All entries for October 2006
October 28, 2006
So earlier this week I updated to openSUSE 10.2 beta1 (10.2 will be the first release to bear the name openSUSE rather than SUSE Linux) and I am quite impressed. The package management is now exceptionally fast, and there is proper progress reporting for potentially slower operations.
There is a new command line interface to the package management and KDE updater notifier, neither of which require the ZMD which caused so many problems in 10.1.
The package management has seen other user visible improvements too, the new “Patterns” (metapackages) selection interface is nice, and provides an easy way for users to install all compiler + development packages at once, or install a functional web server etc, without having to know the names of the packages to install.
At the end of the installation the user is now given a list of online package repositories that He/She can choose to add to allow the package manager to obtain software from them, as well as the install media. (Previously this would have to be done manually).
Other user visible changes include the new KDE menu which provides a quick way to launch and find applications, documents, settings, web pages, and more. And improved KDE frontend to the beagle desktop search tool.
October 22, 2006
Writing about web page http://benjiweber.co.uk:8080/webpin
One of the problems many SUSE users have is locating software. Package management eases installation of software, but locating packages which are not in the official repositories may be problematic. SUSE’s main repository is fairly large with approximately 22,000 officially supported packages. However there are still many packages that SUSE cannot package for logistical or legal reasons. Most software can be found in one of many package repositories, but finding the repository containing the package containing what you are after may be a pain when you don’t know where to look.
This is why we constantly have questions like “Where do I find the w32codecs” or “what package provides libpng.so.3” on #suse on freenode. YaST’s software management module does have a perfectly good “provides” checkbox which will tell you this information but a) Most users don’t notice that it exists, and b) It will only work for repositories you have added as sources to YaST.
This in mind I have been working recently on a page to search packages and their contents across any repositories. I am currently indexing ~90 repositories for SUSE Linux 10.1, including the biggest few. I shall probably expand this to include all the rest of the repositories at some point.
Package matches & the repository they come from are shown.
Clicking on a package name shows package summary/description & opportunity to view the entire package contents.
If you’re looking for a specific application, prepending bin/ to your search term may help find it. For example searching for bin/kopete will find you all the packages that provide kopete.
There are still several issues to work out, but suggestions are welcome.