Today was release day for openSUSE 10.3 Alpha2, I sent out the announcement this evening.
A critical part - and that's why I'm asking for testers - is our move to the new libata kernel stack also for IDE devices. This means especially that hard disks previously mounted as /dev/hda will now show up as /dev/sda. We have written code to make this change automatically in all involved files but this one definitely needs thorough testing, so we appreciate bugreports in bugzilla. If you look at the Most Annoying bugs for Alpha2, you'll notice that we did break support for those systems that do not work yet with libata and need the old driver. So, if this is the case on your system, better wait for Alpha3. The new libata stack has already better support for some IDE devices, is actively maintained and allows features like hotplug - and therefore I can undock my docking station.
For the first time, we also released the Kiwi tool together with a configuration for creating a LiveDVD of openSUSE 10.3 Alpha 2. It can be created by anyone, you just need to call one simple script. Please find detailed instructions and a list of known issues here.
Submitted by: a_jaeger on Thu. 03.15.2007
Saturday afternoon the openSUSE conference program started with Michael and Martin giving an overview of openSUSE and what has happened during the last year. The conferencing sessions were recorded on video and will be made available from the openSUSE wiki soon.
My talk on openSUSE 10.3 went well, even my mini-demo (mounting an encryped USB stick) worked. Afterwards I discussed with some what can be done better in our distribution - and then talked with Jordi about instlux which helps installing Linux from a Windows system. This is something I'd like to see in 10.3 as well, so we discussed how to integrate it.
It was interesting to hear about our speakers on their presentations: Daniel had planned to show syncing with four mobile devices and noticed on saturday evening that the code for one was completely broken. His team mates had to persuade him to drink some more beer instead of fixing the code directly - and how only three devices (which worked out fine). Pavel tricked Stefan when he pressed the "Backspace" key on the laptop during the suspend demo - which Stefan did not notice and therefore thought something was broken ("Backspace" interrupts the suspend).
We had a table to sit and hack - and two monitors showing off openSUSE 10.2. It was interesting to see how many people asked for the new KDE menu and played around with XGL and compiz. As give-aways, we had produced our special dual-purpose DVDs that combine a live image (the LiveCD) together with an installation image. Unfortunately the cover did not mention at all that the contents is an openSUSE 10.2 distribution - and even worse it had some text that forbid "noncommercial use". That text is obviously wrong, everybody can use the media for whatever purpose s/he likes. The DVDs just arrived one day before FOSDEM, so there was no chance to reprint the covers in time.
Saturday evening we went out to the city centre, had dinner at an Indian place and then walked around to find a place to drink some beer. We passed the small street on the picture which has only restaurants - and each had chairs on the street. We finally - beeing Saturday evening, it was difficult to find anything - sat outside of a bar on the street. The place had some outdoor gas heating so that it was warm enough.
Sunday morning the first team had planned to be at 9am at FOSDEM - but our two cars were in a parking garage that only opened at 10am. So they had to go bus.
I listened in the morning to Max Spevak's talk about Fedora's 2007 plans. It was interesting that he talked also about some of the things I talked about for openSUSE 10.3 like allowing users to build their distribution and how to open development so that external contributors can contribute. At the end I was the only one saying "No" when he asked whether everybody uses Fedora ;-). Later Max and some other Fedora folks and a few of us openSUSE folks stand - there was no place to sit - together and had a friendly and open chat about the challenges we face as community projects that ends in enterprise releases backed by a company sponsor (see also Max's Blog). The two main topics we discussed were Fedora's recently announced hardware database and packaging guidelines. We had planned for long time to do a hardware database ourselves but not yet started the effort and had also - some Fedora guys even announced the database on the openSUSE mailing list - making this a cross-platform effort when we launch. Ok, so instead of launching one ourselves we decided to see whether we can work together to have one community database that might have information about just the official Linux kernel as well as the kernels in different distributions (and besides the kernel also about other hardware). For packaging guidelines we discussed - since both are distributions are RPM based - whether it's possible that developers could use the same spec file and have it adhere to both the Fedora and openSUSE standards. This could best be done by defining common packaging guidelines. For both topics we'll continue the discussion now via email .
Afterwards I went to the GPG keysining party and later listened to the Gentoo community talk. It was interesting to see some of the things that Gentoo does but others was not really understandable for me as outsider but showed some of the social aspects of the Gentoo community.
Back at the openSUSE booth I talked with different users and glanced into our presentation. I think Miguel won the prize for the largest audience with his Mono workshop.
In the evening it was time for flying back to Germany - a long weekend that I really liked with lots of good discussions.
Submitted by: a_jaeger on Tue. 02.27.2007
Next weekend one of the largest Free and Open Source events in Europe - the FOSDEM - takes place in Brussels. The openSUSE team will participate and has its own development room with two days of talks. I'm going to speak about openSUSE 10.3, our next distribution release.
Feel free to come to the talks or our boot and talk with us about the openSUSE project and how to get involved!
Submitted by: a_jaeger on Mon. 02.19.2007
Last week I released openSUSE 10.3 Alpha1 and installed it on my laptop as well. There are not many user visible changes in the system, in most cases it looks like 10.2. But under the hood a number of changes have been done that will everybody:
- The GNOME packages are now installed to /usr and not to /opt/gnome anymore - and therefore in the standard place. This allows us to remove a couple of patches and hacks.
- KDE was updated to KDE 3.5.6.
- Linux Kernel updated to 2.6.20 with new hardware support and drivers. With Alpha1, there's no Xen support enabled but this should be fixed in the next Alpha.
- A lot of people have asked for a real minimal text installation - and we have changed the patterns to allow this.
- OpenOffice.org has been updated to version 2.1.
- The whole distribution is build now with -fstack-protector to better guard against some buffer overflows.
- Usage of LUKS by default for crypto partitions in YaST. Both GNOME and KDE handle removable LUKS media now (see the screenshot below).
To download media there are links at http://en.opensuse.org/Development_Version#Downloads
The next planned release is Alpha2 in four weeks (March 15th).
Submitted by: a_jaeger on Mon. 02.19.2007
The openSUSE team announced today the open sourcing of our openSUSE Build Service (OBS). We believe that it is not only important to release an excellent Open Source distribution but also create it in an open way with Open Source tools together with the openSUSE community. Releasing the build service as Open Source makes the complete project build on Open Source.
The openSUSE Build Service allows individual developers and teams of developers to build binary packages for the distribution of their choice. It especially allows building for several distributions and releases of distributions from the same source package. As an example just recently the Scribus team blogged how OBS helped them to release binary RPMs of scribus 188.8.131.52. Note that OBS itself is still beta software.
Currently packages can be build for the latest Novell distributions, including SUSE Linux 9.3, 10.0 and 10.1, the openSUSE 10.2 release and the SUSE Linux Enterprise 10 line, and also for other current distributions like Debian Etch, Fedora Core 5 and 6, Mandriva 2006, Ubuntu 6.06. The binary package formats currently supported are RPM
The Build Service helps also end users since it gives them access to binary packages for their system and allows them to update just those packages that they need when they get released - instead of self-compiling them or waiting for the next release of their distribution.
To access the build service a web frontend for developers exists but I guess that most developers will use the command line tool called "osc" since it allows easy access and usage in scripts. Graphical frontends are getting developed as well.
With open sourcing the build service, we hope that others will help in the development of the service itself - and use a version of it on their own machines. If you like to use the Build Service, please discuss it on the firstname.lastname@example.org mailing list.
In the future we like to build the complete distribution openSUSE distribution in the build service. This includes mastering of ISOs in the Build Service - and even enabling everybody to build their own distribution.
You can read more about the Build Service at http://en.opensuse.org/Build_Service. Developers with a login can reach the buildservice via http://build.opensuse.org - and users can download software via one of the repositories following http://software.opensuse.org/
I've been surprised to see yesterday's Linspire announcement. It confirms my belief that sharing binary packages is important. CNR promises a lot of new features that we've been
discussing and working on as well. The build service offers a platform for developers where they can build and distribute packages of their choice instead of beeing dependend on another team. The packages available from the Build Service can be installed with the native packaging tools of the distribution, there's no need to install any extra software for using packages from the openSUSE Build Service. Unlike CNR, the Build Service will offer only Open Source packages - and offer them for free to everybody. The Build Service itself is now available as Open Source software - available for everybody to enhance!
Submitted by: a_jaeger on Wed. 01.24.2007
Mark, let me reiterate that the openSUSE community and the Ubuntu communities share the same goals. We might put different emphasis on some of them, so let me speak just about one where I see a different focus.
For us at SUSE it was always important - and still is - to not only have a great distribution but to work together with the community to bring open source and Linux forward for the benefit of all. I was responsible for the port of Linux to x86-64 (now AMD64 and Intel EM64T). This port included not only development effort especially in the Linux kernel, the GNU Manifesto explains the details. In legal terms, GNU software is protected by the GNU General Public License, or GPL, and by the GNU Lesser General Public License, or LGPL. The Linux kernel, which is subject to the GPL, benefits from this project (especially from the tools), but should not be seen as the same thing.">GNU C Library, the GNU Compiler Collection and the GNU binutils but also porting of many applications that were not 64-bit clean. All the code was available in the public and went in the public repositories before we made the first distribution. You could even get the code before any chips were available. Without this foundation, a first distribution on x86-64 would have taken much longer for everybody.
There's further development work in different areas, like NetworkManager, XGL, evolution and beagle, where Novell and openSUSE developers are involved as part of the open source community to develop a foundation that every distribution, including Ubuntu, can use.
Together with Ubuntu's great marketing and our great engineering, we can change the world (Note: I do not want to exclude other great projects like Debian, Fedora and Mandriva). The Open Week targeted at Microsoft users and developers would be a great idea!
Mark, I'd like to invite you to discuss what possibilities we have to work together against the domination of Microsoft on the desktops and servers - instead of fighting against each other.
I would prefer to see more users switching from Windows to Linux than just Linux users switching distributions.
Daniel, I liked your balanced response.
Submitted by: a_jaeger on Fri. 11.24.2006