Saturday, May 26, 2018

Getting XMind 8 to work on openSUSE Leap 15

openSUSE Leap 15 was officially launched on 25th May 2018.  More at

XMind is my go-to mind mapping software for a few years now.  More at


Using the XMind 8 Linux package (zip file) and following the, albeit brief, instructions at, you will see XMind launch with the GUI Splash screen but the program will fail and exit.


XMind is a Java-based application and it is sensitive to the version of Java.  The default Java runtime in openSUSE Leap 15 is OpenJDK version 10.0.1 (dated 2018-04-17).


Install the older OpenJDK version 1.8.0.  Instead of removing the default version 10.0.1, I elected to install the older version 1.8.0 alongside and switch the default path for Java to 1.8.0.

Here are my steps:

zypper in java-1_8_0-openjdk

update-alternatives --config java
(followed by picking the newly installed jre-1.8.0)

Validate:  java -version

That's it.  Now, when we execute the XMind program, it will work and launched successfully.  

Keep Calm & Carry On loving Linux!

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

openSUSE Leap 42.3 on Google Cloud Platform (GCP)

Blogging... I'm glad I started in 2008, it is like having a diary that you can never misplace... and reading some old entries can bring back wonderful memories, as I recall and review the course of my life from this, albeit narrow, technology perspective.

Anyway, its been a good 4+ years since my last entry and the longest hiatus... glad and grateful to say that I am now working for Google.  My personal Linux passion is still very much alive and personal bias towards all things SUSE (more openSUSE since 2011).

Problem Statement:

So, it is May 2018 and I am little disappointed that openSUSE Leap did not make it to the out-of-the-box public images on Google Cloud Platform (GCP).  However, it is listed in the "Community supported images" category.

PS:  I'm placing my vain hope that Leap 15 will make it though...

This blog entry describes the steps to create a vanilla openSUSE Leap 42.3 VM on GCP and thereafter, create a custom image from this said VM so you can easily/quickly create openSUSE Leap 42.3 VMs for other workloads in the future through the GCP Web Console.

From this point on, I will assume you have a GCP account and therefore access to GCP consoles etc.  It is not difficult to start with Google Cloud Platform, just go to to get a Free Tier account.

Create an openSUSE Leap 42.3 VM on GCP:

  1. Login to your GCP console and your project (default or otherwise).
  2. From Menu (top-left),  Compute Engine -> VM instances
  3. Note that openSUSE is not listed as an Operating System image when you try to create a new VM.  This is well documented at the Images section of the Compute Engine topic.
  4. Launch the Cloud Shell within the console, on the top-right.
  5. Find the available community supported openSUSE Leap image with the following command input to the Cloud Shell. 
    • gcloud compute images list --project opensuse-cloud --no-standard-images 
  6. Create a VM with the openSUSE Leap 42.3 image in the Singapore datacenter (or any Zones that is closest to you)

  7. SSH into your newly created openSUSE Leap 42.3 VM to download and apply the latest updates/patches.  Click the SSH button (see screenshot above).
    • Once you SSH into your VM,  zypper up.
  8. Reboot the VM to test all updates are working.
    • Reboot:  sudo reboot.  You will lose SSH connection, naturally.
    • Sign back in via SSH button... it may take a few tries as the VM is rebooting.
    • Sign out of SSH:  exit
  9. Shutdown the VM.  Select the VM (checkbox) from the Console and Click STOP.

Create a custom image in your GCP Project for Re-use later:

  1. From the GCP console, navigate to Compute Engine -> Images
  2. Click [+] CREATE IMAGE 
  3. Put in the name of your new image (eg. my-opensuse-leap-423) and select Source as Disk and Source disk as the boot disk from the right VM (eg. osleap423).
    • (Optional) You can click the command line link at the bottom to note the equivalent Cloud Shell command.  This is useful if you want to script actions for future re-use and not use the web-console.
  4. Once your custom image is created, you will be able to select it for the next VM you wish to create.
Enjoy! :-)

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

My openSUSE 13 Journal 1: Getting IBM Notes 9.0.1 to work!

Its a new year (belated) and 13.1 has been out for quite a while now.  I had it running in a VM as an evaluation and did not really move my desktop setup from 12.3 up to 13.1 until last weekend.

In the meantime, a few readers has corresponded with me via comments in my previous post about getting IBM Lotus Notes 9 Social Edition to work on 13.1.  My initial favourable responses were based purely on a very quick install and startup tests (it all looked good).  Unfortunately, there appears to be a little bug with the combination of openSUSE 13.1 and IBM Notes 9.0.1 but it is a very small one and the resolution is ridiculously simple (but not immediately apparent).

I hope to blog more on 13.1 at a later date but will only focus on getting IBM Notes 9.0.1 working on 13.1 in this entry.  I have been having some difficulties in my personal health lately and that only takes time away from pursuing my hobbies (blogging here being one of them).

First, I would like to acknowledge Craig for bringing to my attention the challenge and so proactively providing the links to his discussions in the Lotus forum (here).  I would also like to Thank Ashu for his encouraging comments left on my previous blog entry and hope this entry will be just as useful to those out there who share the same fascination of using openSUSE and IBM Notes.

Installation - Easy as pie

As documented in previous blog entries, installation of IBM Notes 9.0.1 is really a piece of cake.  You download the binaries (NOTES_9.0.1_LINUX_RPM_EN.tar), untar it into an empty directory and you will find 5 RPMs (i586 - 32-bit) and a few other files.

As root, execute the following in the same directory:

zypper in *.rpm

Done!  You will find the IBM Notes icon in the Recently Installed Apps folder in KDE4.  Alternatively, the launch icon can also be found in the KDE::Applications::Office::More Programs::IBM Notes.  Right-click and Add to Favourites to easily find it the next time.

First sign of trouble

First sign of trouble, at least for me, only occurred after successfully launching IBM Notes and when I get into my mailbox, view calendar or log into SameTime.  The GUI would freeze and then IBM Notes would terminate and NSD runs.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

My IBM Worklight Studio Software Appliance via SUSE Studio

Its been quite a while since I've created any software appliance via SUSE Studio.  This blog entry describes the motivation behind and the details of my IBM Worklight Studio Developer Edition software appliance created via SUSE Studio.

IBM Worklight is the mobile application platform that is part of the IBM MobileFirst solution.

IBM Worklight Studio is the development tool for creating web, hybrid or native mobile apps that runs on the IBM Worklight platform.  IBM developerWorks also host resources on working with IBM Worklight, here and here.

IBM Worklight Studio Developer Edition V6, release in June 2013, is freely available as a plugin on top of Eclipse Juno V4.2.2.  Also freely available, is the Rational Test Workbench plugin that provides functional testing of mobile applications created by Worklight Studio.  Both plugins can be found on the Eclipse Marketplace.

* From this point forward, I will use "IBM Worklight Studio" to mean the IBM Worklight Studio Developer Edition for the rest of this blog entry *

The installation and configuration of IBM Worklight Studio and the Android SDK will take at least an hour or two. This is very much dependent on your network download speed and readiness of your OS/machine (or virtual machine).  

By the time your IBM Worklight Studio and the Android SDK is ready for action, you will probably opt to go for a coffee break first.  :)

Therefore, to shorten the time to evaluation and also improve productivity of fellow developers out there who wants to focus on evaluating the tool from a development perspective, I thought a software appliance with everything pre-installed and configured would be helpful.  

Since I cannot give out Windows or Mac OS virtual images without running into license infringement issues, I chose to use SUSE Studio to construct a openSUSE based virtual machine with all the required IBM Worklight Studio components installed and ready to go.

Link to my Appliances
I have created two editions of my software appliance:

The RTR edition is a complete and ready to go stack with all software installed and configured.  I have also included a library of tutorials downloaded from IBM developerWorks on the subject.  You can start developing your first mobile app straight away and can deploy that onto the Android Emulator.  If you have an Android phone connected via USB to the VM, you can also deploy your mobile app onto your Android phone for testing.  However, the size of the appliance download is 2.4Gb (compressed).

The ARTR edition has a smaller footprint of only 1.5Gb (compressed).  However, you only have Eclipse Juno V4.2.2 installed and you will need to install the IBM Worklight Studio plugins on your own.  The effort is not strenuous for the operator but you'll need good Internet download speed to install the plugins via the Eclipse Marketplace.  All tutorials on installation are included in the Tutorials folder to help guide you through the process.

PS:  For those who are new to SUSE Studio, you do not need to sit around and wait for the download to complete before you can see the appliance in action.  Use the Testdrive option to have it provisioned in the Cloud for an hour and you can interact with it remotely from your web browser.  

That's all for now.  Please let me know what you think by leaving a comment on the SUSE Studio Marketplace or here on my blog.  

Have Fun!

PS:  Happy Father's Day to Australians who celebrate it on this day.