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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.


Tumbleweed Gets Python Setuptools 40.0, New Versions of Frameworks, Applications

July 26th, 2018 by

Several packages were updated in openSUSE Tumbleweed snapshots this week and developers will notice the snapshots are reported to be extremely stable.

Wireshark, sysdig, GNOME’s evolution, KDE’s Frameworks and Applications, Ceph, vim and python-setuptools were just a few of the many packages that arrived in Tumbleweed this week.

Wireshark 2.6.2 received several Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) updates in snapshot 20180723, which included a HTTP2 dissector crash. The sysdig tool for deep system visibility with native support for containers had a minor update to 0.22.0 and added support for addional custom container types alongside Docker. Configurable text editor vim was updated to version 8.1.0200 and poppler 0.66.0 fixed compilations with some strict compilers when rendering PDFs. Google’s RE2 package, which is fast, safe, thread-friendly alternative to backtracking regular expression engines like those used in PCRE, Perl, and Python, simplified the spec file and fixed a Deterministic Finite Automaton (DFA) out of memory error. Cups-filters 1.20.4 made some ipp and ipps changes and also removed support for hardware-implemented reversing of page order in PostScript printers for some rare printers. (more…)

Krita, GNOME Builder, FFmpeg Get Updates in Tumbleweed

July 5th, 2018 by

The four openSUSE Tumbleweed snapshots this week are trending quite stable as new major version packages have been updated this week.

Among the packages updates this week were FFmpeg, KDE Plasma, GNOME Builder and Krita along with a kernel update.

The most recent snapshot, 20180702, put out the first update ffmpeg 4.0 with a refresh of patches and an enablement for ffnvcodec when building with NVIDIA support. The snapshot brought about another 4.0 version with checkmedia upgrading from 3.8 to the new 4.0 version. The tools and libraries package to work with Extensible Firmware Interface variables, efivar, had a major update as well and adjusted its libefiboot-export-disk_get_partition_info.patch to work with the new 36 version. That wasn’t the last major version update either. The package for userspace components for the Linux Kernel‘s drivers/infiniband subsystem, rdma-core, updated to version 18.1; the new major version fixed compilations with recent glibc. Among the other packages in the snapshot there were updated were spec-cleaner 1.1.0, brotli 1.0.5 and System Security Services Daemon (sssd) 1.16.2.

The 20180701 snapshot brough Plasma 5.13.2. The release added a week’s worth of new translations and fixes from KDE‘s contributors. There were also updates to several YaST packages and libstorage-ng 3.3.312 removed an unused and obsolete file. Konversation 1.7.5 dropped a patch and fixed building against Qt 5.11. The lightweight image viewer for the Xfce desktop ristretto 0.8.3 had multiple fixes including a fix for GLib-GObject-CRITICAL in the directory monitoring code.

Snapshots from the end of last month included snapshot 20180629 and 20180628. Snapshot 20180629 improved the performance of the stroke layer style with an update to the open source painting program krita 4.0.4. The testsuite package spec-cleaner was updated in this snapshot as well to version 1.0.9, which dropped support of python 2, and there were bug fixes for Qt 5.11 with the libqt5-qttranslations and libqt5-qtvirtualkeyboard package updates to 5.11.1. Snapshot 20180628 updated the Linux Kernel to 4.17.3, which had multiple fixes for the btrfs filesystem and deleted some stacktrace patches. The gnome-builder package made the editor more reliable to restores a cursor position and fixed for a number of crashers and potential for data loss with the 3.28.3 update.

Packages updated in previous snapshots last month were were GCC 8.1.1, KDE Applications 18.04.2, KDE Frameworks 5.47.0 and PulseAudio 12.0. Release manager Dominique Leuenberger summarized the updates in his weekly review and also explained that even though FFmpeg 4.0 was updates, FFmpeg 3.x is still available in the main repo, but will eventually be be phased out. All the snapshots in the past few weeks have been rated as moderate to stable in the Tumbleweed review tool. Snapshot 20180702 is currently trending as stable with a 91 percent rating.

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.

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.


Tumbleweed Now Has Ratings for Snapshots

March 29th, 2018 by

Major Krita Release Arrives in Tumbleweed

openSUSE’s rolling distribution Tumbleweed produces high-quality snapshots and a new rating tool for the snapshots has labeled two out of the last four snapshots as stable.

The past two snapshots are still pending a rating as it takes about a week after the snapshot release to develop a rating. This blog will cover the last two snapshots that are pending and list some of the new software that arrived in the snapshots.

The most recent snapshot, 20180326, had several new packages including python-packaging 17.1 and python-setuptools 39.0.1. The  python-packaging 17.1 dropped support for python 2.6, 3.2, and 3.3. The update version python-setuptools from 38.5.2 to 39.0.1 now vendors its own direct dependencies and no longer relies on the dependencies as vendored by pkg_resources. The C library for reading, creating, and modifying zip archive, libzip 1.5.0, enabled more functionality by updating dependencies and simplified the licence by the use of a standard cryptographic library instead of custom Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) implementation. IRC client hexchat 2.14.1 made some changes to the preferences so the window can be scroll-able. GNOME’s messaging program empathy reverted back to version 3.12.14 and gnome-documents 3.28.0 updated translations and replaced pkgconfig(libgepub) with pkgconfig(libgepub-0.6). The Linux Kernel 4.15.13 became available in the snapshot, which added the Intel Total Memory Encryption feature, and YaST had several packages updated including autoyast2 4.0.44, which can properly abort when probing devices fails during installation.


Plasma 5.12 Brings Wayland to Leap

February 8th, 2018 by

This Tuesday KDE released the latest Long Term Support (LTS) version of the Plasma desktop 5.12.

A key point in this new release is that Wayland support was extensively worked on and is now suitable as part of the Long Term Support guarantees. In particular, the Plasma session in Wayland now plays nicer with multiple screens, and has added support for screen rotation and touchscreen calibration. It also gained a new exclusive feature, Night Color, which removes blue light from the screen at night time in a similar fashion to Redshift, which only works in X11.

This means that the upcoming openSUSE Leap 15 will offer a far more complete Wayland experience installed by default. It will just be a matter of selecting “Plasma (Wayland)” in the session list of the display manager before logging in. Nothing will change for Tumbleweed users, which had already a Wayland session available since Plasma 5.4.

The Wayland session has already been tested by openQA as part of the Tumbleweed release process as was mentioned in a previous news post, but now this is also done for live media. So, if you want to test Wayland without touching your existing installation, why not give the live media a try?

As always, have a lot of fun!

New Python3, LibreOffice, Google RE2 Packages Released in Tumbleweed

January 11th, 2018 by

Several openSUSE Tumbleweed snapshots arrive before and after the new year and this post will focus on the most recent snapshots released this week.

Much of the efforts of developers this week have focused on patching the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities. openSUSE’s rolling distribution produced four openSUSE Tumbleweed snapshots so far this week.

While the Long-Term Support 4.4 Linux Kernel has patched many of the vulnerabilities associated with Meltdown and Spectre, the 4.14.12 Linux Kernel released in snapshot 20180107  hasn’t, but Tumbleweed users will likely see the vulnerabilities patched soon.

The most recent snapshot 20180109, which was released within the past hour, brought KDE Frameworks 5.41.0, which brought 70 addon libraries to Qt. A major version was released for LibreOffice as the libreoffice package had many fixes in gpg4libre and new features for Writer, Calc and Draw. Poppler 0.62.0 was also included in the snapshot and removed Qt4 poppler package following upstream change

Newer packages that arrived in the 20180107 snapshot were Chat Client irssi 1.0.6, which fixed some random memory bugs, and the llvm 5.0.1, which delete intermediate files during build to reduce total disk usage. And kcm_sddm 5.11.5 was a bug fix release.