Home Home > 2010 > 08
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 August, 2010

What’s cooking in openSUSE’s GNOME for 11.4

August 30th, 2010 by

The openSUSE GNOME team has launched itself full throttle into preparations for openSUSE 11.4, which will be released with GNOME 2.32 as one of the desktops. Along the way, we decided on our focus points for the upcoming release:-

  • New packages: More applications for a richer desktop experience
    While there are a large number of excellent GNOME/Gtk-based apps in openSUSE already, this looked like a great time to start getting more apps catering to a variety of requirements into the GNOME:Apps and GNOME:Factory build service projects. Since deciding on this, several new packages have already been worked on and are now available in the corresponding repositories. The status of new applications is tracked here. Many of these applications will, subject to review, reach Factory and a few might even become part of the default openSUSE GNOME desktop.
    You are welcome to request the packaging of applications you have found particularly useful or impressive, and if you are in earnest, why not join us at #opensuse-gnome and start packaging them for yourself? Requests for new applications may be made through comments here, on the mailing-list or at irc, but the best way to do this would be to open a feature request and tag it as “gnome-wishlist-packages”.
  • The GNOME Pet Peeves Project: Dealing with minor irritants on the desktop
    I bet there have been times when you have come across a little but pesky irritant or a usability issue that left you feeling “this could have been done so much better…” We decided to track down such issues and try to have them fixed before the next release. Thus the GNOME Pet Peeves Project, where we note and research such issues, their workarounds and solutions. As you can see, we have located a few of these already, and started working on them.
    We invite you to report your pet peeve with GNOME through comments here or otherwise. Of course, the good Samaritan is more than welcome to help with the process of solving such problems as well by providing fixes, pointing to existing upstream patches or even nudging upstream developers at bugzilla or irc, to ensure a more polished GNOME desktop on openSUSE.
  • There is much to celebrate about, in GNOME-land come March 2011… and we hope to join the party, as well, with an (unofficial) GNOME3 take on openSUSE 11.4 to be released on the GNOME3 release day!

That and more… indeed there is so much to look forward to, with the launch of 11.4, from the GNOME desktop user’s perspective. With your feedback and other contribution, you can help shape that perspective while also having a lot of fun.

Come on ! Join the Bacula developer conference

August 30th, 2010 by

I love to see all of you, devs, packagers or just curious on the Bacula developer conference held in Yverdon-Les-Bains Switzerland on September 26, 27 & 28.

Direct information : bacula.org conf page

You don’t know what bacula is ? Well I would summarize it as an one of the essential component in enterprise IT. It not only backup your data, it give you them back when needed ! Don’t smile, many backup solution failed (even proprietary solutions) in this last crucial point.

Here’s  the program extracted from our mailing-list.

Are you interested to:

  • Meet the Bacula developers in person
  • Learn how we maintain the source code
  • Hear some presentations about Bacula from the developers
  • Want to learn about and help define the Bacula roadmap.
  • Want to give feedback or ideas directly to the developers.
  • Learn more about Bacula Systems
  • Any of a load of other reasons

If so, we wondering if there is enough interest to have a Bacula developer’s
conference in Yverdon, Switzerland (about 1.5 hour by train from Geneva
Airport) on the 27th and 28th of September.

Maps : here

If you arrive on Sunday the 26th there would even be a chance to meet most of the Bacula Systems founders in person.

This conference would be mainly interesting for developers and advanced Bacula
users, but it is open and free for everyone. If you are or have been a
contributor to the Bacula project, the project may be able to sponsor part of
your trip.

Sunday 26 Sept.  
  Bacula Systems Open House.  Visit the Bacula Systems offices and meet the
  Bacula developers and the Bacula Systems founders.  Totally informal and

Day 1: Monday 27 September 2010
  Presentations by Bacula developers and anyone else who would like to give a
  formal presentation (30 to 45 minutes)

  Tentative program:
  - Swisscom sharing our experiences with Bacula (SAP backup, ...)
  - DassIT new Bacula conf file GUI editor
  - Bacula in Brazil
  - Linux Bare Metal Recovery
  - Bacula development process
  - Bacula Roadmap
  - Bweb
  - How Bacula Systems supports the project -- Rob Morrison

Day 2: Tuesday 28 September 2010
  Birds of a feather meetings:
  Informal direct conversations with the developers, planning, 
    organizing, ...
  - Using git
  - How patches are integrated
  - Regression testing
    - CDash regression dashboard
  - Release cycle
  - Roadmap discussion and your input
    Brain storming new backup strategies such as deduplication
  - How Bacula plugins work
  - Rpms and how to improve them

Naturally, we will furnish plenty of beer and pizza and other goodies.

Best regards,
Kern Sibbald

Revising the Board Election Rules

August 25th, 2010 by

Last years election of seats for the openSUSE board showed that our election rules are not complete.  So, before the elections this year start, I propose that we refine the rules and like to start with this post a discussion on how to change them.

I see the following situations not handled:

  • Less candidates than seats for a category (Novell/non-Novell)
  • Equal number of candidates and open seats for a category (Novell/non-Novell)
  • a board member resigning
  • a board member disappearing and not engaging in the board
  • a board member getting hired by Novell or leaves Novell

We also need to clarify when the new board constitutes.

We should have a light weight process that is not overly complex and results in endless votes. We vote for people that volunteer their time for the openSUSE project and don’t get any material benefits for it. So, let’s keep that in mind when discussing alternatives.


Posture of a Jedi.

August 25th, 2010 by

In the proprietary world, the stronger is the dark side. All Jedi  of the Order (openSUSE, Fedora, Ubuntu, Slackware and others) should always carry with them a tool to combat the dark side of the  force. My lightsaber was created with the command:

$ dd if=/path/to/iso/openSUSE-11.2-KDE4-LiveCD-i686.iso of=/dev/sdb  bs=4M;sync

My Wallpaper and Banner with gecko jedi.

August 25th, 2010 by

Below my wallpaper and banner with Master Gecko Jedi… Use the force, Read the source!

OBS 2.1: Status of PowerPC and MIPS support with QEMU

August 22nd, 2010 by

Now that ARM support in the OBS is getting more mature, here a report on the Status of PowerPC and MIPS builds using QEMU. They are implemented similiar to the ARM solution, and use QEMU Usermode (to allow speedup with x86 based cross compilers like we do for ARM).

First of all, PowerPC native builds do work since a long time (3+ years). At the beginning, only XEN virtualization was available for OBS, and XEN did not work on PowerPC hardware. Recently, KVM autosetup was added to OBS with release 1.8. KVM also works on PowerPC machines, so there are now fully functional PowerPC native builds with virtual machine support available.

QEMU Usermode builds for PowerPC are working on 32bit targets. They had been tested on all linux distribution targets using 32bit PowerPC mode (all Debian or Ubuntu PowerPC have working builds). Due to the lack of some functions in QEMU, these builds do not work with QEMU inside a KVM virtual machine (the build results cannot be extracted due to a missing ioctl emulation on PowerPC). Since currently Fedora as well as openSUSE have dropped PowerPC support in their distros, this leaves only 32bit targets on Debian based packaging to be supported. Anyway, should someone need 64bit support, he can use a native machine to work with that.

QEMU Usermode builds for MIPS had also made the first beep inside OBS. They support currently Debian 4.0 mips and mipsel 32bit builds, and Debian 5.0 mips builds (mipsel currently fails on QEMU). It seems there is no RPM based distro available anywhere, so I had no chance to test this case. 64bit MIPS Usermode seems to be broken in QEMU, so it would need fixing. Also, QEMU Usermode hangs for MIPS builds when running in a KVM virtual machine.

A QEMU used for both the above cases is available now for quite a while in the OBS project openSUSE:Tools:MeeGo. The qemu package there is named qemu-deploy. The other small changes in osc, build and obs-server code needed are already in git master and will roll out with OBS 2.1.

In case you would like to help me enhance the support for PowerPC or MIPS and close missing parts (get MIPSEL working, fix KVM builds), feel free to contact me.

openSUSE Boosters at FrOSCon, Day 2

August 22nd, 2010 by

Back home in Nuernberg now – Sunday has been a long day of hacking on Elgg and its plugins to shape it into a users site that knows about the social side of the openSUSE community.

Our ‘Hack Meck’ was a little bit harder after letting loose at the legendary FrOSCon Saturday night party in the balmy August air, but we still managed to put down the glow sticks, hammer the keys and reach our goals for the weekend. These were adapting the user data to include fields that are peculiar to openSUSE such as membership status and IRC cloak, enhancing the Poll plugin to meet our info gathering needs, adapting the Elgg theming to our ubiquitous Bento theme, and working on calendaring and events so that we all know what is coming next in openSUSE world and so you can display your packaging and bug-reporting achievements to the world.

When we weren’t making like a bunch of web developers, we mingled in the exhibition area, presented our project to anyone who came by the Hack Meck room and generally enjoyed seeing the diverse projects that come to FrOSCon. Thanks go to the FrOSCon organizers for making us so welcome and to the openSUSE booth staffers for doing a terrific job – we look forward to doing it again next year.

openSUSE Boosters at FrOSCon, Day 1

August 21st, 2010 by

After long drives from Nuernberg, Prague and Darmstadt hitting every traffic jam on the A3 (the Czechs won the race), the openSUSE Boosters met up in the little rhenish town of Sankt Augustin near Bonn to attend FrOSCon.  Last night we reacquainted ourselves with each other and the odd glass of Kölsch or two over steak and chips.  Suitably fortified, we are now occupied our project room upstairs at FrOSCon (room C125) and are now hacking like crazy on our team project, a new site for openSUSE users and contributors.  This is based on the Elgg free software social networking platform, so we’re dusting off our PHP and looking at all the integration points with the rest of the openSUSE platform: the Build Service, Bugzilla, the wiki, Lizards, and so on. So if you’re more of a web monkey than a distro gibbon and would like to help, drop by tomorrow or just get in touch with the  http://en.opensuse.org/openSUSE:Boosters_team.

I took a few photos of us in action today, following the three-of-a-kind motto:





I’m off to the social event now, more tomorrow!

I’m going to FrOSCon

August 20th, 2010 by

Ah, FrOSCon, where all the projects with funny capitalisation feel at home, and they promote OSC, the Open SUSE build service Command line tool for us.

I’m going to be there together with the other openSUSE Boosters, where we have a Devroom to hack on things that will make openSUSE go Pop! (in the swelling-with-contributors sense). If you’re at FrOSCon, be sure to drop by and say hi! Oh and we will have the latest KDE stuff to show you, as usual :).

KDE Release Party in Madrid

August 15th, 2010 by

The other day I met afiestas in the tram. He had a KDE sticker on his laptop and I thought perhaps this guy is interested in the KDE bug squashing party we have organized… I talked to him about it and he told me that he was a KDE developer. Quite a surprise! So we’re going to celebrate the release of KDE SC 4.5.0 at Sigland (San Bernardo 118) next Saturday (21st) at 14:00. 😀

If you are coming, please add your name to