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Bye, Bye Cool Blogs!


March 5, 2008 10:11 am



This will be my last post on coolblogs. It’s my way of saying good-bye to a blog that has now seen 32 entries by myself since my first one over one-and-a-half years ago.

openSUSE is sponsored by Novell but an independent Open Source project – and therefore I will continue to post to my blog, while enterprise-focused Novell bloggers can be found over at the Cool Solutions Community page.

I’d like to point out the following ways to keep informed about what happens in the openSUSE project:

  • The openSUSE project has its own news portal at where you can read all the important announcements about the project. I’m inviting everybody to visit the site regularly which has updates several times a week – please subscribe!
  • Joe ‘Zonker’ Brockmeier, the openSUSE community manager, runs his own blog at He’s not only blogging about his work but also about the project overall.
  • Planet SUSE aggregates all the blogs of developers involved with openSUSE at, including Zonker’s and mine.

We’re currently discussing to give openSUSE members a chance to blog on an extra openSUSE blog. If this will be done, it will be announced on our news portal.
If you’re interested in more from myself including private and openSUSE stuff, please read

Looking forward to see you at the openSUSE project!


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openSUSE welcomes Zonker – the new Community Manager


February 4, 2008 6:00 am



I’d like to give a warm welcome to Joe ‘Zonker’ Brockmeier who joins the openSUSE project as “openSUSE community manager”. You can reach him directly at He has his own openSUSE blog at, I advise to go over and see what he has to say himself!

He is a long time Linux user and does a lot of writing about Linux and open source for several publications and conributed to books as well. Prior to his new role as community manager for openSUSE he served Linux Magazine as Editor-in-Chief. His personal webpage is

The openSUSE community manager will act as community advocate and ombudsman thus relaying openSUSE community and users needs back to Novell. Therefore you will find Zonker on many community events. He will also drive marketing programs around openSUSE to make the project more successful and attract more developers and users.

Zonker will be travelling the next weeks and you can meet him and other openSUSE members at these two venues:

  • at SCALE from 8th to 10th February
  • at FOSDEM from 23th to 24th February

For those that wonder what happened with the “openSUSE Chief evangelist” position that was opened in October: This is exactly the position, we just found it more suitable to change the title of Joe.

I have talked a lot with Zonker through the last weeks and look forward to work with him – and look forward meeting him soon in person here in Nürnberg!


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KDE 4.0 Release – and openSUSE Packages


January 11, 2008 7:49 am



Today the KDE community has released a major new release: KDE 4.0 (click here for the announcement). The release is the result of more than two years of coding, debugging, documenting and creating artwork.

I have installed openSUSE factory (our developement version) together with the KDE 4 desktop on my Laptop and gave it a quick test this week: The desktop looks much cleaner and polished, the new icons and the oxygen theme have a fresh look. Gwenview – the image viewer – has been greatly reworked and streamlined. The desktop gave audible feedback for many actions – something I would personally rather disable but others might like it.

The System Configuration has been redone and the modules look really nice. Changing underlying libraries does not always give visible results – but in the case of KDE4, you can see that the new libraries and frameworks have been rewritten and enabled the developers to write better applications and tools.

The “Zoom out” feature confused me, I don’t know what the real benefit of it is. I also hit some bugs, e.g. the desktop effects did not work for me directly (I’m glad that this is so nicely integrated and finally easy to setup). I also missed a few features, e.g. the panel is a bit too large for me and I have not found a way to create a smaller version of it.

I suggest to look also at the KDE 4.0 Visual Guide which provides a quick overview of various new and improved KDE 4.0 technologies.

Not all packages have been ported to the new framework but you can use KDE 3 applications easily on the KDE 4 desktop.  I could use the 4.0.0 release for my work without major problems.

All in all, it looks to me like a promising .0.0 release – it is the foundation for a great desktop and I look forward to see major KDE3 applications ported to KDE4!

KDE Four Live 1.0

Testing KDE 4 with openSUSE

You can install packages directly from the openSUSE Build Service. On openSUSE 10.3 you can use 1-click-install to get the KDE 4.0 desktop environment:

Alternatively you can choose to install a more basic KDE 4 desktop.

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openSUSE Enacts Guiding Principles and Announces Initial Board


November 8, 2007 11:33 pm



This week we’ve taken a few  important steps in the governance of the openSUSE project: The enacting of the Guiding Principles and the announcement of the initial Board. This will give openSUSE a stronger voice and continue to accelerate the growth of the openSUSE project.

Read more about the board members on and on!

We encourage all to support the Guiding Principles at . Create your profile and support the Guiding Principles.

I’d like to thank all contributors to the Guiding Principles, and last but not least, all community members who make the openSUSE project such a success.

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openSUSE 10.3 LiveCDs Released with Live Installer


November 5, 2007 5:59 am



The live version of openSUSE 10.3 is now available as a GNOME or KDE CD. Both contain the same software as the 1 CD installation versions would provide you with, but as a live version. The Live CDs are available as 32-bit x86 versions in US English only.

The LiveCDs contains for the first time the option to install the system directly.

For more details, read here!

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Announcing openSUSE 10.3


October 4, 2007 8:22 am



The openSUSE team is proud to announce the release of openSUSE 10.3. Promoting the use of Linux everywhere, the openSUSE project provides free, easy access to the world’s most usable Linux distribution, openSUSE. openSUSE is released regularly, is stable, secure, contains the latest free and open source software, and comes with several new technologies.

openSUSE 10.3 will be supported with security and other serious updates for a period of 2 years.

This version contains new beautiful green artwork, KDE 3.5.7 and parts of KDE 4, SUSE-polished GNOME 2.20, a GTK version of YaST, a new 1-click-install technology, MP3 support out-of-the-box, new and redesigned YaST modules, compiz and compiz fusion advances, virtualisation improvements, 2.3, Xfce 4.4.1, and much more! Read on for details of what is new and available in openSUSE 10.3, and for all the necessary download links.

On the desktop

There are many visual changes throughout this release, and they are also well-presented in the openSUSE 10.3 Screenshots on the wiki.

Beautiful Green Artwork

This release, as always, will have a full, new collection of artwork, and for openSUSE 10.3 it has gone back to the classical and much-loved green theme. It is all finished off with a polished and professional look:

103_cdboot.png 103bootsplash_thumb.png suse103-1600×1200.jpg

To see more openSUSE 10.3 artwork, see its respective branding overview.

KDE 3.5.7

The default KDE desktop is the latest stable and SUSE-polished KDE 3.5.7, which comes complete with the usability-centric Kickoff menu, KNetworkManager and other such openSUSE creations. Kontact, the KDE Personal Information Manager, has also been upgraded to the enterprise release, providing you with some new features and many fixes.

openSUSE 10.3 KDE Desktop Kontact Enterprise Version - Personal Information Manager


While KDE 3.5.7 is the default KDE desktop environment, the first parts of KDE 4 will also be seen in the distribution. This includes, by default, some KDE 4 games as well as KDE 4 versions of KRDC and KRFB — applications for remote administration. Below you can see a couple of screenshots of these KDE 4 games, now both using SVG for a smoother graphical experience:

KPat - In the GameKMahjongg in KDE4

A full KDE 4 desktop is also available for preview purposes:

Amarok in KDE4

GNOME 2.20

The very latest GNOME 2.20 is also featured in this release, and it comes with its own selection of typically SUSE-polished additions. This includes the simpler and better-structured SLAB menu, a new world clock applet from the intlclock package (pictured below), as well as the comprehensive, feature-full and well-delivered F-Spot and Banshee applications, which are a photo browser and audio player respectively.

10.3 GNOME Desktop


The GTK version of YaST is now default for all GNOME installations. This means that YaST will still have a well-integrated and consistent feel when using the GNOME desktop environment, and all the modules are structured in the same way as openSUSE’s GNOME control panel.

GTK YaSTBluetooth Module

The GTK version of YaST of course also contains all of the same YaST modules as the regular Qt version, so there is absolutely no loss of functionality. Sentimental users can still easily switch to the Qt-style YaST by editing /etc/sysconfig/yast2.

1-Click Install

This is a completely new and revolutionary piece of technology available to you in openSUSE, which finally removes the hassle from installing additional software from other repositories. Instead of searching for a repository, adding it to the package manager, then heading over to software management again, 1-Click-Install combines it into one simple process, all initiated by a single click.

1-Click Install

It is already fully implemented in the openSUSE Build Service, and it is used for aiding you in acquiring multimedia codecs as is mentioned below.


The frequently-requested feature of MP3 support is now fully available out-of-the-box! MP3 playback is available via Fluendo (GStreamer) codecs in either Amarok or Banshee. These are available on the DVD, but if you chose to use the 1-CD Installation it is just as easy to get working — a small and friendly dialog box will inquire about whether you wish to enable MP3 support:

Install Fluendo GStreamer Codec

The codecs will then be installed using 1-Click-Install. This same technology is also used on the Community website where it recommends workarounds and methods to get other multimedia formats working. See

New/Redesigned YaST Modules

The Network card module has also been completely re-designed from a usability perspective. The new version is more relevant to today’s typical configuration of a network card, and makes simple tasks a lot easier to accomplish.

One popular new module is the Community Repositories module, which provides you with a convenient list of the official repositories, popular repositories in the openSUSE Build Service, and external community repositories. This makes it trivial to enable the extra repositories that you require.

Another module available from the yast2-product-creator package is a YaST front-end to KIWI, a configurable and easy-to-use application to help you roll your very own system images. Though there are many additional plans for KIWI, it currently supports a huge selection of options, such as creating Live CDs, USB, QEMU/VMware, Xen and Net boot images. Unlike other typical system image creators, KIWI is fully configurable (down to the wallpaper you want to have), and has a clean and simple design.

network-card.pngCommunity RepositoriesYaST2 KIWI

Compiz and Compiz Fusion

Compiz, as always, is available directly on all the installation CDs/DVDs, and Compiz Fusion is also available in the official online repository. The new version comes with many new amazing plugins providing you with the latest composite effects.

Expo PluginExplode AnimationShift Switcher

To learn more see this sneak peaks article. The X11:/XGL openSUSE Build Service repository also always provides the latest Compiz and Compiz Fusion versions.


There have been several Virtualisation improvements and additions, including of course an excellent delivery of the latest Xen 3.1 and QEMU. Furthermore, VirtualBox, a general-purpose full virtualizer, and KVM, the latest Linux virtualisation infrastructure, are now included. Other VMware-related kernel options such as paravirt-ops and vmi have also been enabled in the kernel now.

VirtualBox running openSUSE 10.3 KDEopenSUSE 10.3 in Xen 2.3, the comprehensive office suite in openSUSE, has also been updated to the latest stable version of 2.3. The release includes several new features and countless fixes. Presentation

A Whole Lot More!

openSUSE 10.3 contains a plethora of extra improvements that haven’t been mentioned here, including small applications like Giver, an easy file-sharing tool, Xfce 4.4.1, and other community developments. See Product Highlights/10.3 for more details.

Xfce in openSUSE 10.3

Behind the Scenes

Though this release has seen a large selection of graphical changes, a lot of work has been happening all around the distribution, with several changes occuring behind the scenes.

New Package Management

The package management team have been working hard on improving the new openSUSE package management, and there is a lot to show for it now. It is reliable, more mature, and an awful lot faster. There is no more parsing during startup, greater compatibility with tools like yum and smart, and increased speed for the most common use-case: installing a package.

It contains the much-improved zypper tool for the command line, a re-designed openSUSE updater applet (a native KDE and GNOME one) as pictured below, while still providing you with the same YaST interface for graphical package management.

openSUSE Updater in KDE

Greatly Improved Boot Time

A big round of improvements to the boot time are now included. There are now some incredibly impressive speed-ups, with desktops booting in around 24 seconds, or laptops booting in 27 seconds compared to a 55 second wait in openSUSE 10.2! See the link for more details.

Under the Hood

  • Linux
  • GCC 4.2
  • libZYpp 3.26.2

Media and Download

CDs and DVDs
All of the installation media can be downloaded from via torrents or HTTP/FTP. Here’s a few quick links:

  • 1 DVD containing OSS and NonOSS software (torrents for: i386, x86_64, ppc). Languages supported: English, Portuguese, French, Italian, Spanish, German, Chinese (Simpl. & Trad.), Japanese, Russian, Czech, Hungarian, Polish, Finnish, Danish, Swedish, Dutch
  • 1 CD with a default KDE installation (i386, x86_64, not for ppc, English only)
  • 1 CD with a default GNOME installation (i386, x86_64, not for ppc, English only)
  • 1 AddOn CD with only NonOSS packages (i386 or x86_64, ppc)
  • 1 AddOn CD with language packages that are used for extra languages (i386, x86_64, ppc, only to be used with DVDs!)

Live CDs will be released in the next couple of weeks. Metalinks with checksum support are also available from

Upgrade Options

As always, you can fully upgrade your previous openSUSE 10.2 to the final version of openSUSE 10.3 by simply downloading one of the media options and burning it to disk, boot to it, and then select the Upgrade option in the installer. For the smoothest possible upgrade, leave the “Add Online Repositories Before Installation” option checked.

To upgrade from openSUSE 10.3 RC1, please ensure that you have strictly only the 10.3 repositories (oss, non-oss; not the factory ones), in YaST -> Software Repositories; if you do not, remove the factory ones and then add the 10.3 ones again from the Community Repositories YaST module. Once that is done, go to Software Management, and in the menu select Package -> All Packages -> Update if Newer Version Available.

Alternatively, with Zypper you can execute the following command to upgrade all packages (again, first check that you have the 10.3 repositories and not the factory ones):

zypper update -t package


We want to hear from you! To get help, provide any feedback, ask questions, or get involved and help contribute to the openSUSE distribution, please communicate. There are several ways to get in touch with the openSUSE community, including:

A huge thanks to all those involved in the release, particularly all the community contributors, for making this an excellent openSUSE release!

This post was written by Francis Giannaros and published originally at  Thanks a lot Francis for this and your other articles,


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Announcing openSUSE 10.3 RC1 and Call for Testing


September 20, 2007 5:08 am



We have just announced the release of the first release candidate of openSUSE 10.3.
RC1 is now available to download via

Call for Testing

If you want to help testing our standard test cases, please coordinate with others and subscribe to (subscribe)! I’d like to do a special call for testing our update stack. Besides the installation itself, updating packages is one of the most important criteria so that we can deliver fixes and you can install software. Some test cases are available at Please also use the updates we’re going to put on our update server. You can install packages and updates with the YaST Qt and Gtk packager modules, with the opensuse-updater applets for GNOME and KDE and additionally with the command line tool zypper.



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Testing the Current Upstream Linux Kernel – An openSUSE Build System Service


August 15, 2007 3:00 am



Andrew Morton has spoken at different occasions about testing of the Linux kernel and asked users to test the current development version and report their findings.  For our openSUSE releases we have in general a frozen version and add only fixes for bugs that are encountered during testing – but stay with the same version for the lifetime of a release.

With our openSUSE Build Service we build a daily kernel, where we take the current upstream development kernel without any patches (besides those we need for building a RPM).  We do call this the vanilla kernel. It can be downloaded from:

Btw. if you test the vanilla kernel, report any problems to the Linux kernel mailing list (for details check the FAQ at and not to the openSUSE bugzilla.

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People of openSUSE


August 12, 2007 8:29 am



On the website, you can now find interviews of openSUSE community members. The first interviews are of:

I suggest to read their interviews! We will publish more interview, all of them will be available on the openSUSE news site.

If anybody likes to help with doing the interviews, please speak up on the opensuse-project mailing list.

I’d like to say a big thank you to Anica for designing and conducting the interviews and to Stephan for integrating them nicely into our site.

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Announcing openSUSE 10.3 Beta 1


August 12, 2007 8:17 am



Coolo as new project manager for the openSUSE distribution has released the first beta of openSUSE 10.3. Today he released the LiveCDs as well.

There are many exciting enhancements and features in the new release. Among these are a whole new and greatly improved package management stack (libzypp), significantly faster boot time, parts of KDE 4, a 1-CD KDE Install and a 1-CD GNOME install, beautiful green artwork, a new One-Click Install technology that integrates with the openSUSE Build Service and much more.

To download the media, go to our new download page at

For details, see the longer entry on

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