08.30.08

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Do-No-Evil Saturday – Part I: OpenSUSE and Summer’s Hack Week

Posted in GNU/Linux, Novell, OpenSUSE at 3:00 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

YaST update

In this last week of August, much has happened mainly because of Hack Week. Here is a quick rundown.

General News

The following is quite important: Novell and/or the community has appointed a new committee.

We now have founded an openSUSE Election Committee consisting of:

* Claes Backstrom (Community)
* Andrew Wafaa (Community)
* Marko Jung (Novell)
* Vincent Untz (Novell, deputy)

We shall return to this in the future. It shows Novell’s influence in (if not control of) the project. It’s not just about funding.

On to some good news: Stellenbosch University is going to have a lot of fun.

South Africa’s Stellenbosch University now has a high-performance Sun Fire cluster running OpenSuse Linux, courtesy of Breakpoint Solutions.

The Utah Open Source Conference has just ended. Novell was there, but we’ve complained before at the sight of Novell not funding it. Is this still true?

See the openSUSE Project at the Utah Open Source Conference this week!

The Utah Open Source Conference is going on August 28 through August 30 at the Salt Lake Community College.

[...]

As part of Hack Week, we’ll also have a room set aside for Hack Week III participants, so you can watch the hacking in real time.

This is the Hack Week which the post above is referring to.

Hack Week

Here is a nice project proposal from the almighty Cyberorg.

Here is an idea, build OLPC XO’s Sugar interface for openSUSE this hackweek.

What is Sugar?

* Sugar graphical user interface, written in Python, on top of the X Window System and the Matchbox Window Manager.
o Designed specifically for collaboration of users through network sharing of user activities (method calls and signals);
o “Zooming” interface to network connectivity “spheres” (local, collaborators, neighborhood);
o Journal interface to storage of events, activities, objects (files)

Here is another example project.

My goal for this hackweek is to unify them as much as possible. So, now I have something to show. The prototype works on openSUSE 11.0 Alpha2 and unifies steps 1-3.

Reviews

There were quite a few of them, all of which rather short. Among the quick experiences:

1. On openSUSE, sorta

Don’t be like that. Don’t discount ex-Novell-employees, their experience or capability, or Novell products just because Novell’s management isn’t being held responsible for better performance standards. Not only is it not the fault of the individual contributors, it simply is not accurate.

2. openSUSE 11 – Desktop Emphasis

Today, I completed my download of openSUSE 11.0 (after my recent Vista failure) and set about installing it. It was a DVD of the latest ISO from openSUSE. My machine is the same Acer Ferrari 5000 (2.0 GHz X2 AMD Turion 64, 2GB RAM, ATI X1600 Mobility Radeon).

Here is a more extensive examination of OpenSuse 11.0 with KDE 4.

Except for the still touchy subject of the Microsoft deal, I’d recommend Novell to someone who was new to Linux but ready to learn. It doesn’t have the same hand-hold style of Ubuntu, so that’s still my top choice. Right now it’s really almost a tie between recommending Mandriva and openSuse as the next best thing after Ubuntu.

Roblimo took a look at the same setup and he produced a slow-going video.

SUSE has been around almost since the dawn of consumer-level desktop Linux, and openSUSE 11 upholds the SUSE reputation for having not just a wide range of available applications, but also excellent documentation and a fine user-to-user support community. For this video we chose the KDE 4.x desktop option. KDE 3.5x and GNOME are also available as defaults in openSUSE.

Here is a direct link to the Ogg Theora file (use it to encourage its use):

Ogg Theora

Technical

ComputingTech.Blogspot.com covers a variety of distributions, but this time it focused on SUSE. Here is an article about X.

SaX (also referred to as SaX) is the X configuration tool for SUSE Linux. It runs for the first time during the initial SUSE Linux installation, where it identifies your graphics card, installs the graphics drivers, and sets up X to its default configuration. The settings are stored in the /etc/X11/XF86Config file. You can edit this file manually, but that would be unnecessary risky behavior.

This second article from the same blog looks at KDE and GNOME.

When you first install SUSE Linux, YaST will recommend installing just the KDE desktop. You can choose to install GNOME instead, or install both if you have enough disk space.

Last week we wrote about SELinux in OpenSUSE, but we missed what Andreas Jaeger had posted.

Beginning with openSUSE 11.1, SUSE users will have an additional option regarding security frameworks. In addition to AppArmor, we will be adding SELinux capabilities in openSUSE 11.1, which will allow users to enable SELinux in openSUSE if they wish.

This puts them in a better position against Fedora.

More

As always, more details might be available in the OpenSUSE site. We don’t look at it for reference, but there may be overlap.

In this week:

* Hack Week III
* openSUSE Election Committee Founded
* openSUSE at Utah Open Source Conference
* T&T: Accelerate your build speed with Icecream
* linux.com: A video tour of openSUSE 11 (with KDE 4 desktop)

Next up: SUSE.

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