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SUSE

GeckoLinux updates all ROLLING and STATIC spins

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Development
Linux
News
SUSE

The GeckoLinux project is pleased to release updated spins of both ROLLING and STATIC editions. GeckoLinux spins are based on the openSUSE distribution, with a focus on polish and out-of-the-box usability on the desktop. A large variety of customized desktop options are available in STATIC (based on openSUSE Leap) and ROLLING (based on openSUSE Tumbleweed) editions. After installation to the hard disk, a GeckoLinux system will continue to receive updates from the openSUSE and Packman infrastructures. An installed system can even be upgraded smoothly to future openSUSE releases while at the same time retaining its unique GeckoLinux configuration.


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What’s new in openSUSE Leap 15 – KDE Plasma 5.12

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Reviews
SUSE

One of the most exiting new things about openSUSE Leap 15 is the updated KDE Plasma desktop environment. We are moving from Plasma 5.8 LTE to Plasma 5.12 LTE. Which means that there are a lot of new features to look forward to. Lets start with emphasizing that the KDE Plasma 5.12 desktop environment looks stunning. Below is a screenshot of my personal desktop, fully configured to my personal preferences. My configuration hasn’t changed much since KDE Plasma 4.3. I use 3 widgets: a folder view, an analog clock and a network monitor.

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Review: openSUSE 15

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SUSE

openSUSE is, in my opinion, one of the more interesting distributions to watch and use. The YaST administration tools are, in my opinion, second to none. I also like that openSUSE tends to offer modern software, but often with a slightly conservative style. Plasma 5.12 is a cutting edge desktop, but its application menu and settings panel reflect an older style. Personally, this combination of new technology with a conservative look is an approach I like a lot. This week it was nice to use an interface on my desktop computer that looks like it was designed to be run on a desktop and not on a tablet or smart phone.

The move to line openSUSE up with SUSE Linux Enterprise is an interesting one. I assume this was mostly done to make maintaining the two distributions easier. It also has a nice effect of making it possible migrate from openSUSE to the commercially supported SLE. This makes openSUSE's relationship to SLE an even closer parallel to CentOS's relationship to Red Hat Enterprise Linux. I suspect businesses will like this as it gives them a chance to test drive openSUSE before investing in SLE support.

I like the work that has gone into the system installer. It is getting better and more streamlined. openSUSE's installer has always been powerful, but now it is also simplified for less experienced users. I think this version is more accessible to new users than past releases have been.

I think it is worth mentioning openSUSE has a rolling release edition, called Tumbleweed. I was using openSUSE's main edition (Leap) this week, but for people who want to stay on the bleeding edge, there is a rolling release option.

I had two main complaints with openSUSE 15. The first was the lack of media support. This is not a new issue, openSUSE has always shied away from providing media codecs that may be restricted by patents or licensing. What I found frustrating was the default media player does not tell the user why it cannot play a file, it simply does nothing. Also, once I had found and enabled the community repository with media support, I still had to manually track down codec packages. Now, to be fair, there are guides and options out there which will simplify adding codecs to openSUSE. Which is great, if the user knows about them. My complaint is not that codecs cannot be easily added to openSUSE, but that the user needs to know why their media player is not working before they can find the available solutions. Right now, the reason for media files failing to play is not clear unless the user is already familiar with openSUSE's policies.

My second issue was with performance. The Plasma desktop was usually responsive, but every once in a while (a couple of times per day), something would go wrong (snapperd would take up too much CPU, files would be indexed, or Kwin would get bogged down) and it would have a big impact on the desktop experience. openSUSE was also oddly slow to boot and shutdown compared to most other distributions.

Something I noticed when reading the project's release announcement is openSUSE claims to be one of the world's most tested distributions: "openSUSE Leap has become the best and most tested Linux distribution." To the project's credit, most of openSUSE does come across as being well tested and stable. I say "most" because there seems to be a divide in quality between the core openSUSE technology and third-party items. For example, the YaST package manager was fast, flexible and stable. The Discover software manager was slower, failed to find an available package and crashed a couple of times. The YaST printer manager worked with no problems while the printer tool in KDE System Settings refused to give me access to add a printer. There are other minor examples, but my point is openSUSE's in-house development seems to be producing excellent software. But, stepping outside that bubble, things are not always as rock solid.

What I think makes openSUSE stand out, and makes it more appealing than most distributions, is the excellent Btrfs support which makes use of snapshots. Being able to snapshot the file system and recover the system (or a specific configuration file) with a few clicks is a fantastic feature. Snapshots make openSUSE nearly bullet proof and, if Btrfs is used properly, they can also make it possible for users to recover files. These features alone make me inclined to recommend openSUSE to most users. There are plenty of other reasons I would recommend openSUSE: three years of support, great administration tools and a friendly installer. As a whole, I think openSUSE 15 is turning out to be one of my favourite releases of 2018.

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What’s new in openSUSE Leap 15 – installation experience

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Reviews
SUSE

On the 25th May 2018, openSUSE Leap 15 was released for download. Over the last few days I have upgraded both of my systems to this new release. Although this was a big release for openSUSE, the media attention for this release was surprisingly low. The reason why this is a big release, is that the underlying software packages are all new.

openSUSE Leap 42 has a shared core with SUSE Linux Enterprise 12 (SLE 12). For instance Leap 42.2 shares a lot of software packages with Service Pack 2 (SLE 12 SP2). And Leap 42.3 shares a lot of packages with SLE 12 SP3. The shared core was on average 20% of the total number of packages. Because of that shared core, some of the packages were starting to show their age.

openSUSE Leap 15 shares a lot of software packages with SUSE Linux Enterprise 15, which in itself is based on a 2017 fork of openSUSE Tumbleweed. That means that all of the underlying packages in SLE 15 have been updated to a more current version in comparison to SLE 12 SP3. The shared core for openSUSE Leap 15 is (according to a FOSDEM 2018 presentation) about 27% of the total number of packages. And the remaining packages are originating from (an even more recent fork from) openSUSE Tumbleweed. Which means that we get a lot of improvements in openSUSE Leap 15.

A good example (to get an idea about the progress that has been made) is the underlying Linux kernel, which has been updated from version 4.4 to 4.12. Linux kernel 4.4 was released in January 2016 and Linux kernel 4.12 was released in July 2017. You cannot simply assume that the SLE kernel is identical to the upstream Linux kernel, because SUSE includes a lot of back-ports of security fixes and of hardware drivers in their kernels. However, you can assume that most of the newly introduced features in more recent Linux kernels are not being back-ported. So the upgrade from SLE 12 to SLE 15 means that we get 1,5 years of new features from the Linux kernel community.

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OpenSUSE Community Forks Red Hat's Spacewalk, Now Calls It Uyuni

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Red Hat
SUSE

In addition to the release of openSUSE Leap 15, also making the rounds at this weekend's openSUSE conference in Prague is word of the openSUSE community forking the Spacewalk system management software into a new project they are calling Uyuni.

For those of you not familiar with Spacewalk, it's a Linux systems management software and the upstream for Red Hat Satellite 5. Spacewalk allows keeping an inventory of systems, updating/installing software on systems, provisioning systems, deploying configurations to systems, setting up virtual guests, controlling services, distributing content, and other systems management/administration tasks. Spacewalk is a project of Red Hat and is hosted on GitHub.

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Also: Uyuni: Forking Spacewalk with Salt and Containers

SUSE: GNU Health Project, Uyuni, OpenSUSE Leap 15

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SUSE
  • openSUSE Donates 10 More Raspberry Pis to GNU Health

    The openSUSE Project once again donated 10 Raspberry Pis to GNU Health Project, which were handed over to the project’s founder Luis Falcon at the openSUSE Conference today.

    Last year, the openSUSE Project donated 10 Raspberry Pis to the non-profit, non-government organizations (NGO) that delivers free open-source software for health practitioners, health institutions and governments worldwide.

  • Uyuni: Forking Spacewalk with Salt and Containers

    Members of a new open source community project called Uyuni announced today at openSUSE Conference that a fork of the open-source systems management solution Spacewalk is on its way.

  • OpenSUSE Leap 15 released (Linux with enterprise features)

    The latest version of OpenSUSE is out today, bringing a new installer, improvements for cloud usage, and support for the GNOME and KDE desktop environments.

    OpenSUSE Leap 15 is also more closely aligned with SUSE Linux Enterprise (SLE), making it easy for users to migrate from the community-based operating system to the professional version that offers better stability and long-term support, among other things.

TUXEDO InfinityBook Pro 13 Is the First Laptop Preloaded with openSUSE Leap 15

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SUSE

The OpenSuSE Project announced today that openSUSE Leap 15 is available for download as 64-bit installation images, which users would need to write on USB flash drives or DVDs to install the operating system on their personal computers. However, the openSUSE Leap 15 operating system also comes preloaded with the TUXEDO InfinityBook Pro 13 laptop we reviewed last year and Linode cloud images.

"Today’s public release of Leap 15 aren’t only released as DVD and Network ISO: Linode and hardware vendor TUXEDO Computers have cloud images through of Leap ready, too. While the brand new TUXEDO InfinityBook Pro 13 is immediately available with Leap 15 preinstalled and ready-to-run, Linode has Leap available for all infrastructure needs," said openSUSE Project's Douglas DeMaio in today's announcement.

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Based on Enterprise Code, Tested Millions of Times: openSUSE Leap 15 released

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SUSE

Today’s major release of openSUSE Leap 15 is offering professional users, entrepreneurs and ISVs (Independent Software Vendors) a new, fresh and hardened code base for their workloads that supports modern hardware, based on a stable, community- and enterprise-based open-source GNU/Linux distribution – but developed with a modern, more secure, better tested and much more open open-source build system unique to SUSE and openSUSE.

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Also: openSUSE Leap 15 Officially Released, Based on SUSE Enterprise Linux 15

OpenSUSE Leap 15 Released, Based On SUSE Linux Enterprise 15

OpenSUSE Conference 2018 Kicks Off In Prague, Video Streams Available

openSUSE Leap 15 Promises Enterprise Migration to SUSE Linux Enterprise (SLE) 15

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SUSE

Being based on SUSE Linux Enterprise (SLE) 15, the upcoming OpenSuSE Leap 15 operating system borrows a lot of code from upstream, so you can imagine that one of the most attractive features of this release will be the ability to migrate installations to the long-term supported, enterprise-ready SUSE Linux Enterprise (SLE) 15 operating system series for certifications, mass deployments, and everything else you might need from an enterprise OS.

"For the first time, SUSE will support migration from Leap to SLE, which gives system integrators developing on Leap the possibility of moving to an enterprise version for certifications, mass deployments and/or extended Long Term Support," said openSUSE Project. "openSUSE Leap 15 brings plenty of community packages built on top of a core from SUSE Linux Enterprise (SLE) 15 sources, which is the first time the two major releases were built from the beginning in parallel."

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OpenSUSE News: OpenSUSE Leap 15 and OpenSUSE Conference

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SUSE
  • OpenSUSE Leap 15 Supports Transactional Updates Using Btrfs / Zypper / Snapper

    Of the many new features coming to openSUSE Leap 15 that is built from the same sources as SUSE Linux Enterprise 15 is support for transactional updates.

    Incubated by the Kubic Project for fleshing out an openSUSE micro-OS container operating system, openSUSE Leap 15 supports transactional updates -- to basically update operating system packages in an atomic manner. Under this transactional approach, updates will either be applied all together in a single transaction or not at all. If something goes wrong, the system can also be returned to the previous functioning state.

  • Transactional Updates in openSUSE Leap 15

    This blog is part of a series of technical blogs leading up to the release of openSUSE Leap 15. All of the blogs provide a use case regarding openSUSE Leap and the packages available in the distribution. Happy reading.

    Transactional Updates is one of the exciting new features available in the upcoming release of openSUSE Leap 15, which is scheduled to be officially released May 25.

    Contributed by the Kubic Project, Transactional Updates provides openSUSE systems with a method of updating the operating system and its packages in an entirely ‘atomic’ way. Updates are either applied to the system all together in a single transaction, or not at all. This happens without influencing the running system. If an update fails, or if the successful update is deemed to be incompatible or otherwise incorrect, it can be discarded to immediately return the system to its previous functioning state.

    This differs from existing alternatives that already exist in the open source world. Some users use a rather exorbitant approach of maintaining multiple versions of their system in multiple partitions on disk to switch between the partitions to address a fear of tampering with a perfectly running system.

  • Status update for openSUSE Conference

    The openSUSE Conference is right around the corner and attendees list keeps growing for oSC18, which will take place May 25 – 27 at the Faculty of Information Technologies of Czech Technical University in Prague.

    There are about 250 people signed up to attend the conference and most of the talks have been scheduled for this year’s conference. In addition to the conference, there will be a cryptofest on May 26, which will incorporate comes oSC18. The schedule for the cryptofest list three oSC18 security-focused talks and will be room 107.

    There are several track that will be taking place at the conference like an openSUSE track, a cloud and containers track, an open source track, a desktop and application track and an embedded track. On Saturday, May 26, will be a lightingbeers talk where people will get a free beer and give a short 5 minutes talks; people can sign up for this at http://bit.ly/2wtjczw.

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More in Tux Machines

RISC-V and NVIDIA

  • Open-Source RISC-V-Based SoC Platform Enlists Deep Learning Accelerator
    SiFive introduces what it’s calling the first open-source RISC-V-based SoC platform for edge inference applications based on NVIDIA's Deep Learning Accelerator (NVDLA) technology. A demo shown at the Hot Chips conference consists of NVDLA running on an FPGA connected via ChipLink to SiFive's HiFive Unleashed board powered by the Freedom U540, the first Linux-capable RISC-V processor. The complete SiFive implementation is suited for intelligence at the edge, where high-performance with improved power and area profiles are crucial. SiFive's silicon design capabilities and innovative business model enables a simplified path to building custom silicon on the RISC-V architecture with NVDLA.
  • SiFive Announces First Open-Source RISC-V-Based SoC Platform With NVIDIA Deep Learning Accelerator Technology
    SiFive, the leading provider of commercial RISC-V processor IP, today announced the first open-source RISC-V-based SoC platform for edge inference applications based on NVIDIA's Deep Learning Accelerator (NVDLA) technology. The demo will be shown this week at the Hot Chips conference and consists of NVDLA running on an FPGA connected via ChipLink to SiFive's HiFive Unleashed board powered by the Freedom U540, the world's first Linux-capable RISC-V processor. The complete SiFive implementation is well suited for intelligence at the edge, where high-performance with improved power and area profiles are crucial. SiFive's silicon design capabilities and innovative business model enables a simplified path to building custom silicon on the RISC-V architecture with NVDLA.
  • SiFive Announces Open-Source RISC-V-Based SoC Platform with Nvidia Deep Learning Accelerator Technology
    SiFive, a leading provider of commercial RISC-V processor IP, today announced the first open-source RISC-V-based SoC platform for edge inference applications based on NVIDIA’s Deep Learning Accelerator (NVDLA) technology. The demo will be shown this week at the Hot Chips conference and consists of NVDLA running on an FPGA connected via ChipLink to SiFive’s HiFive Unleashed board powered by the Freedom U540, the world’s first Linux-capable RISC-V processor. The complete SiFive implementation is well suited for intelligence at the edge, where high-performance with improved power and area profiles are crucial. SiFive’s silicon design capabilities and innovative business model enables a simplified path to building custom silicon on the RISC-V architecture with NVDLA.
  • NVIDIA Unveils The GeForce RTX 20 Series, Linux Benchmarks Should Be Coming
    NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang has just announced the GeForce RTX 2080 series from his keynote ahead of Gamescom 2018 this week in Cologne, Germany.
  • NVIDIA have officially announced the GeForce RTX 2000 series of GPUs, launching September
    The GPU race continues on once again, as NVIDIA have now officially announced the GeForce RTX 2000 series of GPUs and they're launching in September. This new series will be based on their Turing architecture and their RTX platform. These new RT Cores will "enable real-time ray tracing of objects and environments with physically accurate shadows, reflections, refractions and global illumination." which sounds rather fun.

today's leftovers

GNOME Shell, Mutter, and Ubuntu's GNOME Theme

Benchmarks on GNU/Linux

  • Linux vs. Windows Benchmark: Threadripper 2990WX vs. Core i9-7980XE Tested
    The last chess benchmark we’re going to look at is Crafty and again we’re measuring performance in nodes per second. Interestingly, the Core i9-7980XE wins out here and saw the biggest performance uplift when moving to Linux, a 5% performance increase was seen opposed to just 3% for the 2990WX and this made the Intel CPU 12% faster overall.
  • Which is faster, rsync or rdiff-backup?
    As our data grows (and some filesystems balloon to over 800GBs, with many small files) we have started seeing our night time backups continue through the morning, causing serious disk i/o problems as our users wake up and regular usage rises. For years we have implemented a conservative backup policy - each server runs the backup twice: once via rdiff-backup to the onsite server with 10 days of increments kept. A second is an rsync to our offsite backup servers for disaster recovery. Simple, I thought. I will change the rdiff-backup to the onsite server to use the ultra fast and simple rsync. Then, I'll use borgbackup to create an incremental backup from the onsite backup server to our off site backup servers. Piece of cake. And with each server only running one backup instead of two, they should complete in record time. Except, some how the rsync backup to the onsite backup server was taking almost as long as the original rdiff-backup to the onsite server and rsync backup to the offsite server combined. What? I thought nothing was faster than the awesome simplicity of rsync, especially compared to the ancient python-based rdiff-backup, which hasn't had an upstream release since 2009.