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openSUSE Weekly News

openSUSE Weekly News Team

160 Edition

Published: 2011-01-29

Table of Contents

Announcements Board Election 2010 Hackweek VI Status Updates Distribution Team Report In the Community Postings from the Community Events & Meetings openSUSE for your Ears From Ambassadors Communication Contributors New/Updated Applications @ openSUSE Security Updates Kernel Review Tips and Tricks For Desktop Users For Commandline/Script Newbies For Developers and Programmers For System Administrators Planet SUSE On the Web Announcements Call for participation Reports Credits Acknowledgements Feedback Translations Abstract

We are pleased to announce our 160 issue of the openSUSE Weekly News.

You can also read this issue in other formats. Just click here.

Enjoy the reading :-)

Counter for openSUSE 11.4

Header PictureAnnouncements

Sascha Manns: openSUSE Weekly News Poll

Hey you’re reading the openSUSE Weekly News? Then you’re the right person who fill up this poll:

The more who are polling the better is it :-)

App Installer Meeting or More Collaboration Accross Borders

Back in October, at the openSUSE Conference, several meetings and hallway discussions occurred on the topic of “Installation ofApplications” on openSUSE. As of today, we still have a very package-centric approach, while users usually do not think in terms of packages but in terms of applications: people want to use Firefox, LibreOffice or Frozen Bubble. We investigated the best way to approach this issue and come to a fast resolution. With several people from various distributions already working on some technologies that are related to this, we realized this could be a prime example of Collaboration Accross Borders. This lead Vincent Untz to contact several people from different distributions, to see if he could spark an interest in a cross-distribution meeting on this topic. It turned out that everyone replied enthusiastically! That’s how the App Installer Meeting saw the light.

This meeting occurred over three days last week at the Novell/SUSE offices in Nuremberg, with 15ish participants, from five distributions: Debian (Enrico Zini, David Kalnischkies), Fedora (Richard Hughes, Florian Festi), Mageia (Michael Scherer, Olivier Thauvin, Samuel Verschelde), openSUSE (Duncan Mac-Vicar, Michael Schroeder, Pavol Rusnak, Vincent Untz), Ubuntu (Michael Vogt, Sebastian Heinlein). Frank Karlitschek and Garrett LeSage joined this group of distribution-oriented people. This was a fantastic set of people to tackle the topic, some of those having a background on user experience, others on low-level bits of packaging systems.

During these three days, we looked at various bits of technologies, including Debtags, the Ubuntu Software Center, the Open Collaboration Services specification and more. This helped us know what is available today and where we stand. We quickly agreed that we wanted to share the architecture to provide an Application Center for each distribution, even though some distributions might choose to have a different set of policies.

The group worked intensively to define the architecture, from the bottom to the top: this includes the definition of a an application metadata format, how to create it and from which sources (push as much information as possible upstream!), how to handle user-generated metadata, the protocol used to communicate between the distribution server and the Application Center client, as well as the user interface. The group is working on properly documenting the technical results of this meeting to let the wider community understand the overall architecture. Watch the video of a presentation delivered on the last day to Novell people to get an overview of what got produced.

The meeting turned out to be even more productive than originally planned, and all participants agreed on a concrete plan with an aggressive time line to push this effort forward! Stay tuned!

Youtube and m4v video file

Many thanks to all the sponsors of this event: Novell for kindly hosting and sponsoring several attendees, Canonical and Red Hat for sending people, and Debian for sponsoring one person!

Article contributed by Vincent Untz

First Bretzn Sprint: openSUSE App Store on the Horizon

Novell hosted the first Bretzn Sprint in the SUSE office in Nürnberg between 21th and the 23st of January. The objective of the sprint was to create an proof of concept application store for openSUSE.

This meeting is a direct follow up of the Cross-distribution meeting on application installer which took place in the 3 days leading up to the Bretzn sprint. During this meeting developers from Debian, Fedora, Mageia, openSUSE, and Ubuntu Linux distributions decided to work together on common APIs and code for application stores on Linux.

The Bretzn Sprint was dedicated to the development of a proof of concept of this idea, using existing components like the MeeGo Garage client and libattica as starting points.

Attendees of this meeting where Will Stephenson, Dan Leinir Turthra Jensen, Frederik Gladhorn, Mateu Batle Sastre, Eugene Trounev, Vincent Untz, Pavol Rusnak and Frank Karlitschek. This team brought together a wide range of skills, as can be seen in the results of this highly productive sprint. In just two and a half days, they managed to create a working application store client for openSUSE and KDE. The server part was based on OCS (Open Collaboration Services), which already did everything needed for the server side and just needed some data inserted to be shown in the client. The client in turn was created by using the MeeGo Garage client, and adapting it to be a more KDE-like application, by using the various KDE widgets and other tools, removing the duplication of functionality which was covered by the KDE libraries.

Finally, a new application view was created, to replace the existing which was never as pleasing as the original authors wanted it to be. This was done by using Qt Quick, which has allowed for the rapid construction of a much more pleasant look. The new interface is the result of a brainstorming session involving all members of the sprint, based on the results from the cross-distribution meeting. While this work is still in progress, it already represents an improvement over the old interface.

Article contributed by Frank Karlitschek

openSUSE Announces Development Milestone Six of Six

openSUSE project manager Stephan Kulow has announced that openSUSE 11.4 Milestone 6 (M6) is ready for testing. With M6, the pace of development is starting to slow down as the focus switches towards QA and bug fixing.

The project has been evaluating systemd vs SysV init to manage system and service startup, and has decided to stay with SysV init for 11.4 due to issues in getting the last 10% of the integration perfect.

M6 sees the completed removal of the HAL hardware abstraction layer, to be replaced with the more up-to-date and actively maintained udev, udisks and upower suite. HAL was already scheduled for removal in 11.3, but it was retained while the last few software packages which depend on it were ported to udev and company.

Branding and artwork has had a lot of attention, with the addition of the final wallpapers, splash screens and branding for 11.4. The default wallpaper is called Celadon Stripes, taking its inspiration from the color codename for this release.

New software added in Milestone 4 includes the WebYaST stack. WebYaST is the web-based admin tool developed for SLES, now available for openSUSE. Professional sysadmins and those who just like to comfortably administer their openSUSE servers will appreciate WebYaST. Also on the server side, the latest versions of the Horde groupware suite are now in openSUSE.

Software updates this milestone include the update of XOrg to 7.6, VirtualBox 4.0.2, GnuCash 2.4, and Scribus 1.3.9. A lively discussion on the opensuse-factory list about whether to include the stable Firefox 3.6.13 or a Firefox 4 beta centered around the limited availability of popular extensions for version 4 versus the short upstream maintenance period of Firefox 3 releases. As this article was published, the discussion was leaning towards taking a Firefox 4 beta and online-updating it to the final release when it becomes available.

Updates are flowing thick and fast to the KDE workspace and applications. KDE 4.6RC2 is on M6, and will be updated to 4.6.0 final for the first Release Candidate. The accompanying flurry of application releases include Amarok 2.4.0, Digikam 1.8.0, KOffice 2.3.1, k3b 2.0.2, KDevelop 4.2, KMyMoney 4.5, Rekonq 0.6 and BlueDevil 1.0.1. Fans of the Oxygen style will also see it in GTK applications, thanks to the native port of Oxygen to a GTK style in the form of the oxygen-gtk package .

As the GNOME project prepares for GNOME 3, the focus at openSUSE is on stabilisation and polish to GNOME 2.32. Bugfixes to PulseAudio, GDM and gnome-main-menu will ensure that 11.4 brings incremental refinement to GNOME users. Clutter 1.5 is included to support the latest available preview of gnome-shell, and the gramps genealogy tool is added in version 3.2.5. The GNOME team is preparing an 11.4-based Live CD that will include GNOME 3 when it is released in March.

The XFCE desktop is updated thanks to the hard work of the community to version 4.8, bringing with it far too many improvements to mention.

A list of most annoying bugs is being compiled; please check it before installing. We look forward to your bug reports and test experiences too. Automated testing and the openSUSE Factory team have been active to ensure that your download of M6 will be at least minimally functional.

Release Candidate 1 is scheduled for February 10 and brings with it a hard freeze. openSUSE 11.4 is planned to be released in March 2011.

Board Election 2010

openSUSE Board Election 2010: Vogelsang and Linnell elected

The last few weeks in the openSUSE project have been very interesting. Two seats on the openSUSE Project board were up for election. The Election Committee closed the polls on Wednesday, and we are pleased to announce the results:

  1. Henne Vogelsang (125 Votes)
  2. Peter Linnell (72 Votes)
  3. Sankar P. (71 votes)
  4. Sebastian Kügler (64 votes)
  5. Chuck Payne (39 votes)
  6. Nelson Marques (23 votes)
  7. Kostas Kodouras (20 votas)

220 of the 469 openSUSE members voted.

We at the News Team wish the new board members all the best and Have A Lot Of Fun!

Header PictureHackweek VI

[ Cornelius Schumacher: Choosing a project for Hackweek 6]

It's Hackweek again in SUSE land for the next five days. It's the sixth edition and there already is a nice list of projects in openFATE.

I haven't decided, what I'll work on, yet. There are four projects I'm thinking about. I entered all of them in openFATE for now, will sleep for a night, and then take a decision tomorrow morning, when I'll start hacking. If you have input, preferences, what you would like to see happen, or if you would like to join me in one of these projects, please let me know.

These are the projects I have in mind:

Developer sprint support tool

We have discussed this a couple of times in the KDE community, as there are happening a lot of sprints there, and it would be great to have a tool, which supports taking care of the administrative aspects, helps with reporting of results, and supports the productive process. This would be a nice one-week project, especially, if somebody else would like to join the fun and help developing it. It would certainly also benefit openSUSE and other communities.

Read more in openFATE #311141.

One-click appliance installer for SUSE Gallery

Once-click install works nicely in openSUSE for packages. But we don't have a comparable mechanism for appliances on SUSE Gallery yet. It would be great, if you could just click on a button on an appliance page in SUSE Gallery and the system would automatically take care of installing the appliance, so you could use it right away. This could simply be downloading it and running it in KVM or something different depending on the type and content of the appliance.

Read more in openFATE #311142.

Alternative configuration backend for KDE applications

This is a fun idea from the area of cross-desktop configuration. It wouldn't be the first attempt to come up with some cross-toolkit, cross-desktop, cross-platform configuration system for desktop application, but I'm not aware of any attempts from this angle so far. The idea would be to extend kconfig_compiler to support other configuration backends than just KConfig. This could be QSettings, or dconf, or something completely different. There probably are some practical obstacles I didn't consider yet, but it would be interesting to see, if it's possible to move KDE apps to use a GNOME configuration backend by a simple recompile.

Read more in openFATE #311144.

Humane address book for the cloud

This project goes back to some of my roots. Something like ten years ago I rewrote the KDE address book library and worked quite a bit on KAddressbook, the application to handle contacts in KDE. Back at that time I was deep into the vCard format, and thought it would be a good idea to give the user all the power the format provides. While a couple of good things came from that, I now think, that this approach was a bad idea. Address book data should be handled in a way, which is more natural than assuming people are just a list of alphabetical ordered contacts with a lot of sophisticated data fields. Especially these days, where lots of personal data is stored in the cloud, there must be better ways how to make use of the technology we have at hand, and put it to use in a way, which puts people first, and the way how they think about dealing with their data, information about other people, and their relationships to them.

Read more in openFATE 311143.

Michal Čihař: Gammu can read and write contacts from Symbian

First day of Hackweek 6 is almost over and my progress is quite good so far. The first step wat to make Gammu connect to the Series60 applet and retrieve basic information:

$ ./gammu/gammu identify
Device               : 5C:57:C8:xx:xx:xx
Manufacturer         : Nokia
Model                : E52 (RM-469)
Firmware             : 3.0
IMEI                 : 359000000000000

That was pretty easy. If you want to try it, you need to install Series60 applet into phone (manually for now, but autoinstallation is planned for future) and configure gammu to talk to it:

connection = blues60
device = 5C:57:C8:xx:xx:xx

Second thing I choose to implement was manipulation with contacts. There are some oddities in the applet (like it simply crashes when giving it wrong contact ID to retrieve), which I will try to fix in future, but for now I stick with existing applet and code functionality only in Gammu. And it works:

$ ./gammu/gammu getmemory ME 215
Memory ME, Location 215
Last name            : "Gammu"
First name           : "Test"
Mobile number        : "123456"
General number       : [home]"654321"
Email address 1      : ""

0 entries empty, 1 entries filled

Tomorrow I should be able to implement calendar, let's see how will it go.

PS: All code is is available in our Git repository

Hackweek VI: videos

Now are following the Links to the videos:

Table 1. Hackweek Introductions

Header 1 Header 2 Header 3 Adrian Schröter Arvin Schnell Bernhard Wiedemann Christopher Hofmann Ciaran Farrell and Vladislav Gorobets Daniel Schmidt David Disseldorp Dirk Mueller Dominik Mayer Dominik Mayer Hannes Reineke Juergen Weigert Klaus Wagner Mark Baeumler Michael Schroeder Peter Schinagl Richard Guenther Sascha Peilike Steffen Winterfeld Susanne Oberhauser Thomas Renninger Thomas Schmidt Andrew Fitzsimon Dinar Valeev Lukas Lipawsky Martin Caj Michal Cihar Michal Hrusecky Yury Tsarew Bin Li Leon Wang Li Dongyang Jean Delvare Lars Mueller Zangdonmao Tony Xi Yan Sun Lin Ma Chunyan Liu Jiaju Sang Jerry Tang Jim Fehling

Klaas Freitag: Share your Kraft

Its Hackweek number six at SUSE as you might have heard. Hackweek is great as employees are encouraged to work on a free software project they want. I work on my project Kraftand really appreciate the time that I can spend on it.

What I intend to do can be summarized with Share your Kraft. Up to now, Kraft is working fine for a single user. But what if a team wants to use Kraft and share number cycles (which are base for the document numbering like invoice number), documents and template catalogs? Well, as long as they share the same database, it might work (I didn’t test deeply) but if they happen to be on different locations it becomes difficult. I try to make that possible.

My development target for Kraft is simplicity. For the user of course, but also for the setup. The server to share data, which is obviously needed, must work on a cheap hosting offer, and it must work with a weak internet line. So a database connect via internet is not possible.

I decided to investigate in ownCloud and enhance it with a plug-in called KitoC. ownCloud is a project started by Frank Karlitschek and implements a handy but scalable WebDAV Server beside more. Seems to fit my needs perfectly. Yesterday I implemented the number server function in KitoC after good conversation with Cornelius at breakfast in the office. Not very much achieved yet, but had to learn a bit of ownCloud first. I keep you posted.

Michal Hrusecky: Hackweek 6: openSUSE Paste news

As all of you know already, Hackweek number 6 started yesterday. What I’ll be doing? Last Hackweek I started with project to run pastebin for openSUSE. Thanks to you I received quite some feedback. Mostly positive. The rest that wasn’t entirely positive contained some feature requests :-D I guess it can count also as positive feedback in the end. One big feature was already implemented. Our pastebin support image pastes as well as code one. This was done mainly to help Sirko and our artwork team. Although user interface wasn’t really intuitive, it worked (UI is much better now in git repo, will be deployed in the end of the week). Other feature people asked for was ability to log in. So they’ll have their own history, control over their pastes and they’ll be able to skip spam checker (some people really need to paste something that looks like spam). So I decided that this Hackweek I’ll be working on this feature. Currently I got OpenID working for authenticating users. But there is still many features missing and I’ll need to find a way how to make it work within our openSUSE infrastructure. So far I didn’t succeeded in getting OpenID from our servers. So first two days are over and I made some progress, but there is still long way to go.

That was for “what’s going on” part. I’ve got also something else to share with you. Do you know Ohloh? It’s site that collects various data regarding open source projects. And openSUSE Paste is one of them. One really cool feature they’ve got is journal. You can post short message regarding your project. I really like that. Writing blogposts takes quite some time and blogpost should be long. But I’m trying to make journal entry on Ohloh as soon as I’ve got something especially when I don’t feel that it is worth whole blogpost. Even things that I’m blogging about probably appears on ohloh first. So if you are openSUSE Paste fan, you should follow it on Ohloh ;-)

Michal Čihař: Sending SMS on Symbian phone using Gammu

Third Hackweek 6 day went a bit differently than I planned, but there is still lot of progress.

I've added some more calls to the Series60 remote protocol, so that some things now work much faster (eg. getting number of contacts, calendar entries). The applet now also has a function to toggle Bluetooth so it does not have to be done elsewhere in phone menus.

On Gammu side I focused on messaging support, so now Gammu can list messages in the phone or send new message.

Modification of calendar entries is left for tomorrow, hopefully I will get to it and the support will be more or less complete and I will have Friday for final cleanup.

And as usual - all code is is available in our Git repository and check documentation for information how to set it up.

Thomas Schmidt: openFATE mobile

My project for Hackweek IV was to bring openFATE to mobile devices, and have a shared framework, so we can easily create mobile versions of other opensuse sites, for example the build service.

I decided to use the jquery mobile framework and together with Andre we created a rails plugin that automatically switches iPhones and android devices to the mobile version. (Use this link to test the mobile version with your desktop browser) (...)

Michal Čihař: Gammu supports Symbian (and going for Android)

Hackweek 6 is over and my project is done - Gammu can now talk to Symbian phones. All the work is based on Series60 - remote applet. The changes on Gammu side were not just to implement new protocol, but also some more general improvements it enforced. I think the diffstat summary tells how much was changed:

166 files changed, 23126 insertions(+), 15738 deletions(-)

All code is is available in our Git repository and check documentation for information how to set it up. There will be testing release incorporating these changes next week to give broader audience chance to test it.

So now Gammu has long requested support for Symbian and we need other challenge. That seems to be Android right now and there are already two approaches which might help there. One of them is porting Series60 applet to Android, what is planned by Series60-remote author. There is also other promising way, where I can not share much details right now, but I can give you a little teaser:

$ gammu identify
Device               : 5210
Manufacturer         : HTC
Model                : unknown (HTC Nexus One)
Firmware             : FRG**
IMEI                 : **************8
SIM IMSI             : **************7

Yes, getting basic information already works for the developer working on it :-).

Header PictureStatus Updates

Header PictureDistribution

Holger Hetterich: SMB Traffic Analyzer submitted to openSUSE Tumbleweed rolling update distro

The complete SMB Traffic Analyzer (SMBTA in the following) software package (up to date Samba including SMBTA VFS module, smbtad and smbtatools) are now available in openSUSE’s Tumbleweed distribution, making it ready to run SMBTA out of the box. Since my blog is read by quite some people outside of the openSUSE community, I am using this space to shortly introduce the Tumbleweed project, as it might raise interest to those who were not aware of it.

openSUSE Tumbleweed is a project to provide the openSUSE Distribution in form of rolling updates. At a glance, this means in the ideal world: Install Tumbleweed once, and never run out of updates or maintenance, as Tumbleweed will update itself to always match the current package versions that openSUSE’s maintainers or the according open source projects consider as the current stable release of a package. In difference to the openSUSE Factory distribution, which simply provides the current development state of openSUSE, Tumbleweed will not provide unstable or experimental packages. The projects idea was being discussed for longer time in the community, and finally brought to life and implementation by Greg Kroah-Hartman, who announced a Tumbleweed repository in the openSUSE Buildservice. In it’s current form, Tumbleweed is driven by a number of package maintainers and developers who want to make Tumbleweed to happen, and relies on package maintainers to support Tumbleweed by submitting their packages to the repository.

It’s very easy to jump from openSUSE 11.3 to Tumbleweed by using zypper, to give it a try. I run it successfully in a virtual machine since Tumbleweed was announced, and consider to make it my distribution for development/work as it brings advantages that I don’t want to miss. Being able to release a new SMB Traffic Analyzer version and having it available for users and packaged in a distribution in a matter of hours is one of them. Read more about that on the Tumbleweed page in the openSUSE wiki.

Important Links

Team Report

Header PictureBuild Service Team

Build Service Statistics. Statistics can found at Buildservice

Header PictureGNOME Team

Nelson Marques: Unity, Compiz and ATI…

I’ve finally added the Compiz packages to my development repository and unity itself alongside with some tools.

There are several bug reports on launchpad concerning ATI users, involving RADEON DRM driver and FireGL (fglrx) drivers. Unfortunately for me, I’m also a very happy ATI customer.

I’ve struggled yesterday with some ABI problems on compiz, this was mainly because I had git snapshots from different days, and updating and rebuilding it, really solved the issue.

Today I’ll be implementing the required patches for compiz by Ubuntu,, and hopefully this will enable me to test Unity, this time on a spare laptop with Intel Graphics chipset. I was hoping to pop some screenshots today, unfortunately, I’m having a couple of problems with Compiz that hopefully a couple of missing patches will solve.

I’ve left behind the ‘clutk’ package, as it’s currently broken and I need to take closer look into ‘glew’ and work it out. Something for monday/tuesday spare time.

For the time being, the only screenshot I have to show is the one of CCSM (compizconfig-settings-manager) with the Unity plugin. (...)

Header PictureKDE Team

Sebastian Kügler: 4.6.0 Available

I’ve just pushed the relevant buttons to make the release of 4.6.0 a public fact. Packages should appear shortly for your favourite operating system, I know that openSUSE packages are available from Factory now, so start your zypper already.4.6.0 Released. The release is actually a pretty big thing, it adds a lot of new features, some of which very visible, others being less noticable. There’s the mobile profile for example, which makes it much easier to use KDE frameworks in your mobile application. Then we have the re-vamped activity manager, that adds a way to group applications in their context and makes it possible to manage these activities like sessions. So head over and read what’s new in the Plasma Workspaces, the applications and the KDE development platform.

Will Stephenson: openSUSE KDE Team activity, Jan 2011

What’s been going on in the openSUSE KDE team this week? The news on everybody’s lips is that the KDE project released 4.6.0 yesterday. Naturally, we’ve got it available for download for all current openSUSE releases as we prepare 4.6 for openSUSE 11.4. 4.6 brings better performance and improved power management control to the Plasma workspaces. The KDE 4.6 application releases include features such as navigation capabilities in the Marble map app, more ways to search your files in Dolphin, and photo sharing via social networks. KDE 4.6.0 is currently available in the KDE:Distro:Factory repositories. A KDE:Release:46 repository will shortly be made available, providing the point releases in the KDE 4.6 series.

Figure 1. Plasma Desktop with Dolphin browsing this week’s modified files, and Speaker Setup dialog

Plasma Desktop with Dolphin browsing this week’s modified files, and Speaker Setup dialog

Figure 2. Krita, KPlato, KSpread, KWord, about to transform into Calligra Office

Krita, KPlato, KSpread, KWord, about to transform into Calligra Office

Figure 3. Amarok 2.4.0 playing using Phonon 4.4.4 and GStreamer

Amarok 2.4.0 playing using Phonon 4.4.4 and GStreamer

Figure 4. Some code I wrote with my feet in a bucket of water in 2004

Some code I wrote with my feet in a bucket of water in 2004

But that’s not all that we’ve been up to. Amarok 2.4.0 continues to help you rediscover your music, with better automatic playlists and removable device support. We’ve packaged KOffice 2.3.1 including the realistic natural medium paint app, Krita. KDevelop 4.2, also released today, is already on our mirrors. C++ and PHP coders should check it out for its powerful code completion and refactoring support, augmented with better search and replace, improved Kate text editor, and QtHelp documentation support. digiKam 1.8.0 leads the way in professional Free Software photo management.

The team continues to work to prepare openSUSE 11.4. The openSUSE updater applet is being replaced by the more polished KPackageKit from KDE. Our beta testers have already resolved several critical bugs before 4.6.0 was released, and is assessing PulseAudio and the range of Phonon sound system options for the best audio experience when 11.4 is released. All dependencies on the old HAL system for hardware in KDE have now been replaced with udev, and have received a lot of testing. KSynaptiks has been configured by default to allow touchpad taps, but disable the touchpad when typing. And the team has been assiduously packaging new dependencies in KDE’s 4.6 releases so they are fully featured, including the Okteta hex editor plugin for KDevelop, the R backend for the Cantor math app, and the new speaker setup config module.

Artwork and branding for 11.4 is nearly complete, featuring the Celadon Stripes wallpaper by KDE’s Ivan Čukić . The mysterious-looking upstream default wallpaper ‘Horos’ is also available – just install the package kdebase4-workspace-branding-upstream. KDE’s Oxygen look and feel becomes possible in GTK apps by installing the new Oxygen GTK theme. And a number of minor tweaks to the default KDE in a new installation of 11.4 add up to improved performance, for example by deferring starting services until they are needed.

If you want to join the fun or just need a helping hand, the expert and fanatical openSUSE KDE team can be found in #opensuse-kde on IRC, at <<a class="email" href="></a>> or at You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

Sebastian Kügler: Slicing up the Web

The Webslice applet has been in Plasma (kdeplasma-addons, to be precise) since 4.4 already. It allows the user to display a part of a webpage on the desktop. This can be useful for monitoring only a specific part of a webpage, or just to display something nice.

The Webslice applet has been written by Richard Moore and me as a functional prototype, but didn’t see much love since it was added to Plasma for 4.4 in 2009. Its basic mechanism is that you specify a “slice” within a website, which is a rectangular region. This region then gets shown in the applet, and resizes dynamically with it, zooming the “slice” in and out. The widget basically worked, but had two significant problems: Resizing was very sluggish and bound to a kept aspect ratio, and you needed to know CSS2 selector syntax to actually use it.

Earlier tonight, I’ve committed a set of changes which address these problems, and backported them after review on the plasma-devel mailing list to the 4.6 branch, so these changes become part of Plasma 4.6.1, which will be the first service and translation update to 4.6.0, which we released yesterday.


Figure 5. performance


First, the resize issue. The Webslice applet Figure 5, “performance” uses a webkit view, which displays the page and is positioned (basically scrolled with scrollbars switched off) and zoomed to fit into the area the applet covers — fairly simple in fact. The performance problem was caused by too much resizing which got passed down the stack (if you scroll and zoom a website every couple of milliseconds, it becomes quite heavy on the CPU easily. I’ve addressed this by cleaning up the codepathes that lead to resizing, so that it only causes the resize (and thus the repositioning and zoom of the webpage) when absolutely necessary. Resize events from the applet are now compressed a bit, so that we don’t get more than 10 resizes a second. That’s “good enough” for the user to see what effect his mouse-dragging has, but doesn’t have the sluggish effect. Then, while resizing, I’m freezing webkit’s tiled backing store, for an additional performance boost. The result is very noticeable, the lag and CPU-hogging while resizing is gone, and the sizing of the applet is much less unwieldy with these changes. In that process, I’ve also switched to a non-fixed aspect ratio. Bug #1 thoroughly fixed.

improving interaction

Figure 6. improving interaction

improving interaction

Next-up, slice selection. As I already mentioned, that was neither easy, nor user-friendly. (If you’re running, 4.4+, give it a shot, it really sucks ;-).) First off, you need to know CSS2 selectors (they’re quite easy, in most cases you want #myid for an element in the page being marked with id=”myid”), but still limit the utility of the widget to a rather select group. (Does this make the widget 1337?)I’ve been pondering how to best offer this to the user. It should be easy to pick a slice from all the elements that are there. The first thing I did was to turn the lineedit where you’d input the CSS selector (#myid or whatever) into an editable combobox, already containing elements to choose from. That made picking a slice much more “determistic”. Still, the #myid names are not always telling you what part of the page their actually displaying, so some more feedback is desirable. My approach there is the following: When the user opens the configuration dialog Figure 6, “improving interaction”, the page is zoomed out and fully shown in the webslice applet, it switches to a preview mode. The user can now enter a different URL, and temporary load this in the slice applet. The combo box containing the elements is now updated to contain the elements of the new page. Website picked, now let’s pick a slice. By selecting a slice from the combobox, the preview mode highlights the position of the currently selected slice in the widget. You apply and it zooms in there. A nice touch is that you can “scroll” through the slice by hovering over the combobox, or flip through them using the arrow keys while focusing the combobox. All in all, not quite unintrusive changes, but considering the widget wasn’t of much use due to above described problems anyway (there was one bug filed against it — likely a bad sign, I’m not that good a hacker). Marco and Aaron were kind enough to review the patches and agreed that they won’t hurt much, but do provide a nice set of improvements we’d like our users to get fairly quickly, not just next summer with 4.7.

There are a couple of loose ends left for 4.7, though. As I wanted to keep the possibility of a backport open, I’ve not changed any strings in the widget, adding an explaining tooltip here or there might be useful, but also some more flexible sizing options (what proportions to use for the initial rendering — that matters for fluid layouts, how to clip if the size of the widget doesn’t match the aspect ratio of the slice, etc. I’ve chosen “sane defaults” for these things now, but it’ll probably be nice having that available as an option to the user.

Create your own webslice Plasma widgets in 4 minutes

There’s one neat thing left to tell about the webslice: You can easily create your own preconfigured slices. In order to do that, copy and rename the .desktop file, change name, comment, icon, if you wish, then add a line like


Copy the file to ~/.kde(4)/share/kde4/services/, run kbuildsycoca4 and add your newly created webslice to your Plasma using the widget explorer.

A possible direction we can take this is to add a webslice category to, and start sharing our webslices with each other…

Header PictureopenFATE Team
Top voted Features

Features with highest vote, but no one has been assigned to yet. We are looking for volunteers to implement.

Run download and install in parallel (Score: 337)

"Network installation could be improved by running package download and package installation in parallel."

Look at plymouth for splash during boot (Score: 170)

"I wanted to open a fate feature about this when I first heard of plymouth, but reading really makes me think we should go this way.

Ray's comment starting with "Every flicker and mode change in the boot process takes away from the whole experience." is especially interesting. Is it okay to track the "don't show grub by default" here?"

1-click uninstall (Score: 137)

"An easy way to remove Software!

For example: you installed an application with "1-click install" (which will install all the packages that you need), there should be an easy way (also with 1 click) to remove what you have installed with that 1-click operation... in another words: an "1-click Uninstall" to remove installed software (dependencies and packages included)."

Replacement for Sax2 (Score: 111)

"We need a replacement for sax2 in 11.3, as a safety measure for when auto configuration fails to detect certain monitors/keyboards/mice. (...)"

Popularity contest (Score: 86)

"We need a feedback about packages that are preferred by users and actively used. Debian already has a tool named Popularity contest (popcon) (...)"

Off-Line one click install (MSI for Linux) (Score: 70)

"Idea from community member Raúl García. Same concept as MSI packages for Windows but exploiting the One Click Install concept of openSUSE (and therefore inheriting the simplicity, code and security. (...)"

YaST-Qt: More informative "Installation Summary" (Score: 66)

"The YaST Qt package manager should provide as much information in the "Installation Summary" view as zypper, esp the overall download size to expect and how much disk space will be freed/used after performing the operation."

Less scary yast conflict dialogs (Score: 54)

"The YaST2 sw_single dialog for conflicts, vendor change, architecture change etc. is very scary for many users.

The dialog asks the user to select one of usually three offered solutions for each problem without giving much help. This is a cause for many complaints, and contributes to myths of RPM dependency hell still existing today. (...)"

Recently requested features

Features newly requested last week. Please vote and/or comment if you get interested.

Use the community repos list to remove repos

If the user adds a repo via the community repos list he should be able to remove them via the same way, i.e. have a list where he can de-select and thus remove the repos. That way if he e.g. added some repo which messed-up his system he could just bring up that same list de-select the repo and yast would "update" all installed packages from that repo to the original state and remove the repo afterwards.

In YaST's software management it's the same, you add/remove/refresh from within the same list.

Update of Cyrus imapd to the 2.4.x branch

It seems that OpenSUSE 11.4 still ships cyrus imapd 2.3.16. The 2.3.16 is listed as "legacy" at the Cyrus-Homepage .

Would it be possible/better to change to 2.4.6 (or whatever version will be recent then)?

Add romanian keyboard layout to future openSUSE installations

Romanian keyboard is not listed to other international layouts during the openSUSE installation. It can be choosen only after the openSUSE installation through Control Center -> Keyboard -> Layouts.

Please add the romanian keyboard mapping to the openSUSE installation.

Merge YaST and Control Center

Merge YaST and Control Center together, and make this more structurate.. many similar settings are present here and there...

Add ratings and reviews in Software Manager

Add ratings and reviews to all the packages in Software Manager, feature implemented already in Linux Mint and soon to be in Ubuntu.

Humane address book for the cloud


This project is not about an address book. It's not about listing contacts in alphabetical order, having fields for titles and middle names, zip codes, and different types of phone numbers, it's not about concepts like meta-contacts, contact syncing, IM status notifications, device capabilities, or about formats, APIs, or other technical questions. (...)

Log System Configuration Changes

Moving to a new version often (always?) requires manual configuration of the new release to incorporate all the changes made over the life of the current system. If these changes were logged to a central file, we would, at a minimum, have a list to work with for manual changes, but longer term that log could serve as a data source to automate the configuation process. (...)

Live and Install on the same DVD

One openSUSE dvd that can be used for installation and also for live demo (like Ubuntu, Fedora... etc)

MintMenu to be included in openSUSE by default

We can have MintMenu by default in openSUSE

1. It is a fork of our own slab

2. It has lots more functionality than our slab and yes more popular too

3. Better UX

It already exists at OBS

Feature Statistics

Statistics for openSUSE 11.4 in openFATE

Header PictureTesting Team

Larry Finger: Weekly News for January 29

The next Testing Core Team IRC meeting will be Jan. 31, 2011 at 18:00 UTC.

In our meeting, we will be discussing our experiences with 11.4 M6 and discussing bugs that we have encountered.

The QA tests of team member Bernhard Wiedemann are proving to be exceedingly valuable in preventing problems at release time, even though he only tests on the limited hardware of KVM virtual machines. These tests are improving daily. For example, the x86_64 DVD for M6 is too big to fit on a standard DVD. To prevent such an event in the future, Bernhard has added a check that will fail any future build that exceeds the limit.

It is extremely important to test M6 so that as many bugs as possible are found and fixed before the GM comes out in March. Remember that your hardware may have problems not seen by other testers. Unless you find such bugs and file a report on them, they may not be fixed by March.

Header PictureTranslation Team

Header PictureIn the Community

Postings from the Community

Frank Karlitschek: 2 amazing meetings to change the world

Last week I attended two very interesting developer sprints at the SUSE office in Nürnberg.

More and more people in the Linux world realize that a nice application installer (Application Store) is needed to make the Linux platform more attractive for normal users and third party developers. The current package managers expose way to much complexity to the end users. The normal users doesn´t care about dependencies, libraries and other internals. But the user cares about things like screenshots, description texts, ratings. tags, comments, recommendation from friends and other features which current package managers don´t provide. So the idea grow to build a better tool for finding and installing applications which sits on top of the current package management.

It´s part of the Bretzn project to build something like this. The first sprint last week brought people from all major Linux distributions on one table to discuss ways to work together to build a common application installer API and infrastructure. Developers from RedHat, Fedora, Debian, Ubuntu, openSUSE, Mandriva and Mageia met and discussed ways to make this happen. After 2 and a half days we all agreed on an architecture and we will work in the next few month to bring this to all majors distributions. I´m happy that OCS was chosen as the standard API to access App Store Servers.

The second sprint was the Bretzn sprint which took place directly afterwards and was all about coding.

Several people from openSUSE and KDE met to build a proof of concept implementation of an Application Store for openSUSE and KDE.

This second sprint was also super productive so after another weekend we have a basic App Store client together with a server running.

All the basic features are in place and it just needs a bit more polishing.

There is a news story coming up with some more information and screenshots. So stay tuned if you are looking for more information. :-)

Jos Poortvliet: openSUSE in the Netherlands

In May, the dutch "HCC" computerclub will organize a Linux day. They have asked me if I'd be willing to give a talk there - cool, I can do that. And if I could also set up and staff a booth. Slightly harder to do that on my own - so I hereby would like to ask any dutch openSUSE users who are willing to help out to contact me!

Maybe we can do more than only that booth, there are plenty of events in the Netherlands and of course we should organize a openSUSE 11.4 release event to get to know each other!

Talking about local openSUSE, look at this site and find the openSUSE article by HeliosRed :D

Jos Poortvliet: LCA on Friday

Still at Linux Conf Australia. Have new pictures, see below. A few notes:

  • I spoke with some local Novell/SUSE people - and we made a deal that we'll work more together to promote openSUSE in Down Under. Sorely needed, our technology can contribute a lot to the work people here are doing. And I bet we can learn a thing or two too...
  • Yesterday I attended talks about Koji (Red Hat build system) and Fedora. Koji - let's just say we need to communicate OBS a lot better. Will make the lives of many sysadmins quite a bit easier. Seriously, Koji is nice but: command line only (web interface just monitors and can restart tasks); runs on local hardware and thus only builds for your own architecture; doesn't really support building for other distro's - surely not Ubuntu and Debian like OBS can do; you can't just point it to a SVN or Git repository - no, first have to create source RPM's by hand. And there's more - just showing how awesome OBS really is. I do think OBS needs a name change - to something like Open Build Service. To make clear it ain't just openSUSE specific!
  • The Fedora talk was also interested and the Fedora Project Lead is a cool dude. I spend some time with him during the Penguin Dinner and he invited me to a cross-distro discussion panel at FOSDEM together with the Debian project lead. We seem to be very much on the same page and I look greatly forward to that!
  • The Friday keynote by Mark Pesce was awesome, be sure to to check the video's on blip! There is an upload/network issue, so they won't be there anytime soon, unfortunately. He spoke about freedom, mesh networking, facebook and more. Oh and it's 18+ rated - including juicy quotes on Steve Jobs you don't want to miss!

All in all - great day which isn't over yet. I'll be giving a 90 sec lightning talk at the closing ceremony, showing off the awesomeness of SUSE Studio. Mostly due to that being the only thing I could whip together into a PDF quick enough - ImageMagick's "convert" tool to the rescue! But it will give a taste to people, show them (open)SUSE is more than relevant: you really need to some SUSE knowledge on your CV if you want to be a good sysadmin ;-)

Of course the result will end up on the openSUSE marketing resources page here - I just need darix to upload it as the PDF is more than the 2 MB limit.

Events & Meetings



You can find more informations on other events at: openSUSE News/Events. - Local Events

openSUSE for your Ears

The openSUSE Weekly News are available as livestream or podcast in German. You can hear it or download it on Radiotux.

From Ambassadors

Pavol Rusnak: GNOME Python Hackfest, AppInstaller Meeting and Bretzn Hackfest

What a cool and productive week! But let me start from the beginning …

A couple of months ago we decided to start a hackerspace in Prague called brmlab. Most of the members deal with hardware, but there are also couple of software guys like me. At the end of November we were contacted by Tomeu and he asked if they can organize GNOME Python Hackfest in our hackerspace. I was more than delighted about the idea, so we agreed and started to plan things. In the end we had 9 FOSS hackers working on GNOME and Python and I think they enjoyed their time in Prague. Hackerspace is a great concept, because these folks didn’t have to spend extra money on renting some place and our members had opportunity to meet foreign FOSS developers and try exotic hardware like OLPC XO-1.

Figure 7. Blogposts from Tomeu and J5 about the event

Blogposts from Tomeu and J5 about the event

I had to leave the guys on Tuesday evening, because I spent the rest of the week in SUSE office in Nuernberg. The first three days were dedicated to Cross-distribution meeting about application installer organized by Vincent. It went more than well, we discussed and agreed on many things, which is great and in the end we were able to give a presentation + we also created a nice AppStream wikipage as a starting point for any future work.

Figure 8. Vincent wrote a nice summary for openSUSE News. (It is not yet there, but should appear soon.)

Vincent wrote a nice summary for openSUSE News. (It is not yet there, but should appear soon.)

This meeting was immediately followed by Bretzn hackfest organized by Frank. The main focus of it was implementing some of the things we agreed on previous meeting from the KDE/Qt perspective and porting MeeGo Garage to openSUSE. During it I was mainly dealing with appdata.xml format we described in the AppStream meeting – I created an XML schema so we can validate it and also developed a proof-of-concept generator of this piece of metadata in Python. (git repo) Hope we can get it in createrepo and dpkg-scan* utilities soon.

Figure 9. Frank’s summary about the hackfest will appear on Planet openSUSE soon

Frank’s summary about the hackfest will appear on Planet openSUSE soon

I would like to thank GNOME Foundation and Collabora for sponsoring the GNOME Python Hackfest, Novell for sponsoring the Bretzn Hackfest and Canonical, Debian, Mageia, Novell and Red Hat for sending their people to AppInstaller Meeting! It’s really nice and encouraging to see folks from various companies working on one common goal.

And yeah, so see you there!

Greek openSUSE Ambassadors: Greek Customs (New Year's Pie)

Here in Greece we celebrate the new year except from gifts but also by cutting a New Year's Pie where inside there is a coin hidden. Whoever finds it wins a special gift and is meant to be lucky the new year. A local Linux User Group located in Volos called Volug and LinuxTeam Teilar in Larisa which both teams consist of colleagues had two small parties for cutting the New Year's Pie. I was there to celebrate with those people and inform them about openSUSE and openSUSE community. They were all interested about openSUSE distribution. I answered many questions about Tumbleweed and Evergreen and informed them about our new 11.4 and OBS as many of them where interested about the work that is done by openSUSE community and by the Greek Community. I had some cds/dvds and posters with me which i gave them. In the future we will make some events together. Unfortunately we did not took any pictures. I would slightly have won the hidden coin at the first party but the next person got it.

Photo of the New Year's Pie

Figure 10. Happy New Year All!!!!

Happy New Year All!!!!

George Bratsos aka Etern4L



Header PictureNew/Updated Applications @ openSUSE

Javier Llorente: Oxygenise your Apache

I have updated apache2-icons-oxygen with icons from KDE 4.6 RC2. Thanks Nuno & Co! Now Apache’s directory listings look a bit better ;-) See it in action here. If you want to download the tarball/rpm, go to the Build Service.

Packman: vlc

“VLC media player is a highly portable multimedia player for various audio and video formats (MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DivX, mp3, ogg, ...) as well as DVDs, VCDs, and various streaming protocols. It can also be used as a server to stream in unicast or multicast in IPv4 or IPv6 on a high-bandwidth network.”

Sascha Manns: New/Updated Applications

The last days i’ve updated or added new Packages:

Have a lot of fun with it :-)

Michael Meeks: LibreOffice - our first release

Today we released our first stable release of LibreOffice. That is really rather exciting ! and a major milestone. Of course, if you have a GNU/Linux or Unix distribution, most likely your packagers already knew our release timetable, and have distribution packages ready for you to use. If you can use those, do - they are likely to be better integrated with the system, and somewhat faster.

If you are a Windows or Mac user though, it is a great time to try out LibreOffice, directly from our download site.

Why LibreOffice ?

Apart from all the obvious reasons - of loving Freedom, Free Software, and fun, open, community development. LibreOffice is just better, much better, check out our (still expanding) New Features page - showing off what people can expect to enjoy in LibreOffice. As I get time, I'll add some highlights of my own appended here.

What next ?

As we work in a much more conventional Free Software project mold, we are releasing a point-zero release. This will not be perfect, but is any software ? what we will be doing is rapidly iterating it, via many minor point releases, towards perfection. We've published our timeline for that. Something you don't like ? some hideous translation or crasher bug ? we can include that fix soon, so do get stuck in and help out.

Perhaps the more interesting piece is the commitment to move to a six month release cycle, that is well aligned with existing Free Software community and distribution release cycles. We hope this will help get the latest, and best LibreOffice into users' hands as quickly as possible.

How do I get involved ?

LibreOffice is a project, almost uniquely suited to scaling to hundreds of people working on it - there are problems, missing features and bugs everywhere. There are millions of malnourished lines-of-code, awaiting your loving ownership, and remedial care - can you help them ? If so, please head to our developer instructions grab the code from freedesktop's git repository, and get stuck in, we'd love to work with you. We have many Easy Hacks designed for beginners to get involved - ranging from zero programming skill required, to some heavier lifting for the elite. As you do that, please do say hello on IRC: #libreoffice on, where much of the team hangs out.

Of course, if you want to mirror our binaries - and we are only 11Gb small (compared to 70Gb+ for OO.o), then drop a mail to <<a class="email" href="></a>>, we use Peter's excellent mirrorbrain - we have good coverage, but it can always improve. If you just like web banners that point to us there is just such a image.

Who did this thing ?

Well, in fact many people, far more than I can write down in one place - there are extensive credits here for all of the many individuals that have struck their blow for freedom with us; I am incredibly grateful for their support and friendship.

However, of course, some people have put more than the usual effort into this release - and here is where I forget people and offend at least someone. For various reasons: new packaging, and split help - the Windows build sucked a lot of mental energy this cycle, with Fridrich and Tor bearing the brunt of the pain. Similarly, Kendy battled the split help indomitably at great length, while managing the Novell team too. Then of course, the Steering Committee have put in lots of time with my personal favorite of Italo - creating and massaging press text and briefing many. The poor translation team, worked incredibly well under very tight deadline pressure to make up for the late strings that routinely needed shoving in, with Andras doing fantastic work getting their changes merged. Then finally, the website, its infrastructure, mirroring, scripting, design, artwork, and volume of text, polish, translation and beauty, as always - done on the very cusp of release swallowed much sweat and tears particularly from David, Christian, Florian, Thorsten and Sophie. My profound thanks to all of these, and more who worked so hard to get the release out - oh, and especially to the many un-sung hackers who got really stuck into triple reviewing, and fixing nasty blocker bugs before final code freeze.

Holger Hetterich: SMBTA Stresstest 0.0.2 released, built with SMB Traffic Analyzer 1.2.2

SMBTA Stresstest 0.0.2 is available in SUSE Studio, an appliance made for testing the SMB Traffic Analyzer software suite. A side effect of being a test is that SMBTA Stresstest can easily be used by people interested in trying SMB Traffic Analyzer.

Since version 0.0.1 of SMBTA Stresstest, a new release of SMB Traffic Analyzer brought changes that are affecting the testing appliance. Actually, SMBTA Stresstest includes a patched version of smbtatools with changes that did not made it into the 1.2.2 release. SMBTA Stresstest now creates directories and human readable filenames which should make it much easier to interpret the results of a machine generated traffic scenario. :)

  • there is now smbtatorturesrv, a small server application distributing unique filenames and paths to several smbtatorture processes on the net
  • now six users are running the smbtatorture application, creating more diverse traffic (compared to 2 users in the former release) and are employing the smbtatorturesrv process.
  • now three shares are being used while in operation, compared to 2 in the former release.

SMBTA Stresstest is maintaining an open port 3491 to allow queries from the smbtatools programs.

You can download SMBTA Stresstest from the SUSE Studio Gallery. For more information on SMB Traffic Analyzer, visit it’s homepage.

Header PictureSecurity Updates

To view the security announcements in full, or to receive them as soon as they're released, refer to the openSUSE Security Announce mailing list.

Header PictureKernel Review

h-online/Thorsten Lemmhuis: Kernel Log: Coming in 2.6.38 (Part 1) – Graphics

Kernel version 2.6.38 supports AMD's new Fusion CPUs and offers 2D and 3D acceleration with many current GeForce and Radeon graphics cards. Power economy for the graphics cores in Intel processors and chip-sets has been improved; new page flipping features aim to eradicate image flickering, tearing and incomplete rendering issues.

Less than five days after closing the 2.6.38 merge window, Linus Torvalds has already issued the second release candidate of Linux 2.6.38. Last Saturday's fast follow-up wasn't due to a major flaw in 2.6.38-rc1; it had more mundane reasons. On Sunday, Torvalds travelled to this year's (LCA), which, despite the flooding, is being held in Brisbane this week. Before travelling, Torvalds wanted to test whether he had installed all the kernel development and release components he needed on the computer he intended to take.

In his release email, Torvalds indicated that he will now be stricter and disallow anything that doesn't explicitly promote stability; any further major changes will have to wait until release .39. The current development state of 2.6.38 is, therefore, unlikely to differ much from the final release expected in late March or early April.

The Kernel Log is therefore already in a position to provide a comprehensive overview of the most important new features of release .38. As usual, we will split the information into several articles which will eventually cover the various functional areas of the kernel. The first part of the "Coming in 2.6.38" mini series describes the changes to the kernel's graphics hardware support; over the coming weeks, further articles will cover advances in terms of network support, storage hardware, file systems, drivers, architecture code, and kernel infrastructure. (...)

kernel weekly news – 29.01.2011

Hello, people! Welcome to the last edition of KWN of January! We have cool updates from the kernel world, so keep reading… (...)

Header PictureTips and Tricks

For Desktop Users

MakeUseOf/Jessica Cam Wong: How To Create Speech Bubbles For Screenshots In GIMP

Previously we have looked at some tutorials for anyone, new or advanced, to try his/her hand at creating artwork in GIMP because it CAN accomplish phenomenal works, especially in conjunction with other open-source software. Here’s a fun tutorial to cartoonify photos in GIMP (like you see in ads all over the web), here’s another one on creating image maps, and there’s also one on creating a zoom effect on screenshots. I’m certainly really excited about GIMP if you can’t tell already. (...)

For Commandline/Script Newbies Wallen: Reclaim Deleted Files and Repair Filesystems on Linux

“Linux is as solid an operating system as you'll ever use — but that doesn't mean that the hardware you're running it on is equally solid. Hard drives are as prone to errors as are file systems. And no matter how stable an OS is, it can't prevent you from accidentally deleting files and/or folders. But don't despair: Linux is equipped with a number of tools that can help you repair filesystem errors and reclaim deleted files. Which tools? To start, e2fsck, scalpel, and lsof will get you the farthest. Let's take a look at how each of these can be used to help your file systems be free of errors and your files be freed from accidental deletion.” (...) Positional Parameters

Special built-in environmental variables are positional parameters which hold command-line arguments to positions with the names 1,2,3,4, etc. which are indicated by $1,$2,$3,$4, etc. Argument $0 is the name of the script. These parameters are named positional because within the script the reference is to the position they occur on the command line. (...)

For Developers and Programmers

Packt/Ninad Sathaye: Python Multimedia: Enhancing Images

Python is a high-level, object-oriented language with a comprehensive standard library. Typically, one can develop complex applications in Python very quickly compared to some other languages. Multimedia applications are used in a broad spectrum of fields. Writing applications that work with images, videos, and other sensory effects is great. Not every application gets to make full use of audio/visual effects, but a certain amount of multimedia makes any application very appealing.

In this article by Ninad Sathaye, author of Python Multimedia, we shall cover the following recipes:

  • Adjusting brightness and contrast
  • Swap colors within an image
  • Change the color of a flower (...)

Nettuts+/Burak Guzel: Advanced Regular Expression Tips and Techniques

Regular Expressions are the Swiss Army knife for searching through information for certain patterns. They have a wide arsenal of tools, some of which often go undiscovered or underutilized. Today I will show you some advanced tips for working with regular expressions. (...)

For System Administrators

HowtoForge/Falko Timme: VBoxHeadless - Running Virtual Machines With VirtualBox 4.0 On A Headless OpenSUSE 11.3 Server

This guide explains how you can run virtual machines with VirtualBox 4.0 on a headless OpenSUSE 11.3 server. Normally you use the VirtualBox GUI to manage your virtual machines, but a server does not have a desktop environment. Fortunately, VirtualBox comes with a tool called VBoxHeadless that allows you to connect to the virtual machines over a remote desktop connection, so there's no need for the VirtualBox GUI. (...)

Linuxaria: 3 Command line tool to test bandwidth between 2 servers

One element that is often not know, or that should be measured after a problem statement or after a change in the infrastructure is the network .

But how do you accurately measure the speed between two servers? Someone use ftp, scp or other file transfer protocols, these can give some indication, but probably you’ll measure the limit of your disks or CPU.

In this article I will show you 3 way to measure the bandwidth from the command line, without using the disks. (...)

Header PicturePlanet SUSE

Kostas Koudaras: What is the Evergreen Project? An interview with Wolfgang Rosenauer

Having a distribution that gives you a two year support for ALL editions is another fascinating aspect of the openSUSE distribution. Being in a community that allows you to say that you think that this is not enough and that you want to do something with it is another one. Wolfgang Rosenauer believed that something like that would be useful to users and gave birth to Project Evergreen.

Hi Wolfgang, I have some questions about the Evergreen Project that I got from a few people I talked about it. Let us start...

Header PictureOn the Web


The Wine development release 1.3.12 is now available

What's new in this release (see below for details):

  • Support for multiple icon sizes in winemenubuilder.
  • Improvements to the help browser.
  • Initial stab at DOSBox integration.
  • Various MSI fixes.
  • Some fixes to the Wine debugger.
  • Various bug fixes.

(...) Other Sources: h-online

Call for participation

SambaXP 2011

The Samba eXPerience 2011 in Göttingen, Germany is the 10th(!) international Samba conference for users and developers. Meet the Samba Team and discuss requirements, new features and get an update on current developments! The conference is organized by SerNet.

May 9th - 11th, 2011 - Hotel Freizeit In Göttingen - Germany (...)


h-online/Edwald Henning: Dell joins the SUSE Appliance Program

“Novell has announced that Dell has become the latest participant in the SUSE Appliance Program. This program allows the use of SUSE Studio to develop software applications and for their subsequent distribution. According to Novell, just a few weeks after its introduction in mid-2009, 2,000 ISVs had signed up. (...)”

ZDNet/J.A. Watson: What's Up with openSuSE?

This post is not intended as criticism of the openSuSE project in any way. Most of what I am writing about here concerns their next release, which is currently at Milestone 5. I understand quite well what pre-release software is, and the uncertainty and instability it can be subject to. What I am trying to do is bring some attention to something I have noticed, which concerns me, and perhaps get some comments from others who have similar/better/worse experiences. If I am very lucky, I might even hear from someone who can point out that I am doing something wrong!

There has been quite a bit of commentary and speculation about the Novell takeover and the possible impact on the SuSE/openSuSE products and development. (Note that I am avoiding the patent controversy here, intentionally.) The official statements from Novell and SuSE have been basically that there should be little or no impact, product development and releases should continue as normal. However, I have been following the openSuSE 11.4 (factory) pre-release development pretty closely because some of the newest things being developed are important to my Lenovo S10-3s netbook (Broadcom brcm, and Synaptics ClickPad). What I have seen and experienced since the sale/takeover was announced has been troubling - or else I am doing something wrong.

First, the openSuSE ISO images are supposed to be what they call "hybrid images", which can either be burned to a CD/DVD or copied directly to a USB flash drive. Writing to USB can be done either directly with dd (for hard-core old geezers like me), or using the openSuSE Imagewriter utility. It has always worked quite well for me, until sometime around their 11.4 Milestone 5 release. Suddenly, the USB image wouldn't boot. I tried both the 32 and 64 bit images, and I tried using both dd and Imagewriter, and it just won't boot. It goes through what should be a process of reconfiguring the disk label, and then panics. Ugh. It still works when burned to a CD, so the basic Live image is ok. When this first happened, I believe it was shortly before Christmas, I assumed that it would be noticed and fixed in short order. It has been this way for a month now, and it is still the same as of the most recent daily, Build 1030.

OStatic/Susan Linton: What's Next for LibreOffice?

LibreOffice 3.3 wasn't even released yet when plans for upcoming versions were being hammered out. A release plan is now in place as well as a development philosophy.

According to the foundation, time-based release plans are more productive than the commonly subscribed "ready when ready" model. They say it "enforces discipline, gives predictability, and allows more regular releasing." The time intervals are uneven because bug fix incremental versions are easier and quicker to ready than a major version with new features. They have also taken in consideration synchronization with some distributions on six-month release schedules to minimize lag between LibreOffice releases and getting into the hands of users. So, their goal is to release every six months. To aid in this and possible accelerate the release cycle, they plan to release daily snapshots and employ an automated build process.

OStatic/Susan Linton: One Package Manager for them All

The idea of one universal package format for all distributions has been batted around a few times over the years. One of the most notable was Ryan C. Gordon's idea of FatELF files. Reactions varied from supportive to skeptical to down right opposed. Well, it seems a new team from major distributions is coming together to implement a "common application installer API and infrastructure."

Developers from RedHat, Fedora, Debian, Ubuntu, openSUSE, Mandriva and Mageia got together last week at the SUSE office in Nürnberg to discuss how they might implement a universal application installer they are referring to as an Application Store. This is in response to the belief that end users aren't interested in libraries, dependencies, compatibility, and other technical details. They think users only care about screenshots, basic descriptions, ratings, user reviews, and such. The idea is to define and write a tool to find and install applications. (...)

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