Dear Tumbleweed users and hackers,

This week was not very exciting for the users of Tumbleweed: not a single snapshot has been published since my last review. The reason for this is a sequence of ‘bad luck’

  • First, OBS was having some trouble with its caches and was simply overloaded. Building a new snapshot took more time than it should, so we decided to ‘let it settle’, which it then did
  • Once we were ready for a check-in, a new version of ‘product builder’ introduced a regression: the ISO files were no longer bootable when put on a USB drive. Considering this is a very common scenario, we did decide not to publish those ISOs (this would have been snapshot 0602; product-builder has been reverted since to get over this, and a fix, incl testing, is back in the pipeline
  • For snapshot 0603, Qt 5.11 was added. Turns out, that Kontact was affected badly and very frequently showed an error message. As it did not show at a 100% rate, this actually managed to slip through the staging process. A fix came in shortly after for and was in 0605.
  • Once snapshot 0605 was ready to test, it became apparent that the earlier mentioned issues managed to mask other underlying issues, namely, there seems to be a heft performance regression. A lot of tests are failing on timeouts now. Debugging this lead to identifying that snapperd seems to be crashing, which then resolves in coredumps being written out, and obviously slowing down the machine while this happens. A possible candidate to have provoked this much more frequent crashing of snapperd was identified in Kernel 4.16.13 (but not conclusively confirmed yet). So, we reverted the kernel to 4.16.12  for snapshot 0606, which is currently under testing.

I hope this gives you a bit of an insight into what happened this week and why there are no snapshots out yet. Of course, with all this going on, there are a few things accumulated to be delivered. The most interesting things there are:

  • Linux kernel 4.17
  • Qt 5.11
  • GCC 8 as the default compiler
  • FFmpeg 4
  • Plasma 5.13.0

During the next two weeks, I will hand over the release manager tasks around openSUSE Tumbleweed to Max Lin, as I’ll be trying to chase for the sun.