The YaST Team keeps working on the already known three fronts: improving the installation experience in the traditional (open)SUSE systems, polishing and extending the containerized version of YaST and smoothing Cockpit as the main 1:1 system management tool for the upcoming ALP (Adaptable Linux Platform).

So let’s see the news on each one of those areas.

New Possibilities with Containerized YaST

Quite some things were improved regarding the containerized version of YaST and we made sure to reflect all that in the corresponding reference documentation. Although that document is maintained in the scope of ALP, the content applies almost literally to any recent (open)SUSE distribution. Of course, that includes openSUSE Tumbleweed and, as a consequence, we dropped from that distribution the package yast-in-container since it’s not longer needed to enjoy the benefits of the containerized variant of YaST.

But you may be wondering what those recent improvements are. First of all, now the respective YaST modules for configuring both Kdump and the boot loader can handle transactional systems like ALP or MicroOS. On the other hand, the graphical Qt container was fixed to allow remote execution via SSH X11 forwarding. Again, that is useful in the context of ALP but not only there. That simple fix actually opens the door to full graphical administration of systems in which there is no graphical environment installed. Only the xauth package is needed, as explained in the mentioned documentation.

Last but not least, we added two new YaST containers based on the existing graphical and text-mode ones but adding the LibYUI REST API on top. Those containers will be used by openQA and potentially by other automated testing tools.

Better Cockpit Compatibility with ALP

All the improvements mentioned above contribute to make YaST more useful in the context of ALP. But Cockpit remains (and will remain in the foreseeable future) as the default tool for graphical and convenient direct administration of individual ALP systems. As such, we keep working to make sure the experience is as smooth as possible.

We integrated some changes to make cockpit-kdump work better in (open)SUSE systems and improved the cockpit-storaged package to ensure LVM compatibility. We are also working on a better integration of Cockpit with the ALP firewall, but that is still in progress because it’s a complex topic with several facets and implications.

But the biggest news regarding Cockpit and ALP is the availability of the Cockpit Web Server (cockpit-ws) as a containerized workload, which makes it possible to enjoy Cockpit on the standard ALP image without installing any additional package.

Of course we also improved the "Cockpit at ALP" documentation to reflect all the recent changes and additions.

Improvements in the YaST Installer

As much as we look into the future with ALP, we keep taking care of our traditional distributions like Leap, Tumbleweed or SUSE Linux Enterprise. As part of that continuous effort, we tweaked and improved the installer in a couple of areas.

First of all we adjusted the font scaling in HiDPI scenarios. In general the installer adapts properly to all screens, but sometimes the fonts turned out to be too large or too small. Now it should work much better. The road to the fix was full of bumps which made it a quite interesting journey. You can check the technical details (and some screenshots) in this pull request.

We also keep improving the feature about security policies we presented in one of our previous posts. Check the following pull request to get an status update and to see a recent screenshot.

Back to Work

ALP is getting to an state in which it can be considered usable for initial testing. We plan to keep helping to make that happen without forgetting our sacred duties of maintaining and evolving our beloved YaST. All that demands us to stop blogging and go back to more mundane tasks. But we do it with the promise of being back in some weeks.

See you soon!