Free Software Efforts (2015W51)

· weekly
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For the last week I have been stuck in England. For the vast majority of that time, I’ve had nothing to do except work on Debian and this blog post documents some of the things I worked on.

Obviously spending a whole week on Debian, there’s going to be some packaging involved. The following packages got new versions in unstable this last week:

  • cowdancer
  • debian-installer-launcher
  • chirp
  • python-flask-rdf

Packaging updates were one of the simpler tasks tackled this week though. I spent a lot of time this week on Debian Live along with others in the # debian-live IRC channel. Over the last week we achieved a number of things, possibly the most important being that all the generic live support packages (i.e. live-boot, live-config and live-tools) have now been converted into native packages, have their VCS repositories hosted on Alioth and have seen a good number of patches merged from the BTS and from the old patch system. All future patches will be managed via the BTS for Debian Live, as with other Debian projects.

We’ve also put effort into getting documentation online again now that the server has been turned off and we now have the live-build documentation and the live-wrapper documentation hosted on the project’s Alioth webspace. The live-wrapper user documentation was mostly written this week so may not be amazing.

On the smaller task list for Debian Live, the KGB bots are now present in the channel and reporting on git commits, a number of the more popular URLs from are now being redirected to their new locations (although we’ve had to recover these URLs from, the list of redirections is certainly not complete) and we’ve made updates to the wiki pages about how to contribute to the project.

Unfortunately, no one has stepped forwards as a new lead for live-build and so this package has been orphaned. This does not necessarily mean that the package will be removed from Debian any time soon, just that it does not currently have a maintainer. If you’re interested in taking over maintainence of live-build, see # 808048.

For testing the core live support packages, new live images for stretch have been built using live-wrapper and are available here. There are known issues with the syslinux configuration and these are not isohybrid images.

My other major project this week has been my efforts to form a Debian Metadata team. The Debian Metadata team would produce the frameworks and run the services that make data about Debian available in a number of formats to make the data as accessible as possible and to encourage its use both within Debian and in external projects.

Currently this includes two experimental services: and

We’re don’t plan to duplicate any of the work done by UDD, but make the data aggregated in UDD more accessible to users and developers. This means publishing that data in JSON/JSONP, KML, RDF, iCalendar and any other format that makes sense. There may be instances where it makes sense to augment the published data with live data, for example mirror availability should probably be live and not just a recent snapshot.

If you’re interested in participating in the Debian Metadata team, you can register your interested on bug # 808049.

This is not a complete summary of all my activities over the last week, but for those interested, it should give you an idea of what I’ve been up to.

Finally, for those of you that have been waiting for my write-up on the airgapped GnuPG master key, I decided in the end that my blog was not the right place for this. You can find the guide in two parts: key generation and key export to the YubiKey. I’ve tried to keep these guides as generic as possible while still being as useful as possible.

While writing these up on the wiki, I’ve also created pages for OpenPGP and GnuPG and I’ve almost entirely rewritten the DebianKeyring wiki page. I discovered this awesome guide to OpenPGP concepts which I would recommend to anyone that is new to OpenPGP.

If you would like to contact me with comments, please send me an email.
If you would like to support my free software work, you can support me on Patreon or donate via PayPal.

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