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openSUSE:SUSE Studio Faq

tagline: From openSUSE

What is a software appliance?

A software appliance is a pre-configured combination of:

  • an operating system (e.g. SUSE Linux Enterprise Server)
  • applications (e.g. a database, web browser)
  • configuration

The parts are integrated into a single image and deployable on industry standard hardware.

If it is intended for deployment on a server, it is a software appliance. If it is intended for deployment on a hypervisor or in a cloud computing environment, it is a special type of software appliance called a virtual appliance.

You can read more details at http://www.novell.com/linux/appliance/

What are the benefits of appliances?

There are many advantages of using appliances over traditional software deployment methods, such as:

  • ease of use/deploy
  • smaller size
  • having a well defined software selection and configuration
  • customized to fit perfectly within a specific environment
  • ease of maintenance and updates

Who should use SUSE Studio?

Everyone who is interested in creating a well tailored openSUSE or SUSE Linux Enterprise appliance. You will need basic knowledge in the use of repositories and software packages and some knowledge in Linux configuration.

How much does it cost?

SUSE Studio is a free service sponsored by Novell. Of course you must take care of the legal stuff that will come along with the applications and the Linux system.

How can I get access to SUSE Studio?

Visit http://susestudio.com and request for an invitation. You should receive the invite via email within a couple of days. This email will contain further instructions on how to login.

How can I cancel my account?

You may cancel your use of the Services by providing notice to Novell at "studio-feedback [at] suse.de".

Isn't it difficult to create appliances?

No, it's quite simple! The SUSE Studio team designs and implements the entire site with the goal of making it easy.

After your first sign in you will not have an appliance. From your home page, you can create a new appliance and select a template to create your own custom appliance.

You can navigate the appliance editor by switching tabs

Software: Add/Remove packages and repositories (you will have access to the openSUSE build service) or upload your own rpms.
Configure: Configure locale settings, startup options, database use, storage management and other things like the look and feel via logo and wallpaper
Overlay files: Add "overlay files" to fine tune the application and system configuration
Build: Start the build run to create
+ a Disk Image
+ a LiveCD/DVD
+ a VMware Image
+ or a Xen Image
Testdrive: If the build is finished, launch and interact with your creation in a virtual machine in your browser window, make changes and commit those changes to the appliance. To do this, use the Modified files tab in the testdrive.
Then implement your changes via a new build run and download the resulting image via the Build tab.

Where can I find maintenance times of SUSE Studio?

Maintenance times are published at http://susestudio.com/maintenance_times. This list will be updated continuously.

During maintenance time new updates and bugfixes will be deployed to SUSE Studio. Most of the times you will still be able to access our service and edit your appliance, but starting new builds or running testdrive for your appliance will be disabled.

In rare cases you might not be able to access SUSE Studio during these times.

Where is the official documentation?

The official documentation can be found on the SUSE Studio help page.

What do I need to login?

After registration and confirmation with your email address, you need a valid Novell-, Google-, Yahoo or OpenID-account

Where can I see changes of the Studio functionality?

Please follow our Twitter feed , Blog or Facebook-profile

How can I build a standard image (like JeOS or Server)?

When you create a new build, on the first site is a set ob base templates which you can use. Currently openSUSE 11.3, SLE11SP1 and SLE10SP3 for 32 and 64bits. They are all working out of the box without any changes. Or you can download images from other users in Gallery.

Where and how can I report bugs?

Please send us your problem via the feedback link (the speech bubble shown on the top left in the appliance editor or your home page).

How can I upload custom RPMs?

Under tab „Software“ → „Upload RPMs“ you can upload local saved RPMs or packages from the web. They must have the format .rpm or archives of RPMs in .tar, .tar.gz, .tgz, .tar.bz2, .tbz or .zip format.

What appliance formats are available?

At the moment you can create images for USB stick / hard disk, Live CD/DVD, VMWare / Virtual Box / KVM, OVF virtual machine, XEN guest, Preload ISO and Amazon EC2.

How can I publish an appliance?

After creating an working appliance, go to the „Share“-tab, add a description what your appliance does and tags for easier finding. Save your changes and select a version which you want to publish and press add. Now everybody can find your appliance on SUSE Gallery.

How can I unpublish an appliance?

Open susestudio.com, go to the „Home“ screen. Then select your appliance and click on the „Share“ tab. In the „Share with everyone“ section select the version you want to unpublish and click the „Unpublish“ button.

What is a „Overlay File“?

It's a file that will overwrite existing files. In Studio it is under "Files".

Does SLES images exported to EC2 fall under the terms and conditions from http://aws.amazon.com/suse/  or under the Linux/Unix usage from http://aws.amazon.com/ec2/ ?

Under the former (http://aws.amazon.com/suse/), hence you get full access to updates, albeit with a slight price premium.

I'm looking to export my OpenSUSE-based appliance to EC2 as a micro instance, but the deployer disallows it. How can I get it working?

Amazon provides the micro instance type for EBS backed AMIs only.

The create_ami.sh script included with Studio-built openSUSE images currently creates only S3 backed AMIs.

Meanwhile, you can try tweaking the create_ebs_ami.sh script for SLES based EC2 images to work with your openSUSE based image.

What can I do when testdrive is not working?

Please check if a new Flash-Version is available. If you have the current version, please try this solution

Can I link to my appliance on other websites?

Sure, we really appreciate and recommend that. The link to the public appliance page is permanent and can safely be used for linking.

Why isn't my SWAP-partition created?

SWAP is only built in usb stick / hard disk format.

How can I get my appliance to become an official openSUSE product like openSUSE Medical?

-> to be added!