Pavol Rusnak #cypherpunk #hacker #openhw #privacy #bitcoin #newmediaart

Geeko Bus

I travel to work by bus. While they are usually in Prague Public Transit’s traditional colors - red and white, today this one came to bus stop:


I was really happy that I could go to SUSE offices on Geeko Bus. It really made my day! :-)

Fedora and openSUSE Community Engagement

The middle of November was very exciting for both Fedora and openSUSE communities. At first, openSUSE project unleashed its 11.2 release, which was followed by Fedora 12 a few days after. I thought it would be interesting to dig into bug reports which were filed during the development of these two releases in respective bugzillas.

I’m not going to compare the absolute number of bugs, nor the ratio of reported/closed ones, because I think these statistics are easy to find. Also, Fedora 12 development took 6 months, while openSUSE 11.2 took 11 months and this is not very comparable. What I was interested in was how much work happens inside the companies and how much outside their walls, in the community. Please, bear in mind that development is not only about reporting, closing bugs and their count. A lot also happens on wikis, openFATE or other tools, so these statistics could be a little bit skewed. Enough talking, here comes the data and charts …

                    |     openSUSE 11.2      |        Fedora 12        |
                    |  Novell  |  community  |  Red Hat  |  community  |
| bugs reported by  |   1739   |     3915    |    1483   |     4305    |
| unique reporters  |    207   |      957    |     279   |     1663    |
| bugs assigned* to |   5537   |      117    |    4143   |     1645    |
| unique assignees* |    237   |       54    |     226   |      231    |

* - assignee could be mailing list, it does not have to be an individual


Chart 1: Bugs reported by


Chart 2: Unique reporters

When we look at the reporters charts, we see that they are quite similar. This is good!


Chart 3: Bugs assigned to


Chart 4: Unique assignees

The next two charts are where we can see drastic differences. What are the reasons for this? Well, I was able to come up with these:

  • like mentioned above, openSUSE project utilizes other tools, e.g. openFATE, to steer development
  • openSUSE is younger project than Fedora, so the community involvement is lower (sometimes it is still very hard for externals to understand WHAT and HOW should be achieved)
  • Novell folks do not reassign bugs to community members, even if the problem is fixed via Build Service submit request, the bug stays assigned to ‘insider’ who closes it
  • some of the assignees are in fact mailing lists that contain both internal and external people, but they belong to domain
  • Fedora uses bugzilla for package reviews, these often include external people but are not actual bug reports

Can you think of any more reasons? What can we do to improve the situation and to engage openSUSE community more?

My Candidacy for the openSUSE Board


¡Hola openSUSE Folks!

I’d like to announce my candidacy for openSUSE Board Elections 2009.

My name is Pavol Rusnak and I’m 25 years old. I was born in Kosice, Slovakia, but for the last 7 years I’ve been living in Prague, Czech Republic, where I graduated from computer science at the Charles University.

You might recognize me from various openSUSE related mailing lists or IRC channels, where I use nick prusnak, or from my blog, which is syndicated on Planet SUSE. Some of you have met me during conferences like openSUSE Conference in September and I’m looking forward to meet you all at FOSDEM in February.

I’ve been at Novell for 3 years now and at the same time I became a part of openSUSE project. I started in the Czech Packagers Team, where I was responsible for lots of networking and XML packages (e.g. wireshark, libxml2), game libraries (e.g. the whole libSDL stack) and Xfce desktop environment. Times has changed since and now I maintain (with a great help of you, community maintainers) countless number of packages all across the Build Service (with Contrib and Games being momentarily my favorite repositories :-)).

In July 2009, I was happy to join the openSUSE Boosters Team, a “team which is pushing the openSUSE project forward as a part and for the benefit of the community”. During our brainstorming sessions we managed to create a list of nearly 40 projects or ideas worth pursuing.

I applied for the board, because I think it should consist of both technical and non-technical people. Currently there is a lot of discussion, but less of actual implementing things. As a person with great technical overview I can steer the community members around particular topics they choose to work on. I can bootstrap their activity, give them helping hand in the beginnings and try the best to develop their project into a fully independent one. A great example of this is inclusion of LXDE into openSUSE.

There is a huge amount of work ahead of us and I would be glad to drive the effort not only from the openSUSE Boosters Team perspective but also from the openSUSE Board point of view.

Thank you!

useradd and passwd vs. Kerberos


At work we use LDAP and Kerberos authentication for users. During the testing of openSUSE 11.2, me and my other two colleagues (mmarek and mseben) have encountered problem that one cannot change the local password of user added with useradd. Running passwd user jumps directly to setting krb5 password. This was reported as bnc#545724.

It turned out that this is caused by the line:

password  [default=ignore success=1]  uid > 999  quiet

which is added to /etc/pam.d/common-password-pc by pam-config during the installation, when Kerberos is enabled.

So the question is: How to add local users with local password (e.g. for testing purposes)? You can add so-called system-users by using useradd -r username (these will be given UID < 1000 and thus will not be handled by Kerberos). There is a catch, though. You cannot login as this user, because it’s shell is set to /bin/false by default. You can change it in /etc/passwd or, more cleanly, specify the shell immediately when creating the user:

useradd -r username -s /bin/bash