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Openness brings fresh air to YaST

February 25th, 2015 by

It has been a while since we reported about YaST in this site. This post in Spanish from fellow openSUSE blogger Victorhck has inspired us to write about some exciting news that deserve to be shared with the whole openSUSE community. YaST has always been a completely free and open source project, but free and open source means way more than just having the code available in some server at Internet. You may know lowering the entry barrier to contribute to YaST has been one of the goals of the project.

The first big step was moving from YCP to a more popular, documented and widespread programming language like Ruby. The new Ruby-based codebase debuted in openSUSE 13.1, full of automatically converted code that looked “not so Ruby”. Now, with the revamped installation workflow introduced in openSUSE 13.2 and after a whole release cycle of refining and polishing the YaST code and the development tools, the world of YaST development is a nicer place for newcomers.

So we have the code publicly available and written in a nice popular language, we have easy to install development tools, we have a public IRC channel and an open mailing list and we have a group of experienced developers willing to help anybody wanting to jump aboard. What is missing?

Tons of documentation!

The YaST team has put some effort in the last months gathering all the development documentation that was disperse and creating new one. The result is the new YaST development landing page. The page is packed with information useful to anyone willing to introduce himself in the world of YaST development and also acts as a central documentation hub, containing links to information hosted in Rubydoc.info, doc.opensuse.org or the openSUSE wiki. Among other things, the page includes a guide with the first steps for newcomers, a section with documentation targeted at developers and another one with descriptions of the processes and guidelines observed while developing YaST.


openSUSE 13.2: green light to freedom!

November 4th, 2014 by

Dear contributors, friends and fans: openSUSE 13.2 is out! After one year on continuous improvement in the tools and procedures and many hours of developing, packaging, testing and fixing issues a new stable release is here providing the best that Free and Open Source has to offer with our special green touch: stable, innovative and fun!
Green light to freedom!

(In other languages: cs es fr it nl ru ja zh zh-tw)

This is the first release after the change in the openSUSE development mode, with a much shorter stabilization phase thanks to the extensive testing done in a daily basis in the rolling distribution used now as a base for openSUSE stable releases. The perfect balance between innovation and stability with the great level of freedom of choice that openSUSE users are used to.

openSUSE 13.2 is:

Built around the most innovative technologies Linux has to offer: Snapper to take the most from snapshots capability of the powerful Btrfs filesystem offered as default option, Wicked to bring light to network configuration, Dracut to ensure shorter boot times… For users asking for even more innovation Plasma 5.1, the next generation workspace by KDE, is also available as a technical preview.


This version presents the first step to adopt the new openSUSE design guidelines system-wide. The graphical revamp is noticeable everywhere: the installer, the bootloader, the boot sequence and all of the (seven!) supported desktops (KDE, GNOME, Xfce, LXDE, Enlightenment 19, Mate and Awesome). Even the experimental Plasma 5.1 is adapted to the overall experience.


The new openSUSE 13.2 installer comes with several changes targeted to make the installation process easier and more welcoming to new users. Those changes include a new and more straightforward installation work flow, better and smarter automatic proposals, less cluttered configuration options and a brand new layout for the user interface. In addition, several tools are included to easy the administration of any system like the Profile Management Tools for AppArmor or the YaST module for Snapper, just to name a few.

“With a vastly improved and streamlined installation process, and all the latest technologies from across the open source ecosystem, openSUSE 13.2 is a perfect choice for people who want an operating system that’s modern, stable, and gets the work done.”

said Richard Brown, Chairman of openSUSE board.

openSUSE 13.2: time to get your hands dirty

October 16th, 2014 by

I want YOU!With less than three weeks from the release of our beloved green distro and the first release candidate already rocking, we can feel like we are almost there. This is exactly the right time to remember that there is still a lot of work to do and fun to have. Open source is awesome, but only as awesome as the people working on it. Nothing will happen unless YOU make it happen, so it’s time to get your hands dirty!


Factory: Over 6000 installations and growing!

September 5th, 2014 by

Since the announcement at the end of July of the new Factory development model, the machinery worked tirelessly releasing more than 15 Factory snapshots during the next month. As you can see in the changelogs that are published in the openSUSE-Factory mailing list following every snapshot, the changes are not restricted to leaf packages. The core of the distribution is moving together with the desktop applications. Factory is rolling!

The new process includes several mechanisms to deal with that controlled chaos that a development distribution should be, like OBS staging projects to control the package flow from the devel projects, and openQA to implement pre-integration and post-integration tests. All those extra checks are there to serve an ultimate goal: make Factory a usable platform for openSUSE contributors including, of course, bug reporters. No automatic system can detect that the new version of systemd breaks the suspend function of your laptop or that the new kernel package conflicts with the proprietary driver of your graphic card. Therefore, the rolling Factory will only succeed if it can attract new users willing to help in the early detection of bugs. So the question is: can it?

Factory moves to Rolling Release Development Model

July 29th, 2014 by

We are proud to announce that we have just switched our beloved development distribution, openSUSE Factory, to be an independent distribution using the “rolling release” development model. openSUSE Factory is now a tested, reliable and bleeding edge Linux distribution! This change will shorten the stabilization process for our major releases (next up: 13.2) and eliminate the need for pre-releases and milestones.

A more distributed development process for openSUSE

In the old development model, an army of packagers would shoot new packages and updates to Factory, with a relatively small team of Factory Maintainers taking care of the integration process of all those packages. This often took a long time to stabilize for a release.

In the new “rolling release” development model, package submissions cannot go to Factory directly. First they have to prove to be functional and trustworthy in a staging project. Staging projects are projects in our Open Build Service where groups of submissions are collected, reviewed, compiled and tested with openQA. But even after the packages survived the staging project, they don’t directly end up in Factory. First all Factory media (e.g. DVDs etc.) are being built and put again through more tests in openQA. The Factory maintainers then decide on the basis of the Factory-To-Test overview if the new packages should be published to the users.

New Factory Workflow


The new generation of openQA hits the production server

April 4th, 2014 by

Bad news for the bugs: the new version of openQA is ready for prime time. Everybody following the blog of the openSUSE Team @ SUSE or the Factory mailing list during the last months, should be aware of the ongoing work to improve openQA and to promote it into a key component of the openSUSE integration process. Finally the new openQA is ready for public production environments, so thanks to the collaboration between the openSUSE Team and the original developers of openQA –Bernhard M. Wiedemann and Dominik Heidler– it’s finally deployed and accessible at openqa.opensuse.org

This new version brings a lot of changes at many levels, but probably the most relevant difference is the approach for tests execution: instead of running every step sequentially and comparing the needles at the end, the new version evaluates the status several times per test, deciding what to do next based on that status or aborting the whole tests as soon as a critical error is found. This approach enables both a better usage of the resources and more precise results.

This enhanced control of the execution and the results, alongside other improvements, makes possible to extend the scope of openQA. Tests of Factory isos are still there and running. But apart from them, you can see test results for the so called "staging projects", used to merge potentially dangerous packages. Generally speaking, you can just browse the test results and see what state is Factory in and how dramatic changes are about to happen.

Fuzzy matching in action: ignoring the floppy icon

Another main new feature is the use of fuzzy area matching for interpreting test results. That means much less false positives. Tests do not break that often and that easily. There is also a nice interface to figure out what failed. Try going to some failed test, selecting a needle and dragging the vertical yellow line. Pretty neat, isn’t it? You can also check how the test is written and what is it looking for. Feel free to play with it, enhance the current tests and needles and submit them via GitHub ;-)

There are even more changes, not directed towards users, but improvements in the interface that service operators use to set things up, including users management, job control or a new REST-like API. These will not affect most of you directly, just indirectly by making operators job easier.

So go ahead, play with it and if you want to help, sources are on github and we even have some easy hacks in progress.o.o to ease you into the development ;-)