Thursday, July 10, 2008

OpenSUSE improves its deployment system for various distributions

In an effort to improve the open source contribution and distribution processes, the openSUSE project released Build Service 1.0, a new code repository service with several key improvements.

Although many Linux distributions have code repositories and libraries open to the community, they can sometimes be difficult to navigate, especially when trying to view older code samples. Matters become even more complicated when multiple teams are working on the same project, sometimes updating the same package, resulting in multiple simultaneous versions within a given repository.

The latest openSUSE Build Service offers a streamlined package search with the ability to let contributors submit package changes against the working copy, so that the official packaging team can take note and implement the changes.

There also is a custom submission handling and notification system that makes it easier for code contributors to merge changes to a project once they are discovered. Furthermore, branch handling has been improved -- branches build in a similar manner as a package -- but is able to be modified.

Ideally, a team can configure a package once, reproduce it, and test it automatically through the openSUSE code repository, with several different Linux distributions supported. Build Service 1.0 allows developers to create Linux packages for openSUSE, SUSE Linux Enterprise, Debian, Fedor, Mandriva, Red Hat, Ubuntu and CentOS. All other build services are based around one Linux OS, so having an ability to upstream projects for eight different popular Linux distributions should be popular among developers.

Interested developers can access the Web site through Although it's officially out of beta now, the openSUSE team still requests developers offer feedback and report any bugs.

The ability to offer online code repositories for the community is important for an open source software provider to continue to gain popularity among its users. Such providers typically also offer repositories for users to have access to software suites, as well as different GUI configurations and command line configurations. Google has several configurations online through its Linux software repositories, which is available to the community for free.

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