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Transactional Updates in openSUSE Leap 15

May 15th, 2018 by

This blog is part of a series of technical blogs leading up to the release of openSUSE Leap 15. All of the blogs provide a use case regarding openSUSE Leap and the packages available in the distribution. Happy reading.

Transactional Updates is one of the exciting new features available in the upcoming release of openSUSE Leap 15, which is scheduled to be officially released May 25.

Contributed by the Kubic Project, Transactional Updates provides openSUSE systems with a method of updating the operating system and its packages in an entirely ‘atomic’ way. Updates are either applied to the system all together in a single transaction, or not at all. This happens without influencing the running system. If an update fails, or if the successful update is deemed to be incompatible or otherwise incorrect, it can be discarded to immediately return the system to its previous functioning state.

This differs from existing alternatives that already exist in the open source world. Some users use a rather exorbitant approach of maintaining multiple versions of their system in multiple partitions on disk to switch between the partitions to address a fear of tampering with a perfectly running system.

This juggling approach works, but takes an exorbitant amount of disk storage and maintenance efforts. More modern approaches like using ostree and snap attempt to address these problems and bring atomic/transactional updates to their users. However, these solutions have unintended consequence as users, developers, and partnering software vendors all learn new ways of managing their systems and existing packages cannot be re-used, which require either repackging or conversion. All of this develops to a situation where adopters need to redesign their mindsets, systems, tools and company policies to work with these clever tools. These workarounds have some key flaws that Kubic’s Transactional Updates feature strives to avoid.

Under the hood, Transactional Updates are made simple. Utilising the same btrfs, snapper, and zypper technologies that are trusted defaults in openSUSE Leap, Transactional Updates do something very similar to the traditional snapshots and rollbacks in Leap. However, Transactional Updates it never touches the running system. Instead of patching the current system, the transactional-update tool creates a new snapshot. All of the operations required by the update are carried out into a snapshot that ensures the current system is untouched with no changes impacting the running system.

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Start Using Qt 5.10 Beta in KDE Unstable repositories: Krypton and Argon

October 20th, 2017 by

The Qt project has recently released the first beta version of Qt 5.10. This release brings a lot of new features, such as initial support for Vulkan, text to speech functionality, and lots of other improvements.

The Qt libraries are heavily used by KDE software and especially Plasma often pushes them to the limits. This means that bugs or planned changes in Qt can also negatively affect the Plasma experience.

Early testing of Qt releases definitely helps because either bugs are discovered or KDE software is adjusted to work with the new version. The KDE:Unstable repos in OBS, which are used by Argon and Krypton to carry the latest builds of KDE software from git, are now built against Qt 5.10.

This allows to test the latest combination of Qt and KDE software by installing the packages through the live images Krypton and Argon, which allow testing without a local installation, and also through openQA, which regularly tests snapshots of KDE software every day.

If your interested in the latest and greatest in KDE software, give it a try!

(Update provided by openSUSE KDE Team)

Indonesia uses Linux, openSUSE for pilot project

May 27th, 2015 by

An estimated 45,000 students from a province in Indonesia have enhanced their education and computer-usage knowledge through a pilot  program using Linux and openSUSE that is expected to become a nationwide educational program.

From 2009 to 2014, the project called “Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Utilization for Educational Quality Enhancement in Yogyakarta Province” used openSUSE and created material with Linux to enhance educational quality and equality in Yogyakarta Province schools.

“More and more education people and officials come to Yogyakarta to learn about how to implement information technology in basic education,” said Mr. Mohammad Edwin Zakaria, an IT and Linux consultant for the program.

The program is expected to become a model of ICT utilization in the educational sector of Indonesia, Zakaria said. The pilot’s goal supports teaching and learning activities by providing ICT-based learning facilities, providing equipment, communication and network facilities, creating e-learning systems and developments, and by providing tools and support that are needed for schools activities to improve educational quality.

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Official 13.1 Docker Containers Released

August 7th, 2014 by

We are proud to announce official Docker containers for our latest openSUSE release, 13.1. Docker is an open-source project that automates the deployment of applications inside software containers. With the official openSUSE Docker containers it’s now easy for developers to leverage the power of our Linux distribution and it’s free software Eco-system as base for their applications.

openSUSE + Docker == Awesome

The Docker project was released in March last year. Until now, during this short amount of time, more than 450 people contributed with patches and 14,000 containers have been published on its central index. Docker recently released version 1.0, the first one declared enterprise-ready.

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openSUSE ARM Gets new Raspberry Pi Images

September 9th, 2013 by
Raspberry Pi in action

Sadly, the sticker doesn’t fit…

Over the weekend, Bernhard Wiedemann has been working on new armv6 based images for the Raspberry Pi. It is built using a set of alternative build scripts aiming to make the building of the image easier. He’s put the scripts as well as an image online, you can get it from oSC or here (image) and here (scripts). If you’re playing around with Raspberry Pi and want to create images for your device(s), this is for you!

The Image and Building It

As Bernhard explains on his blog, the image he created is only 82mb compressed, so it is pretty minimalistic. The image also contains the scripts he created for building under /home/abuild/rpmbuild/SOURCES/.

If you’re interested in playing with the building itself, creating custom images, the following commands will get you going:
osc co devel:ARM:Factory:Contrib:RaspberryPi altimagebuild
cd devel:ARM:Factory:Contrib:RaspberryPi/altimagebuild
bash -x main.sh

He notes: If you have 6GB RAM, you can speed things up with export OSC_BUILD_ROOT=/dev/shm/arm before you do.

This package doesn’t build in OBS or with just the osc command as it requires root permissions for some steps. That is why you have to run it by hand and let it do its magic. The under-250-lines of script will go through the following steps:

  1. First, osc build is used to pull in required packages and setup the armv6 rootfs.
  2. Second, mkrootfs.sh modifies a copy of the rootfs under .root to contain all required configs
  3. And finally, mkimage.sh takes the .root dir and creates a .img from it that can be booted

Bernhard claims that: “this can build an image from scatch in three minutes. And my Raspberry Pi booted successfully with it within 55 seconds.

Todo and Open Issues

He also points out some remaining open issues:

  • the repo key is initially untrusted
  • still uses old 3.1 kernel
  • build scripts have no error handling

Compared to the old image, this one has some advantages:

  • It is easier to resize as the root partition is the last one
  • Compressed image is much smaller
  • Reproducible image build, so easy to customize
  • It is armv6 with floating point support, so could be faster
  • We have 5200 successfully built packages from openSUSE:Factory:ARM

If you wanted to play with building images for the Raspberry Pi, this might well be the easiest way doing so! And as always, merge requests are very much welcome.

Have a lot of fun

About ARMv7 progress and ARMing for AArch64

April 15th, 2013 by

openSUSE 12.3 introduced the 32bit ARMv7 architecture as new, fully supported architecture and brought experimental 64bit ARM (AArch64) images. Since the release, support for new hardware was added and more build power brought to the Open Build Service. And as far as we can tell, we now have the first large scale KVM deployment on ARM! We also introduce support for the Calxeda Highbank ARM server SoC, a major step forward for both ARM and openSUSE. Read on for details on where the openSUSE ARMy is going. (more…)

Opening the Can: initial support for openSUSE on the ARM Chromebook

January 8th, 2013 by


According to ZDnet, “Amazon’s top selling laptop doesn’t run Windows or Mac OS, it runs Linux”. And that top selling device is the Samsung Series 3 Chromebook. Billed as an ideal second computer just aiming to make it simple to access online services, without the hassle and risk of running another full Windows machine. These devices drop all of the cruft that has accompanied regular laptops on their journey from the swamps, and have just enough local storage to boot a Linux kernel and a stripped down OS based around Google’s Chrome browser, making them thin, light and affordable. And now, we’ve done something cool with it… (more…)

openSUSE Medical Project searches for new Leadership and other participation

October 31st, 2011 by

Hello Mates! openSUSE Medical here!

Well i would to announce that “openSUSE Medical Calling and also needs you”

a) Due to lack of time (i’ve began my Master Studies abroad) i’ve to give up from the project. I think that there are people who are able to lead the project and have more time available.

So “Looking for openSUSE Medical Next Leader”

b) I have created two pages (according to the last meeting’s goals) :

i) “Section Page” : http://en.opensuse.org/Portal:Medical/section.html
ii) “Participate Page” : http://en.opensuse.org/Portal:Medical/participate.html

The process is you have a look at the Sections and then you declare your participation in the “Participate Page” (according to the instructions given in the pages).

So the project needs you for:

a) “The Next Project Leader”

b) “Participants for the Sections”

Anyone interested in (a) or (b) can reply to this e-mail or can post an e- mail to the opensuse-medical@opensuse.org

Rousiopoulos Athanasios-Ilias

New Leadership inside the Medical Project

June 9th, 2011 by

During the first openSUSE Conference in 2009, the idea was born to start a project to package and publish software for medical purposes. Since then, many packages were built and updated: software from the FreeMedForms project, OpenEMR, GnuMed, software for viewing images in DICOMM format and recently, a plasmoid for diabetics.

The first stable release (v 0.0.6) was released on November 2010, based on openSUSE 11.3 and as contestant in the “The Disters“-Contest. This release was produced with SUSE Studio, and published via SUSE Gallery.

The goal of this openSUSE derivative was to give medical people all they need in their daily work. So the image contained OpenOffice, KMyMoney, mail, calendering and all other basic office tools. And of course the content from the medical repository. There was some press attention in Linux Weekly News andLinuxtoday!

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Smeegol at oSC

October 23rd, 2010 by
Meeks and Wafaa

Meeks and Wafaa

Wednesday at the conference, Smeegol master Andrew “Funkypenguin” Wafaa was given the stage by Michael Meeks who was supposed to talk about MeeGo. Meeks claimed that he’d rather have someone on the stage who actually knew what he was talking about, hence Andrew had to explain himself to the audience.

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