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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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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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Official KDE Plasma 5.12 Release Now in Tumbleweed

February 8th, 2018 by

Mesa 18, cryptsetup 2 Also Arrive in Snapshots

KDE Plasma 5.12 transitioned from it beta version of 5.11.95 to the official release in an openSUSE Tumbleweed snapshot earlier this week.

On the same day of the upstream release, Tumbleweed snapshot 20180206 brought the new desktop software to its thousands of rolling release users. Improved performance and several new features are available in Plasma 5.12 like Wayland-only Night Color feature that allows adjustments to the screen color temperature to reduce eye strain and the System Activity and System Monitor display per-process graphs for the CPU usage. The new KDE Store offers a wide selection of addons that are ready to be installed. Plasma 5.12 is the second long-term support (LTS) release from the Plasma 5 team and will be the version used in openSUSE’s traditional distribution openSUSE Leap 15, which is expected to be released this spring.

Other notable packages updated in the 20180206 snapshot were compiler cache (ccache) 3.3.6, which improved instructions on how to get cache hits between different working directories. Translations were made for Indonesian, Danish and Catalan in updates of gfxboot from 4.5.26 to 4.5.29. Kernel module handling kmod 25 improved testsuite and allows mkosi to run testsuite in different Linux distributions. The Linux Kernel was updated to 4.15.1.

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Future Tumbleweed Snapshot to Bring YaST Changes

January 9th, 2018 by

What you need to know about the new storage stack (storage-ng)

Changes to YaST are coming and people using openSUSE Tumbleweed will be the first to experience these planned changes in a snapshot that is expected to be released soon.

Those following the YaST Team blog may have been read about the implementation changes expected for libstorage-ng, which have been discussed for nearly two years. Libstorage is the component used by YaST; specially used in the installer, the partitioner and AutoYaST to access disks, partitions, LVM volumes and more.

This relatively low-level component has been a constant source of headaches for YaST developers for years, but all that effort is about to bear fruit. The original design has fundamental flaws that limited YaST in many ways and the YaST Team have been working to write a replacement for it: the libstorage-ng era has begun.

This document offers an incomplete but very illustrative view of the new things that libstorage-ng will allow in the future and the libstorage limitations it will allow to leave behind. For example, it already makes possible to install a fully encrypted system with no LVM using the automatic proposal and to handle much better filesystems placed directly on a disk without any partitioning. In the short future, it will allow to fully manage Btrfs multi-device filesystems, bcache and many other technologies that were impossible to accommodate into the old system.

What’s new, right here right now

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GNU Compiler Collection 6 Removed from Tumbleweed

October 19th, 2017 by

Two openSUSE Tumbleweed snapshots were released this week and the Open Build Service is warming up after last weekend’s scheduled power outage.

Since the power interruption, OBS has been running a little slower, but that didn’t stop the developers from getting out snapshots of new software.

The latest snapshot, 20171017, made a significant change regarding the GNU Compiler Collection; GCC 6 is no longer available in Tumbleweed. A patch for the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures deemed KRACK or CVE-2017-15361 also made its way into Tumbleweed. The cross-platform library Simple DirectMedia Layer, which is designed to make it easy to write multimedia software, such as games and emulators, added support for many game controllers, including the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller with the update to SDL2 2.0.6. The update for gutenprint 5.2.13 added support for two Epson Inkjet printers and corrected a mis-defined paper type that collided with standard A4 paper. (more…)

Kernels Becoming Tumbleweed Norm, Grub 2 Gets Release Candidate

February 16th, 2017 by

Two Linux Kernels per week in openSUSE Tumbleweed is becoming the norm as the rolling release is providing daily snapshots of new software that are closely aligned with upstream development.

Kernel 4.9.8 and 4.9.9 were released in the 20170208 and 20170212 snapshots respectively and the later brought a fix for a Btrfs system call.

Beside the 4.9.8 Kernel in the first week’s snapshot, 20170208, Mesa users will be happy to see version 13.0.4 had a specfile fix for build configuration for ARM, Power PC and s390 architectures. Gimp 2.8.20 made the color selection of the paint tool more robust and updated translations for a number of European languages. Several other packages were updated in the repositories from this snapshot and python3-kiwi 9.0.2 and vim 8.0.311 provided the most fixes.

Snapshot 20170209 brought the first major release of libosinfo (Operating System information database) in Tumbleweed with version 1.0.0, which focuses on metadata about operating systems and provides a single place to manage it in a virtualized environment.  F Virtual Window Manager (FVWM) 2.6.7 added a handful of new features and removed several other features like  GTK 1.x support.

Plasma 5.9.1 came in the 20170211 snapshot and AppArmor 2.11.0 update provided multiple improvements and fixes, one of which fixed an issue that Kernel 4.8 and above affected Apparmor policy enforcement. Libssh hackers made use of their time at FOSDEM and squashed bugs, which came in the libssh 0.7.4. (more…)

Tumbleweed Snapshots Bring Users New Vulkan, 4.9.7 Kernel

February 9th, 2017 by

Six Tumbleweed snapshots this week brought users newer versions of GStreamer, Wine, Vulkan, and a new Linux Kernel.

The new 4.9.7 kernel arrived over the weekend with the 20170204 snapshot.

The new kernel sources updated config files and fixed a build failure specific to DWARF (Debugging with Attributed Records Format). The snapshot added support for the Perl client ddclient to version 3.8.3 and yast2-installation 3.2.20 added an all-in-one installation overview for SUSE’s new Container as a Service Platform product. More information about CaaSP and transactional updates can be found in a video presented by Thorsten Kukuk at FOSDEM.

GNU Compiler Collection 6.3.1 passed testing in openQA and made it into the 20170205 snapshot and so did python-cryptography 1.7.2 and getdata 0.10.0, which is a library that provides an Application Programming Interface (API) to interface with Dirfile databases.

The 20170206 snapshot gave users Wine 2.1, which provided fixes that were deferred during the code freeze and Direct2D rendering improvements. Mercurial 4.1 reduced server-side PCU usage with a new compression engine.

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Mesa, Kernel, Wireshark update in Tumbleweed Snapshots

January 11th, 2017 by

There were plenty of Tumbleweed snapshots leading up to the holiday season and openSUSE’s rolling release is gliding into 2017 with several new packages on the horizon.

The last snapshot of 2016, 20161226, updated the Linux Kernel to 4.9, which was a good way to end the year. Several packages were updated in the snapshot including Python3-setuptools to version 31.0.0, gnome-online-accounts 3.22.3, NetworkManager 1.4.4 and yast2-network 3.2.17.

NetworkManager changed the order in which IP addresses are configured is now preserved so that primary address is selected correctly.  Yast2-network enabled DHCP_HOSTNAME listbox only when wicked service is used.

The biggest update in the first 2017 snapshot, 20170104, was the several KDE Plasma 5.8.5 packages that were updated. Samba updated to version 4.5.3 and fixed CVE-2016-2123.

Mozilla Thunderbird’s update to version 45.6 fixed a couple security and memory bugs.

The library offering an Application Programming Interface to access secure communication protocols called GnuTLS updated to version 3.5.7, fixed several bugs and set limits on the maximum number of alerts handled.

Also in the snapshot, Wireshark fixed User Interface bugs with an update to version 2.2.3, newbie-friendly text-editor nano updated to 2.7.3 and libvirt-python added new APIs and constants with the update to 2.5.0.

The 20170109 snapshot provided a cleaned up configuration settings for Mesa, so it can be uniform across all architectures except for list of Direct Rendering Infrastructure and Gallium drivers. Btrfsprogs 4.9 clean up was well and offers better handling of file system snapshots. Python3-setuptools updated to 32.3.1, which is fixed regressions and compatibility  issues from previous versions.

Optimal Release for Linux Professionals Arrives with openSUSE Leap 42.2

November 16th, 2016 by

A Professional Distribution for Developers, System Administrators and Users

(Languages: CZ, DE, EN, ES, FR, IT, JA, LT, TW)

Members of the openSUSE Project are pleased to announce the release of the next minor version of Leap; openSUSE Leap 42.2! Leap is made to give stability-minded users and conservative technology adopters peace of mind. openSUSE Leap 42.2 is powered by the Linux 4.4 Long-Term-Support (LTS) kernel and is a secure, stable and reliable server operating system for deploying IT services in physical, virtual or cloud environments.

A selective process of including well-established packages in openSUSE Leap 42.2 gives new meaning to the term Linux Optimization; openSUSE Leap is simply the safe choice that offers Linux professionals a user-friendly desktop and a feature-rich server environment.

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Continuing the tradition of using source code from SUSE Linux Enterprise (SLE), openSUSE Leap 42.2 provides a level of stability unmatched by other Linux distributions. With community-built packages on top of Leap’s enterprise reliability, openSUSE Leap users benefit both from community and enterprise maintenance efforts.

Contributions to openSUSE Leap from SUSE include several new features like Network Functions Virtualization capabilities that combines Open vSwitch with the Data Plane Development Kit to process packets faster. YaST also has a significant amount of improvements and new features.

Community contributions were equally enormous as more than 1,400 new packages made it into this newest Leap version, with 42.2 providing 17% more packages than 42.1.

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