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Archive for 2010

osc 0.130

December 6th, 2010 by


we just released a new osc version: 0.130.

The main changes/features are:

  • – new “revert” command to restore the original working copy file (without
    downloading it)
  • – rewrote “diff” logic
  • – added new “–http-full-debug” option, “–http-debug” filters the “Authentication” and “Set-Cookie” header
  • – added new “–disabled-cpio-bulk-download” option: disable downloading packages as cpio archive from api
  • – added new “repairwc” command which tries to repair an inconsistent working copy
  • – workaround for broken urllib2 in python 2.6.5: wrong credentials lead to an infinite recursion
  • – support –interactive-review option when running “osc rq list <project>”
  • – improved “osc rq show <id> –interactive-review”
  • – do_config: added new options –stdin, –prompt, –no-echo:
    –stdin: read value from stdin
    –prompt: prompt for a value
    –no-echo: prompt for a value but don’t echo entered characters (for instance to enter a passwd)
  • – added template support for a submitrequest accept/decline message
  • – lots of internal rewrites (new working copy handling etc.)
  • – support added for osc search ‘perl(Foo::Bar)’
  • – New “service” command to run source services locally or trigger a re-run on the server.
  • – setlinkrev is setting now the revision to xsrcmd5 by default to avoid later breakage on indirect links by default.
  • Features which requires OBS 2.1:
    support reliable diff for an accepted request

Due to the rewrite of the working copy handling osc might fail with the following error:
Your working copy ‘.’ is in an inconsistent state.
Please run ‘osc repairwc .’ (Note this might _remove_
files from the .osc/ dir). Please check the state
of the working copy afterwards (via ‘osc status .’)

Simply run “osc repairwc” which might fetch files from the api or delete some files from the storedir (.osc/). It won’t touch locally modified files. For more information see section “WORKING COPY INCONSISTENT” in the README.

The new packages should be available soon in the openSUSE:Tools repo.

Thanks to everyone who contributed to osc!

A new aeon, a new team of ambassadors!

December 6th, 2010 by

For a long time that I actively search the Portuguese Ambassadors… unfortunately I was unable to find them. I’ve learned once with someone which is very dear to me a single line that ended up by translating one great universal truth: “Stopping is dying”.

This afternoon, I’ve traveled northeast to the beautiful city of Oliveira de Azemeis, where I’ve met one of the unknown faces of the Portuguese openSUSE Community, João Matias. We’ve had a small chat about several topics… amongst them:

* OBS – openSUSE Build Service – howto, examples and how useful it can be for students projects!
* University Campus – Event creaton… how openSUSE can represent itself on 3rd parties events inside of the campus;
* Concerns about the growth of the Portuguese Community;
* Ambassadors or Campus Activists?
* The new ‘Portuguese’ Forum at forums.opensuse.org (Special Thanks to Jim Henderson and the Forums Team for their outstanding guidance during the submission process);
* Christmas Dinner @ 11th December and hot-topics.

We look forward to a smiling future full of work and hopefully with a stronger openSUSE presence in the Portuguese University Campus.

Unity (maybe) on Fedora

December 5th, 2010 by

According to this post by Adam Williamson (Fedora QA), Unity might actually land on Fedora.

Some time ago, I’ve dropped into openSUSE-GNOME mailing list an email regarding this topic, and the need that we openSUSE have regarding to protect a possible risk of having our users migrating to Ubuntu to check out Unity. The downside of openSUSE is the fact that we might be limited by manpower.

To me, this sounds the most sane strategy to promote a vertical defense of our community. Adam Williamson and Fedora seem to have acknowledged that it is important to provide users with software so that they do not feel the rush or need to change vendor to check out a new piece of software, specially when it’s something already strong in name as Unity.

From my side… I’ve started to work on building a test repository for Ubuntu stuff… currently I’ve got most dependencies already ready for Factory, including a gtk+ version with the patches to enable some functionality required for the Ubuntu Indicators.

If ‘openSUSE IBERIA’ happens to happen… it’s GNOME version will be very close to Ubuntu (and in some cases even featuring extended functionality, like GDM Configuration tool, Notify-OSD skinning, amongst other small goodies). Why to build something close to Ubuntu? EASY ANSWER! PORTUGAL AND SPAIN are dominated by Ubuntu… by providing something very close to the Ubuntu experience we might become more attractive to those users and establish positive synergies to attack their user base! YES, we, proud Portuguese and Spanish are packing out stuff to take the fight to the streets! Which reminds me of an old English saying:

“Españoles en la mar quiero. Y si es en tierra, San Jorge nos proteja…” (The spanish we want on the sea. If in land we find them, Saint George protect us…”

Many apologies for the mistake.

LibreOffice 3.3 rc1 available for openSUSE

December 3rd, 2010 by

I’m happy to announce LibreOffice 3.3 rc1 packages for openSUSE. They are available in the Build Service LibreOffice:Unstable project. They are based on the libreoffice- release. Please, look for more details about the openSUSE LibreOffice build on the wiki page.

The packages are based on release candidate sources but they have not passed full QA round yet 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 against the product LibreOffice .

Known bugs

  • unopkg crashes (bug #655912)
  • shell wrappers are still ooffice, oowriter, …; we need to discuss the new wrapper names with other distros first
  • some packages were not renamed, .e.g. OpenOffice_org-thesaurus, …; they are not built from the main LibO sources; we will do it later
  • user configuration is stored into ~/.libreoffice/3-suse; we might try to share the directory ~/.libreoffice/3 after we fix the incompatible BerkleyDB; Well, we are not sure if it is enough and it is a good idea, so it will need some more testing
  • GNOME quickstarter is started by default; you might disable it in Tools/Options/OpenOffice.org/Memory/Enable systray Quickstarter
  • SLED10 build is not available; need more love

More known bugs

Other information and plans:

The package are based on LibreOffice-3.3-rc1 sources. There are still some openSUSE-specific bugs that needed to be fixed. I hope that they do not break the base function, though.

We expect that rc2 will be needed within next two weeks. We will try to fix more openSUSE-specific bugs in the meantime…

Christmas Dinner: 11th December @ Aveiro, Portugal

December 2nd, 2010 by

On the next 11th of November the Portuguese enthusiasts are meeting up for a friendly Christmas Dinner in the beautiful city of Aveiro in the Silver Coast of Portugal (Litoral Center, the famous Aveiro Geographical Delta, the biggest natural geographical delta in Europe).

This isn’t a formal meeting, but instead an effort to get the existing enthusiasts to know themselves personally, to have some fun and trade ideas. During our Christmas Dinner we expect to receive input from our enthusiasts regarding the assembly of a Portuguese Task Force to handle our representation in the openSUSE International Community.

Though we don’t have a stone set script for the topics some of us would like to approach, I would like at least to approach the following ones:

* openSUSE Iberia – When I was superficially enrolled with the Fedora Project, I’ve tried to rebuild the Portuguese Community associated with the Spanish Community. It didn’t happened back then, but I rejoiced in happiness when this possibility was approached by Javier Lorentte and directed to Carlos Gonçalves. I am a great supporter of such initiative for the following reasons:

– Geography stands as an Opportunity; Both Portugal and Spain are the two countries on the ‘Peninsula Iberica’ (Iberian Peninsula) and share at least the last 1000 years of history. By working together we can accomplish outstanding deeds, specially related to Events and promotion.

– Culture stands as an Opportunity; Culturally speaking, Portugal and Spain are very similar in many ways and share the last 1000 years of History. Both countries present a strong Roman Catholic background, this means that societies behaviors, values and identity are pretty much shared between us. The language itself becomes friendly as most Spanish and Portuguese can actually dialog in a mix of our languages. For example the Portuguese language was born from Galaic-Portuguese, which is also the root of the language spoken in Galicia (Spain).

I look forward to see what the other Portuguese enthusiasts have to say about this issue and how we can work alongside with the Spanish enthusiasts to expand openSUSE in the Iberian Peninsula. Additionally I would like also to make people sensible to the fact that if this happens, the Portuguese crew is still committed to work with our Brazilian friends and also work when possible with them to help in any way we can to the deployment and promotion of openSUSE in Brazil and South Americas. I also hope to see the Spanish community working alongside with their South American counter-parts.

DISCLAIMER: Though I personally encourage such initiative and would love to see it happen, I do have to recon that it also depends on the Spanish Community, and their concerns are as much important as our own. I hope the vast majority of the Spanish Community and Portuguese Community can figure out a good way to develop this idea in the best interest of all.

Image By: Javier Llorente

* Ambassadors Team; I’m also expecting to approach this sensitive issue and check if we are actually strong to get two active Ambassadors. Unlike the ‘traditional’ openSUSE Ambassadors, I expect that the Portuguese enthusiasts approve a different strategy for Portugal (even on an Iberian perspective), 90% focused on University Campus activities amongst our IT students, our future professionals, and 10% oriented to small scale localized events (obviously and hopefully most of them in the Campus of the Universities).

* Mentoring/Tutorship; Because we are so few, we can benefit from other processes that would overkill for the international community. I would like to see if the people more committed to openSUSE could be part of a local ‘mentoring/tutorship’ program for the people who want to get enrolled with openSUSE in a more serious way. If we can make this happen, even with very limited resources (specially manpower), this might become a decisive factor for our local community. Building loyalty with users is a hard task, we will take advantage of the language and cultural tradition to make it happen.

* Forum Moderators; I have filled a request which is under review by the Forums Team to create a localized Forum for Portuguese under the official openSUSE Forums existing structure. This will become a strong tool if approved. I would love to gather two moderators of trust, committed and with time to perform their tasks (though I expect a very low traffic for such forums, as the Brazilian Community have their own resources). I’ve spoken already with Carlos Ribeiro, one of the Brazilian Ambassadors to work with us establishing a link between those forums and the Brazilian Community, as we Portuguese, have all the interest in working with them and informing their initiatives and resources to our local community in Portugal and establish a link with both communities so that we can grow together in the best interest for both Communities.

* Self Assessment; By far the most important, and this is actually a must. We need to account all the resources, specially manpower that we will require to start an effective and self-sustained operation in Portugal. We need to work out the methodology to analyse and take action when required, specially with issues that focused on our growth as a Community.

* ENOS; ENOS is the National openSUSE Encounter (Encontro Nacional openSUSE), an initiative started by Carlos Gonçalves (et al), the great dinossaur of the openSUSE Portuguese Community. One of the ideas around ENOS is to morph it into an Iberian event. We will study this option and we look forward for positive acknowledgement by the Spanish Community so that we can work together into that way. This would be a great accomplishment if it becomes to happen.

So… this seems like we’re going with lot of plans… So far, that’s what they are… plans… a few ideas that with the help of the unknown faces to the International openSUSE Community might end up with a life of their own.

The invitation for our small un-official Christmas Dinner is opened to everyone who wants to come!

GoogleEarth 6.0 running in opensuse 11.4 factory 64Bits

December 1st, 2010 by

Sometimes we need some of those applications running under our favorite OS. If you can stick with marble.

So the new googleearth 6.0 version hit the street. And if like me you want to give it a try, there’s some tricks to make it installing under your 64bits opensuse factory.

My first attempt just result in a nice crash …

h GoogleEarthLinux6.0.bin 
Verifying archive integrity... All good.
Uncompressing Google Earth for GNU/Linux
I/O error : No such file or directory
setup.data/setup.xml:1: parser error : Document is empty

setup.data/setup.xml:1: parser error : Start tag expected, '<' not found

*** glibc detected *** setup.data/bin/Linux/amd64/setup.gtk2: free(): invalid pointer: 0xbabababa ***
======= Backtrace: =========
======= Memory map: ========
08048000-08091000 r-xp 00000000 fd:01 1752187                            /tmp/selfgz99614152/setup.data/bin/Linux/x86/setup.gtk2

Google Eartch 6 In action
So I found that can be helpful, during the transition phase to have a package for openSUSE.

Here’s the recipe.

1: get the binary

wget http://dl.google.com/earth/client/current/GoogleEarthLinux.bin

2: extract it to a temp directory

sh GoogleEarthLinux.bin --target GoogleEarthFixed

3: replace the defective gtk2 setup thing

mv ./GoogleEarthFixed/setup.data/bin/Linux/x86/setup.gtk ./GoogleEarthFixed/setup.data/bin/Linux/x86/setup.gtk2

4: Launch the installer
4a : as root for system wide install

su -l

4b : as normal user to have it installed inside your own home


5: Cleaning !
If you don’t need anymore.

rm -Rf ./GoogleEarthFixed
rm ./GoogleEarthLinux.bin 

I would thanks people posting this comment

The method should also work for the older 5.2 version

Hermes Work

December 1st, 2010 by

Not every day is a sunshine day, also not in software development. This is my credo about the last few days which I spent debugging Hermes a bit, motivated by a kind bug report saying basically that the digest mails suck. Well, I had to kind of agree on that, so I revisited that topic.

Do you remember what Hermes is? We use Hermes in the openSUSE infrastructure to handle notifications. Since we do not want to send people emails they do not explicitly agree that they want it (otherwise it would be spamming, right?), we invented a system that recognizes all kinds of events that happen in the openSUSE world, than check if a certain user wants to know about it and finally send it to these users. The benefit the user of the system is that he can pick from a huge variety of events and control if and how he gets informed about. Hermes does not only serve users with email but also maintains RSS feeds, it Twitters and does even more. And as another bonus, it can collect similar events for you and later send a digest with a collection. That way, you for example can get a mail with a list of failed package builds in OBS each hour instead a mail every fife seconds for each and every failing package.

But back to my debugging fun: I was mainly fixing the appearance of the digest messages: They now in the subject tell you how many events are digested and how frequently the digest comes, such as hourly, minutely etc. In the mail body, you now find a numbered “table of contents” of the mail and the individual events nicely listed. So much more useful.

Unfortunately it wasn’t the most time efficient debugging session I ever had, I stumbled over some things that weren’t optimal now in an environment where Hermes processes between 40,000 and 70,000 events a day for more than 25,000 users. Some of the problems are ugly to identify. I got lost a bit which is not good for the overall mood, so I decided to cry at Susanne, one of our colleagues. She asked me quite a few questions and than she left home for dinner. Ten minutes later I could nail the bug.

So this is my strong suggestion: If in debugging trouble, talk to your friends. Tell about the problem, share your misfortune. A few question can guide you to the right path which you did not see before. Not new? Well, yes, of course we knew that already from other topics in live, talking helps 😉

The other suggestion I wanted to make: Check Hermes digests! Go to the Hermes Subscription Page and change one of your subscriptions to digest mode, will be fun. Let me know what you think.

Announcing factory-tested

November 29th, 2010 by

Good news everyone! There is something new that is better than Factory and Milestones.

You might have heard users complaining about openSUSE Milestones being alpha quality and RCs/GMs being beta quality only.

You might also have heard developers complaining that people only start testing RCs, which is too late to fix most bugs (some users don’t know that).

You might also have heard geeks calling for rolling releases to always have bleeding edge software.

Luckily, all of the above can be helped.

I have been thinking about this situation and how to improve it.
The main problem is, that Factory is sometimes broken. So how can we make testing new software safer, even between milestone-releases (which are manual factory-snaphots)?

There is now a factory-tested repository that only gets updated when tests show that factory meets the following minimum requirements:

  • The system can be installed,
  • Zypper can install software,
  • And X11 can be started – at least on KVM

While this can not save users from all major bugs, it is already a big improvement to current Factory which gets released whenever it builds. So, why don’t you give it a try?

For more info on test-results (including videos), you can also have a look at the openQA page.

updated permissions handling in 11.4

November 24th, 2010 by

In addition to supporting file system capabilities (fate#307254) I’ve also updated the permissions handling in 11.4 slightly.

There have been complaints that every SuSEconfig run also calls SuSEconfig.permissions which leads to changed file permissions at unexpected times. Therefore I’ve modified SuSEconfig.permissions to only actually set permissions when called explicitly (ie SuSEconfig –module permissions). When called by a generic SuSEconfig run SuSEconfig.permissions now only shows files with wrong permissions but doesn’t actually fix them anymore.

Since packages that have files with special permission handling do call SuSEconfig.permissions explicitly via %run_permissions in %post the change above alone isn’t sufficient to avoid surprises. Therefore I’ve introduced the new macro %set_permissions. This macro expects file names as arguments. Only permissions of those files are adjusted then. To notify packagers of that new method an rpmlint check now issues an informal message if %run_permissions is used.

Please note…

November 22nd, 2010 by

I’m going on parental leave from December 14th to February 13th, 2011. My son was born in January and now it’s my time to help a bit more out at home. My wife has many plans for me and I have some myself as well including changing diapers, some work at the house, celebrating christmas, showing off our kids to their grandparents, aunts and uncles, getting my son settled in the daycare, building a snow man…

I hope some days of vacation will be in there as well so that I can be refreshed again when I return back to the Novell office to continue working for openSUSE.

Right now, I try to find some people that take over some of my responsibilities.

I will take care that everything I do which is important will be handled during the time, e.g. even better reaction to PromoDVD shipping – and silently hope that after the parental everything works far better without me than right now 😉

So, you all have a short break from me.  I don’t know how much time I’ll spend online but I know I will not be in the office and don’t want to be fully engaged during my leave.  I’m looking forward to both
the parental leave and also to return – and will read regularly the openSUSE planet to see what’s happening!

During my absence, Jacqueline Junghanns will take over and handle most of my responsibilities. Some of you might know Jacqueline from the openSUSE conferences which she helped to organize. I hand over the virtual mikrophone to Jacqueline to introduce herself:



“Hi, my name is Jacqueline Junghanns and I can say that I am a SUSE dinosaur as I had my ten year anniversary just a couple of weeks ago and I do not plan to extinct any time soon ;).  I am very much looking forward to dive into the openSUSE project because I already got the chance to help out “backstage” and I am glad about this new opportunity.  During my ten years I gathered experience in various areas such as hardware certification and right now as a team assistant for OPS.”

Sending of PromoDVDs

One thing I have handled in the past, is sending out of PromoDVDs and other promotional material for events. We do have a good stock of openSUSE 11.3 DVDs available and happily send them out for events. Please start using the address promodvds@opensuse.org to request them – and right now Jacqueline and myself will answer, later only Jacqueline.