My Free Software Activities in November 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 21.25 hours on Debian LTS. During this time I worked on the following things:

  • From November 2nd to November 8th, I was handling the LTS frontdesk, triaging new CVE, filing bugs, and ensuring timely answers on the mailing list. I pushed 26 commits to the security tracker. While investigating CVE-2015-7183 I discovered more embedded copies of nspr (which resulted in #804058). I also commented on the upstream fix for CVE-2015-5602 which looked like insufficient.
  • Prepared and released DLA-339-1 on libhtml-scrubber-perl fixing one CVE.
  • Prepared and released DLA-350-1 on eglibc with a non-trivial backport fixing one CVE.
  • Prepared and released DLA-353-1 on imagemagick fixing two security issues without CVE yet (and marking one as not-affecting squeeze).
  • Added a third patch after review by the upstream author on my still pending bouncycastle update. The upstream author asked me to further defer the update as they have some related fixes coming up.
  • I did preparatory work for DLA-352-1 by identifying the upstream commits that fixed the security issue.
  • I spent some time checking issues that have been assigned for a long time without any visible progress being made in the hope to unblock them (libvncserver, pound, quassel).

The Debian Administrator’s Handbook

Now that the English version has been finalized for Debian 8 Jessie (I uploaded the package to Debian Unstable), I concentrated my efforts on the French version. The book has been fully translated and we’re now finalizing the print version that Eyrolles will again edit.

Paris Open Source Summit

On November 18th and 19th, I was in Paris for the Paris Open Source Summit. I helped to hold a booth for Debian France during two days (with the help of François-Régis and several others).

François Vuillemin, Juliette Belin and Raphaël Hertzog
François-Régis Vuillemin, Juliette Belin and Raphaël Hertzog

On the booth, we had the visit of Juliette Belin who created the theme and the artwork of Debian 8 Jessie. We lacked goodies but we organized a lottery to win 12 copies of my French book.

Debian packaging work

Django. After two weeks of preparation for revers dependencies, I uploaded Django 1.8 to unstable and raised the severity of remaining bugs. Later I uploaded a new upstream point release (1.8.6). I also handled a release critical bug first by opening a ticket upstream and then by writing a patch and submitting it upstream. I uploaded 1.8.7-2 to Debian with my patch.

I also submittted another small fix which has been rejected because the manual page is generated via Sphinx and I thus had to file a bug against Sphinx (which I did). A work-around has been found in the mean time.

apt-xapian-index NMU. A long time ago, I filed a release critical bug against that package (#793681) but the maintainer did not handle it. Fortunately Sven Joachim prepared an NMU and I just uploaded his work. This resulted in another problem due bash-completion changes that Sven promptly fixed and I uploaded a second NMU a few days later.

Gnome-shell-timer. I forwarded #805347 to gnome-shell-timer issue #29 but gnome-shell-timer is abandoned upstream. On a suggestion of Paul Wise, I tried to get this nice extension integrated into gnome-shell-extensions but the request has been turned down. Is there anyone with javascript skills who would like to adopt this project as an upstream developer? It’s a low maintenance project with a decent and loyal user base.

Misc. I fixed bug #804763 in zim which was the result of a bad Debian-specific patch.
I sponsored pylint-plugin-utils_0.2.3-2.dsc for Joseph Herlant to fix a release critical bug. I filed 806237 against lintian. I filed more tickets upstream, related to my Kali packaging work: one against sddm, one against john

Other Debian-related work

Distro-Tracker. I finally merged the work of Orestis Ioannou on bug #756766 which added the possibility to browse old news of each package.

Debian Installer. I implemented two small features that we wanted in Kali: I fixed #647405 to have a way to disable “deb-src” lines in generated sources.list files. I also filed #805291 to see how to allow kernel command line preseeding to override initrd preseeding… the fix is trivial and it works in Kali. I just have to commit it in Debian, I was hoping to get an ack from someone in charge before doing it.

Thanks

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

My Free Software Activities in October 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 13.25 hours on Debian LTS. During this time I worked on the following things:

  • I prepared and released DLA 330-1 fixing two CVE on unzip.
  • I prepared a bouncycastle update fixing CVE-2015-7940 (after having requested that CVE assignment since nobody had done it yet) but I have not yet released the corresponding DLA yet since I’m waiting for a review by the upstream author. This is hairy cryptographic Java code that was non-trivial to backport and I’d rather make sure that I do not mess anything. The patches are available in the bug report #802671 that I opened.
  • I tested the update to MySQL 5.5 with multiple packages and sent back my findings to the debian-lts mailing list.

I also started a conversation about what paid contributors could work on if they have some spare cycle as the current funding level might allow us to invest some time on work outside of just plain security updates.

The Debian Administrator’s Handbook

I spent quite some time finalizing the Jessie book update, both for the content and for the layout of the printed book.

Debian Handbook: cover of the jessie edition

Misc Debian work

GNOME 3.18. I uploaded a new gnome-shell-timer working with GNOME Shell 3.18 and I filed bugs #800660 and #802480 about an annoying gnome-keyring regression… I did multiple test rounds with the Debian maintainers (Dmitry Shachnev, kudos to him!) and the upstream developers (see here and here). Apart from those regressions, I like GNOME 3.18!

Python-modules team migration to Git. After the Git migration, and since the team policy now imposes usage of git-dpm on all members, I made some tries with it on the python-django package while pushing version 1.8.5 to experimental. And the least I can say is that I’m not pleased with the result. I thus filed 3 bugs summarizing the problems I have with git-dpm: #801666 (no way to set the upstream branch names from within the repository), #801667 (no clean way to merge between packaging branches), #801668 (does not create upstream tag immediately on tarball import). That is on top of other randomly stupid bugs that were already reported like #801548 (does not work with perfectly valid pre-existing upstream tags).

Django packaging. I filed bugs on all packages build-depending on python-django that fail to build with Django 1.8 and informed them that I would upload Django 1.8 to unstable in early November (it’s done already). Then I fixed python-django-jsonfield myself since Distro Tracker relies on this package.

Following this small mass-bug filing, I filed a wishlist bug on devscripts to improve the “mass-bug” helper script (see #801926). And since I used “ratt” to rebuild the packages, I filed a wishlist issue on this new tool as well.

Tryton 3.6 upgrade. I upgraded my own Tryton installation to version 3.6 and filed bug #803066 because the SysV init script was not working properly. That also reminded me that the DD process of Matthias Behrle (the tryton package maintainer) was stalled due to a bug in the NM infrastructure so I pinged the NM team and we sorted out a way for me to advocate him and get his process going…

Distro Tracker. I continued my work to refactor the way we handle incoming mail processing (branch people/hertzog/mailprocessing). It’s now mostly finished and I need to deploy it in a test environment before being able to roll it out on tracker.debian.org.

Thanks

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

My Free Software Activities in September 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 8 hours on Debian LTS. In that time, I mostly did CVE triaging (in the last 3 days since I’m of LTS frontdesk duty this week). I pushed 14 commits to the security tracker. There were multiple CVE without any initial investigation so I checked the status of the CVE not only in squeeze but also in wheezy/jessie.

On unpaid time, I wrote and sent the summary of the work session held during DebConf. And I tried to initiate a discussion about offering mysql-5.5 in squeeze-lts. We also have setup lts-security@debian.org so that we can better handle embargoed security updates.

The Debian Administrator’s Handbook

Debian Handbook: cover of the jessie editionI spent a lot of time on my book, the content update has been done but now we’re reviewing it before preparing the paperback. I also started updating its French translation. You can help review it too.

While working on the book I noticed that snort got removed from jessie and the SE linux reference policy as well. I mailed their maintainers to recommend that they provide them in jessie-backports at least… those packages are relatively important/popular and it’s a pity that they are missing in jessie.

I hope to finish the book update in the next two weeks!

Distro Tracker

I spent a lot of time to revamp the mail part of Distro Tracker. But as it’s not finished yet, I don’t have anything to show yet. That said I pushed an important fix concerning the mail subscriptions (see #798555), basically all subscriptions of packages containing a dash were broken. It just shows that the new tracker is not yet widely used for mail subscription…

I also merged a patch from Andrew Starr-Bochicchio (#797633) to improve the description of the WNPP action items. And I reviewed another patch submitted by Orestis Ioannou to allow browsing of old news (see #756766).

And I filed #798011 against bugs.debian.org to request that a new X-Debian-PR-Severity header field be added to outgoing BTS mail so that Distro Tracker can filter mails by severity and offer people to subscribe to RC bugs only.

Misc Debian work

I filed many bugs this month and almost all of them are related to my Kali work:

  • 3 on debootstrap: #798560 (request for –suite-config option), #798562 (allow sharing bootstrap scripts), #7985604 (request to add kali related bootstrap scripts).
  • 3 requests of new upstream versions: for gpsd (#797899), for valgrind (#800013) and for puppet (#798636).
  • #797783: sbuild fails without any error message when /var/lib/sbuild is not writable in the chroot
  • #798181: gnuradio: Some files take way too long to compile (I had to request a give-back on another build daemon to ensure gnuradio migrated back to testing, and Julien Cristau suggested that it would be better to fix the package so that a single file doesn’t take more than 5 hours to build…)
  • #799550: libuhd003v5 lost its v5 suffix…

Thanks

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

My Free Software Activities in August 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 6.5 hours on Debian LTS. In that time I did the following:

  • Prepared and released DLA-301-1 fixing 2 CVE in python-django.
  • Did one week of “LTS Frontdesk” with CVE triaging. I pushed 11 commits to the security tracker.

Apart from that, I also gave a talk about Debian LTS at DebConf 15 in Heidelberg and also coordinated a work session to discuss our plans for Wheezy. Have a look at the video recordings:

DebConf 15

I attended DebConf 15 with great pleasure after having missed DebConf 14 last year. While I did not do lots of work there, I participated in many discussions and I certainly came back with a renewed motivation to work on Debian. That’s always good. 🙂

For the concrete work I did during DebConf, I can only claim two schroot uploads to fix the lack of support of the new “overlay” filesystem that replaces “aufs” in the official Debian kernel, and some Distro Tracker work (fixing an issue that some people had when they were logged in via Debian’s SSO).

While the numerous discussions I had during DebConf can’t be qualified as “work”, they certainly contribute to build up work plans for the future:

As a Kali developer, I attended multiple sessions related to derivatives (notably the Debian Derivatives Panel).

I was also interested by the “Debian in the corporate IT” BoF led by Michael Meskes (Credativ’s CEO). He pointed out a number of problems that corporate users might have when they first consider using Debian and we will try to do something about this. Expect further news and discussions on the topic.

Martin Kraff, Luca Filipozzi, and me had a discussion with the Debian Project Leader (Neil) about how to revive/transform the Debian’s Partner program. Nothing is fleshed out yet, but at least the process initiated by the former DPL (Lucas) is again moving forward.

Other Debian work

Sponsorship. I sponsored an NMU of pep8 by Daniel Stender as it was a requirement for prospector… which I also sponsored since all the required dependencies are now available in Debian. \o/

Packaging. I NMUed libxml2 2.9.2+really2.9.1+dfsg1-0.1 fixing 3 security issues and a RC bug that was breaking publican. Since there’s no upstream fix for more than 8 months, I went back to the former version 2.9.1. It’s in line with the new requirement of release managers… a package in unstable should migrate to testing reasonably quickly, it’s not acceptable to keep it unfixed for months. With this annoying bug fixed, I could again upload a new upstream release of publican… so I prepared and uploaded 4.3.2-1. It was my first source only upload. This release was more work than I expected and I filed no less than 3 bug to upstream (new bash-completion install path, request to provide sources of a minified javascript file, drop a .po file for an invalid language code).

GPG issues with smartcard. Back from DebConf, when I wanted to sign some key, I stumbled again upon the problem which makes it impossible for me to use my two smartcards one after the other without first deleting the stubs for the private key. It’s not a new issue but I decided that it was time to report it upstream, so I did it: #2079 on bugs.gnupg.org. Some research helped me to find a way to work-around the problem. Later in the month, after a dist-upgrade and a reboot, I was no longer able to use my smartcard as a SSH authentication key… again it was already reported but there was no clear analysis, so I tried to do my own one and added the results of my investigation in #795368. It looks like the culprit is pinentry-gnome3 not working when started by the gpg-agent which is started before the DBUS session. Simple fix is to restart the gpg-agent in the session… but I have no idea yet of what the proper fix should be (letting systemd manage the graphical user session and start gpg-agent would be my first answer, but that doesn’t solve the issue for users of other init systems so it’s not satisfying).

Distro Tracker. I merged two patches from Orestis Ioannou fixing some bugs tagged newcomer. There are more such bugs (I even filed two: #797096 and #797223), go grab them and do a first contribution to Distro Tracker like Orestis just did! I also merged a change from Christophe Siraut who presented Distro Tracker at DebConf.

I implemented in Distro Tracker the new authentication based on SSL client certificates that was recently announced by Enrico Zini. It’s working nice, and this authentication scheme is far easier to support. Good job, Enrico!

tracker.debian.org broke during DebConf, it stopped being updated with new data. I tracked this down to a problem in the archive (see #796892). Apparently Ansgar Burchardt changed the set of compression tools used on some jessie repositorie, replacing bz2 by xz. He dropped the old Packages.bz2 but missed some Sources.bz2 which were thus stale… and APT reported “Hashsum mismatch” on the uncompressed content.

Misc. I pushed some small improvement to my Salt formulas: schroot-formula and sbuild-formula. They will now auto-detect which overlay filesystem is available with the current kernel (previously “aufs” was hardcoded).

Thanks

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