Open source news roundup for February 28 - March 6, 2015

Cyanogen teams with Qualcomm, Thunderbird lives, and more

Posted 06 Mar 2015 by 

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In this week's edition of our open source news roundup, we take a look at Cyanogen partnering with Qualcomm, Thunderbird's resurrection, GitLab buying Gitorius, and more!

Open source news for your reading pleasure.

February 28 - March 6, 2015

Cyanogen partners with Qualcomm and Alcatel

Earlier this year, Cyanogen (developers of Cyanogen OS, a free smartphone operating system based on Android), broke up with handset maker OnePlus. While many believed that this was a blow to Cyanogen OS, its parent recovered quite nicely by inking a deal with chip maker Qualcomm.

As part of the deal, "select features and UI elements from Cyanogen OS" will be installed on Qualcomm's upcoming reference designs powered by Qualcomm's SnapDragon 200, 400, and 600 processors. The reference designs are a "way for smaller companies to pick up smartphone templates and release them under their own brand."

If that wasn't enough, Cynanogen is also teaming up with handset maker Alcatel to install Cyanogen OS on Hero 2+ smartphones that will be available in the U.S. this spring. It looks like the goal of getting Cyanogen OS on to more phones is slowly gaining momentum. If Cyanogen OS manages to make a bigger dent in the smartphone operating system space, it could draw more users away from Android.

Mozilla Thunderbird is alive, well, and growing

I have a soft spot in my heart for Thunderbird, Mozilla's open source email client. Not only did I use it at home and at work, a few years ago I led a team of writers who pulled together a manual for Thunderbird. Around that time, though, Mozilla started moving resources away from Thunderbird into other areas. It was looking like the email client would die on the vine.

Happily, that's not the case. Not only is Thunderbird alive and kicking, it's user base is growing. According to the article at Phoronix, the number installation per month is close to 10 million. On top of that, a new version of Thunderbird is due out in May.

One reason for the upswing in Thunderbird's popularity could be, as Glyn Moody speculates, there are more people concerned about their privacy. As Moody points out, Thunderbird's Enigmail add-on makes encrypting messages fairly easy.

GitLab acquires Gitorious

GitHub is arguably the top-dog among collaborative code repositories. But its competition might be getting a bit stiffer now that rival GitLab has acquired Gitorious, a repository management system. Together, the tools provide a stronger open source front against their commercial and propriety competitor.

The acquisition has the potential to bump the number of registered GitLab users to close to one million. Currently, GitLab has around 100,00 registered users and Gitorious' weighs in at about 822,000. Those users include open source projectsl like OpenSuse and corporations like AT&T and Expedia.

The exact dollar value of the deal is only known to the parties involved, but according to The Next Web the "part cash and part based on an earn-out of transitioning current Gitorious paying clients to GitLab." As part of the deal, Gitorious will shut down in June and its customers can migrate to GitLab. As well, the staff currently working on Gitorious won't be joining GitLab, although GitLab hopes to collaborate with them.

SUSE rolls out enterprise solution based on Ceph

SUSE, best know of the Linux distribution it develops, is taking the plunge into enterprise storage with SUSE Enterprise Storage. Built on top of Ceph (an open source distibuted storage platform), SUSE is hoping the its solution can compete with the likes of Red Hat.

According to TechTarget, storage is "accessible through Amazon S3 and OpenStack Swift REST application programming interfaces (APIs), as well as a native API which can be used to integrate infrastructure or business applications." Simon Robinson, an analyst at 451 Research, says SUSE Enterprise Storage "might be used for big data/Hadoop or bulk-storage workloads," or even for database-intensive applications like CRM and ERP systems.

Companies want more Linux-savvy employees

And they want them now, according to ZDNet. The article analyzes the 2015 Linux Jobs Report compiled by the Linux Foundation and technology recruiter Dice and comes to some interesting conclusions.

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols writes, "While programmers and Linux system administrators are in high demand, your chances of landing a great job are greater if you have cloud, security, and/or software defined networking (SDN) skills." But he adds that technologies like Docker, while hot, aren't essential for getting a job. "Only five percent of hiring managers say that container knowledge has made a difference in their hiring decisions," he writes.

Most hiring managers, though, are looking for people with Linux certifications (like ones from Red Hat and CompTIA). Vaughan-Nichols points out that "66 percent of hiring managers are looking for system administrators, Linux professionals with certifications will be the most in-demand talent in this year's job market."

So, if you're looking for a tech job then learning Linux, and getting certified, just might be the way to go.

In other news

A big thanks, as always, to the Opensource.com moderators and staff for their help this week.

Writer. Technology coach. Soldier of fortune. Ocelot wrangler. Husband and father. Blogger. Collector of pottery. Scott is a few of these things. He's also a long-time user of free/open source software who extensively writes and blogs on the subject.You can find Scott on Twitter, Google+, and