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21 October, 2014


Apple released Apple Pay yesterday with the iOS 8.1 update.  Randy and I went out at lunch to try it out and compare it to Google Wallet on his OnePlus One Android Phone.  We visited three locations: Maverik, McDonald's, and Macey's Grocery.  Both phones were able to make payments without any network connection however the Airplane mode on the OnePlus One also shut off the NFC radio.  The iPhone 6+ was able to pay even in Airplane mode.

Here are the steps to pay on the two phones:

Apple Pay
NFC Payments
  • Place the iPhone up to the payment terminal
  • Use Touch ID to authorize
  • Done
Google Wallet
  • Unlock your phone
  • Place your Phone up to the payment terminal
  • Enter your 4 digit Google Wallet PIN
  • Done

The steps above look about the same but what isn't mentioned there is it took a while to figure out how to make Google Wallet work.  If I were to write the steps it took the very first time we tried Google Wallet they would look like this:

Google Wallet (the first time)
  • Place the Phone up to the payment terminal
  • Wake the phone up and then try again
  • Unlock the phone and try again
  • Wave it around for a little bit hoping the people behind are not getting too upset
  • After a few seconds, finally enter your PIN in Google Wallet to unlock it
  • When no network is available, get a confusing message that sounds like the payment didn't work when in reality it did.  It was trying to tell you it cannot show the details yet because you are not connected, but it sounds more like the payment failed.
What's the point?

You may ask why even bother with the stuff?  Why is this easier than just using my credit card?  Last week I was mailed new credit cards.  I didn't ask for them but they were issued along with a letter about how Home Depot was compromised and these cards were sent to protect me.  Had I been using Apple Pay or Google Wallet every time I went to Home Depot, it wouldn't have mattered.

When you set up a credit card in Apple Pay a unique card number is generated that will only work with that iPhone, and only with your finger print.  When you shop at a store, the only number they get is the one generated for your phone.  To use that number someone would have to have your phone and your finger print.  When Home Depot or Target are compromised in the future, no useful information will exist on their insecure systems.

Look for the NFC Payments logo (above) and it's likely that you'll be able to pay using Apple Pay or Google Wallet.


I read an article today about how expensive the new iPhone 6 will be if you buy it off contract.  I admit, it's a lot of money but it's actually less money than what you'll pay if you buy it with a contract.

I recently switched back to AT&T from Verizon because they introduced a new plan called the Mobile Share Value plan that offers non-subsidized pricing if you own your phone.  There are two rates for each line on this plan. If you own your phone the rate is $15/month for the line.  If you buy a "contract price" phone that rate is $40/month for the line and you have a 2 year contract.

In case you didn't get that, they will charge you and extra $25/month for 2 years to pay for the rest of that phone.  Over 24 months that ends up being $600.
With that, here are the actual iPhone 6 Plus costs:

Contract Prices:
iPhone 6 Plus 16GB: $899
iPhone 6 Plus 64GB: $999
iPhone 6 Plus 128GB: $1099

Non-Contract Prices:
iPhone 6 Plus 16GB: $749
iPhone 6 Plus 64GB: $849
iPhone 6 Plus 128GB: $949 

The other thing to consider is with non-contract plans you don't have a 2 year contract.  I know that seems obvious but let me just say it once again... you don't have a 2 year contract.  You are free to terminate your service any time you want with no cancellation fees.


The biggest part of this HackWeek will be spent on Weblate. The major task is to complete new UI for it. There have been already some blog posts about that here, so regular readers of my blog already know it is using Twitter Bootstrap.

Today it has reached point where I think it's good enough for wider testing and I've deployed it at Hosted Weblate (see Weblate website for conditions for getting hosting there).

I expect there will be some rough edges, so don't hesitate to report any issues, so that I can quickly fix them.

Filed under: English phpMyAdmin SUSE Weblate | 0 comments | Flattr this!


hack weekHi everyone, I’m Doug! This is the beginning of my third week at openSUSE contributing to marketing and communications. It is great to be of the community. Everything here is new, and during my first week, I kept hearing people here talk about Hack Week.

Several thoughts of what Hack Week could be crossed my mind.

Having worked in government for several years, I associated hacking with bad people and bad intentions, which is why I thought I should visit the website and see what the hype was all about.

The ideas running through my head were way off.

I quickly learned Hack Week is about creating projects, being innovative and providing solutions for users, developers and industry. In other words, its an event openSUSE endorses to inspire people’s creativity and let them do something fun.

Most Popular Projects

One of the projects I saw on the website called “Using zypper to “upgrade” CentOS/RHEL to openSUSE/SLES” summed up the idea about Hack Week. This project is designed to take our package management tools and convert other Linux distributions to an openSUSE system.

Another project, lead by Vice President of Engineering for SUSE, Ralf Flaxa, that captured hackers’ attention was the SUSE Music(ian) Space project, which is about sharing knowledge on how to get music equipment to with with openSUSE.

The project I joined for Hack Week is the redesign of the openSUSE landing page. After the first day, the group has agreed on a page design and we are at the phase of creating prototype, which we plan to propose to the community for comments and feedback.

Hack Week is a great event and I’m excited to participate. Without hacking, innovation would stagnant, creativity would diminish. Happy Hacking!


20 October, 2014

Michal Čihař: Enca 1.16

08:00 UTC


As a first tiny project in this HackWeek, Enca 1.16 has been just released. It mostly brings small code cleanups and missing aliases for languages, but fixes also some minor bugs found by Coverity Scan.

If you don't know Enca, it is an Extremely Naive Charset Analyser. It detects character set and encoding of text files and can also convert them to other encodings using either a built-in converter or external libraries and tools like libiconv, librecode, or cstocs.

Full list of changes for 1.16 release:

  • Fixed typo in Belarusian language name
  • Added aliases for Chinese and Yugoslavian languages

Still enca is in maintenance mode only and I have no intentions to write new features. However there is no limitation to other contributors :-).

You can download from http://cihar.com/software/enca/.

Filed under: Enca English SUSE | 0 comments | Flattr this!

19 October, 2014


Hey all! So in the continued effort to get the wiki ready for the next openSUSE release, I am going to ask all of you to help out and try to take some screenshots for the page. Basically, all you need to do is take screenshots for the parts listed on this page, upload them to the wiki and on this page replace the link to the 12.3 image to your new 13.2 image. Don’t forget to change the file description to 13.2 if it says 12.3! Eventually this page will be moved so that it replaces the current distro screenshot page.

18 October, 2014

Pavel Machek: N900 nfs root

19:43 UTC


So you'd like to develop on Nokia N900... It has serial port, but with "interesting" connector. It has keyboard, but with "interesting" keyboard map, you mostly need full X to be useful... and it is too small for serious typing, anyway. You could put root filesystem on SD card, but that is disconnected when back cover is removed. And with back cover in place, you can't reset the machine.

Ok, so NFS. Insecure, tricky to setup, but actually makes the development usable. I started with commit 4f3e8d263^ (because that should have working usb networking according to mailing lists).. and with config from same page. Disadvantage is that video does not work with that configuration... but setting up system blind should not be that hard, right?

Assemblying minimal system with busybox from so I could run second-stage of debootstrap was tricky, and hacking into the resulting debian was not easy, either, but now I have telnet connections and things should only improve.

17 October, 2014

Michael Meeks: 2014-10-17: Friday

22:12 UTCmember

  • Early to rise; quick call, mail, breakfast; continued on slideware - really thrilled to use droidAtScreen to demo the LibreOffice on Android viewer.
  • Off to the venue in the coach; prepped slides some more, gave a talk - rather a hard act to follow at the end of the previous talk: a (male) strip-tease, mercifully aborted before it went too far. Presented my slides, informed by a few recent local discussions:
    Hybrid PDF of LibreOffice under-development slides
  • Quick lunch, caught up with mail, customer call, poked Neil & Daniel, continued catching up with the mail & interaction backlog.
  • Conference ended - overall an extremely friendly & positive experience, in a lovely location - most impressed by my first trip to Brazil; cudos to the organizers; and really great to spend some time with Eliane & Olivier on their home turf.

16 October, 2014

Michael Meeks: 2014-10-16: Thursday

21:00 UTCmember

  • To the venue, crazy handing out of collateral, various talks with people; Advisory Board call, LibreOffice anniversary Cake cutting and eating (by massed hordes).
  • It is extraordinary, and encouraging to see how many young ladies are at the conference, and (hopefully) getting engaged with Free Software: never seen so many at other conferences. As an unfortunate down-side: was amused to fobb off an un-solicited offer of marriage from a 15yr old: hmm.
  • Chewed some mail, bus back in the evening; worked on slides until late, for talk tomorrow.


After about a year in the making for MimeKit and nearly 8 months for MailKit, they've finally reached 1.0 status.

I started really working on MimeKit about a year ago wanting to give the .NET community a top-notch MIME parser that could handle anything the real world could throw at it. I wanted it to run on any platform that can run .NET (including mobile) and do it with remarkable speed and grace. I wanted to make it such that re-serializing the message would be a byte-for-byte copy of the original so that no data would ever be lost. This was also very important for my last goal, which was to support S/MIME and PGP out of the box.

All of these goals for MimeKit have been reached (partly thanks to the BouncyCastle project for the crypto support).

At the start of December last year, I began working on MailKit to aid in the adoption of MimeKit. It became clear that without a way to inter-operate with the various types of mail servers, .NET developers would be unlikely to adopt it.

I started off implementing an SmtpClient with support for SASL authentication, STARTTLS, and PIPELINING support.

Soon after, I began working on a Pop3Client that was designed such that I could use MimeKit to parse messages on the fly, directly from the socket, without needing to read the message data line-by-line looking for a ".\r\n" sequence, concatenating the lines into a massive memory buffer before I could start to parse the message. This fact, combined with the fact that MimeKit's message parser is orders of magnitude faster than any other .NET parser I could find, makes MailKit the fastest POP3 library the world has ever seen.

After a month or so of avoiding the inevitable, I finally began working on an ImapClient which took me roughly two weeks to produce the initial prototype (compared to a single weekend for each of the other protocols). After many months of implementing dozens of the more widely used IMAP4 extensions (including the GMail extensions) and tweaking the APIs (along with bug fixing) thanks to feedback from some of the early adopters, I believe that it is finally complete enough to call 1.0.

In July, at the request of someone involved with a number of the IETF email-related specifications, I also implemented support for the new Internationalized Email standards, making MimeKit and MailKit the first - and only - .NET email libraries to support these standards.

If you want to do anything at all related to email in .NET, take a look at MimeKit and MailKit. I guarantee that you will not be disappointed.


I hope all who have been using the appliance are enjoying it and finding it useful. I felt it time to update the appliance to include patches to the latest known threats and critical updates to OpenStack.

Latest version 4.0.3

Changes from Github Project

  • Refreshed the Update Repositories to contain latest patches
  • Applied latest Updates to the Appliance
Direct Download links
Please visit the the landing page for the appliance to get more information and documentation here.
Some future things that are coming to look forward to. 
  • Incorporating an Installation media which includes the latest packages from the update repositories for SLES 11 SP3, High Availability Extension, and SUSE Cloud 4 OpenStack. This Installation media will allow me to exclude the full update repositories on the image and therefore reduce the size of the image to just under 2GB. 
  • Moving the build of the image over to openSUSE OBS (Open Build Service) to allow more rapid deployment and testing.
These things will allow for greater portability of the OpenStack software and inherent with it you can install anywhere. Install on VMware. Install on Virtual Box. Install on KVM. Install on Bare Metal. You can truly use this image to deploy and test it out on VMware or KVM, and from the same image you can use it to deploy a full production OpenStack on Bare Metal.  I have even used it to install and test OpenStack out on AWS. So go forth and enjoy installing OpenStack with ease. I challenge you to start using this appliance and see how easy it can be to setup and run OpenStack software. 

Jos Poortvliet: Release party time!

12:08 UTCmember


KDE Plasma 5.1

Plasma 5.1 was released yesterday and it is looking real good. I have been running the 'next generation' Linux desktop on my laptop, courtesy of openSUSE packages made out of regular git snapshots. It was surprisingly stable so I have little worries about the stability of the final 5.1 release and I recommend to check it out ;-)

Of course, we should have a Plasma release party! We haven't had release parties in our place for a while (can't believe that the last one is over 2 years ago...), so it's time to do that again.

Check the release party page for details. The short of it:
  • October 18, 19:00-22:00 or so
  • EldenaerStrasse 28a, Berlin, Germany
  • Bring Your Own Devices Drinks (there's a Spätie (24h convenience store) downstairs). Food is welcome, too.
  • Don't forget to bring your good mood and friends

Further notes:
  • I might do some demoing of what is new in Plasma 5.1, depending on interest.
  • Anybody is welcome, as always, irrespective of color, sex, occupation, shape - heck, even species - you're all super welcome! That means you have to play nice with each other, do I have to say that?
  • If you're afraid of dogs, Popcorn will teach you that you don't have to be. But really, if she freaks you out, we can put her in another room, don't say home out of fear for the hairy monster!
  • Let me know if you're coming - so we have some idea of how crowded our apartment will be!


For the geekos among you: 13.2 is coming SOON and boy, is it chock-full of awesomeness! I'm talking to the Berlin LUG, we will probably do a release party. If possible we'll do it on November 8, so keep that date free for now!


opensuseasiasummitThis weekend is the start of openSUSE’s first Asia Summit in Beijing.

The summit, which is a follow on to an open source summit SUSE sponsored in May, is expected to increase awareness in Asia about openSUSE and other Free and Open Source Software (FOSS).

Students, professors and computer technologists attending the summit will listen to several keynote speakers like Dr. Qiu Shanqin, Chairman of China Open Source Software Promotion Union, and Ralf Flaxa, Vice President of SUSE. Richard Brown, President of the openSUSE board, will also provide a keynote speech to attendees.

Noteable workshops scheduled for the conference on Day 1 are SUSE’s project manager Anja Stock’s about Bugzilla, FOSS community member Eleanor Chen, about Hands-on into Open Source Community, and Saurabh Sood, an engineer working with Unisys Corporation, about Programming with the Qt Framework.

Day 2 workshops include GNOME Foundation member Tong Hui’s discussion on Open Source Community Governance in China, Raghu Nayyar, an open-source Interaction Designer and Front-end Developer from India.givng a workshop on Build your First ownCloud App, and Meaglith Ma, founder of the Chinese community of Docker, providing a workshop about open platforms for distributing applications for developers and system administrators.

The summit gives attendees an opportunity to learn about related technologies and can help to unlock the large potiential of open source contributors and developers within Asia.

Interviews and recordings of openSUSE Asia Summit will be posted on SUSE’s YouTube, Youku and GooglePlus page.

HP, SUSE, Firefox, CODE, CSDN, BLUG, GNOME Summit, OwnCloud, BeiHang University and Beijing University all sponsored the event; openSUSE appreciates the companys’ contributions and willingness to make the first summit a success.

Members of the media are welcome to attend the summit and should email opensuse.asia@gmail.com.

Enjoy the Summit!



I want YOU!With less than three weeks from the release of our beloved green distro and the first release candidate already rocking, we can feel like we are almost there. This is exactly the right time to remember that there is still a lot of work to do and fun to have. Open source is awesome, but only as awesome as the people working on it. Nothing will happen unless YOU make it happen, so it’s time to get your hands dirty!


Every openSUSE release is tested using openQA, which saves developers from trivial and repetitive work. But in order to reach the quality level we all love from openSUSE stable releases much more testing is needed. We would like to test every single combination of hardware -from netbooks to supercomputers- and options -from default values to the most geeky weird configurations-. So please take a look to the online spreadsheet that has been created to organize the manual testing, read the instructions about coordinating the effort and hunt all those nasty bugs!

Celebrating awesomeness

We want to let the world know how awesome openSUSE 13.2 is. That means writing a public announcement, a features guide, a press kit, social messages… What do all those initiatives have in common? They are all based on the major features page at the openSUSE wiki. So please visit the wiki and add your favorite 13.2 feature to that page. What have you being working on since 13.1? What feature blew your mind when you saw it in action? Why were you waiting for that particular version of your favorite tool? If it’s not in the major features page, it didn’t happen.

Taking pictures

A picture is worth a thousand words. Release Candidate 1 already includes the final artwork for openSUSE 13.2, so it’s time to renew the screenshots in the corresponding openSUSE wiki page and to add new ones. You don’t even need to take the screenshots yourself, openQA is full of pictures you can grab. Say cheese!

Highlighting the strengths

The already mentioned announcement and features guide are both great to have a clear overview of what is coming with the new release. But those teams that have hit a major milestone in openSUSE 13.2 maybe want to ensure that the achievement is not lost in the stream of shiny new things. Before (and even after) every release we use to publish several sneak peaks focused on concrete highlights. Just think about a worthy topic you are familiar with (btrfs and snapper, desktop environments, xfs…) and the openSUSE Marketing Team will be glad to help you turning it into a nice article.


Is always nice to have somebody to ask when you find a problem, but is even nicer if you have all the pitfalls and important changes documented in advance. That’s what our release notes are for. As explained by Karl in the Factory mailing list, the release notes are

15 October, 2014

Michael Meeks: 2014-10-15: Wednesday

21:00 UTCmember

  • Up early; mail chew, interesting breakfast with the Krita guy. Freshened up, met up with Eliane & Olivier, coach to the dam; got the booth setup; partner call. Lunch with Olivier; booth duty. Enjoyed the opening talks; back to the booth to re-charge. Out in the evening for dinner, kindly driven by Artur.


Following up on KDE’s announcement of the latest stable release, we have now packages available for 12.3 and 13.1 (a 13.2 repository will be made available after it is out). You will find them in the KDE:Current repository. Current users of this repository will get the new release automatically once they update.

Why you should upgrade? You can take a look at the list of changes to get an idea. These fixes touch many important KDE applications, including KMail, Okular and Dolphin.

Packages are also on their way to openSUSE Factory.

As usual, bugs with the packaging should be reported to openSUSE and upstream bugs should be reported to KDE.

Also, if you like what KDE is doing and you feel you can not contribute directly, you may want to support this end of year fundraiser.

14 October, 2014

Michael Meeks: 2014-10-14: Tuesday

21:00 UTCmember

  • Chewed some mail, great things going on while I'm asleep: seemingly I should sleep / wander off more often. Hacked a little on my backlog of things that need work.
  • Flight to FOZ, Brazil appears to be a lovely place; hacked on the flight, taxi to the hotel, hacked in the hotel at length - fun. Mail chew too; call with partner . Poked at tiled rendering foo until late; sleep.



Geckos are taking over China, at the openSUSE Asia Summit to be held this coming weekend in Beijing. It is the first time that an openSUSE event of this scale is being held so far east of the Geeko Meridian. The organizing committee has worked their socks off for the event, and things are shaping up well. The schedule is ready and their are some great talks lined up. Overall, it promises to be a great event. As for me, I am going to speak about the Google Summer of Code, openSUSE Activities in India and a workshop on the Qt Framework.So, see you in Beijing ;)




你好 北京!

Hello Beijing and lovely people of openSUSE, I will be reaching there tomorrow, will be at Green Tree Inn close to the summit venue, packing some “sightseeing” before the event, if you are also there early drop me a line . There is a short talk about openSUSE Education scheduled on 19th. Check out the summit website to find out what other interesting stuff is on offer.

See you soon…


13 October, 2014


Hey all, so I have been given the task of working on the 13.2 portal for the openSUSE wiki, and I need your help. If you know of any neat features, software or bug fixes that were included in 13.2 and deserve to be mentioned on the 13.2 Portal then please let me know by leaving a comment or emailing me at ushamim@linux.com (or you can always just add them in yourself ;) ) .

With that said, there is also a need for people who can contribute to the press kit, release marketing and 13.2 related wiki pages. If you have time please consider contributing.

Michael Meeks: 2014-10-13: Monday

21:00 UTCmember

  • Mail chew; call with Kendy, Laszlo, Tor; mail. Lunch with J. team call; more mail chewage, sync. with Matus & Andras. Hurried packing and dropped by J. for some train/plane/etc. to Brazil / LatinoWare.
  • Arrived rather early at LHR; had an interesting chat to a young movie maker off to Jordan; enjoyed rather a good sleep on a lengthy TAM flight to San Paolo.

Sankar P: Technology Catchup

08:01 UTCmember

Coincidentally three different people asked me in the last month, to write about new technologies that they should be knowing, to make them more eligible to get a job in a startup. All these people have been C/C++ programmers, in big established companies, for about a decade now. Some of them have had only glimpses of any modern technologies.

I have tried a little bit (with moderate success) to work in all layers of programming with most of the popular modern technologies, by writing little-more-than-trivial programs (long before I heard of the fancy title "full stack developer"). So here I am writing a "technology catchup" post, hoping that it may be useful for some people, who want to know what has happened in the technologies in the last decade or so.

Disclaimer 1: The opinions expressed are totally biased as per my opinion. You should work with the individual technologies to know their true merits.

Disclaimer 2: Instead of learning everything, I personally recommend people to pick whatever they feel they are connected to. I, for example, could not feel connected to node-js even after toying with it for a while, but fell in love with Go. Tastes differ and nothing is inferior. So give everything a good try and pick your choice. Also remember what Donald Knuth said, "There is difference between knowing the name of something and knowing something". So learn deeply.

Disclaimer 3: From whatever I have observed, getting hired in a startup is more about being in the right circles of connection, than being a technology expert. A surprisingly large number of startups start with familiar technology than with the right technology, and then change their technology, once the company is established.

Disclaimer 4: This is actually not a complete list of things one should know. These are just things that I have come across and experimented a little bit at least. There are a lot more interesting things that I would have have missed. If you need something must have been in the list, please comment :-)

With those disclaimers away, let us cut to the chase.

Version Control Systems

The most prominent change in the open source arena, in the last decade or so, is the invention of Git. It is a version controlled system initially designed for keeping the kernel sources and has since then become the de-facto VCS for most modern companies and projects.

Github is a website that allows people to host their open source projects. Often startups recruit people based on their github profile. Even big companies like microsoft, google, facebook, twitter, dropbox etc. have their own github accounts. I personally have received more job queries through my github projects than via my linkedin profile in the last year.

bitbucket is another site that allows people to host code and give even private repos. A lot of the startups that I know of use this, along with the jira project management software. This is your equivalent of MS Project in

12 October, 2014

Michael Meeks: 2014-10-12: Sunday

21:00 UTCmember

  • Off to NCC, extremely tired; Tony spoke. Back for a roast lunch; applied slugging, put up some lights & a clock in H's room, fixed M's cupboard. Dinner, showed Babes some Ball Brothers, put babes to bed. Sermon; sleep early.

11 October, 2014

Michael Meeks: 2014-10-11: Saturday

21:00 UTCmember

  • Lie-in, large breakfast: porridge & boiled egg; off to Brandon for a wander through the forest, and play in the playground. Home for a fine pizza lunch. Dropped E. off at a sleep-over.
  • Plugged away at E-mail, and worked late on a profiling problem.


As of October 11th, a bunch of new rpm for FGLRX has been released for openSUSE 11.4 to 13.1 including Tumbleweed.
a special patch has been added for supporting up to kernel 3.17

Installation / update

Please refer to the wiki page SDB:AMD_fgrlx_legacy

Notice radeon HD5xxx or above only

This release concern only owners of radeon HD5xxx or above.
For older gpu, the fglrx-legacy is still 13.1, and thus didn’t work with openSUSE 12.3 or above.
Beware of that, and prefer the free open-source radeon driver which came out of the box from your openSUSE distribution.
For 12.3 and especially 13.1 the free radeon often offer a better experience than the old fglrx-legacy, especially for HD2xxx-HD4xxx range.

openSUSE Factory / 13.2

Dear fellow, unfortunately an still open bug at AMD is not yet resolved to make FGLRX working under newer xorg version.
There’s also a re-organization of how xorg files will be placed in the file system. Once both of them will be fixed Sebastian will produce a newer script.
If those appear soon we perhaps will see rpm fglrx for 13.2.

Release note about 14.9

AMD Full release note

New Features:
The following section provides a summary of new features in this driver version.

   AMD Radeon™ R9 285
   Ubuntu 14.04  support
   RHEL 7.0 support
   Install improvements
      Package and distribution generation options; recommend options set by default
           Help user install generated distribution package once created
      Pop-up messages to help guide users through the install process
           Identifying and installation of pre-requisites 

Resolved Issues:
This section provides information on resolved known issues in this release of the AMD Catalyst Linux Software Suite.

  Witcher 2 random lock-up seen when launching the application
  Screen corruption when connecting an external monitor to some PowerXpress AMD GPU + Intel CPU platforms
  Intermittent X crash when the user does a rotation with Tear Free Desktop enabled
  Failure on exit of OpenGL programs
  Error message being displayed when a user does run clinfo in console mode
  Blank screen when hot plugging an HDMI monitor from a MST hub
  System hang after resume from S3/S4 in High Performance mode on PowerXpress AMD GPU + Intel CPU platforms
  Corruption or artifacting on the bottom right corner of the screen before booting into login UI during restart
  Occasional segmentation fault when running ETQW
  xscreensavers test failing with multi-GPU Crossfire™ configurations
  Motion Builder severe flickering while toggling full screen
  Intermittent crashing and corruption observed while running X-Plane
  Some piglit and Khronos OpenGL conformance test failures
  Displays occasionally going black when startx is run on Ubuntu 14.04 after switching to integrated GPU on PowerXpress AMD GPU + Intel Haswell CPU system platforms
  A connected external display getting disabled when unplugging AC power from laptop platforms
  An auto log out when double clicking the picture under desktop server times on PowerXpress AMD GPU + Intel CPU platforms

Known Issues:
The following section provides a summary of open issues that may be

Naturally, if it were so simple one would not need an article. There has been a lot of news floating around about +Netflix finally being available natively for +Linux. In case you are not aware, getting Netflix on Linux was a labored and complicated process requiring all sorts of WINE hacking or virtualization. +Microsoft had announced that its strategy would be changing away from Silverlight which Netflix has depended on for their DRM content delivery. Netflix then announced they would be dropping Silverlight in favor of +HTML5 once some DRM framework was developed so they could secure their licensed content. Naturally this announcement was greeted with excitement from Linux desktop users all over, excepting of course those whom are absolutely opposed to DRM.

In the last couple of days, there has been a flurry of articles and tutorials on how to get Netflix to work natively. Most of these of course are claiming that it is +Ubuntu only, though this is absolutely false. The new HTML5 DRM video delivery is enabled by Network Security Services which have been around for a long time, but have only recently acquired the Encrypted Media Extensions for the sort of secured DRM necessary for Netflix. While +Android and Chrome OS had Netflix, this left people wondering why not desktop Linux since the two other operating systems use the Linux kernel too. On Chrome, Google developed a special plugin to provide the DRM to allow Netflix to work, while on Android this was facilitated by an app that had the DRM built in.

So now we have working DRM thanks to Google, Mozilla, and many other parties. Firstly, you need NSS 3.16.2 or greater and the +Google Chrome browser version 37 or higher. You will need to go into your Netflix settings and tell it you'd prefer the HTML5 player. Upto very recently you'd need to have your browser falsely identify itself as another browser to get it to work, but this is no longer necessary. At present Chromium and Firefox cannot run Netflix. +Mozilla Firefox will be getting support as well, but it'll be reliant on a proprietary Content Decryption Module or CDM from +Adobe beyond their more conservative approach with a greater focus on privacy and security. This module would most likely be delivered in the same fashion as the +Adobe Flash Player.


Been a long time since the last post but have found some time and energy to make a post. As per the roadmap RC1 was released yesterday! With all the nice changes I have seen in Factory, people should definitely be excited for this next release.

For starters, YaST seems to be much faster and stable which is to be expected as the new Ruby code gets more mature. For example, while the UI looks the same, everything seems to be much more responsive than it was in 13.1.


13.2 also comes with a new color scheme the project has adopted for this release. To me, while the old color scheme is not necessarily bad, this new color scheme is a step in the right direction. Below you can see the new colors that will be used, for more information please check out the opensuse-artwork mailing list archive.


13.2 also comes with some shiny new improvements:

  • GNOME 3.14, bringing new animations, hotspot management improvements as well as improved GNOME applets.
  • Firefox 32, with several security fixes, new HTTP cache to improve performance and crash recovery plus more support for HTML5
  • KDE 4.14, featuring improvements for lots of KDE applications, and tons of bugfixes

On my current system (running openSUSE Factory which openSUSE 13.2 has been branched off of), I have been really impressed with how stable everything has been for me. All the people working to support the distro have done a really fantastic job and should be proud of themselves!

10 October, 2014

Michael Meeks: 2014-10-10: Friday

21:00 UTCmember

  • Mail; admin, booked hack-fest flights for Toulouse and Munich.
  • Dead pleased with CloudOn's Teaser Video of their LibreOffice based product for iOS - coming exciting.


As you might know, due to invasive changes in PackageKit, I am currently rewriting the 3rd-party application installer Listaller. Since I am not the only one looking at the 3rd-party app-installation issue (there is a larger effort going on at GNOME, based on Lennarts ideas), it makes sense to redesign some concepts of Listaller.

Currently, dependencies and applications are installed into directories in /opt, and Listaller contains some logic to make applications find dependencies, and to talk to the package manager to install missing things. This has some drawbacks, like the need to install an application before using it, the need for applications to be relocatable, and application-installations being non-atomic.


There is/was another 3rd-party app installer approach on the GNOME side, by Alexander Larsson, called Glick2. Glick uses application bundles (do you remember Klik from back in the days?) mounted via FUSE. This allows some neat features, like atomic installations and software upgrades, no need for relocatable apps and no need to install the application.

However, it also has disadvantages. Quoting the introduction document for Glick2:

“Bundling isn’t perfect, there are some well known disadvantages. Increased disk footprint is one, although current storage space size makes this not such a big issues. Another problem is with security (or bugfix) updates in bundled libraries. With bundled libraries its much harder to upgrade a single library, as you need to find and upgrade each app that uses it. Better tooling and upgrader support can lessen the impact of this, but not completely eliminate it.”

This is what Listaller does better, since it was designed to do a large effort to avoid duplication of code.

Also, currently Glick doesn’t have support for updates and software-repositories, which Listaller had.

Combining Listaller and Glick ideas

So, why not combine the ideas of Listaller and Glick? In order to have Glick share resources, the system needs to know which shared resources are available. This is not possible if there is one huge Glick bundle containing all of the application’s dependencies. So I modularized Glick bundles to contain just one software component, which is e.g. GTK+ or Qt, GStreamer or could even be a larger framework (e.g. “GNOME 3.14 Platform”). These components are identified using AppStream XML metadata, which allows them to be installed from the distributor’s software repositories as well, if that is wanted.

If you now want to deploy your application, you first create a Glick bundle for it. Then, in a second step, you bundle your application bundle with it’s dependencies in one larger tarball, which can also be GPG signed and can contain additional metadata.

The resulting “metabundle” will look like this:











This doesn’t look like we share resources yet, right? The dependencies are still bundled with the application requiring them. The trick lies in the “installation” step: While the application above can be executed right away without installing it, there will also be an option to install it. For the user

09 October, 2014

Michael Meeks: 2014-10-09: Thursday

21:00 UTCmember

  • Plugged at mail, partner call, more mail. Lunch, mgmt team call, wrote a LXF column on open source civility. ESC call, merged some patches & back-ported some others.

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