openSUSE Weekly News 205 is out!

10. Dec 2011 | Sascha Manns | No License

We are pleased to announce our Issue 205 of the openSUSE Weekly News.


openSUSE Weekly News

### openSUSE Weekly News Team

205 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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We are thanking the whole openSUSE Weekly News Team and the open-slx gmbh for spending time and power into the openSUSE Weekly News.

Published: 2011-12-10

Table of Contents

Board Election 2011 Status Updates

Team Reports In the Community

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

For Desktop Users For Commandline/Script Newbies For Developers and Programmers For System Administrators Planet SUSE openSUSE Forums: A big hand for the release of openSUSE 12.1 ! On the Web

Reports Reviews and Essays Feedback Credits Acknowledgements Copyrights

List of our Licenses Trademarks Translations

We are pleased to announce our 205 issue of the openSUSE Weekly News.

You can also read this issue in other formats here.

Enjoy reading :-)

Header PictureBoard Election 2011▼

Will Stephenson: openSUSE Board Election – My Manifesto

TL;DR: openSUSE as a project needs to raise its game, and the next openSUSE Board can guide the project to agree a tight set of goals for our releases and work to a higher standard on them. Otherwise we risk being an undirected mess of pet projects, bikeshedding discussions and bickering tribes.

Read more at my platform page. Then go and vote!

Header PictureStatus Updates▲▼

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: 380)](

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

        [Look at plymouth for splash during boot (Score: 210)](

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: 177)](

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: 174)](

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: 128)](

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.

        [Remove "tracker" from lxde](

As LXDE is intended to provide a LIGHTWEIGHT desktop environment, unnecessary bloats like tracker should not be provided with it.

Unfortunately the openSUSE pattern for LXDE contains Brasero, which automatically brings tracker as a dependency.

        [openSUSE Kids Edition/Mode](

OpenSUSE kids edition is an idea of creating a distribution or mode for kids. This should include (but not limit to):-

  • Wallpapers, Icons, themes… that would appeal to kids.

  • an internet or programs filter to block harmful things

  • games, programs related to education and fun(programs like tuxpaint, google chrome, and many games).

        [Prettier boot process](

Right now, the boot process looks kinda ugly. systemd makes a jumble of codes and the splash screen is boring. For 12.2, the pretty green dones and the red faileds should be brought back to the boot process and the geeko logo should do more than roll it s eye a little. Have it do something, like shift color sort of like a progress bar or walk around as the machine boots up.

        [Show screenshots to help user choose which desktop to install](

Currently, when the user chooses the type of Desktop they want to install they are presented with a rather ‘boring’ menu with lots of text, describing a little about GNOME, KDE, and how they get to choose.

I would like to see screenshots, possibly even a slideshow, of at least GNOME and KDE if not XFCE & LXDE for users to see and help them make their choice about which desktop environment they wish to install.

        [Include openSUSE manuals in default install](

Include the official openSUSE manuals in the default install. Either add them into each user directory, or symlink from /usr/share.

        [Add link to to the greeter, and link on desktop](

The Unofficial openSUSE Guide is one of the greatest resources to new users. By making it front and center, it will help new users not be so frustrated, and help us whom support them not be so frustrated.

Frankly, I wish I had known about the Guide when I first started using openSUSE… it would have saved me some headaches.

        [Integrate PulseAudio with Jack](


Create a pre-configured Jack designed to route through PulseAudio for simpler working of Jack, and transparent treatment of audio.

        [Simplified install workflow](

The install work flow should be as simple as possible. Therefore it should consider the view of a non IT person and only ask real key questions. Why are we asking a user about which desktop environment they like to use? A Linux beginner doesn’t care about KDE or Gnome.

Even the summary before the installation should be as comprehensive as possible in the default mode. Network configuration isn’t required in 80, 90 or more % of the use cases. If there we get an IP address offered by DHCP don’t bother the user even with a summary. Most users intend to use their computer as easy as possible. Therefore less questions asked will result in a smoother experience.

This issue had been initially discussed as part of this thread //

Feature Statistics

Statistics for openSUSE distribution in openFATE

Header PictureTesting Team

      [Larry Finger: Weekly News for December 10](//

The next meeting of the Testing Core Team will be Monday, December 12, 2011 at 18:00 UTC on Channel #opensuse-testing on the Freenode IRC Network (irc://

At this meeting, we will be discussing the openSUSE 12.1 release cycle and analyzing what went well, what could have been improved, etc. If you have any thing to contribute to this discussion, please join us. Remember, this is a community distro.

Header PictureTranslation Team

Header PictureIn the Community▲▼

Postings from the Community

      Hrušecký: openSUSE 12.1 Launch Party in Prague](//

Last Friday we had a 12.1 launch party in Prague. This time it was in SUSE office. Why so long after the release? We wanted to make sure to have some new shiny factory made DVDs for our guests. And as we waited, it happened to be nearby St. Nicolas day. For those of you that don’t know Czech traditions, on St. Nicolas day, we have people dressed as St. Nicolas, devil and angel going through the city, visiting children. Good children will get some snacks from St. Nicolas as a reward, bad children will get potatoes or coal from the devil as a reward. We wanted to exploit this tradition a little bit and thus every guest got a little gift from St. Nicolas. As they were our community, sure they were all good. But just in case, I dressed a little bit devilish…

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 PictureNew/Updated Applications @ openSUSE▲▼

            Mac-Vicar: bicho 0.0.3 released](//

Bicho is a ruby gem implementing access to bugzilla. It is a library but comes with a simple command line client.

This release fixes some bugs and adds support for named queries. (…)

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-2011:1299-1: important: xorg-x11-libs

Table 1. openSUSE Security Announcement
Package: **xorg-x11-libs**
Announcement ID: openSUSE-SU-2011:1299-1
Date: Mon, 5 Dec 2011 18:08:19 +0100 (CET)
Affected Products: openSUSE 11.4 openSUSE 11.3
Description: a buffer overflow

Header PictureKernel Review▲▼

  [h-online/Thorsten Leemhuis:  Kernel Log: Coming in 3.2 (Part 3) - Architecture](//

Optimised assembler code paths accelerate SHA1 and speed up the Blowfish and Twofish encryption algorithms. The next scheduled Linux kernel release avoids a cache problem found in AMD’s latest processors and includes new and extended drivers for Intel CPUs.

In keeping with the usual weekly release rhythm, Linus Torvalds issued the fourth release candidate of Linux 3.2 last Friday. It contains fewer changes than the two previous RCs, and Torvalds said that “things really are calming down pretty nicely”, adding that it is even “suspiciously quiet.” With the development of Linux 3.2 in progress, the Kernel Log is continuing its “Coming in 3.2” mini series. After describing the advancements in the kernel’s network driver and infrastructure areas and those relating to filesystems, we will now cover the changes relating to the kernel’s architecture and processor support; in the coming weeks, further articles will discuss the kernel’s infrastructure and drivers.

    Aioanei: kernel weekly news – 10.12.2011](//

Rares gives his weekly Kernel Review with openSUSE Flavor.

Header PictureTips and Tricks▲▼

For Desktop Users

    [Fred Blaise: Talend Studio on Linux:
      making it look nicer](//

Doesn’t look like on Mac on Win32, does it? You can find several howto around, the GTK+ reference here, a GTK+ theme how to. Create a .gtkrc-eclipse in your home directory, with the following inside: (…)

For Commandline/Script Newbies

    [ Using diff to Compare Directories](//

The diff command compares two files or directories and returns the differences. This provides you a way to monitor changes in an important directory like /etc which houses most configuration files on a Linux system. In order for this to work properly you will need to create a file that lists the content of the /etc directory so that you can make a comparison. (…)

For Developers and Programmers

    [ Aioanei: C development on Linux - Functions - V.](//

1. Introduction

The C standard library offers a plethora of functions for many usual tasks. Also there are lots of libraries for extra functionality, like GUI design (GTK+) or database interfacing (libpq). However, as you advance in the C programming world, you will soon find yourself repeating the same instructions in the same order over and over again and that will become time-consuming and inefficient. So you can just wrap all those instructions in a function and just call said function when you need it. Here’s what you’re gonna learn by reading this article, plus some useful tips that will make your life easier. Any suggestions or problems go to the forums, as before. (…)

For System Administrators

    [ Automate Install With AutoYaST Answer Files](//

This is the final article on installing opensuse. To recap we’ve covered Configuring the DHCP Server, Installing Apache on OpenSUSE, OpenSUSE PXE Boot and today we’ll be tackling how to automate an install with AutoYaST answer files.

The final part of our installation jigsaw puzzle is to create the answer file, in SUSE this is known as AutoYaST. If we were only ever to install one server or one desktop then maybe we could do without answer files; however where we need to install a few or many then AutoYaST provides us with an unattended installation:- a build script to create consistency and compliance we regulatory bodies governing security. In short we need answer files. (…)

    [Aditya Patawari: Controlling Your Linux Server Using Twitter](//

Last weekend I wrote about “Using Twitter To Monitor Your Linux Server” using a command line client “MYST”. I have added a new feature to MYST using which you can tell your server to execute commands by using DMs. Let us start configuration for the same. (…)

    [Wazi/Carla Schroder: Shh! OpenSSH Secrets Here](//

If you routinely use multiple computers, it can be a challenge to keep your data files organized and to manage multiple login IDs. OpenSSH can help you with those tasks. It’s a powerful, secure tool that lets you share files without having to set up a file server, run applications remotely, and perform remote administration chores quickly and securely. You probably already know how to use OpenSSH for file transfers. Here we’ll uncover some less well-known OpenSSH tricks that can make life easier for roaming computer users.

To use the software, you should have the OpenSSH server and client installed and working on all the computers you need to access. In this article I use local for the computer we’re launching an OpenSSH session from, and remote to refer to the computer we’re logging into. (…)

    [ Schroder: Embiggen Your KVM Virtual Machines](

When you provision virtual machines, you try to ensure that they have the storage that they need. But as we all know, storage needs tend to change over time. If you have KVM machines that need more space, we can up their storage with tools you already have handy.

In Managing Live and Offline Migrations with Linux’s KVM we learned how to migrate virtual machines, and how to manage disk storage. Today we’ll learn how resize VMs and add storage space. (…)

    [IBM developerWorks/Paul Ferrill: Scripting KVM with Python, Part 1: libvirt](//

Virtualization is standard equipment with most server operating systems on the market today. In the Linux® world, there are two primary choices for server virtualization: the Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) and Xen. KVM is the primary technology that Red Hat and others use. Although Citrix owns Xen, much of the core functionality remains in the public domain.

The Virtual Machine Manager (VMM, or virt-manager) project provides a tool for managing the creation and running of both KVM and Xen virtual machine (VM) instances. VMM is written in Python using the GTK+ library for graphical user interface construction. The real work is done through the libvirt library, which is what you’ll be using for this article series. Although libvirt is a Red Hat-sponsored effort, it remains an open source project available under the GNU Lesser General Public License.

libvirt is made up of several different pieces, including the application programming interface (API) library, a daemon (libvirtd), and a default command-line utility (virsh). For the purposes of this article, all testing is done using Ubuntu Server version 11.04. The Installation and setup section covers everything I did to configure my server for developing the scripts presented here. Part 1 covers the basics of libvirt and Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) virtualization along with a few command-line scripts to whet your appetite. Part 2 will dive deeper and show you how you can build your own virtualization management tools using libvirt, Python, and wxPython. (…)

Jörg Stephan: [UPDATE] Strange, someone has an idea?

Thanks a lot to

As we now found out the boot/shutdown problems where just caused by systemdso, while booting (on the grub menu) you can switch to systemV via **F5 **and that just worked.

So now we must talk about making systemV default again, so just look what SUSEhelp post us via IRC

“ ** By default, openSUSE now boots using systemd. In case of trouble, you can switch back to the old way using sysvinit by pressing the F5 key on the boot. If you want to switch to sysvinit permanently, install the sysvinit-init package. To switch back to systemd, reinstall the systemd-sysvinit package.** ”

So as easy as it is told: (…)

Masim Sugianto: Installing Zimbra Mail Server on SLES 11 SP1 64 bit in less than 30 Minutes-Part 1

The following article will explain about the quick and easy tutorial : how to installing Zimbra Mail Server on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 SP1 64 bit.I will use the Minimal Server Appliance in this tutorial to simplify the installation process.Here are some notes related to the server setting :

  • WARNING : This guide using Preload ISO and will erase the entire contents of hard disk! If you do not want to delete your existing data, consider using Virtualization server or use ISO-LiveCD.

  • Zimbra server will be using a private IP which will be translated into public IP using NAT

  • Zimbra will be setting up using Split-DNS concept. This means that in the internal network, mail server will be recognized based on a private IP network, while from the outside will be recognized based on the public IP. For this purpose, the internal DNS will be set up in Zimbra Mail Server

  • Zimbra Fully Qualified Domain Name :, private IP : (…)

Part2, Part3

Header PicturePlanet SUSE▲▼

Dominique Leuenberger: Enhanced typelib based dep generation

A long time ago I posted about our inclusion of an automatic dependency generator for typelib() style provides and requires. The main goal there was to have the various seed and python based programs depending on gobject-introspection based bindings properly require the bindings, which also dragged in the libraries needed.

For the openSUSE 12.2 release cycle we have to push this a little further: As the typelib namespace and version does not grow linear together with the shared library name, we have to split the *.typelib files out of the shared library package.

An example why the typelib files need to be split out from the libraries:

Clutter: the library was renamed from to, the typelib remained Clutter-1.0.typelib. The upgrade process is slightly ‘messy’ in this case and a bunch of problems could be avoided by splitting the typelib files out. (…)

Thomas Schraitle: Cooking with DocBook

Hi DocBook lovers, browsed through a book, used your favorite search engine, or posted on LinkedIn, Xing, or the DocBook mailinglist to hunt for answers to your problems?

As an additional alternative, I’m happy to announce my latest project:

The DoCookBook Project (released under Creative Commons License)”

The tongue-twisting name is a word play and picks up the two central topic about DocBook and cookbook. (…)

Masim Sugianto: How to Check, Test and Validate DKIM Records in DNS is Correct and Valid

As I’ve wrote in the article: “10 Tips for Auditing & Improving Mail Server Performance“, Dkim or Domainkeys is one feature that can be used to increase the acceptance rate (eligibility) of email on the destination mail server.

DomainKeys or DKIM signature basically allowing good senders to “sign” a message to prove that it really did come from them. This process is obtained by signing the outgoing mail with a specific code corresponding domain name and identity of the mail server so it is considered valid and convincing as an authorized sender.

Thomas Schraitle: The Exo Typeface Family

Some week ago, I’ve stumbled upon a very promising font project. It’s called the Exo Typeface Family and I think this could be a valuable addition to our distribution:

The sans serif font is beautifully crafted and contains 9(!) different width as you can see in the following graphic: (…)

Jos Poortvliet: Calligra…

While Calligra 2.4 did not make it as part of openSUSE 12.1, its latest beta is available in the KDE:UpdatedApps repository and I hope Tumbleweed will pick it up too. I’m quite excited about this release and I’d like to share why!

Little intro

As you might or might not know, Calligra is the result of a split of the KWord maintainer with the rest of the KOffice team. The ODF based Suite has a wide range of applications. From Krita, the most versatile and usable sketching and painting application on Linux (click for an experts opinion), and Kexi, the most powerful and complete database tool available as Free Software - to Words, Karbon and Stage. These last, as well as all the other applications in Calligra, are far less mature than Krita and Kexi. The team has been limiting their scope, focusing on getting them stable and usable while skipping on features.

Header PictureopenSUSE Forums: A big hand for the release of openSUSE 12.1 !▲▼

  [NEW Users - openSUSE-12.1 Pre-installation - PLEASE READ](//

  Keeping this one up for another week. openSUSE 12.1 is new, we like to draw your attention to this article in the New User HOWTO/FAQ subforums. Like with every openSUSE release our admin oldcpu has prepared a document for new users to read before starting to install openSUSE 12.1. If you're new to openSUSE, this is a must-read, if you're already an openSUSE user, even very experienced, the article still deserves your attention. 

[No acceleration with ATI proprietary driver - Opensuse 12.1](//

These days openSUSE, or rather linux in general, has good open source support for ATI and NVIDIA based video cards. Yet, to get the full blast out of your video card, you still need to install the ATI or NVIDIA proprietary driver. This thread is started by a member who's having difficulties getting his ATI video card to use it's full capabilities. In the thread we find that our member please_try_again discovers a bug in the ATI updater, delivering a fix at the same time. If you're experiencing trouble installing the ATI driver, please read this thread, it may help you solve your trouble.

[The Tumbleweed subforum](//

  Some attention for the Tumbleweed -openSUSE's rolling release- subforum. My personal advice is to read our admin swerdna's instructions on how to move to Tumbleweed. The various threads in the subforum will probably provide answers to most questions related to Tumbleweed.

  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▲▼


    [ITworld/Brian Proffitt: SUSE: Global Linux jobs on the rise](//

Even as the Linux Foundation reports on Linux jobs in the U.S., the global picture seems to be even more encouraging.

That’s the take away from my conversation with Ralf Flaxa, SUSE’s VP of Linux Engineering, who paints a pretty strong picture of worldwide job hiring on the part of SUSE and, presumably, other non-U.S. firms.

As the person primarily responsible for hiring engineers for SUSE, Flaxa has a unique position on the outlook for Linux careers, especially in the European market. While Flaxa certainly recognizes the importance of the Linux Foundation’s recent infographic for the U.S., “my point of view looks a bit different.” (…)

    [Datamation/Sean Michael Kerner: Xamarin Brings Mono to IceCream Sandwich](//

2011 has been a year of significant changes for the Mono community. For the most part those changes have resulted in new development momentum. Today Mono startup Xamarin is announcing Mono for Android 4, providing support for Google’s latest Android release.

Mono was originally started by Novell as an open source implementation of the Microsoft .NET framework. After Novell was acquired by Attachmate, the lead mono developers, including project founder Miguel de Icaza, left to startup a company called Xamarin, which is focused on mobile development. In July, SUSE Linux partnered with Xamarin to provide support to Novell/SUSE customers. (…)

    [The Register/Gavin Clarke: Microsoft welcomes OSI open source to Win8 store](//

Most, but not all, open-source apps are being welcomed by Microsoft into the Windows 8 Windows Store.

The Store’s App Developer Agreement (here) allows developers to build their apps for download and installation on Windows 8 machines using any open-source licence as long as it has been approved by the Open-Source Initiative (OSI). (…)

Reviews and Essays

    [ZDNet/Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols: Finding a Linux Job](//

So you want a Linux job do you? Well, according to The Linux Foundation, the jobs are out there. Specifically, Linux jobs are divided up almost evenly between developer, 53% and system administrator. 47%, jobs.

Amanda McPherson, the Linux Foundation’s vice president of marketing and developer programs, told me, “The Linux jobs market is booming, and we’re doing a variety of things to understand what skills are most in demand and how we can help address that opportunity for our corporate and individual members and with things like our Linux Training courses. The data we’ve surfaced from our Jobs Board really reflects the importance of common programming languages, as well as areas of great success for Linux–such as Android. Mobile and embedded development skills are extremely valuable in today’s market. If you can work on security, power management and integration at the device level, you’re well prepared for this burgeoning area of Linux development.” (…)

    [IBM developerWorks/M. Tim Jones: Evolution of shells in Linux](//

Shells are like editors: Everyone has a favorite and vehemently defends that choice (and tells you why you should switch). True, shells can offer different capabilities, but they all implement core ideas that were developed decades ago.

My first experience with a modern shell came in the 1980s, when I was developing software on SunOS. Once I learned the capability to apply output from one program as input to another (even doing this multiple times in a chain), I had a simple and efficient way to create filters and transformations. The core idea provided a way to build simple tools that were flexible enough to be applied with other tools in useful combinations. In this way, shells provided not only a way to interact with the kernel and devices but also integrated services (such as pipes and filters) that are now common design patterns in software development.

Let’s begin with a short history of modern shells, and then explore some of the useful and exotic shells available for Linux today. (…)

ITWire/Sam Varghese: A tale of two distros: openSUSE and Linux Mint

For as long back as I can remember, GNU/Linux distributions have resembled Windows in one respect - that start menu at the bottom of the left side of the screen.

This is not surprising, considering that most people who move to GNU/Linux are Windows refugees. And one needs some points of similarity in order to ease the transition.

Even when Ubuntu came along in 2004, though the menu was located at the top of the screen, it was child’s play to move it to the bottom. Ubuntu was tracking the development of GNOME, keeping in sync with the six-monthly release schedule of the latter. (…)

ITWorld/Joab Jackson: Usenix: Dartmouth expanding diff, grep Unix tools

With some funding from Google and the U.S. Energy Department, a pair of computer scientists at Dartmouth University are updating the venerable grep and diff Unix command line utilities to handle more complex types of data.

Such updates are needed because “we now tend to have more model-based configuration languages that have meaningful constructs spanning more than one line,” said Gabriel Weaver, a Dartmouth graduate student who, along with Dartmouth computer science professor Sean Smith, is creating the variants of grep and diff. Weaver presented the new utilities at a poster session at the Usenix Large Installation System Administration (LISA) conference, being held this week in Boston. (…)

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