Updates on technologies, trends, and tools


Article from Issue 213/2018

SUSE forks Red Hat's Spacewalk project, openSUSE Leap 15 announced, SoftMaker FreeOffice 2018 for Linux, a new CentOS, sonic and ultrasonic signals can crash your hard drive, and Microsoft acquires GitHub.

SUSE Forks Red Hat's Spacewalk Project

SUSE and openSUSE developers have forked Red Hat's Spacewalk project to create Uyuni. The fork was announced during the openSUSE Conference in Prague, Czech Republic. Spacewalk is an open-source systems management solution which was upstream for Red Hat Satellite and SUSE Manager.

Klaus Kämpf, SUSE Manager project owner, told us in an interview that Spacewalk was put in maintenance mode, and the project didn't have the developer bandwidth to accept new changes suggested by SUSE.

Initially SUSE tried to work with Red Hat to hand over the project and Spacewalk trademark to SUSE, but it didn't work out. A fork was the only alternative.

"SUSE Manager's development will be openly available to open source community members for whatever contributions they would like to make to the Uyuni project," Kämpf said.

Uyuni will be an openSUSE/SUSE maintained project, just like openSUSE; anyone can contribute. The current development plans call for releasing a first version this summer. The developers will then decide on a release model together with the community.

openSUSE Leap 15 Announced

In an interview, Richard Brown, openSUSE chairman, said that the focus of openSUSE Leap is a super-stable release of openSUSE targeted for server workloads and professionals who use desktop Linux as a development platform. Leap is based on the latest release of SUSE Linux Enterprise. According to Brown, openSUSE Leap is an enterprise-grade distribution that offers a mix of packages from openSUSE's rolling-release Tumbleweed project and SUSE Linux Enterprise (SLE).

"Having a community distribution that shares a common DNA with enterprise is the smart way to interact with the open source ecosystem," said Kai Dupke, long-time openSUSE user and senior product manager for SUSE Linux Enterprise 15.

openSUSE Leap 15 makes it easy for users to migrate to SLE, allowing users to gain access to SUSE's commercial support offerings. The latest Leap introduces a new partitioner, integrates the Kopano Groupware, and moves to firewalld. In addition, Leap 15 also introduces a system role selection with a classic "server" or "transactional server" role with transactional updates and a read-only root filesystem. This configuration brings the benefits of atomic updates to the full scope of deployments, from the Internet of Things (IoT) and embedded devices to classical server and desktop roles.

Leap 15 is optimized for cloud usage scenarios as a virtualization guest and offers a great variety of desktops, including KDE and Gnome. Leap also features the return of Live images for simple test driving.

openSUSE Leap comes with KDE's Plasma desktop as the default desktop environment with Gnome as an option during installation.

Download openSUSE Leap 15 for free from the openSUSE website.

SoftMaker FreeOffice 2018 for Linux

There is no dearth of office suites for the Linux desktop, but some professional writers miss some of Microsoft Word's advanced features of Microsoft Word. The German company SoftMaker Software GmbH is trying to fill that gap with its free of cost office suite, FreeOffice.

The company says the new release is completely revised to be fully compatible with Microsoft Office, supporting the Microsoft DOCX, XLSX, and PPTX formats. To help users switch from Microsoft Word to FreeOffice, SoftMaker is offering an optional ribbon interface.

"In our view, the new interface and the improved compatibility with Microsoft Office make FreeOffice 2018 a must-have for 2018," says Martin Kotulla, SoftMaker CEO.

The suite comes with the word processor TextMaker 2018, the spreadsheet application PlanMaker 2018, and the presentation application Presentations 2018.

In a press release, SoftMaker claims, "Aside from seamless DOCX support, the application offers true-to-original handling of numerous other file formats. It opens documents saved in the old Microsoft DOC format just as loss-free as ODT files. The word processor comes with a powerful PDF export, as well as with an EPUB export function, which creates complete ebooks with just a few clicks."

You can download FreeOffice 2018 free of cost at http://www.freeoffice.com/en/.

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