Category Archives: openSUSE

Linux User Group of Mauritius meets Luboš Kocman

We had a meetup in the conference room of Flying Dodo, Bagatelle, on Saturday 22 Junuary 2022. Luboš Kocman, the Release Manager for openSUSE, who came to Mauritius on vacation was kind enough to spare a few hours and meet us.

Nirvan Pagooah, the Secretary of the Linux User Group of Mauritius, made the announcement of the meetup on the LUGM discussion list. Due to sanitary restrictions imposed by the government we could not make the meetup public. We had to keep it a private event with a limited number of attendees.

Grateful to everyone who made it despite the short notice

Luboš told us about some new things that will be coming to Leap in the future. He explained his role as a Release Manager for openSUSE and how the community as a whole is regarded as a SUSE partner. He explained the relationship between SUSE and the openSUSE community. He also talked about SUSE Liberty Linux, a new offering by SUSE which offers support for mixed Linux environment, like RHEL, CentOS and SLES.

Luboš showed us code.opensuse.org/leap/features/issues where community members can request the features they want most in openSUSE Leap. Hence, contributing to making openSUSE distributions better.

I asked whether the feature requests for Leap won't make it such that Leap and Tumbleweed will have different features. Luboš opened opensource.suse.com/legal/policy and explained that the contributions land in Factory first. He talked about the binary compatibility between Leap & SLES and users can test on Leap then migrate to SLES at total ease.

We talked about contributing to open source. Luboš mentioned non-code contributions and how easy it is to contribute to openSUSE. Ajay Ramjatan, one of the founders and the current President of LUGM, mentioned that years ago this is what he's been telling Linux & FOSS enthusiasts, that contributions can be in any form, like designs, translations, etc.

On that note Avinash Meetoo added that the Mauritian Creole (kreol morisien) can be an interesting FOSS project if we would consider adding Kreol support to openSUSE. He mentioned that there are people who are well versed on the topic but might not be techie, that is where we can work together and make this happen.

Renghen Pajanilingum shot a few tech questions, from containers to programming languages & having to compile software using different versions of packages. I know Renghen does not like to spend time fixing the distro problems because he'd rather spend that on actual work. However, he is one of the several Linux people that I have tried to lure to the green side. 😁 Not there yet but I am hopeful that we'll paint his laptop green one day.

I cannot end this blog without thanking Joffrey Michaïe for sponsoring a round of beer (and other drinks) for everyone.

At around 5 p.m the meetup ended.

Some of us stayed at Flying Dodo for more beer and to have dinner. Finally, we went to Mugg & Bean for a coffee and continued chatting about work, life and the balance. At 8:30 p.m, the hotel's taxi came for Luboš.

Hoping to be able to meet and greet geekos again.

openSUSE Board Election 2021 happening right now

The election was announced on the project mailing list on the 1st of November 2021. The current Election Committee is composed of Ariez Vachha, Mohammad Edwin Zakaria and myself.

This election is required to fill two seats on the openSUSE Board, as the term for Simon Lees and Vinzenz Vietzke are coming to an end.

To learn more about openSUSE membership, check out this wiki.

Election poster by Kukuh Syafaat / openSUSE Indonesia

As the initial nominations/applications phase ended, we had only two members who expressed to run for this election. They are:

• Attila Pinter
• Maurizio Galli

Since, we had only two candidates for two available seats, we extended the nominations/applications phase for another two weeks, giving other members the chance to toss the names of people who'd they wish to nominate. However, even after the two weeks, we were still left with only two candidates and therefore, as per the election rule about insufficient nominations, we started the election and each candidate is required to obtain 50% of votes to be considered a winner.

The ballots were opened on the 13th of December and openSUSE members received their voting URL/credentials by email. They can vote until the 30th of December at 23h59 UTC. Ballots will close on 31st December at midnight and a few hours later the result will be announced.

openSUSE distributions dedicated page

openSUSE distributions dedicated page

Previously, it would take someone new to the project quite some time to learn about the distributions and understand their differences. Not every new openSUSE user would know that it's ideal to use openSUSE MicroOS for single-purpose server hosting and Kubic for container orchestration with Kubernetes.

Thanks to a revamp of the openSUSE Project website, now the distributions get a dedicated page at get.opensuse.org.

A little work is still needed on the documentation part for each specific distribution. If you would like to help with that, you are most welcome. Join the openSUSE Documentation mailing list and coordinate with what's already being done to improve doc.opensuse.org or head to GitHub to have a look at the current opened issues. You will also find instructions on how to start contributing to the openSUSE Documentation.

For now, each distribution's individual page on get.opensuse.org points to the same official documentation guide which is Leap-centric. The documentation does not cover specific instructions for MicroOS, Kubic or even Tumbleweed.

Grab a cool wallpaper for your Linux desktop

Grab a cool wallpaper for your Linux desktop

I tweeted about a blog post which I published on opensuse.mu, explaining how I configured the GNOME desktop theme Yaru (by the Ubuntu community) on my openSUSE Tumbleweed machine. The tweet got a lot of reaction, not just for the blog post or cool Yaru theme but also for the nice wallpaper showing penguins using a computer.

I got a question whether the wallpaper was freely available. The answer is yes. The wallpaper was released, among many others, by Digital Ocean in 2016.

You can head to imgur.com now and grab a cool wallpaper for your Linux desktop.

RHEL no-cost* vs openSUSE Leap

RHEL no-cost* vs openSUSE Leap

Ever since Red Hat announced that they are changing the development model of CentOS and making it an upstream project rather than downstream, it left many CentOS users frowning. No matter what argument brought forward, CentOS users, especially running production machines, relied on the stability of an enterprise-grade Linux distribution. Compiled from RHEL sources, CentOS offered such stability that it powered many web servers and enjoyed a massive 20% share of the top 500 supercomputers of the world.

RHEL no-cost* vs openSUSE Leap
Source: TOP500.org Statistics November 2020

Some time back, Red Hat made another annoucement, about new Red Hat Enterprise Linux programs. Under the new program RHEL can be used in production for up to 16 systems (which Red Hat considers a small workload) at zero license costs. Also, Red Hat is making it easier for a customer's development team to join the program and reap the benefits.

What risks lie ahead for an enterprise if Red Hat changes or cancels the program in the future? 🤔

On the other hand, since 2018, SUSE has worked closely with the openSUSE community to bring the Leap distribution closer to SUSE Enterprise Linux (SLE), such that now Leap and SLE are binary compatible.

openSUSE currently offers two distinct distributions, Leap & Tumbleweed.

Tumbleweed is a rolling distribution constantly getting updated software whereas Leap has planned releases that sync with SUSE Linux Enterprise and its Service Packs.

RHEL no-cost* vs openSUSE Leap
Source: suse.com

The above image depicts how openSUSE & SUSE Linux Enterprise are developed together. Factory is the rolling development codebase for both openSUSE & SLE. In the pipeline we can see that Leap & SLE are synced and both receive software packages from the same source; that is why they are both binary compatible.

In a series of blog posts explaining how SUSE builds its Enterprise Linux distribution, author Vincent Moutoussamy details the relationship between openSUSE & SLE.

Conclusion

Red Hat allows its clients to use RHEL for free on up to 16 machines. On the other hand, openSUSE Leap boasts binary compatibility with SUSE Linux Enterprise and comes without any restriction on usage.

Cover image source:
Photo by Gratisography from Pexels

SOGo calendar synchronization breaks due to emoji in the event title

SOGo calendar synchronization breaks due to emoji in the event title

An emoji can break a calendar. 😳

I am using the SOGo Groupware. I noticed that certain emojis in the event title would prevent calendar apps from synchronizing using the CalDAV protocol. I checked the logs but could not find much. I had my doubts about what could be causing it. Then, this bug report confirmed that I should investigate on the UTF-8 encoding support.

I checked the database character set.

MariaDB [sogo]> select @@character_set_database;
+--------------------------+
| @@character_set_database |
+--------------------------+
| utf8                     |
+--------------------------+
1 row in set (0.001 sec)

The database name is sogo and we are using MariaDB.

I found the character set to be utf8, to my surprise. I had to dig a little further to understand what was wrong with it.

It turned out that the MariaDB utf8 character set supports a maximum of three bytes per character. Therefore, emojis being four bytes long weren't being inserted into the database. Consequently, that breaks the calendar synchronization. The solution was to use the utf8mb4 character set which supports four bytes per multi-byte character.

I altered the database character set and collation.

MariaDB [sogo]> ALTER DATABASE sogo CHARACTER SET = utf8mb4 COLLATE = utf8mb4_unicode_ci;

I also applied it to every table in the database, e.g:

MariaDB [sogo]> ALTER TABLE sogo_store CONVERT TO CHARACTER SET utf8mb4 COLLATE utf8mb4_unicode_ci;

Afterwards, I could create events using an emoji in the title. The event would synchronize across my calendar apps but the emoji would not show. It would appear as four questions marks (????) instead.

SOGo calendar synchronization breaks due to emoji in the event title
SOGo calendar emoji issue

A little bit of further digging and I found that SOGo needs to be made aware of the full unicode support. It should be specified in the /etc/sogo/sogo.conf configuration file.

MySQL4Encoding = "utf8mb4";

Restart the SOGo service. Emojis should be then accepted in the event titles.

SOGo calendar synchronization breaks due to emoji in the event title

I can now put my recurrent coffee breaks in the calendar. ☕


Credits:
Web vector created by stories - www.freepik.com

openSUSE community elects Axel, Gertjan and Neal to serve on the Board

openSUSE community elects Axel, Gertjan and Neal to serve on the Board

The election lasted for two weeks and it ended last night at 23h59 UTC. The results were published today at mid-day (for me).

The complete election results are:

  • Axel Braun — 142 votes
  • Gertjan Lettink — 134 votes
  • Neal Gompa — 131 votes
  • Maurizio Galli — 103 votes
  • Nathan Wolf — 59 votes

Five votes were recorded for the "none of the above" option. Out of 518 eligible voters, 229 voters have cast their vote in this election, which represents a turnout of 44%. It's a low turnout compared to last year's board election which was 56%.

Axel, Gertjan and Neal are elected to serve for two years on the openSUSE Board.

openSUSE community elects Axel, Gertjan and Neal to serve on the Board

openSUSE community elects Axel, Gertjan and Neal to serve on the Board

The election lasted for two weeks and it ended last night at 23h59 UTC. The results were published today at mid-day (for me).

The complete election results are:

  • Axel Braun — 142 votes
  • Gertjan Lettink — 134 votes
  • Neal Gompa — 131 votes
  • Maurizio Galli — 103 votes
  • Nathan Wolf — 59 votes

Five votes were recorded for the "none of the above" option. Out of 518 eligible voters, 229 voters have cast their vote in this election, which represents a turnout of 44%. It's a low turnout compared to last year's board election which was 56%.

Axel, Gertjan and Neal are elected to serve for two years on the openSUSE Board.

Candidate slate for the openSUSE Board Election 2020

Candidate slate for the openSUSE Board Election 2020

Last night the nominations and applications phase of the election reached an end. We received six applications and the names of the candidates are:

Axel Braun
Gertjan Lettink
Mark Stopka
Maurizio Galli
Nathan Wolf
Neal Gompa

Note that this election is to fill three vacant seats on the openSUSE Board.

All candidates are encouraged to set up their election platform on the openSUSE wiki. The campaign begins now!

Candidate slate for the openSUSE Board Election 2020

Candidate slate for the openSUSE Board Election 2020

Last night the nominations and applications phase of the election reached an end. We received six applications and the names of the candidates are:

• Axel Braun
• Gertjan Lettink
• Mark Stopka
• Maurizio Galli
• Nathan Wolf
• Neal Gompa

Note that this election is to fill three vacant seats on the openSUSE Board.

All candidates are encouraged to set up their election platform on the openSUSE wiki. The campaign begins now!