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- Hackweek VII
- Status Updates
- In the Community
- Security Updates
- Kernel Review
- Tips and Tricks
- Planet SUSE
- openSUSE Forums
- On the Web
We are pleased to announce our 194 issue of the openSUSE Weekly News.
You can also read this issue in other formats here.
Enjoy reading :-)
Last Friday Stephan Kulow, our openSUSE Release Manager, started a discussion on Factory
mailing list about show-stoppers for the 12.1-Beta release scheduled for 2011-09-22. It became
clear that Factory still needs some polishing to become a useful Beta for large numbers of
testers to try out..
Particularly, one of the reasons is the challenges relating to the switch to use systemd
by default, which means that it is also used during install and first boot (which has the
special configuration stuff). And between the timing of last weekâ€™s openSUSE Conference and
next weekâ€™s planned Hackweek, the Factory team agreed it is better to take the time to ensure
a release that meets the level of quality that our openSUSE Distro is known for (…).
One of the ways SUSE and its developers contribute to openSUSE is through Hackweek: â€“ a week long sprint permitting
developers to work on something entirely of their own design or wishes as long as it is
FOSS-related. Started in 2007, it has become a regular part of SUSEâ€™s development. This is in
keeping in line with the openSUSE Projectâ€™s goal of being more than just an organization that
benefits itself. We believe in a project that benefits the greater good of free and open
Some 150+ developers will have free reign to work on new applications or make improvements
to other software projects. Hackweek also permits developers to push away from the grind of
deadlines and â€œmust fixâ€ bug fixing (unless itâ€™s a critical customer situation) which can be
at times stressful and tedious. (…)
Next week is a Hack Week. Do you know, what Hack Week is? Itâ€™s week during which we at
SUSE come to work and work on anything we want. Anything? Well anything open source related.
So if you normally work as a designer, you can sit down and spend a whole week hacking Linux
kernel. Or on the other hand, as kernel developer, you can try to improve design of our web.
What are my plans for next week? Iâ€™m not sure yet. I still have some requests regarding openSUSE Paste. But as week is a long time, I would like to try something else, requiring
libguestfs is a set of tools for accessing and
modifying virtual machine disk images. And I would like to have it available somehow in
openSUSE as I use virtualization quite a lot. That can be interesting and useful project for
the next week and I think it may be useful not just for me.
Karma in Connect
Yes, here I go again. I already wrote about it several times and it is still not implemented and although I think full
implementation would take quite some time, I could try to take a look at some simple way how
to provide something to start with.
So these are my two ideas what I may try to do next week. Not decided yet, so maybe I will
end up with something completely different. But in the meantime, this can serve as an
inspiration for others and if somebody would like to join me on either of these, donâ€™t
hesitate to leave a comment
Build Service Statistics.Â Statistics can found at Buildservice
Even if the last news from the Education project is just one month old, many people asked
me during the openSUSE Conference why the Education project itself is currently so
Well, the â€œproblemâ€ is, that our Education team is currently more a team of technical
specialists and many work is done behind the scenes without communication to â€œthe
outsideâ€. So even if you did not hear from us for some weeks, we are still alive and
A few more updates landed today and yesterday on GNOME:Ayatana, including a couple of
new packages, amongst them:
unity â€“ not yet ready for users to test, but itâ€™s a first submission which aims
mainly to provide unity-core-4.0 dependency for other packages. It needs a bit of
work still, for example weâ€™re missing the KDM and GDM session files to load the
Unity Desktop and thereâ€™s really no testing done at this stage.
During the next days Iâ€™m uploading hopefully a fully working version of Unity 2D, Iâ€™m
just trying to fix some build errors on one of itâ€™s dependencies, the Qt bindings for
dconf. Once this is done, I have strong reasons to believe that Iâ€™ll have a fully working
Unity 2D package.
Iâ€™ve also submitted gtk3-engines-unico (and submitted to GNOME:Apps) which provides
the GTK3 engine for Canonicalâ€™s Light Themes, this one is properly tested and works very
nice with GNOME3.
Hopefully more cool developments during the next daysâ€¦ And Iâ€™m still looking for a
volunteer contributor for Compizâ€¦
The Banshee 2.2.0 sources were made available a few minutes ago. This is the perfect
time to perform some maintenance tasks on the openSUSE Banshee repositories. Since many of
the packages on this repositories are used in other projects (ex. Meego), Iâ€™m contacting
the maintainers and see how will approach the â€˜nukingâ€™ part. Some of the task to be performed:
Package name change from banshee-1 to banshee, deprecating banshee-1;
Banshee for openSUSE is now maintained on GNOME:Apps project. Banshee:Unstable
will be served by a branch of the packages in the GNOME:Apps project (only banshee
Move from ndesk-* to dbus-sharp and dbus-sharp-glib (thus nuking ndesk
Nuke unwanted Mono packages so that the build links against the distribution
mono packages. This will clear a few problems that might happen, thus making this
repositories perfect to openSUSE users.
Anything I might have forgottenâ€¦
Banshee 2.2.0 will arrive within 24/48 hours to openSUSE usersâ€¦
Support default internet radio stations;
New extension: Album Art Writer (banshee-extension-album-art);
New extension: Duplicate Song Detector (banshee-extension-dsd);
New custom support for the Barnes & Noble Nook â€“ transfer music between your
library and your Nook device, it just works;
eMusic Store â€“ Browse, search, preview, buy and download music straight into
your Banshee library from the eMusic online store;
The last couple of weeks have been ridiculously busy. Or, if you prefer (and I do):
ridicubusy. On the personal side of life, I managed to squeeze in a two day
paddle-and-camping trip the other weekend, played dinner host to Lawrence Krauss (made
some of my favourite dishes, and one new one (for me, anyways): egg yolk ravioli),
co-hosted a “Ready, Steady, Cook!” evening at the house along with S. All of that was
enjoyable, and great breaks between the long hours of working on Plasma and general KDE
A lot of what I’ve been working in the last two weeks has been involved writing source
code, but working on community, technology roadmap and business issues. I’ve managed to
get some good hacking hours in, too, but not as much as usual as I’ve been paying more
than the usual attention to these other, also-important areas.
Some of what I’ve been working on will (if all goes well) get to the next step this
week. A half dozen or so of us are congregating again in Darmstadt, Germany to collaborate
on Plasma Active issues. We’ll be focussing on getting to a high quality Plasma Active
One, what we wish to do after that, our plans for libplasma2 and Frameworks 5, the next
iteration of UI implementation concepts as we fully realize the Contour concepts, hardware
related issues and the business case around it all. All in four days. I don’t expect to
get much sleep.
What can I say other than “that was a very, very fast four days in Darmstadt”. I had
expected to have the time and energy to blog more during the event, but that was obviously
not to be. There were only three people working on the actual code there, but we managed
to make over 60 commits over the course of the event, not counting backports and similar
janitorial efforts. That isn’t a huge rate of commits given the people who were there,
however, though it is certainly respectable.
So what else were we doing? The first thing we did was review all open bugs for Plasma
Active, turned our draft agenda into a kanban board on the wall and then torture tested
the user interface on both MeeGo and OpenSUSE to identify issues that need addressing. We
sorted and prioritized these items into the kanban and got to work on them. I will be
spending some time today creating new bugs.kde.org reoprts for the items that remained on
the wall at the end of the event. We focussed these efforts on the main part of the tablet
shell: activities, recommendations, the running-applications peak area and the application
launcher. We had an “other” category as well, and it become rather well populated, but we
want to make sure that the core components work very well in our first release.
We just added 2 new goodies to our feature tracking tool openFATE:
You can now get a decent view of a feature that is adapted for printing. Either click
on â€œPrint previewâ€ in your browsers menu, or on â€œPrintâ€ in the feature export box on the
right side of your feature.
Network installation could be improved by running package download and package
installation in parallel.
I wanted to open a fate feature about this when I first heard of plymouth, but
really makes me think we should go this way.
Ray’s comment starting with “Every flicker and mode change in the boot
process takes away from the whole experience.” is especially interesting. Is it
okay to track the “don’t show grub by default” here?
An easy way to remove Software! For example: you installed an application with “1-click install” (which will install all the packages that you need), there should be an easy way (also with 1 click) to remove what you have installed with that 1-click operation… in another words: an “1-click Uninstall” to remove installed software (dependencies and packages included).
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.)
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 opensuse.org. (There are certain privacy issues, see Debian FAQ for details)
Features newly requested last week. Please vote and/or comment if you get interested.
Provide Jitsi (formerly SIP Communicator), a cross-platform multiprotocol messaging and SIP client.
Main benefits: audio/video with XMPP Jingle on all platforms, thus improving interoperability; out-of-the-box encryption for chats and calls.
Webkit seems to be coming along nicely, and Khtml is less and less able to keep up with some of the web features i try these days.
Now that licensing issues seems to be solved (concerning patents expired) it would be really great if advanced subpixel hinting get enabled in forthcoming release 12.1.
It would be nice if vips (imageing library) and its python bindings are available in OpenSuSE.
Statistics for openSUSE distribution in openFATE
The next meeting of the Testing Core Team will be September 26, 2011 at 17:00 UTC on
Channel #opensuse-testing on the Freenode IRC Network
(irc://irc.freenode.net/opensuse-testing). Our preliminary agenda includes our experiences
with 12.1 Beta, and a discussion of the Beta Pizza Party.
As 12.1 is not yet in a condition deemed worthy of being called a Beta, it has not
been released; however, a rolling update from the Factory repos has my main system working
quite well. I no longer have any problems with systemd and the KDE plasmoid NetworkManager
applet is now working. It asks for authentication a bit too frequently – I do not think
the permissions are right yet, but the applet does not crash, and it is possible to
connect reliably to my wireless network.
Of great interest to kernel developers, the community has been able to keep working at
getting kernel 3.1 in condition for its release, and getting ready for the merge of 3.2,
even though kernel.org, the main site for development, has been down while the site
recovers from a penetration incident. If kernel development were not using git, a
distributed version control system, the impact would have been much worse. I am amazed
that when the main server went down for an extended period, the work barely paused. Kudos
to github.com and infradead.org for providing server space for the two repositories that I
Respecting users is a priority to the openSUSE Project so when something does not work
the way it should be, taking a step back is more preferable than delivering something that
is not ready yet. For that reason yesterday afternoon Greg K.H. announced to the openSUSE-factory mailing list
that systemd is being removed from Tumbleweed so that users wonâ€™t have a problem with it. That way it will allow
developers to spend more time on working on it in order to have systemd ready for the
upcoming 12.1 instead of chasing problems that are specific to Tumbleweed.
Here is the e-mail
from Greg K.H. announcing the removal of systemd from Tumbleweed:
Due to a number of inter dependencies on packages that are not ready for
Tumbleweed, and other interactions with the system that are causing problems for some
users, Iâ€™m going to remove systemd from Tumbleweed today to allow the developers to
spend more time on getting it stable for Factory and 12.1 instead of having to chase
down problems that are specific to Tumbleweed only.
So if you have installed systemd in Tumbleweed, I suggest you now remove it with a
Have I mentioned this lately: I love conferences! Thereâ€™s not much better times than the
opportunity to get together with folks of like interests, like mind and similar skills, get
away from the day to day and schmooze. Occasionally, even learning takes place. For
serendipity and wide-ranging topics, few conferences beat the ones falling under theÃ½ BarCamp umbrella.
A week from Saturday (October 1), BarCampMilwaukee 6
opens at Bucketworks on South Fifth Street
in Milwaukeeâ€™s Walkerâ€™s Point neighborhood. If you happen to be within traveling distance,
you should come. You will meet fabulous people, eat marvelous food, play with assorted ideas and toys,and probably get a
t-shirt too. For the second year, there will also be KidsCamp, which should be great fun. As
always, there will be robots, too. Did I mention itâ€™s all free of charge? Unless, of course,
you want to make a donation.
You can peruse the Conferences and such category here to learn more about all six versions of BCMKE. Register for BCMKE6
at the site. Watch this space for further reminiscing.
And speaking of conferences, watch this space too for some WordPress news.
The openSUSE Weekly News are available as podcast in German. You can hear it or download
it on http://saigkill.homelinux.net/podcast.
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.
|Date:||Fri, 23 Sep 2011 13:08:20 +0200 (CEST)|
|Affected Products:||openSUSE 11.4|
|Vulnerability Type:||jsvc did not properly drop capabilities, therefore allowing applications to access
files owned by the super user (CVE-2011-2729).
Linux 3.1 contains all the necessary components for passing through PCI devices to Xen guests; KVM offers rudimentary nested virtualisation support for Intel CPUs. Supported CPU platforms now include the OpenRISC open source processor architecture.
Late last Monday night, Linus Torvalds marked the sixth release candidate of Linux 3.1 on
GitHub; however, due to emailing problems, the announcement of RC6 only
reached the LKML on Wednesday. In his announcement, Torvalds said that the RC only contains
just over one hundred commits, and that things have been fairly quiet. This relative quiet is
probably a side effect of the break-in at kernel.org and the resulting maintenance work, which has meant that the kernel
developers have had to adapt their work methods.
The Kernel Log will take the Linux 3.1 development progress as an opportunity to continue
its “Coming in 3.1” mini series with a discussion of the advancements in the kernel’s
architecture, infrastructure and virtualisation areas. Part 1 of the mini series provided an
overview of the changes in terms of network drivers and infrastructure, while part 2 discussed the kernel’s storage code and filesystems. The series will be concluded with a forthcoming
article on drivers. (…)
Linux 3.1 comes with all the components that are required for using the 3D acceleration features of various current GeForce graphics chips. The Intel graphics driver is still not using an important power saving mechanism by default. The kernel now supports the Creative Titanium HD.
In the early hours of Thursday morning, Linus Torvalds released the seventh release
candidate of Linux 3.1. In the release-mail for RC7 and in a Google+ post
he says that he is starting to get ready to release 3.1; however, as he explains, it would not
be practical to have the merge window for Linux 3.2 (which follows the release of 3.1) without
kernel.org â€“ the servers have not been reachable for two weeks now, while they are being
reinstalled or checked after the recent break-in. Torvalds also mentioned that he’ll be on vacation in early October and
indicated that he would not release 3.1 before he comes back. That, according to Torvalds,
would result in the merge window overlapping with this year’s Kernel Summit,
which takes place from 23 to 25 October. A release of Linux 3.1 before 9 October is therefore
highly unlikely at this point.
Due to the approaching finalisation of the new version, the Kernel Log will complete its
“Coming in 3.1” mini series with a discussion of the Linux kernel’s hardware support
improvements. Part 1 of the mini series provided an overview of the changes related to network drivers and infrastructure, while part 2 discussed the kernel’s storage code and filesystems and part 3 its architecture, infrastructure and virtualisation.
Rares gives his weekly Kernel Review with openSUSE Flavor.
The Windows version of Firefox comes with a fancy menu button in the title bar. Linux doesn’t have that exact feature, but you can come close. Shawn Powers shows us how.
About a month ago, we were working on the Fluffy Ball project â€“ a computer input device that can react to fondling and
punching. Thanks to a nice idea on the brmlab mailing list, we use a microphone and process
the noise coming from the ballâ€™s scratchy stuffing and an embedded jingle. The sounds from
the outside are almost entirely dampened by the stuffing and for a human, the noise of
fondling and punching is easily distinguishable.
It turns out that trivial spectrum-based rules can be used to achieve reasonably high
detection accuracy for a computer too (especially when the user is allowed to â€œtrainâ€ her
input based on feedback); I had big plans to use ANN and all the nifty things I have learned
in our AI classes, but it turned out to be simply an overkill. The input signal is
transformed to a frequency spectrum (see box) using real discrete FFT. (…)
Summary:Ã½ Learn to guide your Linux system through the
boot process. You can use the material in this article to study for the LPI 101 exam for
Linux system administrator certification, or just to learn about the boot process.
Sorry for the lame title. I was thinking the other day, about how awesome SSH is, and how it’s probably one of the most crucial pieces of technology that I use every single day. Here’s a list of 10 things that I think are particularly awesome and perhaps a bit off the beaten path. (…)
ld.so.conf seems to have changed to include /etc/ld.so.conf.d/*.conf.
Unfortunately, proprietary drivers like the NVIDIA installed a file without the .conf
extension. Therefore XOrg did not find the custom openGL library included by the
Tracked as bug 718734.
home:dmacvicar:branches:X11:Drivers:Video contains a fixed nvidia-gfxG02 (Also
updated to 280.13).
Last week was the openSUSE conference
in NÃ½rnberg. Here are some of my impressions. I loved the relaxed, crazy atmosphere, mixing so
many different people with so many different backgrounds, skills, interests, and fascinating
projects. This spans quite a broad range of topics, not only on the software side from kernel
to office suite, but also in other areas from cheese over quadrocopters to self-replicating
machines. This community is seriously rocking the boat. (…)
At the openSUSE conference last week, Lydia Pintscher from the KDE Community Working Group
led a BoF on â€œwomen in openSUSEâ€. This is what we (Stella, Bruno, Lydia, Pascal, Susanne,
Greg) worked out:
There are very few women in openSUSE for a variety of reasons. In our perceiption, despite
the good efforts of moderators on IRC, forums and mailing-lists, some attitudes there still
persist, and we believe these are a key issue that keeps women away. To further address this
as a small group, we decided to start at just one place, opensuse-project@. Hereâ€™s why and
There is quite some research on why there is so few â€œwomen in FLOSSâ€ in general. One of
the recurring topics there, and one that we also quickly came to in the BoF, was the
â€˜flamingâ€™, or more generally, the negative possibilities of the direct, unfiltered yet
anonymous communication on IRC, forums and mail.
We all value the speed and positive directness of those forms of communication â€” however
itâ€™s cutting off facial expression and physical reaction. So itâ€™s very easy to miss the tone,
without even noticing. To more sensitive souls, this is creating a barrier of entry that
especially women do not want to cross, or if it hits you unprepared, will reject you, often
with no return. Nota bene: this effect is not limited to women! It just happens to reject
women more than men.(…)
One of the things that came out of the recent Geeko Love-In for me was a new project to immerse myself in within openSUSE. Yeah I
know, we have enough existing projects already so why create a new one? Simples! Believe it or
not but openSUSE is behind the curve in a specific segment, and that segment has yet to
explode to its full potential. That segment is ARM. (…)
Just a quick note, my slides and screen cast about my recent openSUSE conference workshop
about KVM/libvirtd are online athttp://goo.gl/fQfql
Check at material subject
A link to this thread in the Tech News subforum about Microsoft’s new policy. Various sources report that this could be the end of linux and other small OS-es, since dual booting was said to become impossible. Important to the community since a lot of our openSUSE users dual boot their openSUSE with some flavor of Windows. Personally I don’t believe this is going to be the end of linux, I’m pretty sure we’ll overcome this, as I’m sure this new policy will make Microsoft a regular visitor in the courts of law, at least in the EU, which is a big market for Microsoft. Read the thread to find out more about the subject, and ….that linux may already be fit to deal with this.
This year GOSC -Google’s Summer Of Code- accepted an application for the development of a new sax2, sax3. Sax2 used to be the tool to configure the X-server concerning our keyboard, mouse, our display driver and monitor. It was depracated some releases ago in favor of autodetection and -configuration. Still quite some users appeared to be needing a tool to configure the X-server. This thread called out for testers, to report their experiences using the new tool.
In a network environment with windows machines, Samba is the server software to share almost anything for windows clients. It can behave as a windows domain controller, control printer queues, do user management etc. Here’s a user having trouble to write to those shares, a thing one could describe as a minimum requirement. A must-read for anyone using Samba, or looking for a replacement for expensive windows servers.
We now host the following language specific subforums under the umbrella of the openSUSE Forums:
Main forums, english
SUSE Linux, now owned by Attachmate, will unveil some partner and customer surprises at Novell BrainShare (Oct. 10-14, Salt Lake City), the company confirms. Meanwhile, Michael Miller, VP of global alliances and marketing, has been polishing partner and cloud services strategies for SUSE. And Miller has been busy meeting with strategic SUSE partners like Microsoft, SAP, VMware, IBM, Dell, HP and Fujitsu. So, whatâ€™s the message from Miller to SUSE Linux partners and customers? The VAR Guy got the answer. (…)
From the ‘GRUB Killer’ files:
Red Hat developer Matthew Garrett has discovered a potential Linux killing feature in Windows 8.
Microsoft’s next major OS is set include a secure boot. The system will prevent any executable from loading unless they are signed by a specific set of keys. The problem with that is non-key signed executable – say Linux – might not be able to put on a piece of hardware that has been built for Windows.
That’s a problem. (…)
If you have ever wondered what the creator of Linux does in-between working through the
thousands of changes, corrections and new features for the next Linux release, the answer is
simple: he writes software. Linus Torvalds has just released
subsurface, a dive-tracking program designed after he found that “none of the dive log
software worked for me”. The subsurface application runs on Linux and uses gtk2 for the GUI.
It can process xml dive files or work directly with any dive computer supported by libdivecomputer. (…)
Wunderlist has finally
descended on the Linux platform. And though it adorns a minimal looking frame, with its
sorting, listing, and managing features, it will handle all your to-do things.
Even with its minimalistic approach, it offers a lot (at least Iâ€™m totally satisfied
with its features):
Make lists that have various tasks
Set completion dates on tasks
Customize the background of task lists
Ability to hide the task sidebar
Filter jobs based on dates and keywords etc
Mark tasks as important (by starring them)
Manage tasks using keyboard shortcuts
This app can even work offline. Once you open it, you will be prompted to make an
account. If you donâ€™t want to make one, you can click on â€˜No Thanksâ€™, and still use the app.
You can create, manage, edit, and even add more tasks without the need to have a net
Though you donâ€™t have to register on Wunderlist, but if you do, you get sync features.
This will enable you to access your tasks across various platforms that have Wunderlist
(like iOS, Android, and Windows) (…)
Tired of burning a new CD every time a new version of your favourite Linux distro comes out? Then stop. Use NetbootCD to download and install your choice of Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, openSUSE, Mandriva, CentOS or Slackware from a single disk. This handy disk downloads and runs the net installation tools for several distros, and is always capable of finding the latest version of your Linux operating system. Burn this tool once and youâ€™ll never need to burn a Linux distro to CD again.
Using NetbootCD isnâ€™t necessarily easy. Youâ€™ll need to learn to use text-based installers instead of the GUI versions found on live CDs. To me though, this is a small price to pay to contain my steadily-growing pile of Linux CDs. (…)
What does the Windows 8 Developer Preview have to do with the Linux desktop? Not much, you might think at first, especially since the final version is likely to be vastly different than the preview.
But as I explored the preview, I couldn’t help asking myself: is this the first hint of how major desktops will look in the future on all operating systems? It’s a distinct and — for a Linux desktop user — an alarming possibility.
If you haven’t already downloaded the Windows 8 Developer Preview, then Jason Perlow’s informal video will give you the general idea (as well as the key to installing it virtually: use the newly released VMWare Workstation 8).
The preview is really two desktops in one. One is a standard Windows desktop that differs little from Windows 7. The other is the default Metro API, which resembles the Windows Phone. (…)
High context cultures value personal relationships over process. You have to know someone before you can trust them and work with them. They also tend to be less explicit and rely more on tone of voice, gestures and even status to communicate. Typically Asian countries are more high context than Western countries. Think Korea and Japan.
Low context cultures are process driven. They rely on facts and processes. Their communication style is much more direct and action-orientated. They are orientated towards the individual rather than the group. Western cultures like the US and Germany are considered low context. (…)
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