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KDE and openSUSE: Plasma 5.17, Qt 5.14 and more

October 10th, 2019 by

It’s been way too long since the last blog post, so we’ve got quite a lot to report on!

Plasma 5.17 Beta

The Beta version of Plasma 5.17 was released with many new features and improvements such as per-screen fractional scaling on Wayland, a new User Interface (UI) for configuring permissions of Thunderbolt devices and network statistics in KSysGuard. The latter requires some more privileges than usual for a user application, so is currently being looked at by the SUSE security team.

openQA found a few bugs already, like GIMP looking more “colorful” than usual and some applications mixing Kirigami and Qt Widgets breaking some keyboard shortcuts. Both of those were addressed meanwhile and will be fixed in the final release of 5.17.

If you haven’t tested the Plasma 5.17 Beta yet, there’s still some time left! If you come across a problem in the software, please head over to the KDE bug tracker; if instead you find an issue that is openSUSE specific, go over to the openSUSE bugzilla.

To get it on your Leap or Tumbleweed installation, you can read https://en.opensuse.org/SDB:KDE_repositories.

In case you face some severe issues, the automatic snapshotting of the root filesystem using btrfs has your back and you can simply go back to the working state by booting into an older snapshot and doing a rollback.

Argon, an installable live medium that includes Leap 15.1 with the Beta and doesn’t require any manual repository addition, is also available.

openSUSE Leap 15.2

Like it happened for Leap 42.2, 15.2 will also see major version upgrades of many components.

Next to a new version of the Linux kernel, it’s planned to ship with Qt 5.12 LTS, Plasma 5.18 (of course also LTS) and the latest KDE Frameworks and Applications, which we can get in early enough for proper testing to ensure the best user experience possible!

This means that the “Full Wayland” session that landed in Tumbleweed a few weeks ago will also be available in Leap 15.2 and support per-screen fractional scaling.

As the target versions of Applications, Frameworks and Plasma aren’t even out yet, we’re currently integrating Qt 5.12 LTS with the latest packages from Factory.

Qt 5.14

Users of Tumbleweed and Leap with newer KDE software are used to having the latest available features and bugfixes, which is only possible by keeping up with Qt development and acting proactively.

So while the 5.14 branch of Qt is still young, we’re already busy integrating it into our builds. During the initial packaging of the 5.14 Alpha some bugs (QTBUG-78867, QTBUG-78881, QTBUG-78911, QTBUG-78948) were already identified and most of them fixed by now, so the KDE:Qt:5.14 project is built and usable by now. To develop against Qt 5.14 and test your applications with it, you can add the repo and get started.

So far it’s still in the phase of integration and getting everything in shape to build against it, but soon we’ll submit it to the Factory staging area to see how it behaves in there.

One of the most user visible features is that the implementation for scaling (for HiDPI displays) was mostly rewritten. Other noteworthy changes are the addition of various backends for hardware acceleration of Qt Quick using a new abstraction layer (opt-in), which can now also take advantage of Vulkan and introduction of a new “qtquicktimeline” module, which allows for easier integration of timeline-driven animations into Qt Quick.

New 4.0.2 Version of Uyuni is Released

August 2nd, 2019 by

Contributors of Uyuni Project have released a new version of Uyuni 4.0.2, which is an open-source infrastructure management solution tailored for software-defined infrastructure.

Uyuni, a fork of the Spacewalk project, modernizing Spacewalk with SaltStack, provides more operating systems support and better scalability capabilities. Uyuni is now the upstream for SUSE Manager.

With this release, Uyuni provides powerful new features such as monitoring, content lifecycle management and virtual machine management.

Both the Uyuni Server node and the optional proxy nodes work on top of openSUSE Leap 15.1 and support Leap 15.1, CentOS, Ubuntu and others as clients. Debian support is experimental. The new version of Uyuni uses Salt 2019.2, Grafana 6.2.5, Cobbler 3.0 and Python 3.6 in the backend.

“The upgrade involves the complete replacement of the underlying operating system,” according to a post on July 9 by Hubert Mantel on Github. “This is a very critical operation and it is impossible to handle any potential failure in a graceful way. For example, an error during upgrade of the base OS might lead to a completely broken system which cannot be recovered.

Given that the upgrade of Uyuni also involves upgrading the base operating system from Leap 42.3 to Leap 15.1, it is highly advisable to create a backup of the server before running the migration. If the Uyuni server is running in a virtual machine, it is recommended to take a snapshot of the machine before running the migration.

Migration is performed by first updating the susemanager package:

zypper ref && zypper in susemanager

Then run the migration script:


“This script will stop the services, subscribe the new software repositories and finally perform the actual update to the new version,” Mantel wrote on Github. “After successful migration, services will not be started automatically. The system needs to be rebooted and this will also re-start all the services. There is nothing additional the admin needs to do.”

The intention of the fork was to provide new inspiration to a Spacewalk, which had been perceived as idling in recent years. Uyuni is using Salt for configuration management, thereby inheriting its name: Uyuni refers to the world’s largest Salt flat, Salar de Uyuni in Southwest Bolivia.

Interested members can follow the project on https://github.com/uyuni-project, www.uyuni-project.org, via Twitter at @UyuniProject, or join #uyuni at irc.freenode.org.

GNOME Packages, More Updated in Tumbleweed This Week

July 25th, 2019 by

Two openSUSE Tumbleweed snapshots have been released since our last Tumbleweed update on Saturday.

The most recent snapshot, 20190723, updated Mozilla Firefox to version 68.0.1. The browser fixed the missing Full-Screen button when watching videos in full screen mode on HBO GO. The new 68 version enhanced the Dark Mode reader view to include darkening the controls, sidebars and toolbars. It also addressed several Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE). The snapshot provided an update to GNOME 3.32.4, which fixed an issue that led to some packages with multiple appdata files not correctly showing up on the updates page. The Guile programming language package update to 2.2.6 fixed regression introduced in the previous version that broke HTTP servers locale encoding. Hardware library hwinfo 21.67 fixed Direct Access Storage Devices (DASD) detection. A major 7.0 version of hylafax+ arrived in the snapshot. The Linux Kernel brought several new features with the 5.2.1 kernel and enhanced security for a hardware vulnerability affecting Intel processors. The open-source painting program Krita 4.2.3 version offered a variety of fixes including a copy and paste fix of the animation frames. A few libraries like libgphoto2, libuv and libva received update. There were also several Perl and Rubygem packages that were updated in the snapshot. The file manager for the Xfce Desktop Environment, thunar 1.8.8, fixed XML declaration in uca.xml and the 2.15 transactional-update package enable network during updates and allow updates of the bootloader on EFI systems. The snapshot is currently trending at a 93 rating, according to the Tumbleweed snapshot reviewer.

Among the top packages to update in snapshot 20190721 were gnome-builder 3.32.4, wireshark 3.0.3 and an update for GNU Compiler Collection 9. GNOME Builder fixed the initial selection in project-tree popovers, Wireshark fixed CVE-2019-13619 and GCC9 added a patch to provide more stable builds for single value counters. The dracut package updated from 044.2 to 049; this update removed several patches and added support for compressed kernel modules. The Distributed Replicated Block Device (drbd) 9.0.19 package fixed resync stuck at near completion and introduced allow-remote-read configuration option. GNOME’s personal information management application evolution updated to version 3.32.4, which added an [ECompEditor] to ensure attendee changes are stored before saving. GNOME’s Grilo, which is a framework focused on making media discovery and browsing easy for application developers, updated to 0.3.9 fixed core keys extraction. GNOME’s Virtual file system (gvfs) and programming language Vala were updated to versions 1.40.2 and 0.44.6 respectively. Krita was also updated in this snapshot. The 0.5.1 version of python-parso fixed some unicode identifiers that were not correctly tokenized.  The snapshot is currently trending at a 90 rating, according to the Tumbleweed snapshot reviewer.

Tumbleweed Snapshots Are Steadily Rolling

February 21st, 2019 by

Four openSUSE Tumbleweed snapshot were released this week bringing updates for Kerberos, GNOME, KDE, YaST and Mozilla Firefox.

The latest snapshot of the week, 20190219, had more than a dozen packages updated. A new Kerberos database module using the Lightning Memory-Mapped Database library (LMDB) has was added with the krb5 1.17 package, which brought some major changes for the administration experience for the network authentication protocol Kerberos. The permissions package update 20190212 removed several old entries and the kernel-space and user-space code package tgt 1.0.74 fixed builds with the newer glibc. A couple xf86 packages were updated. The 1.4.0 version of xf86-video-chips was a bug fix release for X.Org Server. There was an X Server crash bug with the version 1.3 affecting devices older than the HiQVideo generation. The change log said the code may not compile against X Server 1.20 since it no longer supports 24-bit color. A few other YaST packages were updated in the snapshot like yast2-installation 4.1.36, which had an update that saves the used repositories at the end of installation so as not to offer the driver packages again.

The 20190217 snapshot had just three packages updated. The keyboard management library libgnomekbd 3.26.1 fixed a build with new GLib and updated translations. VMcore extraction tool makedumpfile 1.6.5 added some patches, bug fixes and improved support for arm64 systems with Kernel Address Space Layout Randomization (KASLR). The jump in the release of yast2-storage-ng from 4.1.53 to 4.1.59 provided quite a few changes like allowing the partitioner to create block cache (bcache) devices without a caching set and the newest version limits bcache support to x86_64.

The 20190215 snapshot finished the updates of KDE Applications 18.12.2 and KDE Frameworks 5.55.0, which started in the snapshot the day before. Multiple packages were updated in KDE Frameworks 5.55.0. Breeze Icons added a preferences-desktop-effects icon, KIO improved keyboard controls of the checksum widget, KTextEditor added a cancel button to stop long-running tasks in the search bar and KWayland added rows info to the plasma virtual desktop protocol. KDE Applications 18.12.2 had more than a dozen recorded bug fixes include improvements to Kontact, Ark, Konsole, Lokalize, Umbrello, and others. The address book now remembers birthdays when merging contacts from a bug fix with kdepim-addons and Ark no longer deletes files saved from inside the embedded viewer. An update to autoyast2 4.1.1 for the installation made changes to the reading of the IPv6 setting in order to initialize it correctly. Unit test were made in the libstorage-ng 4.1.88 package and it also had a change to detect Direct-Access Storage Devices (DASD) using virtio-blk. The python-cairocffi 0.9.0 package dropped Python 3.2 and 3.3 support. Several other YaST packages were updated in the snapshot including yast2-bootloader 4.1.17, yast2-configuration-management 4.1.3, yast2-firstboot 4.1.5 and yast2-network 4.1.39.


Kubic is now a certified Kubernetes distribution

January 24th, 2019 by

Published by Richard Brown on Jan 22, 2019 on kubic.opensuse.org

Certified Kubernetes

The openSUSE Kubic team is proud to announce that as of yesterday, our Kubic distribution has become a Certified Kubernetes Distribution! Notably, it is the first open source Kubernetes distribution to be certified using the CRI-O container runtime!

What is Kubernetes Certification?

Container technologies in general, and Kubernetes in particular, are becoming increasingly common and widely adopted by enthusiasts, developers, and companies across the globe. A large ecosystem of software and solutions is evolving around these technologies. More and more developers are thinking “Cloud Native” and producing their software in containers first, often targeting Kubernetes as their intended platform for orchestrating those containers. And put bluntly, they want their software to work.

But Kubernetes isn’t like some other software with this sort of broad adoption. Even though it’s being used in scenarios large and small, from small developer labs to large production infrastructure systems, Kubernetes is still a fast-moving project, with new versions appearing very often and a support lifespan shorter than other similar projects. This presents real challenges for people who want to download, deploy and run Kubernetes clusters and know they can run the things they want on top of it.

When you consider the fast moving codebase and the diverse range of solutions providing or integrating with Kubernetes, that is a lot of moving parts provided by a lot of people. That can feel risky to some people, and lead to doubt that something built for Kubernetes today might not work tomorrow.

Thankfully, this a problem the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) is tackling. The CNCF helps to build a community around open source container software, and established the Kubernetes Software Conformance Certification to further that goal. Certified Kubernetes solutions are validated by the CNCF. They check that versions, APIs, and such are all correct, present, and working as expected so users and developers can be assured their Kubernetes-based solutions will work with ease, now and into the future.



KDE and openSUSE: Plasma 5.14, Qt 5.12 and more

October 17th, 2018 by

Plasma 5.14

Plasma 5.14 was released with many improvements.

It was planned to have it in a released in a Tumbleweed snapshot on the same day, but openQA issues prevented snapshot 20181008 from getting published. Instead, Tumbleweed users got it with snapshot 20181009 on Thursday morning. Currently, 5.14.1 is staged to be accepted in Tumbleweed.

To get it on Leap 15 (and even 42.3 with restrictions), you can add https://en.opensuse.org/SDB:KDE_repositories#KDE_Frameworks_5.2C_Plasma_5_and_Applications. Note that those are not part of the official distribution and therefore not as well supported.

KDE:Unstable drops support for Leap 42.3

The KDE:Unstable projects will drop support for openSUSE 42.3 next week.

Builds of KDE software from git master have been available for Leap 15 even before the official release, which should’ve given everyone enough time to migrate.

The Argon media got switched to Leap 15 just after release as well. If you haven’t heard of Argon (and Krypton) yet, they’re installable live media with the latest version of KDE software on Leap and Tumbleweed.

See the wiki article (https://en.opensuse.org/SDB:Argon_and_Krypton) for more information.

Migrating to Leap 15 also means that less system libraries (like libinput) need to be replaced, as the version in Leap 15 is sufficient for now.

If you haven’t migrated to Leap 15 yet, read https://en.opensuse.org/SDB:System_upgrade#Command_line_2. The provided instructions work just fine for the KDE:Unstable repositories.

Goodbye to Webkit (from a default install)

Did you know that two major browsers, Safari and Chromium, are based on KDE software? That’s right, KHTML was used by Apple as foundation when creating the WebKit Browser engine. During the development of Chrome, Google forked WebKit into Blink. (more…)

openSUSE Kubic Moves in a New Direction

August 9th, 2018 by

Dear Community,

It has been more than a year since the openSUSE community started the Kubic Project, and it’s worth looking back over the last months and evaluating where we’ve succeeded, where we haven’t, and share with you all our plans for the future.

A stable base for the future

Much of our success has been in the area generally referred to as **MicroOS**, the part of the Kubic stack that provides a stable operating system that is **atomicly updated** for running containers.

Not only is Kubic MicroOS now a fully integrated part of the openSUSE Tumbleweed release process, but our Transactional Update stack has also been ported to regular openSUSE Tumbleweed and Leap.

Based on the community’s feedback, the new System Role has been further refined and now includes fully automated updates out of the box.

This collaboration is continuing, with many minor changes to the regular openSUSE installation process coming soon based on lessons learned with tuning the installation process in Kubic.

Reviewing our initial premise

We haven’t just been busy on the basesystem. Our efforts with Rootless Containers continue, and you can now use the “Docker-alternative” Podman CRI-O in both Kubic and regular openSUSE. But when considering the Initial Premise of the Kubic project, it’s probably safe to say we’re not where we hoped to be by now.


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.


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)