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Highlights of YaST Development Sprint 57

May 31st, 2018 by

Three weeks from our last update on this blog. Time flies when you are busy! As you know, openSUSE Leap 15.0 was released in the meantime, which also means the active development of SLE15 is coming to an end… so time to look a little bit further into the future.

That’s why we had a face-to-face workshop with the whole YaST Team at the beautiful city of Prague during several days right before joining the openSUSE Conference 2018.

But we have done much more in three weeks than attending workshops and conferences. Apart from last-minute fixes, here you have a list of some interesting changes we have done in YaST in this period. Take into account that some of these changes didn’t make it into Leap 15.0, although all will be available in SLES15 and are probably already integrated into openSUSE Tumbleweed.

Fine tuning installer behavior in small disks

As you may know, the default installation of SLE and both openSUSE distribution enables Btrfs snapshots in the root partition alongside separate partitions for /home and swap. That means a default installation needs quite some space. In SLE12 and openSUSE Leap 42.X, if such disk space was not there the installer silently tries to disable the separate /home and even the snapshots in order to be able to create an initial proposal.

That behavior has become configurable for each product and role with Storage-ng and during the last sprint there was some controversy about what the configuration should be, both for openSUSE and the SLE family. It may look like a minor problem, but it becomes very relevant in virtualization environment (where virtual disks smaller than 10 GiB are not uncommon) or certain architectures with special storage devices like s390 and ARM.

The final decision was to never disable snapshots automatically in the case of openSUSE, so the user will be forced to manually go through the Guided Setup and explicitly disable snapshots to install in a small disk. In the SLE case, it was decided to keep the traditional behavior (automatically disabling snapshots if really needed) but making the situation more visible by adding a previous sentence to explain how the initial proposal was calculated.

So the installation in a normal disk would look like this.

Default initial partitioning proposal

While the installation in a very small disk displays some information similar to the following screen (the wording was slightly improved after taking the screenshots).

Adjusted initial partitioning proposal

The explanatory text preceding the list of actions will be available in all products based on SLE15, but will not be there for Leap 15.0, since the modification to the installer was not ready on time for the deadline and, moreover, would have been impossible to get the translations on time.

By the way, if you are interested in a more in-depth explanation on how the partitioning proposal adapts to all kind of situations like small disks and other scenarios, don’t hesitate to check Iván’s presentation at openSUSE Conference 2018 detailing its internals.

More parameter passing for s390

And talking about uncommon scenarios and the s390 architecture, you may remember that in the latest sprint we improved the handling of the persistent network device names kernel parameter for such systems. Shortly after, we found out a similar improvement was needed also for the FIPS parameter.

FIPS is a military encryption standard in USA. If the installation is started using the corresponding parameter, YaST will enforce strong encryption and will install an specific FIPS pattern. Moreover, after the recent fix, a system installed in hardened mode s390 will continue operating in this mode after the installation.

Fun with MD RAIDs

As SLE15 comes closer, future users start testing the system with more exotic and complex hardware setups. Same applies to openSUSE Leap 15.0 right after the official release. As a result of all that testing, we found several scenarios in which Storage-ng got confused about MD RAIDs defined by some specific hardware or manually by the user before starting the installation.

By default, the old storage didn’t handle partitions within software RAIDs and it didn’t handle software RAIDs directly on top of full disks (with no partitions in the physical disks). For the first version of Storage-ng present in Leap 15.0 and SLE15, we tried to implement the same behavior with the intention to rethink the whole thing and open new possibilities in the close future. Check more about the present and future of Storage-ng in Ancor’s talk at openSUSE Conference 2018.

Unfortunately, while trying to replicate the old storage behavior with software-defined MD RAIDs, we overlooked some heuristic that was hidden in the old implementation to recognize some special setups in which a given RAID device currently detected as regular software-defined RAIDs should be treated like hardware RAIDs. That’s the case of Software RAID Virtual Disks defined on a S130/S140 controller on DellEMC PowerEdge Servers through the BIOS Interface. We also found that some users used to produce a similar situation by manually creating software MD RAIDs and creating partitions within them before starting the installation.

With the preparation of SLE15 already in the final stages and with openSUSE Leap 15 already out, it was too late to introduce drastic changes in how MD RAIDs are detected and used. To mitigate the problem while limiting the potential breakage, we reintroduced an ancient installer parameter. Now, when we run the installer using LIBSTORAGE_MDPART=1, all existing software-defined RAIDs will be considered as BIOS RAIDs.

Using LIBSTORAGE_MDPART

The new parameter is not available in Leap 15.0 (we added it too late) and will hopefully not be necessary anymore in future versions of SLE and openSUSE, since the short term plan is to redesign everything about how MD RAIDs are handled during installation.

And even more fun with MD RAIDs

Another example of RAID that looks like defined by software but is indeed assembled by BIOS is the Intel RSTe technology. In this case, the usage of LIBSTORAGE_MDPART is not needed, but still we found the bootloader installation to be broken because YaST was once again getting confused by the mixed RAID setup.

Fortunately it was possible to fix the issue and verify the solution in only two days, despite the YaST Team not having direct access to the hardware, thanks to the outstanding help of the user reporting the bug. Connecting users and developers directly always produces great results… and that’s one of the reasons open source rocks so much!

Improved error reporting for wrong bootloader in AutoYaST

That was not the only improvement in the bootloader handling done during this sprint. We also invested some time improving the user experience in AutoYAST, since the error message displayed when using an EFI variant not supported in the system architecture was far from being useful or even informative.

So alongside a more clear message, AutoYaST will now list all the possible values supported on the given architecture to better guide the user.

More precise bootloader error in AutoYaST

Setting the default subvolume name in AutoYaST

AutoYaST also received improvements in other areas, like making use of the new possibilities offered by Storage-ng. The new storage layer allows the user to set different default subvolumes (or none at all) for every Btrfs file system. As shown in the example below, a prefix name can be specified for each partition using the subvolumes_prefix.

<partition>
  <mount>/</mount>
  <filesystem config:type="symbol">btrfs</filesystem>
  <size>max</size>
  <subvolumes_prefix>@</subvolumes_prefix>
</partition>

To omit the subvolume prefix, set the subvolumes_prefix tag:

<partition>
  <mount>/</mount>
  <filesystem config:type="symbol">btrfs</filesystem>
  <size>max</size>
  <subvolumes_prefix><![CDATA[]]></subvolumes_prefix>
</partition>

As a consequence of the new behaviour, the old btrfs_set_default_subvolume_name tag is not needed and, therefore, it is not supported in Leap 15.0 and SLE15.

Skipping Btrfs subvolume creation

And more changes in AutoYaST that arrived just in time for SLE15 and openSUSE Leap 15.0. Recently, we have introduced a new flag in AutoYaST partition sections to skip the creation of Btrfs subvolumes because, due to a known limitation of our XML parser, it is not possible to specify an empty list.

So from now on, setting create_subvolumes to false will prevent AutoYaST from creating any Btrfs subvolumes in a given partition.

<partition>
  <mount>/</mount>
  <filesystem config:type="symbol">btrfs</filesystem>
  <size>max</size>
  <create_subvolumes config:type="boolean">false</create_subvolumes>
</partition>

Keep it rolling!

As usual, the content of this post is just a small part of everything we did during the sprint. There were also many other fixes and improvements, from auto-repairing wrong partition tables (with different sizes than the underlying disk) during installation to better interaction with other components like udisk or mdadm auto-assembling and many other things in between.

But it’s time to go back to work and start implementing all the new ideas that emerged from the YaST Team Workshop and the openSUSE Conference. See you in the next report!

Highlights of YaST development sprint 35

May 25th, 2017 by

openSUSE Conference 2017 is coming! And as we flight there (literally, one third of the YaST team is in a plane right now typing this), we wanted to inform our beloved readers on what we did in the previous three weeks.

So here is our report, brought to you by airmail!

Bugfixes, bugfixes everywhere

Leaving openSUSE Tumbleweed aside, The YaST team is currently working to deliver SLE12-SP3, openSUSE Leap 42.3, SLE15, openSUSE Leap 15, SUSE CaaSP 1.0 and Kubic (more about Kubic later). Three of them are already in beta phase, which means they are being extensively tested by several parties and in many scenarios, hardware platforms and possible configurations. That amount of manual testing always result in several bug being discovered, no matter how much we try to have some automated tests for the most common cases.

Many of the bugs our testers are finding are related to internationalization and localization, mainly texts in the UI that are always displayed in English, despite the system been configured (or being installed) in a different language.

But, of course, other kind of bugs are also being found. For example, our hardware detection component (hwinfo) was not able to deal with some new machines, making the installation experience everything but pleasant.

As a result, a significant amount of the YaST team manpower during this sprint was targeted to squash those annoying bugs. Which doesn’t mean we didn’t have time for some interesting new features and improvements.

Storage reimplementation: unlock encrypted devices

Once again, our new storage system comes with news. Now it’s able to detect and unlock preexisting encrypted devices during the hard disks probing step, raising you a new pop-pup dialog to ask for the corresponding device password. After unlocking the devices, all your installed systems will be accessible for upgrade and, moreover, the LVM volumes allocated over encrypted devices will be activated.

The new storage stack is expected to debut in SLE15 (and, thus, openSUSE Leap 15), but the functionality can already be tested, for both the installation and upgrade processes, with the StorageNG test ISOs.

Luks activation in StorageNG

The storage reimplementation & AutoYaST – a love story

But the happiest news coming from the new storage stack during this sprint is it’s marriage with AutoYaST. The new automatic partitioning proposal (that is, the “Guided Setup”) is now integrated with AutoYaST.

Thanks to the new software architecture, AutoYaST users will be able to override every single partitioning setting from the control file.

<profile xmlns="http://www.suse.com/1.0/yast2ns" xmlns:config="http://www.suse.com/1.0/configns">
  <general>
    <storage>
      <!-- Override settings from control file  -->
      <try_separate_home config:type="boolean">false</try_separate_home>
      <proposal_lvm config:type="boolean">true</proposal_lvm>
    </storage>
  </general>
</profile>

So you can easily switch on/off LVM, use a separate partition for /home, enable/disable snapshots, enable/disable Windows resizing, etc. All that, still relying on the automated storage proposal to iron the details up. Something that is not possible with the current version of AutoYaST without being forced to define explicitly every partition and LVM volume.

But the simplest way to use the new libstorage proposal is to not define any setting at all in the AutoYaST configuration file. In that case, the partitioning proposal code will do the complete job, installing a new system with the default options.

Of course, before integrating the new storage stack into the upcoming SLE15, the AutoYaST support have to go one step further. Apart from using and configuring the proposal, it must be possible to define a completely custom setup including partitions, LVM volumes, software RAID devices and so on through the corresponding <partitioning> section of the AutoYaST profile. So we used this sprint to sketch a plan to make that possible in the following months, analyzing all the scenarios and configurations supported by AutoYaST and looking for the best way to support them using the existing yast2-storage-ng infrastructure. The outcome of that effort is this detailed document and a list of tasks (PBIs in Scrum jargon) for the upcoming sprints. So be prepared for more news in this regard.

Automatic Cleanup of Snapshots created by Rollback

So far the user had to ensure that snapshots created by rollbacks got deleted to avoid filling up the storage. This process has now been automated. During a rollback, Snapper now sets the cleanup algorithm to “number” for the snapshot corresponding to the previous default subvolume and for the backup snapshot of the previous default subvolume. This enhanced behavior will be available in SLE12-SP3 and openSUSE Leap 42.3. For more information take a look at the more detailed post in the Snapper blog.

Helping to bring the CaaSP fun to openSUSE

For several sprints already we have been presenting features targeted to SUSE CaaSP, the Kubernets-powered solution for managing containers. Many of those features and custom configurations live in a package called yast2-caasp, originally targeted to this great upcoming product built on top of the SLE12-SP2 codebase.

But now the package is also available for Tumbleweed-based systems by request of the Kubic project. Kubic will be the openSUSE alter ego of SUSE CaaSP, that is, a Container as a Service Platform based on openSUSE and Kubernetes. As with any other YaST component, the exact same source code will shared by the SUSE product and its openSUSE brother.

Improved UX when an invalid registration URL is provided

Humans make mistakes, but when the mistakes are made entering some option in
the installation command line, it usually means that a reboot of the machine is be needed to fix them.

That was the case for the registration URL (regurl) option. In the provided address was malformed the installation just stopped. During this sprint we have added an early check of that URL which allows the user to reenter it and continue with the installation. Something that obviously improves the user experience.

Invalid regurl handling in normal installation

In case of an autoinstallation (AutoYaST), the error is reported and the steps to get installer updates and to register the system are skipped.

Invalid regurl handling in autoinstallation

There is still room for more improvements, allowing the user to also modify the URL in other scenarios. For example, for an URL with a valid format but that points to an unreachable server. But in those cases is not so straightforward to identify the culprit of the problem. It would make no sense to annoy the user with a recurring pop-up to change the registration URL if the root of the issue is not the URL but a incorrect network configuration.

Translations and Interpolations

As mentioned at the begining of this post, we recently got quite some bug reports about missing translations. Although some of them were really caused by bugs in the YaST code, others were a consequence of a buggy Ruby rxgettext script which collects the translatable strings from the Ruby source code. The bug is known by the Ruby-GetText developers, but it’s unclear when (or whether) it will be fixed.

The problem is that the tool cannot collect the translatable strings from interpolations. For example it cannot find the “foo” string from this string literal: "#{_("foo")}". As a result, that string is missing in the resulting POT file and cannot be translated by the SUSE or openSUSE localization teams.

As a workaround, we fixed the YaST code to not use the translations inside interpolations. We also documented the possible problems when mixing translations a interpolations and their solution.

And talking about new developer oriented documentation…

Security Tips for YaST Developers

YaST runs with the administrator privileges (root) and therefore we have to be aware of the possible security issues in the code. During this sprint we published a document with a short summary of security tips for YaST developers.

If you are programming an YaST module you should definitely read it, but it might be interesting also for other programmers as many mentioned issues are generic, not tight only to YaST.

The document is available online here.

See you at the conference

That’s all for this sprint report. We have many more things in the oven, be we didn’t manage to finish them during the sprint, so they will have to wait for the next report. Meanwhile we hope to see many of you at the openSUSE Conference 2017. There will be a whole workshop about modern YaST development, a summary with the more relevant news in the last year of YaST development, talks about the new superb yast2-configuration-management module, about our continuous delivery infrastructure and about how we use Docker to deliver YaST… And, of course, also many other interesting content like the awesome presentation from Thorsten Kukuk about the brand new openSUSE Kubic we mentioned earlier. And even more important, a lot of fun!

openSUSE Conference 2017

For those of you that cannot attend to the conference, see you again in this little corner of the internet in three weeks!

YaST Team visits Euruko 2016

November 23rd, 2016 by

As promised in previous posts, we want to share with you our experience and views from this year annual Ruby conference Euruko. Maybe “our” is too much to say, since we only sent one developer there. So to be precise, these are Josef Reidinger’s experience and views on the conference.

This year Euruko took place in Sofia, capital of Bulgaria. It turned out to be a great conference place. Public transport works very well, everyone speak English and even when it uses Cyrilic alphabet, almost everything is written also in Latin one.

That being said, let’s talk about the conference content. Fortunately all the presentations were recorded so you can watch them yourself. But since it would be quite some hours of video to go through, we have reviewed some presentations for you including access to the corresponding videos.

Highlights

Let’s start with the three presentation Josef specially recommend to watch.

Keynote by Matz

He speaks about how Ruby 3 will probably look in distant future. With “distant future” meaning “for sure not in next two years”. If you cannot wait, it’s worth mentioning that Ruby 2.4 will be released on December.

Ruby 3 will use guild membership concurrency model. The most interesting part of the talk is digging into rationale of typed versus non-typed languages and what can be the Ruby future in that regard.

Rules, Laws and Gently Guidelines by Andrew Radev

Interesting view about common design principles, common mistakes when applying them and looking to them from different angles. Also explaining how to handle situations in which several design principles seem to contradict each other.

Elixir by Jose Valim

Interesting intro to Elixir language. What it is, why it make sense to use it and what are its benefits. Josef’s impression was that Elixir’s idea is similar to isolated micro-services communicating via messages, with nice introspection and scalability.

But we have more team members with something to say about Elixir. Like Imobach, who has been playing with Elixir (and Phoenix) for some time now. And Imobach really likes Elixir, so he would like to add some more bits of information for those who are interested.

For example, he would like to highlight that Elixir uses BEAM, the Erlang virtual machine, so great support for concurrency is backed in the platform. Concurrency sits on the concept of Erlang processes and it’s pretty common to use them for all kind of tasks (from computation to storing state, etc.). Imobach would like to encourage all developers out there to take a look to OTP (Open Telecom Platform). Who needs micro-services at all?

Last but not least, take into account that Elixir is a functional language, so if you have an object-oriented mindset (like most Ruby developers) it will take some time to wrap your head around it.

Other presentations

Little Snippets by Xavier Noria

Summary of common inefficiency in small snippets. Small things that matter, although most of them should be already known by the average Ruby developer. (Video)

Since we mention the topic, some YaST team members has found this cheat sheet by Juanito Fatas about Ruby optimization to be quite useful.

Rails + Kafka by Terence Lee

Apache Kafka is yet another messaging system. This talk did not manage to convince Josef to use it, but maybe it makes sense in some scenarios like HPC or HA. (Video)

Graphql on Rails by Marc-Andre Giroux

The typical REST setup is sometimes not scalable enough due to the excess of endpoints. The Graphql language is designed to specify what resources are needed from a server in a single query. The result is returned as JSON and the request specification looks also similar to JSON. Caching is done on client side. Interesting for web stuff and already used by Facebook, Shopify and others. (Video)

Evolution of engineering on call team by Grace Chang

How to maintain services, how to scale when the grow, preventing burnout and so on. Specially interesting for us since there are many similarities with YaST maintenance. Maybe the end of the talk is a bit theoretic and idealistic. (Video)

Sprockets by Rafael Franca

Not specially interesting intro to assets generation used by Rails. People doing some assets generation with Rails would most likely already know all the content. (Video)

Contribute to Ruby core by Hiroshi Shibata

Presentation about Ruby core development infrastructure, rules, etc. Certainly not the best talk ever. (Video)

Consequences of insightful algorithms by Carina C. Zona

Interesting presentation about conflicts between algorithms and real humans, especially with data-mining. Unfortunately, the second half turned to be too emotional and not technical enough for Josef’s taste :). (Video)

Viewing Ruby Blossom – Hamani by Anton Davydov

Introduction to yet another Ruby web framework. Not that interesting for us. (Video)

A Year of Ruby, Together by Andre Arko

Introduction on how the open source community infrastructure behind Rubygems and Bundler is ran. How they get money to improve stuff, how they maintain their servers… Good talk about hard times keeping open source infrastructure alive. Interesting talk for any open source project. (Video)

What I Have Learned from Organizing Remote Internship for Ruby Developers by Ivan Nemytchenko

Talk describing an attempt to scale internship for a lot of students. Josef had a small chat with the author about Google Summer of Code after the presentation. He looked interested. (Video)

The Illusion of Stable APIs by Nick Sutterer

Not Josef’s cup of tea. The presenter probably went a little bit too far trying to be funny all the time. The core of the presentation was about three examples of API that needed to be changed “just” because the rest of the world changed. So the whole presentation can be shortened to one sentence – your API will only remain static if the world remains static. (Video)

Conclusion

That was all from Sofia. See you again in approximately one week, just in time for the report of our 28th Scrum sprint.

Result of openSUSE.Asia Summit 2016 Logo Contest

August 11th, 2016 by

opensuse_asia_summit_2016_logo_winner

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are happy to announce that Ramadoni Ashudi design from Indonesia is selected as official logo for openSUSE.Asia Summit 2016 in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. As the winner Ramadoni Ashudi will receive a “magic box” from the committee.
Ramadoni Ashudi submit two designs and his design-2 selected by 28 voters. His design depicts his version of Tugu Yogyakarta, a monument built by Sultan Hamengkubuwono I, the first King of Yogyakarta in 1755.
Ana Maria Martinez from Spain also submit her version of Tugu Yogyakarta and selected by 17 voters on the 2nd place.
On the 3rd place, Shawhong Ser from Thailand submit a design that showing Arjuna character from Wayang Kulit, a traditional Javanese shadow puppet. Arjuna is the 3rd Pandava Brothers from Mahabharata. It is selected by 9 voters.

Total of voters = 65
Ramadoni Ashudi-2 = 28
Ana Maria Martinez = 17
Shawhong Ser =  9
Aris Winardi =  4
Ramadoni Ashudi-1 =  4
Kukuh Syafaat =  3
Danang Aji Bimantoro-1 =  0
Danang Aji Bimantoro-2 =  0

The complete result can be seen on the contest web page

Congratulation to Ramadoni, and many thanks and appreciation to Ana, Aris, Danang, Kukuh, Shawhong  for your participation in this contest.

Have fun.

What happened @ FOSSCOMM 2015, Athens Nov 6-8

November 12th, 2015 by

DSC_0746

The 8th Free and Open Source Software Communities Meeting (FOSSCOMM) took place in Athens (Greece), November 6-8th 2015 at the Technical Educational Institute of Athens.

The Conference started early on Saturday morning welcoming the participants and with the key note. Various presentations about open source software, hardware constructions and some workshops took place. Presentations such as Raspberry Pi arcade, openstack, OSGeo, ownCloud, Bitcoin and many more were quite interested by the visitors.

DSC_0716

Greek openSUSE community was there with a booth and some presentations. On Saturday Alex P. Natsios presented “Enlightment on openSUSE”, an alternative GUI, and the other presentation was about “openQA”. Since openSUSE Leap 42.1 was very fresh, Alexandros Vennos took the opportunity to present what are openSUSE Leap 42.1 and Tumbleweed, the differences and what to install on what occasions. Presentation had title “openSUSE – Leaping Ahead”.

DSC_0709

The booth was quite crowded. We had some left over DVDs of 13.2 but we proposed the visitors to install Leap 42.1. The question we were asked most was what is the difference between openSUSE Leap and Tubleweed and why to install and on what ocasion. We even created couple of bootable USBs from the ISOs of Leap. We had a Banana Pi running Tumbleweed with MATE playing a video loop of openSUSE Leap 42.1 KDE review. We gave almost all of our promo materials to the visitors since they were interested on openSUSE.

For more pictures check Flickr

DSC_0736

openSUSE on GNOME.Asia 2015

May 27th, 2015 by

On 7-9 May 2015, Gnu/Linux Bogor (GLIB) in collaboration with the Faculty of Computer Science, University of Indonesia (Fasilkom UI) organized GNOME.Asia Summit 2015 at the Hall of the University of Indonesia, Depok. GNOME.Asia Summit 2015 is the eighth edition of the conference. According to the local committee this event attracted more than 322, users, developers, business professionals, media, students and government officials, including 48 speakers from all over the world. (http://2015.gnome.asia)

gnome-asia-1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many thanks to openSUSE/SUSE who willing to become one of the sponsor for this event. I organized some friends from Indonesia openSUSE community to make an openSUSE booth. We prepare several PC and RasPi for some demo and displaying openSUSE 13.2. I really appreciate the help from Andi Sugandi, Yan Arief Purwanto, and Adnan Kurniawan for their time in this event. Joey Li from SUSE Taiwan, Max Huang from Taiwan openSUSE community and Bin Li from China openSUSE community, also came and joint us on the event.

gnome-asia-2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

During 2 days (May 8-9) of the event our booth always full of visitor. They asked many questions regarding openSUSE and we tried to answer it directly as we can. We distributed around 200 DVD (openSUSE 13.2 x86_64) and stickers. We also make a short quiz/questionnaire and the top 30 people with highest answer will get a nice looking t-shirt on the 2nd day 🙂

On the 2nd day me and Joey Li were also give talk. My presentation is Linux for Basic Education, Is it Feasible?”, while Joey Li is talking about Signature Verification of Hibernate Snapshot”

gnome-asia-5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks to wonderful people of openSUSE and GNOME, and finally some happy face with openSUSE t-shirt!

gnome-asia-7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More photos can be seen on GNOME.Asia 2015 Flickr Group

Developing developers: From end user to developer

May 6th, 2015 by

We’ve seen how to gather some people and create a community (at least that’s the quick tutorial how it worked for us in Greece).

The product is cool (any product) but here we have people. They should know WHY they join a community as volunteers. Is it because they want to help FLOSS to make the world a better place? Is it because it is Fun? Is it because they like the pros that open source provides? Is it because they like to help other people? Find out WHY people want to join-form a community.

The key to increase the number of the members is to attend to events. Here a quick tutorial how to do that. The best possible scenario is a developer to come to your booth and join the team. But this is 1% possible to happen (maybe less). Usually developers we’re searching, they have their favorite distro/project and they don’t change so easy.

The best thing is to join events where you can find end users (end users = users they’re computer science students where they focus on windows, users that their computer being used for facebook/twitter/office suite). Why? Because those users can do some work that the developers hate. What’s that?

0. Junior Jobs. Write a junior jobs list where someone can find exactly what to do and how to do it. The list could have the following.
1. Report bugs to bugzilla. So developers can fix it (of course developers have to be polite and help end users to provide possible broken data etc).
2. Documentation. Developers just hate to write documentation.
3. Translation. Usually developers use some “strange” language. So if someone asks you, please be polite and reply.
4. Promotion. Everyone call it marketing. The term marketing seems that the distro/project earns money out of promotion. Maybe the best term is engagement. This is needed because if it’s the best distro/project among others, how more potential users will learn about it? And if it’s the best, if no one uses it, then it’s useless.
(more…)

How to promote your conference

April 11th, 2015 by

Promote your event

Local open source community is bigger now and next step for you is to organise (or join) global conferences. One part of the organisation is the promotion of the conference. You want to have as many visitors as you can.

I will try to write down what I did during openSUSE global conferences and some local events.

BEFORE THE EVENT

0. Web page

There MUST be a web page and a system that accepts registration, paper submission, information etc. Write everything that visitor should know about the conference.
We use OSEM in openSUSE. Check out https://events.opensuse.org

1. Blog blog blog.

You’ll have some announcements for the conference. Dates, the place, new website, call for papers announcement, hotels that visitors can stay, schedule, keynote speakers etc. Usually, every open source project has a central blog or news site. You can write the articles there. Try to make fuzz by publishing your articles often.
Global communities can translate the announcements to their language and promote the conference locally.

Local communities are formed by members with blogs who publish on different planet sites. You can make a schedule so everyone can publish the announcement every other day. More eyes will see the announcement and will apply either as speaker or visitor.

Two things you want to have is contributors+visitors and sponsors. If your project is famous, then it’s easy. If not, then you better publish the initial announcement to magazines, newspapers, technical blogs-sites. If you don’t have access, then you better send it by e-mail or fax and then call them and ask them if they got the text. If they publish it, you’re lucky.

Translate those announcements and publish them, so local population will see that there’s a conference coming.

2. Promote to other FOSS conferences

There are plenty of FOSS conferences around the world.
* Community (local or global) has to apply for a booth and/or, if it’s possible, present why someone should attend.
* At the booth, you should have promo materials of your conference and give away to local LUGs or hackerspaces to hang posters at their places.
* Another cool thing is to have free coupons for beer at the conference. If beer isn’t the solution, then find another thing that can be found only at your conference and give free coupons.
* Wear special T-Shirts with the logo or #oSC or “Ask me for the conference”. You show people that you’re organizing something and can ask you questions.
* Finally, go to other project’s booth and invite them. You can ask them if they want to have a booth at your conference or apply for a presentation.

3. Messages to post

Create a list of messages you’ll post to social media.
First of all, you should post the announcements.
Then create a list of general messages that you should post before the conference. Content will be related to the subject of the conference or the country etc.
When you have the schedule ready, create a post with the name of the person (mention him/her on the social media), the title of the presentation (mention if it’s a famous project).
The messages can be 2-3 per day but not the same time. Try to have 4-5 hours time delay between tweets.
(more…)

openSUSE miniSummit @Scale13x – summary

February 20th, 2015 by

Hi Geekos, here a small summary of our Thursday February 19th openSUSE miniSummit event here at SCale 13x.

Located in Century AB room, a 80 seats room. The average attendance rate was varying between 50% and 85%.
Qualifying the attendance 50% or more were not related to SUSE / openSUSE, which was a good experience of question and feedback.

openSUSE miniSummit T-shirt

The day started by a talk about openSUSE / SUSE Xen and openstack by Peter Linnel and Russel Pavlicek.
One hour later Manu Gupta has presented all the bolts and nuts about GSOC at openSUSE.

We then go for lunch, and corridor exchanges.

I’ve opened the afternoon with my talk “them + me = we” about breaking mythic frontier
Then just after a small break, Mark Fasheh member of filesystem SUSE Labs group has talk about the project Duperemove: dedupe on btrfs (have a look on github the source are there, and package available on obs)

The day continue with a Town Hall talk co-animated by myself and Peter running an open discussion with attendees. With interesting remarks and feedback from openSUSE users, and also complete foreigners. For example, the way systemd was introduced in openSUSE distribution was appreciated (having choice during 2 versions). It was an unstressfull, open and positive exchange.

To follow, Bryan Lunduke and Peter animated a talk about “the 10 things you would love about SUSE and openSUSE if you only you knew…”
I did really enjoy the way they numbered the slides …
Freschy, punchy, funky, the kinda talk I would like to see again at OSC15.

To finalize the day, Markus Feilner​ for Linux Magazine (de) talked about openQA.

I found interesting the perfect mix we’ve done between openSUSE and SUSE during this day, confirming the excellent partnership we have.
Let the sponsors of this day be warmly thanked to make it happened.

Links :
SCale picture album day 1 : by Françoise on G+

openSUSE miniSummit day album :
Bruno’s Album on G+

Follow the news on G+ channel

Stay tuned for more news during this week-end.

Lizards, time to pack your stuff for openSUSE miniSummit @Scale 13x

February 17th, 2015 by

Again this year the thirteen annual Southern California Linux Expo is in the starting block.

scale_13x_onair

During 3 days you will be able to visit us at our booth (38,39,40).
Yeah 3 booths cause we co-run the KDE and Gnome booth.
The exhibition hall open Friday afternoon at 2pm.


Drew and Peter are working as daemon to get everything ready to spread, Doug have brought also quite numerous goodies there. I will do my best to inform you here or follow my G+ channel
scale_13x_hands-feets

Whatever the way you come, bring your feet there and shake hands.
On Thursday, no one has to miss our full day of openSUSE mini-summit, room Century AB.
There will be interesting talks and also a full green hallway, We’re looking forward SUSE’s team, working together in this promising adventure.

scale13x_luggage_ready
On our side Geeko is ready to cross 9.000 kilometers tomorrow.
Hey cool first time in the famous Airbus A380…
Demo laptop with Tumbleweed and KF5 is also secured.



See you all in Los Angeles