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Archive for March, 2010

Pre FLISoL activities in Panama

March 18th, 2010 by

OpenSUSE_Installing Procedures

March 13th openSUSE Ambassador for Panama, Ricardo Chung (amonthoth), gave a talk at Universidad Interamericana de Panama (UIP is Laureate) for a small students group about openSUSE graphic installing procedures and customizations. How to add repositories, softwares applications and customize the desktop. This is the first of openSUSE talk series preparing activities for FLISoL 2010 at Ciudad del Saber. Educative scenarios as this one are the open source seeds for an open future and great development opportunities.

UIP it’s maybe the only university on this country offering Linux Diplomados looking for LPI certification. UIP has a ProMetric Certification LPI Authorized Center.

Here they are the New Generation for open source.

openSUSE @ Chemnitzer Linux Tage 2010

March 18th, 2010 by

Last weekend, I was boosting at Chemnitzer Linux Tage where we ran openSUSE booth with Jan Weber, Kai-Uwe Behrmann and Sirko Kemter. Jan and Sirko already wrote reports at their blogs, so I’ll add just some personal thoughts and remarks.
It all started on Friday at the Greek restaurant. There was about ten of us, including all the guys mentioned above, invis-server people and others (sorry, I suck at remembering names). We had nice evening with some greek food (surprisingly), German beer and free ouzo refill. Yes free. Caused me troubles later…

On Saturday morning, we went to the TU where the event took place and finished the booth with table clothes I brought from Prague. I have to thank my girlfriend’s brother, who work in a restaurant, for providing these (I will rather not thank the restaurant – I doubt they are aware of their contribution). Both touchscreens were ready, running 11.2, one GNOME and the second one KDE 4.4.1 IIRC. We had also bunch of DVDs to hand out, some stickers and similar stuff.

The event officialy started at 9 o’clock. I was surprised that so many people showed up.  Many of them came to the our booth, either just to take the DVD or to ask for help with their openSUSE installation. It was a bit funny when somebody started to talk to me in German (which I have completely forgot since the secondary school), so I always had to ask for switching to English – about 95% of cases this was no problem, and in the rest of cases I simply Fwd:ed the people to Jan or Kai-Uwe.

I have talked to several people doing server solutions based on openSUSE and asked what’s their biggest issue with using openSUSE and what can we do better. There seemed to be a consensus that it’s packages dropped from the distribution without communicating it enough to the community. Perhaps we could think about some centralized place (mailinglist) where packages that are due to be dropped were communicated to the community, so interested people could step in and take over of their maintenance?

Late in the afternoon, I attended Frederic Weisbecker’s talk called Instrumentation with perf events and ftrace, which was AFAIK the only lecture held in English. Frederic gave an overview about recently included tracing subsystem in linux kernel and how can it be used to gather various information from the running system.

On Sunday, things were more quiet as not so many people as on Saturday came. It was quite funny when I talked with some guy from Fedora at our booth when internet connection at the touchscreens broke up. I suspect it was some problem at AP’s side, but he seemed to be quite amused by openSUSE’s “instability” nevertheless. Hmm…

I left at about 15:30 and headed back to Prague.

In general, I think it was nice event and our booth was quite successful, because we handed out about 800 DVDs and also managed to solve most of the problems people asked us to help them with (KDE 4.4 desktop appereance, non working internet connection and VirtualBox installation are just few of them). I was happy to meet new people as well as those I know from IRC or changelog entries.

I took few photos, which can be found at picasaweb.

The KDE Plasma Reference

March 17th, 2010 by

Two days ago the KDE Plasma community announced that they are providing a live image of the Plasma Netbook Reference Platform. They provide this image to make it easy for all interested developers, users, journalists and geeks to check it out, work with, talk about and and improve it. The reference image is the result of an KDE effort utilizing the openSUSE Buildservice and it’s based on the openSUSE distribution.

What does that mean for us the openSUSE community? First of all it makes us very happy and proud. And we think it proves once again that the openSUSE projects’ distribution and its tools have the level where they stand the production pressure which comes with this kind of use cases. The Plasma Netbook Reference Edition is a lot of code to build and has many potential contributors, testers and users. Enabling people to fullfil these jobs can not be done with some script found lying around on the internet. It requires a high level of experience, professionality and stability in development and operation of the toolchain. We always have these factors in mind and many hands and brains produce high quality products reproduceably. We have the build engine, the collaboration tools, notification systems, download infrastructure and the distribution on this level. For the KDE Plasma Netbook Reference Edition we can provide the tools to build the packages and the distribution image plus the linux distribution neccessary to test the interactions between the UI and the rest of the hardware on a netbook system. That way people can experience a whole system, which is way more useful than testing the UI in isolation.

But what is most important, many people in the community are around who wholeheartedly work on achieving these great results while having fun. Again, we are proud that the team selected our distribution as a base and our tools to work with. Thank you guys for your trust. It is a great move for all, the users, KDE and openSUSE.

Kraft 0.40 Beta 2 available

March 17th, 2010 by

Last night the Kraft team was releasing the second beta for Kraft 0.40. A second beta is needed because meanwhile KDE 4.4 was released which comes with the Akonadi based addressbook. That is a big change compared to the old addressbook with a large impact on Kraft. Parts of Krafts addressbook integration had to be rewritten. The Akonadi addressbook interface in the KDE Pimlibs feels like not really being complete yet. With large address books for example, this version of Kraft might show performance gaps.

While being over that, the Kraft setup assistant got another change compared to beta 1. It now additionally asks the user to mark his own address which is stored and used in the document generation. That helps to ease the configuration even more for new users.

I would really appreciate some testing of the beta version if you are interested in this kind of software. Please report bugs back to the Kraft user mailinglist.

A source package can be downloaded from the Sourceforge project page. Binary packages for recent openSUSE distros with upgraded KDE to version 4.4 are available from the Kraft Beta repository from the Buildservice. I can not provide (K)Ubuntu packages this time unfortunately because there are no KDE 4.4 packages for (K)Ubuntu in the Buildservice yet.

openSUSE Boosters update: build.opensuse.org improvements

March 16th, 2010 by

In January, the Build Service squad of openSUSE Boosters worked to improve the openSUSE Build Service web client experience.

One focus was to make it easier for project maintainers to review and accept package submissions from contributors.  As explained in detail in the Collaboration article, when a contributor has made a local change to a package in her branch of a project, she then submits a request to merge the changes back to the original project (‘osc submitrequest’).  This request is received by the maintainers of the original project, who review it, and then submit it onwards towards openSUSE:Factory, for example, where it is reviewed again.  This distributes the workload of assembling a distribution by using the ‘many eyes’ typical of Free Software development in a structured way.

Until now, the list of requests waiting to be handled was very basic, only showing that a request was made regarding a particular package.  It was necessary to use the osc command line client to actually review and accept or reject requests.

Accepting a submitrequest from the web client

The Boosters’ sprint resulted in a fully-featured web frontend, where the reviewer can check if a submitted package actually builds, the differences in the request, accept or reject with comment, and also immediately submit the changes onward to openSUSE Factory.

Checking that submitrequests build

Showing the changes in a submitrequest

Showing the changes in a submitrequest

Another focus has been to make the overall process of preparing an openSUSE release easier.  The release manager’s job involves bringing together the output of many Build Service development projects, making sure that they all build, and that they have submitted their latest versions from the development projects to openSUSE:Factory.  This is the Build Service collaboration model.  If packages don’t build for a milestone release, or are not submitted, then the release manager can only take the previous version or choose to exclude a package from the release, which doesn’t help in getting the distribution tested.

Factory Status showing packages from GNOME:Factory

Factory Status showing progress from GNOME:Factory

The new project status page gives a project maintainer, for example the openSUSE release manager, a bird’s eye view of what needs to be done in his project: a list of packages that are currently failing; where there is an outstanding submit request, where there are unsubmitted changes in the development project, and where there is a newer version available upstream.  With quick links to projects and packages of interest, and a powerful set of filters, a project maintainer can quickly see where there are problems then drill down into the details.

Filtering problem packages by development project

OpenOffice_org 3.2.1 beta1 available for openSUSE

March 15th, 2010 by

I’m happy to announce OpenOffice.org 3.2.1 beta1 packages for openSUSE. They are available in the Build Service OpenOffice:org:UNSTABLE project, are based on the upstream 3.2 sources and include many Go-oo fixes and improvements. Please, look for more details about the openSUSE OOo build on the wiki page.

The packages are beta versions and might 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, …

As usual, we kindly ask any interested beta testers to try the package and report bugs. See also the list of known bugs.

Other information and plans:

The beta1 packages are not available for openSUSE Factory. We are working on fixing the build there.

The beta2 build should be available two weeks from now. The first release candidate should be by the end of April. The final release should happen in May.

openSUSE-LXDE Live CDs

March 13th, 2010 by

We have them!


Thanks to Dmitry serpokryl (The author of SOAD), to make it possible!

i586 and x86_64 isos are both available! But most of all, they provides the latest LXDE packages like pcmanfm 0.9.2

Now it’s your turn, download them, test them, report issues so i can fix them! Oh btw, you can also install them 😉

And finally

Have lot’s of fun


openSUSE on TV

March 12th, 2010 by

Just received the message (via awafaa) that our preferred distro openSUSE is being featured in the trailer of the Film Genitori e Figli (Parent and children). Here an screenshot of the moment were openSUSE is visible at 01m:40s

 At 1m:40s in the Trailer of the Film Genitori e Figli

At 1m:40s in the Trailer of the Film Genitori e Figli

FLISOL 2010 in Nicaragua

March 10th, 2010 by

The folks of the openSUSE Community in Nicaragua, are preparing a great event in the city of Granada, Nicaragua, in Central America.

After some considerations and discussion within the Nicaraguan LUGs Community, SUSE-Ni was appointed to carry on with the FLISOL event on April 24th.


Setting up a slide show screen saver in GNOME

March 10th, 2010 by

There are multiple options to set up a slide show screen saver that shows the pictures of your choosing when the screen saver kicks in. The following shows the various options and works with the gnome-screensaver.

Easy does it

The most direct way to get a slide show screen saver going is to place your pictures in the $HOME/Pictures directory, then start the GNOME screen saver settings dialog by using gnome-screensaver-preferences from the command line or by selecting the Screensaver icon in the Control Center (gnome-control-center). In the screen saver settings dialog select “Pictures folder” and click “Close”.

One step of customization (not the preferred option)

If you do not want to use the Pictures directory as the location for the pictures to be shown you can customize the location by making a few simple edits. As the root user edit the file /usr/share/applications/screensavers/personal-slideshow.desktop. At the end of the line that starts with “Exec” add “–location=PATH_TO_PICTURE_DIRECTORY”, without the quotes and with PATH_TO_PICTURE_DIRECTORY being a real path. For example if my pictures were in /opt/slideshow the modified line would look as follows:

Exec=/usr/lib/gnome-screensaver/gnome-screensaver/slideshow –location=/opt/slideshow

Save the file and select the “Pictures folder” in the screen saver preferences dialog to select the slide show as your screen saver.

While this is a straight forward modification this is not really a good solution. The reason being that this modifies a file that is part of a package and when the package gets updated you will loose your changes.

A second step of customization

The better solution to accomplish the task of customizing the picture location is to create a new .desktop file in /usr/share/applications/screensavers. You should use the personal-slideshow.desktop file as your starting point.

As root copy the personal-slideshow.desktop file to a file with a name of your choice, then edit the file. Change the value of “Name”, “Comment”, and add the “–location” option at the end of the “Exec” value as previously. Save the file and start the GNOME screen saver preferences dialog. In the list to the left search for the value you assigned to the “Name” variable when you edited the new .desktop file. Select it and your all set.

Getting fancy

If the animation of the pictures in the previous slide show setup is not sufficiently fancy for you, the GLSlideshow screen saver maybe the ticket for you. Unfortunately you cannot just simply configure the location of the images you would like to use in the GNOME screen saver preferences dialog or via command line arguments to the glslideshow screen saver. In order to configure the location of the images to be used it is necessary to run the xscreensaver settings dialog (don’t worry, in the end gnome-screensaver will be running again).

Just starting xscreensaver will fail as only one screen saver daemon per display is allowed. Therefore, it is necessary to first kill the gnome-screensaver; use the following commands:

-> ps -A | grep gnome-screens

At the beginning of the line this produces you will find a number, this is the process ID (PID). Use this number in the next command

-> kill -9 PID

Now fire up xscreensaver and select “Settings”. In the settings dialog select “GLSlideshow” and then switch to the “Advanced” tab. In the “Image Manipulation” frame select “Choose Random Image” and then enter the path of the directory containing your image files in the text box below the check button text. If you click the “Settings” button on the “Display Modes” tab you can set various parameters for the slide show.

With the slide show configured you can switch back to the GNOME screen saver if you so desire. In the settings dialog select File->Kill Daemon, then File->Quit. Now in a terminal window restart the GNOME screen saver by using the “gnome-screensaver” command. The process is a daemon and it will background itself. That’s it, now if you select the GLSlideshow in the GNOME screen saver preferences dialog you will see your images being selected.

With this you can have a slide show as your screen saver in no time.

Happy Hacking.