Beta, Pizza and Hackaton

16. Sep 2013 | Jos Poortvliet | No License


Almost time for the release of openSUSE 13.1 Beta.

Many openSUSE contributors, upon hearing that, will feel their bellies rumbling: Pizza! The tradition of Beta, Pizza and Party stands solid in openSUSE. And like last year, the openSUSE team is planning to have a bugfixing hackathon, a hacking sprint to bring some serious stability to openSUSE Factory. This time, however, other SUSE offices and lots of people will join and the openSUSE team has prepared a list of bugs to be fixed. Also, there will be prizes to win!

Read on to find out about Piza Testing and Bugfixing Hackatons.

The BetaPizza Party Concept Turned Hackaton

Usually, the BetaPizza is as much about testing as about party. This time, we don’t skimp on the pizza but add in the fixing of bugs as well! The SUSE engineers will be joining us for a day to get rid of these nasty animals. The BetaPizza hackaton will take place on Friday the 27th of September, from office time in Taipei to Provo!

The plan is for the various offices to have a BetaPizza Master taking care of both the food and the bug fixing frenzy that precedes it. Ludwig Nussel from the openSUSE Team will be Global BetaPizza Master, keeping an eye on all this. And all offices will be open for openSUSE community members to join the fun!

An article will be published shorty before the start of the hackaton (kicking off on the 27th) with more details but some things we’ve already planned. [caption id=”attachment_16887” align=”alignright” width=”283”]An old toad An old toad[/caption]

Communication and collaboration

To do a decent job at this we have to communicate together and make sure we’re not duplicating work. To facilitate this, we have:


In the coming weeks, the openSUSE team will work with the bugs reported by everybody testing Beta, tagging them with Gold, Silver and Bronze tags. We will prepare some bugzilla queries which will help you find the bugs and hack on them during the hackaton.

Depending on the gold/silver/bronze tags, points are awarded for bugs. You earn the points by triaging (checking and verifying) and fixing the bugs, and for the top bugfixers we have some prizes prepared! Based on the points and an investigation into the work done, a committee of Old, Wise Toads will decide the winners.

Joining the Bugfixing Hackathon in SUSE Offices

In most locations, times and rooms are being picked still and we’ll update you on details. But in general, think about 9:00 to 19:00 opening time for most local offices, with pizza around 18:00 and perhaps more party after 19:00. See the info on the beta pizza party/hackaton wiki.

Beta Testing

To give Beta a good work-out and prepare some bugs for the hackers to fix, we also hope you all will find time to organize some pizza-loaded testing events before the 27th! This means installing it and submitting bug reports when you bump into trouble. You can download the openSUSE 13.1 Beta (available soon) from the openSUSE website. It might make sense to download it and put it on an USB stick or a DVD so people can get to work right away!

Bugs should be reported and can be tracked via Bugzilla. Find a how-to on reporting bugs on the wiki.

Discussions about openSUSE development takes place on the factory mailing list. openSUSE Factory is the development release of openSUSE. If you want to help out, please see the wiki page on contributing to Factory. Contributing is easy and very welcome! We happen to have this awesome tool called the Open Build Service. Think of it as a Github for packagers: Branch, Update and create a submit Request for a Package. In openSUSE terms you’ve just BURPed and we’ll be proud of you ;-)

OBS has a command line but also a easy browser interface - you can even fix and build packages from a mobile phone or a Windows desktop! pizza David Standout geekoified

There is plenty of help available on the Development page on the openSUSE wiki and you are more than welcome to ask for help on the openSUSE factory mailing list or on the openSUSE IRC channels!


Of some special interest for this release is btrfs. A discussion has been going on about making this future-oriented file system the default on the next openSUSE. That is (most likely) not going to happen but btrfs is still a prominent option during installation so any relevant testing and bugfixing will benefit many openSUSE 13.1 users. And, more importantly, chances are big that it will be the default in the release following 13.1!

To enable this testing, the release team has decided to include a “want to test btrfs?” pop-up during installation of Beta 1. Of course, this won’t be in the final releases (nor the RC’s) but it will hopefully help remind people that btrfs can use some testing.

btrfs in openSUSE

By default, only the ‘safe’ features of btrfs are enabled in openSUSE, including the snapshot and metadata and data integrity feature. These both offer protection against data loss. The snapshots do this by making it easy to revert files to earlier states, even bringing back removed files where needed! The (meta)data integrity feature uses error checking codes on your data to ensure your spinning rust or deep fried sand gives you back the data you stored on it the way you intended.

However, who installs btrfs now will be able to instantly benefit from the many features under development as soon as they are marked stable. Some of these include transparent compression of data, de-duplication of files and data, multi-volume drives and hot add/remove of drives part of it and various performance improvements.

The coolest thing is that you can already test those features by adding the ‘allow_unsupported=1’ option to the btrfs module either on the kernel command line or in /etc/modprobe.d!

Beta Pizza Party

As said before, the Beta Pizza Party is a great openSUSE tradition. Parties are simple: you only need people, the rest will follow. Geeko’s are fun at heart although many of them require some beer and food to really loosen up. If you have your event at a pizza place, it doesn’t get easier! Of course you can do it at home, in an office, a pub, or wherever else you want. Most important thing: Just Do it! Don’t worry that only 5 people show up. 5 Geeko’s already make a huge party and there’s lots of testing you can do with a handful of geeko’s!

So, how to do it? Just three steps:

  • Get out there and find a nice Geeko pizza place!

  • Let your Geeko friends know about it and make sure they tell their friends about it. Tell them to bring laptops or desktops for testing!

  • Make sure there is pizza and some USB sticks with openSUSE Beta 1

That way you can gather all your local community for this nice Pizza Party. Need more help organizing it? Check out the articles below!

Of course, if you want to go all out and make your own pizza, you can Find a Geeko-ified recipe here!

Ready for Pizza?

As a reminder, until Beta is out, you can still get features in. Once it is out, there will be Beta Pizza Parties and some serious hacking during the Beta Pizza Hackaton. Hungry? Ready for it? We are in for a lot of fun!

Categories: Events


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