Appendix F: Getting Involved
openSUSE is developed in the open, and everybody can join in - this means that you can help to create and shape openSUSE. If you wish to participate actively in openSUSE or other free software projects, there are plenty of things to do. Finding something that matches your interests, available time and your skills should be no problem at all.
"I get the question of "Where should I start?" fairly often and my advice is just don't even ask that question. It's more like if you're not interested enough in one particular area that you already know what you want to try to do, don't do it. Just let it go and then when you hit something where you say, "I could do this better" and you actually feel motivated enough that you go from saying that to doing that, you will have answered that question yourself." - Linus Torvalds
F.1 Get in Touch
The first steps to getting involved is to follow the news and getting to know the community.
F.1.1 News and Blogs
Consider following these sources. These and more relevant news feeds are preconfigured in the Akregator RSS-reader which is installed by default and is part of the Kontact suite:
You should also join some of the mailinglists, this is the primary form of communication for the project, -announce, -project, -kde and -factory are some of the major ones, that most would want to subscribe to:
Consider hanging out in some IRC channels, where much communication and coordination takes place, as well as regular meetings.
F.1.4 Social Networks
The openSUSE project has its own social network where community members can communicate:
Of course the openSUSE community is also present on all the major social networks too:
F.1.5 Yearly Conference
The openSUSE community meets twice a year for annual openSUSE conferences in Europa and North America respectively. Which is a great opportunity to meet other community members.
F.2 Participating in openSUSE
This is just a brief summary of some of the areas where you can contribute while helping to shape the distribution and having a lot of fun.
F.2.1 User Support
Once you have familiarized yourself with openSUSE, you'll quickly be able to help new users in the forums
. Apart from helping others, you will learn a lot yourself in the process.
There's a marketing team working on promoting openSUSE in various ways, which you can join or even become an official openSUSE ambassador.
You can buy merchandise and help market openSUSE that way:
F.2.3 Wiki and Documentation
The openSUSE wiki is always in need of new articles, or cleanup of existing ones.
Read about the documentation team here:
Translate the openSUSE distribution and/or wiki to your native language.
If you're an artist you can create icons and other artwork for the distribution, marketing, websites and so forth.
F.2.6 Bug Reports and Feature Requests
You can help test the development versions of upcoming openSUSE releases.
You'll find the roadmap here:
Get the latest development version here:
Read this before reporting bugs:
You can request new features for openSUSE here, or vote for (or against) existing requests:
There's also an organized testing team which you can join, see:
F.2.7 Building Packages
The availability of as many as possible, high quality binary packages is crucial for any distribution. You can build packages on the openSUSE Build Service and even maintain packages in the official distribution:
You can also contribute to the Packman project - which provides a very important 3rd party repository with particularly multimedia - with packaging and other contributions:
If you're a programmer you can contribute code to fix bugs or add features e.g. in YaST or other components developed by the openSUSE project itself - and of course if you contribute code to upstream projects, openSUSE will benefit from this too - eventually. You can find the source code for various openSUSE components here in publically accessible version control systems:
F.2.9 Mirror Admin
openSUSE needs fast and reliable mirrors to host ISOs and repositories in all parts of the world, to ensure that users have a good experience, if you work in a university or similar, maybe you can help out.
Create customized ISO respins and openSUSE derivatives.
Development of free software also needs money and you can help by donating money to your favourite projects or joining some organizations, like e.g.:
Send your comments via e-mail to admin [at] opensuse-guide.org