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SUSE: Highlights of OpenSUSE Asia Summit, Maintaining Enterprise Linux Kernels and More

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SUSE
  • Highlights of openSUSE Asia Summit 2019

    The openSUSE.Asia Summit is one of the big events for the openSUSE community (i.e. both contributors and users) in Asia. Those who normally communicate online can meet from all over the world, talk in person and have fun. Members of the community share their current knowledge, experience and learn FLOSS technologies around openSUSE. The openSUSE.Asia Summit 2019 took place from October 5 to October 6, 2019 at the Information Technology Department, Faculty of Engineering, Udayana University, Bali.

  • Maintaining Enterprise Linux Kernels

    Forking the Linux kernel and using it as the basis of an Enterprise product is a challenging task. The pace of development in the upstream Linux kernel makes it hard to keep up with all the fixes that need to be backported. This article describes the process we use at SUSE to find and backport potentially required upstream fixes to our kernels.

    [...]

    Every fix that is reported will be evaluated by a developer and either backported to the kernel branches that need it or blacklisted, so that the fix is no longer considered. But who is the best person (or group) to report a fix to?
    The answer is easy if the fix is for a patch that was backported by someone within SUSE as part of a service pack development cycle. In that case the person who backported the patch is tasked with reviewing the associated fix. The same happens with upstream fixes that are authored or committed by a SUSE employee.
    Assigning fixes for patches that are part of the base-kernel is a bit more complicated. To that end we have introduced a maintainer model with an internal list of experts for most parts of the Linux kernel.
    The approach is similar to the MAINTAINERS file in the upstream Linux kernel, but the file at SUSE is simpler. It only contains a list of people and several path-specs per entry. Each potential fix for the base-kernel is matched against the path-specs in the maintainers list and assigned to the best matching entry. The fix is reported to the developers listed in the matching entry.
    But not all fixes could be assigned that way because the SUSE maintainers list does not cover the whole kernel source tree. For the remaining fixes a heuristic is used. It is based on which source code files in the kernel source tree are touched by the backports of each developer. This is matched against the file(s) a fix touches.

  • Suse: Equipped For The Hybrid Multicloud Age

    Linux as an operating system platform as well as other Open Source technologies as core elements are used in SAP infrastructures. This is applicable for Cloud as well as on-premises deployment. Thus, they are equipped for the Hybrid Multicloud age.
    Open Source arrived in the SAP world a long time ago. The Walldorf-based software company contributed to this development when it made the decision to only use the Linux operating system platform along with SAP Hana and Hana-based application solutions such as S/4.

    And the trend towards Linux with NetWeaver-based infrastructures with AnyDB has already provided the impetus for the deep penetration of Linux. The Hana figures quoted by SAP recently (during this year’s Sapphire conference) speak to this significance. The company now has 50,000 Hana licenses. In addition to Linux, other Open Source solutions are used in SAP environments in conjunction with Data Science and the use of Kubernetes. Kubernetes is used for the orchestration of containers as part of SAP Data Hub environments.

KDE and openSUSE, YaST Development Sprint

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KDE
SUSE
  • KDE and openSUSE: Plasma 5.17, Qt 5.14 and more

    The Beta version of Plasma 5.17 was released with many new features and improvements such as per-screen fractional scaling on Wayland, a new User Interface (UI) for configuring permissions of Thunderbolt devices and network statistics in KSysGuard. The latter requires some more privileges than usual for a user application, so is currently being looked at by the SUSE security team.

    openQA found a few bugs already, like GIMP looking more “colorful” than usual and some applications mixing Kirigami and Qt Widgets breaking some keyboard shortcuts. Both of those were addressed meanwhile and will be fixed in the final release of 5.17.

    If you haven’t tested the Plasma 5.17 Beta yet, there’s still some time left! If you come across a problem in the software, please head over to the KDE bug tracker; if instead you find an issue that is openSUSE specific, go over to the openSUSE bugzilla.

  • Highlights of YaST Development Sprint 86

    Now that you had a chance to look at our post about Advanced Encryption Options (especially if you are an s390 user), it is time to check what happened during the last YaST development sprint, which finished last Monday.

Advanced Encryption Options Land in the YaST Partitioner

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GNU
Linux
SUSE

As you may know, so far the YaST Partitioner offered an “Encrypt Device” checkbox when creating or editing a block device. If such box is marked, the Partitioner asks for an encryption password and creates a LUKS virtual device on top of the device being encrypted.

LUKS (Linux Unified Key Setup) is the standard for Linux hard disk encryption. By providing a standard on-disk-format, it facilitates compatibility among distributions. LUKS stores all necessary setup information in the partition header, enabling to transport or migrate data seamlessly. So far, there are two format specifications for such header: LUKS1 and LUKS2. YaST uses LUKS1 because is established, solid and well-known, being fully compatible with the (open)SUSE installation process and perfectly supported by all the system tools and by most bootloaders, like Grub2.

You should not fix what is not broken. Thus, in most cases, the screen for encrypting a device has not changed at all and it still works exactly in the same way under the hood.

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SUSE drops OpenStack Cloud

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SUSE

For years, SUSE, the European Linux and open-source company, was one of the OpenStack Infrastructure-as-a-Service cloud program's champions. No longer. SUSE has decided to cease production of new versions and to discontinue sales of SUSE OpenStack Cloud.

This comes only a few months after SUSE OpenStack Cloud 9 was released. This was based on the OpenStack Rocky. release and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) 12 SP4. It was also the first release to integrate HPE's Helion OpenStack. SUSE had acquired HPE cloud assets three years earlier.

Why the sudden shift? SUSE stated, "SUSE is focusing on and increasing our strategic investments in the application delivery market and its opportunities in order to align with technology trends in the industry and, most important, with our customers' needs. So SUSE will be working more on its Kubernetes-based application delivery offerings, SUSE Cloud Application Platform and SUSE CaaS Platform." SUSE also hinted there would be "future technology acquisitions."

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Server: Decentralisation, SUSE and Red Hat

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Red Hat
Server
SUSE
  • Decentralizing the Data Center: Hybrid Cloud, Multi-Cloud and more

    But how did we get to cloud computing in the first place? While these are not the only reasons, cost, availability and disaster recovery were a large part of what motivated companies to transition from on-prem [-only] deployments to cloud or hybrid approaches. Now, let us fast forward to the present and we are seeing something entirely new: a complete decentralization of the data center.

    But what does that mean? Once upon a time, companies transitioning or starting their operations in the cloud shopped around and found a public cloud service that best suited their needs. The final decision typically boiled down to cost and services. I would know. I used to work in a division of one of these large cloud providers and we were always going neck-to-neck with the other major players for mainly these key topics.

  • Quarks – New Building Blocks for Deploying on Kubernetes

    At the recent Cloud Foundry Summit EU in the Netherlands, Mario Manno of SUSE and Enrique Encalada of IBM gave a presentation about two popular platforms for deploying your cloud-native applications – Kubernetes and Cloud Foundry. Kubernetes is the great for its flexibility, control over your application and is a great container orchestrator. Cloud Foundry is the go-to platform where you don’t want to worry about your infrastructure, networking, scaling, and routing. It also has the best developer experience in the industry. With Quarks, deployment is simplified using BOSH features, but keeping the flexibility of Kubernetes. Believing that Quarks is the next buzzword for Cloud Foundry conferences, they described and demonstrated the new framework and its building blocks for deploying cloud-native applications which has the best features of the two worlds.

  • SLE 12 SP5 Release Candidate 2 is out!

    This Service Pack 5 is a consolidation Service Pack release.

  • Red Hat Streamlines Operating System Update Cycle

    CentOS is a distribution of Linux based on a fork of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). The team that oversees CentOS operates independently of Red Hat. That team in collaboration with Red Hat is making available an additional distribution dubbed CentOS Stream, through which a continuous stream of content will be updated several times daily.
    Mike McGrath, senior director for Linux engineering at Red Hat, said those innovations eventually will find their way into RHEL, but until then developers who want to build applications using those features as they become available can use CentOS Stream.
    This latest distribution of Linux from Red Hat is intended to act as a bridge between Fedora, a distribution of Linux through which Red Hat makes available experimental technologies, and RHEL, he said.

  • Happy Halloween (Packages Not In EPEL-8 yet)

    It is October, and in the US it means that all the decorations for Halloween are going up. This is a time of year I love because you get to dress up in a costume and give gifts to people. In the spirit of Halloween, I am going to make various packages available in a COPR to add onto the EPEL-8 repositories.

    There are a lot of packages which are in EPEL-6 or EPEL-7 but are not in EPEL-8 yet. Some of these may not be possible due to missing -devel, others may just need someone interested in maintaining a branch for EPEL-8, etc etc. In order to try and get a push on this I wanted to see what packages could be built and made ready at some point. I also wanted to make it possible that if you really needed this package, that they could be available. 

  • CentOS 8 Stream Install Guide – CentOS 8 Installation Screenshots

SUSE: OpenSUSE Tumbleweed and Corporate Stuff

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SUSE

SUSE: Eirini, Stratos Project and Cloud Foundry/Kubernetes

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SUSE
  • Paving the Road to Eirini

    At the recent Cloud Foundry Summit EU in the Netherlands, Lucas Bickel of Adfinis SyGroup and Peter Andersson of SUSE presented insight about their Cloud Foundry deployment using SUSE Cloud Application Platform for a large Swiss government office. They explained the challenges faced, the lessons learned and why SUSE Cloud Application Platform is the perfect fit to solve the customer requirements in a highly complex and demanding environment. Warning: this talk contains buzzwords such as DevOps, Cloud Native, Kubernetes, CI/CD pipeline, and other fancy stuff.

  • Stratos Project Update: The Future of the Stratos Management UI

    At the recent Cloud Foundry Summit EU in the Netherlands, Neil MacDougall and Richard Cox of SUSE presented a talk that reviewed the development of the Stratos Web-based Management UI for Cloud Foundry. They also summarized and demonstrated the new features and improvements that have been added recently. Next, they looked forward to the year ahead and discussed where we we are heading with new work on Extensions and the new features that are planned.

  • Lightning Talk: The Latest on How SUSE is Bringing Cloud Foundry and Kubernetes Together

    At the recent Cloud Foundry Summit EU in the Netherlands, Ignacio Gomez of SUSE presented a brief lightning talk explaining how SUSE continues to combine the best of the two leading open source application platforms in the industry — Cloud Foundry and Kubernetes. Through projects like Quarks, Eirini, and Stratos, SUSE is fusing the mature development model of Cloud Foundry with the advanced container scheduling capabilities of Kubernetes.

Events: GUADEC, LibreOffice Conference, SUSE in TechEd and LibrePlanet

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GNU
LibO
GNOME
SUSE
  • GUADEC 2019 | Part 1: Passing the Baton

    This year, GUADEC was held in Thessaloniki, Greece from August 23rd – 28th. I had a great time at the conference and took some time to travel after, so I was able to see some of Northern Greece, in addition to hanging out with some of the best people I know while at GUADEC.

    Since there’s a lot of talk about, I’ll be doing two separate posts, one about the Board meeting (in this post), and one about the conference itself (next post).

  • LibreOffice monthly recap: September 2019

    Here’s our summary of updates, events and activities in the LibreOffice project in the last four weeks – click the links to learn more!

    The biggest event in September was the LibreOffice Conference 2019 which took place in Almeria, Spain. Over 100 people from across the globe met up to discuss current developments in LibreOffice, make plans for the future, and have fun. 

  • Hola Barcelona! – SUSE @ TechEd – All You Need to Know

    Hola! SUSE will be exhibiting at TechEd Barcelona 2019. As it was always a great event in the past I am already looking forward to be in Barcelona again. This year we have a great set of video based demos about new features and capabilities available on our booth. Lee Martin and Fabian Herschel (myself) will also present the features also during our lecture. Reserve the date! Our lecture will take place at Wednesday, October 8th from 9:15-10:15 am in room L11. Get a great overview of all you need to know in our session which has the number CAA139. All you need to know – find us in the SAP TechEd Barcelona session catalog.

  • FSF Blogs: Submit a session proposal for LibrePlanet 2020 conference: Free the Future by Nov. 20

    The Free Software Foundation (FSF) invites activists, hackers, law professionals, artists, students, developers, young people, policymakers, tinkerers, newcomers to free software, and anyone looking for technology that aligns with their ideals, to submit a proposal for a session at our twelfth annual social justice and technology LibrePlanet conference. Potential talks should examine free software through the lens of this year's theme, and can focus on software development, copyleft, community, or other related issues.

    Submissions to the call for sessions are being accepted through Wednesday, November 20, 2019 at 12:00pm Eastern Standard time (17:00 UTC).

    Over the last decade, LibrePlanet has blossomed from a small gathering of FSF members into a vibrant multi-day event that attracts a broad audience of anyone interested in the values of software freedom. LibrePlanet 2019 had almost a thousand people participate around the world, both online and in-person, for workshops and talks centered around the theme of "Trailblazing Free Software." To stay up to date about everything LibrePlanet 2020, visit https://www.libreplanet.org/2020.

openSUSE News: Election Committee Set to Open Vote on Project Name

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SUSE

Following discussions about the “openSUSE Project logo & name change” that started in June on the openSUSE Project mailing list [1], the Election Committee received a request from the Board to conduct a vote whereby openSUSE members can indicate whether they are for or against the project name change.

The voting will start on Oct. 10 and end on Oct. 31, which will provide three weeks for members to vote. The result will be announced on Nov. 1.

The voting exercise is limited to openSUSE members only.

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Acer AspireOne D255 with openSUSE Tumbleweed Xfce

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GNU
Linux
Hardware
SUSE

Anytime someone wants to give me a piece of hardware, it’s hard for me to say, “no.” I received this Acer AspireOne D255 as payment for installing openSUSE Leap on an HP Laptop. This little netbook was a bit slower than my other Acer AspireOne and with only 1 GiB of RAM and a dead battery. I tried to see if I could install anything but the hard drive was at it’s end of life. So, thing sat in a drawer for about a year or so. I found that there are some education open source programs that are quite educational and since I would rather my kids not play games on phones and tablets, now was the time for me to act.

I purchased a new battery and a charger for this computer which cost me all of $21. I ordered a 2 GiB stick of DDR3 memory so that whenever it did arrive, I could upgrade that as well.

Taking apart the AspireOne is not that difficult, at all, you just have to know how to get to the screws to drop the back panel. Annoyingly, you have to remove the keyboard by essentially pushing back little detents to pop the thing out. It isn’t exactly work made for large hands.

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