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Welcome to issue # 96 of openSUSE Weekly News

In this Week:


openSUSE News: Usability Concept for the openSUSE Wiki – Status Report #1
"Behind the scenes, the Wiki and Booster Teams are currently working hard to improve the Usability of the openSUSE Wiki to the openSUSE Community. The process started in early October 2009 and after some lively discussions at the opensuse-wiki mailinglist, we successfully passed our first Team-Meeting discussing the Usability Concept and assigning responsibilities for specific tasks we need to achieve. I herewith like to encourage interested people to join the efforts and to contribute by participating in the discussions at the opensuse-wiki mailinglist and/or the #opensuse-wiki IRC channel on Freenode. Every helping hands is very welcome!"
openSUSE Spotlight: Board Elections: (Re-)Apply for Membership now
"Were you a very good Member this year? Only 49 days until Santa is coming to town. You know whats better? 3 and a half days before that we will have the results of the openSUSE Board elections! But to actually get results all the cool, good looking and smart (pick any one) openSUSE Members have to vote for the candidates. If you already have applied as a Member in the past and got rejected we would like to strongly suggest to re-apply. Just because your contributions weren’t enough the last time it has to be true this time right? We have recently added the possibility to re-apply in, so just click on the “Reapply for membership” link."
openSUSE News: Vote for the openSUSE DVD Cover
"openSUSE 11.2 is scheduled to be officially released in about a week (give or take a few hours…) and, as usual, we’re gearing up to press a bunch of media for shows and the ambassadors. Typically Novell has created the artwork for the openSUSE DVDs, but this time around we had some really interesting and creative input from openSUSE contributors. Want to help choose the cover? Check out the entries and vote on your favorite!"
Call for Candidates: Board Election 2009
"As Andrew Wafaa announced in opensuse-announce Mailinglist we have an new Election this year. He wrotes: The time has come again for openSUSE Members to vote for new members to the Board. Stephen Shaw (decriptor) and Bryen Yunashko (suseROCKS) have completed their tenure on the Board, and their seats are up for election. There is also a new seat available to be occupied by a non-Novell member. Henne Vogelsang (henne) and Pascal Bleser (yaloki) have another year to complete and will remain, Michael Löffler (michl) as chairman will remain as well. This means that as of this year’s election the openSUSE Board will be made up of equal numbers of Novell and non-Novell employees, 2 seats+Chairperson and 3 seats respectively. Candidates for this election will be voted in for a two (2) year term, ensuring that there is continuity within the Board."

In the Community


Launch Parties (openSUSE 11.2)

Launch Parties

Status Updates

Build Service

Adrian Schröter: OBS Attribute System (not only for maintenance!)
"People who follow the openSUSE Build Service (OBS) developments might know it already, we work on an attribute system for OBS. But what it is good for at all ? Our current driver is to enable every OBS user to do maintenance for packages in the maintained products (which are currently openSUSE 11.0, 11.1 and a few days 11.2). The maintenance concept itself is described in a very first draft here."
Build Team Meeting
"Minutes from the Meeting"
Pavol Rusnak: Handling requests directly in the Build Service web client
"We had a listing of pending requests in the Build Service for a while. Unfortunately, it was mashed together with “My Projects” view and one couldn’t do anything with them. Few days ago, Jan Loeser added support for handling these requests directly in the web client. I liked the idea, so I decided to spend some time on it, too. I moved the request listing to a separate page and added some nifty Tango icons for the actions, so they wouldn’t take too much of the precious space. Also, the design doesn’t use tables-in-table anymore. You can view the result on the following image or directly in the Build Service."

Wiki / Communication / Events

Wiki Team Meeting
"Minutes from the Meeting"
opensuse-announce - Social Networking Hackfest for openSUSE
"As preliminarily announced last week, we will be having an online Social Networking Hackfest for openSUSE on Tuesday, November 3rd in #opensuse-marketing IRC channel on Freenode."
Minutes from the Hackfest

Tips and Tricks


For Desktop Users

Softpedia/Doru Barbu: Gedit: Don't Get Tricked by Its Simple Looks
"Every Linux user that has used the GNOME desktop environment must have had at least an encounter with its default text editor, Gedit. You start it up, and it looks like a simple notepad type application with a toolbar added on top. However, don't let yourself fooled by that simple appearance. If you know how to customize this application, it can be modified to serve almost any text exiting purpose, and you can even create an IDE-like environment."

For Developers and Programmers

Novell User Communities: Using the OpenSUSE Build Service to Create and Distribute Kernel Module Packages
"Using the OpenSUSE Build Service to Create and Distribute Kernel Module Packages. Introduction to OBS".
IBM developerWorks/Martin Streicher: Speaking UNIX: Peering into pipes
"The pipe operator connects one UNIX® command to another to create ad hoc programs right on the command line. But a pipe is something of a black box, occluding the data flowing from one utility to the next. Pipe Viewer provides a peek into the pipeline. Here's how to use it in day-to-day tasks."
pv (Pipe Viewer), which is introduced in this article can be found in Factory:Contrib repository.

For System Administrators

LinuxPlanet/Aaron Weiss: How to Crimp Your Own Ethernet Cables
"We live in an increasingly do-it-yourself world. We can check out our own groceries, pump our own gas and diagnose our own — OK, maybe not that last one. But for the do-it-yourself type, making your network cables is no problem. These days, ready-made Cat 5 cables — the standard kind used for most Ethernet networks — are relatively easy to find at most electronics stores at reasonable prices. So why assemble your own network cables? It may not be something you do everyday, but having the supplies and know-how to whip up a network cable on the spot can be very handy."
Linux Developer Network/Marco Fioretti: Beginner's Guide to Linux Desktops Backups: Basic Strategies and Tools
"We regular computer users depend so much on digital documents that it would be crazy not to make our best to make sure that we will never lose them, no matter what happens. The first part of the solution, of course, is to only save files in open, standard formats which give the greatest possible guarantees to remain readable in the future with any software. The other, which is the subject of a three part miniseries starting today, is to always have backup copies of each file."

New/Updated Applications @ openSUSE

"KeyTouch is a program which allows you to easily configure the extra function keys of your keyboard. This means that you can define, for every individual function key, what to do if it is pressed. When you buy a new keyboard a CD-ROM will probably included. This CD-ROM contains software to configure the extra function keys (the image above shows an example of extra function keys) of your keyboard with. The problem however is that most of the times the software is not available for Linux. Available in Packman Repo."
"LAME is an educational tool to be used for learning about MP3 encoding. The goal of the LAME project is to use the open source model to improve the psycho acoustics, noise shaping and speed of MP3. Another goal of the LAME project is to use these improvements for the basis of a patent free audio compression codec for the GNU project. Available in Packman."
"The "Ogg Video Tools" is a toolbox for manipulating Ogg video files, which usually consist of a video stream (Theora) and an audio stream (Vorbis). It includes a number of handy command line tools for manipulating these video files, such as for splitting the different streams. Available in Packman."

Projects Corner

Weekly overview about the big Projects.

KDE Project

KDE 4.3.3 Out Now: Clockwork
"November 3rd, 2009. Like the ticking of a Swiss watch, every month the KDE team brings you a new release. November's edition of KDE is a bugfix and translation update to KDE 4.3. With the KDE 4 series picking up in popularity, we're happy to encourage even more people to give KDE 4 another spin -- or just upgrade your existing KDE to KDE 4.3.3. As the release only contains bugfixes and translation updates, it will be a safe and pleasant update for everyone. Users around the world will appreciate that KDE 4.3.3 is more completely translated. KDE 4 is already translated into more than 50 languages, with more to come."

GNOME Project

Henrik Sandklef (Free Software): GNU Hackers Meeting and FSCONS
"I fell better this year then any of the two previous years. It’s not only that Jonas Öberg is in charge of FSCONS even though that fact surely adds to the feeling. Sooo many people (if I name one I risk forgetting someone so to all of you, love you!) have done an extreme amount of hard work previous years. The work have been awesome and we can now see the results, e. g we don’t need to spend as much energy on promoting the conference as before. We’ve learned a lot from our (mainly my) mistakes. So thanks to everyone ever involved."

Boosters Team

Klaas Freitag: Booster Sprint Results
"The boosters team promised to talk about what happens in our sprints – the two week time boxes in which we work on our projects. The last sprint ended on october 27th and we still owe you what happened. Please understand this little report as usual as an invitation to ask, comment, suggest things and of course fire up your editor and contribute if you like. You find us on IRC in channel #opensuse-boosters or on the opensuse-boosters mailinglist."

Education Project

Jigish Gohil: openSUSE Edu Li-f-e at iFest
"openSUSE Education team from Baroda: Samyak Bhuta, Biswajyoti Mahanta and me, were all wearing either Li-f-e or openSUSE t-shirts, many students got the latest edition of Li-f-e based on openSUSE 11.2 installed on their USB sticks. DA-IICT will also be hosting iso image and presentations on their internal network for everyone on campus to download."

Planet SUSE

Nat Friedman: Idea: Book recommender
"You take a picture of your bookshelf and upload it to the site. The site OCRs all your book spines. Once it has data from enough users it can recommend books that you might like. ..."
Lubos Lunak (llunak): Firefox KDE Integration
"Now that the mention of the Firefox KDE integration I've done has reached also the dot, I guess it's time for a couple of things that don't quite fit into an article but I should probably say them somewhere anyway. First of all, this is nothing against Konqueror. I still use Konqueror. In fact when a couple of months back there was a wave of "let's ditch Konqueror" voices on the planet and kde-core-devel, I was one of the people opposing that (and I still think it's not an option, as Konqueror is still the best KDE browser there is - Aurora is Qt-only, Rekonq is at version 0.<somesmallnumber>). For the next openSUSE release we will evaluate the possibilities again and Konqy may end up as the default again if it's considered to be up to the job."

openSUSE Forums

Who Else Hates Dolphin
"A negative view by one users brings in a volley of comments about Dolphin and other File Managers. We are spoilt for choice really."
Imagine there are Test Versions
"This is a complaint that users are not reporting Bugs, especially in Beta, but rather take the road of complaining. Actually, this is probably quite true to some degree."
Compiz for KDE in RC2 Issue
"A change in Compiz packages in RC2 leave it without compiz-kde and as a result the installer uses gnome packaging. Users who did 'dup' to RC2 describe the issue."
Maybe SUSE needs something like Ub*'s App Centre.
"A suggestion that Ub* has some feature that SUSE could use. Only, as it turns out - Ub* have just basically copied YaST, a fact which is pointed out to the OP."

On the Web



Novell Unveils Real-Time Collaboration Platform for the Enterprise and Demonstrates Google Wave Interoperability
"Novell today announced the first real-time collaboration platform for the enterprise, Novell® Pulse. In addition, Novell stated it is working with Google to enable Novell Pulse users and Google* Wave* users to seamlessly work together across both systems, one of the first major collaboration vendors to provide this interoperability. Novell Pulse uniquely combines e-mail, document authoring and social messaging tools with robust security and management capabilities to meet the demands of a global, dispersed workforce. By implementing the Google Wave Federation Protocol, Novell Pulse is one of the first major Wave providers." Moblin 2.1 released
"Moblin version 2.1 is available for download. This tiny Linux edition is suitable for netbooks & nettops as anounced by the Moblin project steering committee."

Call for participation

EclipseCon 2010 Call for Papers
"The next EclipseCon conference will take place from the 22nd to the 25th of March, 2010 at the Santa Clara Hyatt. The event, organised by the Eclipse Foundation, is now accepting submissions for talks. All proposals must be submitted before the deadline of the 18th of December, 2009. Tutorials, Technical Talks and Panels will be chosen on the 8th of January."


IBM Developer Networks/M. Tim Jones: Next-generation Linux file systems: NiLFS(2) and exofs
"Linux continues to innovate in the area of file systems. It supports the largest variety of file systems of any operating system. It also provides cutting-edge file system technology. Two new file systems that are making their way into Linux include the NiLFS(2) log-structured file system and the exofs object-based storage system. Discover the purpose behind these two new file systems and the advantages that they bring."
Linux Weekly News/Jonathan Corbet: The 2009 Linux Kernel Summit
"The 2009 Linux Kernel Summit was held in Tokyo, Japan on October 19 and 20. Jet-lagged developers from all over the world discussed a wide range of topics. LWN's Jonathan Corbet was there, and has written the following summaries."
h-online/Thorsten Leemhuis: Kernel - Log Discussions at the 2009 Kernel Summit, FatELF in the firing line, new graphics drivers
"This year's Kernel Summit saw Linux developers, led by Linus Torvalds, discussing the development process and gaining an insight into how Google uses the Linux kernel in-house. Ulrich Drepper and Alan Cox think universal binaries in Linux are a step in the wrong direction. Various graphics drivers have recently been updated to add new functionality."
Ars Technica/Chris Foresman: Web Open Font Format backed by Mozilla, type foundries
"Type designers and Web designers have reached a consensus on a format specification for embedding fonts on the Web. Mozilla is already including support for the font format in Firefox 3.6, and wide adoption could come sooner than many expected."
CNET News/Darius Chang: How to run Quake III and HD videos on a Netbook
"Most Netbooks are unable to render high-definition videos, not to mention run 3D games. In fact, the standard Intel Atom processor and integrated graphics chipset can barely handle Flash-heavy Web sites.
However, it's beginning to seem like the limitation is not on the hardware, but the drivers. Martin Mohring, from the Linux Foundation, was at a Mobile Dev Camp event in Germany. There, he showed an MSI Wind U115 with an Atom Z530 1.6GHz/Intel GMA 500 combo not only playing an HD video clip, but also running Quake III at about 35fps. The secret? This Netbook is using Moblin Linux, which has optimized drivers to push the graphics performance to another level."
h-online/Thorsten Leemhuis: Linux-Kongress 2009: New filesystems, optimised programming
"Prominent open source personalities presented a host of information about current and future developments in Linux at the Linux-Kongress 2009 conference. This time, filesystems were discussed in several presentations. Among the topics were the advantages of Ext4 and Btrfs, fast Ext4 filesystem checks, and kernel and userspace tricks for minimising the time-consuming movements of read/write heads, all of which can speed up some tasks by several orders of magnitude!"
Alexandra Leisse (troubalex): Organize a Booth and Keep Your Sanity
"After having a quick chat with Kévin Ottens on IRC we agreed that it would be useful to write up a a small how-to explaining the Art of Booth Organization™ as a follow up on the how-to for sprints I posted earlier. He has been poking me about it repeatedly, so voilà, Monsieur, finalement, c’est fait."

Reviews and Essays

The VAR Guy/Dave Courbanou: SUSE Studio: Point-and-Click Linux Appliances
"It has been a few months since Novell launched the SUSE Appliance program. So we checked in with Novell to see how the effort was going so far. Matt Richards, director, emerging technologies, and Steve Hale, VP and worldwide data center channel lead, offered me a few updates on Oct. 30. Here’s a recap of my conversation." Desktop Linux needs salesmen!
"Many Linux enthusiast are despairing of the low uptake of desktop Linux and its poor availability in high street shops. This is especially frustrating because most of the people using desktop Linux would consider it to be a superior solution to the Windows based machines on offer (and it probably is). I think I have fingered one of the causes for this problem though: desktop Linux needs salesmen!"
CNET News/Matt Asay: Novell cuts 3 percent of its workforce, plus benefits
"Linux jobs in the United States are booming, up 6 percent since January, according to data from This will come as small consolation to Novell employees, however, which weathered another round of layoffs at the Waltham, Mass.-based company." Mavizen TTX02 Race Bike Includes A Web Server, Wi-Fi And Linux On Board
"A laptop on wheels. That's what Mavizen is calling their new TTX02 race bike, which comes with an integrated computer on board.
Yep, it's the most computing-friendly bike put together. Probably the only one ever. With an operational web server setup running Linux, Wi-Fi and a dedicated IP address, you can literally take your websites with you while you're hitting the road."


h-online: Hole in the Linux kernel allows root access
"A null pointer dereference in the Linux kernel can be exploited to access a system at root privilege level. The flaw has been fixed in RC6 of version 2.6.32. However, some distributions prevent the exploit from being successful, even without the patch"
h-online: Java 6 Update 17 fixes multiple security vulnerabilities
"Sun Microsystems has released Java 6 Update 17, which fixes multiple security vulnerabilities. These include various buffer and integer overflows triggered by crafted audio and image files, which can be exploited by Java applets and 'Java Web Start' applications to escalate their privileges and allow system infection. A bug in the 'Java Web Start' installer can result in non-trusted Web Start applications being run as trusted applications and therefore obtaining escalated privileges. A vulnerability in the Java Runtime Environment Deployment Toolkit allows websites to inject and execute code."

Past Events & Meetings

Upcoming Events & Meetings

Security 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.


Numbers in brackets show the changes compared to the previous week.

Communication has 37386 (+56) non-unique subscribers to all mailing lists.
The openSUSE Forums have 36401 (+359) registered users - Most users ever online was 11743, 03-Nov-2009 at 21:19.

3766 (+49) of 9928 (+104) registered contributors in the User Directory have signed the Guiding Principles. The board has acknowledged 360 (+0) members.


Feature statistics for openSUSE 11.2:

  • total: 412 (+1)
  • unconfirmed: 26 (+0)
  • new: 3 (+0)
  • evaluation: 20 (+0)
  • candidate: 12 (+0)
  • done: 72 (+1)
  • rejected: 253 (+0)
  • duplicate: 26 (+1)
More information on openFATE


The numbers for all openSUSE project products are this week:


openSUSE for your ears

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