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11.29.08

Do-No-Evil Saturday – Part I: Old OpenSUSE EULA Dies, Yastie is Born

Posted in GNU/Linux, Law, OpenSUSE at 9:32 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

YaST boot

OpenSUSE EULA Changes

THE BIGGEST news this week is to do with the EULA. Zonker was probably the first to announce these changes around the OpenSUSE EULA, which we mentioned several times before (e.g. in [1, 2]). It was a controversial subject.

Just in time for openSUSE 11.1 RC 1, we’ve finished the new and improved license for openSUSE 11.1. The days of agreeing to a click-through EULA for openSUSE are over!

There are, in addition, many reactions in OSNews.

Kristin Shoemaker covered SUSE, as usual. There’s a post about the EULA in OStatic (where Zonker is an author too).

Previously, openSUSE installations required an agreement with the terms of the distribution’s license. With the 11.1 RC1 release, the license text will be displayed at installation so that the user is aware of the license, but clicking “I agree” won’t be necessary. Brockmeier says that this licensing is based on Fedora’s license procedures, and that work is being done to clarify trademark guidelines in openSUSE to make redistribution easier.

Linux Pro Magazine mentioned this briefly as well.

Free Linux distro openSUSE will from now on release without an end-user license agreement. The project will be using the same license notice as their competitor Fedora.

YaST

YaST got itself a new mascot. Here is Yastie the Aardvark. But on the very same week, a vulnerability was found in YaST.

1) Problem Description and Brief Discussion

Insufficient shell quoting in yast2-backup allowed local users to
craft special file names that inject shell code into the backup
process (CVE-2008-4636).

2) Solution or Work-Around

There is no known workaround, please install the update packages.

OpenSUSE 11.1

Release Candidate phase was reached, with a mint release scheduled to come just before Christmas.

The openSUSE Project is happy to announce that openSUSE 11.1 RC 1 is now available. If all goes well, this will be the last testing release before the final 11.1 public release on December 18th.

This release includes a number of bugfixes and changes since 11.1 beta 5, as well as a new license.

Here is a look at PackageKit and PolicyKit in this latest version (under KDE).

For openSUSE 11.1 the KDE Updater Applet will switch from the zypp backend to its PackageKit backend by default.

People

Bryen Yunashko, who is now on the board of the OpenSUSE project, had this profile published about him a few days ago.

Bryen M. Yunashko is known as Yuko to his friends. For the last nine years, Bryen has been self-employed as a consultant in the IT field, specializing in open source software, especially Linux. “I focus on server set ups, file systems, email management, and desktop management,” Bryen explained. “At any given time, day or night, I could be discussing a project with developers in China, Europe, India, the U.S., anywhere.”

Vincent Untz was the featured person in last week’s People of OpenSUSE.

Continuing the last ‘People of openSUSE” interviews with people involved in the openSUSE Board Elections Committee, today we introduce you another member – Vincent Untz. Vincent is a Novell employee working 101% of his time for the openSUSE and GNOME projects, non-stop!

Cyberorg from the OpenSUSE community defends Novell and rather obviously takes a shot at us at the same time:

Even if some “activists” are right that Novell is sold out to M$ and wants to bleed the community that is life line of their business, shouldn’t the community have faith that foundations of free software community is strong enough to face any challenge “evil” Novell can come up with? So dear Activists, please highlight good things about the community and stop being paranoid, world is not ending anytime soon.

Miscellany

Going further back to OpenSUSE 11.0, there’s a mixed bag in the following personal account.

Next, up, OpenSUSE. This has a very nice version of the old installer, which, on newer hardware, actually runs decently. The installer is very clean with a green and silvery look. On the downside, however, it suffers from the same problems as before. Partitioning is a mess. Surprise surprise, I don’t want to wipe my disc. To get custom partitioning, you have to click on a drop box, then click on partitioning. It’s something most people would want to configure, yet is bundled with useless options in a hard to access location. No warning is given that it is going to format a disk, except for small red text, so noobs could easily just click through and not realise until it is too late that they are going to lose data. That one really should have been addressed by now. Also, even though I am installing from a DVD, it has a funny box that lists the installation media that are in use, along with a total. Looks a bit stupid. The install is extremely slow, compared to others.

Mike is still targeting SUSE users in some of his tutorials and the following technical writeup talks about a solution to an OpenSUSE issue.

I was having dreadful problems on my HP Laptop with KDE4 or Compiz – jaggies, slow performance, difficulty switching tabs in Firefox, the whole experience was poor. After a spot of Google trawling, I added these to the /etc/modprobe.conf.local on my installation of 11.0 (and 11.1)

There’s lots more in Weekly News, but we have not explored it. Here is the overview:

* openSUSE 11.1 Beta 5.1 for PowerPC Released
* Fresh Factory Live-CDs
* People of openSUSE: Vincent Untz
* ARM Support for openSUSE Buildservice and openSUSE
* First SUSE Studio Production

Next, we shall look at SLED and SLES.

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