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openSUSE Donates 10 More Raspberry Pis to GNU Health

May 26th, 2018 by

The openSUSE Project once again donated 10 Raspberry Pis to GNU Health Project, which were handed over to the project’s founder Luis Falcon at the openSUSE Conference today.

Last year, the openSUSE Project donated 10 Raspberry Pis to the non-profit, non-government organizations (NGO) that delivers free open-source software for health practitioners, health institutions and governments worldwide.

The affordable ARM hardware that was donated last year were distributed to Italy, India, Cameroon, Germany, Spain and Argentina to improve healthcare management and patient care. Some were also used to improve development on the platform.

GNU Health’s free software provides functionality to facilitate a Hospital Information System (HIS),  Health Information System and Electronic Medical Record (EMR) management.

Both Falcon and Axel Braun gave talks at the openSUSE Conference about GNU Health and how it is changing digital ecosystem and benefiting communities on a global scale.

More talks about GNU Health and its Raspberry Pis are expected to be discussed at the GNU Health Conference in November, which openSUSE is sponsoring this year.

Users of openSUSE can install GNU Health as part of the official release of openSUSE Leap 15 at software.opensuse.org.

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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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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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.

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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Website About People of openSUSE Ends Hiatus

June 19th, 2017 by

Interviews with people involved in the openSUSE Project have returned and new pages will be added in the future highlighting individuals involved in the community project.

The first interview to be posted after a five-year hiatus was posted in November of 2016 and highlights Dominique Leuenberger, who is at VLC contributor and release manager for openSUSE Tumbleweed.

Sarah Julia Kriesch, who is a Working Student at ownCloud and member of the Heroes team at openSUSE, discusses in an interview in published in March how she got started with Linux and openSUSE.

The most recent interview published is from Leap release manager Ludwig Nussel, who is a volunteer for a fire brigade in Germany.

The website has interviews dating back at 2007; when many people involved in the project had less grey hair;-). Current interviews focus on newer project members. Interviews include many people involved in the project who participate and contribute to many other open-source projects like Linux kernel developer and Tumbleweed originator Greg Kroah-Hartman, former openSUSE Release Manager and KDE Release Coordinator Stephan Kulow and more.

Enterprise Beta Sources Added to openSUSE Leap 42.3 Build

May 19th, 2017 by

Sources from the beta version of SUSE Linux Enterprise (SLE) Service Pack 3 (SP3) arrived today in the latest build for openSUSE’s next minor release of the 42 series.

The transition to a rolling development process for openSUSE Leap 42.3 has changed the traditional milestone process, but fixed milestones are alive and well with SLE development and Leap is benefiting from that hardened, enterprise core.

The latest sources from SLE SP3 Beta included in Leap builds are security and bug fixes n SUSEConnect version 0.3.0. Additionally, cpupower updated to a turbostat version with 17.04.12. The shared zypper 1.13.27 version helps to tag packages installed by user request as ‘i+’. The beta and Leap build also cleanup an algorithm for rollback snapshots with Snapper 0.5.0. Ceph’s  12.0.2 sets higher disk and memory constraints so s390x builds don’t fail. SLE SP3 and Leap also share the same 4.4.68 Linux Kernel, which provides plenty of improvements for architectures and wireless drivers.

Yast2-installation moved Container as a Service Platform to yast2-caasp package and added a features request, which added Network Time Protocol Servers settings to the overview dialog.

Community packages differing from SLE SP 3 Beta that testers can find in Leap are new features from Mozilla Thunderbird 52.1.0 and security fix from Mozilla Firefox 52.1.1. This past week KDE Applications was updated in the Leap builds to version 17.04.0. Two weeks ago, a Leap build for 42.3 updated Mesa from version 11.2.2 to version 17.0.4 (now Mesa 17.0.5), so more Graphics Processing Units are supported.

“I’d like to ask package maintainers and users alike to check whether there are any bigger changes left to be done in 42.3,” release manager Ludwig Nussel wrote to the openSUSE Factory Mailing List. “If so, please submit affected packages ASAP.”

There are only a few more days left to get any major version updates in the next minor Leap 42 version. All major version updates have a submission deadline of May 21.

Leap 42.3 builds have been coming out on a regular basis with new community packages being updated in the newest builds. Testers are encouraged to test the rolling development and can download the iso image from the development button on software.opensuse.org. After installing Leap, testers can enter the terminal and enter zypper update for the newest Leap 42.3 packages.

Don’t forget to report bugs if you find one.

Bird Watching: An openSUSE Maker Project

April 18th, 2017 by

Creating cool projects is what makes openSUSE so much fun and a recent project by an openSUSE member highlights just how creative and fun one can be using openSUSE.

Adrian Schröter took a Raspberry Pi 3 using openSUSE to create a 3D-printed foldable tripod and took the idea even further by using the Raspberry Pi 3 used to build the tripod to take interval photographs of a Storch and it’s nest with a Sony A5100 camera.

The nest appeared in 2016 and Schröter has been taking pictures of the Storch and it’s nest for a few months.

To print the foldable tripod, Schröter made the design using FreeCAD, which is a general purpose 3D Computer-Aided Design program that he packages for openSUSE’s distributions. Sony A5100 support for Gphoto from another community member, Marcus Meissner, helped to get the camera functioning to take photos roughly every 30 seconds.

Schröter has a blog about that updates pictures about the Storch and it’s nest at http://www.storch-bleckmar.de. The blog is in German, so brush up on your Deutsch or just enjoy the photos.

New Leap Beta Adds Plasma 5.8 Beta

September 22nd, 2016 by

iconThe release of openSUSE Leap 42.2 Beta 2 today added several new minor versions including KDE’s first Long Term Support version for Plasma.

The highly anticipated release of Plasma 5.8 LTS will be the default desktop for openSUSE Leap 42.2 and its beta (5.7.95), which was just released last week, is in openSUSE’s newest beta release.

“The quality of the distribution at this point looks quite good,” said Ludwig Nussel, Leap’s release manager. “Since Plasma 5.8 is still a beta version, it deserves more attention and thorough testing. We can help upstream to release a good 5.8.0 and get a decent quality default desktop in return.”

KDE and openSUSE slightly adjusted release schedules to be able to include Plasma 5.8 in the release of openSUSE Leap 42.2 because Plasma 5.8 is an LTS and complement one another as well as appeal to conservative adapters. (more…)

openSUSE Releases Leap Beta, Modifies Road Map

August 31st, 2016 by

Official Release Scheduled for Nov. 1642 copy

Software testers and Linux enthusiasts can now get the Beta release of openSUSE Leap 42.2, which was released today.

Leap is for pragmatic and conservative technology adopters,” said Ludwig Nussel, the release manager for openSUSE Leap. “Testing the beta helps make Leap even more mature, so we encourage as many people as possible to test it.”

openSUSE Leap focuses on well-established packages, like systemd 228 and Qt 5.6. The release day for the official version is scheduled for Nov. 16, which is one week after SUSECon.

The road map was slightly modified to provide a more accurate release time line.

The Package Freeze date was shifted from the Beta 2 release on Sept. 21 to the Beta 3 release on Oct. 6. Once the Release Candidate comes out on Oct. 18, Linux users, system administrators and developers will gain a better knowledge for why openSUSE Leap is a remarkably professional distribution.

This hybrid community-enterprise distribution is the safe choice because it has the stability of an enterprise distribution with community-built packages; the hundreds of SUSE Linux Enterprise (SLE) Service Pack (SP) 2 packages and the thousands of community-built packages allow for an effective development-to-production protocol. While most will be utterly content with the life-cycle and versions of packages in openSUSE Leap, the professional distribution gives developers and organizations an ability to bridge to a faster release cycle with openSUSE Tumbleweed or to a more Long Term Support enterprise solution with SLE.

Testers are encouraged to report any bug found in the beta to https://bugzilla.opensuse.org.

Media who are interested in more information should contact Douglas DeMaio at ddemaio(at)suse.de.