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Uyuni: Forking Spacewalk with Salt and Containers

May 26th, 2018 by

PRAGUE, Czech Republic – Members of a new open source community project called Uyuni announced today at openSUSE Conference that a fork of the open-source systems management solution Spacewalk is on its way.

The intention of the fork is to give new inspiration to a project that has been perceived as idling in recent years. Uyuni, however is already looking at increasing the implementation of a React web User Interface, translations, clients, container and Kubernetes integration. 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.

Compatible and Innovative

“Uyuni has a vision for this open-source code and plans on growing its community and innovating the code beyond its current state in Spacewalk,” said Klaus Kämpf, SUSE’s Project Owner of SUSE Manager, who announced the fork. “Contributions for Spacewalk have decreased and focused more on maintenance and stabilization than on innovation.”

Uyuni will stay compatible, Kämpf adds as much as possible: “The Uyuni project will not break up compatibility on purpose, but that shall not prevent improvements for that reason.”

The current development plans are releasing a first version this summer, and then deciding on a release model together with the community.

Development will have automated testing using both the Open Build Service and Cluster Infrastructure.

A New Vision Sparking Contributions

Results from GitHub show the frequency of contributions have dwindled since 2014 and the current Spacewalk faq website states “Red Hat’s code contributions will decrease over time, as the focus shifts to maintenance and stabilization of the current set of features.”

A fact listed from the previous Spacewalk FAQ website, which has since been removed, stated, “As Red Hat’s participation ramps down, there will be an opportunity for the participation from other community members to ramp up. Someone (or several someones!) will need to take over some of the management role that currently rests on Red Hat.”

Uyuni community members decided to fork the project after extensive discussions with Red Hat about taking over the management role as stated above.

Spacewalk is an open source Linux systems management solution, currently available in version 2.8 as upstream community project for Red Hat Satellite 5. SUSE Manager is also based on Spacewalk and now plans on shifting to Uyuni as an upstream community.

“SUSE Manager’s development will be openly available to open-source community members for whatever contributions they would like to make to the Uyuni project,” Kämpf said.

Interested members can follow the project on https://github.com/uyuni-project, www.uyuni-project.org, or via Twitter at @UyuniProject. A presentation about Uyuni can be viewed on the openSUSETV YouTube channel or via the live stream for the conference at 9:30 a.m. UTC on https://streaming.media.ccc.de/osc18/.

GSoC students are already hacking!

May 23rd, 2018 by

We always enjoy that new people join openSUSE community and help them in their first steps. Because of that, openSUSE participates again in GSoC, an international program in which stipends are awarded to students who hack on open source projects during the summer. We are really excited to announce that this year four students will learn about open source development while hacking on openSUSE projects. The coding period started last week, so our students are already busy hacking and they have written some nice articles about their projects. ;)



openSUSE.Asia Summit 2018 Taiwan: Call for proposals is open

May 17th, 2018 by

openSUSE.Asia Committee calls for proposals of talks for openSUSE.Asia Summit 2018 held at National Taiwan University of Science and Technology on August 11 and 12.  We might have community day on 10th August before the summit.

openSUSE.Asia Summit is one of the great events for openSUSE community (i.e., both contributors, and users)  in Asia. Those who usually communicate online can get together from all over the world, talk face to face, and have fun.  Members of the community will share their most recent knowledge, experiences, and learn FLOSS technologies surrounding openSUSE.

This event at Taipei is the fifth in openSUSE.Asia Summit. Following the first Asia Summit in Beijing 2014. The past Asia Summits have had participants from China, Taiwan, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, and etc.

This time we co-host with COSCUP and GNOME.Asia, COSCUP is an annual conference held by Taiwanese open source community since 2006. It is a major force of free software movement advocacy in Taiwan. The event is often held with talks, sponsor and communities booths, and Birds of a feather. In addition to international speakers, many Taiwanese local open source contributors often give their talks here. The chief organizer, staffs, and speakers are all volunteers.

COSCUP’s aim is providing a platform to connect open source coders, users, and promoters, and promote FLOSS with the annual conference. The conference is free to attend because of the enthusiastic sponsors and donator. In 2017, there are around 1,800 attendees, and we plan to invite more than 2,000 people join COSCUP × openSUSE.Asia Summit × GNOME.Asia Summit this year.

Call for proposals

The speakers are eligible to receive sponsorship from openSUSE Travel Support Program (TSP). Even if you live away from Taipei. please consider applying for the event.



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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

Elections for openSUSE Board Run Until April 27

April 19th, 2018 by

The ballots for Elections to fill the three seats on the openSUSE Board are open until April 27.

The voting began April 15 and openSUSE Members are able to vote for the following candidates:

Gertjan Lettink ( Knurpht )

Simon Lees

Ana Martinez

Gerry Makaro ( Fraser_Bell )

Aaron Luna

openSUSE Members should have received an email from the openSUSE Election Officials with a link and Election Fingerprint to cast their ballot on April 15.

The platform gives three steps for voting like selecting the candidates, reviewing and confirming the voter’s choices for the board and the final step of submitting the encrypted ballot.

Those three candidates that are elected to the position will serve a 24-month term.

Visit the openSUSE wiki to understand more about the voting process.

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.