Home Home > 2010
Sign up | Login

Deprecation notice: openSUSE Lizards user blog platform is deprecated, and will remain read only for the time being. Learn more...

Archive for 2010

Kokoa and Friends Meeting (KyA2010)

December 31st, 2010 by

The first Kokoa and Friends meeting took place the 20th of December at the Computing and Electrical Department of ESPOL.
This meeting supported by the openSUSE community, gathered people from different levels of the Kokoa community and the ESPOL university. From students that are just getting interested in using FLOSS (a.k.a. newbies), students who are “candidates” to join the Kokoa community, the current “active” members and the experienced “senior” members.
In this event different topics were discussed covering FLOSS usage in the academia and the industry. Stories of success and guidelines were shared with people interested in going forward in the world of FLOSS.

Special thanks to Cristina Guerrero, Nervo Verdezoto, Marisol Villacrés, and from Jarflex, Adonis Figueroa and Jessica Zuñiga the speakers of this meeting and specially to Arturo Tumbaco, who helped me with the logistics to make this event possible.

Here some pictures about the meeting.

Kick off for GNOME:Ayatana Project…

December 29th, 2010 by

“Follow effective action with quiet reflection. From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action.” // Peter F. Drucker

This has been one of the guidelines in my life for quite some time… It started as a curiosity a long time ago with Notify OSD and evolved to full project in openSUSE. It is important to acknowledge at this point the motivation provided by the openSUSE GNOME Team from which I’ve been getting plenty of guidance and help, namely from Vincent Untz (vuntz) and Dominique Leuenberger (Dimstar). Thanks to them, we have now a GNOME:Ayatana Project on OBS (openSUSE Build Service), currently being populated with the support libraries for Ayatana’s Unity and Indicators.

Susan Linton has made a small article for Linux Journal about this project in the past. Though some people pointed to me that it was advertising and excelling Ubuntu… I would like to leave a statement… We’re not taking a hike on Ubuntu visibility, and it isn’t bad at all, on the contrary… In fact it will help Ubuntu, us and many others… specially if some Ubuntu patches are accepted faster by upstream. I hope other RPM distributions will follow the way we, openSUSE, proudly seem to pioneering! From my personal point of view… a distribution ‘distributes’… and despite this software isn’t attractive for some openSUSE users, I’m happy it is available (totally or partially) for all those who want to test it… Wait… you don’t even need to install Ubuntu or changing the platform you run!

Due to several reasons, being the most important of them versioning, this repository will start on the next release of openSUSE in March 16th (World day of Conscience, interesting point). This is also interesting as if YOU are willing to improve a package or submit a package you can now do it to this repository.

This goes with a very huge cookie for Dimstar and Vuntz for taking care of this repository and making sure that everything will comply with the openSUSE Guidelines. You are my personal heroes.

It has been quite an interesting experience to be with openSUSE GNOME team which is full of knowledge and helpful in many ways. I can’t also forget to mention that last week Luis Medinas has taken tutorship of a Portuguese contributor to openSUSE GNOME, João Matias and will provide him the necessary help to integrate him on the workflow of the GNOME Team. My personal thanks to Luis for stepping into this task, which from my personal point of view is very important.

Regarding to Ayatana it is worth to mention that Dimstar provided some valuable help in fixing the dbusmenu package and taking care of the necessary patch submission in GTK and gdk-pixbuf to allow dbusmenu to build with introspection support and generate properly the Vala files required for other packages. This handicap beaten… we’re on the good road for better functionality. This patches also allowed to correct some behavior in some indicators, one fine example of this the ‘Me Menu’ which now displays correctly a  ‘dot’ on the selected status as the screenshot bellow shows:

In the last days, despite it’s Christmas season and soon new year…. I’ve been also working on providing additional extensions to enable some functionality on some indicators. This was the case of indicator-sound, which provides an alternative sound gadget that offers extended functionality with multimedia players. A fine example of this is Novell’s Banshee player which has astonishing out of the box implementation with the sound indicator from Ayatana by a small extension that can be enabled. I’m still wondering why so many people toss heavy critics at this indicator calling it ‘mac styled’… while to be honest I doubt such people have even seen OSX sound applet, which is more or less a direct copy of the one present in GNOME, the vertical switch. Interesting view nevertheless.

Indicator-sound has also been fixed and no longer requires the nasty hack in the previous package. Since I’m not an Ubuntu user, neither I have extensive experience on their Desktop, I’m not sure if the functionality present so far in the indicators is the one offered by Ubuntu. I plan to run a Open Beta on the Ayatana software repository during the last Milestone of Factory to all Factory users to collect more data and improve the packages, at least the indicators, as in the present since I have ATI hardware I don’t have FireGL enabled on Factory, so I can’t really push much on Unity and test it for the time being.

Another subject of plugins was Xchat which is GNOME’s premier IRC client. Novell’s Evolution also got it’s plugin which is found to be partially working. I haven’t tracked yet if there are patch submissions to Evolution from Ubuntu to enable indicator functionality. That’s for sure one of the next steps, and since Evolution is a bit of ‘in-house’, would be nice to have them approved upstream if submitted already, as it would serve openSUSE as well.

Most of this applications, evolution, xchat, gwibber, empathy, pidgin are supported by indicator messages which collects information from several messaging services and places them on a single indicator in a cascade style experience for the user. I personally find it weird as I’m not used to this, but seems nice. Unfortunalty some applications seem rely on patches to be fully supported, like empathy. I hope upstream accepts the patches from Ubuntu (if submitted) and we can also benefit from such changes in our side.

Basically to sum up everything in a short review…

* Indicators are working fully or partially depending on patch level on some applications. If upstream starts accepting Ubuntu patches (some shouldn’t be much of a problem), it will work out for Ayatana software in openSUSE as well.
* Unity – Though it builds already with some compiz packaged from git sources (to include glib mainloop patching), I have no way of testing it, neither I have done integration on it. Unfortunately both my systems have ATI hardware and I have no way of testing it on Factory which seems to be too much bleeding edge for ATI to keep up. It’s stalled a bit, but in the worst scenario will be available a few weeks after the next official release of openSUSE.
* During this wait time… we might see a new release of compiz with the patches upstreamed by Canonical, which will for sure help us also a lot. No need for hurry in Unity at this time.

My personal experience with this project has given me lots of knowledge about OBS, hacking Makefiles and configure scripts… debug skills… and specially I ended up loving the way openSUSE is built and how it works. I would take also this opportunity to make a small statement… all the development so far has been deployed over GNOME 2.32. Much of the software packaged already supports GTK3 and should be easy to migrate it to GNOME3. At the moment, since the next openSUSE release is still based on GNOME 2.32, I’m not testing all this software on GNOME3. It might take a few days/weeks to have it available for GNOME3 after it’s release, though from a personal perspective, what I’ve seen on GNOME3 seems to be overkill! It’s damn nice and I have no doubt GNOME3 will succeed as the ultimate Free Desktop.

I would also like to mention that I’m not testing this indicators with KDE. In case someone wants to do this, please feel free to nag me on IRC (#opensuse-gnome @ Freenode) and leave feedback. I’m focused only on GNOME2 and GNOME3 deployment of this software packages, though I will help in whatever way I can if someone wants to work them out for KDE.

I’m using a patched version of Metacity (patches were submitted upstream) which improves the display of buttons by improving overlaying of images (I think). Look at the sharp corners of the theme in the pic bellow. As always, Faenza Icon theme with Canonical’s light theme Radiance (not hacked). This is another change I hope that goes upstreamed soon.

My sincere congratulations to everyone working on the awesome GNOME3, I’m sure it will be a success and make the delights of many! My faith points that GNOME3 will change Desktop user experience forever!

Have a lot of fun…!

Nelson Marques

Easy scripting actions with susestudio alias new rubygem studio_api

December 23rd, 2010 by

Now I work for SLMS ( Suse Lifecycle Management Server ) project. It cooperate with SuSE studio and use its API. I get idea that more people could benefit from easy access to studio API from ruby so I extract functionality and improve behavior, documentation and testing and now there is new rubygem studio_api.
Why you should use this gem?

  • ActiveResource Behavior
  • Actively maintained ( and will be due to SLMS support )
  • Tightly developed with guys from studio team
  • Well documented with yard
  • Good test coverage


More ‘Unity’ news…

December 23rd, 2010 by

I’ve finished with the base packages required for Unity, in fact Unity already builds, though I’ve not really tested it yet as some components still need to take care… so far what’s done:

* dee – is now properly packaged and ready for submission (no patching required);
* bamf – is now properly packaged and ready for submission (includes a patch modified by Adam Williamson based on a Debian patch);
* nux – builds and in a way it’s ready, though I want to split this package in the nearby future.
* unity – builds for the time being… though it requires proper integration on the system. This build also builds with support for Indicators, since the dependencies are already prepared. Will take now a bit of time due to integration. I will offer this package installed on /opt/unity and not on usual system path.

While fighting for dependencies there emerged a small problem with ‘glewmx’, which builds from the same sources of ‘glew’. I’m currently working on this package as a priority to fix it and submit it to ‘multimedia:libs’ which also hosts ‘glew’. This package has also a small patch by Adam Williamson which was already submitted upstream that allows the proper build of ‘libGLEWmx.so*’ and glewmx.pc. Currently I’ve built this package only offering the libs. I’ve removed the binaries (and made a dependency on ‘glew’ for the binaries) and I’ve also removed the headers from the includes which will be shared with ‘glew’ and made a proper dependency. I’ve consulted Dimstar regarding this operation which promptly offered some quick guidance on the process and showed a couple of useful examples on how to this ‘the openSUSE way’.

I hope that before the new year there’s a test package of Unity for Factory users. I would also take this opportunity to thank everyone which has helped me so far on this ‘one man inglorious rush’ towards bringing Unity to openSUSE as an option for those who want to check it out:

My sincere thanks to the following:

* Vincent Untz (openSUSE/Novell);
* Ken Vandine (Canonical);
* Cristopher Roges (Ubuntu);
* Adam Williamson (Fedora/Red Hat);
* openSUSE GNOME team;
* The openSUSE community, specially those which have supported this effort since day #1.
* Arch Linux contributors (which were working on this and from which I got some guidance from their ‘forums’);

Nelson Marques.

Easy use of WebYaST for OpenSuSE 11.3

December 21st, 2010 by

Have you ever tried WebYaST ? No ? Then it is time for. 🙂

We have noticed that WebYaST is not really known in the OpenSuSE community. One reason for is that WebYaST is not really user friendly regarding the installation.

So we have investigate here some effort. Lets  see….


The simplest way is the one-click installation which is already installed on your OpenSuSE 11.3.

Just use a web browser (like firefox) with the url:


The browser will ask you to start the installation via the one-click installation. Start the installation and go through the installation workflow.

Starting and managing WebYaST

WebYaST is a web application which runs on two http servers on your system. For starting and managing these servers Thomas Goettlicher has written a nice Qt-applet which can be started e.g. in KDE:

After starting the WebYaST applet the WebYaST icon appears on the right edge of the frame :

WebYaST is disabled

WebYaST enabled

With the right mouse click you can manage WebYaST:

With this applet you can start WebYaST in your browser too. After accepting the GPG-key please login with your “root” account.

And that’s WebYaST:

That’s all.

(Yes, I know that sentence is written almost in every post here. Even in posts where problems just starting after the sentence has been read. :-))

But I think that should be really all. If not, please use bugzilla and blame us !

Have fun !

(Yes, I know that’s the second sentence which should be in every blog :-))

Happy Winter Solstice

December 20th, 2010 by

Seasonal greetings of a happy and pleasant Winter Solstice for everyone.


osc 0.130.1 (bugfix release)

December 18th, 2010 by


I just released a new osc version: 0.130.1 (bugfix release).
The following issues were fixed:

  • don’t crash if a file marked as ‘A’ does not exist (bnc#658664)
  • fixed proxy handling (bnc#657958)
  • fixed repairwc (bnc#657838)
  • fixed build for python2.4

The new version is available in the openSUSE:Tools repo.

Unity on openSUSE ? Maybe…

December 17th, 2010 by

I’ve packaged a bunch of indicators and some of the dependencies for Ubuntu’s Unity Desktop. The saga goes on with 3 more accomplishments today…

1. dee –  http://launchpad.net/dee (packaged and submitted)
2. bamf – http://launchpad.net/bamf (packaged and submitted)
3. nux – on the forge… currently breaks due to being built with libpng14 (Ubuntu using libpng12) and some deprecated syntax.

A lot of support libraries like dbusmenu had already been packaged before for the Indicators. One step closer…

Adobe Flash 64 bits under openSUSE 64bits (11.2,11.3,11.4,factory)

December 17th, 2010 by

Non Free

Dear readers, we sometimes have to use non-free software. This post will learn you how to get the latest flash player supporting natively your favorite openSUSE Linux 64 bits distribution.

Keep in mind that it is preview software, actually pre-release code quality, and with it you will not receive any security updates. Keep an eyes on it, and refresh it manually if newer version are published

So why to try that software ? My answer is simple : it’s a native 64bits plug-in. So it’s interaction with your native 64bits browser, should give you a better stability. My experience using it in the last 4 months is pretty good, no Firefox crash due to flash. (Several pro week or day with the 32bits 10.0 version)

Get ready

Remove any installed 32bits packages

First things to do, remove all actual 32bits flash installed.

zypper rm flash-player pullin-flash-player

Get the lastest Flash square preview

Go the main project page Square
Read the informations, and the Adobe License you implicitly accept by using this software.
Then Download the tar.gz

cd /tmp
wget http://download.macromedia.com/pub/labs/flashplayer10/flashplayer10_2_p3_64bit_linux_111710.tar.gz

Uncompress & Install

tar -xvzf flashplayer10_2_p3_64bit_linux_111710.tar.gz
sudo chown root:root libflashplayer.so
sudo cp libflashplayer.so /usr/lib64/browser-plugins/libflashplayer.so


Close any firefox or konqueror running, and restart them
under firefox, launch the about:plugins uri

and you should see

Shockwave Flash
File: libflashplayer.so
Shockwave Flash 10.3 d162

Have a nice surfing session, if you like flash website .

10 minutes of YOUR time…

December 16th, 2010 by

Image by: / Clue on http://openclipart.org

Fellow openSUSE Contributor,

I am not as gifted as Mizmo, so I can’t really present some cool metaphore in the form of a cartoon… Nevertheless I will try my best.

During the OSC2010 in Nürnberg I tried without much success to pass on the word that Marketing isn’t about a Team, but comes also down to us. This in an awesome time to demonstrate that on practice… Right now with an important release on the horizon, your Marketing team is starting a process to gather information to promote the features of the next release. Speaking for myself, I don’t feel confortable in taking an assingment of gathering features for example about the Kernel. As I won’t feel confortable producing contents about KDE which I barelly know… Nevertheless if those contents aren’t provided to us…. we have to dig for them… sometimes not even having a clue of the extention of their importance.

Many times I’ve heard the ultimate excuse ‘Marketing is for Ubuntu, because they are just Marketing and nothing else’… and things on that line… Well… think again… who’s fault is this that only them care about Marketing ? I see a good opportunity for you all to achieve some things in the next days… with only 10 minutes of your time… and why could be nice it happened this way:

* You run a project that is on Factory… cool… Please take 10 minutes, make a small list of 10 features that are really cool on the next release… make a 7/15 lines text on how your project changed and the benefit of the improvements for our users (if you don’t know your users, then write it as if you were talking about yourself)… This way you save your Marketing Team ‘wild goose chase’ on a stack of Changelogs we might not understand… even worst, we might even pass on the wrong stuff….

* By doing this… you are doing Marketing… you are promoting your own project within openSUSE, giving it more visibility and with 10 mins of your time… you will pass on the right word to the Marketing Team and help them. Instead of spending 50 hours searching for stuff and taking some hard decisions that might not work out in the best way for YOUR project, we have 50 mins more to work your information and make sure it is better used for the interests of YOUR project.

* If Marketing takes 3 features to write an article or make Marketing materials… and just lists the other 7… If like at least we get contributions in this form from: Kernel, GNOME, KDE and Ambassadors (yes, people should also be on the release)… thats 3×4 = 12 featured articles for the release and a feature list of 40 new exciting features….

Now… does this seem so surreal to ask 10 minutes of your time to help out your Marketing Team and make the best release ever! Oh! And have a lot of fun!

Someone said that I was crazy… and that projects and developers would never comply and would most likely laugh on my face after proposing such thing… I might be crazy… or I might very well on the wrong track. I’ve decided not to back down from facing the ‘mob’, and still risking to be laughed upon, I brought this to your attention.

Become a openSUSE Pirate ?

You are a Pirate…