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Archive for June, 2008

Showing package dependencies

June 27th, 2008 by

In order to give an answer about “Why this package will be installed and who needs it?” I have added a new Dialog in the QT single package selector:

Select one item (pattern, package) in the single selection frame, use the right mouse button and select “Show solver information”. A solverrun will be made for this item and the result will be shown with this dialog.

  • Black arrow : This item will be required by….
  • Green arrow: This item will be recommended by…
  • Green boxes: This package is already installed
  • Grey boxes: This package will be installed
  • Blue boxes: Patterns

You can navigate through the tree via the overview frame:

After you have selected one item in the tree you can see more information about:

e.G. this item will install two further patterns due to the shown dependencies.

In order to decrease the complexity of the tree you can blind out:

  • already installed packages
  • recommended packages/patterns

So you will get a shrinked tree:

Technical Background:

This is a simple Qt Dialog widget which can be used in other programs too. ( Package libqdialogsolver1)

YaST uses this widget as a YaST plugin. So if this package is not available you will get a popup in single selection only.

Get your openSUSE posters! Posters for everyone!

June 25th, 2008 by

These three openSUSE posters have been up for a while, but I now have the SVG files up so people can edit them, add their LUG or openSUSE Local User Group name/logo & address to them, change the design, etc. They are up on the Miscellaneous Artwork page, so our community can use them for flyers, posters, or to spam their neighbor’s mailboxes*. Comments, questions, or suggestions about the posters? Use that comment box below, folks ;-).

*Neither Kevin Dupuy, the openSUSE Project, nor Geeko endorse plastering people’s mailboxes with a bunch of openSUSE flyers. Save the trees, use email instead ;-).

openSUSE 11.0 At First Glance: It’s OK.

June 20th, 2008 by

So I’m still running openSUSE 10.3 as my main desktop, and will be until next week when the pre-ordered boxed editions are supposed to ship. By then I’ll be able to do a full review of what I think about openSUSE 11.0, but I did download and install the GNOME Live CD yesterday, and so I wanted to just talk about a few points, good and bad.

Keep in mind, this is just me using this system for a few hours, and just talking about a few key points. If you’ve got comments about something I’ve said, please comment ­čśë

The Good

The art and look & feel of openSUSE 11.0 rocks! I really like the new GTK theme for the GNOME desktop, which gies the system a much needed refresh of the theme.

I also liked the GNOME live installer. Although it’s not the widely loved new installer from the DVD (which I’ll finally be able to use next week), it does look nice and do it’s job well. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have the world map included in the install, apparently it was included in response to a bug I filed in a late beta but came in too late for 11.0.

After the install and the reboot, I was brought to the login manager. It wasn’t the new login manager included in GNOME 2.22, but the older one. It still works, but I think in this day and age it’s time for people to be able to have a face browser. You know, 9 years after Mac OS 9 and Windows XP both included them.

On the desktop, I was shown the Greeter and a window asking for me to perform an online update. At the same time. Neither of which helped me, considering I have no internet access until I install the Madwifi driver. But if both windows are going to be shown at the same time, they should be a part of the same window, e.g. the user clicks out of the greeter, then the online update request is shown.

Setting up the online update was easy enough, although it still took a while. More on the online updating situation in the “The Bad” section below.

This was about the extention of the little playing around I did, so without further adieu…

The Bad

Yes, boo me if you will, but I unfortunatly found that the GNOME desktop seemed to regress in the polish department. The online update/greeter thing as mentioned earlier was one thing, but there are several other issues I have with 11.0. These may seem nit-picky, but these are things reviewers and users will take away from the system.

The first issue I noticed is something I filed a bug report about in 11.0, and that was the notification messages. They are over sized, obnoxious, and don’t fit in with the look and feel of openSUSE 11.0. For one, that little stripe is blue. 11.0 is green. Not a match, the board goes back. And it’s not even the shade of blue that matches the window decorations or the theme. And they are way too big. You can see the same message in 10.3 and 11.0, and the color and size difference. Worse than that, some applications change the color of the stripe for no apparent reason. NetworkManager is one, it makes it dark blue. PackageKit is another, making it this ugly shade of red. I’m sorry, this just doesn’t look professional to me.

Left is 10.3, Right is 11.0

Next, on the menu, is a button under Control Center for YaST. I don’t know when this was put in, but it had to have been late. It wasn’t in the last public release candidate, but it was snuck in in the later ones before gold, apparently. And it was a bad choice, considering YaST is already accessable from the Control Center. And it actually says YaST. Call me crazy, but if I’m a user looking to set up a new user, I’m probably not going to think, “well, I need to look for something called YaST”. Calling it Administrator Settings, as it was in 10.2 and 10.3 would work great. But it isn’t.

And another issue, in the Control Center, all but two of the Common Tasks are missing. And, the Show Administrator Settings (aka YaST) is missing. Meaning nowhere on the desktop is YaST referred to as anything but YaST. Bug report.

The 3D settings. I’m not sure making AIGLX default, and then not providing a way to switch on XGL for those people who AIGLX isn’t faster for, was the best option. Desktop Effects on my Intel graphics chip on 11.0 is really slow. Going into the console and switching on XGL works, but is that what you want to tell a new user who wants effects to actually work on his or her system to do?

Before I get to the big finish, I wanted to say: would it seriously have been a huge hit to the 11.0 development cycle to include at least a release candidate of Firefox 3, instead of Beta 5?

And finally, PackageKit. I’ve only used it a little, but I’m not a fan. Personally, I liked the GNOME openSUSE Updater from openSUSE 10.3, and with just a few improvements (such as showing what the updates are and allowing users to select or deselect them without loading up the YaST module), would have been a fine addition to 11.0. But instead, we’re using PackageKit’s updater, which is annoying and obnoxious, at least the time I used it. After getting online update set up, I get this blaring giant red notification message about 1 security update. I have the option of choosing to update it with a click of the button on the screen, so I click it. Then the root password dialog comes up, and after that another notification, this time in blue, comes up letting me know my system is being updated. After a minute, I get another notification, telling me it’s done. The icon goes away, I assume it’s finished. Then I try going into the Install Software, and I get a message that something else is accessing package management. What else is it? Well, PackageKit still has control over it, although it doesn’t tell me. At least with the openSUSE updater, you can see when it’s doing something.

I don’t see the value add for PackageKit vs. our own updater. Unless this is all about being as close to possible to GNOME upstream, in which case I don’t think that’s a case for which we need to be degrading user experiance. It is a desktop enviroment, we are supposed to be free to change it in whichever way we would like to make it better, and more openSUSE-ish. And although I’m reserving full judgement on openSUSE 11.0 GNOME until I get the full edition and live with it for a few days, I’m unfortunately not that impressed with it as of yet.

How to Make openSUSE 11.0 GM Live USB

June 20th, 2008 by

openSUSE 11.0 with tons of impovement has been announced on June 19, 2008. Since then it was a busiest day for me : setting up a local mirror providing iso image for openSUSE fans in Indonesia, arrange openSUSE 11.0 release party and preparing Indonesian openSUSE community regular meeting on Saturday, June 21, 2008. We have planned all of these since last month but I must updated the planning with latest news and preparation.

Beside the planning, I also read some comments that noticed me with problem regarding openSUSE LiveUSB tutorial. The tutorial used openSUSE 11.0 RC1 and the modified initrd as noticed on the tutorial doesn’t fit with the GM version.


Install openSUSE without burning CDs

June 20th, 2008 by

You run Linux already but want to install 11.0? DVD image takes too long to download? Don’t want to waste a CD for the mini iso? A router connects you to the internet?

Check out setupgrubfornfsinstall. It’s a dialog based shell script to prepare remote network installations. It was primarily made for use in LANs but now also supports direct installation from opensuse.org. Just run the script, select 11.0 and it will download the kernel and initrd used for installation. After that it adds an entry to your boot loaders’ config file with proper parameters. Reboot, select the new entry and the installation starts.

Hermes grows up

June 20th, 2008 by

As promised in my other blog about Hermes it grew up a bit since then. I was able to install it finally on the Buildservice production machines. Darix and Adrian helped me to get things underway. As the first process of the backend, the srcserver is notifying Hermes about things that happen: Commits to packages, udpates of packages etc.

Since starship is not yet in the shape that we really want to use it, we’re only offering RSS feeds so far, not yet personalized. Under the URL http://build.opensuse.org/feeds/allevents.rdf you find a RSS feed with all notifications the srcserver comes up with so far.

We realise that this feature is especially interesting for collaboration in general and especially for the new request stuff coming with the upcoming release 1.0. As a consequence we have created a feed that only contains the notifications about requests: Creation, change and deletion are reported to http://build.opensuse.org/feeds/requests.rdf

This is the first step with Hermes in production. Note that it is still beta and nothing one could expect proper functioning from. I am leaving to a two week vacation today and this is what I could still come up with before. Hope you enjoy it a bit – please give feedback, especially which notifications you would like to see coming through.

These are the areas where I would continue to work on after vacation if you don’t come up with other prios:

  • Starship – Message displaying, configuration of notification subscriptions.
  • Personalization – only show me notifications about projects where I am involved.
  • More output agents – mail, jabber, personal RSS
  • More usefull notifications, with help from the backend people

If you want to know more about Hermes find it in the infrastructure svn module (don’t miss the docu in the doc directory)

Hamradio packages ready !

June 19th, 2008 by

Tim and I updated the Amateur radio (hamradio) packages and made them ready for 11.0 .

Amateur radio (also Hamradio) is both a hobby and a service in which participants, called “hams”, use various types of radio communications equipment (also homebrew) to communicate with other radio amateurs for public service, recreation and self-training.

The repository is available at http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/hamradio/ .

You can also install single packages via the 1-click-Installer of the software-search-portal at http://software.opensuse.org/search or add the repository to YaST2/zypper.


Open the repository editor and add http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/hamradio/<your distribution version>

Example: http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/hamradio/openSUSE_11.0/


10.1: zypper ar -r http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/hamradio/SUSE_Linux_10.1/hamradio.repo

10.2: zypper ar -r http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/hamradio/openSUSE_10.2/hamradio.repo

10.3: zypper ar -r http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/hamradio/openSUSE_10.3/hamradio.repo

11.0 zypper ar -r http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/hamradio/openSUSE_11.0/hamradio.repo

Here’s a list of available packages:


Thats > 80 packages in our repository.

I you find a bug you can report it HERE .

vy 73 es 55 de


Garden Party

June 19th, 2008 by

Yes folks, it’s Thursday which means it must be time for us fun loveing GNOME people to have another meet.┬á I appreciate that openSUSE 11.0 is released today, but whilst you download why not join us in the fun (you can think of it as an on-line Release Party ­čśë )

To quote the most casual programmers who just so happens to be our MC:

Hi all GNOME addicts,

The next openSUSE-GNOME project meeting will take place at the official
#opensuse-gnome IRC channel on freenode
(irc://irc.freenode.net/openSUSE-gnome) on

upcoming Thursday: 2008/06/19 18:00 CEST (16:00 UTC)

For an overview what time this is in different timezones, use:


This meeting is meant to discuss the latest developments in and around
openSUSE-GNOME. Please review your topics on the meeting wiki page at:


as soon as possible.

For general info about our IRC meetings read:


For a general technical introduction to IRC (Internet Relay Chat) see

http://www.irchelp.org/ ;(not affiliated with openSUSE) or enter “IRC
help” into your preferred search engine.

The network we use is freenode – for more information on this, including
how to find a server, visit http://freenode.net/;(not affiliated with
openSUSE either).

Have a lot of fun ..

Casual J. Programmer

(on behalf of the openSUSE-GNOME team)

How to search more efficiently in Bugzilla with pybugz

June 19th, 2008 by

If you just want to search for bugs in Bugzilla, it’s (a bit?) painful: start the browser, type in the URL, insert your login and password and try to find out where to go. There is an easier way to do: pybugz for commandline lovers!

Thanks to Peter Poeml, get this very useful Python script from here. After you have installed it you need only two steps to configure it:

  1. Create a file ~/.bzuser and insert your Bugzilla login.

  2. Login into Bugzilla and insert your password. This creates the file ~/.bugz_cookie:

    $ /usr/bin/bugz-login

The script knows several subcommands, its interface is similar to CVS or Subversion. You can search, get, post, modify, attach and download an attachment, all with this utility. For example, if you want all bugs about “XML”, regardless of the product or component, you just type:

$ bugz search xml

That gives the following output:

 * Using https://bugzilla.novell.com/
 * Searching for 'XML'
 [ deleted a lot of lines ]

Maybe you want to narrow your search for KDE and specific products? No problem, here is an example:

$ bugz search KDE --product="openSUSE 11.0"
 * Using https://bugzilla.novell.com/
 * Searching for 'KDE' with the following options:
 * product = ['openSUSE 11.0']
113512 kde-maintainers Firefox in KDE - Only Uses GNOME Programs
170055 dmueller Firefox sets desktop background for Gnome under KDE
176179 kde-maintainers User can't edit properties for default notifications under KDE Storage Media and entries disepeared !
203548 sbrabec workrave-kde is an empty applet by default
[... and many more ...]

Of course, if you know the bug number you can retrieve it with:

$ bugz get 378240

and it will list all the details of the bug. Very useful! I haven’t tried the other subcommands yet, but I think they are also very convenient.

There are many more things to discover. So, when was your last time searching for bugs? ­čÖé

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!