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Archive for April, 2011

Gnome 3 Launch Party Friday 8th April in Zürich Join us!

April 6th, 2011 by

gnome3 made easy

Gnome 3

Wake up ! it’s today ! Happy celebration

Learn a bit more about Gnome 3 : gnome3.org

Launch party in Zürich

If you can join the Launch Party in Zürich Friday 8th April 2011, 15h00 to 19h00

Deeper informations : visit the info page, or read the full invitation letter

Don’t hesitate to join!

Remember Zürich is less than one hour flight away from any major city in Europe, and well desserve by train. Weather will be nice and warm. So you didn’t have an excuse to not come! 🙂

I will talk about openSUSE, and how to get Gnome3 in it, I really will be happy if any other geekos around could come and join

A kind word to everyone!

April 4th, 2011 by

One person can make a difference and every person should try.” – John Fitzgeral Kennedy

Dear all,

In the last elections I’ve had 23 votes, and it’s to those persons that I address mainly in this hour, one hard one for me, with a ‘broken heart’ regarding many things…

A few weeks ago, I’ve emailed “admin@opensuse.org” requesting some changes to my user account, and later I’ve informed the Board about the reasons behind revoking my status as openSUSE member, also making them aware that I would continue to submit regularly the packages I currently maintain for the project and that I would be continuing to keep working for GNOME:Ayatana. I don’t really require ‘membership’ status for it, neither I want to be agraciated or recognized for my work, which is mainly directed towards openSUSE users, because I mainly see them as the source of motivation for this.

People will still me around on GNOME Meetings (those I can attend), I will still be around on #opensuse-gnome and #opensuse-pt… In fact people will notice that really nothing has changed, besides loosing an IRC mask, being listed as member. The real change is that I’ll longer take part in strategical or political mailing lists, neither I will be involved in anything regarding the orientation of the project. I’d rather continue giving something back to the project in the form of packages and will cut down all the superfluous stuff.

Behind this are reasons, most of them personal, and an increasing demand for my time in my personal life… things needed to be prioritized and I need also some rest on my mind, and staying away from certain areas of the project seem the right way to get some peace in my mind. The time that I removed from openSUSE project is being redirected to support the marketing of a new initiative in Portugal, which is also done as volunteer pro-bono work. There’s a national uproar involving the Firefighters future in Portugal. This is where I’m going to apply in full many of the experiences that I’ve taken from open source marketing (specially regarding distribution of digital contents) with an endeavor focused on digital marketing and social networks. This is also my true area of expertise (Marketing Management), and through this project I expect nothing else than high visibility as a professional, serving a cause that I fully trust on.

I hope that the 23 people that shared a vote of trust in me won’t feel that I’ve walked away on them, I haven’t, but I’m seeing that openSUSE is marching in the right direction. I hope only that they revoke one decision from the previous board and show some benevolence towards a redeemed contributor.

openSUSE is stronger than ever, and will succeed! I hope to see as a user/contributor a more daring project claiming for what should be ours and fighting for becoming the most popular Linux distribution! Anything else that doesn’t place us on the top, shouldn’t be considered! That is my position regarding the future and what openSUSE should fight for! Honor our sponsors, honor our contributors and keep an endless fighting spirit until it reaches such point!

A warmth ‘Thank You’ for the awesome experiences that the project has allowed me to live, for all the fun I’ve had! And the best of luck for the future! I am sure everyone’s work will be rewarded!

Stand strong people!

Nelson Marques.

freebeer.ch version 2.0 : new taste, new packaging, same free license

April 4th, 2011 by


Freebeer.ch version 2.0

visit freebeer.ch

Just a quick note about the new version (2.0) we had tasted Friday 1st April in Zürich.

No April fool, here, even if by car Zürich is one of the worst city to drive. Hopefully, I’ve a driver who don’t drink Alcohol. One hour and a half to join Zurich, and one hour to find the place, and park the car.

Anyway, we found the HUB place, and enjoyed the new version of swiss freebeer, in the company of around forty people.

The new receipt is absolutely right for my taste, and I can assure to German & Czech previous testers, it’s really better. And no, it’s not a pils malt based one. Afterall we have Geeko’s beer for that.

Pascal Mages & Roland Studer made a quick and nice presentation about the idea, the concept, and the open philosophy behind the bottle. (avertas.ch)

Then Daniel Reichlin, the brewer, made a presentation about his brewery located in Winterthur. (website). We appreciate especially the serious during QA tests. 🙂

Dabu Fantastic (Acoustic Set) website fill our ears, during the time Daniel fill ours glasses.

As always during this type of events, it’s cool to meet people, discuss about free/open world, our beloved distributions, etc

They publish some numbers, and it seems we drink (driver excluded) 80 Liters during the event.

ps: if someone near Delémont want to drink one, I’ve bring back some of them at home 🙂


Catherine Lippuner, who get some pictures, was kind enough to share some with us.

Freebeer.ch Roland Studer & Daniel Reichlin

Roland Studer (back) from avertas.ch / Daniel Reichlin (front) brewer

people drinking freebeer, and watching brewer's presentation

people drinking freebeer, and watching brewer's presentation


Public during presentation of "open concept"

Public during presentation of open concept

attentive audience

attentive audience


ATI/AMD fglrx 8.831 Catalyst 11.3 available for openSUSE 11.2, 11.3, 11.4

April 3rd, 2011 by

New version of catalyst 11.3 / fglrx 8.831 available

Please refer to my previous article where all the installation procedure is explained.

I’ve clean up all previous version which are not xpic, so everybody can easily know which drivers he has to install.

All credits to Sebastian Siebert (freespacer) : 11.3 article

What about tumbleweed, factory?

Users have reported that version 8.831 of catalyst 11.3 compile correctly under Tumbleweed with 2.6.38 kernel, so until xorg change too much, installing the 11.4 version should work

For factory, I’ve build a repository (see previous article) that can be used, and fglrx build

Numbers ?

Month Unique IP Number of visits Pages Hits Bandwidth
Jan 2011 2355 6411 19688 35263 16.63 GB
Feb 2011 2906 7719 26383 41142 22.37 GB
Mar 2011 8055 21157 228494 258613 59.13 GB

All served by openSUSE powered server!

Introducing snapper: A tool for managing btrfs snapshots

April 1st, 2011 by

Today we want to present the current development of snapper, a tool for managing btrfs snapshots.

For years we had the request to provide rollbacks for YaST and zypper but things never got far due to various technical problems. With the rise of btrfs snapshots we finally saw the possibility for a usable solution. The basic idea is to create a snapshot before and after running YaST or zypper, compare the two snapshots and finally provide a tool to revert the differences between the two snapshots. That was the birth of snapper. Soon the idea was extended to create hourly snapshots as a backup system against general user mistakes.

The tool is now in a state where you can play with it. On the other hand there is still room and time for modifications and new features.


We provide a command line tool and a YaST UI module. Here is a brief tour:

First we manually create a snapshot:

# snapper create --description "initial"

Running YaST automatically creates two snapshots:

# yast2 users

Now we can list our snapshots:

# snapper list
Type   | # | Pre # | Date                     | Cleanup  | Description
single | 0 |       |                          |          | current
single | 1 |       | Wed Mar 30 14:52:17 2011 |          | initial
pre    | 2 |       | Wed Mar 30 14:57:10 2011 | number   | yast users
post   | 3 | 2     | Wed Mar 30 14:57:35 2011 | number   |
single | 4 |       | Wed Mar 30 15:00:01 2011 | timeline | timeline

Snapshot #0 always refers to the current system. Snapshot #2 and #3 were created by YaST. Snapshot #4 was created by an hourly cronjob.

Getting the list of modified files between to snapshots is easy:

# snapper diff 2 3
c... /etc/group
c... /etc/group.YaST2save
c... /etc/passwd
c... /etc/passwd.YaST2save
c... /etc/shadow
c... /etc/shadow.YaST2save
c... /etc/sysconfig/displaymanager
c... /var/tmp/kdecache-linux/icon-cache.kcache
c... /var/tmp/kdecache-linux/plasma_theme_openSUSEdefault.kcache

You can also compare a single file between two snapshots:

# snapper diff --file /etc/passwd 2 3
--- /snapshots/2/snapshot/etc/passwd    2011-03-30 14:41:45.943000001 +0200
+++ /snapshots/3/snapshot/etc/passwd    2011-03-30 14:57:33.916000003 +0200
@@ -22,3 +22,4 @@
 uucp:x:10:14:Unix-to-Unix CoPy system:/etc/uucp:/bin/bash
 wwwrun:x:30:8:WWW daemon apache:/var/lib/wwwrun:/bin/false

The main feature of course is to revert the changes between two snapshots:

# snapper rollback 2 3

Finally yast2-snapper provides a YaST UI for snapper.


Playing with snapper should only be done on test machines. Both btrfs and snapper are not finished and included known bugs. Here is a step-by-step manual for installing and configuring snapper for openSUSE 11.4.


We would like to get feedback, esp. about general problems and further ideas. There are also tasks everybody can work on, e.g. the snapper wiki page or a man-page for snapper.

For the time being there is no dedicated mailing-list so just use opensuse-factory@opensuse.org.