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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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Status update for openSUSE Conference

May 14th, 2018 by

The openSUSE Conference is right around the corner and attendees list keeps growing for oSC18, which will take place May 25 – 27 at the Faculty of Information Technologies of Czech Technical University in Prague.

There are about 250 people signed up to attend the conference and most of the talks have been scheduled for this year’s conference. In addition to the conference, there will be a cryptofest on May 26, which will incorporate comes oSC18. The schedule for the cryptofest list three oSC18 security-focused talks and will be room 107.

There are several track that will be taking place at the conference like an openSUSE track, a cloud and  containers track, an open source track, a desktop and application track and an embedded track. On Saturday, May 26, will be a lightingbeers talk where people will get a free beer and give a short 5 minutes talks; people can sign up for this at http://bit.ly/2wtjczw.

There will be a wide range of speakers from many different open-source projects, and on Sunday, May 27, there will be an unconference in room 107; people can submitted their ideas for talks at the unconference on the Friday and Saturday. A schedule for the unconference will be made available for the last day.

On the first day of the conference, there will be the release of openSUSE Leap 15 at 14:00 local time or 12:00 UTC. Later that evening, there will be the conference after party, release party at the venue.

Attendees can subscribe to the Telegram channel for the conference at https://t.me/oSC18 to stay in touch with attendees at the conference and to receive updates.

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Hands on with Docker, openSUSE Leap 15

May 4th, 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.

Authored by Max Huang

Docker is a software technology providing containers, promoted by the company Docker, Inc. Docker provides an additional layer of abstraction and automation of operating-system-level virtualization on Windows and Linux.

Docker implements a high-level Application Programming Interface to provide lightweight containers that run processes in isolation.

Because Docker containers are so lightweight, a single server or virtual machine can run several containers simultaneously.

Let’s do some hands on with Docker and openSUSE Leap 15.

== Install Docker  ==

Use GUI method

use yast2  sw_single install docker

# yast2  sw_single

Search  docker

Select docker to install

 

Use command line to install docker

use zypper to install, if you don’t want interactive use #zypper  -n install docker

# zypper  install  docker

Loading repository data…

Reading installed packages…

Resolving package dependencies…

The following 13 NEW packages are going to be installed:

 containerd criu docker docker-bash-completion docker-libnetwork docker-runc git-core git-gui gitk libnet9

 libsha1detectcoll1 python2-ipaddr python2-protobuf

The following recommended package was automatically selected:

 criu

13 new packages to install.

Overall download size: 23.2 MiB. Already cached: 0 B. After the operation, additional 117.1 MiB will be used.

Continue? [y/n/…? shows all options] (y):  Y

Check docker version when you install it

# docker  –version

Docker version 17.09.1-ce, build f4ffd2511ce9

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syslog-ng vs. systemd’s journald

April 30th, 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.

 

Authored by Peter Czanik

People often ask me what to use: systemd’s journald or syslog-ng? The quick answer is that most likely both, but it depends on how you use your computer(s). If you have a single standalone machine, journald is probably enough. There is even a nice desktop application to view the logs in the journal. But once you have multiple machines to manage, using syslog-ng has many advantages.

Even if you use syslog-ng, local system logs are collected by journald. It is an integral part of systemd and cannot be uninstalled. Luckily, syslog-ng can read log messages from the journal. If journald stores additional name-value pairs about an event, syslog-ng can read those as well.

So, why install syslog-ng? The short answer is: central logging.

Why is the central collection of logs such a big deal? One reason is ease of use, as central logging creates a single place to check logs instead of tens or thousands of devices. Another reason is availability – you can check a device’s log messages even if the device itself is unavailable for any reason. A third reason is security; when your device is hacked, checking the logs can uncover traces of the hack.

journald also has some central logging capabilities, but syslog-ng provides a lot more features and better performance:

  • journald was originally designed for local logs on desktops – where there are not that many logs. On the other hand, syslog-ng was designed for high-performance central log collection from the ground up.
  • syslog-ng can collect logs from many more sources, including pipes, sockets, and files. File sources are especially important, as many applications – like web servers – log to files and do that at a rate that journald cannot handle.
  • syslog-ng does more than simple log storage. It can process log messages in many ways: parse them to create name-value pairs for easier alerting and reporting, enrich them with geographical information (GeoIP), rewrite them for anonymization (see PCI-DSS or GDPR), or reformat them according to the requirements of the destination.
  • Filtering in syslog-ng makes very precise log routing possible, ensuring that all logs reach the right destination.
  • Speaking of destinations: there are many possibilities for storing log messages, not just flat files or other syslog servers as it was the case many years ago. For example, you can store logs in SQL databases, send logs to Splunk for further analysis using HTTP, store name-value pairs parsed from logs in MongoDB, or send an email alert using the SMTP destination.

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Tumbleweed Gets New Mesa, KDE Frameworks, GNOME Packages

April 26th, 2018 by

A total of four openSUSE Tumbleweed snapshots were released this week that brought new updates for the Linux Kernel, Mesa and a major version update of libglvnd.

RADV received several fixes in snapshot 20180424 with the update to Mesa 18.0.1. Mesa core also had some patches to fix issues around overriding the OpenGL/ES supported version through environment variables, and a patch to fix an issue with texture samples found in “The Witness” through Wine. An updated description for the SSLProtocol option was made available with the apache2 2.4.33 package and apparmor 2.13 delivered a change of the (writeable) cache directory to /var/cache/apparmor/ with the new btrfs layout. The reason for using /var/lib/apparmor/cache/, which was “it’s part of the / subvolume”, is gone, and /var/cache makes more sense for the cache, according to the changelog. The cleanup process and behavior are a lot better with the update of ccache 3.4.2. Backup tool deja-dup 38.0 was a major update and exclude snap cache directories by default. GTK has a new ‘Widgetbowl‘ demo and the wayland backend now supports the stable xdg-shell protocol in gtk3 3.22.30. Linux Kernel 4.16.3 arrived in the snapshot and the GL Vendor-Neutral Dispatch library, libglvnd, was bumped to major version 1.0.0 thanks to EGL and GLX interfaces being defined and stable. The Tumbleweed rating tool is currently treading the snapshot as stable with an 88 rating.

Snapshot 20180420 is also treading at an 88 rating. The snapshot added btrfsprogs 4.16, which added the new LGPL library libbtrfsutil packages to wrap userspace functionality. KDE users will notice new features for the kmediaplayer package with Frameworks 5.45.0. Poppler 0.63.0, which is the utility library for rendering PDFs, had multiple fixes to include a fix for a new Object Application Programming Interface porting bug. The autocompletion and static analysis library for python, python-jedi 0.12.0, removes Python 2.6 support and provides better namespace completion.

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Krita, Linux Kernel, KDEConnect Get Updated in Tumbleweed

April 20th, 2018 by

There have been a few openSUSE Tumbleweed snapshots released in the past two weeks that brought some new features and fixes to users.

This blog will go over the past two snapshots.

The last snapshot, 20180416, had several packages updated. The adobe-sourceserifpro-fonts package updated to version 2.000; with the change, the fonts were refined to make the Semibold and Bold heavier. Both dbus-1 and dbus-1-x11 were updated to 1.12.6, which fixed some regreations introduced in version 1.10.18 and 1.11.0. The gtk-vnc 0.7.2 package deprecated the manual python2 binding, which will be deleted in the next release, in favor of GObject introspection. Notifications that caused a crash were fixed in kdeconnect-kde 1.3.0. The 4.16.2 Linux Kernel made ip_tunnel, ipv6, ip6_gre, ip6_tunnel and vti6 better to validate user provided tunnel names. Due to a build system failure, not all 4.16.2 binaries were built correctly; this will be resolved in the 20180417 snapshot, which will be released shortly. Krita 4.0.1 had multiple fixes from its major version upgrade. The visual diff and merge tool meld 3.19.0 added new features like a new per-pane status bar with selectors for syntax highlighting and text encoding. Python Imaging Library python-Pillow 5.1.0 removed the freetype-2.9.patch and YaST had several packages with a version bump.

Snapshot 20180410 had less than a handful of packages updated. The Advanced Linux Sound Architecture package, alsa ,1.1.6 removed unused macros and added support for python3 and alsa-utils 1.1.6 removed some obsolete patches. GNU Compiler Collection 7 enabled a fix for aarch64 and the communication package rzsz had rebase patches with its release candidate in the 0.12.21 version.

The Tumbleweed rating tool is currently trending the past few snapshots as unstable, but the last snapshots rating is posting a false negative due to comments made on the openSUSE Factory Mailing thread about the 4.16.2 Linux Kernel.

openSUSE Leap 15 Release Scheduled for May 25

April 18th, 2018 by

The release of openSUSE Leap 15 is scheduled to be release during the first day of this year’s openSUSE Conference in Prague, Czech Republic on May 25.

The package submission deadline for non-bug fix package updates is April 24 as Leap enters the release candidate phase. The scheduled release for Leap 15 is May 25 at 12:00 UTC.

Leap has been using a rolling development model for building Leap 15 beta versions. Bug fixes and new packages have been released via snapshots to users testing the beta versions. The snapshots for the test version will stop and maintenance and security updates for Leap 15’s release will begin next month. Linux professionals and anyone looking to use Leap 15 are encouraged to test the beta versions as there is still snapshots being released and announced on the openSUSE Factory Mailing List. A list of items to test is available here.

The openSUSE project is pleased to announce that with Leap 15 Live images will again be available. Both KDE and GNOME can be tested without having to change your current system.

openSUSE Leap 15 shares a common core with SUSE Linux Enterprise (SLE) 15 sources and has thousands of community packages on top to meet the needs of professional and semi-professional users and their workloads.

The Kubic Project contributed a system role selection available with the release that offers two types of server roles; the classic server role and a Transactional Server role, which uses transactional updates and a Read-Only Root Filesystem. The release at the openSUSE Conference will give the openSUSE community and Free Open Source Software projects an opportunity to discuss plans for the openSUSE Leap 15 release, which will receive maintenance updates for at least three years.

Tumbleweed Starts Week with Plasma, DigiKam Updates

April 6th, 2018 by

KDE‘s newest point version of Plasma 5.12.4 was released in the first of five openSUSE Tumbleweed snapshots that were released this week.

The  most recent snapshot was 20180403 and it included several updates for gstreamer 1.12.5 packages. Multiple bugs were fixed for gstreamer-editing-services, gstreamer-plugins-libav and gstreamer-validate. The gstreamer-rtsp-server package update to 1.12.5 had to drop the pkgconfig(libcgroup) because of a clash with systemd that causes bug reports. The Lightweight Directory Access Protocol, openldap2 version 2.4.46, fixed a Transport Layer Security connection timeout and removed obsolete back-port patches. The python-cryptography package update from version 2.1.4 to 2.2.1 and allows for the loading of Digital Signature Algorithm Keys with 224 bit q size. The snapshot is currently trending at 91 rating on the rating tool.

The 1.12.5 gstreamer package arrived in snapshot 20180402. The new gstreamer package, which constructs the graphs of media-handling components, fixes the handling of encoded silence, the tagging of keyframes on output buffers and updates the internal copy to ffmpeg 3.3.6. The Generic Graphics Library gegl 0.3.30 now has a build requirement of GIMP 2.10.0 and had some complex changes in the NEWS file.

Snapshot 20180401 added Application Programming Interface support for Microsoft’s .NET 4.7.1 with the update of the mono-core package to version 5.8.1, and snapshot 20180331 update Mozilla Firefox to version 59.0.2. The new version of Firefox fixed more than a handful of bugs, added a couple patches and Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures CVE-2018-5148.

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Tumbleweed Now Has Ratings for Snapshots

March 29th, 2018 by

Major Krita Release Arrives in Tumbleweed


openSUSE’s rolling distribution Tumbleweed produces high-quality snapshots and a new rating tool for the snapshots has labeled two out of the last four snapshots as stable.

The past two snapshots are still pending a rating as it takes about a week after the snapshot release to develop a rating. This blog will cover the last two snapshots that are pending and list some of the new software that arrived in the snapshots.

The most recent snapshot, 20180326, had several new packages including python-packaging 17.1 and python-setuptools 39.0.1. The  python-packaging 17.1 dropped support for python 2.6, 3.2, and 3.3. The update version python-setuptools from 38.5.2 to 39.0.1 now vendors its own direct dependencies and no longer relies on the dependencies as vendored by pkg_resources. The C library for reading, creating, and modifying zip archive, libzip 1.5.0, enabled more functionality by updating dependencies and simplified the licence by the use of a standard cryptographic library instead of custom Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) implementation. IRC client hexchat 2.14.1 made some changes to the preferences so the window can be scroll-able. GNOME’s messaging program empathy reverted back to version 3.12.14 and gnome-documents 3.28.0 updated translations and replaced pkgconfig(libgepub) with pkgconfig(libgepub-0.6). The Linux Kernel 4.15.13 became available in the snapshot, which added the Intel Total Memory Encryption feature, and YaST had several packages updated including autoyast2 4.0.44, which can properly abort when probing devices fails during installation.

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Tumbleweed Updates Several GNU Packages

March 8th, 2018 by

openSUSE’s rolling distribution Tumbleweed has had five snapshots so far this month and a lot of those snapshots have includes several GNU packages.

There were many other packages and the first snapshot of the month included an update for KDE Plasma. Here are just a few of those packages that have been updated so far this month.

The Japanese-English Dictionary package edict was updated in snapshot 20180306 and  about 6,000 new dictionary entries were added. Application developers will be happy to see flatpak-builder 0.10.9 fixed the build issues with glibc 2.27. The Windows registry hive extraction library hivex 1.3.15 improved performance by using a cache of iconv handles, especially when dumping out large hives and rubygem-unf_ext 0.0.7.5 was bumped up a version number to add Windows binaries for Ruby 2.5.

The 20180305 snapshot had a little more than a handful of upgraded packages with two related to the chinese language. GNOME desktop developers received the Rapid Application Development (RAD) tool glade 3.20.3, which added the GtkStackSidebar to the toolbox. The ibus-libpinyin package for pinyin and bopomofo input methods based on libpinyin for IBus fixed the config and translate input method name with the updated for 1.9.1 to 1.9.3. The libpinyin package moved to 2.1.91 and fixed zhuyin parsers. The 0.3.5 version of the xfce4-panel-plugin-pulseaudio package fixed a volume sink delay and added new management features for media players.

ImageMagick 7.0.7.24 removed some patches and fixed some timeout and exceeded memory issues in snapshot 20180304. Autoyast2 add missing textdomains to create proper pot files in version 4.0.36. The set of libraries and drivers for fast packet processing through the Data Plane Development Kit package dpdk 17.11.1 made numerous fixes and changed the locations of the GPL and LGPL licenses. The snapshot also updated the GNU Compiler Collection from 7.3.0 to 7.3.1 and add conflicts to non-bootstrap variant for cross packages to silence the repo-checker. The text editor for the GTK toolkit geany 1.33 improved GTK3 theming and documentation and added a tool tip showing the full path on menu items representing documents. The libepoxy 1.5.0 update added new Application Programming Interface and updated the Graphic Library registry to OpenGL 4.6. The libstorage-ng 3.3.182 version updated translations and added unit tests documentation. More than 10 YaST packages were updated in the snapshot; the yast2-samba-server and yast2-samba-client packages replaced SuSEFirewall2 with firewalld. (more…)