25 Oct 2011

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openSUSE News: Help out with testing at openSUSE

One of the most important activities during software development is testing. In FOSS community, software often gets tested by the developers themselves, other developers and volunteers. During the openSUSE 12.1 development process it has been important to keep Factory working properly. Testing this is however a rather boring, repetitive task: the tester has to boot up a Factory ISO as often as possible and check if the basic applications start up and work. We don't like boring tasks so the openSUSE Project has been using the automated testing framework openQA to test this release daily!

This article explains how openQA works and how you can help keep Factory working! We'll also give some links to more information about testing to help new testers learn the trade but also give experienced testers some new tips and insights!

Development Cycle

Testing is generally done on the latest development release, with additional testing sometimes done using updates from Factory to verify bug fixes. Everything in Factory is passed through our automated test framework openQA. You can read more about openQA an the announcement openSUSE News. openQA is a great test suite and is capable of producing videos of the whole process and also screenshots. This greatly reduces the overhead for the testers. An overview of the test results can be found here.

Using openQA

Reporting Bugs

openQA can be used both for bug reporting and bug triaging. To find and report bugs using openQA just visit the openQA test result page, browse through the web interface and look for failed tests. Click on the corresponding tests, to view the results. If your copy of openSUSE is different from the version that has been tested at openqa but you want to/need to do additional testing, fire up your vm and install the version openQA used (or a newer one). You can check for bugs in the tests that have not been autochecked and also look for hardware related (note that in this case you will need to install it on your system instead of a vm) and other possible bugs that openQA might have missed. If you find a bug, report the bug to our testing team or file the bug yourself. Be sure to make good use of the openSUSE Testing documentation at the Testing portal, the Bug report how-to and read the Bug Reporting F.A.Q!

Triaging Bugs

Bernhard, the author of openQA has come out with a nice web interface for bug triagers to make them easier to browse through bugs. The web interface provides with a list of some random bugs. If you are interested ino a scpecific component, then you can use the search bar and look for them. Once you have a random list of bugs that may interest you, you mark a bug as taken. This will reserve the bug. Now fix the bug and update the bugzilla accordingly to get more info or mark it as fixed. While the real triaging is still left for the developers to do, the web interface makes it easierfor them to find bugs..

Adding tests to openQA

An important part of openQA are of course the tests themselves. The more tests are written the more openQA can cover. Tweaking preexisting tests or creating new tests is not very difficult. We recommend to check out this article on LWN.net to find out how to get the source of openQA. You will need it to have the examples and tools needed to build new test cases. Once you have the source, you can find the test modules spread across os-autoinst directory. Every test module has two parts, one which contains the general flow of sendkey events to test an application or feature, the second one being a set of md5 hash sums to determine the validity of test results. os-autoinst/bmqemu.pm can act as a reference for the functions that can be used in our test modules. The commands can be used to write the desired test module. To verify if the test results are valid or not, a set of md5 hash sums of screenshots of the desired results is checked. To calculate these hashsums you can use tools/inststagedetect2.pl. The following article provides an indepth howto on writing a test module in openQA.

Getting Started

If you need help/support in testing, if you have topics to discuss or if you are just interested in this area, join the opensuse-testing@opensuse.org mailing list (see openSUSE:Mailing lists page how to subscribe). Have a look at the Testing portal or directly contact our core testing team http://en.opensuse.org/openSUSE:Testing_Core_team.

Happy testing!

25 Oct 2011 7:37pm GMT

Sascha Manns: Collecting Ideas for openSUSE Weekly News 200

Hello Mates,

soon we will release our 200th Issue of openSUSE Weekly News.

Time to collect ideas. So please tell us your ideas and place they there: https://connect.opensuse.org/pg/forum/topic/14907/ideas-for-opensuse-weekly-news-issue-200/

Have a lot of fun.

25 Oct 2011 7:27pm GMT

Andreas Jaeger: openSUSE at Lange Nacht der Wissenschaften

Last Saturday Nürnberg and other cities in the region had the so called "Lange Nacht der Wissenschaften" (literal translation: Long night of sciences). During this night - from 18:00 until 1:00 in the morning - over 1000 events took place to show what's happening in companies and research institutions. The event was visited by over 28000 visitors.
The Georg-Simon-Ohm University was so kind to invite openSUSE as a guest on their side for this event. A group of SUSE employees volunteered to present openSUSE.

Jürgen brought his trebuchet with him and put it in front of the main entrance. A trebuchet is a medieval war machine (catapult) and he had build a smaller version for himself. Instead of demonstrating the proper use of the machine - destroying city walls with throwing stones -, we throw small geekos into the crowd that mainly consisted of kids trying to catch the geeko while their parents were looking interestingly at the machine and were sent to our room to get more infos about the machine and open source.

In the room, we gave one of the following four presentations every 30 minutes: Introduction to OpenStreetMap by Christopher Hofmann, digital photo processing by Stephan Barth, simulation of an medieval war machine by Jürgen Weigert and 20 years of Linux by Andreas Jaeger. Jürgen explained how the trebuchet works and how it can be calculated and then demonstrated - using free software - how to simulate the machine and figure out how far it can throw.
We also had our two presentation desktops to showcase open source software - openSUSE 11.4 and it's applications - and a tablet showing Plasma Active.

We explained open source and openSUSE to the many people that visited us and also gave away the openSUSE 11.4 DVDs.
There were a lot of conversations: A visitor that wanted to argue that Windows' Powershell is far better than anything else. When Werner, our shell expert, asked him what he prefers to bash or tcsh, it became clear that he had never checked them out.
I talked with some students that want to become teachers and explained them openSUSE education and how free software makes it easy for them to teach - it gave them a different perspective.
It was a great night for all of us!

25 Oct 2011 6:24pm GMT

SUSE Studio: ACE editor for scripts editing in SUSE Studio

Ajax.org Cloud9 Editor (ACE) is a standalone code editor written in JavaScript. It is written for Cloud9 IDE and is used in a number of other projects, including GitHub.

Over here, at SUSE Studio, we integrated ACE editor into our scripts editing section, which allow you to edit boot, build scripts and AutoYaST configuration XML.

Key Features
Here are some key features of ACE that are integrated into SUSE Studio:

Syntax highlighting: Provides syntax highlighting for Bash and XML scripts. This syntax highlighting is similar to IDEs and you should be familiar to it. This allows easy debugging and spotting of careless typos.

Highlighted lines: When navigating through the code with the cursor, the entire line will be highlighted for easy viewing.

Tab indentation: You can do tab indentation easily and naturally just by pressing Tab on your keyboard, without having to worry about losing focus of the textarea.

Ctrl-S Saving: Save your data as often as possible. Use keyboard shortcut to save, by pressing Ctrl-S.

Quick Comparison
Here is a quick visual comparison with/without ACE editor:

Without ACE editor

With ACE editor

See it in action
Here's how it works:

1. Create a new appliance or edit an existing appliance:

2. Navigating to Configuration - Scripts:

3. In this page, you will be able to edit build, boot scripts and the AutoYaST configuration XML, with the ACE editor. Enjoy!

As always, do let us know if you find any bugs or have any questions.

As ACE editor does not originally support Bash scripts, we forked the original source for ACE editor and included syntax highlighting for Bash. To benefit all, we submitted a pull request back to the original source and is pending approval.

We hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

25 Oct 2011 2:51pm GMT

openSUSE News: Internet at openSUSE Conference 2011

At the openSUSE conference 2011, there was especially one area that caused us the previous years some trouble and this year nobody spoke about since it just worked fine: Wireless internet access.

So, what have we done right this year? It was basically wiring internet ourselves to the location and setting up the wifi controllers sponsored by Aeroaccess.

We were lucky that SUSE's internet provider M-Net had a fibre channel cable in the cellar of the building and negotiated a special short-term package with 100 MBit/s for the conference.

We set up a router in the main hall - running openSUSE 11.4 for NAT that also ran a DHCP server for IPv4 and SLAAC for IPv6. From there we ran cables to the seminar rooms and installed in each of the four seminar rooms a gigabit switch. In each seminar room and the main hall we had two wireless access points that were connected to the switch. We controlled the wireless access points from the main router and configured them such that each had the same wireless login and password and in such a way that roaming between them worked effectively. So, you could walk from one room to the other and your wireless client, e.g. smartphone or laptop, was switching from one access point to the other but kept the same IP address.

The hardest job was for our "cabling team". Max Maher and Max Maier had to find ways to connect the seminar rooms with the main hall and weren't allowed to drill holes. So, they threw a couple of cables out of some windows and wired them to the next destination. They had to use several 30 and 50m cables for that.

Some data on our internet usage: Peak throughput was 67 MBit/s and we had 13.2 % IPv6 and 86.8 % IPv4 data.

I talked with Bernd Hillmeister from Aeroaccess at the conference and he told me that the company's expertise is consulting, planning, implementation, management and support of Enterprise Wireless Networks. So our installation was a small example of what they do. Aeroaccess' focus is Mobile Infrastructure only with all related challenges like high availability demands, bandwidth requirements and related RF issues indoor as well as outdoor.

Aeroaccess sponsored osc11 with sending us access points with power-over-ethernet adaptors for them. They were so kind to pre-configure the access points so that we could plug them in and they worked directly.

25 Oct 2011 2:36pm GMT

Michael Meeks: 2011-10-25: Tuesday

25 Oct 2011 12:51pm GMT

Andreas Jaeger: openSUSE Conference 2011 is over - Photos uploaded

The openSUSE conference is now over. It was a really great event and I loved to meet many friends in person that I have only met online before like Manu and Kostas. As one of the co-organizers of the event, it was a lot of work and the reward was great! I'm happy to have been part of such a great team organizing osc11. Yesterday and today a couple of us spend cleaning everything up and I'm now exhausted, so I only write this short article to point out the photos I've taken. More next week...

I've taken many photos - like the group photo - and uploaded them to my gallery, and I hope you enjoy them.
Also, an article by The H is online based on a conversation I had with Andrea Müller from The H.

25 Oct 2011 11:23am GMT

Kohei Yoshida: mdds 0.5.4 released

I'm happy to announce that version 0.5.4 of Multi-Dimensional Data Structure (mdds) is available for download from the link below.


This release fixes several bugs in segment_tree and point_quad_tree, but other than that, no other changes are made since 0.5.3. If you use 0.5.3 and don't use these data structures, then there is no reason to update to 0.5.4.

25 Oct 2011 1:45am GMT

24 Oct 2011

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Michael Meeks: 2011-10-24: Monday

24 Oct 2011 9:00pm GMT

Manu Gupta: Google Code-in and openSUSE

After Google Summer Of Code 2011, openSUSE plans to participate in Google Code-in. It is an excellent opportunity for openSUSE to meet young talents and introduce them to the ways of open source.

What is Google Code-in?
It is a contest hosted by Google for pre university students every year where they are encouraged to participate in open source projects and are awarded cash prizes for their contributions from Google. Various open source organizations participate in it and mentors from every organizations help these students to get up to speed and advice them on how to complete the challenge. The contest period is from November 21st to January 16th 2012

What are tasks?
Every open source organization has a lot of cool ideas in mind and likewise every member of the community has some ideas in his minds. These ideas are collated and put together and are categorized into three levels of difficulty - Easy, Medium and Difficult. Students are rewarded points as to what task they complete.

Deciding the tasks
The mentors decide the task, off -course community can suggest but at the end of the day it is the mentor's discretion on what task they want to work on. Tasks can be anything and for a more accurate description of the tasks visit here.
Note that not all tasks will be code related, so even a non-technical guy with enough experience with other skills can participate in Google Code-in as mentors. Tasks can range from Documentation to translation, artwork to marketing and off course what is a code-in without code related tasks like code refracting, testing, finding and squashing bugs and a lot more things.

Preps for Code-in
openSUSE has already started preparations vigorously and is already coming up with a list of tasks and is looking for mentors. While lots of us have already signed, we are looking for lots more to sign up as mentors and see more interesting tasks ahead.
More information can be found at en.opensuse.org/openSUSE:GCI
and http://en.opensuse.org/openSUSE:GCI_Tasks

Along with the above 2 links, make sure to have a look at http://google-melange.com/

Thanks to Jos for reminding the links do not work

24 Oct 2011 8:15pm GMT

Klaas Freitag: Zentrifuge: Future Day

AJ and me today went to Zentrifuge again where we had the openSUSE Conference 2011 a couple of weeks ago. We were invited for a coffee and had a feedback session about the conference event. It was a success for both openSUSE and the Zentrifuge.

One thing I like to point out here is the Future Day, happening on november 19th 2011. It will be a one day congress at Zentrifuge around a changing society and new future concepts. It sounds like an interesting event for people thinking in different directions and people who care, about themselves, the world and the future…

Three speakers are already on the list:

I think this is a very interesting line up. It's hard to predict which topics and ideas the workshops will touch, and which conclusions one will take home in the evening.

Maybe we as the openSUSE community should look beyond our own nose and see if we can contribute to this kind of movement? Software is already a lot, but I think for example the idea of freedom is more. Maybe this is a good opportunity to explore beyond the usual limitations. If you are interested let me know, I am sure we can negotiate a nice price….

Here is some more material about the day.

24 Oct 2011 8:08pm GMT

Sascha Manns: Calibre 0.8.23 checked in into OBS

Yesterday i've checked in the calibre 0.8.23 from the calibre project into the OBS. You can download it from the Documentation:Tools Repository. Or you're using

You will need any 12.1pre version with the newer python for running this.

What's happend since the last Version?

Mon Oct 24 19:07:54 UTC 2011 - Sascha.Manns@open-slx.de

24 Oct 2011 7:50pm GMT

openSUSE News: openSUSE 12.1 RC1 spotted in the wild

release counter
As was already blogged by Vincent Untz, a few weeks after our last milestone was released as beta 1, the first Release Candidate of openSUSE 12.1 is now floating over the web!

What's new

The next release of openSUSE is expected to bring a large number of improvements and changes. Many of these are the 'usual' updates any Linux distribution offers. These include the latest Firefox, GNOME 3.2 and KDE's Plasma Workspace 4.7. Under the hood, we have Linux kernel 3.1 and we expect to be the first to ship Google's new programming language Go. We also overhauled our boot procedure introducing systemd and Grub2 (testing!) and of course we'll ship the latest developer tools and libraries as well as all the sysadmin goodies openSUSE is known for!

But we also have some really unique treats. The coolest among those is Snapper, a btrfs-based tool which allows you to view the differences between current and previous versions of files on your system and lets you roll back the changes, bringing back lost files or undoing damaging overwrites.


The changes in underlying boot technology, the new tools like Snapper as well as the rest of the operating system need a good workout for the release! So now we need YOUR help! Go to the download page and grab your copy of openSUSE 12.1 RC1 and test it on your desktop, in a VM or on a laptop!

You can find information on testing on the openSUSE Testing wiki page which also includes a link to the most annoying 12.1 bugs. Help us shorten that list by re-testing the problematic areas or by fixing the bugs; or help us find new pressing issues!

Get openSUSE 12.1 RC1 from this page.

More information and other helping-out

The openSUSE 12.1 Portal page has been set up but still needs quite some work. There are screenshots to be taken, release notes to be written and Documentation to be composed. We also welcome help with translation!

24 Oct 2011 7:07pm GMT

Vincent Untz: openSUSE 12.1 RC1 is out, with GNOME 3.2.1

At the end of last week, we unleashed RC1 of our next openSUSE release (12.1, scheduled for November 16th), and it comes with GNOME 3.2.1, which went out only a couple of days before RC1. Go grab a live image if you want to play with either openSUSE or GNOME 3 :-) There are still a few bugs here and there to iron out, but overall, the experience is very solid!

Anonymous openSUSE 12.1 user

"I upgraded to openSUSE 12.1, and this dramatically improved my life!" - Anonymous

It really feels good to have this openSUSE release nearing, as we missed the GNOME 3.0 boat (openSUSE 11.4 was released one month before GNOME 3.0): I, and I assume a few others, felt that we were stuck in the past with GNOME 2 in our world for so long. Sure, the work on backporting GNOME 3.0 and then 3.2 to openSUSE 11.4 helped, but we really wanted to share what was in Factory... Especially as there was really a lot of work to properly integrate this new GNOME.

I'm obviously really glad to see the GNOME 3 love in openSUSE, but looking back at the last few months, what is even greater to me is that we got many amazing people contribute to the GNOME team through-out this cycle. I'm sure I'll forget some of them (apologies for that, let me know so I add your name!), but here's a quick list:

Their various contributions include updating packages, fixing bugs, testing, polishing the experience, supporting users, providing ideas, and more! Go ahead and thank those people when you meet them (virtually or in the real life): they all make the GNOME team rock! And who knows, maybe next time you'll also be one of those rock stars?

24 Oct 2011 5:18pm GMT

Alexander Naumov: A bit creative :: Release party poster

Actually I'm not a designer and such tools like GIMP or Inkscape are terra incognita for me. But if you are going to organize the Release Party you MUST be designer a little bit :)
(thanks for helping my colleague Valentin).

16th November at 19 o'clock just follow us in Nautibar (Theaterstraße 8, Göttingen).

Dark fresh beer, kicker and openSUSE 12.1 wait for you ;)

24 Oct 2011 8:37am GMT

Thomas Göttlicher: New Style for YaST2

YaST2 got a lot of improvements which will be available in openSUSE 12.1. YaST doesn't accidentally overwrite configuration files anymore (last bug fixed ;-) ) and snapper provides a rollback function for configuration options, just to mention a few. Therefore it's time to give YaST2 a new and fresh style. As YaST Qt supports Stylesheets it's simple to influence YaST's style.

Screenshot of YaST's New Style

FACTORY contains the new style already. Packages for older releases are also available in my build service project: http://software.opensuse.org/download.html?project=home:tgoettlicher:Factory&package=branding-openSUSE.

I hope you like it. You can use YaST's Stylesheet Editor to play around the the stylesheet as described in my this blog post. Please send me improvements you want to share. Thanks.

24 Oct 2011 8:11am GMT