Time flies and another two weeks of YaST development have passed. As in the previous report, we have to mention we invested quite some time learning and experimenting with technologies that will shape the role of YaST in particular and Linux installers in general in the future. But we also had time to fix quite some bugs and to make progress in several features, like:

  • Simplified support for hibernation
  • Make network forwarding configurable in the installer
  • Improved tabs in graphical mode
  • Progress in the rewrite of yast2-users, including AutoYaST

Hibernate All Systems!

Funnily enough, the first aspect we want to report about is not a feature we developed, but one we reverted. Back in November we reported a new feature in the installer to propose hibernation only on real hardware (ie. not on virtual machines) and only if the product’s configuration specifies hibernation is desired. Time has proved that the usage of hibernation in real world scenarios goes further than expected back then. For example, hibernation is used on virtual servers deployed on top of some cloud-based infrastructures, as part of a technique to save power and money. The existence of that kind of creative scenarios makes it very hard to predict when hibernation is wanted and when not. So YaST will go back to its previous behavior of proposing hibernation always if the technical conditions are met, no matter which product is being installed or in which environment. The change will be available as an installer self-update for SLE-15-SP3.

Better Default Network Configuration

Despite the hibernation affair, we don’t give up in our attempts to make smart selections in the installer. As you may know, YaST allows to tweak the network configuration during installation. Among many other things, it allows to configure the status of IP forwarding. But we want YaST to propose a correct default value for those settings without requiring user intervention. In the cases of openSUSE MicroOS and SLE Micro that means enabling forwarding by default, since is needed for such systems to work properly. So we made that configurable per product and adjusted the corresponding configuration for those container-based solutions.

Prettier Tabs

Beyond the installer, we also invested some time in something we really wanted to put our hands on - improving the look&feel of the YaST tabs in graphical mode. The description of this pull request includes a good description of the problems (with a link to the original issue in which they were discussed), a technical explanation of the solution and, of course, many screenshots!

New Users Management to Arrive Soon

Last but not least, we continue our small project to rewrite big parts of the users management in YaST. We implemented support for some aspects that were still based on ancient Perl code and we are getting rid of all the legacy parts involved in (auto)installation. If everything goes as expected, next sprint will see the new user management land in the installation process of openSUSE Tumbleweed.

See you soon

We hope you are already enjoying openSUSE Leap 15.3 and ready for the openSUSE Virtual Conference 2021. Meanwhile, we keep working to make YaST a little bit better every day thanks to your feedback. See you around and have a lot of fun!