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Posts Tagged ‘Education’

Promoting Open Source Communities in Panama

May 7th, 2010 by

Universidad Interamericana de Panamá on March 25, 2010 was the scenario for an opensource and Linux party. Several Linux Distros like Ubuntu, CAELinux, Fedora, Gentoo, Debian, openSUSE and organizations like CIDETYS and business like ELCONIX did make presence and their users and members gave a Talk for students, academics, users and professionals. Those Talks were transmited simultaneously by video streaming to the Laureate Universities Network to promote opensource software contributions, trainings, certifications and community participation, job opportunities. Click on to watch photos

Ambassador, Panama, openSUSE

This event did open a collaboration between communities , enterprises and Universidad Interamericana de Panama to promote open source  and Linux certifications and Linux diplomados.

All open source communities ambassadors will organize their groups looking to keep their members up to date with knowledge.

Some CAPATEC (Cámara Panameña de Tecnología) members, like ELCONIX, has showed higher intention to support  some Open Source communities sponsoring education, certification, and some events like FLISoL and Freedom Software Day.

Mirtha Rodriguez, UIP,  Systems Engineering Faculty Dean, did give us a great liaison and invited us to keep working with their students at UIP for future events.

Panama Awakenings and Trends

March 18th, 2010 by

Friday 19th at 13:00 (EST) at ULACIT (Laureate) in Panama City. Carolina Flores H. (Social Psychologist and Free Software activist) will give a talk about “Para Cambiar el Mundo, Hay que Cambiar el Software” (If you want to change the World, you should change the Software). And openSUSE will have a small space to talk about the advantages of openSUSE in our daily tasks .

This year will be a great year for Linux lovers in Panama because several free and open source communities users, business people, academics, communications media and gouvernment wil have convergency for planning the Information Technologies and Telecommunications National Strategies for Logistics, Finances, Education, etc.

Click on link to watch photos


Pre FLISoL activities in Panama

March 18th, 2010 by

OpenSUSE_Installing Procedures

March 13th openSUSE Ambassador for Panama, Ricardo Chung (amonthoth), gave a talk at Universidad Interamericana de Panama (UIP is Laureate) for a small students group about openSUSE graphic installing procedures and customizations. How to add repositories, softwares applications and customize the desktop. This is the first of openSUSE talk series preparing activities for FLISoL 2010 at Ciudad del Saber. Educative scenarios as this one are the open source seeds for an open future and great development opportunities.

UIP it’s maybe the only university on this country offering Linux Diplomados looking for LPI certification. UIP has a ProMetric Certification LPI Authorized Center.

Here they are the New Generation for open source.

Coming soon on the servers near you: Easy-LTSP-NG

June 2nd, 2009 by

Easy-LTSP, an easy to use GUI to configure LTSP‘s lts.conf file was developed as a part of Google Summer of Code ’08 by Jan Weber. It was written in C#, it was decided to use C# at that time to accomplish a complex task in a very short period of time given for GSOC. Thanks to it setting up LTSP on openSUSE is just a few mouse clicks.

Easy-LTSP was designed to work on any distribution, but unfortunately it is not integrated anywhere other than openSUSE, discussing with the upstream LTSP developers suggested the slight reservation could be due to it being written in C#. We wanted to add new features to the GUI to take care of all the exciting new development we have in KIWI-LTSP so it was felt that the rewrite will be much better option than to extend the current code, as it is anyway being written from scratch why not use something like Python which would be easier to attract more contributors and increase possibility that users of all distributions running LTSP server can benefit from it inclusion in their prefered distro.

Here are the screencaps of the “Next Generation” Easy-LTSP(click image to see full album):

The code is in very initial stage, many things do not work yet, these screenies would give some idea where the design is going. If you are a developer interested in hacking get the source from here, drop us a line if you want SVN commit access. If you are a user and have some suggestions or an idea how this tool should be like file an enhancement request on devzilla here.

openSUSE-Education Live Media including official updates

April 24th, 2009 by

Currently, the openSUSE-Education team is “playing” with the new features of the external build service. As a first result, we’re proud to announce our new live/installable DVD!

This DVD includes:

  • the official updates to all packages since the openSUSE 11.1 release
  • fully pre-configured, ready to run KIWI-LTSP server
  • tons of applications from openSUSE Education repository

You can get it from here: http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/Education/images/iso/ – it’s called openSUSE-Edu-KIWI-LTSP-live*.iso (the openSUSE-Edu-KIWI-LTSP-live-unstable*.iso is for development only). Please watch for the Build Numbers at the end of the ISO-Name if you report bugs in our bugzilla.

Have a look at CyberOrgs blog on the most efficient ways to download the image.

Low bandwith for openSUSE-Education

March 1st, 2009 by

Since July 2008, there’s a known problem with the sponsored server hosting the frozen openSUSE-Education repositories: our provider limits the bandwith for up- and downloads if more than 1 TB data is transfered per month. …and this is the case around the 25th of each month since this time.

People using HTTP requests to download packages are sadly very affected by this limitation at the end of each month, and I apologise for the trouble caused. Thanks to the FTP-Server Admins of openSUSE, we’ve already a place to host our ISO-Images, containing the same files as the frozen repositories. We’ve also a FTP (ftp://ftp.opensuse-education.org/) and a RSync-Server up and running (rsync rsync.opensuse-education.org::download/) – which should make it a bit easier until we’ve the final decision from the new openSUSE-Board, if they can provide some space for us.

Until then, feel free to offer additional space for our repositories. We’ve already an offer from Peter Poeml to help us configuring a “Mirrorbrain” setup.

openSUSE-like update repositories for third party projects

February 22nd, 2009 by

Starting with 11.0, the openSUSE-Education project hosts it’s own, separate update repository. This is our solution for the strategic decision not to use the openSUSE Build Service as repository for endusers but for development only.

So for production purposes, we always recommend to use our frozen repositories on http://download.opensuse-education.org/. But as “frozen” implies, the repositories there are frozen at the time, the openSUSE-Education team declares them as “Goldmaster” (which is the case for all except the 11.1 repo at the moment) – and no package update or changes happens for this repositories.

The openSUSE-Education team has relatively long development and testing cycles – but as everywhere, shi* happens, and so it might be that some of the packages in the frozen repository are broken or need a security fix. For this, we have created update repositories (for at least 11.0 and the upcomming 11.1 Edu-Release) which are disabled per default, but added to the system during installation of the openSUSE-Education-release  package. (Reason behind this decision: if an administrator installs openSUSE-Education in a school, he wants to “mirror” the update repositories and not point every client to the official ones. All a user has to do is to enable this update repository via YaST or via “zypper mr -e ‘openSUSE-Education Updates'”.

We’re using the “updateinfo.xml” file formal described in the openSUSE-Wiki. Currently, we’ve 5 package updates/fixes for 11.0 in the update repository – and this might grow over the time. The updates are shown in the current online-update-applets as “normal” updates like the openSUSE ones. Interestingly, the user can’t see if an update is from the official openSUSE or the openSUSE-Education update repository – even if we use a different “from” tag. Perhaps we have to “play” with the “release” or other tags: testing is needed as it looks like nobody tries this before…

Writing wrapper packages for server applications or a generic YaST module?

January 27th, 2009 by

As we get more and more PHP-, Perl- and other applications like openSIS, Koha, Moodle, … in the Education repository, the question turns up, how to package those applications “the right way”.

A normal user, who wants to use one of these apps, might just choose to install the package and has the problem how to proceed afterwards. openSUSE sadly has no “post config” scripts like Debian based distributions – even the SuSEconfig scripts are deprecated. So all a packager can currently do is:

  1. write a README.SuSE (which is already the case for many packages) and place it in /usr/share/doc/packages/<packagename>/README.SuSE explaning how to proceed
  2. sugget what the user always wants to do and do it via %post-script after the installation of the RPM
  3. combine 1&2 and point the user to a script in the README.SuSE 🙂
  4. write a YaST module which can be started during installation or afterwards
  5. any other option I missed (please inform me!)

For the Education project, I’m currently thinking about two ways to make the life of the admins easier.

First: think about “wrapper packages” around the normal packages. I’ll take moodle as example. The normal moodle package installs the php-scripts, an apache configuration and some other config stuff – but will not setup the complete moodle instance. So the user has to install the mysql database himself. An additional wrapper package can do this for him. This package comes with a SQL-Dump of the current moodle version (therefore requires the exact moodle version), and uses a stored mysql-root password to create a new database and insert the database-dump. If needed (for example: the user enables the “user LDAP-Auth wherever possible” checkbox in a (to be written) yast-edu module), additional tasks can be triggered by the wrapper package.

We can also think about calling a “generic” YaST module after installation of such a “needs postconfiguring” package. If we define a place (say: /var/adm/YaST/postinstall/) where packages can place a file containing some important questions to configure the application, and someone writes a YaST module which can be started, this would perhaps be “very cool”. If the user has entered his values, the YaST module can start one or more scripts (coming with the package) and feeds it with the entered values. The biggest questions for this solution:

  1. When should this YaST module be started? IMO it could be enough to let the user start it manually and select the package he wants to configure. => No adaptions of the current workflows is needed. But perhaps there are other options (like calling it via “SuSEconfig”)?
  2. Who can write such a module?
  3. Who defines the config syntax?

Think about a file like this:

<package name=”moodle”>
<questionpack type=”string” action=”/usr/share/moodle/scripts/install_database”>
<question arg=”1″ type=”string”>What’s the database password?</question>
<question arg=”2″ type=”string”>What should be the name of the new database (suggest: moodle)?</question>
<question arg=”3″ type=”string”>What’s the username of the new database user?</question>
<question arg=”4″ type=”string”>What’s the password of the new database user?</question>

<questionpack action=”/use/share/moodle/scripts/configure_auth_backend” type=”selectbox”>
<question arg=”1″>What auth-backend should be used?</question>
<answer value=”1″>ldap</answer>
<answer value=”2″>mail</answer>
<answer value=”3″>passwd</answer>

I think, there’s room for many enhancements in this area – what do you think ?

Should/Could we produce something like a “Windows-Installer” for openSUSE? Or is it enough to provide special “wrapper packages”? Or is “what was hard to write, should be hard to install” still a valid answer?