is the official job title).Currently, it’s the free period of the summer semester, and the University is almost deserted. I’m currently only starting to get used to the new environment, prepare courses, meet with other professors, etc.I’m pretty excited about the new opportunities in this position, and will keep you posted how everything turns out!Now back to Fantasy Film Fest again ;-)

Ladislav Slezak: Improved Disk Usage Estimation in YaST Installer

Disk Usage

YaST installer estimates used disk space in the final installed system. This is possible thanks to the disk usage metadata in installation repository (located in file suse/setup/descr/packages.DU.gz).

This file contains disk usage statistics for every package, so YaST needs just to sum them for all selected packages. (Actually it’s slightly more complicated, the disk usage is stored per directory, so YaST/libzypp has to sum it up according to the proposed disk partitioning. Imagine you have separate /usr or /boot partition…) (…)

Lukas Ocilka: Adding Several Repositories with a Single Installation URL

This is a simple but quite powerful feature of installation. By using a modified installation repository you can add several other repositories automatically (or let user decide which repositories to add). The only thing you need to do is to create an add_on_products.xml file describing all the additional repositories and add it either to root of the installation repository or root of the installation system.

Installation repository can be easily modified just by adding the file there, installation system (inst-sys) can be easily extended by Linuxrc DriverUpdate. (…)

Header PictureopenSUSE Forums▲▼

Gave myself the shaft

Here’s what happened: user accepts a kernel update, afterwards needs to reinstall the driver for his NVIDIA graphics card, and to recompile the kernel module for VMware, a virtualization program. No way the system lets him do that. The compiler “gcc” segfaults in all attempts. Nasty, since the user depends on the machine for his work. Read how, in the end, the user himself finds the solution.

openSUSE 12.1 Milestone 5: Post your experiences

Today the official release of Milestone 5 on the road to openSUSE 12.1 was announced. Installation images are available for downloading. Like always we have a thread, still quite empty now, to share user experiences. Interested? Check the thread.

Suse Demands 11.4 CD While installing apps

This subject is one of the issues we see in the forums on a regular basis: when trying to install/update software, Yast’s Software Management prompts the user to insert the install CD/DVD, or gives an error on not being able to read the contents of a repo. Cause: during install the CD/DVD entry in the repolist was not removed (as far as I know it should). Solution: start Yast - Software - Software repositories and remove the CD/DVD entry from the list. After doing so, Software Management will not try to refresh or check the contents of this “repo”, and thus the errors will be gone.

openSUSE Language specific subforums:

We now host the following language specific subforums under the umbrella of the openSUSE Forums: Main forums, english 中文(Chinese) Nederlands (Dutch) Français (French) Deutsch (German) Ελληνικό (Greek) Magyar (Hungarian) 日本語 (Japanese) Portuguese Pусский (Russian)

Header PictureOn the Web▲▼


Sebastian Trüg: Nepomuk Frameworks – kdelibs 5.0: What To Do

Development of kdelibs 5.0 has begun in the framework branch of its git repository. The main goal for kdelibs 5.0 is that there will be no more kdelibs as it is now. kdelibs (and kde-runtime) will be split up into smaller pieces to lower the barrier for non-KDE developers to use part of the power we as a KDE development community provide. The rough idea is that there will be three groups of libraries/frameworks:

  1. Tier 1: components which only depend on Qt and no other lib/component from KDE.

  2. Tier 2: components which depend on Qt and other libraries from Tier 1.

  3. Tier 3: components which depend on anything.

This of course includes Nepomuk and is a great opportunity for us to reorganize code and get rid of deprecated junk we needed to keep around for binary compatibility.

odysseus blog/John Layt: Tablet Fun and Games

I’ve had a little time to play with my ExoPC tablet kindly provided by Intel, and after a brief look at the MeeGo/Intel tablet UX decided that Plasma Active was the way to go (sorry Intel!). The MeeGo UX is far from complete and the lack of applications made the tablet next to useless for anything besides basic web-surfing. Plasma Active, on the other hand, is a full openSuse and KDE install and so has many apps to play with. Plasma Active itself is remarkably usable already and has some nice features that actually work the way I expect a tablet to function. It’s amazing how far the Active team has come in such a short time and that’s a tribute to both the Plasma architecture that Aaron put in place and the flexibility of our Platform/Frameworks. If only Intel had approaced KDE first… (…)

Related Posts: Plasma Active Experience

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