openSUSE Conference 2018

openSUSE Conference 2018

Article from Issue 213/2018

The openSUSE community assembles in Prague.

Prague is like the second headquarters of the openSUSE community. After Nuremberg, which is home to SUSE's headquarters, Prague has the largest openSUSE developer base. No surprise that this year's openSUSE conference was organized in the capital of Czech Republic. OpenSUSE PR manager Douglas DeMaio told me last year that he secretly wanted the next conference in Prague so he could get a break from organizing it. But when I landed in Prague, I saw him running around, sweating in the cold weather of the region, helping the community. Once you are part of a friendly open source community, there are no excuses: Everyone pitches in.

I had been at the OpenStack Summit in Vancouver, Canada, and I cut my trip short to fly directly to Prague to cover the conference and meet my friends from the openSUSE community. I was extremely jet lagged, but the moment I stepped into the venue, I found myself reinvigorated as I greeted friends I have known for many years.

Highlights of the Show

The biggest highlight of the show was the release of openSUSE Leap 15. The Leap release manage, Ludwig Nussel, hit the green button amid some fanfare to officially announce the release. The second biggest story that came out of the conference was the forking of Red Hat Spacewalk, a systems management solution that serves as the base for SUSE Manager and Red Hat Satellite. In an interview, Klaus Kämpf, SUSE's project owner for SUSE Manager, told us that Red Hat put the project in maintenance mode and did not have enough developer resources to accept the changes SUSE developers were submitting. SUSE tried to work with Red Hat to take over the project so they could maintain it, but that didn't work out. Since Spacewalk is the foundation of SUSE Manager, the only way for SUSE to maintain the project was to fork it. The new project is called Uyuni.

Pi for Health

OpenSUSE was one of the first Linux-based distributions to support the latest 64-bit Raspberry Pi boards. The community is known for giving away Pis to the GNU Health project. Andrew Wafaa, who gets paid by ARM to work on openSUSE, handed over a box of 10 Raspberry Pis to the project's founder Luis Falcon.

I got many insider stories and scoops at this year's conference, some of which you may read about in coming issues of this magazine. And I got word of some big changes that are coming to openSUSE. SUSE's Richard Brown gave me a sneak peak of what to expect from the next release of openSUSE and probably SUSE Enterprise Linux. The SUSE team has been working on borrowing some ideas from Kubic (a platform for containerized workloads) and bringing transactional updates to openSUSE.

Beer Time

What kind of German company or community would host an event without any beer? You often get beer after the event, but Ana María Martínez Gómez, of the openSUSE Build Service, went full Bavarian and introduced a new track called "lightning beer talks." The format was simple: The presenter has to hold a beer, a microphone, and a projector remote in their hands and deliver a talk while drinking beer. Wafaa didn't deliver a talk, but he drank the beer and gave us a dance that was well appreciated.

On the final day of the event, an annual board meeting presented a new openSUSE board to the community. A drawing during the meeting gave away a brand new TUXEDO InfinityBook Pro 13 laptop, which runs on openSUSE.

A party was planned for after the meeting, but DeMaio and I took a long walk to enjoy some spicy Indian food and Czech beer. I was back to DC the next day, getting ready for my next open source conference.

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