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Archive for April, 2010

making of the openSUSE install video

April 29th, 2010 by

Videos of software can have many good uses. You can have tutorials or a quick-start how-to illustrated by a video that shows the steps you need to go.

However, creating such videos takes some effort. Especially hard to make is a video of an operating-system installation, which includes a bootloader and other low-level software where you can not run capture-software on the OS.

Being a member of the Testing Core Team, I wanted to automate the typical openSUSE installation workflow up to the point where the installed system first started, because if installation media would not get to that point, it could prevent testers to try the remaining software.

To do this automation, I employed KVM (the much fancied Kernel Virtual Machine). As it is a variant of QEMU, it also has all those many useful options to adjust its behaviour to ones liking. One of those options allows KVM to be remote-controlled via the management-console. You can (among others) send key-presses, move/click the mouse and capture screenshots.

Putting all this together, I got a series of many images. So the next logical step was to run ffmpeg2theora on those images to create with free tools and free codecs a .ogv video file that has an even smaller size and better quality than mpeg[124]. Plus it can be easily viewed in firefox&co at high speed.

The results can be seen on http://www3.zq1.de/bernhard/mirror/opensuse/video/

This is still work in progress. KVM might have issues. e.g today I found, that I could speed up the network from 290kB/s to over 30MB/s by changing the emulated network device model from e1000 to virtio. With this, a network install from a fresh proxy cache took only 34 minutes instead of 95.

There is some more info in  http://lists.opensuse.org/opensuse-factory/2010-04/msg00439.html

(note that my initial test-runs were flawed because they used old MS5 packages and thus hit well known bugs in those)

What do you think: What can I improve? Can this technique be put to other good uses?

OpenOffice_org 3.2.1 beta3 available for openSUSE

April 27th, 2010 by

I’m happy to announce OpenOffice.org 3.2.1 beta3 packages for openSUSE. They are available in the Build Service OpenOffice:org:UNSTABLE project, are based on the upstream 3.2.1-beta 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:

We are sorry for the delay but this beta was quite problematic. We would like to prepare another build two weeks from now. We hope that it will be rc1 but it depends on upstream. The final release should happen by the end of April or in the beginning of June.

Trophy from IBM Develothon 2010

April 27th, 2010 by

Went to IBM Develothon here in Baroda(Vadodara) today, did a small presentation on openSUSE Edu Li-f-e during the “unconference”. This is what I brought home 🙂

Click to zoom

First round of pictures from the FLISOL Venezuela

April 26th, 2010 by

El Gecko Todopoderoso!The experience of this year with openSUSE FLISOL this was very rewarding … Attendees were very interested in our distribution and of course “freed” a lot of machines with only openSUSE Installed.

A lot of happy faces after they see YaST and how easy somethings are.

Of course, the main character was our beloved “Gecko”, who captivated eyes, picking fights, tears and others because they all wanted a bit of it! xD

The real star openSUSE Fever?

My premise was simple, free your machine and win a gecko or a DVD, or a t-shirt. Finally, I got one of my goals,  give a push to GoSVe and open people’s eyes to more options, as is openSUSE.

Demostration After the demostration

Some gallerys from the event:






More photos to come 😉

KDE Finance Apps Group Spring Sprint

April 24th, 2010 by

Yesterday started the first ever sprint of the KDE Finance Apps Group. We meet for three days and where could that better happen than in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, which is one of the larger places on the world where financial industry resides. As a matter of fact, the place where we meet is in the direct neighborhood of a quite impressive buildings of Deutsche Bank and german stock exchange 😉

The KDE Finance Apps Group is a group of people who have two commons: First, all of us are working on a KDE application and second the application has something to do with money. Like KMyMoney, which is a personal finance manager and Skrooge, a comparable new star on the KDE finance management sky, Assuma, a membership management software for associations and LemonPOS, a free point of sales system.

Quickly the idea came up to do a sprint to get each other to know and discuss the first concrete steps for the group. Thanks to KDE e.V. and Thomas Baumgart and his company SyroCon hosting us perfectly, that takes place now 🙂

Yesterday we had a great warm up with introductions, get to know each other and an impressive Skrooge introduction, and today we will start dive into more technical details. Great 🙂

Another outlet for openSUSE TV

April 24th, 2010 by

At one of the project meetings, it was highlighted that our selected video service provider isn’t the easiest to reach from some parts of the world. So I was assigned the task of finding an alternative/complimentary service that would be acceptable.

The decision I came to, and confirmed with others that they were happy, was to use YouTube as a complimentary service to BlipTV. So yes people we now have an Official YouTube channel. I’d like to say a huge thanks to Leslie Hawthorn for enabling this for us, and the fine folks over at Google & YoutTube. There is very little content on there at the moment, but that will change shortly as I will sync the content from BlipTV across.

The rationale for keeping BlipTV as our primary provider is:
* They allow people to download the original video file without having to login etc. This is great as it means we can keep providing video in open formats for all to consume.
* It provides us with the means of centralising distribution of all the videos. We upload to BlipTV and they take care of adding it to YouTube and anywhere else we want (should we upload to Facebook too?)
* They’re a great bunch of guys & gals who are very responsive to support requests and general queries – their customer service is superb!
* Oh and last but by no means least, they’re big OpenSourcers using Linux (granted it’s Gentoo but we like the Gentoo community don’t we? 🙂 ), and a wealth of open source software (ffmpeg, gstreamer etc).

This means that the likes of tube.o.o may well be removed in the near future, as all the content will be stored online and offered to the widest possible audience, without a strain on any resources on openSUSE’s end. If anyone has any issues with either service please let me know.

Guest Blog: Testing Team Minutes (Week 16)

April 23rd, 2010 by

Guest Blog from Larry Finger:

The openSUSE Testing Core Team (TCT) has been asked to contribute to the Weekly News on a regular basis. We are grateful for the opportunity.

The TCT is a group of 25 volunteers that are charged with helping the openSUSE developers test each new release. Our objectives and membership are given on our wiki site:


The TCT was organized in the middle of the 11.2 development cycle, thus we are still learning our role; however, it is clear that we need the involvement of the openSUSE community at large to conduct proper
testing. That is why we appreciate the invitation to participate here.

In particular, the community can help in the following ways:

* Publish Bug Reports in the Bugzilla (http://bugzilla.novell.com/).

* Inform us of testing that worked. With this, we have an idea of the
test coverage.

* Participate in our regular IRC meetings. See http://en.opensuse.org/OpenSUSE_Testing_Core_Team/Meetings. During the  development phase of a new release, our meetings are held at 17:00 UTC on the Monday following the release of a new Milestone or Release Candidate. Accordingly, our next meeting will be on May 3, assuming that M6 is released during the week of April 26. The transcripts of previous meetings are posted on the site. If there is a topic you would like to see covered in an upcoming meeting, please send a private mail to user lwfinger on the openSUSE site. Our meetings are held on the
#opensuse-testing channel on the Freenode IRC Network -irc://irc.freenode.net/opensuse-testing. All are welcome.

Guest Blog: Kernel Review with openSUSE Flavor (Week 16)

April 23rd, 2010 by

Guest Blog from Rares Aioanai:

Howdy y’all! Welcome to this week’s edition of hot kernel news! Let’s get to it :

-Eric Anholt posted fixes for -rc2 – the drm-intel tree.
-Alex Elder pushed some fixes of the xfs tree regarding -rc5
-Len Brown posted patches for ACPI to apply to 2.6.34-rc4
-Also, git pull requests have been submitted to the following trees : iBFT, CFS, XFS, OLPC(viafb), DRM (Dave Airlie fixed some radeon stuff),  PCMCIA (for -rc5, RCU, tracing, eCryptfs.
-Christian Ludwig mailed the linux-kernel@ list to celebrate 5 years (17.04) of kernel development with git. See here for more info :  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ntTpM8hfl_E
-Russell King sent a quick fix to a fs/built-in.o: In function `sys_inotify_init1′:summary.c:(.text+0x347a4): undefined reference to `anon_inode_getfd’ error.
-Samuel Thibault announced hwloc (Hardware Locality) vers. 1.0rc1 which is described by the author as following : “hwloc provides command line tools and a C API to obtain the hierarchical map of key computing elements, such as: NUMA memory nodes, shared caches, processor sockets, processor cores, and processor “threads”. hwloc also gathers various attributes such as cache and memory information, and is portable across a variety of different operating systems and platforms.”
-David Miller fixed some issues in the networking tree, including virtualization issues, TX lockups and iwliwifi active chain detection.
-LWN.net has an article about the release of 2.6.34-rc5 – http://lwn.net/Articles/384026/rss
– the official announcement from Linus sounds like this : “Another week, another -rc. This time there wasn’t some big nasty regression I was working on to hold things up, and it felt like a pretty  regular -rc release.
Random fixes all around. The most noticeable (for people who got hit by it) may be the fix for bootup problems that some people had (ACPI dividing by zero: kernel bugzilla 15749), but there’s stuff all over. The shortlog gives some idea.”
-Dave Airlie put out a single fix for the drm tree, namely an issue regarding KMS on radeon cards.
-In other fixes news, Ingo Molnar posted fixes for the perf tree and  David Miller has come up with some SPARC fixes.
-Dominik Brodowski mailed some PCMCIA bugfixes for the upcoming 2.6.34-rc6.
-OpenSUSE’s own Jan Kara posted fixes for the linux-fs tree, specifically quota fixes. Since we’re talking about fixes, other trees that received fixes are : ext4 (Theodore Ts’O), wireless (John W. Linville), m68knommu (Greg Ungerer), kvm – for -rc5 – (Avi Kivity), jfs (Dave Kleikamp), logfs (Joern Engel) and voltage regulator fixes by Liam Girdwood.
-Martin Schwidefsky has some s390 patches for -rc5, Tejun Heo announced patches for the slabh subtree (slab.h); other fixes were released for various trees as follows : scsi(James Bottomley)-for -rc5, driver-core
(Greg KH)-for 2.6.34-git, drm-intel(Eric Anholt)-for -rc4, libata(JeffGarzik), drm-radeon(Dave Airlie), perf probe for PPC(Paul Mackerras),  usb(Greg KH)-for 2.6.34-git,
-Theodore Ts’O announced the Call for Tracks for this year’s Linux Plumbers Conference, which will take place in Cambridge, Massachusetts between the 3rd and the 5th of November.
-OpenSUSE’s Greg (Kroah-Hartman) posted  reviews of 2.6.33-stable and
-mmotm patches against -rc5 were announced on the 22nd of April, containing a rather large plethora of fixes of different sorts and purposes.

That’s it for this week’s kernel news. Have a nice and pleasant weekend. 🙂

What people search for

April 23rd, 2010 by

http://software.opensuse.org/stage includes now a little box to show what other people search for. It was a little idea The Boosters had, but I found the results so far pretty suprising. I didn’t really expect subversion in the top 3, but perhaps it’s only the moment.

The results shown are from actual downloads, for that every download url is a little redirect to save the query the download was for.

FLISOL 2010 Guayaquil-Ecuador : 1 day before

April 23rd, 2010 by
Similar to more than 20 cities in Ecuador and 17 countries in Latin America, Guayaquil is preparing to join the celebration of FLISOL 2010. This year, the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering of ESPOL will be the home of  the event in Guayaquil. The event is coordinated in Guayaquil by Prof. Dr. Daniel Ochoa, current leader of KOKOA (ESPOL’s Free Software Community). For this edition, there will be divided in four areas targeting different user interests.

Area 1: Talks

For this year we have on schedule around 22 talks (splited in 3 tracks) covering different topics of FLOSS. This year, the talks track will be featuring Jossie, a FLOSS CMS to develop accessible websites that developed in Ecuador. Another main talk is given by  Luis Galarraga explaining his experiences while leading the J!Research project, which is a Joomla extension that is being used by an increasing number of research-related institutions. Following by the presentation of the findings on using FLOSS on education. Something that I am happy to say is that the number of talks is increasing every year, so hopefully in 5 years the FLISOL event of Guayaquil might scale to a higher level.

Area 2: Workshops

This area  is aimed for different users, but most of them are oriented to experienced users. This year we have on schedule 6 workshops.

Area 3: Demo/Gaming room

This is a must-visit place for the young ones and a proof that “Hey!!! it is possible to play video games on GNU/Linux”.  This area will be the home of small tournaments in the games Frets on Fire, OpenArena and Super Tuxkart, where participants will be able to earn small FLOSS related prizes. In addition to this, visitors will be able to test some desktop environments and cool apps.

Area 4: Installation Party

Last but not the least, and the reason that drove FLISOL on first place, the installation Party. The  installation party is complemented by a cross-distro stand were users are explained the main features of each distro in  order to ease their decision in the moment of the installation party. During the installation, the users receive a brief introduction to GNU/Linux and are assisted on its installation. This year, the available distros are: openSUSE, Fedora, (k)ubuntu, CentOS and Debian.

In addition to this, for those who are not so sure if it’s their time to move to FLOSS, KOKOA prepare the KOKOA Toolkit, which is a CD with Free Software and tutorials that can be installed on windows. This gives the users the chance to taste the power of FLOSS and help in their transition decision :D.

The time keeps going and that moment in the year when all Latin America joins to celebrate a FLOSS party has arrived.

More info at: