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University students, openSUSE participates in GSoC!

February 19th, 2018 by

openSUSE participates again in Google Summer of Code (GSoC), a program that awards stipends to university students who contribute to real-world open source projects during three months in summer. :sunny: With this article, I will provide my experience as a former GSoC student and mentor, give you more details about the program and try to encourage students to get involved in openSUSE development through GSoC.

Why open source and openSUSE?

First of all, you may wonder why you should want to get involved in open source development. Everybody has their own reasons, but for me there are three main ones:

  • I have fun: The most important reason is that it is fun. At openSUSE, we have great conferences, geekos everywhere, geeko cookies, openSUSE beer, fun stickers,… and the most important part: we have fun when working!
  • I learn a lot: In most of the projects, every single line of code is reviewed. That means not only that the code quality is better, but also that every time you write something wrong or that can be improved, someone will tell you. In open source, we think that making mistakes is perfectly fine. That people correct you is the best way to learn.
  • People: I have the chance to work with really skilled people all around the world, who are interested in the same things as me.

Why GSoC?

Starting is always difficult, but you don’t have to do it alone! In openSUSE, you will always find people to help you, and with GSoC this is even easier. The best feature of the program is that you will always have at least one mentor (most likely two) who will lead you through it. In addition, you will work in a project used in the real world by many users and all your code will be released under an open source license, so everybody can access, use, study, change and share it. Last, you will receive a stipend between 2,400 and 6,600 dollars depending on the country.

Projects

At openSUSE, you can find projects written in Ruby on RailsPerlRubyHTML/JavaScriptC/C++ and much more. This year you can work during GSoC in some of the most central and biggest projects in openSUSE: Open Build ServiceopenQA and YaST. They will for sure be challenging projects to work in, but don’t get scared, as that means that you will learn a lot from it too. And remember that your mentors and other openSUSE contributors will be there to help you!

But we also have simpler projects such as Trollolo, where any computer science university student could get started with Ruby. The desire to learn is much more important than the previous experience and knowledge.

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Freetype, Flatpak, Sysdig Receive Updates in Tumbleweed

February 15th, 2018 by

The streak of six Tumbleweed snapshots continued this a week as openSUSE’s rolling release has provided a consistent release of six snapshots per week this year.

There were hundreds of packages updated this week and sysdig, Freetype and Flatpak were just a few of the many packages to receive an updated version.

At the time of publishing this article, snapshot 20180213 was the most recent snapshot released. Mozilla Firefox 58.0.2 fixed a tab crash during printing. The package yast2-ca-management was dropped with the autoyast2 4.0.31 update. A new set of functions that allows 64-bit offsets even on 32-bit systems are now available with cryptsetup 2.0.1, which is a user-space utility for dealing with the DMCrypt kernel module for setting up encrypted disk volumes. Cryptsetup also increased maximum allowed Password-Based Key Derivation Function 2 (PBKDF) memory-cost limit to 4 GiB. Another notable package in the snapshot was the update of the Ruby debugger package rubygem-byebug  10.0.0, which added Ruby 2.5.0 support and fixed a remote server crash when interrupting a client.

KDE Applications 17.12.2 was made available in the 20180212 snapshot; about 20 recorded bugfixes include improvements to Kontact, Dolphin, Gwenview, KGet and Okular. View the changelog for a full list of changes and fixes for Applications 17.12.2. Flatpak 0.10.3 fixed vulnerability in dbus proxy and updated a Polish translation. Position Independent Executables improvements were made with Snappy 1.1.7 as well as improvements to CMake build support for 64-bit Linux distributions. Added support for the USB 3.1 SuperSpeedPlus device capability was also made available in the snapshot with the usbutils 009 package. There were also several YaST package updates.

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Official KDE Plasma 5.12 Release Now in Tumbleweed

February 8th, 2018 by

Mesa 18, cryptsetup 2 Also Arrive in Snapshots

KDE Plasma 5.12 transitioned from it beta version of 5.11.95 to the official release in an openSUSE Tumbleweed snapshot earlier this week.

On the same day of the upstream release, Tumbleweed snapshot 20180206 brought the new desktop software to its thousands of rolling release users. Improved performance and several new features are available in Plasma 5.12 like Wayland-only Night Color feature that allows adjustments to the screen color temperature to reduce eye strain and the System Activity and System Monitor display per-process graphs for the CPU usage. The new KDE Store offers a wide selection of addons that are ready to be installed. Plasma 5.12 is the second long-term support (LTS) release from the Plasma 5 team and will be the version used in openSUSE’s traditional distribution openSUSE Leap 15, which is expected to be released this spring.

Other notable packages updated in the 20180206 snapshot were compiler cache (ccache) 3.3.6, which improved instructions on how to get cache hits between different working directories. Translations were made for Indonesian, Danish and Catalan in updates of gfxboot from 4.5.26 to 4.5.29. Kernel module handling kmod 25 improved testsuite and allows mkosi to run testsuite in different Linux distributions. The Linux Kernel was updated to 4.15.1.

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Tumbleweed Snapshots Get YaST Changes for Firewalld

February 1st, 2018 by

There is no signs of slowing down openSUSE’s rolling release  Tumbleweed as six snapshots of new software were released this past week.

Not all the snapshots were large; in fact, one offered just a handful of new packages, but the releases keep coming.

The pixel format translation library babl 0.1.42 was in the latest snapshot 20180130. The new version added format “CIE XYZ alpha” color model and formats. An update to javapackages-tools 5.0.0 fixed the default Java Runtime Environment path. Kexec-tools had a bump to version 2.0.16 and now properly states all post/postun dependencies. A QtNetworkAuth module was added to  python-qt5  5.10 and yast2-dns-server 4.0.1 replaced SuSEFirewall2 with firewalld.

Snapshot 20180129 updated the GNU Compiler Collection to 7.3 and fixed a spelling mistake. Using the web-based translation tool Weblate, the graphical boot screen gfxboot 4.5.26 implemented some Danish contributions. The timezone package updated to version 2018c and southern Brazilians using Tumbleweed will know what time it is on November’s first Sunday due to the addition of code for it’s Daylight Saving Time. The yast2-drbd 4.0.1 also replaced SuSEFirewall2 with firewalld.

A handful of packages were updated in snapshot 20180128. The open source antivirus engine ClamAV package was updated to version 0.99.3; the update addressed some Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) that could have allowed for a denial of service (DoS) condition on an affected device. Both libdvdnav and libdvdread were updated to version 6.0.0 and fix some crashes and DVD issues. Full conversion of source to python3 from python2 was made with vm-install 0.10.01 and the graphical components now require Gtk3.

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Ruby, YaST, Plasma 5.12 Beta Get Updates in Tumbleweed

January 26th, 2018 by

openSUSE’s rolling distribution Tumbleweed received several snapshot of new software packages this past week.

A total of six snapshots arrived and brought new versions of Ruby, YaST, KDE’s Plasma 5.12 Beta and many others.

The latest snapshot, 20180124, switched the default for Ruby to version 2.5. Package improvements were made to the command line tool SUSEConnect 0.3.7. A change to cups-filters 1.19.0 in order to allow builds on systems without python2 was made with python3-cups rather than using python-cups. Enscript 1.6.6 fixed a handful of bugs and spec-cleaner 1.0.2 added groups for Rust and made the switch to pytest. Git, squid and perl-Encode also received minor updates in the snapshot.

The largest snapshot of the week was no doubt snapshot 20180122. The snapshot provided KDE Applications 17.12.1, Frameworks 5.42.0 and the beta version for KDE’s next  Long-Term-Support (LTS) release of Plasma 5.12. Tumbleweed users can tryout the new items in the 5.12 LTS like the new KDE Store, which brings a wide selection of addons. With the exception of updates to libgme, download manager uget and Oracle’s virtualbox, the release was primarily focused on the new versions from the KDE community. It is worth noting that virtualbox 5.2.6 fixed quite a few Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) and libgme 0.6.2 fixed crashes in nsfe emulator. Gamers should be happy.

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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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Plasma 5.11, GNOME 3.26.1 Land in Tumbleweed

October 12th, 2017 by

The week has been pretty exciting for desktop enthusiast running openSUSE Tumbleweed since two of this week’s snapshots delivered new versions of GNOME and KDE respectively.

Snapshot 20171010, which is the most recent release, fixed numerous memory leaks with ImageMagick 7.0.7.6 and apache 2.4.28 fixed Optionsbleed or Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE)-2017-9798, which allows remote attackers to read secret data from process memory. Cmake 3.9.4 added support for Boost 1.65.0 and 1.65.1 and hplip 3.17.9 added support for several new printers. New features were added for the Quick Emulator (QEMU) with the new libvirt 3.8.0 version. Two major version updates were also available in the snapshot; some targets may rebuild when upgrading with the software construction tool SCons 3.0.0 and the memory allocator Jemalloc 5.0.1 added several improvements and new features including the addition of mutex profiling, which collects a variety of statistics useful for diagnosing overhead/contention issues.

Tumbleweed KDE users saw Plasma 5.11 make its way into snapshot 20171009 less than 24 hours after the official upstream release. The new Plasma 5.11 brings a redesigned settings app, improved notifications and a more powerful task manager. The release is the first release to contain the new “Vault”, a system to allow the user to encrypt and open sets of documents in a secure and user-friendly way.    Several CVE fixes were made with the update of Mozilla Firefox 56.0, but users should be aware that Firefox has no 32-bit builds for the application. The Linux Kernel was also upgraded to version 4.13.5 in the snapshot.

Several libraries and XFCE plugins were updated in the 20171007 snapshot and Mesa 17.2.2 had several Vulkan ANV/RADV driver fixes. Support for LLVM 5.0 for the Gallium3D architecture when using SCons was also added with the new Mesa version. YaST 4.0.10 fixed the handling of Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) signatures when running in insecure mode. (more…)

Special Edition Highlights openSUSE, KDE

October 11th, 2017 by

Getting the masses to move to a Linux distribution can be challenging, but the openSUSE Project is doing its part to get people started with open-source software.

Members of the openSUSE community recently worked with Linux Magazine to publish a special edition of a Getting Started With Linux magazine with the purpose of increasing the openSUSE user base and teaching beginners how to make the switch to Linux.

The 100-page special edition focuses on installing openSUSE Leap 42.3, using the installation and configuration tool YaST, understanding security and many other topics specific for Linux beginners.

It also provides a crash course on Linux and goes in depth about the several applications available on Linux distributions and openSUSE’s default desktop selection, which currently is KDE’s Long Term Support version Plasma 5.8. Many of the articles written in the magazine are from community members of both openSUSE and KDE among others.

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Refresh of Linux Distribution Continues Leveraging Community, Enterprise Benefits

July 26th, 2017 by

(Languages: DE, ES, FR, IT, ZH, zh_TW)

openSUSE Leap 42.3 Gives Smooth Desktop and Server UpgradeLeap-green.png

The openSUSE Project released openSUSE Leap 42.3 today bringing the community version more closely aligned with its shared core of SUSE Linux Enterprise (SLE) 12 Service Pack 3.

The mutual packages of both Leap and SLE distributions give seasoned Linux users, systems administrators, and developers even more reason to use the newest chameleon distribution.

Users are advised to take advantage of the seamless upgrade to Leap 42.3. Leap 42.2 reaches its end of maintenance in six months.

“By avoiding major version updates in the base system as well as the desktops, the upgrade to Leap 42.3 is a rather unadventurous matter,” said Ludwig Nussel, openSUSE Leap release manager.

The release of Leap 42.3 provides adopters a reliable server operating system for deploying IT services in physical, virtual or cloud environments.

Leap’s third edition of the 42 series has more than 10,000 packages and offers stability-minded users a refresh and hardware enablement release. The release is powered by the same Linux 4.4 Long-Term-Support (LTS) kernel found in the previous Leap edition.

Leap 42.3 continues to use KDE’s Long-Term-Support release 5.8 as the default desktop selection while also offering GNOME 3.20, the same as used by SUSE Linux Enterprise. A variety of additional desktops is available in the installer through the newly designed desktop selection.

“Leap 42.3 is the culmination of several years of effort integrating SUSE’s Enterprise codebase with the exceptional high-quality work of the openSUSE community,” said Richard Brown, Chairman of the openSUSE Project. “I’m exceptionally proud of what the openSUSE Project has achieved with Leap 42.3 and hope our users appreciate this stable, yet innovative, approach to community Linux, which can really be relied upon to work.”

This release of openSUSE Leap is well suited for servers thanks to its server installation profile and its fully-featured text mode installer, including all the options of YaST without a graphical environment.

System administrators are going to love the backup solution Borg, which now can be used easier than ever thanks to Borgmatic’s wrapper to automatically backup your data daily with a systemd service. Sysadmins will also like Samba’s System Security Services Daemon integration with an Active Directory.

Leap, and the openSUSE project, provides the DevOps tool chain developers need to be successful. Microservices with Leap offer scalability and continuous delivery through the availability of Docker and Kubernetes as well as easy configuration with Salt, Ansible, and other openSUSE technologies. AutoYaST’s new integration with SaltStack and other configuration management systems can take care of the system installation (partitioning, network setup, etc.) and then delegate the system configuration to one of those widely used external tools.

Developers, and businesses can take advantage of extensive core libraries found in Leap 42.3 to build or enhance software for enterprise use. Since Leap and SLE share a common core, development with packages on Leap for use in production on SLE has never been easier. Furthermore, system integrators can develop on Leap with the possibility of getting their work into future SLE releases.

Leap provides the tools, languages and libraries for sustainable software development and engineering. Enterprise ready versions of Python, Ruby, Perl, Go, Rust, Haskell and PHP are all available in Leap.

Updates to the kernel and graphics stack enable more hardware and provide stability and performance improvements.
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GNOME 3.24.1, Plasma 5.9.5 Arrive in Tumbleweed

May 5th, 2017 by

A total of seven openSUSE Tumbleweed snapshots were released since last week’s update, which brought several minor version updates and less than a handful of major version updates.

A change on the server that prepares the .diff emails that are generated caused a hiccup for the Tumbleweed announcer, so snapshots 20170428, 20170429, 20170430 and 20170502 were all listed in snapshots 20170503. The change to the server was to create a similar data comparison file to generate emails for Leap 42.3, so it could list packages that are changed during its rolling development process.

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