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KDE and openSUSE, Leap 15.1

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SUSE
  • KDE and openSUSE: Plasma 5.14, Qt 5.12 and more

    Plasma 5.14 was released with many improvements.

    It was planned to have it in a released in a Tumbleweed snapshot on the same day, but openQA issues prevented snapshot 20181008 from getting published. Instead, Tumbleweed users got it with snapshot 20181009 on Thursday morning. Currently, 5.14.1 is staged to be accepted in Tumbleweed.

    To get it on Leap 15 (and even 42.3 with restrictions), you can add https://en.opensuse.org/SDB:KDE_repositories#KDE_Frameworks_5.2C_Plasma_5_and_Applications. Note that those are not part of the official distribution and therefore not as well supported.

  • OpenSUSE Begins Preparing For Leap 15.1 (15 Service Pack 1)

    As part of some brief openSUSE news today, some early details concerning Leap 15 Service Pack 1 (Leap 15.1) were shared.

    The main user-facing changes of the forthcoming openSUSE Leap 15.1 is that with this first service pack release Qt WebKit is being removed from the default installation. On the desktop side it will be shipping KDE Plasma 5.12 LTS in its latest point release at the time. It will also be shipping with the very latest KDE Applications and KDE Frameworks packages.

Tumbleweed Gets Plasma 5.14, Frameworks 5.50

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SUSE

Four openSUSE Tumbleweed snapshots this week brought new versions of software along with new versions of KDE’s Plasma and Frameworks as well as python-setuptools and many other packages.

The most recent snapshot, 20181009, updated KDE’s Plasma 5.14. The new Plasma version has several new features like the new Display Configuration widget for screen management, which is useful for presentations. The Audio Volume widget has a built in speaker test feature moved from Phonon settings and the Network widget now works for SSH VPN tunnels again. The Global menu now supports GTK applications as well. Mozilla Firefox 62.0.3 fixed a few Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures including a vulnerability in register allocation of JavaScript that can lead to type confusion, which allows for an arbitrary read and write. The cpupower package, which is a collection of tools to examine and tune power, was updated to version 4.19 and deleted some patches that are now part of the mainline. Source-control-management system mercurial 4.7.2 fixed a potential out-of-bounds read in manifest parsing C code. Other packages including in the snapshot were inxi 3.0.26, lftp 4.8.4, libinput 1.12.1, okteta 0.25.4 and vm-install 0.10.04

Snapshot 20181004 included several package updates as well. NetworkManager-openvpn 1.8.6 fixed an endless loop checking for encrypted certificate. The open source antivirus engine clamav 0.100.2 disabled the opt-in minor feature of OnAccess scanning on Linux systems and will re-enabled in a future release. Users who enabled the feature in clamd.conf will see a warning informing them that the feature is not active. The Linux Kernel was updated to 4.18.11 and had several fixes for Ext4. Developers using python-setuptools 40.4.3 will see a few changes from the previous 40.2.0 version that was in Tumbleweed like the vendored pyparsing in pkg_resources to 2.2.1. Those using Samba will see a fix for cluster CTDB configuration with the 4.9.1 version. Caching proxy squid 4.3 updated systemd dependencies in squid.service and vlc 3.0.4 improve support for broken HEVC inside MKV.

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SUSE punts SES v5.5 out door, says storage is going software-defined and open source

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SUSE

Private equity-owned SUSE has released v5.5 of its software-defined, Ceph-powered Enterprise Storage (SES) platform.

SES is an all-in-one object storage repository with both file and block access protocols. It is common to have unified file and block – Dell EMC Unity and NetApp's ONTAP – and unified file and object – Cloudian and Scality – but rare to combine all three protocols.

Best-of-breed file and block storage products will typically be faster than SES, but SES will win where buyers want a converged single product instead of three, each of which would have had to be acquired, operated, supported and managed.

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VIM, Xen, Git Packages Updated in This Week’s Tumbleweed Snapshots

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There were a total of four openSUSE Tumbleweed snapshots this week that updated packages like VIM, Xen, Git and ImageMagick.

The latest snapshot, 20180925, updated three packages. All the packages updated in this snapshot were zero dot packages. The updated packages were obs-service-set_version 0.5.10, purple-carbons 0.1.6 and shotwell 0.30.0. The obs-service-set_version 0.5.10 version fixed a zip file crash associated with python. The version change regarding purple-carbons 0.1.6 was basically cleaning up the code. The shotwell 0.30.0 package updated translations and fixed random segfaults in GNOME settings.

The 20180924 snapshot updated a little more than a handful of packages. Among the package updates were hdf5’s jump from version 1.10.1 to 1.10.3. The HDF5 package is a high performance data software library and file format to manage, process, and store heterogeneous data. The version added a few patches and had an upstream fix that dropped a warning patch. The text-mode web browser links 2.17 package had multiple changes. Among some of the most important fixes for the package was verifying SSL certificates for numeric IPv6 addresses and fixing an infinite loop that happened in graphics mode if the user clicked on OK in the “Miscellaneous options” dialog when more than one window was open. The nano 3.1 version fixed a fix a misbinding of ^H that had an effect with some terminals on certain systems. Three rubygem packages were also updated in the snapshot. The packages were rubygem-marcel 0.3.3, rubygem-sass 3.6.0 and rubygem-uglifier 4.1.19.

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Latest Tumbleweed Snapshot Brings Major Versions of Flatpak, qemu, Thunderbird, Nano

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Since the last openSUSE Tumbleweed update, three snapshots have been released and the latest snapshot has brought two new major versions of both Flatpak and qemu.

On the heels of the Libre Application Summit last week, which is a conference focusing on sandboxing and application distribution, a new major version of Flatpak was released in Snapshot 20180911. Flatpak 1.0 marks a significant improvement in performance and reliability, and includes a big collection of bug fixes with a collection of new features. Naturally, libostree 2018.8 was updated with Flatpak and added a new feature that provides an auto-update-summary config option for repositories. Full-system emulation with qemu 3.0.0 isn’t necessarily significant. The changelog states not to “read anything into the major version number update. It’s been decided to increase the major version number each year.” Yet there is improved support for nested Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) guests running on Hyper-V. The project did emphasized that ongoing feature deprecation is tracked at both http://wiki.qemu-project.org/Features/LegacyRemoval and in Appendix B of the qemu-doc.* files installed with the qemu package. Mesa 18.1.7 had a handful of fixes and once again added wayland to egl_platforms. The Linux Kernel 4.18.7 added support for Intel Ice Lake microarchitecture in the snapshot. There were several other minor updates in the snapshot, but the nodejs10 update to version 10.9.0 brought a few Common Vulnerability and Exposure (CVE) fixes and upgraded dependencies to OpenSSL 1.0.2.

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My open source career (by Cornelius Schumacher, SUSE)

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SUSE

My learning experience in the free software community went beyond technology. I also learned a lot about people, about how they work together, about organization, about leadership. I became a member of the board of KDE e.V., the foundation behind the KDE community, and this was the ideal place to learn about a lot of the non-technical aspects.
I’m an engineering manager and distinguished engineer at SUSE today. My free software work was essential in developing the technical skills which make me a distinguished engineer and the leadership skills which make me a manager. I’m still contributing to free software. It’s part of my job. It still is a way to learn, and it keeps me grounded.

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Also: openSUSE.Asia Summit

SUSE Continues Working On Transactional Updates With Btrfs

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SUSE

While Red Hat and several other Linux vendors have either deprecated Btrfs support or at least not embraced it like they originally talked up this "next-gen file-system" years ago, SUSE has continued supporting Btrfs both with openSUSE and SUSE Linux Enterprise.

SUSE continues shipping openSUSE/SLE with Btrfs on the root file-system and through that have been offering up some nifty features, including support for transactional updates.

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SUSE Touts Financial Growth, Hints at Future Acquisitions

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SUSE

SUSE will soon have a new owner, but it remains focused on easing the cloud native migration path for enterprise customers. In an interview with SDxCentral at this week’s Open Source Summit event in Vancouver, British Columbia, SUSE CTO Thomas Di Giacomo said the company plans to invest more into its core operations, but will also look at new acquisitions.

That investment push comes on the heels of Swedish private equity fund EQT VIII announcing plans to acquire SUSE for $2.5 billion. SUSE has been owned by Micro Focus since late 2014 where it has operated as a semi-independent business under CEO Nils Brauckmann.

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GeckoLinux 150 Static Plasma review - Not quite

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Reviews
SUSE

GeckoLinux 150 was supposed to be the cure to all openSUSE Leap 15 ailments. It is not. I was expecting flawless results on all fronts, but then there were big issues with multimedia playback and associated performance, visual glitches, imperfect smartphone support, and of course, the graphics driver bomb. This hardly warrants the effort. I also didn't mention various crashes - the kgreeter crash on logout, every time - but they were there, too. Samba issues, printing issues, and the list goes on. The good things are nice and commendable, but there must be a stable base.

However, the real dealbreaker is the Nvidia setup. This is supposed to just work. If it works in a dozen other distros on this same box, then it should continue working. And I'm certain this has nothing to do with Nvidia drivers but with how the repo contents were compiled and packaged. Then, no easy rescue, none of that SUSE enterprise-like resilience. Finally, you do gain some, but not enough to justify the experience. I will sample Gecko sometime in the future again, but the bad karma around openSUSE remains. So long.

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openSUSE Tumbleweed Is Now Powered by Linux Kernel 4.18, Introduces AV1 Support

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Even though it's the holidays season and most developers take a break from all the heavy work they do all year, the OpenSuSE Tumbleweed operating system continues to receive some of the freshest updates, and this week it received a major kernel bump with the latest Linux 4.18 kernel series, which brings lots of new features.

"The most recent snapshot, 20180818, updated the kernel to version 4.18.0, which brought many changes for KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine)," said Douglas DeMaio. "Netfilter project nftables was restored as the default backend with firewalld 0.6.1 and now nftables and iptables can co-exist after a bug fix with the 'nat' table form the [Linux] 4.18 kernel."

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OSS Leftover

  • How an affordable open source eye tracker is helping thousands communicate
    In 2015, while sat in a meeting at his full-time job, Julius Sweetland posted to Reddit about a project he had quietly been working on for years, that would help people with motor neurone disease communicate using just their eyes and an application. He forgot about the post for a couple of hours before friends messaged him to say he'd made the front page. Now three years on Optikey, the open source eye-tracking communication tool, is being used by thousands of people, largely through word of mouth recommendations. Sweetland was speaking at GitHub Universe at the Palace of Fine Art in San Francisco, and he took some time to speak with Techworld about the project. [...] Originally, Sweetland's exposure to open source had largely been through the consumption of tools such as the GIMP. "I knew of the concept, I didn't really know how the nuts and bolts worked, I was always a little blase about how do you make money from something like that... but flipping it around again I'm still coming from the point of view that there's no money in my product, so I still don't understand how people make money in open source...
  • Fission open source serverless framework gets updated
    Platform9 just released updates to Fission.io - the open source, Kubernetes-native Serverless framework, with new features enabling developers and IT Operations to improve the quality and reliability of serverless applications. Other new features include Automated Canary Deployments to reduce the risk of failed releases, Prometheus integration for automated monitoring and alerts, and fine-grained cost and performance optimization capabilities. With this latest release, Fission offers the most complete set of features to allow Dev and Ops teams to safely adopt Serverless and benefit from the speed, cost savings and scalability of this cloud native development pattern on any environment - either in the public cloud or on-premises.
  • Alphabet’s DeepMind open-sources key building blocks from its AI projects
  • United States: It's Ten O'Clock: Do You Know Where Your Software Developers Are? [Ed: Smith Gambrell & Russell LLP are liars. Dana Hustins says FSF "purport to convert others' proprietary software into open source software" in there. They paint GPL as a conspiracy of some kind to entrap proprietary s/w developers.]
  • Transatomic Power To Open Source IP Regarding Advanced Molten Salt Reactors [Ed: There's no such thing as "IP", Duane Morris LLP. There are copyrights, trademarks, patents etc. and Transatomic basically made code free.]
  • Code Review--an Excerpt from VM Brasseur's New Book Forge Your Future with Open Source
    Even new programmers can provide a lot of value with their code reviews. You don't have to be a Rockstar Ninja 10x Unicorn Diva programmer with years and years of experience to have valuable insights. In fact, you don't even have to be a programmer at all. You just have to be knowledgable enough to spot patterns. While you won't be able to do a complete review without programming knowledge, you may still spot things that could use some work or clarification. If you're not a Rockstar Ninja 10x Unicorn Diva programmer, not only is your code review feedback still valuable, but you can also learn a great deal in the process: Code layout, programming style, domain knowledge, best practices, neat little programming tricks you'd not have seen otherwise, and sometimes antipatterns (or "how not to do things"). So don't let the fact that you're unfamiliar with the code, the project, or the language hold you back from reviewing code contributions. Give it a go and see what there is to learn and discover.

Security Leftovers

Android Leftovers

Ubuntu 18.10 (Cosmic Cuttlefish) Is Now Available to Download

After six months in development, Ubuntu 18.10 (Cosmic Cuttlefish) is now finally here, and you can download the ISO images right now for all official flavors, including Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Lubuntu, Ubuntu MATE, Ubuntu Budgie, Ubuntu Kylin, and Ubuntu Studio, for 64-bit and 32-bit architectures (only Lubuntu and Xubuntu). The Ubuntu Server edition is also out and it's supported on more hardware architectures than Ubuntu Desktop, including 64-bit (amd64), ARM64 (AArch64), IBM System z (s390x), PPC64el (Power PC 64-bit Little Endian), and Raspberry Pi 2/ARMhf. A live Ubuntu Server flavor is also available only for 64-bit computers. Read more Also: Ubuntu Linux 18.10 arrives