December 31st 2020

Free software activities in December 2020

Here is my monthly update covering what I have been doing in the free software world during December 2020 (previous month):


Reproducible Builds

One of the original promises of open source software is that distributed peer review and transparency of process results in enhanced end-user security. However, whilst anyone may inspect the source code of free and open source software for malicious flaws, almost all software today is distributed as pre-compiled binaries. This allows nefarious third-parties to compromise systems by injecting malicious code into ostensibly secure software during the various compilation and distribution processes.

The motivation behind the Reproducible Builds effort is to ensure no flaws have been introduced during this compilation process by promising identical results are always generated from a given source, thus allowing multiple third-parties to come to a consensus on whether a build was compromised.

This month, I:

I also made the following changes to diffoscope, our in-depth and content-aware diff utility that can locate and diagnose reproducibility issues, including releasing version 163:


Debian

Uploads

I also sponsored an upload of adminer (4.7.8-2) on behalf of Alexandre Rossi and performed two QA uploads of sendfile (2.1b.20080616-7 and 2.1b.20080616-8) to make the build the build reproducible (#776938) and to fix a number of other unrelated issues.

Debian LTS

This month I have worked 18 hours on Debian Long Term Support (LTS) and 12 hours on its sister Extended LTS project.

You can find out more about the Debian LTS project via the following video: