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SUSE

OpenSUSE Tumbleweed Updated

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SUSE
  • Tumbleweed Delivers New Kernel, Applications, Plasma, libvirt

    The past week brought a total of three openSUSE Tumbleweed snapshots and a bunch of new features and improvements for KDE users.

    Snapshot 20180618 updated just a few packages to include an updated GNU Compiler Collection 7, which fixes support for 32-bit AddressSanitizer with glibc 2.27+. Both perl-File-ShareDir and python-numpy were the other two packages that gave users minor fixes.

    The snapshots earlier in the week were more KDE centric. Snapshot 20180615 delivered KDE Applications 18.04.2. The updated applications focused on bugfixes, improvements and translations for Dolphin, Gwenview, KGpg, Kig, Konsole, Lokalize, Okular and many more. KGpg no longer fails to decrypt messages without a version header and image with Gwenview can now be redone after undoing them. The Linux Kernel jumped from 4.16.12 to 4.17.1 and fixed some btrfs and KVM issues. The newer kernel also ported an arm fix for HDMI output routing and fixed an atomic sequence handling with spi-nor and intel-spi. The hwinfo package tried a more aggressive way to catch all usb platform controllers with the 21.55 version. Libvirt 4.4.0 added support for migration of Virtual Machines with non-shared storage over Thread-Local Storage (TLS) and introduced a new virDomainDetachDevice Alias. Lenovo, HP and Dell tablets gaining greater support with the updated libwacom 0.30 package. Add support for PostgreSQL-style UPSERT were made available with sqlite3 3.24.0. Other tools like mercurial 4.6.1, snapper 0.5.5 were also updated in the snapshot.

  • OpenSUSE Tumbleweed Jumps On Linux 4.17, KDE Plasma 5.13 Riding Well

    For users of openSUSE's Tumbleweed rolling-release Linux distribution, it's been a very busy month on the update front.

    Last week openSUSE Tumbleweed already upgraded to the phenomenal KDE Plasma 5.13 release as its default desktop along with KDE Applications 18.04.2.

How SUSE Is Bringing Open Source Projects and Communities Together

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Interviews
OSS
SUSE

The modern IT infrastructure is diverse by design. People are mixing different open source components that are coming from not only different vendors, but also from different ecosystems. In this article, we talk with Thomas Di Giacomo, CTO of SUSE, about the need for better collaboration between open source projects that are being used across industries as we are move toward a cloud native world.

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openSUSE Tumbleweed Is Now Powered by Linux Kernel 4.17, KDE Plasma 5.13 Landed

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KDE
SUSE

As of today, the openSUSE Tumbleweed rolling operating system is now powered by the latest and most advanced Linux 4.17 kernel series, which landed in the most recent snapshot released earlier.

Tumbleweed snapshot 20180615 was released today, June 17, 2018, and it comes only two days after snapshot 20180613, which added the Mesa 18.1.1 graphics stack and KDE Plasma 5.13 desktop environment, along with many components of the latest KDE Applications 18.04.2 software suite.

Today's snapshot 20180615 continued upgrading the KDE Applications software suite to version 18.04.2, but it also upgraded the kernel from Linux 4.16.12 to Linux 4.17.1. As such, OpenSuSE Tumbleweed is now officially powered by Linux kernel 4.17, so upgrading your installs as soon as possible would be a good idea.

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openSUSE Leap 15 Linux OS Is Now Available for Raspberry Pi, Other ARM Devices

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SUSE

Released last month, openSUSE Leap 15 is based on the SUSE Linux Enterprise 15 operating system series and introduces numerous new features and improvements over the previous versions. These include a new disk partitioner in the installer, the ability to migrate OpenSuSE Leap 15 installations to SUSE Linux Enterprise (SLE) 15, and integration with the Kopano open-source groupware application suite.

openSUSE Leap 15 also ships with a Firewalld as the default firewall management tool, a brand-new look that's closely aligned with SUSE Linux Enterprise, new classic "transactional server" and "server" system roles providing read-only root filesystem and transactional updates, and much more. Now, openSUSE Leap 15 was launched officially for ARM64 (AArch64) and ARMv7 devices, such as Raspberry Pi, BeagleBoard, Arndale Board, CuBox-i, and OLinuXino.

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The sad state of KDE Discover and GNOME Software on openSUSE Leap 15

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KDE
GNOME
SUSE

Software centers have become very important. Linux was the first place where you could install and update all software in one place, by using package managers. In openSUSE that central place is the YaST Software Manager. Other distributions, such as Ubuntu, used applications like the Synaptic package manager. The user experience of these package managers is not very user friendly, as they show many technical packages / details, which most users will not understand.

In 2008, Apple introduced the iOS App Store. This changed the public perception on how software centers should work. Everything was now in one place, neatly organized into categories. The screenshots, descriptions and ratings made it easy to learn about new software. And installation was a breeze. Google followed this trend by announcing Android Market later in 2008. Apple introduced the App Store for Mac OSX in 2010. Google re-branded the Android Market in 2012 to Google Play store. And in the same year, Microsoft introduced the Windows Store for Windows 8. This store was re-branded in 2017 to the Microsoft Store.

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GeckoLinux Is the First Linux Distro Based on openSUSE Leap 15, Download Now

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Linux
SUSE

For those unfamiliar with GeckoLinux, it's a GNU/Linux distribution based on the OpenSuSE operating system and with target on desktop users, providing them a polished, out-of-the-box experience. GeckoLinux is available in two main editions, Static, based on openSUSE Leap, and Rolling, based on openSUSE Tumbleweed, in multiple flavors with various popular desktop environments.

"GeckoLinux STATIC spins are based on the enterprise-grade slower moving openSUSE Leap distribution, with the inclusion of proprietary packages from the Packman project," reads the announcement. "GeckoLinux ROLLING spins are based on the extremely well tested and reliable openSUSE Tumbleweed distribution, with the inclusion of proprietary packages from the Packman project."

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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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GNOME Desktop: Flatpak and Random Wallpaper Gnome Extension

  • Flatpak in detail, part 2
    The first post in this series looked at runtimes and extensions. Here, we’ll look at how flatpak keeps the applications and runtimes on your system organized, with installations, repositories, branches, commits and deployments.
  • Flatpak – a history
    I’ve been working on Flatpak for almost 4 years now, and 1.0 is getting closer. I think it might be interesting at this point to take a retrospective look at the history of Flatpak.
  • Random Wallpaper Gnome Extension Changes Your Desktop Background With Images From Various Online Sources
    Random Wallpaper is an extension for Gnome Shell that can automatically fetch wallpapers from a multitude of online sources and set it as your desktop background. The automatic wallpaper changer comes with built-in support for downloading wallpapers from unsplash.com, desktopper.co, wallhaven.cc, as well as support for basic JSON APIs or files. The JSON support is in fact my favorite feature in Random Wallpaper. That's because thanks to it and the examples available on the Random Wallpaper GitHub Wiki, one can easily add Chromecast Images, NASA Picture of the day, Bing Picture of the day, and Google Earth View (Google Earth photos from a selection of around 1500 curated locations) as image sources.

today's howtos

KDE: QtPad, Celebrating 10 Years with KDE, GSoC 2018

  • QtPad - Modern Customizable Sticky Note App for Linux
    In this article, we'll focus on how to install and use QtPad on Ubuntu 18.04. Qtpad is a unique and highly customizable sticky note application written in Qt5 and Python3 tailored for Unix systems.
  • Celebrating 10 Years with KDE
    Of course I am using KDE software much longer. My first Linux distribution, SuSE 6.2 (the precursor to openSUSE), came with KDE 1.1.1 and was already released 19 years ago. But this post is not celebrating the years I am using KDE software. Exactly ten years ago, dear Albert committed my first contribution to KDE. A simple patch for a problem that looked obvious to fix, but waiting for someone to actually do the work. Not really understanding the consequences, it marks the start of my journey within the amazing KDE community.
  • GSoC 2018 – Coding Period (May 28th to June 18th): First Evaluation and Progress with LVM VG
    I got some problems during the last weeks of Google Summer of Code which made me deal with some challenges. One of these challenges was caused by a HD physical problem. I haven’t made a backup of some work and had to rework again in some parts of my code. As I already knew how to proceed, it was faster than the first time. I had to understand how the device loading process is made in Calamares to load a preview of the new LVM VG during its creation in Partition Page. I need to list it as a new storage device in this page and deal with the revert process. I’ve implemented some basic fixes and tried to improve it.

Open Hardware: Good for Your Brand, Good for Your Bottom Line

Chip makers are starting to catch on to the advantages of open, however. SiFive has released an entirely open RISC-V development board. Its campaign on the Crowd Supply crowd-funding website very quickly raised more than $140,000 USD. The board itself is hailed as a game-changer in the world of hardware. Developments like these will ensure that it won't be long before the hardware equivalent of LEGO's bricks will soon be as open as the designs built using them. Read more