The Week that was oSC14

So that was the week that was. As with almost all good things, openSUSE Conference (oSC) 2014 has ended :‘-( A huge thanks to Svebor Prstačić and his fine crew from both Zagreb and Dubrovnik Universities. They did a wonderful job, and if there were any pain points they made sure that only they felt them. The venue was great with plenty of space, the two main auditoriums were almost too big ;-) Huge thankes to Jürgen Weigert and Christopher Hofmann for organising, directing, streaming, editing and uploading the videos of most of the talks.

Working with openSUSE's Kernel Source

This is more for my own self reference as I go through fits and starts of having to touch the kernel and end up forgetting WTF I need to do, but it may come in handy for others; especially if people want to enable new hardware etc. As we all know openSUSE follows the mainline kernel source pretty closely. We have as few patches as possible, but sometimes those patches build up as time goes on (think backporting etc.

openSUSE Board In The Flesh

I’m somewhat late in an openSUSE Board related task, sorry for that :-(. I would like to say a HUGE THANK YOU to all in the openSUSE community for voting in the Board elections, and to those who voted for me! Thank you for having the confidence trust and hope that I can represent your and the wider openSUSE community’s interests. I am deeply honoured to be able to serve a second term as your representative on the Board.

(re)Standing for the Board

Aloha fellow Geekos! I was fortunate enough to have been elected to the Board two years ago, and as always when you have fun time flies. As such my current tenure on the Board is due to end this year. As the openSUSE project is something that I value, believe in and enjoy I would like to stand for re-election. I will not present my campaign yet but will do so as of the 18 Nov, but what I will say is this:

Overview of the openSUSE ARM Hackathon

I just published a blog post on ARM’s corporate blog with an overview of the recent openSUSE ARM Hackathon. We didn’t quite manage all the tasks that we had hoped for, but we did get the big ones done. For me it was great to meet so many old friends, and some new ones. I’d like to say a few thanks to some of the people involved, they all did so much and this is just some of the things that they did:

Geeko Pumping Iron Session - openSUSE ARM Hackathon 08-12Apr

Get openSUSE 12.3 Now that openSUSE 12.3 is out, the openSUSE ARM Team want to step up a gear. As the cycle was shorter than normal, there are a few wrinkles that need to be ironed out and also a whole heap of new things that can be added. After some discussion at FOSDEM, it was decided to hold a Hackathon to address these items. The Hackathon will take place on 08 to 12 April, both at the SUSE offices in Nuremberg as well as online for those that can’t attend in person.

openSUSE on the Series 3 Chromebook - Quick and Easy

I have blogged about how to get Linux on the Chromebook in the past; and whilst the process works, it isn’t the easiest or most friendly way. Thanks to the tireless work of the openSUSE ARM Team (especially Alex Graf and Marcus Schäfer) we now have a simpler way to get openSUSE on the Chromebook. We now have an installable image that can be dd’ed directly to either an SD card or USB drive (I’ve not tried the internal eMMC) just like any other ARM device.

ARMing A Virtual World

There is now real hardware from ARM’s partners that offers the ability to leverage hardware virtualisation, in a similar fashion to Intel and AMD. So far three devices are shipping to the general public – the new Series 3 Chromebook, the Nexus 10 and the Arndale board. They all have one key factor in common, the Samsung Exynos5 SoC. This fine piece of silicon is a member of the Cortex-A15 family which introduces the required virtualisation extensions.

Clarification & Credits for openSUSE on ARM Chromebooks

After my post yesterday on getting openSUSE on the new ARM Chromebook, a lot of interest was generated with discussions on various forms of media – heck I even got Slashdotted (thanks :-) ). I read some but not all of them and even the comments. One thing popped out to me, and I feel I need to clarify some things. Whilst I do indeed work for ARM, my device was a private purchase and not provided to me by my employer.

Geeko goes Chrome

I was lucky enough to get into work today to have a lovely package waiting for me, a shiny new ARM powered Chromebook! o/ I ordered it specifically to have a good mobile ARM development platform. So after having used the bundled ChromeOS for the first half of the day I decided it was time to get this machine’s Geeko on. Thankfully one of the Google employed developers , Olof Johansson, was kind enough to post his steps to get Linux on the machine.

Going to the Summit of Geekos

Next week I’ll be in Orlando attending both SUSE Con, and also openSUSE Summit. Not only will I be attending the Summit, but I’ll also be joining Michael Miller in the Opening Ceremony. In addition to you being able to see, talk and interact with me, I’ll also be giving away a whole heap of goodies ;-) So if you’re in the area and have an interest in ARM or most things Geeko, please give me a shout.

Boxing ARM With Geekos

Earlier this week, some of the fine chaps over at Geeko Central managed to get the delightful little CuBox working with openSUSE. This was helped by the fine folks at SolidRun sponsoring a couple of devices for the work, thanks SolidRun! It isn’t 100% feature complete, but it is good enough for use as a server. The missing components are Audio and Video, so it is pretty much a headless style configuration at the moment like the Snowball.

When a Raspberry has all the flavour a Pi needs

I’m somewhat surprised at how many people are getting upset about the RaspberryPi. They are grumbling about how it is a weak, underpowered device with the only plus point being the exceptionally low price. People, this device was devised and built for a specific task – getting children coding and learning about computers in general!! The price point is crucial, one could give it to a 4yr old (or 40yr old) and not worry too much if it accidentally gets juice poured on it or covered in chocolate spread.

When Geekos with ARMs get together

I’m here in the belly of the Geeko at SUSE’s offices in Nuremberg, due to the fact that the new openSUSE Board had their Face to Face meeting yesterday (whole different topic needing its own post ;-) ). As I was coming here I thought it would be prudent to try and get the various people dealing with and interested in the ARM port around a table at some point to discus the status of things.

openSUSE on ARM Update 310112

It’s been a little over a month since the last update and as always there has been progress :-) First let’s get some of the numbers out of the way, currently we have 4202 packages built successfully, with 120 failed which is leading to 582 unresolvable. Remember this is for a full openSUSE Factory (12.2) build. Not bad, but we still have a way to go if we want to have an ARM port ready for 12.

openSUSE ARM Port update 21122011

It’s been almost a month since the last ARM porting update so here’s a little christmas present to you all. Dirk Müller sent out a status update to the mailing list, but I thought it would be a good idea post here for you scoundrels that aren’t subscribed :-) Thanks to some great work by loads of people including (but not limited to) Alex Graf, Adrian Schröter, Dirk Müller, Marcus Schäfer, Joop Boonen openSUSE’s ARM port has come along nicely.

openSUSE ARM gains a new Sponsor

I am very pleased to announce that ARM Holdings has joined our current sponsors, by providing a pile of Texas instruments OMAP4430 powered Pandaboards and some Samsung Exynos4210 powered Origen boards! Many thanks to the fine folks in Cambridge for their most generous donation. In addition to that, thanks to the community’s donations, we have also obtained an ST-Ericsson Nova A9500 powered Snowball board. Huge thanks to everyone that has made this happen.

openSUSE ARM Update 25Nov2011

Sorry that no news has been dished out with regards to the openSUSE ARM porting effort, but that’s mostly because things have been busy (honest!) For starters we have now successfully built around 3500 packages out of a total of about 4700 for the full openSUSE ditribution. So we are well on our way. It hasn’t been easy going though, and we still have lots of hurdles, hoops and obstacles to overcome.

Running for the openSUSE Board (2011)

For those that aren’t subscribed to the openSUSE Project Mailinglist: As was announced last month, the Board is looking for some new blood. As such I intend to run for one of the available seats. Yes people, your lovable FunkyPenguin is hoping to be able to represent you and all your crazy ideas (I’ve got some of those myself ;-) ). I know of a few other candidates that are running, and they’re fine upstanding folk of the openSUSE community.

openSUSE ARM Update - 141011

The big update is that a couple of kind companies have stepped up and sponsored some hardware for the effort to get openSUSE on ARM. Huge thank you to: They have kindly sponsored and shipped several EfikaMX devices. Thanks to Peter Czanik for organising this on our behalf. Ti in association with the PandaBoard community have kindly sponsored and are shipping several PandaBoards. Thank you, this is a huge help.

ARMing openSUSE - 111011

So HackWeek VII has been and gone, but work has not stopped in getting our beloved Geeko some ARMs. Now I’ll be the first to admit, things have been a wee bit scrappy in places. This isn’t anyone’s fault, it’s just that we want to get things rolling ASAP. Thing is, we need more haste less speed; we need to be somewhat more concerted with our efforts. So instead of trying to get everything to build in one hit (would be great if that was possible), we are going to target patterns of packages.

Hardware needed for openSUSE on ARM

As I mentioned before, we have an initial target platform identified for testing the work of all those involved in the openSUSE ARM port. The problem is we need to obtain the hardware. I am in discussions trying to get some corporate sponsorship of hardware, but we can not rely soley on those kind companies that would like to see us succeed. We as a community need to help ourselves succeed, as such I’ve set up a campaign on Pledgie to enable us the community to contribute to the effort for obtaining hardware.

Target ARM Hardware

I just sent this into the -arm mailing list. This is a hot topic, and one that seems to generate the most noise. I’ve had a discussion with several people about target hardware, and I’ve also looked at what our peers are doing and saying. At the same time I’ve been trying to see what options we have for getting some sponsorship for hardware. There were three devices in the running, all are classed as development boards – so no case or external prettyness (beauty comes from within anyway):

Growing some openSUSE ARMs

One of the things that came out of the recent Geeko Love-In for me was a new project to immerse myself in within openSUSE. Yeah I know, we have enough existing projects already so why create a new one? Simples! Believe it or not but openSUSE is behind the curve in a specific segment, and that segment has yet to explode to its full potential. That segment is ARM. No I’m not talking about your upper body appendages, but the architecture that powers most of your little devices (and some bigger ones too).

The week that was oSC 11

Unfortunately the good times have come to an end, one of the best shindig in a long time has been and gone. Friends from far away have returned home, as have I. Yes, the openSUSE Conference of 2011 was an absolute blast. Seriously, I had an absolute scream. As I mentioned before I was expecting a whole heap of fun, and boy did the Geeko deliver!!! I met up with all sorts of people, starting off with Richard Brown a.

What the openSUSE Conference means to me

I was asked the other day “What do you expect from the openSUSE Conference?” The simple answer is I only expect to have fun. Seriously, I expect nothing more, nothing less. I hope for a whole lot more, but I certainly don’t expect it. This may sound somewhat silly, but in all honesty that’s how I feel. This conference (as are most others) is a great way to meet the people you interact with online, there’s something satisfying to be able to replace the digital person with a real flesh and blood person.

The 5 Ws of contributing to openSUSE

I’m going to be holding a Bof at the openSUSE Conference all about the 5 Ws of contributing to openSUSE. WTF is it about? Well I’m glad you asked (I don’t care if you didn’t ask, because I’m going to tell you anyway ;-) ) My intention is to have as interactive a session possible, I will take on the role of compère and with audience participation I will try and highlight where we have issues both as a project and as a contributor and try and get to some form of resolution even if it is just a plan not an actual fix.

Designing the missing Web UI for Bongo

Yay openSUSE is having a shindig in September, yes it’s the openSUSE Conference 2011 (aka oSC11). And seeing as the theme is rwx³ I’ve submitted a couple of BoF propossals. Now they haven’t been approved yet, so I’m not 100% sure they’ll happen but either way I’ll be there and will be keen to talk to anyone that is interested. The first topic I’d like to talk about is as the post’s subject says “Designing the missing Web UI for Bongo”.

Can We Spread The ISV Love, Please?!

So word from the new Big Cheese, Herr Braukmann, is openSUSE is vital to SUSE – newsflash, this isn’t new or surprising ;-) In the same breath SUSE is vital for openSUSE, again nothing new here. One problem though, there are many elements that still see them as void of each other and don’t trust or believe in the community. Hopefully with the re-organisation this will start to change. One thing that SUSE has marketed for a long time is that it has the highest number of ISV software certified to run on their platform.

Getting The Necessitas To Port To Android

So as I mentioned earlier I managed to port entimologist to Android. This post will hopefully explain how I did this. The shopping list for this task is relatively straight forward: Android SDK Android NDK Java development files (on openSUSE I use java-1_6_0-sun-devel) ant (on openSUSE ant is too old, I use the binary tarball from the Apache site) Qt Creator for Android SDK a.k.a Necessitas Not necessary but could be helpful – Eclipse (on openSUSE don’t use the packages available as there are things missing that prevent building for android, use the binary tarball from the Eclipse site) Ministro First thing I had done was install and setup Eclipse, I then setup the Android SDK & Android NDK – that was done months ago.

Smeegol NoGo MeeGo GoGo

As many people will know I’ve spent around 18 months of my spare time packaging and building the Netbook UX for Moblin/MeeGo on openSUSE. Not on my own, but with a community around me. I would just like to say a huge thank you to that community, you’ve been great and spurred me on when I felt like the whole world was conspiring against me. Sound a bit morose? Well in a way it is.

More Board For More Geeko

I have packaged up the latest and greatest release ( of the-boardfrom Lucas Rocha. If’ you want a bit more background have a look at my previous post. I also said that it was for 11.4/Factory only and that 11.3 was a WIP. Well the progress is complete (with huge help from Frederic Crozat, and his great GNOME3 repo). Yes, more people can have some of this cool shiny stuff. There is a but, and this is from upstream – it is still in development so you may loose a kitten or bunny, maybe even both ;-) So come and join the fun and try it out, I’ve not generated a single .

The Board - packaged for your pleasure

No, I’m not talking about this board – I’m talking about the cool project by GNOME afficianado Lucas Rocha – The Board. There is a little gotcha with the packages – it is for openSUSE Factory/11.4 only at the moment. I need to work on backporting some of the shiny dependencies to 11.3. Things aren’t 100%, as I need to do a tiny bit of cleaning up with the packages, but it works pretty well for a 0.

Fed up of FUD against Novell, SUSE & openSUSE

tl;dr – To all you doomsday FUD mongers about Novell/SUSE/openSUSE STFU & let us show you what we can and will do!! For those living under a rock, yes Novell has agreed to be acquired. Welcome to the world of business, and especially in software this sort of thing is very common. Now for some reason a whole heap of people seem to think that this spells doom for Novell, SUSE and openSUSE.

Disappointment at the Linux Foundation and MeeGo Project

I’ve been stewing over a response on the MeeGo developers mailing list for some time now. Basically the MeeGo Project and their steward, the Linux Foundation don’t seem to be wanting to play this whole open source, open community game. I wouldn’t have any issue with it if it was just Nokia and Intel fumbling with MeeGo, it would be just another lost opportunity that big corporations screwed up on. Problem is the Linux Foundation is involved and are supposedly the ones guiding the project.

Smeegol Status - 08Dec10

Looks like it’s been a while since I mentioned anything about our dear friend Smeegol – sorry. As most will know MeeGo made a couple of releases: 1.0.5 mostly an update to their original release 1.1.0 the new release with new API, and renaming most packages So where is Smeegol? Well we’re pretty much there, although not 100%. I have 1.0.5 all built and packaged including an image. Problem is I seem to have hit a bug with network-manager-netbook – it doesn’t seem to be displaying networks which is a fairly fundamental issue :-(

Hyenas and Beagles snapping at the heels of Smeegol

I unfortunately received an e-mail just now from the Linux Foundation with regards to our precious Smeegol, and it appears on the face of it that they’re not that impressed with our efforts. Somewhat bizarrely as they have had plenty of opportunity to respond. Now I’m not going to start ranting and raving about injustice etc, what I will say is this and it is a bit of a rant ;-) :

Thanks for My Precious

So after many months of hard work, Smeegol is out the door. Now contrary to what some folk may think, this was *NOT* a one man show – far from it! I may have spearheaded the whole affair, but I in no way can take credit for it all – that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t accept any of your fine donations ;-) I’d like to take this opportunity to thank many of the people that helped get this labour of love out the door.

News from the Goblin

I thought I should let anyone that cares know what the latest status of my work is. What work? Getting MeeGo on openSUSE, of course! I’m calling it Smeegol – SUSE MeeGo Linux, and this just happens to be the Teal Goblin – Teal is the code name for 11.3 ;-) Well I’m not quite there yet (unfortunately) :-( I have one major issue which is the Network Panel not displaying properly, and as such is difficult to use.

Goblin status update

I thought it was about time that I enlightened people as to what the state of play is with my efforts of getting MeeGo 1.0 for Netbooks on openSUSE. The good news is I think I’m pretty much there :-) I believe all the essential packages are built now, although there is a *lot* of work to be done in getting the packages into Factory. The outstanding work is mostly spec file housekeeping but non the less it will be a relatively laborious task.

openSUSE Community Question Time

It looks like I’ve been asking you, the community, a load of questions recently on this here blog. As such I thought it only fair to turn the tables and let you guys and girls do the asking :-) If we can make a bit of a game out of this I would appreciate it. So first up I’ll give you a deadline of 1200UTC 17June2010 to get you questions in by.

Goblin - Then, Now & the Future

It’s been a while since I mentioned anything about Goblin and anything netbook related, sorry. Anyhow as everyone is aware, Moblin has since been superseded by MeeGo. The timing was a bit of a PITA for me, as it coincided with the Factory freeze, which means I couldn’t update the relevant packages etc in-time for 11.3. As it stands, 11.3 should have an almost fully functional Moblin environment – I say ‘almost’ as there were two packages that I just couldn’t get to co-operate and build (the modified Moblin browser, and the Web panel).

Not today Josephine

I’ve had a lot of people ask me both within the openSUSE community and outside of it, whether I applied for the vacant openSUSE Community Manager role. In a nutshell, yes I did apply for it. Why the past tense? Well I got notified almost two weeks ago that I was unsuccessful :’-( The good thing that did come out of it, is that there seem to be some very good candidates in the running – let’s face it, they would have to be pretty damned good to beat me ;-)

Community Discussion - Part 8

Enterprise in the Community It has been mentioned that the Geeko is somewhat of a schizophrenic at times, and do you know what I kind of have to agree. The difference is I disagree on how the schizophrenia affects our dear friend. Most people think that the multiple personalities are desktop related – you know, KDE vs GNOME vs XFCE vs $DE. I on the other hand feel it is to with audience – Enterprise vs Consumer.

Community Discussion - Part 7

Yes I’m still at it, trying to get YOU the openSUSE community talking about what is important to you. This time round I’d like to hear your opinions and thoughts about something. I’m going to keep my views on the matter quiet until we get some dialogue going, so if you want to hear my thoughts (and let’s face it who doesn’t? ;-) ) best you start airing your opinions.

openSUSE and the ways of a11y

So further to my post on a11y in openSUSE, I was asked how one would enable Accessibility. Now to be honest I only *kind of* know how to do it in GNOME, so I set off on a little exploration of the other desktop environments. It may seem strange that I’m trying to champion a subject that I don’t really know, but that’s part of the reason why I’m doing so.

Getting openSUSE from A to Y

There is an 13 letter word that begins with “a” and ends with “y”, can you guess what it is? Yup, *a11y* is what I’m on about, also known asAccessibility. I think the subject of a11y is possibly a very misunderstood one, I for one incorrectly associated it with disabled use of a computer. I have been corrected (on more than one occasion) to the fact that Accessibility actually refers to the ability for anybody to be able to use a computer (or any other device) regardless of any impairment they might have.

Community Discussion - Part 6 Feedback

You have to grant me that I’m persistent ;-) OK so this time round I thought I’d do a quick round up of some of the feedback that I’ve received so far – some of it has been in the form of comments on this here blog, others have been responses on mailing lists, and some has been from direct converstation with me. I’d love to get more from you, and ultimately you get more from yourselves.

Community Discussion - Part 5

Oh yes, I’m still going at it folks! Let’s discuss :-) This time round I’d like us to discuss Collaboration, Learning, Listening and Leading. Let me clarify what I mean by Collaboration; I’m NOT talking about Groupwise/Exchange/Zimbra/Alfresco/SharePoint/Kablink style collabortaion, but I AM talking about working with other parties and teams. Within openSUSE as with other distributions there are multiple teams/projects that in some cases could be classed as competitors – GNOME & KDE are a prime example.

Community Discussion - Part 4

Yup, I’m still trying to get us, the openSUSE Community, to discuss ways we can improve ourselves. This time round I’m going to look at Education, Coaching and Teamwork. Again there is nothing groundbreaking or revolutionary here, but these are topics I feel are easily forgotten or misunderstood. One item that seems to pop up fairly regularily regardless of which side of the fence you’re on (Novell employee or not), is community contribution and ownership.

Community Discussion - Part 3

Continuing my series of getting the openSUSE Community engaged in how better to improve itself, I thought I would look at Transparency and Communication. So what do I mean by these two? If we look at the definitions of these two: Transparency - Lack of hidden agendas and conditions, accompanied by the availability of full information required for collaboration, cooperation, and collective decision making. Minimum degree of disclosure to which agreements, dealings, practices, and transactions are open to all for verification.

Community Discussion - Part 2

It’s been a couple of weeks since my first Discussion with the Community, so as a follow on I thought I would cover the topic of Tools for the community. In my mind I split tools into two groups – hard & soft. What I mean by this is “hard” = infrastructure based, and “soft” = software based. Some may seem pretty obvious to you, and some may seem like they aren’t tools at all.

Community Discussion - Part1

I thought it would be a good idea to try and engage you – the fine openSUSE community – in discussion about “Us” the Community. We seemed to have been spoiled by having a Community Manager, people kind of seemed to let him do the work or worse expected him to do so. Now that we don’t have that position any more we need to go back to basics and start rolling our sleeves up.