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01.30.10

Novell News Summary – Part I: Two Weeks of OpenSUSE, Some Reviews Accumulated

Posted in GNOME, GNU/Linux, KDE, Novell, OpenSUSE, Review at 7:39 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Several reviews of OpenSUSE that we’ve netted, upcoming events, and a lot of technical writings assembled

LAST week was too quiet to be worth a post, so this is an accumulation encompassing two weeks.

The big news is that Zonker is leaving. Project activity in general seems low, but there are many IRC meetings as well as other gatherings.

Events

An OpenSUSE event is being organised in Indonesia and FOSDEM 2010 will feature OpenSUSE too. There are other public events where OpenSUSE appears and the OpenSUSE “Boosters” (yes, they really call themselves that) plan to have presence at events like LinuxTag 2010:

Another show in desperate need on Booster Talks is LinuxTag 2010. Their call for papers is running and every booster shoud put in a talk! There are instructions on the CFP about what they are interested in, what topics they want to focus on, what is expected of speakers and how to submit a talk. So all of us are currently thinking about what we could talk about to the FOSS community.

Regarding FOSDEM, there is also this personal perspective over at the OpenSUSE Web site.

For those new to FOSDEM, all I can say is it is a blast! Seriously, there are people from all over the world there talking about all sorts of things – personally I’m not overly bothered about most of the talks. For me the biggest win from FOSDEM is the social aspect. The pre-event drinks on Friday night are great, and yes I have to admit there is one thing that those adorable little blue Belgians do right – Beer!!! I have met many a great person, some of whom I had never heard of before but many whom I had. The atmosphere just rules.

Advocacy

The SUSE (Rants) Blog says that OpenSUSE will score a small win at another company:

Linux migrations are fun for me to see. It brings happiness to my soul that more companies are seeing the benefits that Linux offers them over propietary operating systems. No more vendor lock-in, more security, freedom to do it how they want, and much lower cost. Well, openSUSE Linux is now finding its way into the company for which I work.

A Geeko postcard was shared by one of the SUSE people and “Geeko wants you!” say the Wiki folks:

Online since August 2005, the openSUSE wiki has proved to be an invaluable resource for users, contributors and developers. However, we had no Quality Assurance step in the publishing procedure for wiki articles.

Sirko has a second part for “Geeko wants you”.

James Ogley has caught up with Planet SUSE, which apparently is too English oriented.

I just did a massive (and I mean HUGE) catch-up on Planet SUSE.

The following person wants more postings in German.

I use from time to time pictures to speak for me, thats for me in easier as write a long english entry. I hope you understand what I mean.

Reviews

This is where OpenSUSE is doing fairly well. Here is an experience with OpenSUSE:

Around every 6 months I back up everything and look at updating my distro. My last update was in the summer when I tried updating Mint and ended up with Ubuntu.

[...]

I then thought to myself why not give the live version of openSUSE a try. The live version was KDE4.3.
Now it identified my video card as the ATI HD3450 without any help from me. It did not recognize the 2 Acer monitors. I was amazed that when I tried to use configure display settings. It worked!

Linux Planet took a look at Li-F-E:

It’s a safe bet that the majority of K through 12 students in this country have access to a computer either at home or school. With education budget trends resembling a ski slope (downhill) it only makes sense to look to open source for help. With the 11.2 release of openSUSE comes a separate project targeted at schools and school children.

One of the best GNU/Linux Web sites (in terms of content) has put many GNU/Linux distributions to the test and decided that OpenSUSE is best for desktops.

There are hundreds of Linux distributions available worldwide, kitted with an infinite number of kernel/desktop/applications combos, each offering a unique perspective and usage model.

Still, true to the Pareto principle, most of the Linux desktop belongs to a very small number of distributions, including mainly Ubuntu and its derivatives, Fedora, openSUSE, Mandriva, and a few more. Hop over to DistroWatch and see for yourself. So the big question is, what makes these distros so popular, or better yet, preferred over other candidates? Ultimately, which one offers the most complete all-round experience of all?

[...]

There you have, Dedoimedo has decreed that is the best overall choice for the average Linux user is openSUSE, effective end of 2009. Dedoimedo has spoke.

It turns out that openSUSE is probably the best distribution for you. It has its ups and downs, but the bottom line, it’s probably the most refined product of all, which is not surprising, given its roots. It’s a business model shipped for free, after all.

Some other people do not have much luck:

I know some people who use Linux, who have a massive collection of Live and Install media which goes back a long ways. If I keep up at this rate, I’ll be one of those people before long.

See, this started a few days ago when Mum decided she didn’t like OpenSUSE, and wanted something new. Her computer isn’t exactly robust, however, so we always try out potential candidates before they touch her computer.

We went through, and settled on Mandriva. I’ve heard a lot of good things about it, and I’m sure in other circumstances, I might even have seen a few of them.

There are also some decent video reviews. Here is a good review from early in the week (or last week):

This new one is in German, but it is hardly vocal.

GNOME

Several people, including employees of Novell, have also written about the GNOME side of OpenSUSE (it is no longer the default selection). Here is an explanation of how to change the GNOME menu panel back to GNOME defaults:

Seems like lot of openSUSE Gnome users don’t like the new Gnome panel, which is radically different interface from the traditional Menu bar with Applications/Places/System entries. Personally I prefer the new style, perhaps because I’m used to the openSUSE Kickoff panel, and I really dig the search feature

Also new:

GNOME 2.28.2 on openSUSE 11.2 Updates more packages for openSUSE

Locking down GNOME in SUSE 11 based distributions

Locking down the desktop may be an important functionality for you or it may be a major annoyance. This depends on your point of view and on which side of the administration fence you are. There are certainly many use cases where the restriction of desktop functionality is very important. One such use case may be the configuration of machines in a teaching environment.

For GNOME, Sabayon is a GUI tool that allows you to set up the desktop to your liking and store the configuration as a profile. Profiles can be deployed to any system allowing the machine to display the desired desktop based on who logs into the machine. Further you may also use Pessulus to lock down the GNOME desktop. Additional information may also be found in the GNOME Admin Guide.

Technical

Apart from some innocent glitches, installation instructions are being provided for some software [1, 2] and the question of codecs and software patents (in few countries that allow them) rears its ugly head again:

During our last openSUSE Project meeting, there was a discussion on Multimedia Codecs.

There are many OpenSUSE-specific HOWTOs, including:

How to get your clips on the web

Eclipse on Stellarium

Stellarium is a free software available for Windows, Linux/Unix and MacOSX. It renders 3D photo-realistic skies in real time.. With stellarium, you really see what you can see with your eyes, binoculars or a small telescope. Packages for openSUSE are available from Education repository on openSUSE Build Service via 1-click install.

Having trouble with vmware-console & your keyboard mouse

Ext4 File System Support on openSUSE 11.1 or Older Version

openSUSE – Create your own Software Repository @ 2

openSUSE – Get the HTTP Proxy setting in Shell

Canon MP560 on Opensuse 11.2

How to set MTU (Maximum Transmission Unit) value on OpenSuSe Linux

How to Find and Clean up Duplicate Files in Ubuntu Linux

Recover Deleted Files on Linux with Extundelete

Update without root password?

Installing OpenSUSE 11.0 KDE on my HP 2133

Since it has been over 6 months since I had installed a windows os on my HP 2133, problems started showing up clueing me into the fact that it was time to wipe the drive, reinstall the os and start all over. My previous set up on my HP 2133 was a tri boot of Windows Vista, Windows 7 (release candidate only), and Ubuntu 8.04.

Packaging/Repos

Katarina has written about YaST again, at one point complaining that people do not appreciate testers:

When the project is finished, hackers are the guys in the spotlight and, sadly enough, QA work often stays unnoticed. Worse even, if the whole thing is a failure, testing squad is the first one to blame (“Damn, those guys must’ve had no QA. What? They had some? What they have been doing all that time then?”). Needless to say, that doesn’t exactly boost one’s confidence in the meaningfulness of his/her work.

To conclude, I’d like to dedicate this post to all our Four-Letter-Project testers (especially to the most active one of them) and to all former, present and future openSUSE testers. Ladies and gentlemen, a big round of applause for all those heroes, known and unknown!

Some posts about Packman and about OpenSUSE Build Service accompany the announcement of many projects that get a repository or enter a repository. For example:

Now with the aid of the Hermes notification system, you can find out as soon as a new version of software you’re interested in is uploaded to the openSUSE Build Service.

There are also:

Stable versions of PySide packaged

PySide packages for openSUSE, Mandriva and Fedora

Eclipse on Stellarium

Parallel Development Environments? Pulque!

7 Lightweight Linux Browsers You may want to Consider for Fast Browsing Experience

Openshot Video Editor on openSUSE

Updates in unstable repo (not only) for openSUSE

Buddi – Personal Finance & Budgeting Program for openSUSE

Announce: Linux Desktop Testing Project (LDTP) 2.0.1 released

OpenOffice_org 3.2 rc4 available for openSUSE

Prism 1.0b3

As mentioned in blogs here and here Prism 1.0b3 got somehow released.
I have updated the version I had in mozilla:beta and moved it to the openSUSE mozilla repository (even if it’s officially beta but then there is no previous version so it makes sense).

Kernel

Novell’s Greg Kroah-Hartman (one of the men behind the OpenSUSE project) has offered 98 patches, leading to new releases of Linux 2.6.32 and 2.6.27. In this newly-uploaded video (days old), Kroah-Hartman is shown speaking at LinuxCon 2009. This type of work in the kernel space (also in X) makes OpenSUSE a good contributor. Novell is a separate-but-connected problem.

Leftovers

Apart from this call for testing of GNUMed, Sascha Manns announced the publication of some more Weekly News pages [1, 2, 3]. There has been nothing exceptional going on in OpenSUSE.

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