We are very pleased to announce that installing the lightweight and slim desktop environment Xfce in openSUSE Tumbleweed just got faster and hassle-free!
Along with GNOME and KDE Plasma, Xfce can now be conveniently selected from the installer’s main screen, as your desktop environment from both DVD installer and net installer. All this is combined with a carefully picked selection of packages that rounds off our offered system to get you started quickly and easily.
Our Xfce team has invested a lot of work in the past months to optimize the “cute mouse” by focusing on the desktop and the underlying rolling release of Tumbleweed. It features applications that better suit the desktop, as well as new modern themes that make the default experience refreshing and enjoyable.
Finally, there is a relatively new project in the Open Build Service (OBS), which builds automatically and daily development versions of Xfce software from Xfce Git Master branch. Through this repository, openSUSE Xfce packagers and contributors are able to test commits and can spot bugs before official releases.
Xfce users are welcome to test it and contribute to it at X11:xfce:rat. 
One more year, Google Summer of Code (GSoC), a mentoring program in which openSUSE helps university students contribute to open source project, has come to an end. So, before 2018 ends as well and we start preparing for the new edition of GSoC, it is time to speak about all the great things that happened this year.
Let’s start by the most important part, our students’ work. Our successful students, Ankush Malik and Liana Xu, have spent 3 months hacking on openSUSE projects, during which they have written a lot of impressive code. But GSoC is much more than code, it is about learning, having fun and becoming part of the openSUSE community. Both Ankush and Liana claim that it has been an inspiring experience and are really thankful for the support they received from their mentors.
It is also worthwhile mentioning the great collaboration which makes me particularly proud of the openSUSE community. Thanks to the help of contributors all around the world, the blog posts about GSoC were shared, republished and translated to languages like Japanese, Spanish and Indonesian. We also had the help of the openSUSE Indonesian community to design “Thank you” mugs to send to our mentors. Look how cute they are:
Last but not least, I would like to thank our passionate mentors and admins who took out time from their busy schedules to guide the students, our motivated students for their willingness to learn and good work, Douglas DeMaio who helped with shipping packages and organization, Google and specifically its open source team not only for the program itself but also for the well organized conference, SUSE for their support (especially economically), TSP which allows our students to attend the openSUSE conference every year, the blog post translators, Pramasta Ramadha and the rest of the designers who helped with the mugs design and everybody else who made this year GSoC amazing. Because of people like you, openSUSE is much more than just software.
Now let’s get ready for next year to keep helping new passionate students becoming part of openSUSE! Google has already announced Google Summer of Code 2019 and openSUSE is looking for mentors and organization admins who would like to help bringing new programmers to our community. We need at least one more organization admin and several openSUSE related projects to be able to participate. The application period for organizations is open from January 15 to February 6, so if you would like to participate as an organization admin please get in touch with Hernán, Christian or me by January 20. For mentors, the deadline to create an issue with your project(s) in the mentoring page is January 31. If you want more information about the program and what openSUSE has been doing, check out last blog posts, our mentoring page, Google’s Mentor Guide and the following video:
Yet another Setup Tool (YaST) had a fair amount of changes in the 20181118 snapshot and a recent YaST sprint blog post describes new features with configuring openSUSE Kubic, configuring SSH access during installation and how YaST has provided improved textmode support for Chinese, Japanese or Korean and other languages. The YaST changes will be worked into the future release of openSUSE Leap 15 Service Pack 1 (15.1), which is schedule to have its beta release in February. An update for flatpak 1.0.5 fixed a regression in flatpak run that caused problems running user-installed apps when the system installation was broken. The updated package of gnome-shell 3.30.2 fixed regression in the handling new input sources. The 4.19.2 Linux Kernel package allows the handling of undefined instructions from EL1, according to the changelog. OSTree, with its libostree 2018.9 package, is preparing for systemd related change in a future release that has a timeout effect. Apache Tomcat, which is an open source implementation of the Java Servlet, JavaServer Pages, Java Expression Language and Java WebSocket technologies, added the ability for a UserDatabase to monitor the backing XML file for changes and reload the source file if a change in the last modified time is detected in its 9.0.13 version.
Every OBS request for openSUSE Factory goes through a legal review process to ensure licenses are compatible. Cavil indexes these and creates a legal report for every single request. Bot comments in OBS are made through the legal-auto python script, but the entire project is much larger than the script and bots.
Sebastian Riedel and Stephan Kulow have been developing the project for two years and it has been used in production for more than a year and half. The Cavil legal review system replaces an older system and provides much more efficiency. Cavil can automatically accept more than 90 percent of all new requests based on data from previous reviews, so packages are much more streamlined into openSUSE Factory.
The project has been so efficient that two lawyers who do all the legal reviews with the system, which is also used by SUSE, had reviewed about 110,000 packages this past year. The same lawyers curated a library with 27.000 license patterns for 600 licenses and 20 license patterns for 100 of the most common licenses that are used to create legal reports. Riedel said there is a desire hope to expand that in the future with the hope of collecting new patterns with the open-source community.
The legal Data Base used by SUSE to generate reports with new license patterns is about 2TB and has about 68.433.436 pattern matches in 27.319.682 individual files.
Two companies were recently added to the openSUSE Sponsors page thanks to the companies generous donations to the openSUSE Project.
Both Marvell and TUXEDO Computers have provided tangible support through donations to openSUSE to promote the use and development of Linux.
“We are thoroughly pleased to have Marvell and TUXEDO Computers as sponsors of the openSUSE Project,” said Richard Brown, chairman of the openSUSE Board. “The sponsorships support and encourage open-software development. Multiple Linux distributions and the open-source community will benefit greatly from the equipment.”
Marvell, which recently completed the acquisition of Cavium, offers a broad portfolio of infrastructure solutions. Marvell donated a ThunderX2 system to the openSUSE Project. The Dual-System-on-Chip machine with 256GB RAM and 240GB SSD will extend the existing fleet of ARM build hardware. This 64-bit ThunderX2 system will bring an additional 40 ARMv8 (AArch64) concurrent build jobs to the openSUSE Open Build Service, which can now provide its users with faster AArch64 package and installation image builds.
TUXEDO Computers makes Linux hardware, notebooks and more. The company, which offers its TUXEDO InfinityBook Pro 13 with Leap 15 preinstalled, has offered to send volunteers running openSUSE booths at conferences a TUXEDO laptop for demo purposes, which will need to be returned to TUXEDO Computers after demoing it at a conference. Volunteers who wish to demo a TUXEDO laptop at a summit, conference or other open-source technology event can request a demo laptop through a trusted person in the openSUSE. The trusted person will decide on eligibility of the volunteer on behalf of TUXEDO Computers. Contact the openSUSE Board or an openSUSE member if you are interested. TUXEDO Computers will send out the laptop and handle return shipping.
It was an incredibly well organized event with a busy schedule. It was our first summit (we try that different openSUSE mentors/org admins go every year) and we enjoyed it a lot and found it really useful. Apart from attending many sessions about open source, mentoring and GSoC, we had the opportunity to meet and have interesting conversations with other org admins and mentors, as well as with the Google open source team and other Googlers. In total 314 mentors and org admins from 42 countries attended the events. This was a great chance to collect chocolate from all around the world for the chocolate bar table, which has already become a tradition at the summit.
The summit follows the unconference format, which means that the sessions are decided and organized by the attendees. Those are the most outstanding sessions from the ones David and I attended.
Last week brought newer versions of KDE’s Plasma 5.14 and Frameworks 5.50.0, and this week the arrival of Applications 18.08.2 came in snapshot 20181015. Applications 18.08.2 contained only bug fixes and translation updates. Among the key bug fixes was the dragging of a file in Dolphin that no longer accidentally triggers inline renaming; KCalc again allows both ‘dot’ and ‘comma’ keys when entering decimals and a visual glitch in the Paris card deck for KDE’s card games was fixed. Snapshot 20181015 had a few other updated packages like the open source painting program krita 4.1.5, which fixed a missing shortcut from the Fill Tool tooltip and a change of importing SVG files as vector layers instead of pixel layers. The ibus-table 1.9.21 update, which is an engine framework for table-based input methods, migrated IBusConfig to GSettings; non-gnome users have a Draw InputMode text instead of icon into panel. The 4.18.13 Linux Kernel was also included in the snapshot and fixed an unexpected failure of nocow buffered writes for Btrfs after snapshoting when a user is low on space; the newer kernel also added support for Apple Magic Keyboards. Python-jedi 0.13.1 removed Python 3.3 support. The Apache version-control package subversion 1.10.3 fixed conflict resolver crashes and endless scan in some cases.
Snapshot 20181012 brought several new packages including an update of Mozilla Thunderbird 60.2.1. The email client has some calendar changes and security fixes including a fix of CVE-2018-12383 that is related to stored passwords. The open-source audio platform audacity 2.3.0 was updated in the snapshot and it now has the ability to resize the toolbars controlling volume and speed for greater precision. Gstreamer and several of its plugins were updated to version 1.14.4, which added functionality needed for Mean Squared Error (MSE) use case fixing YouTube playback in epiphany/webkit-gtk. There were many incremental improvements and bug fixes with libvirt 4.8.0 that was released earlier this month including the libxl driver now supports virDomainPMSuspendForDuration and virDomainPMWakeup Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). Compiling parser generator Bison now requires a C99 compiler with the update of the bison 3.1 package. Other packages updated in the 20181012 snapshot were gpgme 1.12.0, which provided a major overhaul of the Python language bindings documentation, gthumb 3.6.2, libzypp 17.7.2, python-Pillow 5.3.0, snapper 0.6.1, and sqlite3 3.25.2.
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.
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.
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…)
The latest snapshot, 20180925, updated three packages. All the packages updated in this snapshot were zero dot packages. The updated packages were obs-service-set_version 0.5.10, purple-carbons 0.1.6 and shotwell 0.30.0. The obs-service-set_version 0.5.10 version fixed a zip file crash associated with python. The version change regarding purple-carbons 0.1.6 was basically cleaning up the code. The shotwell 0.30.0 package updated translations and fixed random segfaults in GNOME settings.
The 20180924 snapshot updated a little more than a handful of packages. Among the package updates were hdf5’s jump from version 1.10.1 to 1.10.3. The HDF5 package is a high performance data software library and file format to manage, process, and store heterogeneous data. The version added a few patches and had an upstream fix that dropped a warning patch. The text-mode web browser links 2.17 package had multiple changes. Among some of the most important fixes for the package was verifying SSL certificates for numeric IPv6 addresses and fixing an infinite loop that happened in graphics mode if the user clicked on OK in the “Miscellaneous options” dialog when more than one window was open. The nano 3.1 version fixed a fix a misbinding of ^H that had an effect with some terminals on certain systems. Three rubygem packages were also updated in the snapshot. The packages were rubygem-marcel 0.3.3, rubygem-sass 3.6.0 and rubygem-uglifier 4.1.19.
The Tumbleweed snapshot that had the most packages updated in the week was snapshot 20180920. Roughly 17 packages were updated in this snapshot. ImageMagick 126.96.36.199 added support for a “module” security policy and disabled PDF coders in default policy.xml. The GNOME library gtksourceview 3.24.9 improved the syntax highlighting of Haskell, C++, GLSL, and Markdown. Text editor vim 8.1.0401 refreshed a patch that is still working through some various issues. The newer version update of pciutils 3.6.2 fixed a couple of bugs in computation of bus topology.