openSUSE Board Non-Confidence Petition result announced

Two weeks ago the openSUSE Election Committee set up an electronic petition to measure whether 20% of the community members are in favour of a re-election of the current elected Board Members. Let me remind that a non-confidence vote was called by openSUSE member Pierre Böckmann. He explained his reasoning in the email he addressed to community members.

The openSUSE election rules state that:

If 20 per cent or more of the openSUSE members require a new board, an election will be held for the complete elected Board seats.

As explained in my earlier post a few weeks ago, the Election Committee was tasked find out whether 20% of the community is indeed calling for a re-election.

We set up an electronic petition using Helios, the voting platform used by the community to run the board elections.

Voting "Yes, I want to sign the petition to call for a re-election of the openSUSE Board" would give us an idea of how many members are calling for re-election.

If a member did not support a re-election, there was no need to vote. This was explained in an email sent to community members on the project mailing list and via the voting credential email sent by Helios to eligible voters.

The petition ran for two weeks, starting on 30 June 2020. It ended on 14 July 2020. The result was published this morning on the project mailing list and members also received an email via Helios announcing the result.

Result

Out of the 509 eligible voters on Helios, 59 voted "Yes" for a re-election of the openSUSE Board. This result indicates that only 11.6% of the community voted in favour of a re-election.

Since the result is less than the 20% required for the complete Board's re-election, the Election Committee will proceed with an election to fill the current vacant seats only.

Podman – unable to pull image

Today, while pulling the latest Nextcloud container image from the docker.io repository I noticed that it is failing. Looking at the read: connection reset by peer error I assume it could be primarily due to network failure; maybe poor quality of the connection.

Note that Mauritius is far from "everywhere" else and connectivity issues are nothing new.

ish@coffee-bar:~> podman pull docker.io/library/nextcloud
Trying to pull docker.io/library/nextcloud...
Getting image source signatures
Copying blob e0276193a084 done  
Copying blob eb2d00c10344 done  
Copying blob 3a60f364b0c5 done  
Copying blob e0d3d1244592 done  
Copying blob f54006e0dc29 done  
Copying blob 8559a31e96f4 done  
Copying blob b22875b95a2a done  
Copying blob f65316e96b10 done  
Copying blob 3e309988c00b done  
Copying blob 0c78caf16ec3 [======================================] 13.1MiB / 13.2MiB
Copying blob 4fc30aae7ee5 done  
Copying blob 37b016cacdc6 done  
Copying blob fd56bf3cc539 done  
Copying blob e3cd35f544b5 done  
Copying blob 467fea8f6f80 done  
Copying blob 0dc7444f9282 done  
Copying blob 547ae6684264 done  
Copying blob 3139b6de5be7 done  
Copying blob 00e77223b529 done  
Copying blob 2b37e3b3a856 done  
  read tcp 192.168.100.6:33536->104.18.124.25:443: read: connection reset by peer
Error: error pulling image "docker.io/library/nextcloud": unable to pull docker.io/library/nextcloud: unable to pull image: Error writing blob: error storing blob to file "/var/tmp/storage720474498/10": read tcp 192.168.100.6:33536->104.18.124.25:443: read: connection reset by peer

Podman does not retry to copy the image in case of failures.

A few days ago there was a suggestion to implement a similar feature in Podman that is present in Buildah, which provides the image copy retry functionality.

For the curious, the implementation can be seen here.

Container images that are pulled by Buildah are stored in the local repository which can also by accessed by Podman, so that's an advantage. I tried pulling the Nextcloud container image using Buildah and it completed successfully.

ish@coffee-bar:~> buildah pull nextcloud
Getting image source signatures
Copying blob e0d3d1244592 done  
Copying blob 8559a31e96f4 done  
Copying blob eb2d00c10344 done  
Copying blob 3a60f364b0c5 done  
Copying blob f54006e0dc29 done  
Copying blob e0276193a084 done  
Copying blob f65316e96b10 done  
Copying blob b22875b95a2a done  
Copying blob 3e309988c00b done  
Copying blob 0c78caf16ec3 done  
Copying blob 4fc30aae7ee5 done  
Copying blob 37b016cacdc6 done  
Copying blob e3cd35f544b5 done  
Copying blob fd56bf3cc539 done  
Copying blob 467fea8f6f80 done  
Copying blob 0dc7444f9282 done  
Copying blob 547ae6684264 done  
Copying blob 2b37e3b3a856 done  
Copying blob 00e77223b529 done  
Copying blob 3139b6de5be7 done  
Copying config 327476ebe3 done  
Writing manifest to image destination
Storing signatures
327476ebe3280c7b570d8463edd136956eab120959976b643cb7dbfaa73f98c1

Now, the downloaded container image is also accessible by Podman.

ish@coffee-bar:~> podman images
REPOSITORY                     TAG      IMAGE ID       CREATED        SIZE
docker.io/libreoffice/online   latest   0586fecfa3c1   28 hours ago   2.84 GB
docker.io/library/nextcloud    latest   327476ebe328   3 days ago     774 MB

To conclude, while we are waiting that a retryCopyImage function is available in Podman, we can use Buildah to pull container images that are troublesome due to network issues.

75 years old man arrested for Facebook post after the Prime Minister of Mauritius lodges police complaint

The ICT Act of Mauritius was amended in 2018.

Following those amendments what we saw in the country was mostly people being detained or questioned for posts on Facebook, which in many cases, are simply political satire or citizens taking out their frustration against the government through memes and posts. Likewise, a former Ambassador of Mauritius in Madagascar, aged 75 years old, posted an edited photo of the Prime Minister of Mauritius sitting over a pile of currency notes, along with the text in creole that translates to "Motto of Pinokio. Let's kick ass as much as we can before we leave."

That can probably also be translated as "let's steal as much as we can" if the creole slang is taken into consideration.

I am assuming the creole word for "ass", i.e "fesse" raised eyebrows and the cybercrime officers considered it along with the edited photo to be enough material to arrest a 75 years old man. Oh come on! What threat was caused here or how annoyed could you, as a Prime Minister be, in order to lodge a complaint to the Police for such a matter? #Facepalm

Before supporters of the Prime Minister jump to the latter's defence I am referring to the l'express article that mentions that the person was interrogated following a complaint by Pravind Jugnauth, i.e the Prime Minister of Mauritius. I quote from the article:

Il a été interrogé suite à une plainte du premier ministre Pravind Jugnauth concernant une photo postée sur Facebook.

Meanwhile plenty of edited photos of the former Prime Minister, Navin Chandra Ramgoolam, former Opposition Leader, Paul Bérenger, the current Opposition Leader, Arvin Boolell, and the Director of Public Prosecutions, Satyajit Boolell, still lurk on the Facebook page of the MSM Party.

Vire Mam

The one political party that has benefited the most by editing photos and videos of people, particular their political opponents, is non other than the MSM Party itself. Till date they still mention the "virer mam" video in their Facebook page; see the left menu on their page.

What about edited photos of their political opponents?

The above edited photo was posted on the MSM Party's Facebook page on 7 February 2015, after the then Lepep Alliance won the General Elections. If the Prime Minister condones such images on his party's Facebook page, then why is he annoyed when others do the same with him?

The above photo posted on the MSM Party's Facebook page caught my attention particularly as the post is shared with an ex-Board Member of the ICT Authority who was arrested earlier this year for breach of the ICT Act.

The above was posted on 16 July 2015 on the MSM Party's Facebook page. That was surely around the time when the Director of Public Prosecutions, Satyajit Boolell (in the photo), was fighting against Pravind Jugnauth in a corruption case.

I certainly have no fun in posting these images but I had to make a point when I read that that a 75 years old fellow, irrespective of the political party he adheres to, was arrested for posting, IMHO, a not-so-offensive photo & text about the Prime Minister.

Running Flatpak on openSUSE Leap the first time

Flatpak comes pre-installed in openSUSE Leap 15.2. However, executing the flatpak command for the first time had a minor quirk in a freshly installed Leap 15.2 machine.

error: While opening repository /var/lib/flatpak/repo: opendir(objects): No such file or directory

I see other users commenting about this on Reddit. So, for now, just remove the repo file.

sudo rmdir /var/lib/flatpak/repo

Then, add the Flathub repository as its documentation describes.

flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub https://flathub.org/repo/flathub.flatpakrepo

Voilà! Now, you may search apps and install them with the flatpak command. For example, if you would search for Visual Studio Code, you would do:

flatpak search code

Find its Application Id from the result obtained with the above command and install it as follows:

flatpak install flathub com.visualstudio.code

The installation command arguments format is:

flatpak install repo_name application_id

In order to remove an application that you previously installed through Flatpak, just replace install by remove followed by the Application Id and it's done.

A quick intro to Podman by Estu Fardani

Estu Fardani is a helpful & jovial fellow whom I met at the openSUSE Asia Summit last year in Bali, Indonesia. Recently, for the openSUSE Virtual Summit, Estu did a short presentation on Podman. His presentation video is available on YouTube and slides deck available on Google Slides.

While I am not a fan of alias docker=podman I believe Estu added that part in his slide below to make the Podman transition a bit smoother for users already familiar with Docker commands.

Slide from Estu's presentation

Note that the latest release of openSUSE Leap, i.e version 15.2, comes with support for Podman through the libcontainers-common package.

Previously, if one needed to experiment with Podman and/or deploy in production then openSUSE Tumbleweed, Kubic or MicroOS were the supported choices. Now, one may deploy Podman containers on their existing Leap infrastructure (after upgrading to the latest version 15.2).

कुछ बातें openSUSE Leap 15.2 के बारे में जानें

२ जुलाई २०२० को openSUSE Leap 15.2 संस्करण उपलब्ध हुआ।

openSUSE Leap एक निशुल्क और लिनक्स-आधारित ऑपरेटिंग सिस्टम है जो आप अपने पीसी, लैपटॉप या सर्वर पर इस्तेमाल कर सकते है। Leap 15.2 और SUSE Linux Enterprise एक समान कोडबेस उपयोग करते है जिस से openSUSE Leap 15.2 की स्थिरता और ज्यादा मज़बूत होती है।

यह विशेष संस्करण कृत्रिम बुद्धिमत्ता, यानी आर्टिफिशियल इंटेलिजेंस, को अधिक आसानी से सुलभ बनाता है। निम्नलिखित पैकेज ऑफिशल रिपॉजिटरीज से प्राप्त किए जा सकते हैं।

इस संस्करण में अधिक कंटेनर टूलस् शामिल है, जैसे कि कुबनेटिस् (जो पहली बार के लिए Leap संस्करण में उपलब्ध हुआ है) हेल्म और सिल्यम

Ministry of Commerce removes the price control over certain products

It has been a month now since the sanitary curfew has been lifted in Mauritius and "things" have gradually started to take a normal course; or we are rather accepting the "new normal" trend.

The Government had laid strict guidelines for businesses previously but now they have been easing most of the restrictions. The latest being the removal of price control over certain products which the Ministry of Commerce and Consumer Protection had imposed after receiving complaints of pricing malpractices by supermarkets and shops owners during the curfew period.

As per the cabinet decisions of 3 July 2020, published on the Prime Minister Office's website, the cabinet has "noted" that cases of abusive prices have decreased and thus cabinet decided to remove certain products from the price control. These products include:

  • Butter
  • Spreads and margarine
  • Breakfast cereals
  • Processed cheese
  • Pasta
  • Pulses
  • Baby and adult diapers

India bans TikTok

Citing concerns over security of data and risk to privacy, the Ministry of Information Technology of India banned TikTok among 58 other mobile apps on 29 June 2020. The Ministry invoked its power under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act of India.

The Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre recommended that the apps should be blocked. The Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-IN) received complaints from citizens regarding security of data and breach of privacy.

Below is the list of apps as published by the Press Information Bureau of the Government of India.

TikTok
Shareit
Kwai
UC Browser
Baidu map
Shein
Clash of Kings
DU battery saver
Helo
Likee
YouCam makeup
Mi Community
CM Browers
Virus Cleaner
APUS Browser
ROMWE
Club Factory
Newsdog
Beutry Plus
WeChat
UC News
QQ Mail
Weibo
Xender
QQ Music
QQ Newsfeed
Bigo Live
SelfieCity
Mail Master
Parallel Space
Mi Video Call – Xiaomi
WeSync
ES File Explorer
Viva Video – QU Video Inc
Meitu
Vigo Video
New Video Status
DU Recorder
Vault- Hide
Cache Cleaner DU App studio
DU Cleaner
DU Browser
Hago Play With New Friends
Cam Scanner
Clean Master – Cheetah Mobile
Wonder Camera
Photo Wonder
QQ Player
We Meet
Sweet Selfie
Baidu Translate
Vmate
QQ International
QQ Security Center
QQ Launcher
U Video
V fly Status Video
Mobile Legends
DU Privacy

Convert .VOB files to .MP4

I had a bunch of video files in the .VOB format which I copied from a few DVDs a couple of years back. Uploading them on a cloud storage service (e.g Google Drive, OneDrive etc) for safe keeping is nice but not practical since they cannot be played directly through the cloud service's video player. The latter would play .MP4 video files.

FFMPEG comes handy here to convert the video files.

ffmpeg -i bla.vob -b:v 3000k -b:a 256k bla.mp4

I used mediainfo to find the maximum video & audio bit rate.

mediainfo bla.vob

Petition for the re-election of the openSUSE Board

Back in March, openSUSE member Pierre Böckmann wrote to the project mailing list calling for a non-confidence vote following recent events . Technically that means he was calling for a re-election of the current elected board.

The board election rules state:

If 20 per cent or more of the openSUSE members require a new board, an election will be held for the complete elected Board seats.

The openSUSE Election Committee was tasked to find our whether 20% of the community are actually calling for the re-election.

We have at our disposal the Helios voting platform which we can use to register an "answer" from community members. Instead of running a vote with several answer options, we consulted among Election Officials, and agreed that there will be only one answer to select, which will represent a virtual signature, similar to like signing an electronic petition. That will allow us to effectively measure whether 20% of the community are petitioning for a re-election of the openSUSE Board.

I sent an email to the project mailing list, on behalf on the Election Committee, explaining this process and called for comments by community members. If you are reading this post and would like to share your views about the procedure, then the deadline for comments submission is 20 May 2020 23h59 CET.