Linked by Eugenia Loli on Fri 27th Apr 2007 01:22 UTC, submitted by editingwhiz
SuSE, openSUSE Novell openSUSE project has had a recent history of trouble with its update programs. Now, to make updating openSUSE more pleasant, the project is dropping its support for ZENworks and opening up YAST to community development. DesktopLinux.com has the story here and some other info here.
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maybe it's just me
by RandomGuy on Fri 27th Apr 2007 01:31 UTC
RandomGuy
Member since:
2006-07-30

But it seems like Novell tries to get back in touch with the community after annoying a lot of people with their MS deal.

This seems to be about more than just an utterly broken packet manager...

Reply Score: 3

RE: maybe it's just me
by elsewhere on Fri 27th Apr 2007 01:52 UTC in reply to "maybe it's just me"
elsewhere Member since:
2005-07-13

But it seems like Novell tries to get back in touch with the community after annoying a lot of people with their MS deal.

This seems to be about more than just an utterly broken packet manager...


I think you're reading too much into it. Novell owes the community an apology, but it has nothing to do with Microsoft. The crime was forcing zmd into Suse 10.1 (breaking version freeze late in the development cycle) and insisting on further developing it for 10.2, when it had no reasonable place belonging in a community-oriented distro.

The Suse devs were not happy, and took much abuse from an equally unhappy userbase for a decision that was out of their control. The decision to yank it from 10.3 altogether is an implicit ACK that it should never have been there in the first place.

Plus, I'm not sure what the article is referring to about releasing Yast et al. as GPL. That was done ages ago, one of the first things Novell did when they acquired Suse (and led to Debian attempting to port it). All they've really done is opened up community involvement in further development via public mailing lists, rather than just throwing the code out there while containing their own internal development. A good thing, to be certain. Probably should have been done a while ago.

But this announcement isn't groveling. It's simply fixing a fundamental development mistake. And that's a good thing.

Reply Score: 5

RE: maybe it's just me
by flanque on Fri 27th Apr 2007 02:52 UTC in reply to "maybe it's just me"
flanque Member since:
2005-12-15

Not sure how you're arriving at that conclusion. Seems a bit over the top really.

Could it be that they're just trying to improve SUSE?

Reply Score: 4

Good Riddance
by pilotgi on Fri 27th Apr 2007 01:37 UTC
pilotgi
Member since:
2005-07-06

I've been playing around with openSUSE Alpha 3 and it seems Zenworks isn't installed by default. Also, I thought YaST had already been open sourced.

Anyway, kudos to the developers for recognizing when something isn't working and dropping it like a bad habit.

Alpha 3 is working pretty damn good for an alpha release.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Good Riddance
by halfmanhalfamazing on Fri 27th Apr 2007 02:10 UTC in reply to "Good Riddance"
halfmanhalfamazing Member since:
2005-07-23

-------Also, I thought YaST had already been open sourced.-----------

Maybe they got caught on some legalese or something. It was originally announced in 2004.

http://linux.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=04/03/19/0052214

Maybe it just took this long to get the necessary OKs.

Edited 2007-04-27 02:25

Reply Score: 1

RE: Good Riddance
by bhhenry on Fri 27th Apr 2007 03:52 UTC in reply to "Good Riddance"
bhhenry Member since:
2005-07-06

Also, I thought YaST had already been open sourced.


Yes, Yast was open-sourced previously, but it is now open to community development with new mailing lists and the internal subversion repositories opened to the public.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Good Riddance
by h3rman on Fri 27th Apr 2007 10:35 UTC in reply to "Good Riddance"
h3rman Member since:
2006-08-09

Like bhhenry said, I thought the difference should be pretty clear between creating open source software and having an open development model.

For example, Red Hat releases its OSes as 100% open source software but Fedora, not Red Hat, has an open development model.

SuSE has been open source from the very beginning, but its development was only opened up when Novell bought it. YaST must have been one of the last bulwarks. I hope for openSuse that there's enough interest in YaST, it not being one of the best loved pieces of software.

Reply Score: 2

I never understood it.
by halfmanhalfamazing on Fri 27th Apr 2007 02:03 UTC
halfmanhalfamazing
Member since:
2005-07-23

Yast worked fine, worked well previous to ZEnetwork installer.

They had a system that wasn't broke, and they attempted to fix it.

*shrug* Some kids just never learn.

Thankfully, it'll work well again. Now if only they can streamline Suse and make it faster.........

Reply Score: 3

RE: I never understood it.
by collinm on Fri 27th Apr 2007 02:26 UTC in reply to "I never understood it."
collinm Member since:
2005-07-15

suse have a slow boot and it's not enough reactive

i use suse since a couple of years and i hope 10.3 will improve their performance

suse also need to add a wizard to add proprietary software.... something similar to ubuntu

Reply Score: 0

RE: I never understood it.
by grat on Fri 27th Apr 2007 03:26 UTC in reply to "I never understood it."
grat Member since:
2006-02-02

Yes and no. The Online Update and the Software Management tools within YaST (Since YaST is *way* more than just an update mechanism) worked well, but the lack of command line tools to manage software installs always frustrated me.

ZMD brought 'rug', and the new system brings 'zypper', both of which are sufficient to quickly install a known package, or to search for packages, without leaving the command line-- much like 'apt', for example.

zypper, however, is a bit too lightweight. opensuse-updater, likewise, only installs security patches-- updated applications must be installed through a completely different sequence at the moment, one which involves navigating the gui.

I should note that the people most comfortable with using the gui to do a mass update of packages are the least likely to *find* the option under "Package --> All Packages --> Update if newer".

So, while zmd/rug was a bloated cpu hog with serious leakage issues, I'm still trying to figure out how to do what I could do before, namely add a few important repositories and trip off a global package update, from the command line.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: I never understood it.
by bhhenry on Fri 27th Apr 2007 03:56 UTC in reply to "RE: I never understood it."
bhhenry Member since:
2005-07-06

You may want to check out Smart, which supports both GUI and command line: http://susewiki.org/index.php?title=Smart

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: I never understood it.
by tspears on Fri 27th Apr 2007 20:50 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: I never understood it."
tspears Member since:
2006-05-22

I agree, smart is a smoother, more robust alternative to apt4SuSE

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: I never understood it.
by elsewhere on Fri 27th Apr 2007 05:46 UTC in reply to "RE: I never understood it."
elsewhere Member since:
2005-07-13

So, while zmd/rug was a bloated cpu hog with serious leakage issues, I'm still trying to figure out how to do what I could do before, namely add a few important repositories and trip off a global package update, from the command line.


zypper update should update all upgradeable packages?

zypper service-add should allow you to add repos.

There's a rug compatibility mode too, although it doesn't quite have all the functionality that rug/zmd did.

You can check out the wiki page for more info at http://en.opensuse.org/Zypper/Usage

Also, I agree the opensuse-updater was a bit of a PITA in 10.2 since it was geared to official updates only. From my understanding though, the updater app in 10.3 will scan all repositories for updates.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: I never understood it.
by grat on Fri 27th Apr 2007 12:38 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: I never understood it."
grat Member since:
2006-02-02

zypper update should update all upgradeable packages?

I would agree, except that after adding the KDE3 repository from the build service, 'zypper list-updates' produced a blank screen. Likewise, 'zypper update' said (paraphrased) "Nothing to do".

Going into YaST is the only way I've been able to get package upgrades so far.

zypper service-add should allow you to add repos.

And it does. Quite nicely, in fact. ;)

Another feature that would be nice (that zmd lacked as well) would be the concept of "last refresh happened less than 5 minutes ago, I don't need to do it again just because a new command was issued".

I suppose (hope?) shell mode would get around that, though.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: I never understood it.
by suser on Fri 27th Apr 2007 10:20 UTC in reply to "RE: I never understood it."
suser Member since:
2005-08-04

I should note that the people most comfortable with using the gui to do a mass update of packages are the least likely to *find* the option under "Package --> All Packages --> Update if newer".


Just use command

su -c 'zypper up -t package'

to update all packages.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: I never understood it.
by grat on Fri 27th Apr 2007 12:42 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: I never understood it."
grat Member since:
2006-02-02

Just use command

su -c 'zypper up -t package'

to update all packages.


THAT'S the command I'm looking for. Thanks!

Looking at the zypper usage page, it's not made very clear why you would want -t, since the only explanation given is:

-t, --type - Type of resolvable (default: patch)

But that makes perfect sense.

Any chance you know how to specify which architecture I want for a package? ;)

Reply Score: 1

mailing list post...
by cies on Fri 27th Apr 2007 03:23 UTC
cies
Member since:
2005-11-28

i just posted my thoughts on yast future to their mailing list. and now i post it here as well:


_________________


i loved suse, but not anymore. mainly because of yast. to me a distro is 3 things:
- a good package manage system
- an integrated product
- some sane defaults everywhere

suse from 10 onward was (imho) lacking all. yast basically didn't change; it also was not very 'community'.

now there is the *ubuntu family that kind of save all of us by being the cool debian, and all of a sudden yast is not longer a 'strategic advantage' but a large disadvantage.

it already became a problem when suse got some strong gnome forces on board. toolkits are a religious discussion; i agree. ;) yast is a more kde'ish app that stands bad in a gnome environment (true).

so yast is a problem, and ZEN* is apparently not the solution. so now suse tries to go 'community' with yast.

and i think that is the logical next thing to do.


i think novell understands that people will not write the core of their distro for them. so some investment is needed.


the problem is old: the desktop linux user community needs a standard way configure their computer (the configuration/ system settings windows on other OSes). and preferably we also want console access (besides the GUI) to some of the features (like y as).

the solution can be new: why not do the configuring from a webpage (that at the same time has a command line interface)?

reasons why:
- no gnome/kde/whatever dilemma
- today with AJAX we can make very good looking interfaces.
- webpages are easier to 'fix' (usability wise)
- more people can help
- ...

features:
- plugin based
- written in ruby (or python) ((biased? who, me?))
- stylesheets can be used for theme creation
- a command line interface (new to the locally served web page)
- runs on gecko/khtml (with the accompanying javascript engines)
- put in a specially crafted browser, to look very clean
- ...

strategic:
- try to cooperate with other distributions
- share the development
- seek cooperation with openusability.org
- uniformize linux configuration -- users benefit
- novell shows that it is really interested in the community as a whole (sorry guys, you kind-of let the free software community -- besides your own userbase -- down by signing that MS deal: you could have know)
- ...


conclusion:
obvious to me: re-write.

please think big!




p.s.: although i think novell let the free software community down by signing the MS deal; i don't mind they did it -- actually i'm glad! they showed a hole in the GPL that can will now be closed in GPLv3! "what does kill it makes it stronger"

p.p.s: did i mention that it might also be a good moment to drop RPM in favor of DEB? (this might even create a strong cooperations between suse and the debian/ubuntu/etc.)

Reply Score: 2

RE: mailing list post...
by grat on Fri 27th Apr 2007 03:36 UTC in reply to "mailing list post..."
grat Member since:
2006-02-02

I'll start with the fact that the gtk based opensuse-updater stands out like a sore thumb on my carefully themed KDE/qt desktop. ;)

More seriously, the big advantage of YaST is that for just about any system configuration, be it firewall, network service, even *gasp* joining to an AD domain (which works pretty well, by the way, if you're trying to convince people that there's a place for a linux desktop in an AD universe), all of that can be found in one consistent, logical location: YaST.

In Ubuntu, for example, you start off in the System --> Preferences, but there's no guarantee what you're looking for is there-- You may wind up somewhere else, or you may be breaking out the command line and following a recipe on a web site somewhere.

And of course, for most cases (there are a few exceptions) if I configure a network based service, YaST will usually ask to update my firewall to allow that service to run also. Very handy.

In short, YaST is an *incredibly* useful tool that I wish more distros would pick up on. It's the primary reason I started using SuSE way back when (around version 6 or 7).

Oh, and finally, adopting .deb instead of .rpm would mean recreating the entire distro from scratch, for very little gain. The package file isn't important, the management system is, especially in light of the openSuSE build service.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: mailing list post...
by apoclypse on Fri 27th Apr 2007 04:31 UTC in reply to "RE: mailing list post..."
apoclypse Member since:
2007-02-17

Yast us okay, but I rather like having a more modular approach as opposed to one big application like yast. Yast tends to think it knows more than you and messes with your manual configs. I think that yast really isn't necessary if there were some devs who wrote some deent capplets for gnome and kde.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: mailing list post...
by elsewhere on Fri 27th Apr 2007 05:35 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: mailing list post..."
elsewhere Member since:
2005-07-13

Yast us okay, but I rather like having a more modular approach as opposed to one big application like yast. Yast tends to think it knows more than you and messes with your manual configs. I think that yast really isn't necessary if there were some devs who wrote some deent capplets for gnome and kde.


It doesn't get much more modular than yast... Yast is simply a framework for loading a variety of scripted configuration modules, and the degree of system management it offers within a single unified tool is more or less unparalleled. Most of the users will likely only touch the basics like network, printer, sound or user mgmt, but it can get as granular as enbaling non-standard things such as adding pci id's to existing drivers or configure kernel runtime parameters.

And probably the single biggest advantage Yast has over mission-specific caplets for DE's is the fact that Yast also supports an ncurses interface, so you can have the identical functionality from a text interface, using those same configuration modules.

I'll admit that it does have some preconceptions about config files, but it generally won't tamper with settings if they're within the range it expects, and the /etc/sysconfig files are all well commented with explanations of settings and parameters.

It took some getting used to when I first moved to Suse 9.3 from Kubuntu way back when... I didn't like the idea of the system second-guessing me, but after a while I realized that my time with Kubuntu conditioned me to having to modify config files by hand. It was a bit of a revelation with Suse to realize that even power users can let Yast do it's thing the majority of the time without having to touch a config file manually.

Really, I think it's probably the single biggest differentiator and advantage Suse has; it's a tool that evolved over a long period of time, way prior to Novell's acquisition. Having said that, it could certainly use some tweaking and freshening up, and I guess that's part of the dev's objectives now by soliciting community involvement.

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: mailing list post...
by Luminair on Fri 27th Apr 2007 06:21 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: mailing list post..."
Luminair Member since:
2007-03-30

YAST2 is amazing IMHO. I've never seen anything like it in any other distro, and I can't fathom why. Every OS except Windows and Suse has this big configuration hole that YAST2 fills.

Ubuntu is great but that configuration menu is a joke. A relic. You've got Applications->System Tools, Applications->Accessories, System->Preferences, and System->Administration. For an example, you've got Time and Date in System->Administration and Power Management in System->Preferences. It's like these divisions were picked out of a hat. Loopy.

The fact that such a poor division of tools still exists to this day baffles me. It's like playing 52 card pickup. I have multiple places to check every time I want to change a setting or use a tool to do something.

Meanwhile YAST2 gets it very right, and even has a built in search feature.

Users at the very least need 1) a section for tools to configure OS software, and 2) a section for tools to configure hardware.

Disk usage information and hardware information are really hardware tools. Terminal and Main Menu are really OS software tools. But if you use Ubuntu, Disk usage and terminal are accessory applications, and hardware information and Main Menu are system preferences. Loooopy.

Reply Score: 5

RE[5]: mailing list post...
by wakeupneo on Fri 27th Apr 2007 12:53 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: mailing list post..."
wakeupneo Member since:
2005-07-06

You've obviously never seen the Mandriva/PCLinuxOS Control Center. Best config tool around*. No question.


*Personal Opinion. YMMV.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: mailing list post...
by RandomGuy on Fri 27th Apr 2007 14:31 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: mailing list post..."
RandomGuy Member since:
2006-07-30

I agree 100%!
I think the control center is even a little better than Yast but they're both pretty decent.
The next goal should be to make them faster and use less blocking.
I hate it when package lists are being updated and I can't do anything in the meantime.

Other than that I'm quite happy with PclinuxOs' control center...

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: mailing list post...
by Luminair on Sat 28th Apr 2007 00:17 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: mailing list post..."
Luminair Member since:
2007-03-30

No, I've used it... and unless I missed something, it didn't have as much functionality as YAST2.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: mailing list post...
by apoclypse on Fri 27th Apr 2007 06:36 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: mailing list post..."
apoclypse Member since:
2007-02-17

Well, I have been using Suse since about version 9.2. I remembering liking it at the time, Yast was one thing I thought was okay, except for the package manager which was awful. I haven't used it since about 10.0, thats when I moved to ubuntu. Really the deciding factor, at least for me, to switch to ubuntu had more to do with not having 5 discs to download and burn. I had used synaptic before, but never to this extent and now I can't really live without it. I've never been a huge fan of Yast's philosophy though, it doesn't really integrate well into the desktop (at least with gnome). I do remember loving Mandrake's control center at the time, it was the most professional thing I had seen up to that point. The fact that Yast has been open sourced for quite some time and no other distro really uses, i think is really telling. It was great back in the day but now, I think its too big, slow, and at this point ugly. What people want is to have everything configured for them right out of the box.

Edited 2007-04-27 06:37

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: mailing list post...
by IanSVT on Fri 27th Apr 2007 15:32 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: mailing list post..."
IanSVT Member since:
2005-07-06

And probably the single biggest advantage Yast has over mission-specific caplets for DE's is the fact that Yast also supports an ncurses interface, so you can have the identical functionality from a text interface, using those same configuration modules.


I fully agree with you there. I always use the ncurses interface when I SSH into any of my Suse boxes here at work. While it certainly has its various issues, it's a god send when dealing with multiple servers and can't be bothered to dig around for config files to edit.

Reply Score: 3

RE: mailing list post...
by h3rman on Fri 27th Apr 2007 11:30 UTC in reply to "mailing list post..."
h3rman Member since:
2006-08-09

p.p.s: did i mention that it might also be a good moment to drop RPM in favor of DEB? (this might even create a strong cooperations between suse and the debian/ubuntu/etc.)


Dpkg vs. rpm wars are a thing of the past.
It's irrelevant. They both have their relative strengths and weaknesses. And why would openSuse fork Debian or Ubuntu? It already is a working distribution.

I have used rpm systems for years without any issues; as I'm sure you have dpkg.
If it ain't broken, don't fix it.

Reply Score: 3

RE: mailing list post...
by Felix on Fri 27th Apr 2007 13:49 UTC in reply to "mailing list post..."
Felix Member since:
2005-08-14

it already became a problem when suse got some strong gnome forces on board. toolkits are a religious discussion; i agree. ;) yast is a more kde'ish app that stands bad in a gnome environment (true).


starting with 10.3 YaST will be perfectly integrated in Gnome - maybe better than it was integrated in KDE. YaST now adapts the used toolkit to your desktop environment - Gnome or KDE - automatically.

the problem is old: the desktop linux user community needs a standard way configure their computer (the configuration/ system settings windows on other OSes). and preferably we also want console access (besides the GUI) to some of the features (like y as).


This thing was tried many years ago with linuxconf (http://www.solucorp.qc.ca/linuxconf/). But it was never used across distributions. I can remember, that Mandrake (now Mandriva) used it in their distribution.

The configuration tools are one point which distinguishes the distributions from each other. What is more important than common configuration tools:
- a more complete FHS (File Hierarchy Standard) which should include how Apache daemon/config file etc. is called and where it is stored.
- Package API, so that a package can be installed on any LSB conform distribution independend of package manager (RPM or Deb).
- ...

But with Portland project the right thing was started to solve lots of these problems.

the solution can be new: why not do the configuring from a webpage (that at the same time has a command line interface)?


Have a look at Webmin. Also linuxconf wanted to start a web based interface. I'm not sure why it was not widely accepted but I think distributions wanted to keep their configuration tools under their control.

p.p.s: did i mention that it might also be a good moment to drop RPM in favor of DEB? (this might even create a strong cooperations between suse and the debian/ubuntu/etc.)


see upper

Reply Score: 1

Two distros I use
by imapi on Fri 27th Apr 2007 06:53 UTC
imapi
Member since:
2005-07-06

Two distros I use are SuSE and Mandriva and for their "System control centers" like YaST and MCC. I tried Kubuntu and Ubuntu but failed when tried to install and configure LDAP servers. Its super easy with Mandriva's control center wizards (tho I haven't tried it yet with Suse)

Reply Score: 2

RE: Two distros I use
by shykid on Fri 27th Apr 2007 12:34 UTC in reply to "Two distros I use"
shykid Member since:
2007-02-22

YaST is what originally got me curious about SuSE (back in the early 9.x days in 2003, seems kind of scary how long ago that was).

But I fell in love when SuSE detected all of my hardware correctly. And it has done so on all three desktops I've had since then, something that no other mainstream, "newbie" distro has done.

And I have two words to say about dropping ZEN: Thank. God.

Reply Score: 3

from sol10 to suse10.2 to sol10again
by lord-storm on Fri 27th Apr 2007 10:15 UTC
lord-storm
Member since:
2005-07-12

Well yes yast is a problem mainly with the fact it requires alot of bandwidth to setup. Also if you do not have the internet during install you have to manualy set it up.
I moved from solaris 10 to suse 10.2 and realy enjoyed suse intill I ran into mandrake era boo boo's.
Update freez
ACPI + NFORCE + ASUS = where is my burner?? broken?
Sound stack=3 is a easy enough work around but I dont have the time to spend getting a DVD burner working with suse when parts are so broken.

SOL10 MP3 nightmare to setup on low bandwidth links and suse <1hour latter had MP3's

SOL10 webmin problems with samba but pbedit and making a new smbpasswd file did the trick (junk users)
ZFS making a good file server

SOL10 plaged with same bandwidth intensive updates is it just me or has every OS got 30MBAVR + worth of updates per month. I think it is time to address the issue of files needing to be so large and update programs requiring massive ammounts of bandwidth just to find out what packages are required TAR isnt dead and maybe that is the problem. .tar.BZ.othercompress wont help much either.

Reply Score: 1

I am SO HAPPY!
by hibridmatthias on Fri 27th Apr 2007 13:50 UTC
hibridmatthias
Member since:
2007-04-11

I have been using Suse since 7.0. I don't think any of you know HOW HAPPY I am! It was so easy. Set the time and sites, keep your box on 24 hours a day and everything was automagically updated and sexy. It was beautiful.

Then came drekworks, er, ZenWorks!

I hated that ZENworks garbage! It never worked and would hold up my system for hours when it didnt crash it. I would just kill it evey time and do everything manually.! The old YAST was awesome. The whole GNOME/ZEN/MONO/deIcaza thing polluting SUSE really chaps me. I was so disenchanted with SLED 10 that I switched to Kubuntu as my primary desktop...


I do have a partition where I install the various OpenSuSe distros now to test them when they come out, but I had decided after 10.2 that their currently broken update system would prevent me from every using openSuse again...

Now I just have to wait for KDE4, a decent broadcom driver, and the Yast update to get back to where it was and I can switch back...woo hoo!!!

Reply Score: 3

hmm
by knightrider on Fri 27th Apr 2007 19:29 UTC
knightrider
Member since:
2006-12-11

It's about time they did that to YAST...I've been hearing negative things about it. My first experience with Suse wasn't that pleasant. I found it to be slow. I kinda like the one cd installs like Ubuntu and pclinuxOS. I find these distros to be snappier. Especially Ubuntu 7.04. It looks clean.

With the clickless blah blah feature added to kernel 2.6.21 we might see a vast improvement in speed for a lot of distros including Suse. I find apt to be most easy to use.

Once again I must say I'm quite pleased to see that they are really trying to do something with YAST.

Edited 2007-04-27 19:32

Reply Score: 1

SuSE & Distro watch
by Southern.Pride on Sat 28th Apr 2007 00:21 UTC
Southern.Pride
Member since:
2006-09-14

OpenSuSE is running right at #2 or #3 on distro watch, I would like to try it out (been using Red Hat since 1999) and currently Fedora Core 6.

I think OpenSuSE has a slick desktop and they have a large user base I have been thinking about switching over. I think I am going to download the boot disk and go at it!

Plus, SLED is a slick desktop for the Enterprise or business environment. I hope they continue to do well and push SuSE Linux really hard.

Reply Score: 1