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Archive for May, 2009

openSUSE@ARM/GSoC: weekly status

May 30th, 2009 by

Hi everyone!

This week was exciting – we deployed a first prototype of a minimal ARM environment on build.opensuse.org in the repository Base:build:arm. It’s a set of packages which is capable of bootstrapping itself and still in an early stage as it’s using full emulation. Next station: speed-up !

I submitted also some patches for inclusion into the openSUSE Build Service. One of these patches will help us to a address an issue with rpmbuild when doing builds for the ARM architecture.

In progress / todo:

* tools for speed-up

* submission of needed patches to factory

* cross-compiler integration

openSUSE-Edu: looks pretty too

May 30th, 2009 by

What has openSUSE-Edu project been up to these days?

More Live Images:

openSUSE-Edu team has been working hard to polish the various image “flavours”. The latest addition to the images is openSUSE-Edu-Desktop. This image contains the latest GNOME with many useful educational applications.

Samyak Bhuta, our designer came up with a new theme for this image, called “Classroom”. Click on the image below to see whole album and theme brief:

Sugared up openSUSE

David “Nubae” Van Assche, has been busy as a bee 😉 bringing most comprehensive Sugar suite to openSUSE, you can find Sugar, Fructose, Sucrose, Honey and all other sweet tooth  satisfying goodies in our repository. Try “Tam Tam Jam”, even grown ups will be whiling away hours having fun. Sugar can be installed on standard openSUSE 11.1 giving another session at login just as KDE/GNOME. Live CD is also under development, if you want to check out things to come get openSUSE-Sugar-live-unstable iso from here(mind the -unstable).

Here are the activities to look forward to enjoy with your children:

Thanks Nubae, Alsroot and all the Sugar developers for the great work.


We have KIWI-LTSP, easiest to run Linux Terminal Server based onthe latest LTSP5 and openSUSE’s KIWI imaging technology on openSUSE-Edu-Live-Li-f-e DVD. Just click on the icon on the desktop to get fully working LTSP server with tons of Education application, things can’t get simpler than that to set up a classroom running openSUSE in minutes 🙂

Future plans for openSUSE 11.2:

  • Integrate stgraber’s ltsp-cluster work, simple load balancing cluster is already supported, but is limited to small cluster of upto 5 servers
  • Jan weber is currently rewriting Easy-LTSP GUI for LTSP management in python, the idea is that now more distributions may feel comfortable including it getting all the benefits we have been enjoying for some time now. Watch out for the Easy-LTSP-ng, get the source if you would like to work on it.  Feedback, suggestions always welcome
  • Use new clicfs images for the NBD and AOE root

openSUSE-Edu Testing Team

We are forming a testing team to keep very high standards for all the applications shipped on openSUSE-Edu medias. Here is what you  need to join the party:

  • Fast net connection to download and test new images
  • Good bug reporting(fixing would be big advantage) skills
  • Lurk on IRC Freenode #opensuse-edu to squash bugs that can be fixed quickly

If you are interested add yourself to the list here:



The project will be represented at LinuxTag 2009, spotting the booth should be easy, there will be “Geeko” and people wearing cool openSUSE-Edu t-shirts 😉


Let’s make openSUSE-Edu the best Li-f-e experience.

GSoC – summary of this week’s meeting

May 29th, 2009 by

In the last days I had a closer look at the oauth rails plugin which requires some methods from the restful_authentification module. As the obs frontend doesn’t use this module we need to provide our own implementations of these methods. Fortunately it only uses a handful of methods (like authorized?, login_required, logged_in?, current_user etc.) so it shouldn’t be too hard to get it working without the restful_authentication module.

Another thing on my todo list was to look for possible workarounds for the session fixation attack. According to this thread it’ll be fixed in a new revision of the oauth spec. So after the user grants access to a specific application the oauth provider redirects the user to a callback url (if it’s specified by the consumer). Additionally it adds a parameter to this url (called oauth_verifier) which has an unpredictable value – so an attacker has no chance to “take over the session” (this is just a short summary – for more details have a look at the spec).

Last but not least I finished the test application and played around with it.


  • start integrating oauth into the frontend
  • play around with the python library

Btw. my mentor pointed me to an interesting railscast about authlogic – it gives a great overview about this module.

openSUSE 11.2 M2 (Gnome)

May 29th, 2009 by

Well, today I downloaded the Gnome Live CD first, and had no luck at all. That was no fun watching the busy cursor over and over again after selecting the Live CD option from the Menu so I decided to get the DVD just to see if things went different (actually not the only reason for), and sure they were. First, I installed the KDE Desktop, not a deal through the install process. Then came the first log in and all well. Of course I chose the Ext4 file system and I can tell it feels faster than our good old Ext3 ;).

Then it was time for Gnome. As usual, default install took longer than KDE’s. One thing I removed from the software was Desktop Effects, since I started to believe that that could cause the problem with the Live CD Media. So on through the install process, it went down really well. Then at first log in I got alerted over GDM and Metacity. I got this:


By default, the Slab Menu Icon looks like this when Main Panel’s Size is 24 pixels:


Looks like your computer is not your computer, right? Well, I just resized Main Panel up to 26 pixels so it looks like better:


I must admit that I like the default theme. Absolutely new, darkish, professional. First time I feel comfortable “out of the box”. One feature that is not workig 100% is the System Monitor. At this time I cannot switch between tabs. The rest of the system is pretty running smoothly to me. Here you have a screenshot of my desktop:



May 27th, 2009 by

Now that milestone2 is almost done, we get into the next round and we decided (basically during coffee break) to try something and change the compile flags for our i586 distribution (which is still the major one for openSUSE). If there aren’t major problems coming up with it, the next milestone will be compiled with -fomit-frame-pointer -mtune=generic instead of the old -march=i586 -mtune=i586.

It will feel around 20% faster, I’m sure 🙂

On unrelated news: I’m away for a very long Pentecost weekend. If there are issues with Factory, I won’t be able to fix them. See you in June!

openSUSE Half-Day @ UNAN, June 12

May 26th, 2009 by
Incoming event @ Nicaragua

Incoming event @ Nicaragua

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!

OpenOffice_org 3.1 rc5 available

May 25th, 2009 by

I’m happy to announce OpenOffice.org 3.1 rc5 packages. They are available in the Build Service OpenOffice:org:UNSTABLE project and include many upstream and Go-oo fixes. Please, look for more details about the openSUSE OOo build on the wiki page.

The packages are release candidates but they might still include even serious bugs. Therefore they are not intended for data-critical usage. A good practice is to archive any important data before an use, …

We kindly ask any interested beta testers to try the package and report bugs.

Other information and plans:

Last week was hectic. We did 3 more release candidates and I think that we are really close now. We need two more days to finish QA of the last build. I believe that it will be the last one and I will be able to put the packages into the STABLE repository. It expect that the packages might appear there by the end of this week. I do not promise it but…

I have good news for Russian speaking people.  One external contributor, with the nick EGD, send me a Russian templates gallery. You might try the package OpenOffice_org-templates-ru in the OpenOffice:org:UNSTABLE project. I’ll put them into the STABLE repository after some clean up.

Extended Deadline: openSUSE Conference 2009

May 25th, 2009 by

The program committee has extended the deadline for participation in the openSUSE Conference 2009. Find the updated Call for Papers document at http://en.opensuse.org/OpenSUSE_Conf_2009/Call_for_Papers. This gives you nearly two more weeks to come up with a proposal for a talk, a panel discussion or a birds of a feather (BOF) session.

The current plan is to have a preliminary detailed schedule of most talks around June 26, 2009.

My openSUSE-Education Community Week Report

May 23rd, 2009 by

The openSUSE Community Week is over now and the openSUSE-Education Team participated with great success. The review of our simple generic schedule containing just the times where Team members hanging around looks like a good solution: many people have joined or IRC-Channel (#opensuse-edu) on Freenode during this time, started asking simple questions – and often we’ve interesting discussions (and technical solutions) afterwards.

Here’s a short subjective excerpt of the week:

  • openSUSE is now officially on the Sugar radar as being a main distro behind Fedora! We will provide a Sugar-Live Media based on the packages from the Sugar repository in the Build service, soon. (The current openSUSE-Live Media already contains a desktop icon starting sugar-emulator.)
  • The final release of openSUSE-Education for 11.1 makes big progress. Yes: we’ve still no final frozen Repository on opensuse-education.org – but at the moment it’s just filling up the repo with packages not available on the official openSUSE-DVD.
  • One of the biggest success stories from this week: cyberorg started pulishing and polishing our Live-Media, including the latest openSUSE Updates and our new “Li-f-e” branding theme (thanks to Sam!).
  • We also reached the interesting point where people ask if they can distribute our downloadable ISO-Images on real medias for money. At the moment, adding your compensation for expenses of burning, shipping, etc. is ok. But please inform us or the openSUSE-Board, if you start marketing and shipping.
  • The Novell-Training team allows us to package their training material for openSUSE – and even better: they licensed it under a Creative Commons License! So from now on, we can provide professional training material for openSUSE starters!
  • We started specialized ISO images for small kids, school desktops and servers. More will come in the next weeks.
  • We got our own Category here on lizards.opensuse.org – so it should be easier to find openSUSE-Education related topics here on lizards.opensuse.org 🙂 from now on.
  • SLEducator starts providing support via skype – if anyone wants to speak to him directly, just phone “os4ed_support”
  • Jeff Shantz has started to work on the YaST2 Education Module – and is happy to receive opinions on what is needed. Currently, he has a big list of topics – some are already discussed in our mailinglist.
  • We start a discussion about the initial greeter for new users: currently, this is an “openSUSE” only greeter – perhaps we can patch the current one and adapt it for our Li-f-e images.
  • Talked about real “one-click-installs” for server based applications like drupal, moodle, koha and so on. Target is a running application – ready to use. The YaST2 Education module might be a solution – another one might be subpackages doing all needed things via scripts.

There are for sure many more topics discussed during the week – the above is just covered by me. Looking at the list, I’m very interested how we will look like on one or two years…