Category: linux

New package search on

Posted by – 5. April 2012

During the last weeks, we have been busy working on integration of the appstream project into openSUSE tools. Appstream is a cross-desktop initiative that provides APIs and concepts for building a Linux App-Store. We are extending the Ubuntu Software Center to be useable for other Linux distributions, working on Apper to support the additional metadata and enhance our software page with appstream data.

The first step for the webinterface was to rework the search functionality and presentation of applications:


The next step will be the creation of an App-Store containing the applications of the latest release with browsing by category, ratings and comments.

A preview of the app browser is already available here. Please tell us what you think about the new package search and the overall appstream project! Join us on #opensuse-project on freenode, or on

Unboxing Dropbox

Posted by – 31. Januar 2012

Dropbox is an absolutely great tool to share your data between different computers and mobile devices. Your data is stored in the cloud from where you can publish files and photo albums and work collaboratively on documents. It works very smoothly, has a great performance, and provides client apps for Linux, Windows, Mac, iOs, Android etc., offering 2GB space for free.

That sounds perfect, where’s the catch?

You are giving your private data to a U.S. based commercial company, which recently had a credibility issue, some security problems, awkward terms of service changes, and the fact that the government can get access to your data.

ownCloud to the rescue!

This is where ownCloud might be your choice. It is an open source webdav server that can be deployed on your own webspace. It does not yet have all the features and smoothness of Dropbox but it’s catching up. The recently released version 3 comes with file-sharing, contacts and calendar syncing, and an online music player.

Installing it is quite easy: Just drop the uncompressed tarball to a standard webspace which provides php. After that you can configure the setup in a browser and are ready to go. This is how you can mount your owncloud directory on a linux workstation:

wdfs http://<your owncloud host>/files/webdav.php /mnt

The package wdfs is included in the openSUSE standard repositories. wdfs can be used as normal user, no root privileges and changing of /etc/fstab is needed. After you have mounted your ownCloud to the system it can be used just like a local filesystem.


Posted by – 30. September 2011

Klaas wrote a nice summary of our hackweek’s work on ownCloud:

Linuxtag 2011 in Berlin

Posted by – 17. Mai 2011

Boosters hanging around with attitude


Berlin is a great location for the Linuxtag, it’s always nice to come there. Just have a look at the photo: The boosters are getting hip! Nearly the complete boosters team was there to meet, be available at our booth for questions and take part at the talks. With over 10.000 attendees it’s the biggest event of this kind, and you can be sure to always meet some well known faces of the openSUSE community there.

On the technical side, there were some interesting talks about virtualization, cross-distribution, kernel and the usage of free software in business environments just to give a few examples.



Tom on the catwalk

Artwork in progress


At our booth, each day we had several workshops where some people came together and could get into specific topics with the help of openSUSE experts. We had sessions from packaging to build service setup, wiki editing and as special workshop we had a handcrafting session („Bastelstunde“) at 17:00 each day. On Wednesday we invited interested people to create their own openSUSE geeko graffiti stencil. We sprayed that one onto some bags, and created some interest while doing this ๐Ÿ˜‰



Summer of Code 2011

Posted by – 24. Mรคrz 2011

Google’s summer of code 2011 is approaching, and got accepted as mentoring organization.

So now we are searching for students that would like to hack on one of our proposed projects from May 23rd – August 22nd (fulltime, 40h/week) being payed by Google (5000$ on success). Sounds like a fair deal, doesn’t it? ๐Ÿ˜‰

There are even some days left to propose a new project to hack on! In that case we would try to find a suitable mentor from our community to get you started.

There are quite some interesting project proposals on our gsoc2011 wiki page, reaching from build service projects to SUSE Studio tools and distribution specific tools, as well as cross-distribution efforts.

I would like to mentor a student in the OBS Mobile project which will create a nice interface to use the buildservice from your handheld. So if you are skilled in web technologies (jquery-mobile, rails) please apply and get the chance to hack this summer of code on this exciting project!

To get in contact with the openSUSE community please join channel #opensuse-project on freenode, or our project mailinglist at and we will help you to get started.

openSUSE 11.4

Posted by – 18. Mรคrz 2011

After 8 months of work openSUSE 11.4 has been released last week!
This has been celebrated with release parties all around the world.
As usual, the new release comes with the latest kernel,
LibreOffice, Gnome and KDE packages.

In Nuremberg, we celebrated the release with a party at the Artefakt bar, and had the fabulous Ukulele Insanity playing live.


Althogh the release is considered a very good one by many press and user reviews, I had some small problems after upgrading to it and want to share with you how I solved those:


After suspending and waking up my notebook, the kde networkmanager always deactivated the network. From /var/log/NetworkManager:

NetworkManager[2960]: (wlan0): deactivating device (reason: 2).
NetworkManager[2960]: (wlan0): supplicant interface state: starting -> ready
NetworkManager[2960]: (wlan0): device state change: 2 -> 3 (reason 42)<>

I found out, that for KDE 4.5 or later it is recommended to switch from using KNetworkManager to using the Networkmanagement Plasmoid instead. This is done by:

zypper in plasmoid-networkmanagement and allowing the removal of NetworkManager-kde4

Crypto partitions:

I am using a crypted home partition since a long time, and this was configured in /etc/cryptotab and enabled during boot in /etc/init.d/boot.crypto until the upgrade.

With the recent release this changed to /etc/crypttab and gets enabled in /etc/init.d/boot.crypto-early. To convert it, I changed my old cryptotab entry:

/dev/loop  /dev/sda6  /home/tom  ext4  twofish256 noatime,acl,user_xattr


cr_sda6  /dev/sda6  none  cipher=twofish-cbc-plain,size=256,hash=sha512

in /etc/crypttab and added to /etc/fstab:

/dev/mapper/cr_sda6  /home/tom  ext4  noatime,acl,user_xattr

Beeping X:

I think it’s highly annoying that X makes a load beep sound when killing it by ctrl+alt+delete. To turn this off, just add a file named /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/50-disable-beep.conf with this content:

Section "ServerFlags"
Option "ZapWarning" "off"

Iscan – udev rules change

The package iscan (Image Scan) from epson uses a deprecated syntax for it’s udev rules so that the
startup log gets spammed with lots of warnings. To fix it just run:

sudo sed -i -e „s:SYSFS:ATTRS:g“ /etc/udev/rules.d/60_iscan.rules

Screen resolution:

Somehow it seems the screen of my T60p gets detected incorrectly:

xdpyinfo | grep resolution returns a resolution of 96×96 dots per inch, but for my taste everything gets rendered too small. So I helped myself by running:

xrandr --dpi 120
systemsettings - application appearance - fonts - force 120 dpi

on startup. Although I’m quite sure this is not the elegant way of solving this ๐Ÿ˜‰

Oh no, Snoopy!

Posted by – 4. Mรคrz 2011

My Kde4 Snoopy comic plasmoid is broken since some days… Because the address of the daily comic strip changed. So what should I do? Fix it! ๐Ÿ™‚
To repair it on your system, follow these steps in a console:

> cd ~/.kde4/share/apps/plasma/comics/
> unzip -u 92041-snoopy.comic -d snoopy
> cd snoopy
> wget -O contents/code/
> zip -r ../92041-snoopy.comic *

Restart your plasmoid and have fun ๐Ÿ™‚

*Update 5.3.2011*
I contacted the author, and the comic is fixed now also when installing/updating
in the plasmoid settings.

openFATE mobile

Posted by – 28. Januar 2011

My project for Hackweek IV was to bring openFATE to mobile devices, and have a shared framework, so we can easily create mobile versions of other opensuse sites, for example the build service.

I decided to use the jquery mobile framework and together with Andre we created a rails plugin that automatically switches iPhones and android devices to the mobile version.
(Use this link to test the mobile version with your desktop browser)

I also created a native app that is available from the market that wraps this mobile web interface:

My plan is now to create a similar interface for the opensuse build service
which offers some basic functionality, such as request handling, showing build status etc.


Developing Google Android Apps on openSUSE

Posted by – 14. September 2010

Creating an Android application is quite easy, you basically need 3 things: 

  • The Google Android SDK Tools (a complete set of development and debugging tools)
  • Eclipse with the Android Development Tools (ADT) Plugin
  • A good idea for your new app ๐Ÿ™‚
Android Froyo

After creating your app you can publish it in the Android Market and make it available to millions of users on their smartphones.

Installing the Android SDK:

The SDK package can be installed from the build service or by manually downloading and unpacking the file from google.
I recommend the second way of unpacking the tarball to a directory your user can
write to, as it makes the installation of different android platforms (eg. 1,6, 2.2 …) easier.

Set up Eclipse with Android Development Tools

The ADT plugin is currently available for eclipse 3.5 („Galileo“) which can be directly downloaded here.

The ADT plugin can easily be installed using eclipse’s internal plugin manager.


The next step is to tell the ADT plugin your Android SDK location which can be done at:
Window > Preferences > Android


Create an Android 2.2 platform and a Virtual Android Device (avd)

The ADT plugin adds a little Android icon to the toolbar which opens the AVD manager.
This tool allows you to install several Android platform versions and and to start a virtual Android device. This virtual device can be used to test and debug your app.

Creating and running your Android app

The Android developer page contains a nice Hello World application to get you started. I would like to show an app that Duncan Mac-Vicar started: The openSUSE Build Service App.


Hosted on it’s easy for everyone to get the sources and play around with it. I just committed a quick fix to it so that it sorts the projectlist alphabetically.



You want to hear more about creating Android apps with openSUSE and using the openSUSE
infrastructure to build and distribute them? There will be a talk at the openSUSE conference „Collaboration across Borders“ that will take place in Nuremberg, Germany from 20th to 23rd of October 2010.

LinuxTag 2010

Posted by – 14. Juni 2010

Visiting Berlin for Linuxtag 2010 was nice ๐Ÿ™‚
I did a talk about Ruby on Rails in the infrastructure (german) (slides) which showed how we use rails and which experiences we have with rails and related tools in the infrastructure.

On our booth we released the Build Service 2.0 last friday, and did a workshop helping people to install their own buildservice instance. I prepared an appliance in SUSE Studio for that, that reduces the effort of running your own buildservice instance to booting a live cd or a vmware image.

On our booth and all around the hall the openSUSE balloon clown was in action and created nice geekos for the audience!