openSUSE Project, through Henne Vogelsang, announced on June 6, 2016, the general availability of the version 2.7 of the project’s Open Build Service (OBS) software distribution solution.

Think of Open Build Service like Canonical’s Launchpad website, where application developers can create software repositories to distribute automatic updates to users. Something very similar to a PPA (Personal Package Archive), but designed to work with multiple GNU/Linux distributions.

The new version, Open Build Service 2.7, has been in development for the past few months, during which the openSUSE developers and members of the community worked together to add many new useful features and improvements. In numbers, there were over 2000 commits, with 9.000 additions and 16.000 deletions.

“The latest OBS version version is always deployed to our reference server,” said Henne Vogelsang. “The reference server http://build.opensuse.org is available for all open source developers to build packages for the most popular distributions including openSUSE, Debian, Fedora, Ubuntu, Arch, Red Hat Enterprise Linux and SUSE Linux Enterprise.”

Here’s what’s new in OBS 2.7

According to the release notes, there are three major new features implemented in the Open Build Service 2.7 update. The first one is automatic tracking of moving software repositories and distribution updates of GNU/Linux operating systems that offer a development channel, such as Fedora Rawhide or Debian Testing, as well as rolling releases like Arch Linux or openSUSE Tumbleweed.

While the second major new functionality implemented in version 2.7 of the Open Build Service is a change to the Git integration, allowing app developers to work on continuous builds, the third one is an experimental KIWI import function, which devs can use to migrate their ISO images from the SUSE Studio service for building and testing software applications.

Of course, there are many other small, but needed changes that landed in the Open Build Service 2.7 update, and among the most important ones we can mention that the backend now supports the “simpleimage” format, allowing developers to created simple squashfs or rootfs images, as well as to build binary packages in the “collax” file format (similar to Debian’s .deb format).

Last but not least, the OBS backend now offers support for build time source services, which will be automatically performed before the execution of the respective package build tool, depending on what binary packages you’re building, such as rpm-build. On the other hand, Open Build Service’s frontend received support for removing projects with dependencies, and other useful goodies.

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