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Archive for March, 2013

GPIO on Raspberry Pi

March 31st, 2013 by

We have these working openSUSE Factory images for the Raspberry Pi, which is an ARM-based mini-computer, and since I want to encourage my kid to do more with computers than playing games (even if they are open-source), I looked into how GPIOs worked.
For that, you need to find the pin allocation – e.g.
in the elinux GPIO description or
has a video which has it explained at 03:00

For my test, I wired together pin11 and pin12, which are GPIO17 and GPIO18.
I wanted GPIO17 to receive what is sent by GPIO18.
This is how this looked for me: foto of GPIO17 and 18 wired together

Using it directly from the shell is simple:
echo 17 > /sys/class/gpio/export
echo 18 > /sys/class/gpio/export
echo out > /sys/class/gpio/gpio18/direction
echo 1 > /sys/class/gpio/gpio18/value
watch -n 1 head /sys/class/gpio/gpio*/value

If the wiring and configuration was right, the “watch” will show gpio17/value to become 1 too.
You can then also pull the wire (or insert a physical switch) and see gpio17/value dropping to 0 again, when it is no more receiving the current from the other pin.

If you managed to get this working, you reached level one of hardware-hackery.

wxRuby is now on BuildService

March 22nd, 2013 by

I am happy to announce that i succeded in compiling wxRuby 2.0.1 on my Buildservice account and it is available to be installed in just one click for openSUSE 12.2 and 12.3.

wxRuby is an old but working library based on wxWidgets toolkit, till some day ago the dependency from SWIG 1.3.38 and some small errors raised during the manual compilation, made the use of this library the worst nightmare for beginners who was looking for a fast approach to GUI based programming in Ruby.

After some day spent to investigate about a possible upgrade of the SWIG dependency to the current 2.0 version, i produced some patches to fix this and the other annoying compiling errors, and finally, thanks to the Buildservice infrastructure, a wxRuby RPM compiled from sources with the relative patches are now availables for all openSUSE users!

As far i googled this should be the first distro to have a precompiled and working wxruby gem among its repositories (being compiled from sources the gem is generated for 32 and 64 bits architecture from Buildservice itself), so Rubyists take a look on software.opensuse.org, select the package coming from my home project account and enjoy!

openSUSE 12.3 (12.2) and nvidia drivers

March 17th, 2013 by

Just a small quick note.

If you are using the nvidia proprietary drivers from our openSUSE repos. Take care of the following fact. By default the new drivers didn’t add your user to the video group.

Getting Gnome, kdm, kde, or other application running well you have to add your user to the video group.

YaST User & group management being your kindly Gui friend.
or use usermod

sudo usermod -A video yourusername

Happy 3D acceleration!

One that got away – 12.3 Networking

March 13th, 2013 by

Well openSUSE 12.3 is about to go live  and we are all pretty excited. It is, as far as I can tell a rock solid release and we have outdone ourselves. Considering the short release cycle makes this even more impressive.

One can only thank everyone in the community for pulling together, getting a lot of stuff done and delivering a great release.

Yet, there’s one sprinkle that rains on our parade. While we completed the switch to systemd we somewhere along the lines forgot to check the status of NetworkManager on an installed system. Thus, when you upgrade from a previous release and NetworkManager is disabled, it will be enabled and running after the upgrade is complete, sorry. If you happen to be running a network bridge your bridge will not be working and you’ll end up in some weird network state where ifconfig will tell you that both your bridge and your Ethernet card have an IP address. Your routing table will also be messed up. Addressing the issue is easy.

Login as root, which you will have to do at the login manager if you happen to run NIS, disable NetworkManager, stop the NetworkManager service, and restart your network. You are now back to your original configuration, no sweat ūüėČ . Below is a list of commands you want to run as the root user to make this happen:

# systemctl –force disable NetworkManager.service

# systemctl stop NetworkManager.service

# rcnetwork restart

Welcome to the Indian Reservation, Ubuntu GNOMEs!

March 12th, 2013 by

I read today that Ubuntu-Gnome is now an official flavour of Ubuntu! Great work, you’ve achieved the same level of recognition as KDE has. ¬†Establishing Kubuntu, and other flavours of Ubuntu, was a very canny move on Canonical’s part to control and contain dissent within the Ubuntu big tent. ¬† The Kum-ba-ya, lets-all-make-a-circle-in-our-vests hype that Ubuntu generated in 2005 was so strong that it sucked in KDE users as well as users of GNOME, then the anointed Ubuntu desktop. ¬†Pretty soon they formed an unofficial forum, in Germany (where else) and started talking about a KDE Fork. ¬†The answer from Canonical was to throw them Kubuntu, with “infrastructure and support benefits“, hiring the Debian KDE maintainer, and to pour¬†blandishments into the credulous ears of the KDE leadership of that time, who were mighty unsettled by the acquisition of their then-darling distribution by Novell and its earlier Ximian purchase. ¬†This sackful of glass beads and liquor was sufficient to prevent ornery KDE users roaming all over the place doing what they liked, and especially not over the border to other distributions, and in doing so increase Ubuntu’s momentum.

Now fast forward to 2013 and we’re seeing the same happen to GNOME. ¬†No longer the standard desktop, but still with significant suction among Ubuntu users, GNOME is neatly herded on to the reservation and congratulated on its wise decision. ¬†Now look to your Kubuntu colleagues to see how that is going to work out for you down the road. PS: If Mark promises to install GNOME Ubuntu, don’t believe him for a second. ¬†He has an office by now¬†full of desktop computers representing official flavours that he never turns on. ¬†Sound familiar?

openSUSE 12.3 Image available for ARM64 (AArch64)

March 5th, 2013 by


the openSUSE on ARM team was quite busy the last few weeks with getting openSUSE 12.3 for AArch64 (ARM64, also called ARMv8) ready. At the time of this post, we have finished around 4100 packages (out of ~ 6000) of openSUSE 12.3 built for AArch64, the ARM 64bit platform. With those successfully built packages, we’re also able to build a regular openSUSE image for you to try and run in the ARMv8 System emulator (ARMv8 Foundation Model).

This is a huge achievement and milestone for us, thanks to lots of helpful hands within openSUSE. Just to put this into perspective: This is not a minimal system with a couple of toolchain packages. It is also not an embedded variant of a Linux environment. No, this is the full featured, standard openSUSE distribution as you’re used to, ported to AArch64, up and running. We have built it based on (slightly newer versions of) standard openSUSE 12.3 packages, and the changes are mostly already merged back into openSUSE Factory.¬†For all we know it‚Äôs also more successful package builds than any other Linux distribution has on AArch64! If you‚Äôd like to see the status yourself, please check out¬†the OBS repository we created for this.

As an open distribution, it is important to make contributions easy and we worked hard to enable others to participate in our effort. We extended OBS to automatically spawn a Foundation Model virtual machine when you want to build for aarch64. This works remotely on the OBS server as well as locally using osc build. More information on this is available on the respective wiki page.

So, dive right into it:  Get the image and start with openSUSE on AArch64 by following our wiki page: https://en.opensuse.org/Portal:ARM/AArch64.

AMD fglrx, fgrlx-legacy : news, cleanup & important informations

March 3rd, 2013 by

Status of fgrlx & fglrx-legacy regarding next coming 12.3


fglrx (Catalyst 13.1) drivers has been refreshed and published for 12.3 with the RC2 build.
During the first few days after the release, and fresh new build will be made with the final version, and first updates.


fglrx-legacy (Catalyst 13.1) will never support (actually) xorg 1.13 which is the version that come in openSUSE 12.3. Even if it can handle kernel 3.8
So the previous build has been removed from the server. To insure end-users no trouble or hassle trying to get it working.
If you still have a radeon from hd2xxx to hd4xxx you’re welcomed to use the free radeon. It made progress and could eventually be as efficient as the proprietary drivers.
The bonus you get, you can report bug, and they will be fixable.

Status of mirrors

One year ago I announced the move to the new host for the package mirror. During that time, I’ve kept a redirection active, and also a symlink from ati to amd-fglrx

This time is over now, so please update your repositories

Repositories available


http://geeko.ioda.net/mirror/amd-fglrx/ add openSUSE_(you version) from 11.2 to 12.3


http://geeko.ioda.net/mirror/amd-fglrx-legacy/ add openSUSE_(you version) from 11.2 to 12.2

Spread the word

If I already updated the en.opensuse.org wiki page (even if the reviewing process is stuck actually), I need your help to spread the word, to reach any end-users that need those informations.

Notice about tumbleweed, evergreen

I saw several users, trying to use the one-click-installer with tumbleweed. Sorry this can’t work due to the lack of perfect recognition of tumbleweed. etc/SuSE-release is 12.2 actually.

So if you use tumbleweed you just have to install the tumbleweed repository (again one for fglrx, one for fgrlx-legacy depending on your gpu)

But beware, tumbleweed is a moving target, and the proprio drivers could stop working at any update, kernel or xorg

Evergreen : some users successfully use fglrx-legacy 13.1 with the kernel 3.0.58