My Free Software Activities in June 2015

My monthly report covers a large part of what I have been doing in the free software world. I write it for my donators (thanks to them!) but also for the wider Debian community because it can give ideas to newcomers and it’s one of the best ways to find volunteers to work with me on projects that matter to me.

Debian LTS

This month I have been paid to work 14.5 hours on Debian LTS. In that time I did the following:

  • CVE triage: I pushed 24 commits to the security tracker. I also setup a rotation with other paid contributors. That way this task doesn’t rely on me exclusively.
  • Reviewed a libapache-mod-jk update and sent DLA-240-1.
  • Prepared and released DLA-257-1 on libwmf fixing one CVE.
  • Reviewed a shibboleth-sp2 update and sent DLA-259-1. Lacking a proper test setup, the tests done were minimal.
  • Prepared and released DLA-260-1 on hostapd fixing one CVE.
  • Prepared and released DLA-261-1 on aptdaemon fixing one CVE.
  • I started to work on a wishlist bug for tracker.debian.org: displaying open security issues in stable releases is important to catch the attention of package maintainers. Right now it only displays something when security issues are open in unstable.

Other Debian work

Distro Tracker. I fixed a few issues that were affecting the tracker: SSL access to the BTS soap interface was not working due to changes in the way SSL certificates are managed on Debian machines (see #787410 for details of a similar problem), and the bugs panel disappeared for a while (see #787163). I also merged some minor changes from Christophe Siraut and James McCoy.

The Debian Administrator’s Handbook. After some exchanges with Osamu Osuaki of the debian-doc team, we agreed to host a copy of my (DFSG-free) book on debian.org so that it can be better promoted to newcomers who are discovering Debian. It’s over there. I made some changes to the official package (notably integrating all available translations) to make this possible.

Packaging. I uploaded two new release of publican to unstable (4.3.0 and 4.3.1), although I had to cheat by building them in stretch due to a build failure in unstable caused by a libxml2 regression (see #766884). I fixed two small bug reported against the package: a badly documented license (#787993) and a request to replace the dependency on perlmagick to libimage-magick-perl (#789223).

I uploaded zim 0.63 and a new gnome-shell-timer for GNOME 3.16 compatibility.
And I sponsored python-requirements-detector (#789497) as a prerequisite for prospector (a package that I requested some time ago in #781165). I also took care of a stable update of python-reportlab (#787806) at the request of a customer.

Kali related contributions. In Kali, we rely heavily on reprepro to manage our archive. It works rather well for us but over time we identified some annoying issues. I just reported some of them:

  • It should be able to keep unreferenced files for a few days before deleting theme (#788105).
  • It should be possible to clone a distribution in a single command (#788843).
  • It should be possible to rename a distribution in a single command (#788846).

live-build is another important tool for us and when we started using new codenames for our releases, we re-discovered some problems and this time we submitted a bug report with some suggestion to make it more generic (#789800) and committed a small fix to avoid a stupid failure when the release is unknown to live-build.

Misc stuff

Hardware support issue. I have some problems to get some USB disks detected during boot of my Intel NUC, so I sent a bug report to the linux USB developers. It’s a weird issue and rather annoying as it means that my private NAS stops working after each reboot (until I powercycle the external disk enclosure).

My websites. You might have noticed some changes on raphaelhertzog.com and raphaelhertzog.fr. I have deployed new themes that should be mobile-friendly and I also deployed proper https support with free certificates from wosign.com (until letsencrypt.org is ready for general usage). Same goes for the freexian.com webpage hosting our Debian LTS sponsorship offer.

Thanks

See you next month for a new summary of my activities.

My Free Software Activities in May 2015

My monthly report covers a large part of what I have been doing in the free software world. I write it for my donators (thanks to them!) but also for the wider Debian community because it can give ideas to newcomers and it’s one of the best ways to find volunteers to work with me on projects that matter to me.

Debian LTS

This month I have been paid to work 10.25 hours on Debian LTS. In that time I did the following:

  • CVE triage: I pushed 28 commits to the security tracker.
  • Reviewed an exactimage update and an imagemagick update (prepared by their respective maintainers).
  • Prepared and released DLA-229-1 on libnokogiri-ruby fixing one CVE.
  • Prepared and released DLA-230-1 on eglibc fixing one CVE.

Other Debian work

Package Tracker. The Debian system administrators upgraded the machine hosting tracker.debian.org to jessie and I dealt with the fallout. Fixing the Apache configuration was easy but DACS also broke and I had to disable it (thus breaking login via sso.debian.org). Fortunately Enrico Zini and Martin Zobel-Helas debugged the problem and restored it.

Sponsorship. I sponsored a dolibarr upload and many tryton-modules-* uploads to bring Tryton 3.6 to Debian (and granted DM rights on the newly introduced packages to Matthias Behrle who is maintaining those packages).

Misc stuff. I discussed multiple feature requests with Dmitry Smirnov for dh-linktree.

Packaging. I uploaded a new upstream version of cpputest. I did that twice actually because the first version had failing tests (see #784674). I also filed #784959 on blhc because I saw what looked like a false positive report for a missing hardening flag.

I uploaded Django 1.8 to experimental. This is a major upstream release and shall ideally only be uploaded to sid after having reported problems on reverse dependencies. I doubt we will have the time to do this…

I started working on Publican 4.3.0 but the test suite fails and it’s not even the fault of publican for once. It’s a bug in libxml apparently.

Thanks

See you next month for a new summary of my activities.

My Free Software Activities in April 2015

My monthly report covers a large part of what I have been doing in the free software world. I write it for my donators (thanks to them!) but also for the wider Debian community because it can give ideas to newcomers and it’s one of the best ways to find volunteers to work with me on projects that matter to me.

Debian LTS

This month I have been paid to work 26.25 hours on Debian LTS. In that time I did the following:

  • CVE triage: I pushed 52 commits to the security tracker. I finished a new helper script (bin/lts-cve-triage.py) that builds on the JSON output that Holger implemented recently. It helps to triage more quickly some issues based on the triaging work already done by the Debian Security team.
  • I filed #783005 to clarify the situation of libhtp and suricata in unstable (discovered this problem while triaging issues affecting those packages).
  • I reviewed and sponsored DLA-197-1 for Nguyen Cong fixing 5 CVE on libvncserver.
  • I released DLA-199-1 fixing one CVE on libx11. I also used codesearch.debian.net to identify all packages that had to be rebuilt with the fixed macro and uploaded them all (there was 11 of them).
  • I sponsored DLA-207-1 for James McCoy fixing 7 CVE on subversion.
  • I released DLA-210-1 fixing 5 CVE on qt4-x11.
  • I released DLA-213-1 fixing 7 CVE on openjdk-6.
  • I released DLA-214-1 fixing 1 CVE on libxml-libxml-perl.
  • I released DLA-215-1 fixing 1 CVE on libjson-ruby. This backport was non-trivial but luckily included some non-regression tests.
  • I filed #783800 about the security-tracker not handling correctly squeeze-lts/non-free.

Now, still related to Debian LTS, but on unpaid hours I did quite a few other things:

Other Debian work

Feature request in update-alternatives. After a discussion with Josselin Mouette during the Mini-DebConf in Lyon, I filed #782493 to request the possibility to override at a system-wide level the default priority of alternatives recorded in update-alternatives. This would make it easier for derivatives to make different choices than Debian.

Sponsored a dnsjava NMU. This NMU introcuded a new upstream version which is needed by jitsi. And I also notified the MIA team that the dnsjava maintainers have disappeared.

python-crcmod bug fix and uploads to *-backports. A member of the Google Cloud team wanted this package (with its C extension) to be available to Wheezy users so I NMUed the package in unstable (to fix #782379) and prepared backports for wheezy-backports and jessie-backports (the latter only once the release team rejected a fix in jessie proper, see #782766).

Old and new PTS updates for Jessies’s release. I took care to update tracker.debian.org and packages.qa.debian.org to take into account Jessie’s release (which, most notably, introduced the “oldoldstable” suite as the new name for Squeeze until its end of life).

Received thanks with pleasure. This is not something that I did but I enjoyed reading so many spontaneous thanks in response to Guillem’s terse and thankless notification of me stepping down from dpkg maintenance. I love the Debian community. Thank you.

Thanks

See you next month for a new summary of my activities.

My Free Software Activities in March 2015

My monthly report covers a large part of what I have been doing in the free software world. I write it for my donators (thanks to them!) but also for the wider Debian community because it can give ideas to newcomers and it’s one of the best ways to find volunteers to work with me on projects that matter to me.

Debian LTS

This month I have been paid to work 15.25 hours on Debian LTS. In that time I did the following:

  • CVE triage: I pushed 37 commits to the security tracker and contacted 20 maintainers about security issues affecting their packages.
  • I started a small helper script based on the new JSON output of the security tracker (see #761859 for details). It’s not ready yet but will make it easier to detect issues where the LTS team lags behind the security team, and other divergences like this and will speed up future CVE triage work (once done).
  • I sent DLA-174-1 (tcpdump update fixing 3 CVE) after having received a debdiff from the Romain Françoise.
  • I prepared DLA-175-1 on gnupg, fixing 3 CVE.
  • I prepared DLA-180-1 on gnutls26, fixing 3 CVE.

That’s it for the paid work. But still about LTS, I proposed two events for Debconf 15:

A Debian LTS logoIn my last Freexian LTS report, I mentioned briefly that it would be nice to have a logo for the LTS project. Shortly after I got a first logo prepared by Damien Escoffier and a few more followed: they are available on a wiki page (and the logo you see above is from him!). Following a suggestion of Paul Wise, I registered the logo request on another wiki page dedicated to artwork requests. That kind of collaboration is awesome! Thanks to all the artists involved in Debian.

Debian packaging

Django. This month has seen no less than 3 upstream point releases packaged for Debian (1.7.5, 1.7.6 and 1.7.7) and they have been accepted by the release team into Jessie. I’m pleased with this tolerance as I have argued the case for it multiple times in the past given the sane upstream release policy (bugfix only in a given released branch).

Python code analysis. I discovered a few months ago a tool combining the power of multiple Python code analysis tools: it’s prospector. I just filed a “Request for Package” for it (see #781165) and someone already volunteered to package it, yay \o/

update-rc.d and systemd. While working on a Kali version based on Jessie, I got hit by what boils down to a poor interaction between systemd and update-rc.d (see #746580) and after some exchanges with other affected users I raised the severity to serious as we really ought to do something about it before release. I also opened #781155 on openbsd-inetd as its usage of inetd.service instead of openbsd-inetd.service (which is only provided as a symlink to the former) leads to multiple small issues.

Misc

Debian France. The general assembly is over and the new board elected its new president: it’s now official, I’m no longer Debian France’s president. Good luck to Nicolas Dandrimont who took on this responsibility.

Salt’s openssh formula. I improved salt’s openssh formula to make it possible to manage the /etc/ssh/ssh_known_hosts file referencing the public SSH keys of other managed minions.

Tendenci.com. I was looking for a free software solution to handle membership management of a large NPO and I discovered Tendenci. It looked very interesting feature wise and written with a language/framework that I enjoy (Python/Django). But while it’s free software, there’s no community at all. The company that wrote it released it under a free software license and it really looks like that they did intend to build a community but they failed at it. When I looked their “development forums” were web-based and mostly empty with only initial discussion of the current developers and no reply from anybody… there’s also no mention of an IRC channel or a mailing list. I sent them a mail to see what kind of collaboration we could expect if we opted for their software and got no reply. A pity, really.

What free software membership management solution would you use when you have more than 10000 members to handle and when you want to use the underlying database to offer SSO authentication to multiple external services?

Thanks

See you next month for a new summary of my activities.