Search Results: "ascii"

25 May 2024

Gunnar Wolf: How computers make books from graphics rendering, search algorithms, and functional programming to indexing and typesetting

This post is a review for Computing Reviews for How computers make books from graphics rendering, search algorithms, and functional programming to indexing and typesetting , a book published in Manning
If we look at the age-old process of creating books, how many different areas can a computer help us with? And how can each of them be used to teach computer science (CS) fundamentals to a nontechnical audience? This is the premise of John Whitington s enticing book and the result is quite amazing. The book immediately drew my attention when looking at the titles available for review. After all, my initiation into computing as a kid was learning the LaTeX typesetting system while my father worked on his first book on scientific language and typography [1]. Whitington picks 11 different technical aspects of book production, from how dots of ink are transferred to a white page and how they are made into controllable, recognizable shapes, all the way to forming beautiful typefaces and the nuances of properly addressing white-space to present aesthetically pleasing paragraphs, building it all into specific formats aimed at different ends. But if we dig beyond just the chapter titles, we will find a very interesting book on CS that, without ever using technical language or notation, presents aspects as varied as anti-aliasing, vector and raster images, character sets such as ASCII and Unicode, an introduction to programming, input methods for different writing systems, efficient encoding (compression) methods, both for text and images, lossless and lossy, and recursion and dithering methods. To my absolute surprise, while the author thankfully spared the reader the syntax usually associated with LISP-related languages, the programming examples clearly stem from the LISP school, presenting solutions based on tail recursion. Of course, it is no match for Donald Knuth s classic book on this same topic [2], but could very well be a primer for readers to approach it. The book is light and easy to read, and keeps a very informal, nontechnical tone throughout. My only complaint relates to reading it in PDF format; the topic of this book, and the care with which the images were provided by the author, warrant high resolution. The included images are not only decorative but an integral part of the book. Maybe this is specific to my review copy, but all of the raster images were in very low resolution. This book is quite different from what readers may usually expect, as it introduces several significant topics in the field. CS professors will enjoy it, of course, but also readers with a humanities background, students new to the field, or even those who are just interested in learning a bit more.

  1. S nchez y G ndara, A.; Magari os Lamas, F.; Wolf, K. B., Manual de lenguaje y tipograf a cient fica en castellano. Trillas, Mexico City, Mexico, 1986,
  2. Knuth, D. E. Digital typographyCSLI Lecture Notes: CSLI Lecture Notes. CSLI Publications, Stanford, CA, 1999,

7 February 2024

Reproducible Builds: Reproducible Builds in January 2024

Welcome to the January 2024 report from the Reproducible Builds project. In these reports we outline the most important things that we have been up to over the past month. If you are interested in contributing to the project, please visit our Contribute page on our website.

How we executed a critical supply chain attack on PyTorch John Stawinski and Adnan Khan published a lengthy blog post detailing how they executed a supply-chain attack against PyTorch, a popular machine learning platform used by titans like Google, Meta, Boeing, and Lockheed Martin :
Our exploit path resulted in the ability to upload malicious PyTorch releases to GitHub, upload releases to [Amazon Web Services], potentially add code to the main repository branch, backdoor PyTorch dependencies the list goes on. In short, it was bad. Quite bad.
The attack pivoted on PyTorch s use of self-hosted runners as well as submitting a pull request to address a trivial typo in the project s README file to gain access to repository secrets and API keys that could subsequently be used for malicious purposes.

New Arch Linux forensic filesystem tool On our mailing list this month, long-time Reproducible Builds developer kpcyrd announced a new tool designed to forensically analyse Arch Linux filesystem images. Called archlinux-userland-fs-cmp, the tool is supposed to be used from a rescue image (any Linux) with an Arch install mounted to, [for example], /mnt. Crucially, however, at no point is any file from the mounted filesystem eval d or otherwise executed. Parsers are written in a memory safe language. More information about the tool can be found on their announcement message, as well as on the tool s homepage. A GIF of the tool in action is also available.

Issues with our SOURCE_DATE_EPOCH code? Chris Lamb started a thread on our mailing list summarising some potential problems with the source code snippet the Reproducible Builds project has been using to parse the SOURCE_DATE_EPOCH environment variable:
I m not 100% sure who originally wrote this code, but it was probably sometime in the ~2015 era, and it must be in a huge number of codebases by now. Anyway, Alejandro Colomar was working on the shadow security tool and pinged me regarding some potential issues with the code. You can see this conversation here.
Chris ends his message with a request that those with intimate or low-level knowledge of time_t, C types, overflows and the various parsing libraries in the C standard library (etc.) contribute with further info.

Distribution updates In Debian this month, Roland Clobus posted another detailed update of the status of reproducible ISO images on our mailing list. In particular, Roland helpfully summarised that all major desktops build reproducibly with bullseye, bookworm, trixie and sid provided they are built for a second time within the same DAK run (i.e. [within] 6 hours) . Additionally 7 of the 8 bookworm images from the official download link build reproducibly at any later time. In addition to this, three reviews of Debian packages were added, 17 were updated and 15 were removed this month adding to our knowledge about identified issues. Elsewhere, Bernhard posted another monthly update for his work elsewhere in openSUSE.

Community updates There were made a number of improvements to our website, including Bernhard M. Wiedemann fixing a number of typos of the term nondeterministic . [ ] and Jan Zerebecki adding a substantial and highly welcome section to our page about SOURCE_DATE_EPOCH to document its interaction with distribution rebuilds. [ ].
diffoscope is our in-depth and content-aware diff utility that can locate and diagnose reproducibility issues. This month, Chris Lamb made a number of changes such as uploading versions 254 and 255 to Debian but focusing on triaging and/or merging code from other contributors. This included adding support for comparing eXtensible ARchive (.XAR/.PKG) files courtesy of Seth Michael Larson [ ][ ], as well considerable work from Vekhir in order to fix compatibility between various and subtle incompatible versions of the progressbar libraries in Python [ ][ ][ ][ ]. Thanks!

Reproducibility testing framework The Reproducible Builds project operates a comprehensive testing framework (available at in order to check packages and other artifacts for reproducibility. In January, a number of changes were made by Holger Levsen:
  • Debian-related changes:
    • Reduce the number of arm64 architecture workers from 24 to 16. [ ]
    • Use diffoscope from the Debian release being tested again. [ ]
    • Improve the handling when killing unwanted processes [ ][ ][ ] and be more verbose about it, too [ ].
    • Don t mark a job as failed if process marked as to-be-killed is already gone. [ ]
    • Display the architecture of builds that have been running for more than 48 hours. [ ]
    • Reboot arm64 nodes when they hit an OOM (out of memory) state. [ ]
  • Package rescheduling changes:
    • Reduce IRC notifications to 1 when rescheduling due to package status changes. [ ]
    • Correctly set SUDO_USER when rescheduling packages. [ ]
    • Automatically reschedule packages regressing to FTBFS (build failure) or FTBR (build success, but unreproducible). [ ]
  • OpenWrt-related changes:
    • Install the python3-dev and python3-pyelftools packages as they are now needed for the sunxi target. [ ][ ]
    • Also install the libpam0g-dev which is needed by some OpenWrt hardware targets. [ ]
  • Misc:
    • As it s January, set the real_year variable to 2024 [ ] and bump various copyright years as well [ ].
    • Fix a large (!) number of spelling mistakes in various scripts. [ ][ ][ ]
    • Prevent Squid and Systemd processes from being killed by the kernel s OOM killer. [ ]
    • Install the iptables tool everywhere, else our custom rc.local script fails. [ ]
    • Cleanup the /srv/workspace/pbuilder directory on boot. [ ]
    • Automatically restart Squid if it fails. [ ]
    • Limit the execution of chroot-installation jobs to a maximum of 4 concurrent runs. [ ][ ]
Significant amounts of node maintenance was performed by Holger Levsen (eg. [ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ] etc.) and Vagrant Cascadian (eg. [ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]). Indeed, Vagrant Cascadian handled an extended power outage for the network running the Debian armhf architecture test infrastructure. This provided the incentive to replace the UPS batteries and consolidate infrastructure to reduce future UPS load. [ ] Elsewhere in our infrastructure, however, Holger Levsen also adjusted the email configuration for to deal with a new SMTP email attack. [ ]

Upstream patches The Reproducible Builds project tries to detects, dissects and fix as many (currently) unreproducible packages as possible. We endeavour to send all of our patches upstream where appropriate. This month, we wrote a large number of such patches, including: Separate to this, Vagrant Cascadian followed up with the relevant maintainers when reproducibility fixes were not included in newly-uploaded versions of the mm-common package in Debian this was quickly fixed, however. [ ]

If you are interested in contributing to the Reproducible Builds project, please visit our Contribute page on our website. However, you can get in touch with us via:

5 November 2023

Petter Reinholdtsen: Test framework for DocBook processors / formatters

All the books I have published so far has been using DocBook somewhere in the process. For the first book, the source format was DocBook, while for every later book it was an intermediate format used as the stepping stone to be able to present the same manuscript in several formats, on paper, as ebook in ePub format, as a HTML page and as a PDF file either for paper production or for Internet consumption. This is made possible with a wide variety of free software tools with DocBook support in Debian. The source format of later books have been docx via rst, Markdown, Filemaker and Asciidoc, and for all of these I was able to generate a suitable DocBook file for further processing using pandoc, a2x and asciidoctor, as well as rendering using xmlto, dbtoepub, dblatex, docbook-xsl and fop. Most of the books I have published are translated books, with English as the source language. The use of po4a to handle translations using the gettext PO format has been a blessing, but publishing translated books had triggered the need to ensure the DocBook tools handle relevant languages correctly. For every new language I have published, I had to submit patches dblatex, dbtoepub and docbook-xsl fixing incorrect language and country specific issues in the framework themselves. Typically this has been missing keywords like 'figure' or sort ordering of index entries. After a while it became tiresome to only discover issues like this by accident, and I decided to write a DocBook "test framework" exercising various features of DocBook and allowing me to see all features exercised for a given language. It consist of a set of DocBook files, a version 4 book, a version 5 book, a v4 book set, a v4 selection of problematic tables, one v4 testing sidefloat and finally one v4 testing a book of articles. The DocBook files are accompanied with a set of build rules for building PDF using dblatex and docbook-xsl/fop, HTML using xmlto or docbook-xsl and epub using dbtoepub. The result is a set of files visualizing footnotes, indexes, table of content list, figures, formulas and other DocBook features, allowing for a quick review on the completeness of the given locale settings. To build with a different language setting, all one need to do is edit the lang= value in the .xml file to pick a different ISO 639 code value and run 'make'. The test framework source code is available from Codeberg, and a generated set of presentations of the various examples is available as Codeberg static web pages at Using this test framework I have been able to discover and report several bugs and missing features in various tools, and got a lot of them fixed. For example I got Northern Sami keywords added to both docbook-xsl and dblatex, fixed several typos in Norwegian bokm l and Norwegian Nynorsk, support for non-ascii title IDs added to pandoc, Norwegian index sorting support fixed in xindy and initial Norwegian Bokm l support added to dblatex. Some issues still remains, though. Default index sorting rules are still broken in several tools, so the Norwegian letters , and are more often than not sorted properly in the book index. The test framework recently received some more polish, as part of publishing my latest book. This book contained a lot of fairly complex tables, which exposed bugs in some of the tools. This made me add a new test file with various tables, as well as spend some time to brush up the build rules. My goal is for the test framework to exercise all DocBook features to make it easier to see which features work with different processors, and hopefully get them all to support the full set of DocBook features. Feel free to send patches to extend the test set, and test it with your favorite DocBook processor. Please visit these two URLs to learn more: If you want to learn more on Docbook and translations, I recommend having a look at the the DocBook web site, the DoCookBook site and my earlier blog post on how the Skolelinux project process and translate documentation, a talk I gave earlier this year on how to translate and publish books using free software (Norwegian only). As usual, if you use Bitcoin and want to show your support of my activities, please send Bitcoin donations to my address 15oWEoG9dUPovwmUL9KWAnYRtNJEkP1u1b.

11 August 2023

Birger Schacht: Another round of rust

A couple of weeks ago I had to undergo surgery, because one of my kidneys malfunctioned. Everything went well and I m on my way to recovery. Luckily the most recent local heat wave was over just shortly after I got home, which made being stuck at home a little easier (not sure yet when I ll be allowed to do sports again, I miss my climbing gym ). At first I did not have that much energy to do computer stuff, but after a week or so I was able to sit in front of the screen for short amounts of time and I started to get into writing Rust code again.

carl The first thing I did was updating carl. I updated all the dependencies and switched the dependency that does coloring from ansi_term, which is unmaintained, to nu-ansi-term. When I then updated the clap dependency to version 4 I realized that clap now depends on the anstyle crate for text styling - so I updated carls coloring code once again so it now uses anstyle, which led to less dependencies overall. Implementing this change I also did some refactoring of the code. carl how also has its own website as well as a subdomain1. I also added a couple of new date properties to carl, namely all weekdays as well as odd and even - this means it is now possible choose a separate color for every weekday and have a rainbow calendar:
screenshot carl
This is included in version 0.1.0 of carl, which I published on

typelerate Then I started writing my first game - typelerate. It is a copy of the great typespeed, without the multiplayer support. To describe the idea behind the game, I quote the typespeed website:
Typespeed s idea is ripped from ztspeed (a DOS game made by Zorlim). The Idea behind the game is rather easy: type words that are flying by from left to right as fast as you can. If you miss 10 or more words, game is over.
Instead of the multiplayer support, typelerate works with UTF-8 strings and it also has another game mode: in typespeed you only type whats scrolling via the screen. In typelerate I added the option to have one or more answer strings. One of those has to be typed instead of the word flying across the screen. This lets you implement kind of an question/answer game. To be backwards compatible with the existing wordfiles from typespeed2, the wordfiles for the question/answer games contain comma separated values. The typelerate repository contains wordfiles with Python and Rust keywords as well as wordfiles where you are shown an Emoji and you have to type the corresponding Github shortcode. I m happy to add additional wordfiles (there could be for example math questions ).
screenshot typelerate

marsrover Another commandline game I really like, because I am fascinated by the animated ASCII graphics, is the venerable moon-buggy. In this game you have to drive a vehicle across the moon s surface and deal with obstacles like craters or aliens. I reimplemented the game in rust and called it marsrover:
screenshot marsrover
I published it on, you can find the repository on github. The game uses a configuration file in $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/marsrover/config.toml - you can configure the colors of the elements as well as the levels. The game comes with four levels predefined, but you can use the configuration file to override that list of levels with levels with your own properties. The level properties define the probabilities of obstacles occuring on your way on the mars surface and a points setting that defines how many points the user can get in that level (=the game switches to the next level if the user reaches the points).
prob_ditch_one = 0.2
prob_ditch_two = 0.0
prob_ditch_three = 0.0
prob_alien = 0.5
points = 100
After the last level, the game generates new ones on the fly.

  1. thanks to the service from
  2. actually, typelerate is not backwards compatible with the typespeed wordfiles, because those are not UTF-8 encoded

4 August 2023

John Goerzen: Try the Last Internet Kermit Server

$ grep kermit /etc/services
kermit          1649/tcp
What is this mysterious protocol? Who uses it and what is its story? This story is a winding one, beginning in 1981. Kermit is, to the best of my knowledge, the oldest actively-maintained software package with an original developer still participating. It is also a scripting language, an Internet server, a (scriptable!) SSH client, and a file transfer protocol. And my first use of it was talking to my HP-48GX calculator over a 9600bps serial link. Yes, that calculator had a Kermit server built in. But let s back up and talk about serial ports and Modems.

Serial Ports and Modems In my piece The PC & Internet Revolution in Rural America, I recently talked about getting a modem what an excitement it was to get one! I realize that many people today have never used a serial line or a modem, so let s briefly discuss. Before Ethernet and Wifi took off in a big way, in the 1990s-2000s, two computers would talk to each other over a serial line and a modem. By modern standards, these were slow; 300bps was a common early speed. They also (at least in the beginning) had no kind of error checking. Characters could be dropped or changed. Sometimes even those speeds were faster than the receiving device could handle. Some serial links were 7-bit, and wouldn t even pass all 7-bit characters; for instance, sending a Ctrl-S could lock up a remote until you sent Ctrl-Q. And computers back in the 1970s and 1980s weren t as uniform as they are now. They used different character sets, different line endings, and even had different notions of what a file is. Today s notion of a file as whatever set of binary bytes an application wants it to be was by no means universal; some systems treated a file as a set of fixed-length records, for instance. So there were a lot of challenges in reliably moving files between systems. Kermit was introduced to reliably move files between systems using serial lines, automatically working around the varieties of serial lines, detecting errors and retransmitting, managing transmit speeds, and adapting between architectures as appropriate. Quite a task! And perhaps this explains why it was supported on a calculator with a primitive CPU by today s standards. Serial communication, by the way, is still commonplace, though now it isn t prominent in everyone s home PC setup. It s used a lot in industrial equipment, avionics, embedded systems, and so forth. The key point about serial lines is that they aren t inherently multiplexed or packetized. Whereas an Ethernet network is designed to let many dozens of applications use it at once, a serial line typically runs only one (unless it is something like PPP, which is designed to do multiplexing over the serial line). So it become useful to be able to both log in to a machine and transfer files with it. That is, incidentally, still useful today.

Kermit and XModem/ZModem I wondered: why did we end up with two diverging sets of protocols, created at about the same time? The Kermit website has the answer: essentially, BBSs could assume 8-bit clean connections, so XModem and ZModem had much less complexity to worry about. Kermit, on the other hand, was highly flexible. Although ZModem came out a few years before Kermit had its performance optimizations, by about 1993 Kermit was on par or faster than ZModem.

Beyond serial ports As LANs and the Internet came to be popular, people started to use telnet (and later ssh) to connect to remote systems, rather than serial lines and modems. FTP was an early way to transfer files across the Internet, but it had its challenges. Kermit added telnet support, as well as later support for ssh (as a wrapper around the ssh command you already know). Now you could easily log in to a machine and exchange files with it without missing a beat. And so it was that the Internet Kermit Service Daemon (IKSD) came into existence. It allows a person to set up a Kermit server, which can authenticate against local accounts or present anonymous access akin to FTP. And so I established the Kermit Server, which runs the Unix IKSD (part of the Debian ckermit package).

Trying Out the Kermit Server There are more instructions on the Kermit Server page! You can connect to it using either telnet or the kermit program. I won t duplicate all of the information here, but here s what it looks like to connect:
$ kermit
C-Kermit 10.0 Beta.08, 15 Dec 2022, for Linux+SSL (64-bit)
 Copyright (C) 1985, 2022,
  Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York.
  Open Source 3-clause BSD license since 2011.
Type ? or HELP for help.
(/tmp/t/) C-Kermit>iksd /user:anonymous
 DNS Lookup...  Trying  Reverse DNS Lookup... (OK)
Connecting to host
 Escape character: Ctrl-\ (ASCII 28, FS): enabled
Type the escape character followed by C to get back,
or followed by ? to see other options.

 >>> Welcome to the Internet Kermit Service at <<<

To log in, use 'anonymous' as the username, and any non-empty password

Internet Kermit Service ready at Fri Aug  4 22:32:17 2023
C-Kermit 10.0 Beta.08, 15 Dec 2022

Enter e-mail address as Password: [redacted]

Anonymous login.

You are now connected to the quux kermit server.

Try commands like HELP, cd gopher, dir, and the like.  Use INTRO
for a nice introduction.

(~/) IKSD>
You can even recursively download the entire Kermit mirror: over 1GB of files!

Conclusions So, have fun. Enjoy this experience from the 1980s. And note that Kermit also makes a better ssh client than ssh in a lot of ways; see ideas on my Kermit page. This page also has a permanent home on my website, where it may be periodically updated.

1 June 2023

Paul Wise: FLOSS Activities May 2023

Focus This month I didn't have any particular focus. I just worked on issues in my info bubble.




  • Debian IRC: set topic on new #debian-sa channel
  • Debian wiki: unblock IP addresses, approve accounts

  • Respond to queries from Debian users and contributors on the mailing lists and IRC

Sponsors The SIMDe, gensim, sptag work was sponsored. All other work was done on a volunteer basis.

13 February 2023

Vincent Bernat: Building a SQL-like language to filter flows

Akvorado collects network flows using IPFIX or sFlow. It stores them in a ClickHouse database. A web console allows a user to query the data and plot some graphs. A nice aspect of this console is how we can filter flows with a SQL-like language:
Filter editor in Akvorado console
Often, web interfaces expose a query builder to build such filters. I think combining a SQL-like language with an editor supporting completion, syntax highlighting, and linting is a better approach.1 The language parser is built with pigeon (Go) from a parsing expression grammar or PEG. The editor component is CodeMirror (TypeScript).

Language parser PEG grammars are relatively recent2 and are an alternative to context-free grammars. They are easier to write and they can generate better error messages. Python switched from an LL(1)-based parser to a PEG-based parser in Python 3.9. pigeon generates a parser for Go. A grammar is a set of rules. Each rule is an identifier, with an optional user-friendly label for error messages, an expression, and an action in Go to be executed on match. You can find the complete grammar in parser.peg. Here is a simplified rule:
ConditionIPExpr "condition on IP"  
  column:("ExporterAddress"i   return "ExporterAddress", nil  
        / "SrcAddr"i   return "SrcAddr", nil  
        / "DstAddr"i   return "DstAddr", nil  ) _ 
  operator:("=" / "!=") _ 
    return fmt.Sprintf("%s %s IPv6StringToNum(%s)",
      toString(column), toString(operator), quote(ip)), nil
The rule identifier is ConditionIPExpr. It case-insensitively matches ExporterAddress, SrcAddr, or DstAddr. The action for each case returns the proper case for the column name. That s what is stored in the column variable. Then, it matches one of the possible operators. As there is no code block, it stores the matched string directly in the operator variable. Then, it tries to match the IP rule, which is defined elsewhere in the grammar. If it succeeds, it stores the result of the match in the ip variable and executes the final action. The action turns the column, operator, and IP into a proper expression for ClickHouse. For example, if we have ExporterAddress =, we get ExporterAddress = IPv6StringToNum(''). The IP rule uses a rudimentary regular expression but checks if the matched address is correct in the action block, thanks to netip.ParseAddr():
IP "IP address"   [0-9A-Fa-f:.]+  
  ip, err := netip.ParseAddr(string(c.text))
  if err != nil  
    return "", errors.New("expecting an IP address")
  return ip.String(), nil
Our parser safely turns the filter into a WHERE clause accepted by ClickHouse:3
WHERE InIfBoundary = 'external' 
AND ExporterRegion = 'france' 
AND InIfConnectivity = 'transit' 
AND SrcAS = 15169 
AND DstAddr BETWEEN toIPv6('2a01:e0f:ffff::') 
                AND toIPv6('2a01:e0f:ffff:ffff:ffff:ffff:ffff:ffff')

Integration in CodeMirror CodeMirror is a versatile code editor that can be easily integrated into JavaScript projects. In Akvorado, the Vue.js component, InputFilter, uses CodeMirror as its foundation and leverages features such as syntax highlighting, linting, and completion. The source code for these capabilities can be found in the codemirror/lang-filter/ directory.

Syntax highlighting The PEG grammar for Go cannot be utilized directly4 and the requirements for parsers for editors are distinct: they should be error-tolerant and operate incrementally, as code is typically updated character by character. CodeMirror offers a solution through its own parser generator, Lezer. We don t need this additional parser to fully understand the filter language. Only the basic structure is needed: column names, comparison and logic operators, quoted and unquoted values. The grammar is therefore quite short and does not need to be updated often:
@top Filter  
 Not expression  
 "(" expression ")"  
 "(" expression ")" And expression  
 "(" expression ")" Or expression  
 comparisonExpression And expression  
 comparisonExpression Or expression  
 Column Operator Value
  String   Literal   ValueLParen ListOfValues ValueRParen
  ListOfValues ValueComma (String   Literal)  
  String   Literal
// [ ]
  // [ ]
  Column   std.asciiLetter (std.asciiLetter std.digit)*  
  Operator   $[a-zA-Z!=><]+  
    '"' (![\\\n"]   "\\" _)* '"'?  
    "'" (![\\\n']   "\\" _)* "'"?
  Literal   (std.digit   std.asciiLetter   $[.:/])+  
  // [ ]
The expression SrcAS = 12322 AND (DstAS = 1299 OR SrcAS = 29447) is parsed to:
Filter(Column, Operator, Value(Literal),
  And, Column, Operator, Value(Literal),
  Or, Column, Operator, Value(Literal))
The last step is to teach CodeMirror how to map each token to a highlighting tag:
export const FilterLanguage = LRLanguage.define( 
  parser: parser.configure( 
    props: [
        Column: t.propertyName,
        String: t.string,
        Literal: t.literal,
        LineComment: t.lineComment,
        BlockComment: t.blockComment,
        Or: t.logicOperator,
        And: t.logicOperator,
        Not: t.logicOperator,
        Operator: t.compareOperator,
        "( )": t.paren,

Linting We offload linting to the original parser in Go. The /api/v0/console/filter/validate endpoint accepts a filter and returns a JSON structure with the errors that were found:
  "message": "at line 1, position 12: string literal not terminated",
  "errors": [ 
    "line":    1,
    "column":  12,
    "offset":  11,
    "message": "string literal not terminated",
The linter source for CodeMirror queries the API and turns each error into a diagnostic.

Completion The completion system takes a hybrid approach. It splits the work between the frontend and the backend to offer useful suggestions for completing filters. The frontend uses the parser built with Lezer to determine the context of the completion: do we complete a column name, an operator, or a value? It also extracts the column name if we are completing something else. It forwards the result to the backend through the /api/v0/console/filter/complete endpoint. Walking the syntax tree was not as easy as I thought, but unit tests helped a lot. The backend uses the parser generated by pigeon to complete a column name or a comparison operator. For values, the completions are either static or extracted from the ClickHouse database. A user can complete an AS number from an organization name thanks to the following snippet:
results := []struct  
  Label  string  ch:"label" 
  Detail string  ch:"detail" 
columnName := "DstAS"
sqlQuery := fmt.Sprintf( 
 SELECT concat('AS', toString(%s)) AS label, dictGet('asns', 'name', %s) AS detail
 FROM flows
 WHERE TimeReceived > date_sub(minute, 1, now())
 AND detail != ''
 AND positionCaseInsensitive(detail, $1) >= 1
 GROUP BY label, detail
 , columnName, columnName)
if err := conn.Select(ctx, &results, sqlQuery, input.Prefix); err != nil  
  c.r.Err(err).Msg("unable to query database")
for _, result := range results  
  completions = append(completions, filterCompletion 
    Label:  result.Label,
    Detail: result.Detail,
    Quoted: false,
In my opinion, the completion system is a major factor in making the field editor an efficient way to select flows. While a query builder may have been more beginner-friendly, the completion system s ease of use and functionality make it more enjoyable to use once you become familiar.

  1. Moreover, building a query builder did not seem like a fun task for me.
  2. They were introduced in 2004 in Parsing Expression Grammars: A Recognition-Based Syntactic Foundation. LR parsers were introduced in 1965, LALR parsers in 1969, and LL parsers in the 1970s. Yacc, a popular parser generator, was written in 1975.
  3. The parser returns a string. It does not generate an intermediate AST. This makes it simpler and it currently fits our needs.
  4. It could be manually translated to JavaScript with PEG.js.

6 February 2023

Reproducible Builds: Reproducible Builds in January 2023

Welcome to the first report for 2023 from the Reproducible Builds project! In these reports we try and outline the most important things that we have been up to over the past month, as well as the most important things in/around the community. As a quick recap, the motivation behind the reproducible builds effort is to ensure no malicious flaws can be deliberately introduced during compilation and distribution of the software that we run on our devices. As ever, if you are interested in contributing to the project, please visit our Contribute page on our website.

News In a curious turn of events, GitHub first announced this month that the checksums of various Git archives may be subject to change, specifically that because:
the default compression for Git archives has recently changed. As result, archives downloaded from GitHub may have different checksums even though the contents are completely unchanged.
This change (which was brought up on our mailing list last October) would have had quite wide-ranging implications for anyone wishing to validate and verify downloaded archives using cryptographic signatures. However, GitHub reversed this decision, updating their original announcement with a message that We are reverting this change for now. More details to follow. It appears that this was informed in part by an in-depth discussion in the GitHub Community issue tracker.
The Bundesamt f r Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik (BSI) (trans: The Federal Office for Information Security ) is the agency in charge of managing computer and communication security for the German federal government. They recently produced a report that touches on attacks on software supply-chains (Supply-Chain-Angriff). (German PDF)
Contributor Seb35 updated our website to fix broken links to Tails Git repository [ ][ ], and Holger updated a large number of pages around our recent summit in Venice [ ][ ][ ][ ].
Noak J nsson has written an interesting paper entitled The State of Software Diversity in the Software Supply Chain of Ethereum Clients. As the paper outlines:
In this report, the software supply chains of the most popular Ethereum clients are cataloged and analyzed. The dependency graphs of Ethereum clients developed in Go, Rust, and Java, are studied. These client are Geth, Prysm, OpenEthereum, Lighthouse, Besu, and Teku. To do so, their dependency graphs are transformed into a unified format. Quantitative metrics are used to depict the software supply chain of the blockchain. The results show a clear difference in the size of the software supply chain required for the execution layer and consensus layer of Ethereum.

Yongkui Han posted to our mailing list discussing making reproducible builds & GitBOM work together without gitBOM-ID embedding. GitBOM (now renamed to OmniBOR) is a project to enable automatic, verifiable artifact resolution across today s diverse software supply-chains [ ]. In addition, Fabian Keil wrote to us asking whether anyone in the community would be at Chemnitz Linux Days 2023, which is due to take place on 11th and 12th March (event info). Separate to this, Akihiro Suda posted to our mailing list just after the end of the month with a status report of bit-for-bit reproducible Docker/OCI images. As Akihiro mentions in their post, they will be giving a talk at FOSDEM in the Containers devroom titled Bit-for-bit reproducible builds with Dockerfile and that my talk will also mention how to pin the apt/dnf/apk/pacman packages with my repro-get tool.
The extremely popular Signal messenger app added upstream support for the SOURCE_DATE_EPOCH environment variable this month. This means that release tarballs of the Signal desktop client do not embed nondeterministic release information. [ ][ ]

Distribution work

F-Droid & Android There was a very large number of changes in the F-Droid and wider Android ecosystem this month: On January 15th, a blog post entitled Towards a reproducible F-Droid was published on the F-Droid website, outlining the reasons why F-Droid signs published APKs with its own keys and how reproducible builds allow using upstream developers keys instead. In particular:
In response to [ ] criticisms, we started encouraging new apps to enable reproducible builds. It turns out that reproducible builds are not so difficult to achieve for many apps. In the past few months we ve gotten many more reproducible apps in F-Droid than before. Currently we can t highlight which apps are reproducible in the client, so maybe you haven t noticed that there are many new apps signed with upstream developers keys.
(There was a discussion about this post on Hacker News.) In addition:
  • F-Droid added 13 apps published with reproducible builds this month. [ ]
  • FC Stegerman outlined a bug where baseline.profm files are nondeterministic, developed a workaround, and provided all the details required for a fix. As they note, this issue has now been fixed but the fix is not yet part of an official Android Gradle plugin release.
  • GitLab user Parwor discovered that the number of CPU cores can affect the reproducibility of .dex files. [ ]
  • FC Stegerman also announced the 0.2.0 and 0.2.1 releases of reproducible-apk-tools, a suite of tools to help make .apk files reproducible. Several new subcommands and scripts were added, and a number of bugs were fixed as well [ ][ ]. They also updated the F-Droid website to improve the reproducibility-related documentation. [ ][ ]
  • On the F-Droid issue tracker, FC Stegerman discussed reproducible builds with one of the developers of the Threema messenger app and reported that Android SDK build-tools 31.0.0 and 32.0.0 (unlike earlier and later versions) have a zipalign command that produces incorrect padding.
  • A number of bugs related to reproducibility were discovered in Android itself. Firstly, the non-deterministic order of .zip entries in .apk files [ ] and then newline differences between building on Windows versus Linux that can make builds not reproducible as well. [ ] (Note that these links may require a Google account to view.)
  • And just before the end of the month, FC Stegerman started a thread on our mailing list on the topic of hiding data/code in APK embedded signatures which has been made possible by the Android APK Signature Scheme v2/v3. As part of this, they made an Android app that reads the APK Signing block of its own APK and extracts a payload in order to alter its behaviour called sigblock-code-poc.

Debian As mentioned in last month s report, Vagrant Cascadian has been organising a series of online sprints in order to clear the huge backlog of reproducible builds patches submitted by performing NMUs (Non-Maintainer Uploads). During January, a sprint took place on the 10th, resulting in the following uploads: During this sprint, Holger Levsen filed Debian bug #1028615 to request that the service display results of reproducible rebuilds, not just reproducible CI results. Elsewhere in Debian, strip-nondeterminism is our tool to remove specific non-deterministic results from a completed build. This month, version 1.13.1-1 was uploaded to Debian unstable by Holger Levsen, including a fix by FC Stegerman (obfusk) to update a regular expression for the latest version of file(1) [ ]. (#1028892) Lastly, 65 reviews of Debian packages were added, 21 were updated and 35 were removed this month adding to our knowledge about identified issues.

Other distributions In other distributions:

diffoscope diffoscope is our in-depth and content-aware diff utility. Not only can it locate and diagnose reproducibility issues, it can provide human-readable diffs from many kinds of binary formats. This month, Chris Lamb made the following changes to diffoscope, including preparing and uploading versions 231, 232, 233 and 234 to Debian:
  • No need for from __future__ import print_function import anymore. [ ]
  • Comment and tidy the extras_require.json handling. [ ]
  • Split inline Python code to generate test Recommends into a separate Python script. [ ]
  • Update debian/tests/control after merging support for PyPDF support. [ ]
  • Correctly catch segfaulting cd-iccdump binary. [ ]
  • Drop some old debugging code. [ ]
  • Allow ICC tests to (temporarily) fail. [ ]
In addition, FC Stegerman (obfusk) made a number of changes, including:
  • Updating the test_text_proper_indentation test to support the latest version(s) of file(1). [ ]
  • Use an extras_require.json file to store some build/release metadata, instead of accessing the internet. [ ]
  • Updating an APK-related file(1) regular expression. [ ]
  • On the website, de-duplicate contributors by e-mail. [ ]
Lastly, Sam James added support for PyPDF version 3 [ ] and Vagrant Cascadian updated a handful of tool references for GNU Guix. [ ][ ]

Upstream patches The Reproducible Builds project attempts to fix as many currently-unreproducible packages as possible. This month, we wrote a large number of such patches, including:

Testing framework The Reproducible Builds project operates a comprehensive testing framework at in order to check packages and other artifacts for reproducibility. In January, the following changes were made by Holger Levsen:
  • Node changes:
  • Debian-related changes:
    • Only keep diffoscope s HTML output (ie. no .json or .txt) for LTS suites and older in order to save diskspace on the Jenkins host. [ ]
    • Re-create pbuilder base less frequently for the stretch, bookworm and experimental suites. [ ]
  • OpenWrt-related changes:
    • Add gcc-multilib to OPENWRT_HOST_PACKAGES and install it on the nodes that need it. [ ]
    • Detect more problems in the health check when failing to build OpenWrt. [ ]
  • Misc changes:
    • Update the chroot-run script to correctly manage /dev and /dev/pts. [ ][ ][ ]
    • Update the Jenkins shell monitor script to collect disk stats less frequently [ ] and to include various directory stats. [ ][ ]
    • Update the real year in the configuration in order to be able to detect whether a node is running in the future or not. [ ]
    • Bump copyright years in the default page footer. [ ]
In addition, Christian Marangi submitted a patch to build OpenWrt packages with the V=s flag to enable debugging. [ ]
If you are interested in contributing to the Reproducible Builds project, please visit the Contribute page on our website. You can get in touch with us via:

11 November 2022

Reproducible Builds: Reproducible Builds in October 2022

Welcome to the Reproducible Builds report for October 2022! In these reports we attempt to outline the most important things that we have been up to over the past month. As ever, if you are interested in contributing to the project, please visit our Contribute page on our website.

Our in-person summit this year was held in the past few days in Venice, Italy. Activity and news from the summit will therefore be covered in next month s report!
A new article related to reproducible builds was recently published in the 2023 IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy. Titled Taxonomy of Attacks on Open-Source Software Supply Chains and authored by Piergiorgio Ladisa, Henrik Plate, Matias Martinez and Olivier Barais, their paper:
[ ] proposes a general taxonomy for attacks on opensource supply chains, independent of specific programming languages or ecosystems, and covering all supply chain stages from code contributions to package distribution.
Taking the form of an attack tree, the paper covers 107 unique vectors linked to 94 real world supply-chain incidents which is then mapped to 33 mitigating safeguards including, of course, reproducible builds:
Reproducible Builds received a very high utility rating (5) from 10 participants (58.8%), but also a high-cost rating (4 or 5) from 12 (70.6%). One expert commented that a reproducible build like used by Solarwinds now, is a good measure against tampering with a single build system and another claimed this is going to be the single, biggest barrier .

It was noticed this month that Solarwinds published a whitepaper back in December 2021 in order to:
[ ] illustrate a concerning new reality for the software industry and illuminates the increasingly sophisticated threats made by outside nation-states to the supply chains and infrastructure on which we all rely.
The 12-month anniversary of the 2020 Solarwinds attack (which SolarWinds Worldwide LLC itself calls the SUNBURST attack) was, of course, the likely impetus for publication.
Whilst collaborating on making the Cyrus IMAP server reproducible, Ellie Timoney asked why the Reproducible Builds testing framework uses two remarkably distinctive build paths when attempting to flush out builds that vary on the absolute system path in which they were built. In the case of the Cyrus IMAP server, these happened to be: Asked why they vary in three different ways, Chris Lamb listed in detail the motivation behind to each difference.
On our mailing list this month:
The Reproducible Builds project is delighted to welcome openEuler to the Involved projects page [ ]. openEuler is Linux distribution developed by Huawei, a counterpart to it s more commercially-oriented EulerOS.

Debian Colin Watson wrote about his experience towards making the databases generated by the man-db UNIX manual page indexing tool:
One of the people working on [reproducible builds] noticed that man-db s database files were an obstacle to [reproducibility]: in particular, the exact contents of the database seemed to depend on the order in which files were scanned when building it. The reporter proposed solving this by processing files in sorted order, but I wasn t keen on that approach: firstly because it would mean we could no longer process files in an order that makes it more efficient to read them all from disk (still valuable on rotational disks), but mostly because the differences seemed to point to other bugs.
Colin goes on to describe his approach to solving the problem, including fixing various fits of internal caching, and he ends his post with None of this is particularly glamorous work, but it paid off .
Vagrant Cascadian announced on our mailing list another online sprint to help clear the huge backlog of reproducible builds patches submitted by performing NMUs (Non-Maintainer Uploads). The first such sprint took place on September 22nd, but another was held on October 6th, and another small one on October 20th. This resulted in the following progress:
41 reviews of Debian packages were added, 62 were updated and 12 were removed this month adding to our knowledge about identified issues. A number of issue types were updated too. [1][ ]
Lastly, Luca Boccassi submitted a patch to debhelper, a set of tools used in the packaging of the majority of Debian packages. The patch addressed an issue in the dh_installsysusers utility so that the postinst post-installation script that debhelper generates the same data regardless of the underlying filesystem ordering.

Other distributions F-Droid is a community-run app store that provides free software applications for Android phones. This month, F-Droid changed their documentation and guidance to now explicitly encourage RB for new apps [ ][ ], and FC Stegerman created an extremely in-depth issue on GitLab concerning the APK signing block. You can read more about F-Droid s approach to reproducibility in our July 2022 interview with Hans-Christoph Steiner of the F-Droid Project. In openSUSE, Bernhard M. Wiedemann published his usual openSUSE monthly report.

Upstream patches The Reproducible Builds project detects, dissects and attempts to fix as many currently-unreproducible packages as possible. We endeavour to send all of our patches upstream where appropriate. This month, we wrote a large number of such patches, including:

diffoscope diffoscope is our in-depth and content-aware diff utility. Not only can it locate and diagnose reproducibility issues, it can provide human-readable diffs from many kinds of binary formats. This month, Chris Lamb prepared and uploaded versions 224 and 225 to Debian:
  • Add support for comparing the text content of HTML files using html2text. [ ]
  • Add support for detecting ordering-only differences in XML files. [ ]
  • Fix an issue with detecting ordering differences. [ ]
  • Use the capitalised version of Ordering consistently everywhere in output. [ ]
  • Add support for displaying font metadata using ttx(1) from the fonttools suite. [ ]
  • Testsuite improvements:
    • Temporarily allow the stable-po pipeline to fail in the CI. [ ]
    • Rename the order1.diff test fixture to json_expected_ordering_diff. [ ]
    • Tidy the JSON tests. [ ]
    • Use assert_diff over get_data and an manual assert within the XML tests. [ ]
    • Drop the ALLOWED_TEST_FILES test; it was mostly just annoying. [ ]
    • Tidy the tests/ file. [ ]
Chris Lamb also added a link to diffoscope s OpenBSD packaging on the homepage [ ] and Mattia Rizzolo fix an test failure that was occurring under with LLVM 15 [ ].

Testing framework The Reproducible Builds project operates a comprehensive testing framework at in order to check packages and other artifacts for reproducibility. In October, the following changes were made by Holger Levsen:
  • Run the logparse tool to analyse results on the Debian Edu build logs. [ ]
  • Install btop(1) on all nodes running Debian. [ ]
  • Switch Arch Linux from using SHA1 to SHA256. [ ]
  • When checking Debian debstrap jobs, correctly log the tool usage. [ ]
  • Cleanup more task-related temporary directory names when testing Debian packages. [ ][ ]
  • Use the cdebootstrap-static binary for the 2nd runs of the cdebootstrap tests. [ ]
  • Drop a workaround when testing OpenWrt and coreboot as the issue in diffoscope has now been fixed. [ ]
  • Turn on an rm(1) warning into an info -level message. [ ]
  • Special case the osuosl168 node for running Debian bookworm already. [ ][ ]
  • Use the new non-free-firmware suite on the o168 node. [ ]
In addition, Mattia Rizzolo made the following changes:
  • Ensure that 2nd build has a merged /usr. [ ]
  • Only reconfigure the usrmerge package on Debian bookworm and above. [ ]
  • Fix bc(1) syntax in the computation of the percentage of unreproducible packages in the dashboard. [ ][ ][ ]
  • In the index_suite_ pages, order the package status to be the same order of the menu. [ ]
  • Pass the --distribution parameter to the pbuilder utility. [ ]
Finally, Roland Clobus continued his work on testing Live Debian images. In particular, he extended the maintenance script to warn when workspace directories cannot be deleted. [ ]
If you are interested in contributing to the Reproducible Builds project, please visit our Contribute page on our website. However, you can get in touch with us via:

1 November 2022

Paul Wise: FLOSS Activities October 2022

Focus This month I didn't have any particular focus. I just worked on issues in my info bubble.




  • Debian BTS: unarchive/reopen/triage bugs for reintroduced packages nautilus-image-converter, swift-im, runit-services
  • Debian IRC: removed 2 spammers from OFTC, disable anti-spam channel modes for some channels
  • Debian servers: restart processes due to OOM
  • Debian wiki: approve accounts

  • Initiate discussion about the apt hook protocol
  • Respond to queries from Debian users and contributors on the mailing lists and IRC

Sponsors All work was done on a volunteer basis.

7 October 2022

Reproducible Builds: Reproducible Builds in September 2022

Welcome to the September 2022 report from the Reproducible Builds project! In our reports we try to outline the most important things that we have been up to over the past month. As a quick recap, whilst anyone may inspect the source code of free software for malicious flaws, almost all software is distributed to end users as pre-compiled binaries. If you are interested in contributing to the project, please visit our Contribute page on our website.
David A. Wheeler reported to us that the US National Security Agency (NSA), Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) have released a document called Securing the Software Supply Chain: Recommended Practices Guide for Developers (PDF). As David remarked in his post to our mailing list, it expressly recommends having reproducible builds as part of advanced recommended mitigations . The publication of this document has been accompanied by a press release.
Holger Levsen was made aware of a small Microsoft project called oss-reproducible. Part of, OSSGadget, a larger collection of tools for analyzing open source packages , the purpose of oss-reproducible is to:
analyze open source packages for reproducibility. We start with an existing package (for example, the NPM left-pad package, version 1.3.0), and we try to answer the question, Do the package contents authentically reflect the purported source code?
More details can be found in the file within the code repository.
David A. Wheeler also pointed out that there are some potential upcoming changes to the OpenSSF Best Practices badge for open source software in relation to reproducibility. Whilst the badge programme has three certification levels ( passing , silver and gold ), the gold level includes the criterion that The project MUST have a reproducible build . David reported that some projects have argued that this reproducibility criterion should be slightly relaxed as outlined in an issue on the best-practices-badge GitHub project. Essentially, though, the claim is that the reproducibility requirement doesn t make sense for projects that do not release built software, and that timestamp differences by themselves don t necessarily indicate malicious changes. Numerous pragmatic problems around excluding timestamps were raised in the discussion of the issue.
Sonatype, a pioneer of software supply chain management , issued a press release month to report that they had found:
[ ] a massive year-over-year increase in cyberattacks aimed at open source project ecosystems. According to early data from Sonatype s 8th annual State of the Software Supply Chain Report, which will be released in full this October, Sonatype has recorded an average 700% jump in repository attacks over the last three years.
More information is available in the press release.
A number of changes were made to the Reproducible Builds website and documentation this month, including Chris Lamb adding a redirect from /projects/ to /who/ in order to keep old or archived links working [ ], Jelle van der Waa added a Rust programming language example for SOURCE_DATE_EPOCH [ ][ ] and Mattia Rizzolo included Protocol Labs amongst our project-level sponsors [ ].

Debian There was a large amount of reproducibility work taking place within Debian this month:
  • The nfft source package was removed from the archive, and now all packages in Debian bookworm now have a corresponding .buildinfo file. This can be confirmed and tracked on the associated page on the site.
  • Vagrant Cascadian announced on our mailing list an informal online sprint to help clear the huge backlog of reproducible builds patches submitted by performing NMU (Non-Maintainer Uploads). The first such sprint took place on September 22nd with the following results:
    • Holger Levsen:
      • Mailed #1010957 in man-db asking for an update and whether to remove the patch tag for now. This was subsequently removed and the maintainer started to address the issue.
      • Uploaded gmp to DELAYED/15, fixing #1009931.
      • Emailed #1017372 in plymouth and asked for the maintainer s opinion on the patch. This resulted in the maintainer improving Vagrant s original patch (and uploading it) as well as filing an issue upstream.
      • Uploaded time to DELAYED/15, fixing #983202.
    • Vagrant Cascadian:
      • Verify and updated patch for mylvmbackup (#782318)
      • Verified/updated patches for libranlip. (#788000, #846975 & #1007137)
      • Uploaded libranlip to DELAYED/10.
      • Verified patch for cclive. (#824501)
      • Uploaded cclive to DELAYED/10.
      • Vagrant was unable to reproduce the underlying issue within #791423 (linuxtv-dvb-apps) and so the bug was marked as done .
      • Researched #794398 (in clhep).
    The plan is to repeat these sprints every two weeks, with the next taking place on Thursday October 6th at 16:00 UTC on the #debian-reproducible IRC channel.
  • Roland Clobus posted his 13th update of the status of reproducible Debian ISO images on our mailing list. During the last month, Roland ensured that the live images are now automatically fed to openQA for automated testing after they have been shown to be reproducible. Additionally Roland asked on the debian-devel mailing list about a way to determine the canonical timestamp of the Debian archive. [ ]
  • Following up on last month s work on reproducible bootstrapping, Holger Levsen filed two bugs against the debootstrap and cdebootstrap utilities. (#1019697 & #1019698)
Lastly, 44 reviews of Debian packages were added, 91 were updated and 17 were removed this month adding to our knowledge about identified issues. A number of issue types have been updated too, including the descriptions of cmake_rpath_contains_build_path [ ], nondeterministic_version_generated_by_python_param [ ] and timestamps_in_documentation_generated_by_org_mode [ ]. Furthermore, two new issue types were created: build_path_used_to_determine_version_or_package_name [ ] and captures_build_path_via_cmake_variables [ ].

Other distributions In openSUSE, Bernhard M. Wiedemann published his usual openSUSE monthly report.

diffoscope diffoscope is our in-depth and content-aware diff utility. Not only can it locate and diagnose reproducibility issues, it can provide human-readable diffs from many kinds of binary formats. This month, Chris Lamb prepared and uploaded versions 222 and 223 to Debian, as well as made the following changes:
  • The cbfstools utility is now provided in Debian via the coreboot-utils package so we can enable that functionality within Debian. [ ]
  • Looked into Mach-O support.
  • Fixed the service by addressing a compatibility issue between glibc/seccomp that was preventing the Docker-contained diffoscope instance from spawning any external processes whatsoever [ ]. I also updated the requirements.txt file, as some of the specified packages were no longer available [ ][ ].
In addition Jelle van der Waa added support for file version 5.43 [ ] and Mattia Rizzolo updated the packaging:
  • Also include coreboot-utils in the Build-Depends and Test-Depends fields so that it is available for tests. [ ]
  • Use pep517 and pip to load the requirements. [ ]
  • Remove packages in Breaks/Replaces that have been obsoleted since the release of Debian bullseye. [ ]

Reprotest reprotest is our end-user tool to build the same source code twice in widely and deliberate different environments, and checking whether the binaries produced by the builds have any differences. This month, reprotest version 0.7.22 was uploaded to Debian unstable by Holger Levsen, which included the following changes by Philip Hands:
  • Actually ensure that the setarch(8) utility can actually execute before including an architecture to test. [ ]
  • Include all files matching *.*deb in the default artifact_pattern in order to archive all results of the build. [ ]
  • Emit an error when building the Debian package if the Debian packaging version does not patch the Python version of reprotest. [ ]
  • Remove an unneeded invocation of the head(1) utility. [ ]

Upstream patches The Reproducible Builds project detects, dissects and attempts to fix as many currently-unreproducible packages as possible. We endeavour to send all of our patches upstream where appropriate. This month, we wrote a large number of such patches, including:

Testing framework The Reproducible Builds project runs a significant testing framework at in order to check packages and other artifacts for reproducibility. This month, however, the following changes were made:
  • Holger Levsen:
    • Add a job to build reprotest from Git [ ] and use the correct Git branch when building it [ ].
  • Mattia Rizzolo:
    • Enable syncing of results from building live Debian ISO images. [ ]
    • Use scp -p in order to preserve modification times when syncing live ISO images. [ ]
    • Apply the shellcheck shell script analysis tool. [ ]
    • In a build node wrapper script, remove some debugging code which was messing up calling scp(1) correctly [ ] and consquently add support to use both scp -p and regular scp [ ].
  • Roland Clobus:
    • Track and handle the case where the Debian archive gets updated between two live image builds. [ ]
    • Remove a call to sudo(1) as it is not (or no longer) required to delete old live-build results. [ ]

Contact As ever, if you are interested in contributing to the Reproducible Builds project, please visit our Contribute page on our website. However, you can get in touch with us via:

16 June 2022

Dima Kogan: Ricoh GR IIIx 802.11 reverse engineering

I just got a fancy new camera: Ricoh GR IIIx. It's pretty great, and I strongly recommend it to anyone that wants a truly pocketable camera with fantastic image quality and full manual controls. One annoyance is the connectivity. It does have both Bluetooth and 802.11, but the only official method of using them is some dinky closed phone app. This is silly. I just did some reverse-engineering, and I now have a functional shell script to download the last few images via 802.11. This is more convenient than plugging in a wire or pulling out the memory card. Fortunately, Ricoh didn't bend over backwards to make the reversing difficult, so to figure it out I didn't even need to download the phone app, and sniff the traffic. When you turn on the 802.11 on the camera, it says stuff about essid and password, so clearly the camera runs its own access point. Not ideal, but it's good-enough. I connected, and ran nmap to find hosts and open ports: only port 80 on is open. Pointing curl at it yields some error, so I need to figure out the valid endpoints. I downloaded the firmware binary, and tried to figure out what's in it:
dima@shorty:/tmp$ binwalk fwdc243b.bin
3036150       0x2E53F6        Cisco IOS microcode, for "8"
3164652       0x3049EC        Certificate in DER format (x509 v3), header length: 4, sequence length: 5412
5472143       0x537F8F        Copyright string: "Copyright ("
6128763       0x5D847B        PARity archive data - file number 90
10711634      0xA37252        gzip compressed data, maximum compression, from Unix, last modified: 2022-02-15 05:47:23
13959724      0xD5022C        MySQL ISAM compressed data file Version 11
24829873      0x17ADFB1       MySQL MISAM compressed data file Version 4
24917663      0x17C369F       MySQL MISAM compressed data file Version 4
24918526      0x17C39FE       MySQL MISAM compressed data file Version 4
24921612      0x17C460C       MySQL MISAM compressed data file Version 4
24948153      0x17CADB9       MySQL MISAM compressed data file Version 4
25221672      0x180DA28       MySQL MISAM compressed data file Version 4
25784158      0x1896F5E       Cisco IOS microcode, for "\"
26173589      0x18F6095       MySQL MISAM compressed data file Version 4
28297588      0x1AFC974       MySQL ISAM compressed data file Version 6
28988307      0x1BA5393       MySQL ISAM compressed data file Version 3
28990184      0x1BA5AE8       MySQL MISAM index file Version 3
29118867      0x1BC5193       MySQL MISAM index file Version 3
29449193      0x1C15BE9       JPEG image data, JFIF standard 1.01
29522133      0x1C278D5       JPEG image data, JFIF standard 1.08
29522412      0x1C279EC       Copyright string: "Copyright ("
29632931      0x1C429A3       JPEG image data, JFIF standard 1.01
29724094      0x1C58DBE       JPEG image data, JFIF standard 1.01
The gzip chunk looks like what I want:
dima@shorty:/tmp$ tail -c+10711635 fwdc243b.bin> /tmp/tst.gz
dima@shorty:/tmp$ < /tmp/tst.gz gunzip   file -
/dev/stdin: ASCII cpio archive (SVR4 with no CRC)
dima@shorty:/tmp$ < /tmp/tst.gz gunzip > tst.cpio
OK, we have some .cpio thing. It's plain-text. I grep around it in, looking for GET and POST and such, and I see various URI-looking things at /v1/..... Grepping for that I see
dima@shorty:/tmp$ strings tst.cpio   grep /v1/
GET /v1/debug/revisions
GET /v1/ping
GET /v1/photos
GET /v1/props
PUT /v1/params/device
PUT /v1/params/lens
PUT /v1/params/camera
GET /v1/liveview
GET /v1/transfers
POST /v1/device/finish
POST /v1/device/wlan/finish
POST /v1/lens/focus
POST /v1/camera/shoot
POST /v1/camera/shoot/compose
POST /v1/camera/shoot/cancel
GET /v1/photos/ / 
GET /v1/photos/ / /info
PUT /v1/photos/ / /transfer
/v1/changes message received.
/v1/changes issue event.
/v1/changes new websocket connection.
/v1/changes websocket connection closed. reason( )
/v1/transfers, transferState( ), afterIndex( ), limit( )
Jackpot. I pointed curl at most of these, and they do interesting things. Generally they all spit out JSON. /v1/liveview sends out a sequence of JPEG images. The thing I care about is /v1/photos/DIRECTORY/FILE and /v1/photos/DIRECTORY/FILE/info. The result is a script I just wrote to connect to the camera, download N images, and connect back to the original access point: Kinda crude, but works for now. I'll improve it with time. After I did this I found an old thread from 2015 where somebody was using an apparently-compatible camera, and wrote a fancier tool:

26 May 2022

Sergio Talens-Oliag: New Blog Config

As promised, on this post I m going to explain how I ve configured this blog using hugo, asciidoctor and the papermod theme, how I publish it using nginx, how I ve integrated the remark42 comment system and how I ve automated its publication using gitea and json2file-go. It is a long post, but I hope that at least parts of it can be interesting for some, feel free to ignore it if that is not your case

Hugo Configuration

Theme settingsThe site is using the PaperMod theme and as I m using asciidoctor to publish my content I ve adjusted the settings to improve how things are shown with it. The current config.yml file is the one shown below (probably some of the settings are not required nor being used right now, but I m including the current file, so this post will have always the latest version of it):
title: Mixinet BlogOps
paginate: 5
theme: PaperMod
destination: public/
enableInlineShortcodes: true
enableRobotsTXT: true
buildDrafts: false
buildFuture: false
buildExpired: false
enableEmoji: true
pygmentsUseClasses: true
  disableXML: true
  minifyOutput: true
    languageName: "English"
    description: "Mixinet BlogOps -"
    author: "Sergio Talens-Oliag"
    weight: 1
    title: Mixinet BlogOps
      Title: "Sergio Talens-Oliag Technical Blog"
      Content: >
        ![Mixinet BlogOps](/images/mixinet-blogops.png)
      category: categories
      tag: tags
      series: series
        - name: Archive
          url: archives
          weight: 5
        - name: Categories
          url: categories/
          weight: 10
        - name: Tags
          url: tags/
          weight: 10
        - name: Search
          url: search/
          weight: 15
    - HTML
    - RSS
    - JSON
  env: production
  defaultTheme: light
  disableThemeToggle: false
  ShowShareButtons: true
  ShowReadingTime: true
  disableSpecial1stPost: true
  disableHLJS: true
  displayFullLangName: true
  ShowPostNavLinks: true
  ShowBreadCrumbs: true
  ShowCodeCopyButtons: true
  ShowRssButtonInSectionTermList: true
  ShowFullTextinRSS: true
  ShowToc: true
  TocOpen: false
  comments: true
  remark42SiteID: "blogops"
  remark42Url: "/remark42"
    enabled: false
    title: Sergio Talens-Oliag Technical Blog
    imageUrl: "/images/mixinet-blogops.png"
    imageTitle: Mixinet BlogOps
      - name: Archives
        url: archives
      - name: Categories
        url: categories
      - name: Tags
        url: tags
    - name: CV
      url: ""
    - name: Debian
      url: ""
    - name: GitHub
      url: ""
    - name: GitLab
      url: ""
    - name: Linkedin
      url: ""
    - name: RSS
      url: "index.xml"
    disableHLJS: true
    favicon: "/favicon.ico"
    favicon16x16:  "/favicon-16x16.png"
    favicon32x32:  "/favicon-32x32.png"
    apple_touch_icon:  "/apple-touch-icon.png"
    safari_pinned_tab:  "/safari-pinned-tab.svg"
    isCaseSensitive: false
    shouldSort: true
    location: 0
    distance: 1000
    threshold: 0.4
    minMatchCharLength: 0
    keys: ["title", "permalink", "summary", "content"]
    backend: html5s
    extensions: ['asciidoctor-html5s','asciidoctor-diagram']
    failureLevel: fatal
    noHeaderOrFooter: true
    preserveTOC: false
    safeMode: unsafe
    sectionNumbers: false
    trace: false
    verbose: false
    workingFolderCurrent: true
    disabled: false
    simple: true
    disabled: false
    enableDNT: true
    simple: true
    disabled: false
    simple: true
    disabled: false
    privacyEnhanced: true
    disableInlineCSS: true
    disableInlineCSS: true
      - '^asciidoctor$'
      - '^dart-sass-embedded$'
      - '^go$'
      - '^npx$'
      - '^postcss$'
Some notes about the settings:
  • disableHLJS and assets.disableHLJS are set to true; we plan to use rouge on adoc and the inclusion of the hljs assets adds styles that collide with the ones used by rouge.
  • ShowToc is set to true and the TocOpen setting is set to false to make the ToC appear collapsed initially. My plan was to use the asciidoctor ToC, but after trying I believe that the theme one looks nice and I don t need to adjust styles, although it has some issues with the html5s processor (the admonition titles use <h6> and they are shown on the ToC, which is weird), to fix it I ve copied the layouts/partial/toc.html to my site repository and replaced the range of headings to end at 5 instead of 6 (in fact 5 still seems a lot, but as I don t think I ll use that heading level on the posts it doesn t really matter).
  • params.profileMode values are adjusted, but for now I ve left it disabled setting params.profileMode.enabled to false and I ve set the homeInfoParams to show more or less the same content with the latest posts under it (I ve added some styles to my custom.css style sheet to center the text and image of the first post to match the look and feel of the profile).
  • On the asciidocExt section I ve adjusted the backend to use html5s, I ve added the asciidoctor-html5s and asciidoctor-diagram extensions to asciidoctor and adjusted the workingFolderCurrent to true to make asciidoctor-diagram work right (haven t tested it yet).

Theme customisationsTo write in asciidoctor using the html5s processor I ve added some files to the assets/css/extended directory:
  1. As said before, I ve added the file assets/css/extended/custom.css to make the homeInfoParams look like the profile page and I ve also changed a little bit some theme styles to make things look better with the html5s output:
    /* Fix first entry alignment to make it look like the profile */
    .first-entry   text-align: center;  
    .first-entry img   display: inline;  
     * Remove margin for .post-content code and reduce padding to make it look
     * better with the asciidoctor html5s output.
    .post-content code   margin: auto 0; padding: 4px;  
  2. I ve also added the file assets/css/extended/adoc.css with some styles taken from the asciidoctor-default.css, see this blog post about the original file; mine is the same after formatting it with css-beautify and editing it to use variables for the colors to support light and dark themes:
    /* AsciiDoctor*/
        border-collapse: collapse;
        border-spacing: 0
        border-collapse: separate;
        border: 0;
        background: none;
        width: 100%
    .admonitionblock>table td.icon  
        text-align: center;
        width: 80px
    .admonitionblock>table td.icon img  
        max-width: none
    .admonitionblock>table td.icon .title  
        font-weight: bold;
        font-family: "Open Sans", "DejaVu Sans", sans-serif;
        text-transform: uppercase
    .admonitionblock>table td.content  
        padding-left: 1.125em;
        padding-right: 1.25em;
        border-left: 1px solid #ddddd8;
        color: var(--primary)
    .admonitionblock>table td.content>:last-child>:last-child  
        margin-bottom: 0
    .admonitionblock td.icon [class^="fa icon-"]  
        font-size: 2.5em;
        text-shadow: 1px 1px 2px var(--secondary);
        cursor: default
    .admonitionblock td.icon .icon-note::before  
        content: "\f05a";
        color: var(--icon-note-color)
    .admonitionblock td.icon .icon-tip::before  
        content: "\f0eb";
        color: var(--icon-tip-color)
    .admonitionblock td.icon .icon-warning::before  
        content: "\f071";
        color: var(--icon-warning-color)
    .admonitionblock td.icon .icon-caution::before  
        content: "\f06d";
        color: var(--icon-caution-color)
    .admonitionblock td.icon .icon-important::before  
        content: "\f06a";
        color: var(--icon-important-color)
        display: inline-block;
        color: #fff !important;
        background-color: rgba(100, 100, 0, .8);
        -webkit-border-radius: 100px;
        border-radius: 100px;
        text-align: center;
        font-size: .75em;
        width: 1.67em;
        height: 1.67em;
        line-height: 1.67em;
        font-family: "Open Sans", "DejaVu Sans", sans-serif;
        font-style: normal;
        font-weight: bold
    .conum[data-value] *  
        color: #fff !important
        display: none
        content: attr(data-value)
    pre .conum[data-value]  
        position: relative;
        top: -.125em
    b.conum *  
        color: inherit !important
        display: none
  3. The previous file uses variables from a partial copy of the theme-vars.css file that changes the highlighted code background color and adds the color definitions used by the admonitions:
        /* Solarized base2 */
        /* --hljs-bg: rgb(238, 232, 213); */
        /* Solarized base3 */
        /* --hljs-bg: rgb(253, 246, 227); */
        /* Solarized base02 */
        --hljs-bg: rgb(7, 54, 66);
        /* Solarized base03 */
        /* --hljs-bg: rgb(0, 43, 54); */
        /* Default asciidoctor theme colors */
        --icon-note-color: #19407c;
        --icon-tip-color: var(--primary);
        --icon-warning-color: #bf6900;
        --icon-caution-color: #bf3400;
        --icon-important-color: #bf0000
        --hljs-bg: rgb(7, 54, 66);
        /* Asciidoctor theme colors with tint for dark background */
        --icon-note-color: #3e7bd7;
        --icon-tip-color: var(--primary);
        --icon-warning-color: #ff8d03;
        --icon-caution-color: #ff7847;
        --icon-important-color: #ff3030
  4. The previous styles use font-awesome, so I ve downloaded its resources for version 4.7.0 (the one used by asciidoctor) storing the font-awesome.css into on the assets/css/extended dir (that way it is merged with the rest of .css files) and copying the fonts to the static/assets/fonts/ dir (will be served directly):
    curl "$FA_BASE_URL/css/font-awesome.css" \
      > assets/css/extended/font-awesome.css
    for f in FontAwesome.otf fontawesome-webfont.eot \
      fontawesome-webfont.svg fontawesome-webfont.ttf \
      fontawesome-webfont.woff fontawesome-webfont.woff2; do
        curl "$FA_BASE_URL/fonts/$f" > "static/assets/fonts/$f"
  5. As already said the default highlighter is disabled (it provided a css compatible with rouge) so we need a css to do the highlight styling; as rouge provides a way to export them, I ve created the assets/css/extended/rouge.css file with the thankful_eyes theme:
    rougify style thankful_eyes > assets/css/extended/rouge.css
  6. To support the use of the html5s backend with admonitions I ve added a variation of the example found on this blog post to assets/js/adoc-admonitions.js:
    // replace the default admonitions block with a table that uses a format
    // similar to the standard asciidoctor ... as we are using fa-icons here there
    // is no need to add the icons: font entry on the document.
    window.addEventListener('load', function ()  
      const admonitions = document.getElementsByClassName('admonition-block')
      for (let i = admonitions.length - 1; i >= 0; i--)  
        const elm = admonitions[i]
        const type = elm.classList[1]
        const title = elm.getElementsByClassName('block-title')[0];
    	const label = title.getElementsByClassName('title-label')[0]
    		.innerHTML.slice(0, -1);
        const text = elm.innerHTML
        const parent = elm.parentNode
        const tempDiv = document.createElement('div')
        tempDiv.innerHTML =  <div class="admonitionblock $ type ">
              <td class="icon">
                <i class="fa icon-$ type " title="$ label "></i>
              <td class="content">
                $ text 
        const input = tempDiv.childNodes[0]
        parent.replaceChild(input, elm)
    and enabled its minified use on the layouts/partials/extend_footer.html file adding the following lines to it:
     - $admonitions := slice (resources.Get "js/adoc-admonitions.js")
        resources.Concat "assets/js/adoc-admonitions.js"   minify   fingerprint  
    <script defer crossorigin="anonymous" src="  $admonitions.RelPermalink  "
      integrity="  $admonitions.Data.Integrity  "></script>

Remark42 configurationTo integrate Remark42 with the PaperMod theme I ve created the file layouts/partials/comments.html with the following content based on the remark42 documentation, including extra code to sync the dark/light setting with the one set on the site:
<div id="remark42"></div>
  var remark_config =  
    host:   .Site.Params.remark42Url  ,
    site_id:   .Site.Params.remark42SiteID  ,
    url:   .Permalink  ,
    locale:   .Site.Language.Lang  
    /* Adjust the theme using the local-storage pref-theme if set */
    if (localStorage.getItem("pref-theme") === "dark")  
      remark_config.theme = "dark";
      else if (localStorage.getItem("pref-theme") === "light")  
      remark_config.theme = "light";
    /* Add remark42 widget */
    for(var i = 0; i < c.length; i++) 
      var d = document, s = d.createElement('script');
      s.src = + '/web/' + c[i] +'.js';
      s.defer = true;
      (d.head   d.body).appendChild(s);
   )(remark_config.components   ['embed']);
In development I use it with anonymous comments enabled, but to avoid SPAM the production site uses social logins (for now I ve only enabled Github & Google, if someone requests additional services I ll check them, but those were the easy ones for me initially). To support theme switching with remark42 I ve also added the following inside the layouts/partials/extend_footer.html file:
 - if (not site.Params.disableThemeToggle)  
/* Function to change theme when the toggle button is pressed */
document.getElementById("theme-toggle").addEventListener("click", () =>  
  if (typeof window.REMARK42 != "undefined")  
    if (document.body.className.includes('dark'))  
 - end  
With this code if the theme-toggle button is pressed we change the remark42 theme before the PaperMod one (that s needed here only, on page loads the remark42 theme is synced with the main one using the code from the layouts/partials/comments.html shown earlier).

Development setupTo preview the site on my laptop I m using docker-compose with the following configuration:
version: "2"
      context: ./docker/hugo-adoc
      dockerfile: ./Dockerfile
    image: sto/hugo-adoc
    container_name: hugo-adoc-blogops
    restart: always
      - .:/documents
    command: server --bind -D -F
    user: $ APP_UID :$ APP_GID 
    image: nginx:latest
    container_name: nginx-blogops
    restart: always
      - ./nginx/default.conf:/etc/nginx/conf.d/default.conf
      -  1313:1313
      context: ./docker/remark42
      dockerfile: ./Dockerfile
    image: sto/remark42
    container_name: remark42-blogops
    restart: always
      - ./.env
      - ./remark42/
      - ./remark42/
To run it properly we have to create the .env file with the current user ID and GID on the variables APP_UID and APP_GID (if we don t do it the files can end up being owned by a user that is not the same as the one running the services):
$ echo "APP_UID=$(id -u)\nAPP_GID=$(id -g)" > .env
The Dockerfile used to generate the sto/hugo-adoc is:
FROM asciidoctor/docker-asciidoctor:latest
RUN gem install --no-document asciidoctor-html5s &&\
 apk update && apk add --no-cache curl libc6-compat &&\
 repo_path="gohugoio/hugo" &&\
 api_url="$repo_path/releases/latest" &&\
  curl -sL "$api_url"  \
  sed -n "s/^.*download_url\": \"\\(.*.extended.*Linux-64bit.tar.gz\)\"/\1/p"\
 )" &&\
 curl -sL "$download_url" -o /tmp/hugo.tgz &&\
 tar xf /tmp/hugo.tgz hugo &&\
 install hugo /usr/bin/ &&\
 rm -f hugo /tmp/hugo.tgz &&\
 /usr/bin/hugo version &&\
 apk del curl && rm -rf /var/cache/apk/*
# Expose port for live server
ENTRYPOINT ["/usr/bin/hugo"]
CMD [""]
If you review it you will see that I m using the docker-asciidoctor image as the base; the idea is that this image has all I need to work with asciidoctor and to use hugo I only need to download the binary from their latest release at github (as we are using an image based on alpine we also need to install the libc6-compat package, but once that is done things are working fine for me so far). The image does not launch the server by default because I don t want it to; in fact I use the same docker-compose.yml file to publish the site in production simply calling the container without the arguments passed on the docker-compose.yml file (see later). When running the containers with docker-compose up (or docker compose up if you have the docker-compose-plugin package installed) we also launch a nginx container and the remark42 service so we can test everything together. The Dockerfile for the remark42 image is the original one with an updated version of the script:
FROM umputun/remark42:latest
The updated is similar to the original, but allows us to use an APP_GID variable and updates the /etc/group file of the container so the files get the right user and group (with the original script the group is always 1001):
#!/sbin/dinit /bin/sh
uid="$(id -u)"
if [ "$ uid " -eq "0" ]; then
  echo "init container"
  # set container's time zone
  cp "/usr/share/zoneinfo/$ TIME_ZONE " /etc/localtime
  echo "$ TIME_ZONE " >/etc/timezone
  echo "set timezone $ TIME_ZONE  ($(date))"
  # set UID & GID for the app
  if [ "$ APP_UID " ]   [ "$ APP_GID " ]; then
    [ "$ APP_UID " ]   APP_UID="1001"
    [ "$ APP_GID " ]   APP_GID="$ APP_UID "
    echo "set custom APP_UID=$ APP_UID  & APP_GID=$ APP_GID "
    sed -i "s/^app:x:1001:1001:/app:x:$ APP_UID :$ APP_GID :/" /etc/passwd
    sed -i "s/^app:x:1001:/app:x:$ APP_GID :/" /etc/group
    echo "custom APP_UID and/or APP_GID not defined, using 1001:1001"
  chown -R app:app /srv /home/app
echo "prepare environment"
# replace  % REMARK_URL %  by content of REMARK_URL variable
find /srv -regex '.*\.\(html\ js\ mjs\)$' -print \
  -exec sed -i "s % REMARK_URL % $ REMARK_URL  g"   \;
if [ -n "$ SITE_ID " ]; then
  #replace "site_id: 'remark'" by SITE_ID
  sed -i "s 'remark' '$ SITE_ID ' g" /srv/web/*.html
echo "execute \"$*\""
if [ "$ uid " -eq "0" ]; then
  exec su-exec app "$@"
  exec "$@"
The environment file used with remark42 for development is quite minimal:
And the nginx/default.conf file used to publish the service locally is simple too:
 listen 1313;
 server_name localhost;
 location /  
    proxy_pass http://hugo:1313;
    proxy_set_header Host $http_host;
    proxy_set_header X-Real-IP $remote_addr;
    proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
    proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Proto $scheme;
    proxy_set_header Upgrade $http_upgrade;
    proxy_set_header Connection "upgrade";
 location /remark42/  
    rewrite /remark42/(.*) /$1 break;
    proxy_pass http://remark42:8080/;
    proxy_set_header Host $http_host;
    proxy_set_header X-Real-IP $remote_addr;
    proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
    proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Proto $scheme;

Production setupThe VM where I m publishing the blog runs Debian GNU/Linux and uses binaries from local packages and applications packaged inside containers. To run the containers I m using docker-ce (I could have used podman instead, but I already had it installed on the machine, so I stayed with it). The binaries used on this project are included on the following packages from the main Debian repository:
  • git to clone & pull the repository,
  • jq to parse json files from shell scripts,
  • json2file-go to save the webhook messages to files,
  • inotify-tools to detect when new files are stored by json2file-go and launch scripts to process them,
  • nginx to publish the site using HTTPS and work as proxy for json2file-go and remark42 (I run it using a container),
  • task-spool to queue the scripts that update the deployment.
And I m using docker and docker compose from the debian packages on the docker repository:
  • docker-ce to run the containers,
  • docker-compose-plugin to run docker compose (it is a plugin, so no - in the name).

Repository checkoutTo manage the git repository I ve created a deploy key, added it to gitea and cloned the project on the /srv/blogops PATH (that route is owned by a regular user that has permissions to run docker, as I said before).

Compiling the site with hugoTo compile the site we are using the docker-compose.yml file seen before, to be able to run it first we build the container images and once we have them we launch hugo using docker compose run:
$ cd /srv/blogops
$ git pull
$ docker compose build
$ if [ -d "./public" ]; then rm -rf ./public; fi
$ docker compose run hugo --
The compilation leaves the static HTML on /srv/blogops/public (we remove the directory first because hugo does not clean the destination folder as jekyll does). The deploy script re-generates the site as described and moves the public directory to its final place for publishing.

Running remark42 with dockerOn the /srv/blogops/remark42 folder I have the following docker-compose.yml:
version: "2"
      context: ../docker/remark42
      dockerfile: ./Dockerfile
    image: sto/remark42
      - ../.env
      - ./
    container_name: remark42
    restart: always
      - ./
The ../.env file is loaded to get the APP_UID and APP_GID variables that are used by my version of the script to adjust file permissions and the file contains the rest of the settings for remark42, including the social network tokens (see the remark42 documentation for the available parameters, I don t include my configuration here because some of them are secrets).

Nginx configurationThe nginx configuration for the site is as simple as:
  listen 443 ssl http2;
  ssl_certificate /etc/letsencrypt/live/;
  ssl_certificate_key /etc/letsencrypt/live/;
  include /etc/letsencrypt/options-ssl-nginx.conf;
  ssl_dhparam /etc/letsencrypt/ssl-dhparams.pem;
  access_log /var/log/nginx/;
  error_log  /var/log/nginx/;
  root /srv/blogops/nginx/public_html;
  location /  
    try_files $uri $uri/ =404;
  include /srv/blogops/nginx/remark42.conf;
  listen 80 ;
  listen [::]:80 ;
  access_log /var/log/nginx/;
  error_log  /var/log/nginx/;
  if ($host =  
    return 301 https://$host$request_uri;
  return 404;
On this configuration the certificates are managed by certbot and the server root directory is on /srv/blogops/nginx/public_html and not on /srv/blogops/public; the reason for that is that I want to be able to compile without affecting the running site, the deployment script generates the site on /srv/blogops/public and if all works well we rename folders to do the switch, making the change feel almost atomic.

json2file-go configurationAs I have a working WireGuard VPN between the machine running gitea at my home and the VM where the blog is served, I m going to configure the json2file-go to listen for connections on a high port using a self signed certificate and listening on IP addresses only reachable through the VPN. To do it we create a systemd socket to run json2file-go and adjust its configuration to listen on a private IP (we use the FreeBind option on its definition to be able to launch the service even when the IP is not available, that is, when the VPN is down). The following script can be used to set up the json2file-go configuration:
set -e
# ---------
# ---------
# ----
# ----
# Install packages used with json2file for the blogops site
sudo apt update
sudo apt install -y json2file-go uuid
if [ -z "$(type mkcert)" ]; then
  sudo apt install -y mkcert
sudo apt clean
# Configuration file values
J2F_USER="$(id -u)"
J2F_GROUP="$(id -g)"
# Configure json2file
[ -d "$J2F_DIR" ]   mkdir "$J2F_DIR"
sudo sh -c "echo '$J2F_DIR' >'$J2F_BASEDIR_FILE'"
[ -d "$TLS_DIR" ]   mkdir "$TLS_DIR"
if [ ! -f "$J2F_CRT_PATH" ]   [ ! -f "$J2F_KEY_PATH" ]; then
  mkcert -cert-file "$J2F_CRT_PATH" -key-file "$J2F_KEY_PATH" "$(hostname -f)"
sudo sh -c "echo '$J2F_CRT_PATH' >'$J2F_CRT_FILE'"
sudo sh -c "echo '$J2F_KEY_PATH' >'$J2F_KEY_FILE'"
sudo sh -c "cat >'$J2F_DIRLIST_FILE'" <<EOF
$(echo "$J2F_DIRLIST"   tr ';' '\n')
# Service override
[ -d "$J2F_SERVICE_DIR" ]   sudo mkdir "$J2F_SERVICE_DIR"
sudo sh -c "cat >'$J2F_SERVICE_OVERRIDE'" <<EOF
# Socket override
[ -d "$J2F_SOCKET_DIR" ]   sudo mkdir "$J2F_SOCKET_DIR"
sudo sh -c "cat >'$J2F_SOCKET_OVERRIDE'" <<EOF
# Set FreeBind to listen on missing addresses (the VPN can be down sometimes)
# Set ListenStream to nothing to clear its value and add the new value later
# Restart and enable service
sudo systemctl daemon-reload
sudo systemctl stop "$J2F_SERVICE_NAME"
sudo systemctl start "$J2F_SERVICE_NAME"
sudo systemctl enable "$J2F_SERVICE_NAME"
# ----
# vim: ts=2:sw=2:et:ai:sts=2
Warning: The script uses mkcert to create the temporary certificates, to install the package on bullseye the backports repository must be available.

Gitea configurationTo make gitea use our json2file-go server we go to the project and enter into the hooks/gitea/new page, once there we create a new webhook of type gitea and set the target URL to and on the secret field we put the token generated with uuid by the setup script:
sed -n -e 's/blogops://p' /etc/json2file-go/dirlist
The rest of the settings can be left as they are:
  • Trigger on: Push events
  • Branch filter: *
Warning: We are using an internal IP and a self signed certificate, that means that we have to review that the webhook section of the app.ini of our gitea server allows us to call the IP and skips the TLS verification (you can see the available options on the gitea documentation). The [webhook] section of my server looks like this:
Once we have the webhook configured we can try it and if it works our json2file server will store the file on the /srv/blogops/webhook/json2file/blogops/ folder.

The json2file spooler scriptWith the previous configuration our system is ready to receive webhook calls from gitea and store the messages on files, but we have to do something to process those files once they are saved in our machine. An option could be to use a cronjob to look for new files, but we can do better on Linux using inotify we will use the inotifywait command from inotify-tools to watch the json2file output directory and execute a script each time a new file is moved inside it or closed after writing (IN_CLOSE_WRITE and IN_MOVED_TO events). To avoid concurrency problems we are going to use task-spooler to launch the scripts that process the webhooks using a queue of length 1, so they are executed one by one in a FIFO queue. The spooler script is this:
set -e
# ---------
# ---------
# ---------
# ---------
  echo "Queuing job to process file '$1'"
    tsp -n "$WEBHOOK_COMMAND" "$1"
# ----
# ----
if [ ! -d "$INPUT_DIR" ]; then
  echo "Input directory '$INPUT_DIR' does not exist, aborting!"
  exit 1
[ -d "$TSP_DIR" ]   mkdir "$TSP_DIR"
echo "Processing existing files under '$INPUT_DIR'"
find "$INPUT_DIR" -type f   sort   while read -r _filename; do
  queue_job "$_filename"
# Use inotifywatch to process new files
echo "Watching for new files under '$INPUT_DIR'"
inotifywait -q -m -e close_write,moved_to --format "%w%f" -r "$INPUT_DIR"  
  while read -r _filename; do
    queue_job "$_filename"
# ----
# vim: ts=2:sw=2:et:ai:sts=2
To run it as a daemon we install it as a systemd service using the following script:
set -e
# ---------
# ---------
# Configuration file values
J2F_USER="$(id -u)"
J2F_GROUP="$(id -g)"
# ----
# ----
# Install packages used with the webhook processor
sudo apt update
sudo apt install -y inotify-tools jq task-spooler
sudo apt clean
# Configure process service
sudo sh -c "cat > $SPOOLER_SERVICE_FILE" <<EOF
Description=json2file processor for $J2F_USER
# Restart and enable service
sudo systemctl daemon-reload
sudo systemctl stop "$SPOOLER_SERVICE_NAME"   true
sudo systemctl start "$SPOOLER_SERVICE_NAME"
sudo systemctl enable "$SPOOLER_SERVICE_NAME"
# ----
# vim: ts=2:sw=2:et:ai:sts=2

The gitea webhook processorFinally, the script that processes the JSON files does the following:
  1. First, it checks if the repository and branch are right,
  2. Then, it fetches and checks out the commit referenced on the JSON file,
  3. Once the files are updated, compiles the site using hugo with docker compose,
  4. If the compilation succeeds the script renames directories to swap the old version of the site by the new one.
If there is a failure the script aborts but before doing it or if the swap succeeded the system sends an email to the configured address and/or the user that pushed updates to the repository with a log of what happened. The current script is this one:
set -e
# ---------
# ---------
# Values
# Address that gets all messages, leave it empty if not wanted
# If the following variable is set to 'true' the pusher gets mail on failures
# If the following variable is set to 'true' the pusher gets mail on success
# gitea's conf/app.ini value of NO_REPLY_ADDRESS, it is used for email domains
# when the KeepEmailPrivate option is enabled for a user
# Directories
# Files
TODAY="$(date +%Y%m%d)"
OUTPUT_BASENAME="$(date +%Y%m%d-%H%M%S.%N)"
# Query to get variables from a gitea webhook json
  printf "%s" \
    '(.             @sh "gt_ref=\(.ref);"),' \
    '(.             @sh "gt_after=\(.after);"),' \
    '(.repository   @sh "gt_repo_clone_url=\(.clone_url);"),' \
    '(.repository   @sh "gt_repo_name=\(.name);"),' \
    '(.pusher       @sh "gt_pusher_full_name=\(.full_name);"),' \
    '(.pusher       @sh "gt_pusher_email=\(.email);")'
# ---------
# Functions
# ---------
  echo "$(date -R) $*" >>"$WEBHOOK_LOGFILE_PATH"
    [ -d "$_d" ]   mkdir "$_d"
  # Try to remove empty dirs
    if [ -d "$_d" ]; then
      rmdir "$_d" 2>/dev/null   true
  webhook_log "Accepted: $*"
  webhook_log "Rejected: $*"
  if [ -f "$WEBHOOK_JSON_INPUT_FILE" ]; then
  exit 0
  webhook_log "Deployed: $*"
  webhook_log "Troubled: $*"
  # Add the pusher email address unless it is from the domain NO_REPLY_ADDRESS,
  # which should match the value of that variable on the gitea 'app.ini' (it
  # is the domain used for emails when the user hides it).
  # shellcheck disable=SC2154
  if [ -n "$ gt_pusher_email##*@"$ NO_REPLY_ADDRESS " " ] &&
    [ -z "$ gt_pusher_email##*@* " ]; then
    _user_email="\"$gt_pusher_full_name <$gt_pusher_email>\""
  if [ "$_addr" ] && [ "$_user_email" ]; then
    echo "$_addr,$_user_email"
  elif [ "$_user_email" ]; then
    echo "$_user_email"
  elif [ "$_addr" ]; then
    echo "$_addr"
  if [ "$MAIL_LOGFILE" = "true" ]; then
    to_addr="$(print_mailto "$to_addr")"
  if [ "$to_addr" ]; then
    # shellcheck disable=SC2154
    subject="OK - $gt_repo_name updated to commit '$gt_after'"
    mail -s "$ MAIL_PREFIX $ subject " "$to_addr" \
  if [ "$MAIL_ERRFILE" = true ]; then
    to_addr="$(print_mailto "$to_addr")"
  if [ "$to_addr" ]; then
    # shellcheck disable=SC2154
    subject="KO - $gt_repo_name update FAILED for commit '$gt_after'"
    mail -s "$ MAIL_PREFIX $ subject " "$to_addr" \
# ----
# ----
# Check directories
# Go to the base directory
cd "$BASE_DIR"
# Check if the file exists
if [ ! -f "$WEBHOOK_JSON_INPUT_FILE" ]; then
  webhook_reject "Input arg '$1' is not a file, aborting"
# Parse the file
webhook_log "Processing file '$WEBHOOK_JSON_INPUT_FILE'"
# Check that the repository clone url is right
# shellcheck disable=SC2154
if [ "$gt_repo_clone_url" != "$REPO_CLONE_URL" ]; then
  webhook_reject "Wrong repository: '$gt_clone_url'"
# Check that the branch is the right one
# shellcheck disable=SC2154
if [ "$gt_ref" != "$REPO_REF" ]; then
  webhook_reject "Wrong repository ref: '$gt_ref'"
# Accept the file
# shellcheck disable=SC2154
webhook_accept "Processing '$gt_repo_name'"
# Update the checkout
git fetch >>"$WEBHOOK_LOGFILE_PATH" 2>&1   ret="$?"
if [ "$ret" -ne "0" ]; then
  webhook_troubled "Repository fetch failed"
# shellcheck disable=SC2154
git checkout "$gt_after" >>"$WEBHOOK_LOGFILE_PATH" 2>&1   ret="$?"
if [ "$ret" -ne "0" ]; then
  webhook_troubled "Repository checkout failed"
# Remove the build dir if present
if [ -d "$PUBLIC_DIR" ]; then
  rm -rf "$PUBLIC_DIR"
# Build site
docker compose run hugo -- >>"$WEBHOOK_LOGFILE_PATH" 2>&1   ret="$?"
# go back to the main branch
git switch main && git pull
# Fail if public dir was missing
if [ "$ret" -ne "0" ]   [ ! -d "$PUBLIC_DIR" ]; then
  webhook_troubled "Site build failed"
# Remove old public_html copies
webhook_log 'Removing old site versions, if present'
find $NGINX_BASE_DIR -mindepth 1 -maxdepth 1 -name 'public_html-*' -type d \
  -exec rm -rf   \; >>"$WEBHOOK_LOGFILE_PATH" 2>&1   ret="$?"
if [ "$ret" -ne "0" ]; then
  webhook_troubled "Removal of old site versions failed"
# Switch site directory
TS="$(date +%Y%m%d-%H%M%S)"
if [ -d "$PUBLIC_HTML_DIR" ]; then
  webhook_log "Moving '$PUBLIC_HTML_DIR' to '$PUBLIC_HTML_DIR-$TS'"
if [ "$ret" -eq "0" ]; then
  webhook_log "Moving '$PUBLIC_DIR' to '$PUBLIC_HTML_DIR'"
if [ "$ret" -ne "0" ]; then
  webhook_troubled "Site switch failed"
  webhook_deployed "Site deployed successfully"
# ----
# vim: ts=2:sw=2:et:ai:sts=2

25 May 2022

Emmanuel Kasper: One of the strangest bug I have ever seen on Linux

Networking starts when you login as root, stops when you log off !SeLinux messages can be ignored I guess, but we see clearly the devices being activated (it's a Linux bridge)If you have any explanations I am curious.

22 May 2022

Sergio Talens-Oliag: New Blog

Welcome to my new Blog for Technical Stuff. For a long time I was planning to start publishing technical articles again but to do it I wanted to replace my old blog based on ikiwiki by something more modern. I ve used Jekyll with GitLab Pages to build the Intranet of the ITI and to generate internal documentation sites on Agile Content, but, as happened with ikiwiki, I felt that things were kind of slow and not as easy to maintain as I would like. So on Kyso (the Company I work for right now) I switched to Hugo as the Static Site Generator (I still use GitLab Pages to automate the deployment, though), but the contents are written using the Markdown format, while my personal preference is the Asciidoc format. One thing I liked about Jekyll was that it was possible to use Asciidoctor to generate the HTML simply by using the Jekyll Asciidoc plugin (I even configured my site to generate PDF documents from .adoc files using the Asciidoctor PDF converter) and, luckily for me, that is also possible with Hugo, so that is what I plan to use on this blog, in fact this post is written in .adoc. My plan is to start publishing articles about things I m working on to keep them documented for myself and maybe be useful to someone else. The general intention is to write about Container Orchestration (mainly Kubernetes), CI/CD tools (currently I m using GitLab CE for that), System Administration (with Debian GNU/Linux as my preferred OS) and that sort of things. My next post will be about how I build, publish and update the Blog, but probably I will not finish it until next week, once the site is fully operational and the publishing system is tested.
Spoiler Alert: This is a personal site, so I m using Gitea to host the code instead of GitLab. To handle the deployment I ve configured json2file-go to save the data sent by the hook calls and process it asynchronously using inotify-tools. When a new file is detected a script parses the JSON file using jq and builds and updates the site if appropriate.

26 April 2022

Steve Kemp: Porting a game from CP/M to the ZX Spectrum 48k

Back in April 2021 I introduced a simple text-based adventure game, The Lighthouse of Doom, which I'd written in Z80 assembly language for CP/M systems. As it was recently the 40th Anniversary of the ZX Spectrum 48k, the first computer I had, and the reason I got into programming in the first place, it crossed my mind that it might be possible to port my game from CP/M to the ZX Spectrum. To recap my game is a simple text-based adventure game, which you can complete in fifteen minutes, or less, with a bunch of Paw Patrol easter-eggs. My code is largely table-based, having structures that cover objects, locations, and similar state-things. Most of the code involves working with those objects, with only a few small platform-specific routines being necessary: My feeling was that I could replace the use of those CP/M functions with something custom, and I'd have done the 99% of the work. Of course the devil is always in the details. Let's start. To begin with I'm lucky in that I'm using the pasmo assembler which is capable of outputting .TAP files, which can be loaded into ZX Spectrum emulators. I'm not going to walk through all the code here, because that is available within the project repository, but here's a very brief getting-started guide which demonstrates writing some code on a Linux host, and generating a TAP file which can be loaded into your favourite emulator. As I needed similar routines I started working out how to read keyboard input, clear the screen, and output messages which is what the following sample will demonstrate.. First of all you'll need to install the dependencies, specifically the assembler and an emulator to run the thing:
# apt install pasmo spectemu-x11
Now we'll create a simple assembly-language file, to test things out - save the following as hello.z80:
    ; Code starts here
    org 32768
    ; clear the screen
    call cls
    ; output some text
    ld   de, instructions                  ; DE points to the text string
    ld   bc, instructions_end-instructions ; BC contains the length
    call 8252
    ; wait for a key
    ld hl,0x5c08        ; LASTK
    ld a,255
    ld (hl),a
    cp (hl)             ; wait for the value to change
    jr z, wkey
    ; get the key and save it
    ld a,(HL)
    push af
    ; clear the screen
    call cls
    ; show a second message
    ld de, you_pressed
    ld bc, you_pressed_end-you_pressed
    call 8252
    ;; Output the ASCII character in A
    ld a,2
    call 0x1601
    pop af
    call 0x0010
    ; loop forever.  simple demo is simple
    jr endless
    ld a,2
    call 0x1601  ; ROM_OPEN_CHANNEL
    call 0x0DAF  ; ROM_CLS
    defb 'Please press a key to continue!'
    defb 'You pressed:'
end 32768
Now you can assemble that into a TAP file like so:
$ pasmo --tapbas hello.z80 hello.tap
The final step is to load it in the emulator:
$ xspect -quick-load -load-immed -tap hello.tap
The reason I specifically chose that emulator was because it allows easily loading of a TAP file, without waiting for the tape to play, and without the use of any menus. (If you can tell me how to make FUSE auto-start like that, I'd love to hear!) I wrote a small number of "CP/M emulation functions" allowing me to clear the screen, pause, prompt for input, and output text, which will work via the primitives available within the standard ZX Spectrum ROM. Then I reworked the game a little to cope with the different screen resolution (though only minimally, some of the text still breaks lines in unfortunate spots): The end result is reasonably playable, even if it isn't quite as nice as the CP/M version (largely because of the unfortunate word-wrapping, and smaller console-area). So now my repository contains a .TAP file which can be loaded into your emulator of choice, available from the releases list. Here's a brief teaser of what you can expect:
Outstanding bugs? Well the line-input is a bit horrid, and unfortunately this was written for CP/M accessed over a terminal - so I'd assumed a "standard" 80x25 resolution, which means that line/word-wrapping is broken in places. That said it didn't take me too long to make the port, and it was kinda fun.

10 March 2022

Michael Ablassmeier: fscom switch shell s5850 and s8050 series type switches have a secret mode which lets you enter a regular shell from the switch cli, like so:
hostname # start shell
The command and password are not documented by the manufacturer, i wondered wether if its possible to extract that password from the firmware. After all: its my device, and i want to have access to all the features! Download the latest firmware image for those switch types and let binwalk do its magic:
$ wget
binwalk FSOS-S5850-v7.2.5.r.bin  -e
This will extract an regular cpio archive, including the switch root FS:
$ file 2344D4 
2344D4: ASCII cpio archive (SVR4 with no CRC)
$ cpio --no-absolute-filenames -idv < 2344D4
The extracted files include the passwd file with hashes:
cat etc/passwd
Let john do its job:
$ wget
$ sudo john etc/passwd  --wordlist=rockyou.txt
<the_password>   (nms)
<the_password>   (root)
2g 0:00:04:03 100% 0.008220g/s 58931p/s 58935c/s 58935C/s nancy..!*!hahaha!*!
Thats it (wont reveal the password here, but well: its an easy one ;)) Now have fun poking around on your switches firmware:
hostname # start shell
Password: <the_password>
[root@hostname /mnt/flash]$ ps axw
    1 ?        Ss     0:29 init
    2 ?        S      0:06 [kthreadd]
[root@hostname /mnt/flash]$ uname -a
Linux hostname 2.6.35-svn37723 #1 Thu Aug 22 20:43:19 CST 2019 ppc unknow
even tho the good things wont work, but i guess its time to update the firmware anyways:
[root@hostname /mnt/flash]$ tcpdump -pni vlan250
tcpdump: can't get TPACKET_V3 header len on packet socket: Invalid argument

5 March 2022

Reproducible Builds: Reproducible Builds in February 2022

Welcome to the February 2022 report from the Reproducible Builds project. In these reports, we try to round-up the important things we and others have been up to over the past month. As ever, if you are interested in contributing to the project, please visit our Contribute page on our website.
Jiawen Xiong, Yong Shi, Boyuan Chen, Filipe R. Cogo and Zhen Ming Jiang have published a new paper titled Towards Build Verifiability for Java-based Systems (PDF). The abstract of the paper contains the following:
Various efforts towards build verifiability have been made to C/C++-based systems, yet the techniques for Java-based systems are not systematic and are often specific to a particular build tool (eg. Maven). In this study, we present a systematic approach towards build verifiability on Java-based systems.

GitBOM is a flexible scheme to track the source code used to generate build artifacts via Git-like unique identifiers. Although the project has been active for a while, the community around GitBOM has now started running weekly community meetings.
The paper Chris Lamb and Stefano Zacchiroli is now available in the March/April 2022 issue of IEEE Software. Titled Reproducible Builds: Increasing the Integrity of Software Supply Chains (PDF), the abstract of the paper contains the following:
We first define the problem, and then provide insight into the challenges of making real-world software build in a reproducible manner-this is, when every build generates bit-for-bit identical results. Through the experience of the Reproducible Builds project making the Debian Linux distribution reproducible, we also describe the affinity between reproducibility and quality assurance (QA).

In openSUSE, Bernhard M. Wiedemann posted his monthly reproducible builds status report.
On our mailing list this month, Thomas Schmitt started a thread around the SOURCE_DATE_EPOCH specification related to formats that cannot help embedding potentially timezone-specific timestamp. (Full thread index.)
The Yocto Project is pleased to report that it s core metadata (OpenEmbedded-Core) is now reproducible for all recipes (100% coverage) after issues with newer languages such as Golang were resolved. This was announced in their recent Year in Review publication. It is of particular interest for security updates so that systems can have specific components updated but reducing the risk of other unintended changes and making the sections of the system changing very clear for audit. The project is now also making heavy use of equivalence of build output to determine whether further items in builds need to be rebuilt or whether cached previously built items can be used. As mentioned in the article above, there are now public servers sharing this equivalence information. Reproducibility is key in making this possible and effective to reduce build times/costs/resource usage.

diffoscope diffoscope is our in-depth and content-aware diff utility. Not only can it locate and diagnose reproducibility issues, it can provide human-readable diffs from many kinds of binary formats. This month, Chris Lamb prepared and uploaded versions 203, 204, 205 and 206 to Debian unstable, as well as made the following changes to the code itself:
  • Bug fixes:
    • Fix a file(1)-related regression where Debian .changes files that contained non-ASCII text were not identified as such, therefore resulting in seemingly arbitrary packages not actually comparing the nested files themselves. The non-ASCII parts were typically in the Maintainer or in the changelog text. [ ][ ]
    • Fix a regression when comparing directories against non-directories. [ ][ ]
    • If we fail to scan using binwalk, return False from BinwalkFile.recognizes. [ ]
    • If we fail to import binwalk, don t report that we are missing the Python rpm module! [ ]
  • Testsuite improvements:
    • Add a test for recent file(1) issue regarding .changes files. [ ]
    • Use our assert_diff utility where we can within the set of tests. [ ]
    • Don t run our binwalk-related tests as root or fakeroot. The latest version of binwalk has some new security protection against this. [ ]
  • Codebase improvements:
    • Drop the _PATH suffix from module-level globals that are not paths. [ ]
    • Tidy some control flow in Difference._reverse_self. [ ]
    • Don t print a warning to the console regarding NT_GNU_BUILD_ID changes. [ ]
In addition, Mattia Rizzolo updated the Debian packaging to ensure that diffoscope and diffoscope-minimal packages have the same version. [ ]

Website updates There were quite a few changes to the Reproducible Builds website and documentation this month as well, including:
  • Chris Lamb:
    • Considerably rework the Who is involved? page. [ ][ ]
    • Move the Bash/shell script into a Python script. [ ][ ][ ]
  • Daniel Shahaf:
    • Try a different Markdown footnote content syntax to work around a rendering issue. [ ][ ][ ]
  • Holger Levsen:
    • Make a huge number of changes to the Who is involved? page, including pre-populating a large number of contributors who cannot be identified from the metadata of the website itself. [ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]
    • Improve linking to sponsors in sidebar navigation. [ ]
    • drop sponsors paragraph as the navigation is clearer now. [ ]
    • Add Mullvad VPN as a bronze-level sponsor . [ ][ ]
  • Vagrant Cascadian:

Upstream patches The Reproducible Builds project attempts to fix as many currently-unreproducible packages as possible. February s patches included the following:

Testing framework The Reproducible Builds project runs a significant testing framework at, to check packages and other artifacts for reproducibility. This month, the following changes were made:
  • Daniel Golle:
    • Update the OpenWrt configuration to not depend on the host LLVM, adding lines to the .config seed to build LLVM for eBPF from source. [ ]
    • Preserve more OpenWrt-related build artifacts. [ ]
  • Holger Levsen:
  • Temporary use a different Git tree when building OpenWrt as our tests had been broken since September 2020. This was reverted after the patch in question was accepted by Paul Spooren into the canonical openwrt.git repository the next day.
    • Various improvements to debugging OpenWrt reproducibility. [ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]
    • Ignore useradd warnings when building packages. [ ]
    • Update the script to powercycle armhf architecture nodes to add a hint to where nodes named virt-*. [ ]
    • Update the node health check to also fix failed logrotate and man-db services. [ ]
  • Mattia Rizzolo:
    • Update the website job after script was rewritten in Python. [ ]
    • Make sure to set the DIFFOSCOPE environment variable when available. [ ]
  • Vagrant Cascadian:
    • Various updates to the diffoscope timeouts. [ ][ ][ ]
Node maintenance was also performed by Holger Levsen [ ] and Vagrant Cascadian [ ].

Finally If you are interested in contributing to the Reproducible Builds project, please visit our Contribute page on our website. However, you can get in touch with us via:

19 February 2022

Reproducible Builds (diffoscope): diffoscope 205 released

The diffoscope maintainers are pleased to announce the release of diffoscope version 205. This version includes the following changes:
* Fix a file(1)-related regression where .changes files that contained
  non-ASCII text were not identified as being .changes files, resulting in
  seemingly arbitrary packages on and elswhere
  not comparing the package at all. The non-ASCII parts could have been in
  the Maintainer or in the upload changelog, so we were effectively
  penalising anyone outside of the Anglosphere.
  (Closes: reproducible-builds/diffoscope#291)
* Don't print a warning to the console regarding NT_GNU_BUILD_ID changes in
  ELF binaries.
You find out more by visiting the project homepage.

12 February 2022

Ritesh Raj Sarraf: apt-offline 1.8.4

apt-offline 1.8.4 apt-offline version 1.8.4 has been released. This release includes many bug fixes but the important ones are:
  • Better GPG signature handling
  • Support for verifying InRelease files

apt-offline (1.8.4-1) unstable; urgency=medium
  [ Debian Janitor ]
  * Update standards version to 4.5.0, no changes needed.
  [ Paul Wise ]
  * Clarify file type in unknown file message
  * Fix typos
  * Remove trailing whitespace
  * Update LICENSE file to match official GNU version
  * Complain when there are no valid keyrings instead of missing keyrings
  * Make all syncrhronised files world readable
  * Fix usage of indefinite articles
  * Only show the APT Offline GUI once in the menu
  * Update out of date URLs
  * Fix date and whitespace issues in the manual page
  * Replace stereotyping with an appropriate word
  * Switch more Python shebangs to Python 3
  * Correct usage of the /tmp/ directory
  * Fix YAML files
  * Fix usage of the log API
  * Make the copying of changelog lines less brittle
  * Do not split keyring paths on whitespace
  [ Ritesh Raj Sarraf ]
  * Drop the redundant import of the apt module.
    Thanks to github/dandelionred
  * Fix deprecation of get_bugs() in debianbts
  * Drop the unused IgnoredBugTypes
  * Set encoding for files when opening
  * Better error logging when apt fails
  * Don't mandate a default option
  * Demote metadata errors to verbose
  * Also log an error message for every failed .deb url
  * Check hard for the url type
  * Check for ascii armored signature files.
    Thanks to David Klnischkies
  * Add MIME type for InRelease files
  * Drop patch 0001-Drop-the-redundant-import-of-the-apt-module.patch.
    Now part of the 1.8.4 release
  * Prepare release 1.8.3
  * Prepare release 1.8.4
  * debian packaging
    + Bump debhelper compatibility to 13
    + Update install files
  [ Dean Anderson ]
  * [#143] Added support for verifying InRelease files
 -- Ritesh Raj Sarraf <>  Sat, 12 Feb 2022 18:52:58 +0530

  • Tarball and Zip archive for apt-offline are available here
  • Packages should be available in Debian.
  • Development for apt-offline is currently hosted here