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SUSE/OpenSUSE Interviews and How SLE is Built

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Interviews
SUSE
  • People of openSUSE: An Interview with Ish Sookun

    I joined the “Ambassador” program in 2009, which later was renamed to openSUSE Advocate, and finally the program was dropped. In 2013, I joined the openSUSE Local Coordinators to help coordinating activities in the region. It was my way of contributing back. During those years, I would also test openSUSE RCs and report bugs, organize local meetups about Linux in general (some times openSUSE in particular) and blog about those activities. Then, in 2018 after an inspiring conversation with Richard Brown, while he was the openSUSE Chairman, I stepped up and joined the openSUSE Elections Committee, to volunteer in election tasks. It was a nice and enriching learning experience along with my fellow election officials back then, Gerry Makaro and Edwin Zakaria. I attended my first openSUSE Conference in May 2019 in Nuremberg. I did a presentation on how we’re using Podman in production in my workplace. I was extremely nervous to give this first talk in front of the openSUSE community but I met folks who cheered me up. I can’t forget the encouragement from Richard, Gertjan, Harris, Doug, Marina and the countless friends I made at the conference. Later during the conference, I was back on the stage, during the Lightning Talks, and I spoke while holding the openSUSE beer in one hand and the microphone in the other. Nervousness was all gone thanks to the magic of the community.

    Edwin and Ary told me about their activities in Indonesia, particularly about the openSUSE Asia Summit. When the CfP for oSAS 2019 was opened, I did not hesitate to submit a talk, which was accepted, and months later I stood among some awesome openSUSE contributors in Bali, Indonesia. It was a great Summit where I discovered more of the openSUSE community. I met Gerald Pfeifer, the new chairman of openSUSE, and we talked about yoga, surrounded by all of the geeko fun, talks and workshops happening.

  • SUSE Hack Week Spotlight: Xabier Arbulu

    My name is Xabier Arbulu and I’m from Spain (Basque country), even though I live in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria enjoying a better weather. I have been working as a Software engineer around 6 years now, and I joined SUSE a bit more than a year ago. One of the major motivations was that I wanted to feel and explore how is to work in an organization where Open Source is more than just business. I really think that collaboration and transparency are the way to go. I work in the SLES4SAP and HA team where we provide solutions to the customers with critical mission applications.

    One of my hobbies is to enjoy the nature (and the sports around this like hiking, surfing…), so it’s totally aligned with the path that SUSE started against the climate change and our planet conservation.

  • SUSE Hack Week Spotlight: William Brown

    My name is William Brown, I’m a senior software engineer at SUSE. I’m from Brisbane Australia, and have been a software engineer for 5 years. Previously I was a system administrator at a major Australian university for 7 years. I am a photographer and also participate in judo and pole dance in my free time.

  • How SUSE builds its Enterprise Linux distribution – PART 3

    As for the “Minor Versions” of SLE, we decided (more than 14 years ago) to use a “Service Pack” Model for our SLE releases. The goal is to offer a predictable release cadence allowing our users to plan accordingly for their updates, but also to schedule our release with collections of maintenance updates and new features alike for a given major version. Back in the old days we promised to release a Service Pack every 12 to 18 months, but since SLE 12 GA (more than 5 years ago) we have decided to simplify and increase the regularity of our cadence by settling on a 12-month release cycle and supports previous service packs for 6 months after the release of the new service pack.

    Why? Well, this decision was made based on our customers’ and partners’ feedback and also because of the general increase in the cadence of open source development. For example, just to name a few other open source projects, did you know that there is a upstream Linux Kernel minor version every two months, Mozilla is releasing a new Firefox version every 6 weeks, and GNOME creates a full stable release every 6 months?

    Having two major SLE versions available with an annual release cadence for every “Minor Version”, which would normally be called a “Service Pack”, is part of our solution to solving the challenge of keeping up with the pace of open source projects, while at the same time offering choice and clarity to all our enterprise users.
    We will discuss the SLE Release Schedule in a dedicated blog post, but before getting too technical, we would like to give you a deeper insight into our Release Management Team, i.e. the people and team behind these release processes.

SUSE/OpenSUSE: debuginfod, databases, Lubos Kocman, IBM, CRN and Beta of SUSE Linux Enterprise 15 Service Pack 2

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SUSE
  • Introducing debuginfod service for Tumbleweed

    debuginfod is an HTTP file server that serves debugging resources to debugger-like tools.

  • Database monitoring

    While we monitor basic functionality of our MariaDB (running as Galera-Cluster) and PostgreSQL databases since years, we missed a way to get an easy overview of what's really happening within our databases in production. Especially peaks, that slow down the response times, are not so easy to detect.

  • SUSE Hack Week Spotlight: Lubos Kocman

    SUSE Hack Week is a week-long sprint permitting developers time off from their day jobs to work on something entirely of their own design or wishes. This week we will be showcasing some of the amazing projects coming out of SUSE Hack Week and the brilliant minds behind them. Stay tuned all week long for more features.

  • Understanding SUSE Sub-capacity pricing for IBM Power servers

    SUSE recently updated Terms and Conditions for SUSE products to clarify the SUSE pricing policies for IBM Power systems and to accommodate Sub-capacity pricing on IBM Power servers.

  • CRN’s 2020 Channel Chiefs list recognizes SUSE leader – Rachel Cassidy

    This annual list recognizes the top vendor executives who continually demonstrate exemplary leadership, influence, innovation, and growth for the IT channel.

  • SUSE Linux Enterprise 15 Service Pack 2 Public Beta!

    As usual there is a lot to say about our upcoming Service Pack, and overall we made more than 840 updates to our packages. Please check out the “Important Notice” and “Notable Changes” section below for more information.

Richard Brown: Regular Release Distributions Are Wrong

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SUSE

It’s a long documented fact that I am a big proponent of Rolling Releases and use them as my main operating system for Work & Play on my Desktops/Laptops.
However in the 4 years since writing that last blog post I always a number of Leap machines in my life, mostly running as servers.

As of today, my last Leap machine is no more, and I do not foresee ever going back to Leap or any Linux distribution like it.

This post seeks to answer why I have fallen out of love with the Regular Release approach to developing & using Operating Systems and provide an introduction to how you too could rely on Rolling Releases (specifically Tumbleweed & MicroOS) for everything.

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SUSE/OpenSUSE: SUSE Hack Week, Tumbleweed and YaST

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SUSE
  • SUSE Hack Week 19

    I am excited to announce that SUSE Hack Week 19 kicks off next week, February 10-14, 2020. SUSE Hack Week is a week-long sprint permitting developer’s time off from their day jobs to work on something entirely of their own design or wishes.

  • openSUSE Tumbleweed – Review of the week 2020/06

    This week I canceled more snapshots than I released – only 2 snapshots have been sent out (0201 and 0205). Feels quite bad, but on the other hand, I’m glad we have openQA protecting you, the openSUSE Tumbleweed users, from those issues. As the -factory mailing list shows this week, despite all the testing, we can’t ever predict all the special cases found on our users’ machines.

  • Highlights of YaST Development Sprint 93

    As you already know, starting in version 15, SUSE Linux follows a modular approach. Apart from the base products, the packages are spread through a set of different modules that the user can enable if needed (Basesystem module, Desktop Applications Module, Server Applications Module, Development Tools Module, you name it).

    In this situation, you may want to install a package, but you do not know which module contains such a package. As YaST only knows the data of those packages included in your registered modules, you will have to do a manual search.

    Fortunately, zypper introduced a new search-packages command some time ago that allows to find out where a given package is. And now it is time to bring this feature to YaST.

    For technical reasons, this online search feature cannot be implemented within the package manager, so it is available via the Extra menu.

How SUSE builds its Enterprise Linux distribution – PART 2

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GNU
Linux
SUSE
HowTos

The common understanding is that an Operating System is composed by a “kernel” and some basic tools around it. This apply to all Operating Systems out there, not just Linux/Unix based ones.
Speaking about “Linux”, you might not be aware of the “GNU/Linux naming controversy“, where the name “Linux” refers precisely to the “Linux Kernel” and “GNU” refers to the basic components like GNU Compiler Collection (GCC), the GNU C library (glibc), and GNU Core Utilities (coreutils), GNU Bash shell and more. At this point, come to realise that the Linux Kernel and the GNU tools are in a “symbiosis“, and one cannot be used independently of the other. So it is technically more correct to refer to “GNU/Linux Operating System” than a “Linux Operating System”.
However when the words “Linux system or Linux server” is used, it often includes far more that just “GNU/Linux”. For instance, your preferred web server, database, programming language librairies or Graphical Environment (like GNOME) is not part of the “GNU/Linux” group, and this is where the name “Linux Distribution” makes sense.

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openSUSE Board election 2019-2020 result

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SUSE

The openSUSE Board election 2019-2020 reached an end on the night of 31 January 23h59 CET after running for about two weeks.

Four candidates ran in this election and the result is as follows:

Simon Lees 161
Sarah Julia Kriesch 138
Vinzenz Vietzke 130
Alessandro de Oliveira Faria 95

Simon is re-elected and gets to serve for another term while Sarah replaces outgoing board member Gertjan Lettink.

281 out of 500 eligible members voted in this election.

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GNU/Linux in Germany (SUSE and FSFE)

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SUSE
  • Running for openSUSE Board #2: Getting new people aboard

    I’d like to illustrate my view on it with a simple example:
    When you visit opensuse.org there’s a menu item top right named “contribute”. Clicking it brings you to the contribution bit of the page. There you have choice between two things: Code and Hardware. Now if we’re lucky a potential contributor will click on “Code” and gets presented four slightly unmotivated lines of text and a button to “find out more”. That’s not how to be friendly and inviting. Let’s hope not too much people are turned down by that.

    But what I see as a way bigger problem – and some kind of basic pattern in oS – is that behind the “find out…” button in fact there would be really good and detailed information on how to contribute. Documentation, testing, translations and so on is all there. But it’s not communicated in any reasonable way! It’s hidden in different places, buried deeply in the wiki. The wiki is a good place for extensively written explanations but not for getting a first step into the pool.

    So my idea is part of a whole to-be-defined restructuring of opensuse.org. I proposed a few thoughts a while ago but got curbed due to the renaming/rebranding discussion back then. Yet I still have these things on my list to discuss and tackle. [1]

    Of course the website is just one puzzle part. The whole getting fresh blood (as you called it) thing needs further pushing. Hence the initiative of the marketing team to get special t-shirts for Leap 15.2. Beta testers. [2]
    This is something easily to be communicated to the outside and can be a door opener for new people. Though it is not a board member’s job there. But I think it’s good to have a board taking part in this whole communication
    initiative.

  • Instant Fresh openSUSE Tumbleweed with Docker and Vagrant Images

    On my machines I run openSUSE Leap (download), a stable distribution that follows the SUSE Linux Enterprise service packs. But frequently my task is to reproduce or fix a bug in openSUSE Tumbleweed (download), the hottest rolling distribution.

    In the past, I would take an ISO image of the installation DVD and install a virtual machine from scratch. (To say nothing about burning a CD, copying a boot floppy, and reinstalling a physical machine. I've been doing this for too long.)

    Fortunately, things got easier with ready-made disk images for containers (Docker/Podman) and virtual machines (Vagrant).

  • Klaas Freitag: Public Money – Public Code [Ed: in German]

    Genau dafür setzt sich die Kampagne Public Money for Public Code der Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) ein.

  • FSFE is hiring: interns and trainees for legal, policy and technical areas

    FSFE is hiring: interns and trainees for legal, policy and technical areas
    We are looking for interns and trainees experienced in legal, policy or technical fields. The persons will work 35 hours per week with our team in the FSFE's Berlin office. There will be coordination with remote staff and volunteers, and depending on the work area opportunity to participate in events and meetings throughout Europe.

Libvirt, PHP, FFmpeg Updates Roll Out on Tumbleweed

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SUSE

The 1.4 version of kdeconnect-kde was updated in the most recent 20200127 snapshot. The version offers a new “KDE Connect” desktop app to control the phone from the PC and SMS app that can read and write SMS texts. The newer version also offers compatibility with Xfce‘s file manager Thunar. The third release candidate for LibreOffice requires java 1.8 or newer with the libreoffice 6.4.0.3 package. Some core and curl bugs were fixed with php7 7.4.2, which included an Exif fix, and a handful of rubygem packages had minor version bumps. The snapshot is currently trending at a stable rating of 99, according to the Tumbleweed snapshot reviewer.

Snapshot, 20200125 had a half dozen packages updated. GNU’s Utilities tool package for multi-lingual messaging, gettext-runtime 0.20.1, removed dynamic linker ldconfig and script builder autoreconf. GNU Multiple Precision Arithmetic Library has a new C++ function in the gmp 6.2.0 update and the new version provides better assembly code and greater speed for AMD Ryzen, Power9 and ARM 64-bit CPUs. An updated to the authentication-related tool shadow 4.8 synced password field descriptions in man pages and migrated to ITS Tool for translations. The snapshot is currently trending at a stable rating of 99.

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Red Hat vs. SUSE vs. Canonical Contributions To The Mainline Linux Kernel Over The 2010s

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Linux
Red Hat
SUSE
Ubuntu

After last week looking at the AMD/Intel/NVIDIA contributions to the mainline Linux kernel over the past number of years, there were reader requests for seeing how some of the top distributions compare namely Red Hat, SUSE, and Canonical.

These graphs today are looking at the contributions by SUSE, Red Hat, and Canonical to the mainline Linux kernel. Keep in mind this is the Git commits made from using the respective corporate domains for each organization.

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How SUSE builds its Enterprise Linux distribution – PART 1

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SUSE

In 2020, one might think that Operating Systems in general are not interesting any more, possibly because some have an interest on shifting the attention to an “upper layer”, like Cloud or Containers. But even if the OS lost it’s former attraction, somehow you (or someone else) still needs a software system that manages computer hardware, software resources and provides services to applications and users. Obviously an OS is essential but it needs everything around it to serve an higher purpose than just a basic interface between human and hardware.
As of now with the increased pace of new technologies and changes to the “upper layer”, a modern Operating System needs to adapt, support new hardware, new software, and needs. But also be stable, resilient and secure to properly host the “upper layer”.
But before we discuss modern days, let’s have a look back in the past.

[...]

SUSE is a long lasting player in the GNU/Linux Operating Systems, as you might know SUSE once stood for Software-und System-Entwicklung (Software and Systems Development), and was created in 1992 doing a lot of translation, documentation and hacking (on technologies but not subverting computer security). The same year we were distributing the first comprehensive Linux Distribution (more than just Linux Kernel and GNU tools), called Softlanding Linux System (SLS), one of the earliest Linux Distributions at large.
Soon we switched our focus from SLS to Slackware (initially based on SLS), by translating in German and supporting this new Linux Distribution. And thanks to this effort and experience, we were able to release S.u.S.E Linux 1.0 based on Slackware in 1994.
This were really an exciting time for the Linux community, it was basically the beginning and everything rapidly changed or grew, new projects arise, new people started to contribute, in short a lot of things were in flux. Just two years after S.u.S.E Linux 1.0, in 1996, we have released SUSE Linux 4.2 our very first true SUSE distribution! which was not based on Slackware but on Jurix.
Yet another big milestone was achieved in 2000, when we brought the first Enterprise Linux Distribution ever, with SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (for IBM S/390)!

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