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People of openSUSE: An Interview with Ish Sookun

February 13th, 2020 by

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I live on an island in the middle of the Indian Ocean (20°2′ S, 57°6′ E), called Mauritius. I work for a company that supports me in contributing to the openSUSE Project. That being said, we also heavily use openSUSE at the workplace.

Tell us about your early interaction with computers ? How your journey with Linux got started?

My early interaction with computers only started in the late years of college and I picked up Linux after a few students who were attending the computer classes back then whispered the term “Linux” as a super complicated thing. It caught my attention and I got hooked ever since. I had a few years of distro hopping until in 2009 I settled down with openSUSE.

Can you tell us more about your participation in openSUSE and why it started?

I joined the “Ambassador” program in 2009, which later was renamed to openSUSE Advocate, and finally the program was dropped. In 2013, I joined the openSUSE Local Coordinators to help coordinating activities in the region. It was my way of contributing back. During those years, I would also test openSUSE RCs and report bugs, organize local meetups about Linux in general (some times openSUSE in particular) and blog about those activities. Then, in 2018 after an inspiring conversation with Richard Brown, while he was the openSUSE Chairman, I stepped up and joined the openSUSE Elections Committee, to volunteer in election tasks. It was a nice and enriching learning experience along with my fellow election officials back then, Gerry Makaro and Edwin Zakaria. I attended my first openSUSE Conference in May 2019 in Nuremberg. I did a presentation on how we’re using Podman in production in my workplace. I was extremely nervous to give this first talk in front of the openSUSE community but I met folks who cheered me up. I can’t forget the encouragement from Richard, Gertjan, Harris, Doug, Marina and the countless friends I made at the conference. Later during the conference, I was back on the stage, during the Lightning Talks, and I spoke while holding the openSUSE beer in one hand and the microphone in the other. Nervousness was all gone thanks to the magic of the community.

Edwin and Ary told me about their activities in Indonesia, particularly about the openSUSE Asia Summit. When the CfP for oSAS 2019 was opened, I did not hesitate to submit a talk, which was accepted, and months later I stood among some awesome openSUSE contributors in Bali, Indonesia. It was a great Summit where I discovered more of the openSUSE community. I met Gerald Pfeifer, the new chairman of openSUSE, and we talked about yoga, surrounded by all of the geeko fun, talks and workshops happening.

Back to your question, to answer the second part about “why openSUSE”, I can safely, gladly and proudly say that openSUSE was (and still is) the most welcoming community and easiest project to start contributing to.

Tea or coffee?

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Kata Containers Packages are Available officially in openSUSE Tumbleweed

August 17th, 2019 by

Kata Containers is an open source container runtime that is crafted to seamlessly plug into the containers ecosystem.

We are now excited to announce that the Kata Containers packages are finally available in the official openSUSE Tumbleweed repository.

It is worthwhile to spend few words explaining why this is a great news, considering the role of Kata Containers (a.k.a. Kata) in fulfilling the need for security in the containers ecosystem, and given its importance for openSUSE and Kubic.

What is Kata

As already mentioned, Kata is a container runtime focusing on security and on ease of integration with the existing containers ecosystem. If you are wondering what’s a container runtime, this blog post by Sascha will give you a clear introduction about the topic.

Kata should be used when running container images whose source is not fully trusted, or when allowing other users to run their own containers on your platform.

Traditionally, containers share the same physical and operating system (OS) resources with host processes, and specific kernel features such as namespaces are used to provide an isolation layer between host and container processes. By contrast, Kata containers run inside lightweight virtual machines, adding an extra isolation and security layer, that minimizes the host attack surface and mitigates the consequences of containers breakout. Despite this extra layer, Kata achieves impressive runtime performances thanks to KVM hardware virtualization, and when configured to use a minimalist virtual machine manager (VMM) like Firecracker, a high density of microVM can be packed on a single host.

If you want to know more about Kata features and performances:

  • katacontainers.io is a great starting point.
  • For something more SUSE oriented, Flavio gave a interesting talk about Kata at SUSECON 2019,
  • Kata folks hang out on katacontainers.slack.com, and will be happy to answer any quesitons.

Why is it important for Kubic and openSUSE

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openSUSE Kubic Moves in a New Direction

August 9th, 2018 by

Dear Community,

It has been more than a year since the openSUSE community started the Kubic Project, and it’s worth looking back over the last months and evaluating where we’ve succeeded, where we haven’t, and share with you all our plans for the future.

A stable base for the future

Much of our success has been in the area generally referred to as **MicroOS**, the part of the Kubic stack that provides a stable operating system that is **atomicly updated** for running containers.

Not only is Kubic MicroOS now a fully integrated part of the openSUSE Tumbleweed release process, but our Transactional Update stack has also been ported to regular openSUSE Tumbleweed and Leap.

Based on the community’s feedback, the new System Role has been further refined and now includes fully automated updates out of the box.

This collaboration is continuing, with many minor changes to the regular openSUSE installation process coming soon based on lessons learned with tuning the installation process in Kubic.

Reviewing our initial premise

We haven’t just been busy on the basesystem. Our efforts with Rootless Containers continue, and you can now use the “Docker-alternative” Podman CRI-O in both Kubic and regular openSUSE. But when considering the Initial Premise of the Kubic project, it’s probably safe to say we’re not where we hoped to be by now.

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