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Improving low-vision accessibility of the installer

October 7th, 2016 by

In our latest report, we promised you would not have to wait another three weeks to hear (or read) from us. And here we are again, but not with any of the anticipated topics (build time reduction and Euruko 2016), but with a call for help in a topic that could really make a difference for (open)SUSE.

Nowadays, YaST team is trying to fix a long-standing issue in the installer: low-vision accessibility. In the past, a user could get a high-contrast mode just pressing shift+F4 during installation. Unfortunately, that feature does not work anymore and, to be honest, changing to a high-contrast palette is not enough. Other adjustments, like setting better font sizes, should be taken into account.

Another option is to use the textmode installation and set some obscure variable (Y2NCURSES_COLOR_THEME) to get the high-contrast mode. But it sounds like the opposite to user friendly.

Some days ago, the team fired up the discussion in the opensuse-factory mailing list but we would like to reach as many people as we can to gather information and feedback about this topic. Getting some affected people involved in the process would be really awesome!

For the time being we鈥檙e already working on some improvements:

  • Adding a Linuxrc option so the user can set the high-contrast mode from the very beginning.
  • Fixing shift+F4 support.
  • Improving the high-contrast mode appearance. Below you can see a screenshot of the work in progress.

First prototype of the new high contrast mode

But we would like to hear from you. You can raise your voice in the already mentioned thread at the opensuse-factory mailing list or leave a comment in the related pull request at Github. If you prefer to have a chat, we’re also available on the #yast IRC channel at Freenode… and we love to see people there. 馃槈

Please, join us to make YaST even better!

Hackweek: Hot Chili Sauce for Hot Lizards

October 8th, 2013 by

This hot sauce can be used to spice up your food, give you creative
energy, and is a nice gift for your friends and family members — not
only for Hackweek.

Name: hot-chili-sauce
Summary: Toms’s Hot Chili Sauce
License: BSD
Version: 1.0
Group: Cooking/Sauce/Chili


Mockup :: GNOME3 and YaST

April 30th, 2011 by

With the release of GNOME3 I would assume that people are interested in seeing how YaST2 (suggestion: rename it to YaST3 !!) is going to take form with GTK3. Of course this means eventually writing another application in GTK3, hopefully different from the old gnome-control-panel ‘style’ which was actually pretty confusion from the user point of view as it was far too close to gnome-control-center, thus confusing new comers.

My suggestion (unaware if it’s possible or not) was probably to explore GNOME3 features to serve YaST integrated already with GNOME3. This could be an interesting approach as it would offer integration and some advantages:

* Better integration with GNOME3 without having to write(/maintain another application;
* Take advantage of YaST2 modular structure;
* Present YaST in a prime space in GNOME3, thus offering a openSUSE聽differentiation聽point;
* No conflicts with possible KDE existing front-ends for YaST2;
* Improve users experience.

My proposal would be something like (maybe to be served as an extension for gnome-shell). Please neglect my ‘lame’ photo manipulation skills:

Mockup: YaST2 on GNOME3

AcetoneISO2 and LXDE

June 3rd, 2010 by

I am sure that most of you know and like acetoneiso2, a nice tool to menage isos and lots of other things. Latest release, 2.2.1 support only kde, gnome and xfce as DE and allow to open their file managers to browse files and mounted stuffs…

So, you know, FLOSS is our world.. i took the code, and improved it, just a trivial change, but really nice. I added LXDE/PcmanFM support, as you can see from the picture:

Now you can have acetoneiso2 run pcmanfm too.

The patched package is already into Packman repository and a submit-request (#41069) has been submitted to KDE:KDE4:Community repository, so hopefully, it would be available even there quite soon.

So people.. enjoy it 馃榾


openSUSE-LXDE and Italian Press

May 14th, 2010 by

We all know we are doing well, we see that from your feedbacks, bugreports, obs submitreqs, and IRC. So guys.. Thank you a lot for supporting and helping us.

But do you think there is something better to see your work on a magazine? a national magazine? I guess it’s really exciting isn’t it?

Well we did it! The Italian Linux Magazine wrote two entire pages for us, and our live cd (together with XFCE one) was into the attached DVD or CD!

That was cool!!!


openSUSE at Universidad de Panama, FIEC

May 7th, 2010 by

Universidad de Panam谩, Facultad de Inform谩tica, Electr贸nica y Comunicaci贸n. Conmemoraci贸n del X aniversario de la Facultad. On May 3, 2010 the openSUSE Ambassador was invited to talk about “Introducci贸n a las caracter铆sticas y ventajas de openSUSE, su relaci贸n con NOVELL y la comunidad de usuarios” (鈥淎n Introduction to New Features and Advantages on openSUSE 11.2, the openSUSE Project Community and the relationship with NOVELL鈥). When I did talk about openSUSE. People came from a few persons in the room to suddenly filling the whole space available for that room. Surprisingly, I had the opportunity to watch several girls between the audience so I thought there is a chance to organize a chix open source community or users group. Click on the link to watch photos


openSUSE Ambassador Panama at FIEC, UP

openSUSE, Ambassador, Panama, FIEC, UP

openSUSE Ambassador Panama Talk at FIEC, UP

openSUSE, Ambassador, Univ. Panama, FIEC

openSUSE-LXDE development status

March 1st, 2010 by

Ok people… openSUSE 11.3 Milestone2 has been released and quite soon we will have the Milestone3.

So now, after lot’s of promises, what is the status now?


yes… it’s done… openSUSE 11.3 allow now to install LXDE directly from installation DVD or Net install. I’m sure all of you reading this post wants to try it, but for lazy people (and i know there are a lot of them outside), just click here and watch some pictures.

Can that be all? No of course not!

Just today i announced to opensuse-lxde and opensuse-factory mailing lists that we switched finally to pcmanfm2.

Even if that one is not yet stable, and even if it’s still on alpha release stage, it’s already feature rich and stable enoguht for daily usage. Of course bugs exist and you report is welcome, so we can fix them.

But it’s not enough, thanks to sidux lxde community we have a couple of nice tools: lxdm-conf and lxcc.

lxdm-conf as name suggest, it is a simple and powerful tool that helps you to edit lxdm settings without take care to manually edit /etc/lxdm/lxdm.conf file. This tool is already into repos.

lxcc instead is a small control center, written using python-gtk. It’s based on an idea of PCLinuxOS Community that wrote lxdecc using gtkdialog. Instead to port original lxdecc to openSUSE we choose to cooperate with Sidux on lxcc simply because gtkdialog looks to be a dead project. Lxcc is not yet into repos, so here a screenshot:


And to finish a very good news. We are working on live cds. Yes, it’s taking looong time, but now we should be able to provide you better ISOs in shorter time since we moved from suse-studio to OBS kiwi system. Preliminary images can be downloaded from here:聽 X11:lxde (login required).

Most probably, a preliminary image will be published soon for a testing (based on openSUSE 11.2), in the same way, a Factory based live CD should be ready soon. Of course, i can’t forget, all that work on ISOs couldn’t be possible without the Dmitry serpokryl help (The author of SOAD).

I hope you’ll enjoy openSUSE-LXDE experience. So please, test test test and test it again. We have to provide the best LXDE ever!

Quick tip: Novell Bugzilla and Klipper

December 22nd, 2009 by

Klipper from KDE has a set of predefined actions triggered by content of the clipboard. So when you have it enabled, it show up the popup menu with all available browsers when you copy the URL. In my job I open many bugs and the bug numbers have the well defined format bnc#number. So why don’t define automatic action triggered by this regular expression?

Because Klipper expects only oneliner as an action, I wrote the short bash script obug.sh which expects one argument with a bugzilla string.


[ -z "${1}" ] && {
  echo "bug number required"
  exit 1

[[ "${1}" =~ ${regex} ]] || {
  echo "${1} did not match ${regex}"
  exit 2

firefox https://bugzilla.novell.com/show_bug.cgi?id=${1#*#}

It’s obvious how it works – it checks if the argument exists and if matches the pattern and then opens a firefox (it’d be a xdg-open, but I use firefox for Novell Bugzilla). There should be only one strange expression – ${1#*#}. It is a Shell Parameter Expansion. This expression removes all characters from the beginning of the string including first #, so it convert bnc#1234 to 1234.

Then I defined a new action in Klipper triggered by ^(bnc|bug)?#[0-9]+$, which calls obug.sh %s, where %s is the content of clipboard.
Klipper config

And after that all I selected the bnc#1234 by mouse and then the following popup appeared.

One disadvantage of this method is that Klipper opens popup window only near its status icon in systemtray. It would be more useful to show it near current mouse position.

openSUSE-LXDE : improvments to PCManFM

September 30th, 2009 by


That picture talks… your quest is to find the news!!!

BTW on the screen you can see the work in progress openSUSE-LXDE for openSUSE-Factory (the next 11.2).聽 Notice how LXDE use only 108MB RAM and 5% CPU with:

* Firefox 3.5.3

* OpenOffice.org (writer) 3.1.1

* Pidgin

* LXTask

that’s amazing isn’t it?聽 (Don’t focus on red聽 lines… The background is nice but THIS IS NOT the new, check the ICONS)

Thanks to Miguel Albalat Aquila for the patch

Thanks to me for changing on the patch to allow it to work with trash support patch

Andrea 馃槈

LXDE can do it! LXDE on Android smartphone!

August 24th, 2009 by

Yes i did it. I made LXDE running on my new Android smartphoe, the latest HTC masterpiece, the HTC HERO. Here some shots:

That’s great! But there is a main problem here, I’m not running openSUSE with X11:lxde packages, but debian with their stuff. I cannot use my geeko because the phone is an ARM and our openSUSE@ARM looks to still be in an early development stage. This post wants to be a ping to or openSUSE@ARM project and of course some marketing to this great and light Desktop Enviroment. For people interested in, here some hardware infos:

# cat /proc/cpuinfo
Processor聽聽聽聽聽聽 : ARMv6-compatible processor rev 2 (v6l)
BogoMIPS聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 : 526.25
Features聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 : swp half thumb fastmult edsp java
CPU implementer : 0x41
CPU architecture: 6TEJ
CPU variant聽聽聽聽 : 0x1
CPU part聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 : 0xb36
CPU revision聽聽聽 : 2
Cache type聽聽聽聽聽 : write-back
Cache clean聽聽聽聽 : cp15 c7 ops
Cache lockdown聽 : format C
Cache format聽聽聽 : Harvard
I size聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 : 32768
I assoc聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 : 4
I line length聽聽 : 32
I sets聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 : 256
D size聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 : 32768
D assoc聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 : 4
D line length聽聽 : 32
D sets聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 : 256

Hardware聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 : hero
Revision聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 : 0080
Serial聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 : 0000000000000000

# busybox free
total聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 used聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 free聽聽聽聽聽聽 shared聽聽聽聽聽 buffers
Mem:聽聽聽聽聽聽 197016聽聽聽聽聽聽 191024聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 5992聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 0聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 8
Swap:聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 0聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 0聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 0
Total:聽聽聽聽聽聽 197016聽聽聽聽聽聽 191024聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 5992