Unity 2D Ported To openSUSE

Whether you like it or not, Unity is here to stay and it looks like developers from other Linux distributions want it as well. openSUSE developer Nelson Marques has announced that Unity 2D is up for inclusion in the GNOME:Ayatana repository in the openSUSE Build Service.

Marques has already got Unity 2D working on openSUSE and has posted screenshots of Unity 2D running in openSUSE.

According to Marques, many of the features of Unity 2D, such as the launcher auto-hide and the workspace selector are already working. He has also implemented transparency in Unity 2D by turning on the compositing in Metacity.

Not everything seems to be working just yet, though. The AppMenu, also called the Global Menu, is not yet working. Texts are also missing from underneath the icons in the Unity dash.

The final plan for Marques is to port Unity (not Unity 2D) to openSUSE. To achieve that the performance of Compiz in openSUSE will have to be improved.

Here are some more screenshots of Unity in openSUSE. You can see more screenshots here.

On the completion of the port, Unity and Unity 2D will be available for openSUSE users through the GNOME:Ayatana repository.

openSUSE users, do you like the idea of using Unity?

TeamViewer – Best Desktop Sharing App for Linux

Have you ever had to help someone with their computer over the phone or using text chat? It’s not easy. You can’t be sure that they are in the right place, doing what you want them to do. That’s why remote desktop (screen) sharing applications are so great.

These applications are called by a variety of names such as, remote access, remote support, remote desktop, screen sharing, and desktop sharing. The main idea behind them is that they allow one computer to see another computer’s screen over a network or the internet.

My wife and I have many friends and relatives that come to us for PC help and advice. We’ve used a number of desktop sharing apps over the years and discovered that TeamViewer is one of the best, and it’s free!

Since I’ve been spending a lot of time using Linux lately, I was happy to find that TeamViewer is also available for Linux, as well as Windows, Mac and Smartphones. It’s almost as good as being there, because I can control the remote computer as if I were sitting directly in front of it. When I need to, I can change the direction to show my PC’s screen to the other person. It even makes it easy to share files with the person on the other end.

This image below shows how simple it is to set up. (click image to enlarge it)

openSUSE Considering Changing Its Distribution Naming Scheme

It looks like openSUSE is looking to drop its current naming scheme in favor of a new one which is easier to follow. Traditionally openSUSE has a naming scheme which is confusing at best. The last few releases of openSUSE were 10.3, 11.0, 11.1, 11.2, 11.3 and 11.4. Although this looks like a major and minor numbering system, it is not. For example, openSUSE 11.4 is not a minor update from openSUSE 11.3. There is no specific reason why openSUSE 11.4 was given the number 11.4 and not, say, 12.

In short, openSUSE has no fixed plan on how to name the next release. They generally count the minor number to 3 and then increase the major number – but that is not always the case as openSUSE 11.4 shows.

To replace the old naming scheme, Novell is looking at a new naming scheme which should makes it clear which release is the newer one and which has no ambiguity on what the next release will be called. On the suggestions of openSUSE developers and users, they are currently looking at several options.

One of the naming schemes that they are looking at is the one which Ubuntu uses. It is a simple method where each release is given the name YY.MM, where YY is the year and MM is the month of the release. Another scheme that they are looking at is the one Fedora uses. This is probably the simplest naming scheme. In this scheme, each stable release is given an integer – for example 12, followed by 13, 14 etc. Yet another is the one Mandriva uses. In the Mandriva naming scheme, releases are named as YYYY.N, where YYYY is the year of the release and N is the number of release in that year.

An interesting naming scheme being discussed is the octal system. In the proposed system, releases are named according to the octal number system. In this system the next release will be 012, followed by 013, 014, 015, 016, 017, 020 etc. A naming system based on seasons is also proposed. According to this, releases are named as Autumn 2011, Summer 2012,  Spring 2013 etc. This naming scheme is however likely to run into problems as not everyplace has the same seasons.

Novell is still accepting suggestions for more naming schemes until 14th of March. So, if you have something in mind, do send them a suggestion. Novell is planning to have two rounds of voting to pick the final naming scheme they will go with.

Personally, I think the Ubuntu naming scheme is the easiest and best option – maybe because I am an Ubuntu user. Which naming scheme do you prefer?


HAL Killed In openSUSE 11.4 Milestone 6

The openSUSE project announced the release of the sixth milestone of openSUSE 11.4 for testing. This is the last milestone release for openSUSE 11.4. So, the main focus of this release is on bug fixes and QA. This does not however mean that this is not an exciting release.

One of the most exciting changes in this release is the complete removal of HAL. With this, openSUSE is the second major Linux distribution after Ubuntu to have completely removed HAL. Now the functions of HAL will be taken over by udev, udisks and upower. Not only are udev, udisks and upower more modern than HAL, they are also more actively maintained.

Another thing that was originally planned for openSUSE 11.4 was to replace SysV init with systemd. However, they have run into some problems with integrating systemd. So, atleast for openSUSE 11.4, SysV init will not be replaced.

openSUSE 11.4 M6 will also have WebYaST installed by default. WebYaST is a tool which allows users to configure the computer remotely from a web browser. Packages for WebYaST was first made available for openSUSE 11.3.

So, far what we have talked about are mostly changes under the hood. openSUSE 11.4 M6 also has a few visible changes. The final wallpaper, splash-screen and branding for openSUSE 11.4 have been included in this release. The most recent versions of various software like X.org, VirtualBox etc. have also been included in this release.

Regarding the desktop environment, openSUSE 11.4 M6 ships with KDE SC 4.6 RC2. A few days ago, the final release of KDE SC 4.6 was made available. This will make it to openSUSE in the first release candidate which is scheduled for 10th February. The recently released Xfce 4.8 is also available for those who prefer a lighter DE.

This release will be followed by the first release candidate which will be released on 10th February and the final release in March 2011. There will be possible some more release candidates in between.

Installing Google Voice And Video Chat in openSUSE

Earlier, Google rolled out an update which added Linux support for Google Talk’s Voice and Video chat. Unfortunately, the update has been packaged only a debian deb file. Fortunately, Jigish Gohil, more popularly known as “CyberOrg” in the openSUSE community has a solution.

The debian package is a archive consisting of the required libraries and a cron job, Jigish has extracted the files and rolled it into a tarball. To install, just download the tarball and extract it to the root folder. To do so, open the Terminal.

Switch to the root user:

su root

Next, use tar to extract and move the files

tar jxvf /path/to/downloaded/file/google-talkplugin.tar.bz2 -C /

Replace /path/to/downloaded/file with the location at which you downloaded the file. Restart your browsers, and you should be ready to start talking!


Google now provides an RPM package, just head over to the Download page and select the required file.

Upgrade To KDE SC 4.5 In OpenSUSE

KDE Software Compilation 4.5 was released a few days ago (actually 6 days to be exact). It is available for upgrade in OpenSUSE (11.1, 11.2 and 11.3).

But before we get to how to upgrade, a few of the improvements/new features in KDE SC 4.5:

  • Blur Effect – KDE SC now has a new blur effect which looks awesome.
  • WebKit – Now you can use WebKit in Konqueror, the default KDE browser. WebKit makes the browser much faster.
  • Simplified System Settings – The tabs on the System Settings have been removed. The interface looks more simplified now.
  • Monochrome Icons – The system tray now has monochrome icons. (Not all applications currently supports monochrome icons yet). It makes the system tray more visually appealing and gives more clarity.
  • Windows Tiling – KWin now supports windows tiling.
  • Faster and More Responsive – I have been using KDE SC 4.5 ever since the first beta and it is certainly faster and more responsive than the previous releases.

You can see the official announcement for more informations.

Warning – This is an unsupported upgrade. So problems could occur.

Now, to upgrade to KDE SC 4.5 in OpenSUSE, you need to be using atleast OpenSUSE 11.1, 11.2 or 11.3. Now, open the Konsole (ALT+F2 and type konsole) and execute the following commands:

(Change 11.3 to 11.2 or 11.1 wherever applicable.)

sudo zypper ar-f http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/KDE:/Distro:/Factory/openSUSE_11.3 KDF
sudo zypper dup-from KDF

If you use the KDE extra repository, execute the following commands:

zypper rr http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/KDE:/Extra/openSUSE_11.3/
zypper ar -f http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/KDE:/Extra/openSUSE_11.3_KDE_Distro_Factory/ KDF-extra
zypper dup --from KDF-extra

openSUSE 11.3 Released – Download Now


The openSUSE Project has announced the release of the final version of openSUSE 11.3 today. openSUSE 11.3 includes a number of changes, updates and  improvements  over openSUSE 11.2 which was released in November last year.

openSUSE 11.3 is based on Linux kernel 2.6.34 and has KDE Software Compilation 4.4.4 as the  default desktop environment. A GNOME version is also available and it uses GNOME 2.30.1. In terms of the default applications, it comes with Thunderbird 3.0.5, Firefox 3.6.4 and OpenOffice 3.2.1 to name a few. openSUSE 11.3 also gives the user the choice of using Btrfs during installation.

You can view the complete changelog here or read the release note. A screenshot tour of openSUSE 11.3 have also been put up.

openSUSE is widely regarded as one of the best KDE based Linux distros. So, if you want to give openSUSE 11.3 a go, you can download it from here -> Download openSUSE 11.3.

KDE SC 4.3.5 To Be Pushed As An Online Update to openSUSE Users

The openSUSE Marketing team today made a surprising announcement, stating that KDE SC 4.3.5 will be pushed to users as an online update, rather than an optional update from the openSUSE build service. The team mentions that the fact that this release fixed many bugs convinced the team to make it available via the online update service.

As a consequence of this, the KDE4.3 repository ( Build Service KDE:43 ) will no longer be in use and users are requested to remove this repository from the installation sources, present in YaST.

If you’d like to skip past KDE 4.3.5 and go directly to KDE 4.4, do check out our guide to update to KDE 4.4.

Installing KDE 4.4 in Ubuntu, openSUSE, Fedora And ArchLinux

Few days ago, the KDE team had announced the release of KDE 4.4. We, at Techie-Buzz had taken you on a screenshot tour of KDE 4.4. Now, if that has piqued your interest to explore KDE 4.4, let’s have a look on how you can install KDE 4.4 on some popular Linux distributions.

KDE 4.4

Installing KDE 4.4 in openSUSE

openSUSE’s 1-click install and openSUSE build system makes it one of the easiest methods of installing KDE 4.4 ( or for that matter, any software). Head over to KDE 4 page of openSUSE wiki, and select the 1-click install link on the version of openSUSE that you have. For those extra lazy ones out there ( I’m one of those ;) ) here are the links:

Installing KDE 4.4 in Ubuntu/Kubuntu

To install KDE 4.4 in Kubuntu, first add the PPA by opening the Terminal and typing

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:kubuntu-ppa

If you’re using Ubuntu, add the backports PPA

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:kubuntu-ppa/backports

Next, update the repositories to reflect the newly added PPA by typing

sudo apt-get update

Finally, if you’re using Kubuntu, perform the update to KDE 4.4 by typing

sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

If you’re using Ubuntu, then install the kubuntu-desktop package to install KDE 4.4

sudo apt-get install kubuntu-desktop

Installing KDE 4.4 in ArchLinux

ArchLinux users can install/update to KDE 4.4 using pacman – the awesome package manager.

Installing KDE:

pacman -Sy kde

Upgrading to KDE 4.4:

pacman -Syu

Installing KDE 4.4 in Fedora 12

Fedora users will have to add repo file provided by KDE Packaging project to proceed with the installation. Download the repo file, save it in /etc/yum.repos.d directory.

Next, launch KPackageKit, head over to settings and enable kde and kde-testing repository. Once this is done, launch the terminal, switch over to root by typing

su root

Then, proceed with update by typing

yum groupupdate kde-desktop

Enjoy your KDE 4.4 install!

openSUSE 11.3 Milestone 1 makes its appearance


It’s been couple of months since openSUSE 11.2 was released. But in the Linux world nothing comes to a standstill, and as on schedule the openSUSE team has announced the release of the first Milestone of the next version of the distribution.

The first Milestone (M1) release is intended to provide a glimpse into what would be featured in openSUSE 11.3. This release features updates to some of the most popular and commonly used software, and an introduction of LXDE, the Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment as an alternative into the desktop environment selection lineup.

The updates include:

Desktop Environments:

A look at the desktop environments in openSUSE 11.3 Milestone 1

GNOME: M1 features GNOME 2.29.5, which is the first release of the popular desktop environment in 2010. The updates include Ephiphany, GNOME’s built-in web browser now stores all form data in GNOME keyring and Empathy redesigned to make it easier to use.

KDE: M1 brings in the first release candidate of KDE 4.4. The RC brings in new applications such as Blogilo which is a blogging tool to Rocs & Cantor – the scientific applications for advanced math and graph theory needs. In addition, Nepomuk Search framework is now faster due to a new storage backend, and now provides a timeline view of your files. Full details of intended goals of 4.4 release of KDE can be read over here.

LXDE: LXDE, short for Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment makes its debut in openSUSE as the lightweight alternative desktop environment, which will help users who have computers with less amount of RAM.

Desktop Apps:

Some of the updated desktop apps include:

Firefox: Firefox gets updated to 3.6, bringing in support for personas which allow you to change the look of the browser via themes/

Thunderbird: Thunderbird gets bumped to 3.0.1, which features a tabbed messaging interface, Smart folders and whole lot of bug fixes.

Other updated Desktop Apps include Amarok – the awesome media player, the KDE Photo Manager digikam, and the BitTorrent clients ktorrent and transmission.

Other Updates:

Other updates include moving Qt library to version 4.6, several updates to Networking stack and Development tools.

Download it!

Download openSUSE 11.3 Milestone 1 NowIf you’re itching to get your hands on the bleeding edge of software, don’t hesitate to try out M1 release and in the process contribute to the openSUSE community by means of bug reports ( and fixes too ;) ). Do note the most annoying bugs, however.

WARNING: Please do note that the Milestone release is very much under heavy development, and is not intended to be used in production systems.