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Updated: 43 min 22 sec ago

Tumbleweed Snapshots Are Steadily Rolling

7 hours 25 min ago

Four openSUSE Tumbleweed snapshot were released this week bringing updates for Kerberos, GNOME, KDE, YaST and Mozilla Firefox.

The latest snapshot of the week, 20190219, had more than a dozen packages updated. A new Kerberos database module using the Lightning Memory-Mapped Database library (LMDB) has was added with the krb5 1.17 package, which brought some major changes for the administration experience for the network authentication protocol Kerberos. The permissions package update 20190212 removed several old entries and the kernel-space and user-space code package tgt 1.0.74 fixed builds with the newer glibc. A couple xf86 packages were updated. The 1.4.0 version of xf86-video-chips was a bug fix release for X.Org Server. There was an X Server crash bug with the version 1.3 affecting devices older than the HiQVideo generation. The change log said the code may not compile against X Server 1.20 since it no longer supports 24-bit color. A few other YaST packages were updated in the snapshot like yast2-installation 4.1.36, which had an update that saves the used repositories at the end of installation so as not to offer the driver packages again.

The 20190217 snapshot had just three packages updated. The keyboard management library libgnomekbd 3.26.1 fixed a build with new GLib and updated translations. VMcore extraction tool makedumpfile 1.6.5 added some patches, bug fixes and improved support for arm64 systems with Kernel Address Space Layout Randomization (KASLR). The jump in the release of yast2-storage-ng from 4.1.53 to 4.1.59 provided quite a few changes like allowing the partitioner to create block cache (bcache) devices without a caching set and the newest version limits bcache support to x86_64.

The 20190215 snapshot finished the updates of KDE Applications 18.12.2 and KDE Frameworks 5.55.0, which started in the snapshot the day before. Multiple packages were updated in KDE Frameworks 5.55.0. Breeze Icons added a preferences-desktop-effects icon, KIO improved keyboard controls of the checksum widget, KTextEditor added a cancel button to stop long-running tasks in the search bar and KWayland added rows info to the plasma virtual desktop protocol. KDE Applications 18.12.2 had more than a dozen recorded bug fixes include improvements to Kontact, Ark, Konsole, Lokalize, Umbrello, and others. The address book now remembers birthdays when merging contacts from a bug fix with kdepim-addons and Ark no longer deletes files saved from inside the embedded viewer. An update to autoyast2 4.1.1 for the installation made changes to the reading of the IPv6 setting in order to initialize it correctly. Unit test were made in the libstorage-ng 4.1.88 package and it also had a change to detect Direct-Access Storage Devices (DASD) using virtio-blk. The python-cairocffi 0.9.0 package dropped Python 3.2 and 3.3 support. Several other YaST packages were updated in the snapshot including yast2-bootloader 4.1.17, yast2-configuration-management 4.1.3, yast2-firstboot 4.1.5 and yast2-network 4.1.39.

The snapshot that started the week 20190214 brought the newest Mozilla Firefox 65.0. One of the changes to the browser is an updated language section in preferences that allows users to install multiple language packs and order language preferences for Firefox and websites without having to download locale-specific versions. KDE had several updates in this snapshot. Both KDE Applications 18.12.2 and KDE Frameworks 5.55.0 packages started updating in this snapshot and KDE Plasma 5.15.0 was also released in this snapshot. Plasma 5.15 brings a number of changes to the configuration interfaces, including more options for complex network configurations. Many icons have been added or redesigned to make them clearer. Integration with third-party technologies like GTK and Firefox improved substantially.  GNOME’s Almería release received a minor update to the gnome-desktop 3.30.2.1 and other GNOME 3.30.3 packages. Both the KDE and GNOME projects are also highly active with developing package management and application virtualization for the Linux desktop through Flatpak. The new 1.2.0 version of Flatpak generated a fontconfig directory remapping snippet since it will be needed for a newer versions of fontconfig. The ImageMagick 7.0.8.26 version fixed a number of issues listed on github, which brought the amount of open issues to 62. Several other packages were updated in the snapshot. Updates of cups-filters 1.22.0, libostree 2019.1, python-qt5 5.12 and shotwell 0.30.2 were among the most notable package updates.

The quality of the snapshots have steadily improved this week according to the Tumbleweed snapshot reviewer.Snapshot 20190215 through 20190219 are trending at stable with a rating above 90 as of the publishing of this article. The 20190214 snapshot has a moderate rating of 83.

Voters Choose Two New Board Members and One Incumbent to openSUSE Board

Saturday 16th of February 2019 05:17:35 AM

Christian Boltz aka cboltz, incumbent

The results are in and the Voting Members have chosen incumbent Christian Boltz aka cboltz, new Board Member Marina Latini aka deneb_alpha, and new Board Member Dr. Axel Braun aka DocB to fill the three vacant seats on the openSUSE Board for the next two years.

New Board Member Marina Latini aka deneb_alpha

Out of 446 eligible voters, 46 more openSUSE Members than last elections, only 231 — 6 fewer than last elections — chose to cast their votes, leaving last spring’s elections holding the record both for most ballots cast and largest percentage of Members who took enough interest in openSUSE to take the time to cast their votes.

Incumbent Christian Boltz aka cboltz garnered the most votes with a total of 141 votes — more than half of those who voted — confirming the Community’s confidence in him.  He was followed closely by Marina Latini aka deneb_alpha with 119 votes — also more than half of the active voters — and Dr. Axel Braun aka DocB with 104 votes, almost half.

As incumbent, Christian is already sitting on the Board and will continue his duties for his second two-year term.  Marina and Axel are expected to join him and take their seats for their first two-year terms sometime within the next couple of weeks.

New Board Member Dr. Axel Braun aka DocB

The runners-up in this tough-to-decide race included three other impressive Candidates:  Incumbent Sarah Julia Kriesch aka AdaLovelace with 98 votes, Vinzenz Vietzke aka vinzv with 78 votes, Nathan Wolf aka futureboy and CubicleNate with 54 votes, and Sébastien Poher aka sogal with 51 votes.  Unfortunately, only three seats were vacant, as these three people would also have been valuable additions to the Board.

Next Elections Expected Less Than a Year in Fall of 2019

The Elections Committee for the 2018-2019 openSUSE Board Elections — Ish Sookun, Edwin Zakaria, and Gerry Makaro — sincerely hope that the runners up will step up to run again in the next elections as two seats will be up for election, one for Simon Lees, who will be finishing his first two-year term, and the other to replace Gertjan Lettink, who will be ending his second two-year term on the Board.

Board Members can only hold two consecutive two-year terms under openSUSE rules.

The Elections Committee would like to thank all the Community Members who stepped up to the plate and performed their Membership Duties in order to support openSUSE, the Project, and the Community in this elections process.  You can find out more about the Elections and the Candidates at the Official Wiki Page.

 

Inkscape, GTK, glibc Updates Arrive in Tumbleweed

Thursday 14th of February 2019 11:49:03 AM

A single snapshot was released this week for openSUSE Tumbleweed bringing update packages for Mozilla Thunderbird, dbus, Inkscape, Ruby, glibc, gtk and more.

The lone snapshot of the week was 20190209. ModemManager made the jump from version 1.6.14 to 1.10.0 and consolidated common tag names among all the supported plugins as well as provided a new tag to allow specifying flow control settings to use in serial ports. The Mozilla Thunderbird 60.5.0 package gave more search engine options in certain locations offering Google and DuckDuckGo available by default. The email client also added Thunderbird FileLink with WeTransfer to upload large attachments. Thunderbird Filelink provides support for online storage services and allows upload attachments to an online storage service and then replaces the attachment in the message with a link. General-purpose parser generator bison 3.3.1 removed support for the 32-bit C/C++ development system DJGPP. The compiler cache, ccache 3.6,  which speeds up recompilation by caching previous compilations, fixed a problem due to Clang, which is a C language family frontend for LLVM, overwriting the output file when compiling an assembler file and added support for GNU Compiler Collection‘s `-ffile-prefix-map` option. The 1.12.12 version update for dbus stopped a few memory leaks and added a couple patches. The epson-inkjet-printer-escpr 1.6.35 version added support for new printer models EcoTank ET-M1100 and Epson WorkForce ST-2000. GNU C Library glibc 2.29 added getcpu wrapper function, which returns the currently used CPU and NUMA node, and optimized the generic exp, exp2, log, log2, pow, sinf, cosf, sincosf and tanf functions. Cross-platform widget toolkit gtk3 3.24.5 implement gdk_window_present for Wayland, updated translations and refreshed the theme. The health-checker 1.1 package added new plugins for cri-o and kubelet. Users of the professional-quality vector-graphics application Inkscape can now use the 0.92.4 version; the new version improves preferences of the measuring tool when grids are visible and fixes a crash that would happen when a user does a Shift/Ctrl-click when handling shapes. Tumbleweed users will have 1.7x faster performance with Ruby 2.6 as the default as compared to Ruby 2.5. Other library packages updated in the snapshot were libosinfo 1.3.0, libsodium 1.0.17, libsolv 0.7.3, libstorage-ng 4.1.86 and libzypp 17.11.1.

Snapshot 20190209 is trending at a moderate rating of 86, according to the Tumbleweed snapshot reviewer.

First Phase for openSUSE Conference Talks Begins

Wednesday 13th of February 2019 03:43:21 PM

openSUSE is pleased to announce the first phase for accepting talks for the openSUSE Conference 2019 (oSC19) has begun.

A total of 80 talks were submitted during the call for papers, which began in late fall and ended Feb. 4. In total, there were 42 normal talks, two long workshops, four short workshops, 19 short talks and seven lighting talks submitted.

The review team rated all the submitted abstracts and selected 22 normal talks, two long workshops, four short workshops, 13 short talks and five lighting talks.

Speakers have been notified of their accepted talk and must confirm their talk by March 1. If a speaker doesn’t confirm their talk by March 1, the talk will be withdrawn and the next highest rated talks will be accepted to fill the slot as part of the second phase of the talk selections for oSC19. Phase 2 will run from March 2 to March 16. The schedule for the conference will be published shortly after Phase 2.

There are five tracks listed for the conference this year. The tracks are:

  • openSUSE
  • Open Source Software
  • Cloud and Containers
  • Embedded Systems
  • Desktop and Applications

The openSUSE Conference will take place at the Z-Bau in Nuremberg, Germany, from May 24 – 26.

Visit events.opensuse.org for more information about oSC19 or email ddemaio (@) opensuse.org.

Only a Few Days Left to Cast Your Ballot in the Board Elections

Sunday 10th of February 2019 11:36:07 PM
Cast Your Votes While You Can! Ballots Will Close This Friday for 2018-2019 openSUSE Board Elections

Ahmad Romadhon, left, with openSUSE Board Member Simon Lees at the openSUSE Asia Summit

With only a few days left to go in the Board Elections, openSUSE enthusiast Ahmad Romadhon would like to urge all openSUSE Members who have not yet voted to cast their ballots before voting closes Friday, February 15, 2019 at 12h00 UTC.

The Gajah Mada University Indonesian Literature student from Yogyakarta, Indonesia, has contributed a new Poster for the openSUSE Elections with this goal in mind, as a healthy Community depends entirely on the active participation of its Members.

The ballots were sent out last week for the voting process to choose three Board Members in the 2018-2019 openSUSE Board Elections from a total of seven top quality Candidates in the running.

Check Your Inbox

If you are an openSUSE Member, you should have received an email containing the elections url and your credentials to log in and cast your vote. If you did not receive this e-mail, and if you are a qualified Member, you must contact the Elections Committee immediately.

You may cast your vote until Friday, February 15, 2019. You may also update your vote within this time-frame should you wish to do so.  Qualified Community Members may vote for up to three out of the seven candidates whose biographies were published during the course of the Elections Campaign.

Not an Easy Choice, but it is Important to Choose Your Representatives

2018-2019 Election Poster contributed by Ahmad Romadhon

In this year’s Election, the voters are being asked to choose between a superb crop of seven quality Candidates with extensive credentials of Contributions to the openSUSE Project, and they can only select three of the seven, so it will be a difficult choice to make.

The Elections Committee would like to remind all openSUSE Contributors that a healthy Project is only possible if it has a robust roster of Members who participate in the Elections process, and it is especially important they cast their votes.  Only then can the Board be a true representation of what the Community and the Project want to help guide the current and future path of the organization.

Last spring, the elections included an impressive list of quality candidates in an election that was the longest election period in the history of the project elections, with 237 out of 400 Members voting: A record participation in percentage and actual numbers.

This year, the Elections Committee wants to exceed that record, but only you — as an openSUSE Member — can make that happen.

You can find out more about the Elections and the Candidates at the Official Wiki Page.

 

Major Version Updates of Bash, libvirt, OpenConnect Arrive in Tumbleweed

Thursday 7th of February 2019 12:25:26 PM

Another three snapshots were released this week for openSUSE Tumbleweed bringing updates for ImageMagick, Mesa, Apache, Ceph, Flatpak Builder, Python and more. Plus, new major versions of Bash, glusterfs, libvirt and openconnect were updated this week.

The first snapshot of the week, 20190201, was a complete rebuild of the distribution and the snapshots released since have gradually improved in quality, according to the Tumbleweed snapshot reviewer.

The most recent snapshot, 20190205, brought support HEIC EXIF & XMP profiles with the minor version release of the graphics editing tool ImageMagick 7.0.8.25. The 18.3.2 version of the Mesa library and Mesa-drivers were updated, which provided a number of fixes for the RADV Vulkan drivers. The apache2 package was updated to 2.4.38 and the update lists the mod_lua module as stable. Fixed conflicting items in rule dialogs were fixed with the autoyast2 4.1.0 update. Ceph’s updated package had a fix for SignatureMismatchError in s3 commands. The support library used in the Xfce desktop exo 0.12.4 fix highlight rendering with GTK 3. The scalable, distributed file system glusterfs had a major update jump from version 4.0.2 to 5.3. The new version added several new management and standalone features and the dot three minor version provided a fix for Filesystem in Userspace (FUSE) client’s memory leak. The major release of openconnect 8.02 added Cisco-compatible DTLSv1.2 support. Another major version release was libvirt 5.0.0 that added support for Open vSwitch with the new feature for Xen. Other packages that were updated were the kernel firmware, gnutls, libstorage-ng 4.1.84, llvm 7.0.1, mercurial 4.9 and python-setuptools 40.7.2. The sysconfig package moved backward from version 0.85.0 to 0.84.3.

The 20190202 snapshot updated 10 packages and gave Tumbleweed users their second consecutive Kernel of the week. The Linux Kernel 4.20.6 replaced the 4.20.4 kernel that was introduced in the snapshot a day earlier. The new kernel addressed the network authentication protocol Kerberos to enhance performance and behavior regressions. The libyaml 0.2.1 package ported a bug fix from Perl binding and had a change to support static and dynamic libraries. There were multiple python packages that were updated and feature rich Remote Desktop Application remmina 1.3.2 provided a few fixes including cosmetic fixes and add a missing endpoint in an SSH error message.

Snapshot 20190201 had several package fixes including a major version update for bash. Bash 5.0 had a bug fixed that caused a shell comment in an alias to not find the end of the alias properly. The utilities package for maintaining the ext2, ext3 and ext4 file systems e2fsprogs 1.44.5 now allows for e2image to include Multiple Mount Protection block. Flatpak-builder 1.0.3, which allows developers to make applications that run on multiple Linux distributions, added a new default-branch manifest option to allow overridable. The 4.20.4 Linux Kernel was also made available in this snapshot. The python3 3.7.2 removed several patches and stopped applying the python-3.6.0-multilib-new.patch and applied the old proven python-3.6.0-multilib.patch instead. The sudo 1.8.27 package fixed a bug introduced in 1.8.22 where utm/p/utmpx would not be updated when a command was run in a pseudo-tty. The file manager package for the Xfce Desktop Environment thunar 1.8.4 add support for folder.jpg and fixed the standard view border during drag and drop. More than 30 other packages were updated in the snapshot.

Snapshot 20190201 has a pending unstable rating of 40, according to the Tumbleweed snapshot reviewer. Snapshot 20190202 is also trending unstable rating of 62. The newest snapshot, 20190205, is trending at a moderate rating of 79.

Voting Gets Underway for the 2018-2019 openSUSE Board Elections

Tuesday 5th of February 2019 01:17:11 AM
Cast Your Votes! We have done our part:  Now, You do Yours!

2018-2019 Election Poster contributed by Aris Winardi

The ballots are out and the 2-week voting process to choose three Board Members in the 2018-2019 openSUSE Board Elections now gets underway, with a total of seven top quality Candidates running.

If you are an openSUSE Member, you should have received an email with the elections url and your credential to log in and cast your vote. If you did not receive this e-mail, and if you are a qualified Member, you must contact the Elections Committee immediately.  You may cast your vote starting now and until February 15, 2019. You may also update your vote within this time-frame should you wish to do so. The election ballots will close February 15, 2019 at 12h00 UTC.

Members may vote for up to three out of the seven candidates whose biographies were published during the course of the previous weeks.

You can find out more about the Elections at the Official Wiki Page.

LibreOffice, php, GTK Packages Updated in Tumbleweed

Thursday 31st of January 2019 09:27:28 AM

Three openSUSE Tumbleweed snapshots were released this week.

The three snapshots delivered new versions of php7, poppler, gtk3 and LibreOffice. The first snapshot of the week completed all the package upgrades for KDE Applications, which began showing up in last week’s snapshots.

The most recent snapshot, 20190126, brought libreoffice 6.2.0.3, which added a patch to build with java-11.2; the new version also includes a patch submitted last week that has the basic rendering of organizational charts with LibreOffice’s SmartArt objects. There were plenty of security fixes made with java-11-openjdk 11.0.2.0 to include improved JPEG processing and web server connections. The jump from btrfsprogs 4.19.1 to 4.20.1 brought a new metadata Universally Unique Identifier (UUID) feature and a lightweight change of the UUID without rewriting all metadata became available in the newest version. There was a fix for GVariant tests on the P6 microarchitecture i686 with the update of glib2 2.58.3. The newest version of gnome-builder, 3.30.3, now uses –frame and –thread with the GNU Project debugger. Widget toolkit gtk3 3.24.4 had a few fixes for Wayland and updated translations. GNOME’s mobile-broadband-provider-info package was updated after almost two-years to the 20190116 version; the package provides mobile broadband settings for various service provider and a prepaid feature for Iliad telecommunications in Italy help trigger the updated version. Several bug fixes were made with the php7 7.3.1, which included a timevalue change for the curl_getinfo transfer. Significant changes were made in both poppler and poppler-qt5 0.72.0 to avoid cycles in PDF parsing and memory leak, respectively. Other packages updated in the snapshot worth noting were snapper  0.8.2, wicked and YaST.

Snapshot 20190125 only brought a handful of updated packages. The email, contacts and calendar server package cyrus-imapd  2.4.20 provided a fix for crash and a fix for a configured socket path is too long for its buffer. The package without a description, python-xcffib 0.6.0, was updated. The qpdf  8.3.0 and yast2-schema 4.1.1 packages were updated in the snapshot. Attackers can be thwarted with the upgrade of distributed messaging package zeromq 4.3.1.

Snapshot 20190124 completed all the package upgrades for KDE’s Applications 18.12.1, which offers about 20 bug fixes. Tumbleweed started the week with an upgrade of the Linux Kernel to 4.20.2. Indonesian and Spanish translations were updated with the libstorage-ng 4.1.78 update. The package for tracking mission-critical IT infrastructure, nagios 4.4.3, had more than a dozen fixes with one of those fixing a make error when building on the aarch64 architecture. The lightweight Music Player pragha 1.3.99 added a new visualizer plugin and remote desktop client remmina 1.3.0 added language detection and removed deprecated floating toolbar. A long list of changes were made with python-kiwi 9.17.1 package and yast2 packages had several changes for the network, firewall and apparmor packages.

Snapshot 20190124 recorded an unstable rating of 70, according to the Tumbleweed snapshot reviewer. Snapshot 20190125 is trending as moderately stable with a rating of 77 and snapshot 20190126 is trending as stable with a current rating of 88.

2018-2019 openSUSE Board Elections: Meet Marina Latini

Saturday 26th of January 2019 10:57:35 PM
Seven Candidates in Race for Three Vacant Board Seats

With only 8 days left to go until the ballots open on Monday, February 4, 2019, openSUSE News and the Elections Committee are running a “meet your candidates” series. Questions were sent out to the seven Candidates. The questions and answers will appear in the News, one Candidate each day.

You can find out more about the Elections at the Official Wiki Page.

Meet Marina Latini Intro/Biography

The Candidates were asked to give some biographical personal information, such as birthdate, age, their work, their openSUSE contributions, their hobby, and more, as they saw fit.

Hello, I’m Marina, and I was born in Italy, in a sunny July about 35 years ago. When I was a kid, I was always curious to discover how things are made, and my sister was always the victim of my curiosity. I broke a countless number of toys due to my need to know! Apart from some justified issues with her, this passion guided me to study computer science, and, in the same period, I finally discovered the FLOSS world.

Marina Latini aka deneb_alpha

Everything started around 2006 when a group of colleagues introduced me to Slackware, which shares a common history with what is nowadays openSUSE. That distro and that group of friends were the best way to learn a lot about GNU/Linux, how to properly recompile a kernel and the importance of knowledge sharing.

In the same group of friends, I also found a special one who shared with me twelve years of his life. After Slackware, the group was involved with Fedora, and we started to contribute actively as Fedora Ambassadors, organizing events in schools, university, and fairs.

In the same period, around 2007, I started to contribute to OpenOffice.org, mainly on localization and quality assurance.

My first encounter with openSUSE was in 2009, where I had the honour to organize the Software Freedom Day 2009 in Perugia together with our group, thanks to the introduction by Andrea Florio and Mariano Iumiento.

For the next four years, while I was promoting openSUSE and Fedora in parallel at various events and conferences, I was always using openSUSE as my main distribution, so I then decided to focus my main activities on that, ending my Fedora Ambassador role in November 2013.

I was one of the first Italian members of the LibreOffice community. I co-founded Associazione LibreItalia, and from 2016 on I am serving as The Document Foundation’s chairperson, being involved in several events, migrations, and trainings related to LibreOffice.

I worked at Studio Storti, an Italian company that provides open source solutions for Public Administrations, leading the LibreOffice Division.

In June 2018, I relocated to Munich, working at CIB mainly in its LibreOffice team as Senior Migrations & Deployments Engineer.

Why you are running for the openSUSE Board?

I’m a proud openSUSE user and Advocate, and I finally decided to try to give something back to the Community and the Project that gave me so much until now.

The openSUSE Board guides the Project and takes care of the needs of its Community. It’s that body that can make the difference. It’s the next step between a group of passionate geeks who are doing funny stuff together, and a professional group of people with a clear vision and mission that can grow a real healthy and international open source project.

I strongly believe that, for having a really healthy Community, we need to start to search where are our users. Social channels are used also by new users who can become new Contributors. As I like to say with friends from other communities, we can have the best software or operating system in the world, but users need to find proper Documentation and get in touch with the local communities.

2018-2019 Election Poster contributed by Aris Winardi

One more crucial topic for growing the number of Contributors is closing the gap and improving the Communication between the main Project and the local community. We respect each other, we invest our spare time as volunteers, and need to connect what is considered a local group of Contributors or users, and the others who are part of the international community.

There isn’t a unique recipe for promoting openSUSE that works in each country. Only by listening to the local communities can we improve and grow.

What I would also love to do is to interact much more with other projects that are probably encountering the very same questions. The knowledge sharing is one of the key elements of the open source movement, and we should start to listen to other voices that could come also from outside the openSUSE Project, listening to what is going on around us.

The mix and share of needs and ideas can foster openSUSE much more.

Last, but not least, we need to invest more time in the educational sector.

While interacting with the local communities, we could have the opportunity to organize more activities, for example, with universities, high schools or secondary schools for creating a large user base of Contributors.

I will be glad and honoured to serve the Community as Board Member, sharing what I learned and I’m learning while supporting other communities like Fedora or LibreOffice

Have a lot of fun!

What impact would you like to make as a member of the openSUSE Board?

For the past eight years, already, I have been involved in the LibreOffice community, as well as the local Italian community called LibreItalia, and for the past three years also The Document Foundation’s Board. I had the opportunity to see these groups grow, develop over time, become mature, and seeing easier and harder times, during which we’ve grown closer together.

I want to bring in this experience into the openSUSE Community, help us to grow, work together jointly and at the same time keep the true Community spirit alive.

Why should openSUSE members vote for you?

I am proud and honoured to run for election and serve the Project that has given me so much for many years, already. If the openSUSE Members vote for me, I will bring in all my experience and do all my best to support the Community. With my background from LibreOffice and The Document Foundation, I know the duties and responsibilities of such a role, and I am willing to give my best to keep openSUSE an open, inclusive, welcoming, amazing and – most important – fun Community.

What’s one thing people would find interesting about you that is not well known?

Life is too short to have only one passion ,and there’s so much more than just a computer, so, besides my activities in free and open source software, I’m a mad goalkeeper and I love using my telescope to look up to the stars (which is where my nickname originates from).

I’m also a music addict: When I’m not listening to the amazing, soul comforting Van Morrison, I play the accordion myself, a hobby which I started at the age of 8.

Contact information

I’m always happy to talk – write me at deneb_alpha AT opensuse.org, ping me on Telegram at @deneb_alpha or contact me on Freenode at deneb_alpha

2018-2019 openSUSE Board Elections: Meet Nathan Wolf

Saturday 26th of January 2019 01:01:49 AM
Seven Candidates in Race for Three Vacant Board Seats

With only 9 days left to go until the ballots open on Monday, February 4, 2019, openSUSE News and the Elections Committee are running a “meet your candidates” series. Questions were sent out to the seven Candidates. The questions and answers will appear in the News, one Candidate each day, in alphabetical order.

You can find out more about the Elections at the Official Wiki Page.

Meet Nathan Wolf Intro/Biography

The Candidates were asked to give some biographical personal information, such as birthdate, age, their work, their openSUSE contributions, their hobby, and more, as they saw fit.

I started with Linux in 2003 back when you could go into the local software store and buy a boxed set of SUSE, Redhat or Mandrake. So, I started on Mandrake, later Mandriva.

Nathan Wolf aka futureboy and CubicleNate

About 2005, I gave openSUSE my first spin due to better hardware support with dial up modems and sharing the blazing 56 kbaud speed with the other computers on the network. I shifted to openSUSE full time in 2011 after some distro hopping because the structure and layout just made sense as compared to the other available offerings.

I began contributing to openSUSE in 2013 when I had a need to document the process to set up using the smart card system for openSUSE Linux. I compiled the works from several sources to make a repeatable process to properly set up the smart card.

Not long after, I had to start understanding how to install Oracle Java. I updated those instructions on the Wiki and it kind of snowballed from there. I discovered at that point I really enjoy documenting processes of getting things working. Rather than just keep my instructions for myself only, I used the fantastic openSUSE Wiki to share my knowledge.

My day job is working for Whirlpool Corporation in the Advanced Design and Innovation department. I primarily work with CAD. I have worked on proof of concepts in using Virtual Reality systems for design validation and am moderately experienced in using 3D Printers.

As far as hobbies go, beyond playing with anything Linux, I enjoy retro tech; especially the Commodore 64 … well, pretty much anything Commodore, but the 64 was my first computer. I also enjoy baking, and thanks to openSUSE and its many tools, it has made my kitchen life much more efficient.

Why you are running for the openSUSE Board?

In my incredibly biased opinion, I think openSUSE is the best distribution of Linux, but not just for Leap and Tumbleweed, for everything else that goes along with it: The Open Build Service, openQA, Kiwi and YaST. There is an incredible story to be told about what makes openSUSE great.

Whether I am on the openSUSE Board or not, I make it a point to tell this story and share it with whomever is interested. I would like to continue the tell and further refine that story.

What impact would you like to make as a member of the openSUSE Board?

As an official Member of the Board, it will be my mission to be an Ambassador of the Project to as many Communities of which I am able and share what makes openSUSE great. For reasons that don’t make sense, openSUSE is often not in the broader conversation and it needs to be there. All the fantastic innovations and refinements to Linux and the related open source software need to be told.

My second mission is to do my best to network within the Community to the best of my ability to continue to improve and refine the openSUSE documentation through the Wiki to make openSUSE even more accessible for anyone interested.

It is my ambition to assist in understanding how to work with openSUSE as clear as possible. I want to make the learning process of the openSUSE Project as enjoyable as possible. openSUSE should have the best, clearest, easiest to understand and approachable Wiki out there.

My third mission is a selfish one. It is to make openSUSE the go-to distribution for all things in the engineering and manufacturing industry. Linux has been creeping into the industry more and more, and it only makes sense that openSUSE should be the distribution of choice for the home hobbiest, small and large businesses alike.

2018-2019 Election Poster contributed by Aris Winardi

Not only are Leap and Tumbleweed technically very sound distributions, but the additional components — OBS, openQA and the Wiki — make it the ideal ecosystem to deploy a targeted spin of the distribution or series of meta packages to bolt onto Leap or Tumbleweed to serve the industry.

Why should openSUSE members vote for you?

I will be open and accessible to openSUSE Members and the Community. I will remain positive and highlight all the good in the Project and the people within it. I will make a concerted effort to improve training and empower users to learn, grow, and own their hardware through openSUSE and it’s tools.

As a Board Member, I will do my best to network with the right individuals to bring about further improvements to the project. I will make it a point to uplift and edify the many Contributors and make sure they know how grateful I am, along with the Community for their time and talents. I want to ensure that openSUSE is the open, welcoming, and grateful community of which to be a part.

Whether I am elected to the Board or not, this entire process is a win for me. I am thrusting myself in front of the openSUSE Community, and in this process, I hope to get to know as many of the wonderful Contributors as possible. My hope is that I become more known, so that I may better Contribute to Documentation and make working with openSUSE even more enjoyable and individually empowering for all.

What’s one thing people would find interesting about you that is not well known?

I have not made it a secret that I am a fan of old tech and especially Commodore.  As a teenager, I made a game for the Amiga in the 1990s called Gator Mania. It is a 2D platform side scrolling game.

I spent well more than a year programming in AMOS Professional where I had to create my own method of displaying the screen tiles with the limited graphics memory, file format for the game levels, level builder, did the pixel art (with the help of an artist friend) and animation and for the time, created the best (in my opinion) character physics I had experienced at the time.

I wanted to do more with the game, but the Amiga fizzled out on me and I sort of moved away from the platform.

Contact information

Email me AT CubicleNate
Email futureboy AT opensuse.org
IRC CubicleNate on Freenode or irc.geekshed.net
Telegram https://t.me/CubicleNate
Webpage CubicleNate.com
Twitter CubicleNate on Twitter

Tumbleweed Gets New grep, Linux Kernel 4.20

Friday 25th of January 2019 08:22:15 AM

A total of two snapshots have arrived in openSUSE Tumbleweed since last week’s article about the rolling release.

The two snapshots delivered new versions of grep, VLC, KDE Applications and Frameworks, Thunderbird, wireshark and more.

The latest snapshot, 20190121, provided updates of KDE Applications 18.12.1 and Frameworks 5.54.0. Applications 18.12.1 offers about 20 bug fixes. Sorting columns in the JuK music player has been fixed, Akregator now works with WebEngine from Qt 5.11 or newer and Konsole once again correctly renders box-drawing characters. Breeze Icons added YaST and new preference icons with the update to Frameworks 5.54.0, which also fixed a bug in KIO that made the open url in the tab feature a bit more discoverable. Kwayland also fixed XDGForeign Client header installs. Support for 12 bits decoding of AV1 was added with vlc 3.0.6. A minor update to GNU Compiler Collection 8 includes a backport of asm inline. The lightweight Integrated Development Environment geany 1.34.1 now automatically detects the GTK version to build against. A patch was made to the update of java-12-openjdk 12.0.0.0~26, which included a fix that introduces a diagnostic flag to abort Virtual Machines operating too long. A fix for Mariabackup that failed to copy encrypted InnoDB system tablespace of the log sequence numbers (LSN) was made with mariadb 10.2.21. Visual diff and merge tool meld 3.20.0 added an Enter as a Compare accelerator in folder comparisons. The update of mutt 1.11.2 fixed a compilation with the latest OpenSSL version along with various other bug fixes. Several rubygem packages were also updated in the snapshot. Two recent issues were fixed in the purple-facebook 0.9.6 package; one addressed a failed to get sync_sequence_id and the other was a failed to read fixed header. Samba 4.9.4 addressed two Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures(CVE)  including a fix of a CNAME loop prevention using counter regression.

The snapshot that started the week was 20190115 and it brought the 4.20.0 Linux Kernel and Mozilla Thunderbird 60.4.0, which added WebExtensions FileLink Application Programming Interface (API) to facilitate FileLink add-ons. More than 30 performance improvements were made with the update of grep 3.3, which now diagnoses stack overflow. The Advanced Linux Sound Architecture  package alsa  1.1.8 dropped some obsolete patches and added a Unified Change Management  (UCM) setting for Dell Edge IoT platforms. Parser generator bison updated to version 3.2.4. An update to GNOME’s personal information management application evolution 3.30.4 clamps GSettings values before restoring window size. A jump was make from libvirt-glib 1.0.0 to 2.0.0 and it modernize gobject macro usage. Among notable packages updated in the snapshot were gucharmap 11.0.3, mercurial 4.8.2, python-pyOpenSSL 18.0.0, sqlite3 3.26.0 and wireshark 2.6.6.

Snapshot 20190115 recorded an unstable rating of 61, according to the Tumbleweed snapshot reviewer. Snapshot 20190121 is trending at as moderately stable with a rating of 78.

2018-2019 openSUSE Board Elections: Meet Vinzenz Vietzke

Friday 25th of January 2019 01:27:48 AM
Seven Candidates in Race for Three Vacant Board Seats

With only 10 days left to go until the ballots open on Monday, February 4, 2019, openSUSE News and the Elections Committee are running a “meet your candidates” series. Questions were sent out to the seven Candidates. The questions and answers will appear in the News, one Candidate each day, in alphabetical order.

You can find out more about the Elections at the Official Wiki Page.

Meet Vinzenz Vietzke Intro/Biography

The Candidates were asked to give some biographical personal information, such as birthdate, age, their work, their openSUSE contributions, their hobby, and more, as they saw fit.

My name is Vinzenz Vietzke, but sticking with the much shorter “vinz” or “vinzv” is what I prefer. I’m 34 years old, live in a small town in southern Germany.

Vinzenz Vietzke aka vinzv

Like most German Linux users around my age, I made my first steps with S.u.S.E. back in the late 1990s. Over the years, I moved across various distributions and contributed to quite a few of them in different ways. My day job is product management and marketing at Linux hardware vendor TUXEDO Computers.

Starting with just one laptop running openSUSE, we at TUXEDO now offer around 20 different models plus a wide range of desktop PCs with Leap 15 pre-installed. Customers also get free lifetime support for their preinstalled system. Therefore, of course, our free phone/email tech support team need to be trained for openSUSE as well.

For this whole project, I was, and still am, in charge as the tech and project lead to “bring” openSUSE onto TUXEDO’s computers. I got in touch with oS, worked out how and when we get everything done.

In addition to technical affairs, I’m the pushing person at TUXEDO Computers to make our company step up with supporting openSUSE. As a result, since October 2018, we are officially sponsoring the openSUSE project.

We offer any of our models as demo and workshop devices at no cost and take care for the logistics and event booth support. Furthermore we’re sponsoring oSC19 in Nuremberg with demo and install fest machines.

Of course, these things are mainly financial efforts and company internal projects. Yet, to get openSUSE a wider reception, there needs to be someone coordinating, pushing, and taking care. That’s why I call my contributions to openSUSE mostly “meta contributions”.

Why you are running for the openSUSE Board?

Working together with both the Board and openSUSE devs during the last year really was a blast. There were huge efforts, ideas, and helping hands everywhere. And, as I’m no developer myself, serving at the Board would be a way to give something back.

2018-2019 Election Poster contributed by Aris Winardi

Furthermore, I believe it’s important for the Community to have various candidates to pick from. And as I have the time I kinda feel obliged to at least offer my help.

What impact would you like to make as a member of the openSUSE Board?

From my perspective, the Board has two main roles: First and foremost, it is some kind of service provider. It serves the whole project as contact point for questions, projects coordination, and pointing in directions, etc.

This is crucial for the whole openSUSE Project and should never be changed, but merely extended if possible.

The second role might be named as “ideas sparking pot”. Most ideas coming from the Community are of a technical nature, which is entirely logical. Just, sometimes, there are things that the whole Project would benefit from, but no one sees them or has time to do so.

This is where the Board could jump in throwing sparks and giving input from someone being able to take a step back for viewing the bigger picture.

My role in this Board Team would both being approachable and helpful, for part one. But, also to give thoughts and ideas when needed, especially in the second part mentioned.

Why should openSUSE members vote for you?

I’ve been into Linux and open source communities for about 10 years now. Though I’m not a long term Contributor for openSUSE, I know how “things work” in such a big, diverse project, and how to handle this stuff.

If you want to get someone with no “Geeko glasses” on you should vote for me. Not that being deeply inside openSUSE’s Community is a bad thing! But I can bring in new perspectives, most of them related to end-users, Windows-ditchers, and the curious, but not tech-savvy, people. I both understand developers and tech people on the one hand, as well as people who are buying Linux preinstalled hardware with little will to tinker around.

This way I act as some proxy between those worlds which in the end might be good for everyone involved.

What’s one thing people would find interesting about you that is not well known?

I am a professionally trained pre-school teacher, which one might find useful for mailing list threads.

Contact information

Email: vinz AT vinzv.de
XMPP: vinz@vinzv.de
IRC: vinzv@freenode

Kubic is now a certified Kubernetes distribution

Thursday 24th of January 2019 09:03:25 AM

Published by Richard Brown on Jan 22, 2019 on kubic.opensuse.org

The openSUSE Kubic team is proud to announce that as of yesterday, our Kubic distribution has become a Certified Kubernetes Distribution! Notably, it is the first open source Kubernetes distribution to be certified using the CRI-O container runtime!

What is Kubernetes Certification?

Container technologies in general, and Kubernetes in particular, are becoming increasingly common and widely adopted by enthusiasts, developers, and companies across the globe. A large ecosystem of software and solutions is evolving around these technologies. More and more developers are thinking “Cloud Native” and producing their software in containers first, often targeting Kubernetes as their intended platform for orchestrating those containers. And put bluntly, they want their software to work.

But Kubernetes isn’t like some other software with this sort of broad adoption. Even though it’s being used in scenarios large and small, from small developer labs to large production infrastructure systems, Kubernetes is still a fast-moving project, with new versions appearing very often and a support lifespan shorter than other similar projects. This presents real challenges for people who want to download, deploy and run Kubernetes clusters and know they can run the things they want on top of it.

When you consider the fast moving codebase and the diverse range of solutions providing or integrating with Kubernetes, that is a lot of moving parts provided by a lot of people. That can feel risky to some people, and lead to doubt that something built for Kubernetes today might not work tomorrow.

Thankfully, this a problem the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) is tackling. The CNCF helps to build a community around open source container software, and established the Kubernetes Software Conformance Certification to further that goal. Certified Kubernetes solutions are validated by the CNCF. They check that versions, APIs, and such are all correct, present, and working as expected so users and developers can be assured their Kubernetes-based solutions will work with ease, now and into the future.

 

Why Certify Kubic?

The openSUSE Project has a long history of tackling the problem of distributing fast-moving software.

Tumbleweed and Kubic are simultaneously both two of the fastest and most stable rolling release distributions available.

With the Open Build Service and openQA we have an established pipeline that guarantees we only release software when it is built and tested both collectively and reproducibly.

Our experience with btrfs and snapper means that even in the event of an unwanted (or heaven forbid, broken) change to a system, users can immediately rollback to a system state that works the way they want it to.

With Transactional Updates, we ensure that no change ever happens to a running system. This futher guarantees that any rollback can return a system to a clean state in a single atomic operation.

In Kubic, we leverage all of this to build an excellent container operating system, providing users with the latest versions of exciting new tools like Podman, CRI-O, Buildah, and (of course) Kubernetes.

We’re keeping up with all of those fast moving upstream projects, often releasing our packages within days or sometimes even hours of an upstream release.

But we’re careful not to put users at risk, releasing Kubic in sync with the larger openSUSE Tumbleweed distribution, sharing the same test and release pipeline, so we can be sure if either distribution makes changes that breaks the other, neither ships anything to users.

So we’ve solved all the problems with fast moving software, so why certify?

2018-2019 openSUSE Board Elections: Meet Sébastien Poher

Thursday 24th of January 2019 12:10:27 AM
Seven Candidates in Race for Three Vacant Board Seats

With only 11 days left to go until the ballots open on Monday, February 4, 2019, openSUSE News and the Elections Committee are running a “meet your candidates” series. Questions were sent out to the seven Candidates. The questions and answers will appear in the News, one Candidate each day, in alphabetical order.

You can find out more about the Elections at the Official Wiki Page.

Meet Sébastien Poher Intro/Biography

The Candidates were asked to give some biographical personal information, such as birthdate, age, their work, their openSUSE contributions, their hobby, and more, as they saw fit.

My name is Sébastien Poher, aka sogal or sogal_geeko. I am 35 years old now and live in France, between Lyon and Grenoble, where I work.

I am a GNU/Linux system administrator, but this is a second professional life. Before that I got graduated in logistics and transport and I worked as logistician in the civilian world and, during several years, in the French army. Right after that, I wanted to do something different and went back to school for 2 years in order to study system and networking administration.

Sébastien Poher aka sogal

During the last 3 years, I worked for the IT service in an archaeological company where we have been using openSUSE for years on our workstations and some servers. I recently quit and join Probesys, a small cooperative company.

My first contributions were done amongst a Debian user community, called Debian-Facile (french for “Debian made easy”), as well as translator for FSF news and bulletin inside the April GNU-Trad team.

I start using openSUSE (Leap) in late 2016 after switching from Debian that I used for some times but felt it did not fit my needs anymore. I was looking for a more balance and adaptable operating system. This is when I really and definitely fell in love with openSUSE. I start contributing in early 2017, thanks to the OBS, by packaging small utility software and I now maintain a dozen of packages.

I am also involved in the French openSUSE community. I started to write articles about openSUSE in the Alionet (the name of a French openSUSE users association) forum, I translate project news and relay them in several social medias. In the “writing” part of my activities I have contributed to the French openSUSE wiki. Last year I got elected as Alionet’s president and I am happy with it, there is quite a lot of work to do but we are a small group of motivated people and things are moving fine.

In 2018, I also held openSUSE booths during 4 important FLOSS events and sometimes make openSUSE Project presentations. Such events are a good opportunity to meet old and new users, but also volunteers of other communities such as Debian, Fedora, Mageia, LibreOffice, April and to have some cross-community chats.

I am also an apprentice drums player, I love stoner rock and metal music, craft beer, strangely flavored teas, mountain walks and vegan food.

Why you are running for the openSUSE Board?

To be honest, I had no plan of doing so in the first place. You may know that feeling “No… I can’t do it, I am not a highly skilled developer, just a small contributor, blablabla”. Then I saw the announcement, stating that there was not candidate yet. And I thought “What if there is really not candidates in the end? Will the project will suffer from it or no? As a project member, shouldn’t I try to help more?”.

2018-2019 Election Poster contributed by Aris Winardi

I do not have children, I have spare time, I like this project and think it is sane and fun. So why not keep on contributing in a different way? My inner self could not find any objection to it, so I applied!

What impact would you like to make as a member of the openSUSE Board?

If I get elected, what I would like to work on first is a periodic, user-friendly, newspaper. Not on how openSUSE is done: We already benefit from high quality, very technical, news about the development of openSUSE, Tumbleweed and YaST. But I think there is a room for news that answer the question: “What could a user do with openSUSE in everyday life? And what benefit could openSUSE brings to users who consider switching from another operating system?”

As a Project, openSUSE is not only Leap and Tumbleweed, there are other sub-projects in it that deserve to be under the spotlight sometimes.

There are good examples out there that can be inspiring :

  • The Fedora Magazine
  • The monthly FSF Supporter (translated each month by volunteers)

I will also be happy to get in contact with local users groups and see how they can be involved in a process of translation and relay of this news. And, the other way round, I would like to have the project communicate more about what local communities are doing.

Beside that, I do not fool myself: being a Board Member does not only mean having great ideas and being the super-hero that makes them real. A considerable part of the job is about less fun, administrative tasks such as writing tons of e-mails, organizing meetings, writing minutes and so on. That is sometimes an ungrateful job, but it needs to be done so that each and everyone in the project can focus on its own tasks.

Why should openSUSE members vote for you?

Well, because my sincere interest in openSUSE and my ability to deal with issues in a peaceful but steady and persistent way make me a good candidate. Through the diversity of previous experiences I had in professional and associative life, I have learned how to deal successfully with this kind of tasks.

The openSUSE Project is wide and diversified and I believe the Board should represent this diversity.

My various contributions show that I can be a good bridge toward the non-technical users sphere and that I have a clear view of what could be done to increase the openSUSE popularity amongst them.

What’s one thing people would find interesting about you that is not well known?

I was at the top of Mont Blanc at 8:00 AM on the 13th of August 2011 :) (and yes, I went there on foot).

Contact information

Email: sogal AT opensuse.org (to be preferred if you expect a quick answer)
on IRC under the nick ‘sogal’
Dispora : https://framasphere.org/people/d6a934c00f7b013456072a0000053625
Mastodon : https://fosstodon.org/@sogal
Twitter : https://twitter.com/sogal_geek

2018-2019 openSUSE Board Elections: Meet incumbent Sarah Julia Kriesch

Wednesday 23rd of January 2019 12:09:59 AM
Seven Candidates in Race for Three Vacant Board Seats

With less than two weeks to go until the ballots open on Monday, February 4, 2019, openSUSE News and the Elections Committee are running a “meet your candidates” series. Questions were sent out to the seven Candidates. The questions and answers will appear in the News, one Candidate each day, in alphabetical order.

You can find out more about the Elections at the Official Wiki Page.

Meet Sarah Julia Kriesch
Intro/Biography

The Candidates were asked to give some biographical personal information, such as birthdate, age, their work, their openSUSE contributions, their hobby, and more, as they saw fit.

My name is Sarah Julia Kriesch. I am 31 years old and a work-experienced Student in Computer Science with a pre-education as a Computer Science Expert for System Integration. I had worked as a Linux System Administrator for an ISP and a Linux Systems Engineer at a Cloud Computing Provider for 4 years.

Sarah Julia Kriesch aka AdaLovelace, incumbent

I am watching my studies as further education in Software Development, I have received the scholarship Aufstiegsstipendium to do that. Firstly, I worked as a Working Student for ownCloud besides my studies. Currently, I am a Student Research Assistant at my home university.

I learned using Linux at the beginning of my dual education in 2009. SLES 10 was my first Linux distribution. I wanted to know more. Therefore, I went to the oSC 11 as my first Linux conference. I met a fantastic openSUSE Community and learned more in 1 week than in 3 years in my education company. So I wanted to join. I was not allowed to contribute to openSUSE during my last year of education, because my education company did not want to see that.

They filtered Google after all contributions in forums and communities. That‘s the reason for my anonymous nickname AdaLovelace at openSUSE. I had to wait for joining openSUSE again until my first job in 2012 where I worked together with Contributors/ Members of Debian, FreeBSD and Fedora.

I started with German translations at openSUSE with half a year of work experience. Most of you know me from oSCs (since 2011). I was Member of the Video Team, the Registration Desk and contributed as a Speaker. Since 2013 I am wiki maintainer in the German/ English wiki and admin there. I report bugs if I find some and create feature requests.

Since 2014 I am an active Advocate in Germany. I give yearly presentations, organize booths and take part in different Open Source Events. I have switched to events in the UK during my Study Abroad Semester in the last year. In addition, I am the Global/ German Coordinator Localization and one Founder of the Heroes Team.

I contribute and support if I watch something needed. The open source education is such a case. So I founded the Working Group Open Source at the Nuremberg Institute of Technology because our lecturer for Linux Development has left our university a short time before my first day there. I am teaching foundations for open source development, Linux installations, shell programming and more together with my team and community volunteers.

Other universities have forked this concept for Computer Science with open source workshops. Additionally, we are bringing openSUSE forward at different faculties at our university. We are working on our IT project to migrate the Linux laboratory to openSUSE Leap with Kerberos this semester.

Why you are running for the openSUSE Board?

I am staying behind the openSUSE Community and want to have happy Community Members. My role in the openSUSE Board has been to do right decisions and to resolve conflicts. I support if somebody needs that. I represent openSUSE and receive feedback from our users. I want to continue that all.

2018-2019 Election Poster contributed by Aris Winardi

Two years are more quickly left than you can imagine and I am running for re-election for the openSUSE Board!

What impact would you like to make as a member of the openSUSE Board?

I try to receive new Contributors to our community with education. Qualified new Contributors are required to receive promising future prospects for openSUSE. Additionally, I want to concentrate more on the well-being of the openSUSE Community. You don‘t receive new Contributors if you don‘t have the correct climate in the community. I want to build that on the introduction of the Board publicity by our elected Board Members in the last year.

That would improve the collaboration and respect within openSUSE. Another election pledge is the switch from DVDs to USB flash drives in the marketing material.

Why should openSUSE members vote for you?

I am well connected inside and outside of openSUSE with a big open source network. I know most important people in the community and desire to create the best decisions for you with the view of a Computer Scientist with Sysadmin experience. I am desperate to become a long term openSUSE Contributor. So I don’t want to change the Community.

I have been an openSUSE Board Member in the last 2 years and you know me in this position. I am much obliged to be an elected Board Member for additional 2 years.

What’s one thing people would find interesting about you that is not well known?

I am educated by communities and want to do so, too. I contribute to open source to improve the world.

Contact information

Email: sarah.kriesch AT opensuse.org
Blog: https://sarah-julia-kriesch.eu
facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sarahjulia.kriesch
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sarah-julia-kriesch-16874b82
Connect: https://connect.opensuse.org//pg/profile/AdaLovelace
Github: https://github.com/skriesch





2018-2019 openSUSE Board Elections: Meet Dr. Axel Braun

Tuesday 22nd of January 2019 12:13:41 AM
Seven Candidates in Race for Three Vacant Board Seats

With less than two weeks to go until the ballots open on Monday, February 4, 2019, openSUSE News and the Elections Committee are running a “meet your candidates” series. Questions were sent out to the seven Candidates. The questions and answers will appear in the News, one Candidate each day, in alphabetical order.

You can find out more about the Elections at the Official Wiki Page.

Meet Dr. Axel Braun
Intro/Biography

The Candidates were asked to give some biographical personal information, such as birthdate, age, their work, their openSUSE contributions, their hobby, and more, as they saw fit.

I’m an electrical engineer by education, and wrote my PhD about helical shieldings of medium-voltage XLPE cables. That was already in the pre-Google era as I’m 57 in between.

Currently I work as a business consultant for mostly large companies. Supply chain topics, introduction of ERP systems (I have a long SAP history) and program or project management. Most of these projects are international, with teams located across all timezones.

Dr. Axel Braun aka DocB

I started with S.u.S.E. in the late 90’s, as OS/2 was about to disappear, and there was no real other operating system alternative available (this is still true, but thats a different story). SuSE at that time had the nice boxes with tons of floppies and a printed manual. Great!

The advantage over other distros was, that is was easy to handle for an end-user (YaST….). Not every release change went smooth (not to forget, there were a couple of technical changes on the road) but for me it worked mostly.

My contribution to openSUSE nowadays is mostly the maintenance of various packages, as well as every now and then support on mailing lists – but mostly there are more skilled people than I am who are faster in answering.

My main focus is the packaging of GNU Health, which is a free (as in freedom) health and hospital information system. Setting-up an ERP System is not like installing a browser, and its the biggest challenge for most users.

The goal was to make installation easy to for non-technical users, and we have reached this so far! As Ludwig Nussel has given the encouragement, GNU Health is now shipped with the Leap Standard Distribution. Currently the new release is on the way to Factory, to have it shipped with Leap 15.1.

Some other packages are on my list: I have just packages OnionShare, to safely share files via a TOR Onion Service, converted the hylafax+ package from cron to systemd-timers, and started packaging the Orthanc Server (to display medical images in DICOM format) for openSUSE. For the plugins there will be some nodejs knowledge required….feel free to contact me if you want to help!

Any my life outside of tech and work? I have 2 kids of 20 and 25 which I only see randomly, but which leaves room for activities: Going sailing and surfing, ski and snowboard, running (only short distances, knee problems stopped me from running marathons), motorbiking (knee slider are not used anymore, did a restoration on a 1978 Yamaha DT 400 MX, a two-stroke Enduro) and an old cars that wants to be driven in the sunshine.

Why you are running for the openSUSE Board?

First of all, I think openSUSE is the best distro on the market (my fully subjective view, of course). Second, I’m committed to the philosophy of free software, and free software is about collaboration.

The current board has done an incredibly good job, and I would like to help with continuing the work in order to support and grow the Community. I feel we all share the same target: To build the best Distro in the market, and still have a lot of fun with this!

What impact would you like to make as a member of the openSUSE Board?

I will try to move openSUSE out of the server room and more on to the desktop of users. It is more than mature for every-day-usage.

Companies, especially those in the public sector, should be encouraged in the use of free software and open standards, to gain back digital sovereignty, save costs and increase security and privacy. Here we should enter discussions with officials. Ideally.

2018-2019 Election Poster contributed by Aris Winardi

I know it is difficult as this is not a topic to gain votes for officials. But I feel if we address this as a whole community, it has more impact than talking as individuals.

Why should openSUSE members vote for you?

Because it would be a mistake not to do it! LOL

Seriously, though, I have not only a technical, but as well a business view on certain topics, I feel this can add to the skillset of the board

What’s one thing people would find interesting about you that is not well known?

Well, no scary hidden secrets that come to my mind.

But there are always incidents that are scary when they happen, but look funny afterwards. Traveling is always good for unexpected incidents: In 2001 I was visiting a customer production site 200km south of Warsaw in Poland.

Highways in Poland at that time were 2 lane roads, with horse and cart on the right lane, and pedestrians crossing. Every now and then the speed is reduced to 70. Of course I missed this, because I was on the phone and driving, and got stopped by the police.

I stepped out of the car and brought out my only two Polish words, Dzień dobry (Good day!)! The policemen started shouting at me in Polish, and after we clarified the language obstacles he made clear (in broken english) that I drove 97 instead of 70, and should follow to the police-car.

In the car they wanted a fine, which I was willing to pay, but I had no Zloty,
and only 10 or 20 Deutschmark in Cash. So they asked “What can we do?”

“Well,” I said, “can I pay with credit card?”

They looked at me like an alien, then at each other and discussed in Polish. No, that would not be possible. What can we do?

“Hm,” I said, “can we drive to an ATM (cash machine)?”. I felt like I was standing with one
leg in jail already.

Once again, they looked at me, then at each other and discussed in Polish. No, that would not be possible. What can we do?

I felt the second leg was moving into jail…so in honey words I prayed this really lovely country and the nice people, but if we have no way to pay the fine, I can only express my sincere apologies, and swear I will never drive too fast again.

They stared at me……handcuffs now?

After another internal discussion, and to my big surprise, they let me go, but I should make sure “they never catch me again”. For sure, I drove really slowly.

When I arrived at the plant, I told the story to the manager, and he laughed loud: “You stupid! ‘What can we do’ usually means they want slush money!”

That was a thing that was completely out of my mind

Contact information

Email: DocB AT opensuse.org
IRC: DocB on freenode
Twitter: @coogor





2018-2019 openSUSE Board Elections: Meet incumbent Christian Boltz

Monday 21st of January 2019 04:11:03 AM
Seven Candidates in Race for Three Vacant Board Seats

With two weeks to go until the ballots open on Monday, February 4, 2019, openSUSE News and the Elections Committee are running a “meet your candidates” series. Questions were sent out to the seven Candidates. The questions and answers will appear in the News, one Candidate each day, in alphabetical order.

You can find out more about the Elections at the Official Wiki Page.

Meet Christian Boltz
Intro/Biography

The Candidates were asked to give some biographical personal information, such as birthdate, age, their work, their openSUSE contributions, their hobby, and more, as they saw fit.

I’m Christian Boltz, 38 years old, and live in Insheim, Germany.

I have been using openSUSE for many years (it was still named “SuSE Linux” with lowercase “u” back when I began using it) and started annoying people in bugzilla, er, started betatesting in the 9.2 beta phase. Since then, I have reported more than 1300 bugs.

Christian Boltz aka cboltz, incumbent

Nowadays, OBS ruins my bugzilla statistics by introducing the option to send a SR. ;-)

One of my current activities in openSUSE is working in the Heroes team, where I started with moving and upgrading the wiki. I also help out on various *.opensuse.org servers since someone was evil enough to give me root permissions on lots of them ;-)

(Transparency note: I helped to setup the elections.opensuse.org server before last year’s elections – but will of course not touch it until the elections finish.)

My other openSUSE hobbies are AppArmor and PostfixAdmin, where I’m active in upstream development and as packager.

AppArmor also turned out to be a good opportunity for cross-distribution collaboration – with the funny side effect that I’m probably the only one who ever spoke at a DebConf wearing an openSUSE t-shirt.


Oh, and I have been a Member of the openSUSE Board for about two years. I would like to continue this “job”, and therefore I am running for re-election. My day job has nothing to do with computers. I produce something you can drink that is named after a software we ship in openSUSE.

Why you are running for the openSUSE Board?

I enjoyed working on the Board and helping the Community whenever needed in the last two years, and I’m willing to continue this in the next two years. That doesn’t mean that I’ll stop doing that in case I don’t get re-elected, but being a Board member makes a few things easier.

What impact would you like to make as a member of the openSUSE Board?

I don’t have a plan for “doing a big change” – I’ll let promising that to our beloved (?) politicians and their election posters. Unlike politicians, my /dev/brain isn’t good at forgetting what I promised.

Instead, I follow the mailinglists etc. to learn about the issues and problems people hit, and unsurprisingly (you remember my bugzilla numbers?) sometimes I also run into problems myself – both technical and non-technical.

2018-2019 Election Poster contributed by Aris Winardi

If there’s something that needs improvement and looks doable, then I try to get that improvement done in the way that looks most promising. For technical problems, that can mean to encourage people to report bugs, talk to the responsible people, or to simply do a submit request if the problem is easily fixable and the bugzilla paperwork would take more time than actually doing it.

If the problem is “political”, then the obvious way is doing it via the Board, but that doesn’t stop me from using “less official” ways if they look easier and/or more promising.

Push for Solutions

For example, I annoyed various SUSE people about the non-public SLE bugs since years – long before I was a Board member. It took a very long time, but now we at least have bugshare. I know it is only a far from perfect workaround, but it’s still better than nothing. If a chance comes up to make more SLE bugs public, I’ll be annoying enough to get it done.

But: SLE bugs often involve customer data, so I won’t and can’t promise this.

Luckily most problems don’t take that long. I’m really a fan of fixing issues quickly instead of letting people suffer from them for a long time. Especially small things should (and can!) be solved quickly.

In the places I’m involved (including, but not only the Board), people know me for reminding them of pending issues. Maybe they sometimes hate me for doing that, but I can live with that if it means to get something fixed faster.

OTOH, I always try to be balanced and listen to both sides, which is useful when helping to resolve a conflict (which luckily isn’t needed too often thanks to our great community) and in many other cases.

Why should openSUSE members vote for you?

I’ll be lazy here, and hope that what I wrote above already answered this. As I already wrote two years ago: I tend to kick people to ensure they work faster and fix things. This is your chance to kick me!

Oh, and if there’s only one bottle of openSUSE beer left, I’m the best person to have in the queue between you and the barkeeper because I don’t drink beer (not even openSUSE beer).

What’s one thing people would find interesting about you that is not well known?

If you hoped that I’ll disclose what my day job is, I have to disappoint you. The hint in the biography should be enough to find out yourself. Instead, I’ll tell you about a trick I sometimes use, even if that comes with the risk of “burning” that trick:

I sometimes ask so-called “silly questions”. That can happen if I really have no idea what’s going on, but more often than not, it’s a way of telling someone “I know that this is wrong/broken” in a less offending way.

Contact information

IRC: cboltz on freenode and oftc

Mail: cboltz AT opensuse.org or opensuse AT cboltz.de

Blog: https://blog.cboltz.de

You can also find me on several mailinglists, and of course I still scare people in bugzilla. I‘m also a regular visitor and speaker at the openSUSE Conference, and visit other conferences as time permits. For example, you can meet me at FOSDEM in about two weeks.


Tumbleweed Starts Year with New Plasma, Applications, VIM, curl

Friday 18th of January 2019 10:01:34 AM

This new year has brought several updated packages to users of openSUSE’s rolling release Tumbleweed.

Three snapshots have been released in 2019 so far and among the packages updated in the snapshots are KDE’s Plasma, VIM, RE2, QEMU and curl.

The 20190112 snapshot brought a little more than a handful of packages. The new upstream Long-Term-Support version of nodejs10 10.15.0 addressed some timing vulnerabilities, updated a dependency with an upgrade to OpenSSL 1.1.0j and the versional also has a 40-seconds timeout that is now applied to servers receiving HTTP headers. The changelog listed several fixes for the highly configurable text editor with vim 8.1.0687, which should now be able to be built with Ruby 2.6.0 that was released at the end of December. Google’s re2 20190101 offered some performance tweaks and bug fixes. The fast real-time compression algorithm of zstd 1.3.8 has better decompression speed on large files. There was a change in the yast2-firewall package, which arrived in the the 20190110 snapshot, that allows new ‘forward_ports’, ‘rich_rules’ and ‘source_ports’ elements in zone entries with yast2-schema 4.1.0.

KDE’s Plasma 5.14.5 arrived in snapshot 20190110; the update fixed the max cache limit for Plasma addons and there were updates for Breeze GTK, Discover, KWin, Plasma Workspace, Powerdevil and more. The Intel tool that provides powersaving modes in userspace, kernel and hardware, powertop 2.10, enabled support for Intel GLK, which was formerly known as Gemini Lake, and support for Intel CNL-U/Y. The geolocations services package geoclue2 2.5.2 had a change that allow multiple clients on the same D-Bus connection and adds an application programming interface (API) for it, which was mainly done for the Flatpak location portal. The IRC client irssi 1.1.2 had multiple fixes and synced a new script. GNOME’s jhbuild 3.28.0 enabled a build of libosinfo tests. Translations were update for Czech with libstorage-ng 4.1.75 through Weblate and several YaST packages were updated, including yast2 4.1.48 and yast2-multipath 4.1.1, which had a fix for the use of a random file name.

The first snapshot of the year was extremely huge. Snapshot 20190108 updated more than a hundred packages. KDE’s Application 18.12.0 were updated and it brought more than 140 bugs fixes for applications like Kontact Suite, Cantor, Dolphin, Gwenview, KmPlot, Okular, Spectacle, Umbrello and more. The update of curl 7.63.0 had a fix for IPv6 numeral address parser along with several other fixes and a support session resume with TLS 1.3 protocol via OpenSSL. Apparmor 2.13.2 fixed a syntax error in rc.apparmor.functions, which could cause policy load failures. The Linux Kernel 4.19.12 was in the first snapshot of the year and should move closer to the latest stable version in the coming weeks. Various fixes and compatibility tweaks were made with the update of libreoffice 6.1.4.2, which removed some patches. The compression format package brotli 1.0.7 now has faster decoding on ARM. The newest version of claws-mail 3.17.3, added support for TLS Server Name Indication (SNI), which enables the sending of a hostname, if available, to the server so that it can select the appropriate certificate for a domain; this is useful for servers that host multiple domains on the same IP address. Other noteworthy updates were  Python-setuptools 40.6.3, qemu 3.1.0 and squid 4.5.

All snapshots have either logged or are treading as moderately stable with a rating of 83 or above, according to the Tumbleweed snapshot reviewer. There are more than 300 packages in staging that will likely be released in several snapshots over the coming weeks.

And the Race is On! 2018-2019 openSUSE Board Elections Enter Campaign Phase

Tuesday 15th of January 2019 02:01:25 AM

Nominations and applications for Candidates came to a close Sunday, January 13, 2019, and the Campaign Phase of the 2018-2019 openSUSE Board Elections kicked in Monday, January 14, with a seventh impressive Candidate, Marina Latini aka deneb_alpha entering the race for the three vacant Board Seats.

Marina Latini aka deneb_alpha

Marina is a very active Italian openSUSE Advocate, involved in the Project since 2009, deeply involved in LibreOffice.  She relocated to Munich last June, where she is working for CIB mainly on its LibreOffice team as Senior Migrations & Deployments Engineer.  You may read more about Marina on her Wiki User page.

Marina joins an already impressive line-up of Quality Candidates who announced they were stepping up during the past week, adding to what will be very tough decisions for the Voters in the upcoming Elections.  Official openSUSE Members in Good Standing are qualified to vote in the Elections, and they will have to make difficult choices for who should take the three open Board Seats, choosing between Marina, incumbent Christian Boltz aka cboltz, Dr. Axel Braun aka DocB, incumbent Sarah Julia Kriesch aka AdaLovelace, Sébastien Poher aka sogal, Vinzenz Vietzke aka vinzv, and Nathan Wolf aka futureboy and CubicleNate on IRC.

Sarah and Sébastien’s run for the Board was announced in last Wednesday’s openSUSE News, while the Candidacies of Christian, Dr. Braun, Vinzenz, and  Nathan were announced in the next day’s news article.

Drive Still Underway for New openSUSE Members

The Elections Committee would like to remind all openSUSE Contributors that a healthy Project is only possible if it has a robust roster of Members, and it is especially important for the Elections process.

2018-2019 Election Poster contributed by Aris Winardi

Applications for openSUSE Membership are accepted and processed on an ongoing basis, but a Membership Drive has been declared by the Elections Officials in an effort to get as many qualified Project Contributors to take part in the voting process, which is scheduled to begin February 4, 2019, and run for 12 days with ballots closing February 15.

Contributors Should Get Involved

All openSUSE Contributors and Members are requested to actively urge other Contributors who are not Members to get their Membership and get out and vote.  All Members who have been approved by the Membership Committee before the start of balloting February 4 will be eligible to vote in this election.

You can apply for openSUSE Membership by following the instructions here.

Six Impressive Candidates Step Up for the 2018-2019 Board Elections

Thursday 10th of January 2019 05:22:08 AM

Vinzenz Vietzke

The Elections Committee, Edwin Zakaria, Ish Sookun, and Gerry Makaro, are pleased to announce today, Thursday, January 10, 2019, that six very impressive Candidates have decided to step up and run for Membership on the openSUSE Board in the 2018-2019 Board Elections.  With four days left for Candidates to apply, it is possible that more quality Candidates might throw their hats into the ring to make this a very exciting race.

Christian Boltz, incumbent

Applications for Candidacy are open until Sunday, January 13.  If you are contemplating entering what is shaping up to be one of the best election campaigns yet, please hurry and apply by sending an application to the Project Mailing List and to the Elections Officials following the instructions on the official Elections page.

Four More Candidates Enter Elections Race

Incumbent Christian Boltz aka cboltz, an openSUSE Hero with a strong and active presence in the Community, is running for re-election in a bid for a second term serving on the Board.  Most voters will already know him well, but more information can be found in his platform at this page.

Vinzenz Vietzke aka vinzv is stepping up for the first time and brings some impressive credentials to the table.  Among other things, Vinz has been instrumental in getting openSUSE Leap 15.0 offered pre-installed on Linux Hardware Vendor TUXEDO Computers and in getting TUXEDO as an Official Sponsor of openSUSE as of October, 2018.  You may read more about him and his platform on the Wiki pages.

2018-2019 Election Poster contributed by Aris Winardi

Longtime openSUSE Member, active Package Maintainer, and strong openSUSE promoter, Dr. Axel Braun aka DocB — who has also been known to give standup lectures related to Linux and openSUSE — is entering the race for a seat on the Board.  A Member since 2010, Dr. Braun actively maintains GNU Health, Tryton ERP Framework and various other packages.  You can find more information at his Membership Profile.

A prolific Wiki Contributor and openSUSE Enthusiast, Nathan Wolf aka futureboy, also as CubicleNate on IRC, fills out the roster of six Candidates, making this an exciting Elections Race.  You can read a bit about his Contributions on this Wiki page.

The other two Candidates, announced in yesterday’s openSUSE News, are Sébastien Poher aka sogal and incumbent Sarah Julia Kriesch, aka AdaLovelace.

Membership Drive Still Underway

The Elections Committee would like to remind all openSUSE Contributors that a healthy Project is only possible if it has a robust roster of Members, and it is especially important for the Elections process.  Applications for openSUSE Membership are accepted and processed on an ongoing basis, but a Membership Drive has been declared by the Elections Officials in an effort to get as many qualified Project Contributors to take part in the voting process, which is scheduled to begin February 4, 2019, and run for 12 days with ballots closing February 15.

All openSUSE Contributors and Members are requested to actively urge other Contributors who are not Members to get their Membership and get out and vote.  All Members who have been approved by the Membership Committee before the start of balloting February 4 will be eligible to vote in this election.

You can apply for openSUSE Membership by following the instructions here.

More in Tux Machines

Games: Surviving Mars and OpenMW

Kernel and Security: BPF, Mesa, Embedded World, Kernel Address Sanitizer and More

  • Concurrency management in BPF
    In the beginning, programs run on the in-kernel BPF virtual machine had no persistent internal state and no data that was shared with any other part of the system. The arrival of eBPF and, in particular, its maps functionality, has changed that situation, though, since a map can be shared between two or more BPF programs as well as with processes running in user space. That sharing naturally leads to concurrency problems, so the BPF developers have found themselves needing to add primitives to manage concurrency (the "exchange and add" or XADD instruction, for example). The next step is the addition of a spinlock mechanism to protect data structures, which has also led to some wider discussions on what the BPF memory model should look like. A BPF map can be thought of as a sort of array or hash-table data structure. The actual data stored in a map can be of an arbitrary type, including structures. If a complex structure is read from a map while it is being modified, the result may be internally inconsistent, with surprising (and probably unwelcome) results. In an attempt to prevent such problems, Alexei Starovoitov introduced BPF spinlocks in mid-January; after a number of quick review cycles, version 7 of the patch set was applied on February 1. If all goes well, this feature will be included in the 5.1 kernel.
  • Intel Ready To Add Their Experimental "Iris" Gallium3D Driver To Mesa
    For just over the past year Intel open-source driver developers have been developing a new Gallium3D-based OpenGL driver for Linux systems as the eventual replacement to their long-standing "i965 classic" Mesa driver. The Intel developers are now confident enough in the state of this new driver dubbed Iris that they are looking to merge the driver into mainline Mesa proper.  The Iris Gallium3D driver has now matured enough that Kenneth Graunke, the Intel OTC developer who originally started Iris in late 2017, is looking to merge the driver into the mainline code-base of Mesa. The driver isn't yet complete but it's already in good enough shape that he's looking for it to be merged albeit marked experimental.
  • Hallo Nürnberg!
    Collabora is headed to Nuremberg, Germany next week to take part in the 2019 edition of Embedded World, "the leading international fair for embedded systems". Following a successful first attendance in 2018, we are very much looking forward to our second visit! If you are planning on attending, please come say hello in Hall 4, booth 4-280! This year, we will be showcasing a state-of-the-art infrastructure for end-to-end, embedded software production. From the birth of a software platform, to reproducible continuous builds, to automated testing on hardware, get a firsthand look at our platform building expertise and see how we use continuous integration to increase productivity and quality control in embedded Linux.
  • KASAN Spots Another Kernel Vulnerability From Early Linux 2.6 Through 4.20
    The Kernel Address Sanitizer (KASAN) that detects dynamic memory errors within the Linux kernel code has just picked up another win with uncovering a use-after-free vulnerability that's been around since the early Linux 2.6 kernels. KASAN (along with the other sanitizers) have already proven quite valuable in spotting various coding mistakes hopefully before they are exploited in the real-world. The Kernel Address Sanitizer picked up another feather in its hat with being responsible for the CVE-2019-8912 discovery.
  • io_uring, SCM_RIGHTS, and reference-count cycles
    The io_uring mechanism that was described here in January has been through a number of revisions since then; those changes have generally been fixing implementation issues rather than changing the user-space API. In particular, this patch set seems to have received more than the usual amount of security-related review, which can only be a good thing. Security concerns became a bit of an obstacle for io_uring, though, when virtual filesystem (VFS) maintainer Al Viro threatened to veto the merging of the whole thing. It turns out that there were some reference-counting issues that required his unique experience to straighten out. The VFS layer is a complicated beast; it must manage the complexities of the filesystem namespace in a way that provides the highest possible performance while maintaining security and correctness. Achieving that requires making use of almost all of the locking and concurrency-management mechanisms that the kernel offers, plus a couple more implemented internally. It is fair to say that the number of kernel developers who thoroughly understand how it works is extremely small; indeed, sometimes it seems like Viro is the only one with the full picture. In keeping with time-honored kernel tradition, little of this complexity is documented, so when Viro gets a moment to write down how some of it works, it's worth paying attention. In a long "brain dump", Viro described how file reference counts are managed, how reference-count cycles can come about, and what the kernel does to break them. For those with the time to beat their brains against it for a while, Viro's explanation (along with a few corrections) is well worth reading. For the rest of us, a lighter version follows.

Blacklisting insecure filesystems in openSUSE

The Linux kernel supports a wide variety of filesystem types, many of which have not seen significant use — or maintenance — in many years. Developers in the openSUSE project have concluded that many of these filesystem types are, at this point, more useful to attackers than to openSUSE users and are proposing to blacklist many of them by default. Such changes can be controversial, but it's probably still fair to say that few people expected the massive discussion that resulted, covering everything from the number of OS/2 users to how openSUSE fits into the distribution marketplace. On January 30, Martin Wilck started the discussion with a proposal to add a blacklist preventing the automatic loading of a set of kernel modules implementing (mostly) old filesystems. These include filesystems like JFS, Minix, cramfs, AFFS, and F2FS. For most of these, the logic is that the filesystems are essentially unused and the modules implementing them have seen little maintenance in recent decades. But those modules can still be automatically loaded if a user inserts a removable drive containing one of those filesystem types. There are a number of fuzz-testing efforts underway in the kernel community, but it seems relatively unlikely that any of them are targeting, say, FreeVxFS filesystem images. So it is not unreasonable to suspect that there just might be exploitable bugs in those modules. Preventing modules for ancient, unmaintained filesystems from automatically loading may thus protect some users against flash-drive attacks. If there were to be a fight over a proposal like this, one would ordinarily expect it to be concerned with the specific list of unwelcome modules. But there was relatively little of that. One possible exception is F2FS, the presence of which raised some eyebrows since it is under active development, having received 44 changes in the 5.0 development cycle, for example. Interestingly, it turns out that openSUSE stopped shipping F2FS in September. While the filesystem is being actively developed, it seems that, with rare exceptions, nobody is actively backporting fixes, and the filesystem also lacks a mechanism to prevent an old F2FS implementation from being confused by a filesystem created by a newer version. Rather than deal with these issues, openSUSE decided to just drop the filesystem altogether. As it happens, the blacklist proposal looks likely to allow F2FS to return to the distribution since it can be blacklisted by default. Read more

gitgeist: a git-based social network proof of concept

Are you tired of not owning the data or the platform you use for social postings? I know I am. It's hard to say when I "first" used a social network. I've been on email for about 30 years and one of the early ad-hoc forms of social networks were chain emails. Over the years I was asked to join all sorts of "social" things such as IRC, ICQ, Skype, MSN Messenger, etc. and eventually things like Orkut, MySpace, Facebook, etc. I'll readily admit that I'm not the type of person that happily jumps onto every new social bandwagon that appears on the Internet. I often prefer preserving the quietness of my own thoughts. That, though, hasn't stopped me from finding some meaningfulness participating in Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and more recently Google+. Twitter was in fact the first social network that I truly embraced. And it would've remained my primary social network had they not killed their own community by culling the swell of independently-developed Twitter clients that existed. That and their increased control of their API effectively made me look for something else. Right around that time Google+ was being introduced and many in the open source community started participating in that, in some ways to find a fresh place where techies can aggregate away from the noise and sometimes over-the-top nature of Facebook. Eventually I took to that too and started using G+ as my primary social network. That is, until Google recently decided to pull the plug on G+. While Google+ might not have represented a success for Google, it had become a good place for sharing information among the technically-inclined. As such, I found it quite useful for learning and hearing about new things in my field. Soon-to-be-former users of G+ have gone in all sorts of directions. Some have adopted a "c'mon guys, get over it, Facebook is the spot" attitude, others have adopted things like Mastodon, others have fallen back to their existing IDs on Twitter, and yet others, like me, are still looking. Read more