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openSUSE 11.2 Persistent LiveUSB Setup

November 12th, 2009 by

openSUSE 11.2 is out the door and it looks great – be sure to get your copy while it’s hot! One of the really great features of 11.2 is the opportunity to deploy the live media to USB in no time. Thanks to hybrid iso and clicfs you can carry around your persistent openSUSE 11.2 and use it wherever you are. What does persistence mean? Changes you do to the live media are preserved across reboots and you have a real operating system in a pocket without any restrictions. Isn’t that easy?

The setup is a breeze:

1. Download the 11.2 hybrid live media

2. Byte-copy the hybrid iso to your USB stick /dev/sdX
dd if=openSUSE-11.2-KDE4-LiveCD-i686.iso of=/dev/sdX bs=32kBe aware that dd will erase all vital data from your flash media! Thus double-check that /dev/sdX actually is your USB stick.

3. Utilize fdisk to prepare an empty 0×83 partition for persistence from the remaining space on /dev/sdX, i.e. /dev/sdX2 (you should have at least a 2GB USB stick to be able to do this). The 0×83 partition /dev/sdX2 doesn’t need to be formatted with any filesystem – Kiwi will take care of this on first boot fully automatically.

That’s it! More detailed information about persistent 11.2 LiveUSB setup can be found on the wiki

Have a lot of fun!

Additional Hint: If you happen to have an installed version of openSUSE 11.2 already and prefer a GUI method to deploy the hybrid iso to USB flash media, you also may use kiwi-tools-imagewriter instead of dd.

Announcing Candidacy for the openSUSE Community Board

October 28th, 2009 by

Community,

for everyone not subscribed (yet) to the opensuse-project mailinglist: here is my candidacy announcement for Board Member of the openSUSE Community Board once again.

Community, Election Committee,

I herewith announce my candidacy for Board Member of the openSUSE
Community Board.

My name is Rupert, I’m 28 and I’m currently on the home stretch of
studying business administration and electrical engineering at
Darmstadt University of Technology.

I have been involved with the openSUSE Project for several years. I
started using Linux with the release of SUSE Linux 9.1 and became an
active contributor to the Project during my Internship in Product
Management at Novell/SUSE in 2007/2008. In January 2008, I have been
approved as an official openSUSE member. As an employee and afterwards
as a community volunteer, I served as the Project Manager of the
openSUSE forums merge and contributed as a moderator to the openSUSE
community until May 2009. As a Workstudent for Community Architecture,
I worked on several forums-internal projects and contributed to the
openSUSE Weekly Newsletter in 2008/2009.

Currently I’m involved in the efforts to come up with a sufficient
usability concept for the openSUSE Wiki in co-work with the Wiki- and
Booster Teams.

My contributions to the openSUSE Project so far imho reflect clearly
that I’m an organizing and coordinating kind of person and that I’m
focused on the social components of building and growing an
Open-Source Community. From my perspective, having a strong marketing
focus and thus providing sufficient support- and documentation
resources to the end user is just as important to the success of the
openSUSE Project as contributing to the distribution in a developing
capacity actually is. Just to make clear where I’m coming from.

Thanks,
Rupert

Thanks a lot for listening,
Rupert

Comparing openSUSE 11.2 and Kubuntu Karmic LiveUSB setups

August 8th, 2009 by

Some days ago, KDE 4.3.0 has been released by the KDE community and I myself as a loyal GNOME user was just curious about this new release of the KDE4 desktop environment. Thus I took a test-drive of both openSUSE 11.2 Milestone 5 and the Kubuntu Karmic Daily Build as of the 8th of August 2009 – both are shipping with KDE 4.3.0. Utilizing my Eee PC 901 I setup LiveUSB sticks of both distributions and I’d herewith like to share my findings with the openSUSE community. As you might have noticed, openSUSE Milestone releases provide the ability to deploy the LiveCD ISO image directly to USB flash media as of 11.2 Milestone 4, which is a great step ahead from my perspective. So, let’s get started:

1. openSUSE 11.2 Milestone 5 – (so far) non-persistent

Only one single step is needed here :-) Couldn’t be easier!
# dd if=openSUSE-KDE4-LiveCD-Build0201-i686.iso of=/dev/"usbdrive" bs=4M
2. Kubuntu Karmic Daily Build as of the 8th of August 2009 – persistent

While this setup is a bit “harder” to complete it delivers (at least from my perspective) the smoother solution – so far!
Mount the ISO to /mnt/ and rsync the whole content to a FAT32 partition on the USB flash media (here labelled “ubuntu”)
# mount -o loop karmic-desktop-i386.iso /mnt/
# rsync -avh /mnt/ /media/ubuntu/

Now install GRUB (Syslinux should work as well, but I myself prefer GRUB here)
# grub-install --no-floppy --root-directory=/media/ubuntu/ /dev/"usbdrive"
Create a GRUB configuration file /media/ubuntu/boot/grub/menu.lst with the following content
default 0
timeout 3
hiddenmenu
###
title Kubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala) Daily Build 08-Aug-2009
kernel /casper/vmlinuz file=/preseed/kubuntu.seed boot=casper persistent quiet splash
initrd /casper/initrd.lz

Last but not least, resize the FAT32 partition labelled “ubuntu” to its minimal extent and create an ext2/3 partition labelled “casper-rw” within the remaining free space.

Conclusion:

What I’m currently curious about and the major reason for posting this comparison actually: Could some fellow openSUSE community member extend my current solution to beat the Kubuntu setup not only in ease of creation but also in regard of usability? The major difference here is that the openSUSE 11.2 Milestone 4/5 LiveUSB setup isn’t persistent while the Kubuntu one is due to the casper-rw aufs overlay partition.

Time to say Goodbye

May 26th, 2009 by

Almost one year ago, the openSUSE Project launched the openSUSE forums as a merger of former suselinuxsupport.de, suseforums.net and the openSUSE support forums at forums.novell.com. Right from the beginning of this project, I served as the Project Manager and afterwards contributed as a Moderator at the OSF to the openSUSE community. Therefore the happenings at the openSUSE forums are certainly in my personal interest.

Today, Wolfgang Koller, the founder of former suselinuxsupport.de and one of the three Site Admins of the openSUSE forums, announced his immediate resignation from the OSF staff. I myself feel this as a loss, that is both unexpected and severe. From my perspective, he deserves our respect and appreciation for everything he has done for the openSUSE community and thus this post is dedicated to his person and contribution.

Also in answer to his decision, I myself announced my own immediate resignation from the OSF staff as well. Herewith I’d like to make the openSUSE community aware of these recent changes – this shouldn’t happen silently from my perspective.

Let me take the opportunity to wish the remaining OSF staff all the best for upcoming activities. Lead the openSUSE forums community into an even better future!

Dropbox on openSUSE 11.1

April 21st, 2009 by

Today I discovered Dropbox, an online storage and synchronization tool. It offers 2 GB of free storage to its users and is available for Mac OS X, Windows and Linux. I’ve tested it on Linux and Windows so far and it’s working great. If you’re tired of carrying around USB sticks to share files between different workstations, be sure to check it out. Hint: by clicking on the link above you (and me) will get 250 MB of free online storage as a bonus.

Installation and Setup on openSUSE 11.1 is a breeze

  • 1-click install is available in Gnome:Community
  • Logout from your GNOME Session and login again
  • Run “Dropbox” from the GNOME menu to link your workstation to your Dropbox account

Currently there’s a plugin for nautilus available. Hopefully some KDE coders more experienced than me will come up with a Dolphin plugin soon. Where the Dropbox daemon is proprietary software, the nautilus plugin is released under GPL and its sourcecode should provide the required information about the Dropbox daemon’s API to port it to KDE/Dolphin as well.

Have fun!

OSF Status Report #3

March 3rd, 2009 by

Let me present you the openSUSE forums statistics for February 2009.

Up to the 28th of February 2009, we achieved a membership of 23.464 (+2.142) members, 23.463 (+2.390) threads and 136.684 (+13.989) posts. The number in brackets shows the increase of the corresponding measurement compared to the last snapshot taken on the 31st of January 2009. The user activity, i.e. the number of individual visits to the openSUSE forums, was 12.382 for the observed period. Most users ever online still was 7.771 on the 2nd of December 2008.

The following diagram shows the monthly development of new user registrations, user activity, new threads and new posts since the launch in June 2008.

osffebruarystats

Kudos to our Top5 posters during February 2009

  • oldcpu – 566
  • caf4926 – 560
  • ken_yap – 362
  • mingus725 – 254
  • Malcolm – 223

Thanks as usual for making the openSUSE forums a worthwhile place to be.

If you haven’t signed up for the openSUSE forums yet, please consider doing so. It’s a great way to contribute to the openSUSE community in a non-developing capacity.

Any contribution to the recently announced “experts approach” collaboration between the openSUSE forums and the openSUSE Weekly Newsletter is much appreciated. If you’re interested to participate, please don’t hesitate to contact me for further information. Any comments and suggestions of the community about the OSF status reports is much appreciated by the openSUSE forums team. We’re certainly interested to know what the community would like to be covered in coming issues.

OSF Status Report #2

February 5th, 2009 by

In January 2009, the openSUSE forums achieved the highest user activity ever since the launch in June 2008. The user activity measures the number of individual visits and is therefore an indicator for the vitality of the openSUSE forums.

Up to the 31st of January 2009, we achieved a membership of 21.322 (+2.550) members, 21.073 (+2.929) threads and 122.695 (+17.492) posts. The number in brackets shows the increase of the corresponding measurement compared to the last snapshot taken on the 31st of December 2008. Most users ever online still was 7.771 on the 2nd of December 2008.

The following diagram shows the monthly development of new user registrations, user activity, new threads and new posts since the launch in June 2008. We experienced 15.104 individual visits to the openSUSE forums in January 2009, which is an increase of 14% compared to December 2008 and is even 25% above average.

Kudos to our Top5 posters during January 2009

  • caf4926 – 575
  • ken_yap – 455
  • oldcpu – 439
  • Malcolm – 405
  • Axeia – 405

Thanks as usual for making the openSUSE forums a worthwhile place to be.

Any comments about the OSF status reports are much appreciated by the openSUSE forums team.

openSUSE forums has reached 20K members

January 15th, 2009 by

The openSUSE forums has reached another key milestone. After hitting the 10K members in September 2008, we now did it again – Member 20.000 registered yesterday at 20:37 UTC.

Congratulations to the openSUSE forums team!

If you haven’t signed up for the forums yet, please do so. Sharing your knowledge with other openSUSE users at the openSUSE forums is a great way to contribute to the openSUSE community in a non-developing capacity.

OSF Status Report #1

January 6th, 2009 by

7 months have been passing by since the launch of the official openSUSE forums back in June. Since then a lot has been done by both the membership and the forums team to make this a big gain for the whole openSUSE community. From now on we are going to provide status reports on a monthly basis to represent the progress we make. As this is the first issue of status reports, we’d like to provide some long-term openSUSE forums statistics along the statistics for December 2008.

Up to the 31st of December 2008, we achieved a membership of 18.772 members, 18.144 threads and 105.203 posts, which is quite a lot considering that we started with an empty database due to some technical issues we had during the merge of the three independent parties that initially joined forces. Most users ever online was 7.771 – including guests – on the 2nd of December 2008.

The following diagram shows the monthly development of new user registrations, user activity, new threads and new posts since the launch in June. The user activity measures the number of individual visits to the openSUSE forums. We started strong with the release of openSUSE 11.0, then the traffic has been slowly declining followed by another peak with the release of openSUSE 11.1.

The next diagram outlines the daily statistics of the same measurements for December 2008. As you can see, the release date of openSUSE 11.1 – the 18th of December – had a significant impact on all presented measurements.

Kudos to our Top5 posters during the last 7 months…

  • oldcpu – 4.558
  • caf4926 – 3.643
  • kgroneman – 2.536
  • ken_yap – 2.375
  • swerdna – 2.355

…and to our Top5 posters during December 2008.

  • caf4926 – 795
  • oldcpu – 658
  • mingus725 – 449
  • ken_yap – 441
  • BenderBendingRodriguez – 284

Thanks a million for making the openSUSE forums useful.

We’d like to take the opportunity to thank the whole openSUSE community for their participation – without your great support during the last 7 months the success of the openSUSE forums would never be possible. The openSUSE forums are accessible through the website and the NNTP gateway. If you’re interested in the latter possibility, be sure to read my former article about NNTP access to the openSUSE forums.

As of the issue #49 of the openSUSE Weekly Newsletter, we present hot topics and asserted threads at a dedicated openSUSE forums section to the openSUSE community. If you are a frequent forums visitor and you’d like to contribute to this openSUSE forums section, you are very welcome to join the Newsletter Team. If you’re interested, please contact me – rhorstkoetter/at/opensuse.org – for further information.

Happy New Year from the whole openSUSE forums team!

NNTP Access to the openSUSE Forums

June 17th, 2008 by

For folks not that used to web interfaces, the openSUSE Forums team provides a secondary interface to our forums – NNTP. The intention of this post is to raise your attention on this possibility.

What is NNTP?

Using our NNTP interface, you’re able to participate in forums discussions without accessing the web interface at all. You’re able to use any newsreader supporting the RFC standard to read and even write posts. Actually your user-id gets recognized in the web interface if you set up your newsreader properly.

From my personal experience especially developers are in general more familiar in using mailing lists instead of browsing a web interface. One of our desires is to get more developers to the board. On the one hand, developers can provide competent assistance especially to our new users – on the other hand, the forums are able to provide a lot of feedback back to developers. The advantages are obvious!

The NNTP interface to the forums provides a neat way to browse significantly more content with less effort. You can get a quick overview about forums content using NNTP. Certainly you’ll not be able to see the great template created by Robert Lihm, but every choice has its drawback – Good to have a choice at least, isn’t it?

For detailed instructions on how to set up your newsreader properly to participate in forums discussions, be sure to check out the NNTP section within our forums FAQ.

We’re really looking forward to your contribution!