openSUSE:Openfate documentation

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openFATE is the community interface to the SUSE Linux feature database. Everyone who wants to request a feature for the SUSE Linux common codebase should use openFATE to submit the proposed feature for evaluation and planning. If the feature is approved for inclusion in the release, Fate tracks the development and testing of that feature. Please also read our FAQ page.

What is a feature?

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers defines a feature as a distinguishing characteristic of a software item (e.g., performance, portability, or functionality)[1]

Simply said: For openSUSE a feature is something significant which doesn't exist in the previous version and should be added to the version under development. Ideally, a feature should address a need of many users, not just few. Of course, some feature requests are a matter of resources, request and taste--so do not be disappointed if your feature gets rejected. To avoid this, you should make your description of the requested feature as understandable as possible, and always make it clear what benefit the feature will have for the user.

Do not confuse features with bugs. Bugs are defects in existing products. That means some software doesn't work as expected/described in an existing product. Bugs should be reported through openSUSE Bugzilla.

Creating a Feature

Everyone with an openSUSE account is empowered to create features. Proceed as follows:

  1. At, click Create.
  2. Enter a short Title such as Adjust Colors of the Default Desktop Wallpaper.
  3. Select the Product, for example openSUSE-11.3 (which product to choose?)
  4. You can leave the Priority untouched.
  5. Add a concise Description, for example [in the meantime (11.2), this issue is fixed!]:
 In GNOME, the color of the default desktop theme and the colors of the
 default wallpaper do not fit.  Especially look at the title bar of the
 active window.
  1. Depending on the kind of the feature, add a Usecase and a Testcase by clicking on Add a Usecase and Add a Testcase.
  2. Finally click 'Create feature'.

How does the feature process work?

Creating a Feature is the initial step. Then a discussion and decision round starts. Interested people can add themselves to the feature to stay in the loop.

There is the field state that reflects the actual state of the feature in the process. The feature starts in the UNCONFIRMNED state until somebody adds a bunch of responsible people to it and puts it into one of the evaluation states. The evaluation states give people time to come to a decision.

Please read the feature process page to get the details.

It is important to understand that priorities and status are set on a per-product base. That means that even if a feature is rejected for product A it might show up in product B. This is one of the big benefits of Fate over other methods to track these requests like in Bugzilla.

Browsing and commenting the feature database

Finding a Feature

  1. At, click Search.
  2. Specify search criteria. For example, a keyword such as "color" in the Title/Description contains field. Or, if you are interested in all done features for a product, for example select "openSUSE-11.3" in the Product(s) list and "done" in the Status field.
  3. Click Search.

If you know the feature ID, enter the ID in the upper right field and click the search symbol.

Once you have found the feature you are interested in, read it and add a comment.

Commenting a Feature

Below the discussion clicking on "add comment" opens a text edit box. To preview your comment click "Preview comment" below the edit box. Finally click Save feature to store your comment in the feature database.

When there are already comments, you can refer to a comment directly by clicking reply.

Voting for features

Vote widget.png

The voting widget is displayed on the upper right side of a feature. It shows the current score of a feature. To give a vote, please login, and you will have the three options "down", "neutral" and "up" when hovering over the voting applet. Please use the voting to show your favourite features, and don't misuse the comments for that, as that only makes the feature view confusing. Votes on a feature will help to indicate the importance of a feature but aren't the sole source to make a decision.

Stay informed

To stay informed on what's going on in general with features or with your features we offer different services.

Notification service Hermes
You're interested in a feature. How can you efficiently follow the discussion or add comments when necessary? For that our smart notification service Hermes is the perfect fit. There you can subscribe to notifications and define how and in which frequency you want to get notified.
RSS feeds
Just subscribe to our RSS feed and you stay informed about all feature changes happen. Use this feed for all newly added features.
Feature mailing list
For all interested in everything just subscribe to the feature mailinglist where all changes to openFATE entries are distributed.

Detailed definition of feature attributes

A feature is described by a number of attributes. What the attributes mean and how they should be filled in is described below.

Title A very brief one-line description of the feature request. (Example: "Improved argument handling for zypper")

Tags Tags are keywords associated with a feature (see also The tag cloud is created from all feature tags, the more often a tag is used, the bigger it will be rendered in the tag cloud.

Products One or more products for which the feature is requested. Each product is tracked by a seperate state, so maybe your feature gets rejected for openSUSE 11.2, but implemented for 11.3, for example.

  • Buildservice: Features for the Build Service (
  • Education Li-f-e: Features for the openSUSE-Li-f-e (Linux for Education) derivative
  • Package Wishlist: For packages to be added to the distribution
  • SUSE Gallery: Features for SUSE Gallery (
  • SUSE Studio Online: Features for SUSE Studio (
  • openFATE: Features for openFATE (
  • openSUSE 11.x: The openSUSE distribution, do not add wishes for new packages
  • openSUSE infrastructure: Features for the infrastructure of the openSUSE project
  • openSUSE Medical: Features for the openSUSE Medical derivative
  • Features for the overall project

Priority Specifies the priority this feature has for the corresponding actor.

  • Mandatory: This feature is absolutely needed. The product cannot be shipped with non-implemented mandatory features
  • Important: The feature has a significant benefit and should be implemented if feasible.
  • Desirable: The feature adds value to the product, but can be dropped from the list of requirements or moved to a later release if necessary.
  • Neutral: This feature is of low priority.

Please note that giving a feature request a high priority does not entitle you to actually insist on openSUSE implementing the feature for the next release of the product.


  • Requester: The contact for openSUSE when needing further details or clarification about the feature request. When creating a new feature, the requester is automatically set to the authenticated user.
  • Interested Person: Add yourself as "Interested Person" when you want to have the feature be available in your watchlist.
  • Developer: The developer is responsible for implementing the feature. This can be a Novell person, or an external community member.


Describe the feature request clearly enough so the intent of the request can be understood without any additional context information.

If possible, add a short use-case scenario.

Don't include multi-page specifications, code snippets, or kernel patches here. Better provide URL hyperlinks for such kind of data.

Please mention if you know about an existing implementation for the request or can provide a patch.


Data for the fields description, comment, usecase can be entered as richtext. openFATE supports the following richtext elements:

   New paragraph
   Preformated text. All contained text is printed as typed.
   Bulleted (unordered) list. Needs to contain <li>...</li> elements
   Ordered list. Also needs to contain <li>...</li> elements
   <a href="http://host.domain/path/">...</a>
   Hyperlink to another ressource in the internet
   Bold text
   Italic text
   Typewriter font