my blog

Sunday 28 July 2013

From Thessaloniki with love -- openSUSE Conference 2013

Last week-end I was in Greece, in Thessaloniki, enjoying the openSUSE Conference 2013. If I had to summarize the event in one word, that would be: wow! It was the first time we had this event in another city than Nuremberg and Prague (two places where SUSE has offices), and it was the first time the organization was fully lead by the community. I was quite confident that things couldn't go wrong since, after all, what matters is that we're all in the same place. But I was amazed that the whole event went so smoothly! This was really a great job from a whole team of volunteers:

oSC13 volunteers

Just to give an example of the hard work that was accomplished: most (all?) talks were successfully streamed, and the recordings are already online! Stella and Kostas definitely deserve credits for the overall success, as they kept leading the organization in the right direction since last year, and the event wouldn't have been possible without their dedication. Our sponsors also helped make all this happen, so many thanks to SUSE, ARM, DevHdR and Oracle!

Having people from all over the world was once again an opportunity to meet up with old and new friends, who were coming from Brazil (Izabel, Carlos), the US, all over Europe obviously, but also India (Manu, Saurabh) and China as well as Taiwan (Sunny, Max, David, etc.)... The conference is the global event of the openSUSE community, without any doubt. With 250 attendees, there were a lot of hallway chats and informal meetings; I'm sure the GNOME couch tradition that we initiated with Dominique and Richard will stay over the years ;-)

oSC13 volunteers

Unsurprisingly, the openSUSE Board took opportunity of having so many community members to discuss several topics with as many people as possible. The board also organized for the first time a session about team reports. Even though several teams didn't participate to that session (generally because no team members was there), we had more than ten teams joining the party on stage, and this was probably one of the best way to see how broad our community really is and to learn the latest developments in various areas of the project. We also had our usual town hall meeting which went rather nicely, with useful feedback to the board.

oSC13 volunteers

The bad thing for me is that I had to stay only for a few days due to work, but there's already a next opportunity to meet with the community: this will be the openSUSE Summit in Orlando next November. And if you cannot make it, then I can only recommending making sure that you will join us next year, for the openSUSE Conference in Dubrovnik!

oSC13 volunteers

Wednesday 13 March 2013

openSUSE 12.3 is out, with OpenStack love

Get openSUSE 12.3!

Have you heard about it? openSUSE 12.3 is out!

I did an upgrade earlier today on my main laptop (with a simple zypper dup after having updated the repos configuration, which went surprisingly fast), and this release looks great! But the best part: it comes with OpenStack love!

Enjoy Folsom!

For the first time, an openSUSE release provides a fully working set of OpenStack packages. We had some OpenStack packages in the previous release, but they were not in such a great shape and some components were even missing (although we fixed that later on with packages in the build service).

With 12.3, you can finally enjoy OpenStack with the Folsom release in a very straight-forward way, and therefore you can easily deploy your own cloud. The packages that we provide are built from the stable/folsom branch, and there's an online update coming soon so you can enjoy the stable/folsom code as of end of last week.

To help people who might not want to learn everything needed to properly deploy OpenStack, we also have a small openstack-quickstart package, that comes with a script that can be used to deploy everything locally. It is obviously not recommended to run this on your main computer (I usually run this in a virtual machine), but it gets you quickly to the point where you can play with OpenStack.

OpenStack Folsom on openSUSE 12.3

Dashboard of an OpenStack cloud running on openSUSE 12.3

Play today with Grizzly!

Of course, Folsom is relatively old at this point and the new version, Grizzly, is to be released in three weeks. But don't be sad! We've been working on Grizzly packages for some time now: you can grab them from the Cloud:OpenStack:Master project in the build service (hey, look, it's even building packages for SLE and openSUSE 12.2! the build service is a rather convenient tool!). I guess we'll properly move them to Cloud:OpenStack:Grizzly once Grizzly is officially released.

Develop with DevStack!

I mentioned a few months ago that I had finished porting DevStack to openSUSE 12.2, and I wrote some small documentation on how to use it. It's really a neat tool, both for playing with OpenStack and for developing for it.

However, I realized earlier this week that I had never double-checked everything was still okay for 12.3. It turns out there's a small issue that completely breaks it, oops ;-) But once the fix is checked in, DevStack will be usable on the latest openSUSE. I'll do some more tests before marking this version of openSUSE as supported in DevStack, but that shouldn't block anyone from using DevStack on 12.3.

Join us!

We're pretty open about how we develop OpenStack in openSUSE. Andreas wrote a post about all this a few days ago. We've opened up (or rather, revived) a mailing list dedicated to the cloud recently, which developers, packagers and users can all use to discuss OpenStack. And unsurprisingly, we also have an #opensuse-cloud channel on Freenode. But most importantly, we've worked on making public the infrastructure we use to build OpenStack for openSUSE.

I think the important bit on this is that everybody is able, and welcome, to join this effort. It's not just about being able to say "see, we have OpenStack"; it's about building a rock-solid experience for OpenStack, and enjoying doing that!

Now, let's celebrate the release: party time! :-)

Saturday 13 October 2012

Chairing the openSUSE Board, SUSEcon & openSUSE Summit

I'm supposed to be flying over the Atlantic right now to attend the OpenStack Summit, but British Airways had other plans for me: I'm stuck in London for a few hours, and will head towards New York tonight, before going to the west coast. But since I have Internet access, I guess it's a good opportunity to write about something that happened last month: I joined the openSUSE Board as chairman!

(And if you were wondering: I'm still part of the SUSE Cloud team, and the chairman position simply comes on top. The fact that I'm heading to the OpenStack Summit should have given you a hint already ;-))

For those who don't know about the governance structure of openSUSE, the openSUSE Board is a group of six people that exists to serve and guide the community. This includes working on legal and financial topics, talking to our different sponsors, etc., but it specifically does not deal with the technical side of the project. The Board is made of six members: five who are elected by the community, and one (the chairman) who is appointed by SUSE.

The new openSUSE Board Chairman

The new openSUSE Board Chairman. Picture by Andreas Jaeger

Until recently, Alan Clark was the chairman, but he recently got elected chairman of the OpenStack Foundation. I was surprised when I got asked if I'd be willing to step up, but that was a pleasant surprise: I was actually considering running for the next board elections, so it didn't take me too much thinking to accept :-) I got interviewed twice about this new position. This is quite cool, as it shows how much people are interested in what's going on in the openSUSE world.

I do believe there's a lot the Board can do to help the project, and there are many ideas I'd like to push, a lot of them coming from my experience at the GNOME Foundation. But the way I (and I hope, many others) see it, the chairman is just one member among others; of course, the chairman should be a bit more proactive in pushing the others, but that's the main difference. It's therefore important to have great people in the Board, like we do today. But guess what, we also have elections coming in a few weeks, so if you feel you can make a difference, consider running! If you don't want to run but have ideas to share, don't hesitate to mail the board or me to send us your input.

Because of this new position, I went last month to Orlando, in order to attend SUSEcon and the openSUSE Summit that was organized just after SUSEcon. This was really a last minute decision: I booked my flights three days before leaving... Both were amazing events, especially when you think that this was the first year for both events.

SUSEcon

Of course, it was a great opportunity for me to chat about openSUSE and the Board with many people, including Ralf Flaxa (VP of Engineering at SUSE) and Michael Miller (VP of Global Alliances & Marketing at SUSE) who both care a lot about openSUSE. It turns out they simply told me, when I asked if they were expecting anything special from the chairman: do what's good for the project! Pretty cool to hear :-)

It was no surprise, but there was quite some discussion about the cloud during SUSEcon. And actually, I was surprised at how much interest there was from everyone. I was helping on the SUSE Cloud booth, and many people came in — some to just learn about the field in general, while others had some pretty deep questions about the technologies. Everyone was mentioning OpenStack during the keynotes, and the SUSE Cloud product was deployed live during the closing keynote to show how easy it is to deal with. SUSE also produced some fun videos about the cloud.

SUSE's birthday cake

SUSE's birthday cake. Picture by Andreas Jaeger

Since SUSE is 20 years old now, SUSEcon was also the perfect time to celebrate SUSE's birthday. Some kernel hackers were nice and took time to participate in a happy birthday video, we had a fun birthday party, and we also went to see the Blue Man Group (great show!). Andreas Jaeger uploaded pictures of the whole event, if you want to remember what you enjoyed there, or see what you missed ;-)

openSUSE Summit

The openSUSE Summit had many people coming (more than I expected!), and it was a lot of fun. Bryen and the whole team did an amazing job with the organization, and I think everybody enjoyed the family atmosphere that this event had. There were also great sessions (although I only attended two of them), and thanks to ownCloud and Omnibond, we had fun parties in the evenings. I especially loved building the small boats (or a car, like Simona and I did).

The openSUSE Summit also hosted a GNOME hackfest on user observation. Anna, Federico and Cosimo wrote about it already. It looked like it was a useful hackfest, from what I could see!

Scott loved the Summit!

Scott loved the Summit! Picture by Andreas Jaeger

If you want to see pictures from the openSUSE Summit, go check Andreas' gallery. Between the sessions, the geeko lounge, the parties, huge geekos, a raffle to win a Raspberry Pi (all profits went to the GNOME Foundation), and more, there's lots to see :-)

Oh, and I had the opportunity to talk with Sam Varghese during SUSEcon about how GNOME is doing. I hope the resulting article gives a new perspective about the current direction to people outside the GNOME community.

My flight is probably about to leave; time to look for the boarding gate...

Monday 24 October 2011

openSUSE 12.1 RC1 is out, with GNOME 3.2.1

At the end of last week, we unleashed RC1 of our next openSUSE release (12.1, scheduled for November 16th), and it comes with GNOME 3.2.1, which went out only a couple of days before RC1. Go grab a live image if you want to play with either openSUSE or GNOME 3 :-) There are still a few bugs here and there to iron out, but overall, the experience is very solid!

Anonymous openSUSE 12.1 user

"I upgraded to openSUSE 12.1, and this dramatically improved my life!" — Anonymous

It really feels good to have this openSUSE release nearing, as we missed the GNOME 3.0 boat (openSUSE 11.4 was released one month before GNOME 3.0): I, and I assume a few others, felt that we were stuck in the past with GNOME 2 in our world for so long. Sure, the work on backporting GNOME 3.0 and then 3.2 to openSUSE 11.4 helped, but we really wanted to share what was in Factory... Especially as there was really a lot of work to properly integrate this new GNOME.

I'm obviously really glad to see the GNOME 3 love in openSUSE, but looking back at the last few months, what is even greater to me is that we got many amazing people contribute to the GNOME team through-out this cycle. I'm sure I'll forget some of them (apologies for that, let me know so I add your name!), but here's a quick list:

  • Atri Bhattacharya
  • Bjørn Lie
  • Casual J. Programmer
  • Dominique Leuenberger
  • Frédéric Crozat
  • Gary Lin
  • Guido Berhörster
  • Joey Zheng
  • Kirill Kirillov
  • Malcolm Lewis
  • Nelson Marques
  • Richard Brown
  • Sankar P
  • Scott Reeves
  • Stephen Shaw

Their various contributions include updating packages, fixing bugs, testing, polishing the experience, supporting users, providing ideas, and more! Go ahead and thank those people when you meet them (virtually or in the real life): they all make the GNOME team rock! And who knows, maybe next time you'll also be one of those rock stars?

Friday 8 July 2011

Only a few days left for the openSUSE Conference Call for Papers

The third openSUSE Conference will occur on September 11-14, and there are only a few days left to submit a talk: the call for papers is open until next Monday! So don't think twice, and go submit something now. If you really want to think twice, take a look at our guidelines for speakers, they should convince it's worth the effort!

There's a change this year: after thinking about how we could improve the conference, we decided that we wanted a stronger focus on smaller and interactive sessions. We describe this as read-write. But we also want to be ready to execute the results of those discussions, hence the execute bit. This is why we ended up with rwx, which might sound familiar. And since we want this for each of us, for our community and for the rest of the world, rwx³ is our motto for this year. Yes, it's geeky, but hey, this is also part of our identity ;-)

Since I really like this change in focus for this year's conference, I decided that I would not submit a talk, but only BoFs and workshops.

What about you? What will you submit?

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by Vincent