Thursday, April 23, 2009

» Anyone with a Czech keyboard and a few minutes on his hands ?

Bug #432627 (Backspace doesn't work in russian keyboard layout after autologin) has been open for 6 months now and has seen a lot of very useful feedback and comments from several Russian contributors. I even proposed a change that fixes the problem for Russian keyboards, but we're just waiting for anyone with a Czech keyboard layout to test that change and see whether it breaks the keyboard or not. The situation is a bit ridiculous (testing that with a Czech keyboard probably takes 10min at most) and a pain in the rear for everyone using openSUSE with a Russian layout. So if you can help us close this thing and get the proposed patch through, please take those few minutes and make a comment on the above mentioned bug. That would be much appreciated.


Monday, April 20, 2009

» Content moderation

Obviously, the Blogger CAPTCHAs have been cracked since some time, and I'm just sick of the comment spam. Hence I finally enabled comment moderation and went through existing comments to sweep the spam -- Blogger definitely needs better tools for that :( And BTW, this isn't a support channel, if you have questions or technical issues, ask on one of the many channels we have for exactly that purpose. Not on my blog.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

» How to build aircrack-ng on openSUSE

aircrack-ng is a well known network security tool that is capable of cracking most wireless encryption algorithms (WEP, WPA, ...). It is a very useful tool to assess the security of your WLAN, but unfortunately, it can also be abused by crackers to penetrate a wireless network. As such, and I cannot stress this enough: it is FORBIDDEN and a CRIMINAL ACT by (a very controversial and unclear) law in Germany to distribute aircrack-ng, as well as similar security cracking tools, -- notwithstanding the usefulness of such a tool for above mentioned security assessments. That is why you won't find a precompiled binary package of aircrack-ng for openSUSE. We do host a nosrc RPM package in the Packman repository though. Such nosrc packages don't contain the upstream sources (in this case, the aircrack-ng tarball from the aircrack website), but merely the RPM recipe on how to properly build the package. If you really know what you're doing and intend to use aircrack-ng for security assessment purposes (and NOT for CRACKING, which is both ETHICALLY CONDEMNABLE and a CRIMINAL ACT in certain if not most countries), here is how to build the binary package on your host (the two first lines have to be performed once, to set up an RPM building environment in your home, in order to build packages with your regular user):
echo "%_topdir $HOME/rpm" >> ~/.rpmmacros
mkdir -p ~/rpm/{BUILD,RPMS/{i586,x86_64},SOURCES,SPECS,SRPMS}

cd ~/rpm/SOURCES
cd ~/rpm/SRPMS
rpmbuild --rebuild
Once rpmbuild is done with building the package, you'll find a binary RPM in ~/RPMS/i586 (on 32bit systems) or ~/RPMS/x86_64 (on 64bit systems). Note that rpmbuild may complain about missing build dependencies -- in this case, install the missing packages on your host using YaST2 or zypper. The most comfortable option for installing build dependencies being most probably the following:
zypper si -d ./
To have the latest available version, go to the corresponding Packman page and adapt the instructions above to the Packman nosrc.rpm download link as well as the version in the download URL at


Saturday, April 11, 2009

» openSUSE Search

After noticing that sgt-d has created a custom Google search for openSUSE, and given that Mediawiki's native search capabilities are.. well.. suboptimal, I quickly hacked up a nicer search form that uses the above mentioned custom Google search (because the page at Google is not branded). Then I went on and added search forms for the openSUSE forums, Packman, the openSUSE mailing-list archive, the openSUSE Build Service packages, as well as the webpin repository index.

Might be useful:
(note that the URL can also be abbreviated to

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Friday, April 10, 2009

» RSS build notifications from OBS

One of the annoying things with the openSUSE Build Service ("OBS") is that while it is acceptable that it can take a while for the build grid to process your package, it is tedious to poll the results with "osc r" (or my contributed, nicely coloured "osc cr") again and again. Now, the openSUSE Build Service has a notification backend called "Hermes" (named so after the Greek mythology, Hermes being the messenger of the gods) that is triggered by OBS events such as build completion. I personally don't like receiving bulks of emails to tell me that a build has succeeded or failed, my IMAP being already sufficiently crowded. But Hermes also publishes RSS feeds, including by user. In order to follow those in your preferred RSS client (I use akregator, but there are many others, including Firefox' "live bookmarks" feature), go to, log in with your openSUSE iChain account, and there you'll have a page where you can configure the notifications for your builds. I went for enabling "Build Success" and "Build Failure" as well as picking "Web / RSS newsfeed" from the list box on the right. When done, you get a list of your feeds here: (or by clicking on "My Feeds" in the menu in the left navigation section).

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Thursday, April 09, 2009

» openSUSE Community Week countdown

As you probably already know, we'll have a first Community Week, with the current date range being from 2009-05-11 to -17. I hacked up a countdown image for it, in a similar fashion to the countdown images for openSUSE distribution releases: they adapt automatically to the language preferences of the browser visiting the page that contains the image, and a cron job updates the counter on the server.
You can link to the countdown images as follows:
  • 400x400:
    <img src=""/>
  • 256x256:
    <img src=""/>
  • 130x130:
    <img src=""/>
You might also want to surroung that <img/> tag with a link to


» openSUSE TV links for FOSDEM 2009 talks

I just went through the FOSDEM 2009 talks/slides/videos page on the wiki to add links to our openSUSE TV channel at So if you prefer to see the talks as streams with Flash instead of the Theora oggs we have on, you can do so using the links on that page now. To do so, I also added an "OpensuseTV" template to our Wiki, in a similar fashion to the "Video" template. It uses another icon (see on the left) and takes the identifier as parameter (not the whole URL), e.g. like this:

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