Planet GNU

Aggregation of development blogs from the GNU Project

March 27, 2015

FSF Events

Richard Stallman to speak in Akron, OH

Richard Stallman will be speaking at Kent State University. His speech will be nontechnical, admission is gratis, and the public is encouraged to attend.

Speech topic and start time to be determined.

Please fill out our contact form, so that we can contact you about future events in and around Akron.

March 27, 2015 12:00 PM

March 26, 2015

FSF Events

Richard Stallman - "Free as in Freedom" (Mandalay, Myanmar)

Richard Stallman's speech will be nontechnical, admission is gratis, and the public is encouraged to attend.

Please fill out our contact form, so that we can contact you about future events in and around Mandalay.

March 26, 2015 06:05 PM

Richard Stallman - "Free as in Freedom" (Yangon, Myanmar)

This speech by Richard Stallman will accessible to all audience; attendance is gratis, and the general public is encouraged to attend.

Please fill out our contact form, so that we can contact you about future events in and around Yangon.

March 26, 2015 05:50 PM

GNUnet News

March 24, 2015

FSF News

LibrePlanet 2015 brings free software luminaries to MIT

Richard Stallman at LibrePlanet

Richard Stallman gave the opening keynote

At a ceremony on Saturday, March 21st, Free Software Foundation executive director John Sullivan announced the winners of the FSF's annual Free Software Awards. Two awards were given: the Award for the Advancement of Free Software was presented to Sébastien Jodogne for his work on free software medical imaging, and the Award for Projects of Social Benefit was presented to Reglue, an Austin, TX organization that gives GNU/Linux laptops to families in need.

Software Freedom Conservancy executive director Karen Sandler closed out the conference with a rallying cry to "Stand up for the GNU GPL," in which she discussed a lawsuit recently filed in Germany to defend the GNU General Public License. When she asked the audience who was willing to stand up for copyleft, the entire room rose to its feet.

Karen Sandler at LibrePlanet

Karen Sandler gave the closing keynote

Videos of all the conference sessions, along with photographs from the conference, will soon be available on, the conference's instance of GNU MediaGoblin, a free software media publishing platform that anyone can run.

LibrePlanet 2015 was produced in partnership by the Free Software Foundation and the Student Information Processing Board (SIPB) at MIT.

About the Free Software Foundation

The Free Software Foundation, founded in 1985, is dedicated to promoting computer users' right to use, study, copy, modify, and redistribute computer programs. The FSF promotes the development and use of free (as in freedom) software -- particularly the GNU operating system and its GNU/Linux variants -- and free documentation for free software. The FSF also helps to spread awareness of the ethical and political issues of freedom in the use of software, and its Web sites, located at and, are an important source of information about GNU/Linux. Donations to support the FSF's work can be made at Its headquarters are in Boston, MA, USA.

More information about the FSF, as well as important information for journalists and publishers, is at

Media Contacts

Libby Reinish
Campaigns Manager
Free Software Foundation
+1 (617) 542 5942

March 24, 2015 09:40 PM

March 23, 2015

FSF Blogs

LibrePlanet 2015: Highlights and what comes next

With approximately 350 people in attendance, we kept pace with last year—with a few improvements. In particular, our tech team did a fantastic job improving our video feeds, with peak usage at around 300 simultaneous views. We also worked hard to streamline the registration process, reducing time spent waiting in the registration line before Richard Stallman's Saturday morning keynote, with few hiccups.

Attendees wait for Saturday registration

Morning registration at LibrePlanet

Let's take a look at some more highlights.

  • Read our post about day one of the conference and the election of our newest board member, Kat Walsh.

  • FSF board member Benjamin Mako Hill kicked off Sunday morning with an examination of how the free software community has progressed with two major goals: access and empowerment. He argued that empowerment has a long way to go, and offered some suggestions for next steps.

  • This year, we had over 40 speakers, and like last year, about 40% were women.

  • Karen Sandler, in her new role as executive director of the Software Freedom Conservancy, gave her third LibrePlanet keynote to close the conference, expanding on the recent suit brought by Christoph Hellwig, contributor to the kernel Linux, against VMWare for violating the GPL by not releasing the source code for the version of the operating system kernel they distribute with their ESXi software. Read our statement of support here.

  • Sunday's talks explored the possibilities for free software: Jennie Rose Halperin of Safari looked at free software's potential role in cultural heritage organizations, Brett Smith discussed Arvados, a free software platform for big data science, Free Software Award-winner Sébastien Jodogne gave one of several talks on free software's role in medicine, and other talks looked at free software possibilities for universities and journalism, as well as examining threats to free software, gathering the community for strategy sessions, and offering practical training.

  • Our sustained partnership with MIT's Student Information Processing Board once again helped make LibrePlanet great, thanks to the energy and enthusiasm of SIPB's membership.

We on the FSF staff owe many thanks to our tireless volunteers, without whom LibrePlanet couldn't possibly be as large or well-run as it is. Thank GNU to Francis Rowe of Gluglug and Libreboot, rsiddharth, Janith Perera, Sharon Ramage, Anke Nowottne, Mo Moulton, Diane Williams, Elyes Ighilaza, Brendan Kidwell, Rimma Shakhbatyan, Andy Zimolzak, Herm Pena, Taylor Gunnoe, Tanya Balyan, Devin Ulibarri, Ryan Desfosses, Geoffrey Jenkins, Martin Yim, Daniel Felix, Evan Mulvaney, Veronika Alexander, Patrick Engelman, Dan Fitzmartin, Ian Denhardt, John Saylor, Ben Cook, Sunil Kumar, Tim Jordan, Alice Alisme, Sunil Kumar, Julian Daich, Lizz van Allen, Kendra Moyer, Loren Chen, Helen Jiang, Max Dunitz, Mariah Villareal, Shayna Cummings, Matthew Coleman, Weston Cooke, and George Chriss. If you're interested in volunteering next year (you'll receive gratis admission and a t-shirt), please contact

Libreboot installation

If you attended LibrePlanet and haven't filled out our feedback survey yet, please take a few minutes to do so. LibrePlanet is for you, and your ideas, compliments, and criticisms will help us make the next LibrePlanet even more productive, welcoming, and fun. If you missed a session, or want to share them with friends, keep an eye on the LibrePlanet video archive (powered by GNU MediaGoblin). We're working hard to get videos posted within a week or two, and we'll inform you when they're available.

We had a great group of sponsors this year and we are looking to build on that for next year. If your company would like to support LibrePlanet, please contact us any time at

With the renewed energy that comes from spending a great weekend with the free software community, we're excited about the year ahead. Mark your calendars for October 3, when we'll celebrate our 30th anniversary, with events here in the Boston area and around the world. If you'd like us to let you know when registration opens for LibrePlanet 2016, join the announcements list (anchored at the top of the 2015 conference page) today. Remember that becoming an FSF member gets you gratis admission to the conference, and bragging rights for supporting the FSF's work year-round.

March 23, 2015 09:40 PM

March 22, 2015

FSF Blogs

LibrePlanet 2015: Day one roundup

Kat Walsh

FSF's newest board member, Kat Walsh

On Saturday morning, the new green and white LibrePlanet logo was all over MIT's Stata Center, from our new banners to the t-shirts worn by dozens of hard-working staff, volunteers, and attendees. In the morning, FSF executive director John Sullivan kicked off the day with a few cool announcements: first, that Aleph Objects donated a Lulzbot Mini 3-D printer, which we are auctioning off as a fundraiser for the FSF, and second, that Kat Walsh had been elected the newest member of the FSF board of directors. We are all thrilled to welcome Kat to our board, and excited that she will be lending her knowledge, experience, and enthusiasm to our efforts.

The opening keynote by FSF president Richard M. Stallman covered a range of topics, but focused on the necessity of free hardware designs, which is also the subject of an ongoing series Stallman is publishing in WIRED. Read the first and second parts now.

Richard Stallman at LibrePlanet

Richard Stallman at LibrePlanet

Of course, Saturday was stuffed with exciting sessions, fueled by our collective enthusiasm and lots of coffee and snacks (thanks to Jasimin, FSF's business manager, for making sure we don't run out of caffeine this year). Talks included a conversation with the FSF's High Priority Projects Committee about revising FSF's High Priority Projects List, Bassam Kurdali's discussion of Blender, which he used to create the FSF's User Lib video, Sucheta Ghoshal's examination of the GNOME OPW program (since succeeded by Outreachy) as a former student and mentor, and Francis Rowe's overview of Libreboot (by the way, we had some RYF-certified Libreboot X200s for sale at the GNU Press store - they were gone an hour after they went on sale).

Saturday ended with the presentation of the Free Software Awards. The Award for Projects of Social Benefit was awarded to Austin, Texas-based nonprofit Reglue, and accepted by founder Ken Starks, who also gave a session on Sunday. The Award for the Advancement of Free Software was presented to Sébastien Jodogne for his work on free software medical imaging with his project Orthanc.

Following the day's formal sessions, many attendees gathered at Flat Top Johnny's for pool, good food, and more conversation. We are looking forward to more great sessions today, closing with a keynote by Karen Sandler, executive director of the Software Freedom Conservancy. Tune in to the livestream if you aren't here in Cambridge!

March 22, 2015 04:50 PM

parallel @ Savannah

GNU Parallel 20150322 ('Hellwig') released

GNU Parallel 20150322 ('Hellwig') has been released. It is available for download at:

Haiku of the month:

Stand up for your rights.
VMware does not comply.
Hellwig goes to court.


New in this release:

  • --number-of-cores respects 'taskset' on GNU/Linux.
  • --joblog --pipe gives the data send and received in the log.
  • GNU Parallel was tested to support 100 GB sized records in --pipe. A few bugs was fixed to support >2 GB records. It works, but is rather slow.
  • GNU Parallel was cited in: Efficient Retrieval of Key Material for Inspecting Potentially Malicious Traffic in the Cloud
  • Bug fixes and man page updates.

GNU Parallel - For people who live life in the parallel lane.

About GNU Parallel

GNU Parallel is a shell tool for executing jobs in parallel using one or more computers. A job is can be a single command or a small script that has to be run for each of the lines in the input. The typical input is a list of files, a list of hosts, a list of users, a list of URLs, or a list of tables. A job can also be a command that reads from a pipe. GNU Parallel can then split the input and pipe it into commands in parallel.

If you use xargs and tee today you will find GNU Parallel very easy to use as GNU Parallel is written to have the same options as xargs. If you write loops in shell, you will find GNU Parallel may be able to replace most of the loops and make them run faster by running several jobs in parallel. GNU Parallel can even replace nested loops.

GNU Parallel makes sure output from the commands is the same output as you would get had you run the commands sequentially. This makes it possible to use output from GNU Parallel as input for other programs.

You can find more about GNU Parallel at:

You can install GNU Parallel in just 10 seconds with: (wget -O - || curl | bash

Watch the intro video on

Walk through the tutorial (man parallel_tutorial). Your commandline will love you for it.

When using programs that use GNU Parallel to process data for publication please cite:

O. Tange (2011): GNU Parallel - The Command-Line Power Tool, ;login: The USENIX Magazine, February 2011:42-47.

If you like GNU Parallel:

  • Give a demo at your local user group/team/colleagues
  • Post the intro videos on Reddit/Diaspora*/forums/blogs/ lists
  • Get the merchandise
  • Request or write a review for your favourite blog or magazine
  • Request or build a package for your favourite distribution (if it is not already there)
  • Invite me for your next conference

If you use GNU Parallel for research:

  • Please cite GNU Parallel in you publications (use --bibtex)

If GNU Parallel saves you money:


GNU sql aims to give a simple, unified interface for accessing databases through all the different databases' command line clients. So far the focus has been on giving a common way to specify login information (protocol, username, password, hostname, and port number), size (database and table size), and running queries.

The database is addressed using a DBURL. If commands are left out you will get that database's interactive shell.

When using GNU SQL for a publication please cite:

O. Tange (2011): GNU SQL - A Command Line Tool for Accessing Different Databases Using DBURLs, ;login: The USENIX Magazine, April 2011:29-32.

About GNU Niceload

GNU niceload slows down a program when the computer load average (or other system activity) is above a certain limit. When the limit is reached the program will be suspended for some time. If the limit is a soft limit the program will be allowed to run for short amounts of time before being suspended again. If the limit is a hard limit the program will only be allowed to run when the system is below the limit.

by Ole Tange at March 22, 2015 01:31 AM

March 21, 2015

FSF News

Sébastien Jodogne, ReGlue are Free Software Award winners

The Award for the Advancement of Free Software is given annually to an individual who has made a great contribution to the progress and development of free software, through activities that accord with the spirit of free software.

This year, it was given to Sébastien Jodogne for his work on free software medical imaging with his project Orthanc.

Sébastien Jodogne

One of Jodogne's nominators said, "The Orthanc project started in 2011, when Sébastien noticed in his work as a medical imaging engineer that hospitals are very exposed to lock-in problems when dealing with their medical imaging flows....Freely creating electronic gateways between imaging modalities (autorouting), between medical departments, or even between hospitals remains a challenging task. But the amount of medical images that are generated, analyzed, and exchanged by hospitals is dramatically increasing. Medical imaging is indeed the first step to the treatment of more and more illnesses, such as cancers or cardiovascular diseases."

Jodogne said, "Technology and humanism are often opposed. This is especially true in the healthcare sector, where many people fear that technological progress will dehumanize the treatments and will reduce the patients to statistical objects. I am convinced that the continuous rising of free software is a huge opportunity for the patients to regain control of their personal health, as well as for the hospitals to provide more competitive, personalized treatments by improving the interoperability between medical devices. By guaranteeing the freedoms of the users, free software can definitely bring back together computers and human beings."

Jodogne joins a distinguished list of previous winners, including the 2013 winner, Matthew Garrett.

The Award for Projects of Social Benefit is presented to a project or team responsible for applying free software, or the ideas of the free software movement, in a project that intentionally and significantly benefits society in other aspects of life. This award stresses the use of free software in the service of humanity.

This year, the award went to Reglue, which gives GNU/Linux computers to underprivileged children and their families in Austin, TX. According to Reglue, Austin has an estimated 5,000 school-age children who cannot afford a computer or Internet access. Since 2005, Reglue has given over 1,100 computers to these children and their families. Reglue's strategy diverts computers from the waste stream, gives them new life with free software, and puts them in the hands of people who need these machines to advance their education and gain access to the Internet.

FSF executive director John Sullivan and Ken Starks

One nomination for Reglue read, "Mr. Starks has dedicated his life to distributing free software in many forms, both the digital form...and by building new computers from old parts, giving a new life to old machines by re-purposing them into computers given to extremely needy children and families. They are always loaded with free, GNU/Linux software, from the OS up."

Ken Starks, founder of Reglue, was present at the ceremony to accept the award. While all free 'as in freedom' software is not free of charge, Reglue focuses on finding empowering free software that is also gratis. He said of his work with Reglue, "A child's exposure to technology should never be predicated on the ability to afford it. Few things will eclipse the achievements wrought as a direct result of placing technology into the hands of tomorrow."

Nominations for both awards are submitted by members of the public, then evaluated by an award committee composed of previous winners and FSF founder and president Richard Stallman. This year's award committee was: Hong Feng, Marina Zhurakhinskaya, Yukihiro Matsumoto, Matthew Garrett, Suresh Ramasubramanian, Fernanda Weiden, Jonas Öberg, Wietse Venema, and Vernor Vinge.

More information about both awards, including the full list of previous winners, can be found at

About the Free Software Foundation

The Free Software Foundation, founded in 1985, is dedicated to promoting computer users' right to use, study, copy, modify, and redistribute computer programs. The FSF promotes the development and use of free (as in freedom) software—particularly the GNU operating system and its GNU/Linux variants—and free documentation for free software. The FSF also helps to spread awareness of the ethical and political issues of freedom in the use of software, and its Web sites, located at and, are an important source of information about GNU/Linux. Donations to support the FSF's work can be made at Its headquarters are in Boston, MA, USA.

More information about the FSF, as well as important information for journalists and publishers, is at

Media Contacts

John Sullivan
Executive Director
Free Software Foundation
+1 (617) 542 5942

Photos under CC BY-SA 4.0 Attribution

March 21, 2015 11:05 PM

FSF Blogs

Welcome to LibrePlanet 2015!

After an opening keynote by FSF president Richard Stallman - and the announcement of our newest board member, Kat Walsh - more than 300 attendees split up for talks on a wide variety of free software topics. These included MediaGoblin developer Christopher Webber on the role of free software in federation of the web, Seth Schoen of EFF on a new robotic certificate authority called Let's Encrypt, Deb Nicholson's lively comparison of the 1980's and the varied aspects of the free software movement, and Francis Rowe's discussion of the Libreboot free boot firmware. Talks continue into the early evening, concluding with the annual Free Software Awards at 17:45 EDT.

FSF staff setting up LibrePlanet 2015

If you are here at LibrePlanet, say hello to the FSF staff, pictured here in a photo taken while setting up in the Stata Center early this morning. And don't forget to visit our partner, the MIT Student Information Processing Board SIPB in the exhibit hall, along with our other exhibitors and the GNU Press shop, where you can buy a LibrePlanet t-shirt, GNU Press books, and stickers and other free software swag.

If you aren't attending LibrePlanet in person, in Cambridge, MA, check out the sessions on our livestream, today and tomorrow. If you microblog about LibrePlanet happenings, use the hashtag #lp2015.

March 21, 2015 07:40 PM

FSF News

Kat Walsh joins FSF board of directors

Kat Walsh

The full list of FSF board members, including biographies can be found at

"Seeing how Kat Walsh has championed software freedom in other organizations, she is a natural choice for the FSF board," said FSF president Richard M. Stallman.

A lawyer with extensive background in the free culture movement, Walsh brings a wealth of experience with law and licensing to the FSF board. In particular, her skills will help support and oversee the FSF's licensing work on the GNU General Public License (GPL) as well as the LGPL and GFDL. Kat worked as a staff lawyer at Creative Commons, where she was on the team that drafted the last major revision to the family of Creative Commons licenses, completed in November 2013 with the release of the 4.0 licenses.

Walsh also brings a deep understanding of non-profit management. An active contributor to Wikipedia, Walsh was elected to the board of directors of the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF) for three terms between 2006 and 2013 and served as the organization's chair from 2012 to 2013. During her tenure on the board, she helped oversee the organization's growth from a staff of 3 to over 150. In 2005, the FSF awarded Wikipedia the first ever Free Software Award for Projects of Social Benefit, which is presented annually to the project or team responsible for applying free software, or the ideas of the free software movement, in a project that intentionally and significantly benefits society in other aspects of life.

FSF board member Benjamin Mako Hill said, "As a WMF advisory board member since 2007, I have worked with Kat extensively and have seen her deep commitment to free software firsthand. Kat's consistent and clear advocacy for free software, free documentation, and free media formats in the Wikipedia community and the Wikimedia organization has played an important role in Wikimedia's strong defense of free software and its advocacy of free software principles more broadly. I am thrilled she will bring that commitment and passion to the FSF board."

FSF executive director John Sullivan said, "In addition to her commitment to free software, Kat's deep experience in nonprofit management and her leadership in licensing bring important skills to the FSF board. Kat has been an FSF associate member and supporter for many years and we are excited that she agreed to step into a leadership position within our organization and movement."

Walsh is a member of the Virginia State Bar and the US Patent Bar, and holds a JD from George Mason University. On accepting the invitation to join the board, Walsh said, "I'm honored to join the leadership of this organization—the FSF's work and principles support a free society by enabling individuals to control the software that is an increasing part of everyone's life, particularly as the consequences of losing that control—particularly loss of privacy and freedom of speech—become greater. I look forward to using my skills to help advance its mission."

The announcement was made at LibrePlanet, a conference organized by the FSF and MIT's SIPB that is being held this weekend in Cambridge, Massachusetts. LibrePlanet has been held annually since 2009 and brings together participants from around the world for talks and events related to the broader free software movement. Walsh, who has attended every LibrePlanet meeting, was in attendance for the announcement.

About the Free Software Foundation

The Free Software Foundation, founded in 1985, is dedicated to promoting computer users' right to use, study, copy, modify, and redistribute computer programs. The FSF promotes the development and use of free (as in freedom) software—particularly the GNU operating system and its GNU/Linux variants—and free documentation for free software. The FSF also helps to spread awareness of the ethical and political issues of freedom in the use of software, and its Web sites, located at and, are an important source of information about GNU/Linux. Donations to support the FSF's work can be made at Its headquarters are in Boston, MA, USA.

More information about the FSF, as well as important information for journalists and publishers, is at

Media Contacts

John Sullivan
Executive Director
Free Software Foundation
+1 (617) 542 5942

March 21, 2015 04:20 PM

March 20, 2015

Riccardo Mottola

Extirpating systemd from Debian

I found out that all my debian machines switched to systemd without my consent, with just a standard apt-get ugrading.
I despise that decision.

I did not follow the latest discussion about it, I was left with the impression that it would have been installed only if needed, but evidently I was wrong.

Can you get back? Time to toss Debian? I hoped not, I know of other fellow developers who switched  distribution, but Debian is Debian.

Remove systemd and sysvinit (which is now a transitional package) and put back sysvinit-core back. I had the fear that I bricked my laptops, but it still works. For how long? I don't know.

I'm very very sad about this. If I think of GNU/Linux I think of Debian, it has been with me since 68k times, when potato was cool. Debian made a very bad decision.

Something newer than ol' sysvinit? Something modern, fast, capable of parallelism. Yes.
But something portable, light, secure, which is not a dependency hell, which does one thing. In other words, something in line with the Unix philosophy.

Not the enormous pile of rotting shit which is systemd. When I removed it, I freed almost 13Mbytes from my system. I am relieved, but it shows also how big that pile of crap is.

So, for now, Debian can stay with me, I hope it will be for a long while. Long enough that debian will revert or systemd will go away.

by Riccardo ( at March 20, 2015 08:35 PM

GNU Hurd development blog


The Google Summer of Code 2015 is on! If you're a student, consider applying for a GNU Hurd project -- details to be found on our GSoC and project ideas pages.

March 20, 2015 08:30 AM

March 19, 2015

FSF Blogs

Obama and Congress go off the rails trying to fast track TPP

While we are in the midst of the current battle to end the DMCA's anti-circumvention provisions here in the US, we can't lose sight of the broader global fight being waged via the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Strategic Partnership Agreement. If you aren't familiar with TPP, it is a multinational trade agreement being developed through a series of secret negotiations that are pushing a host of restrictions. From making the DMCA's anti-circumvention provisions global, to spreading the threat of software patents around the world, to extending copyright indefinitely, these secret negotiations present a plethora of threats to user freedom.

Since our last update on TPP, the Obama administration and the Republican-led Congress have been maneuvering to put the TPP nightmare on a fast track. In essence, they want to ensure that whatever the outcome of the TPP negotiations, the TPP will be immediately etched into U.S. law without real debate. It is bad enough that while the negotiations are ongoing, we are forced to guess at their effects based only on leaked information. That Congress won't even be debating the outcome before implementing these terrible restrictions in US law moves this issue into the realm of the surreal. If TPP is fast-tracked, there will be no debate, no amendments, no chance to limit or remove the terrible things currently being debated in secret.

We need to stop the Obama administration and his allies in the Republican-led Congress before they railroad us into a future run by secret lobbyists. A future where circumventing Digital Restrictions Management is a crime everywhere. A future where copyright extends beyond all right and reason in perpetuity. A future where software patents threaten the development of free software everywhere. We have to send a clear message to Congress and the administration, telling them that they must not fast track TPP. This is our stop: it's time to get off.

This is what you can do to help derail TPP before it becomes a reality.

March 19, 2015 06:12 PM

GNUnet News

5th Dev Mumble - March 20th, 9pm CET @

Hi devs,

The 5th develper Mumble will be on Friday, March 20th, 9pm CET, as usual using the mumble server on Agenda items include:

  • GSoC application deadline is March 27th, students should discuss their proposals with us!
  • GNUnet 0.10.2 release: known bugs still fix vs. bugs to add to release notes

Before the meeting (if possible) students should upload their GSoC proposal to Melange, and it would be great if all known open bugs were entered into the bugtracker, and all known resolved bugs marked as resolved in the bugtracker.

by Christian Grothoff at March 19, 2015 02:01 PM

March 16, 2015

FSF Blogs

New article by RMS, "How to Make Hardware Designs Free"

In his first of three articles on hardward designs, Richard Stallman explained "Why We Need Free Digital Hardware Designs." In this, his second article, he shows us "How to Make Hardware Designs Free": he spells out the practical differences between software and hardware as far as user freedom is concerned, explains how to make hardware free, touches on the intricacies of licensing in this field, and elaborates on the most effective way to promote free hardware designs.

March 16, 2015 10:50 PM

GNU MediaGoblin

Userops: Deployment for the People

Deb Nicholson and I both recently gave a talk at FOSDEM 2015 called “Can Distros Make the Link?” (A recording is here, and my slides are here, hit “s” for speaker notes or read the org-mode source if you prefer.) The main purpose of the talk was that packaging libre network services/applications for distros is important, but distros in their present forms aren’t really enough to solve the deployability problems and pains that anyone trying to run their own libre servers knows. I had a bit of a worry that this thesis would upset part of the audience (it was in the distros room, after all) but it turns out that everyone seemed to agree and be on board.

Many audience members even encouraged us that this conversation needed to continue beyond FOSDEM, and there was discussion of hosting a mailing list to continue the conversation. As usual, everyone had various ideas of where to host it, but the audience seemed to feel that MediaGoblin’s servers were fairly neutral ground, so we announced that we would put up a mailing list and announce it here when we got the chance.

It’s a bit delayed, but I’m happy to announce the launch of the userops mailing list! If you’re interested in talking about making deployment easier for every-day users, please consider joining the conversation there. (Oh, and we also have an IRC channel: join #userops on, if you’re the IRC type!)

Why the name “userops”? As you may have guessed, this is a pun on the term “devops”; the idea is that we also care about configuration management and deployability, but we aim for a different audience. Devops, as the name implies, focuses on liberating developers in the world of deployment, particularly developers who have to deploy a large number of machines for $LARGE_CORPORATION at their job. Userops, on the other hand, aims at liberating users in the world of deployment. You shouldn’t have to be a developer to take advantage of network freedoms and run network-oriented free software. After all, the free software world generally agrees that it makes sense that users of desktop software should not have to be developers, and that “user freedom” takes priority over “developer freedom”… the freedom of $LARGE_CORPORATION, while not something we object to, is not really our primary concern. (Though of course, if we build solutions that are good enough for end-users, corporations will probably adopt them, and that is fine! It just isn’t our focus.)

(Oh, and in case you stumble upon it, “userops” was originally a name I had for one of my personal projects experimenting with deployability, but a friend of mine convinced me that the term was too useful to be constrained to one particular piece of software, so I’ve renamed that project! Everyone is now free to use the term “userops” to refer to the vision described above.)

We believe that “userops” is now more important than ever. These days, it is not just enough to use free software network services, one must have the ability to deploy and make use of that software. (For many of this, the timeliness and urgency of this is seen with the turmoil for many free software developers figuring out where to go now that the hosted version of gitorious is being shut down.) And as you may have guessed, we’re well aware of how true this is not of just “all that other libre network services”; MediaGoblin requires quite a bit of technical skills and resources to run. We’d like to improve that, but we think there are some real challenges that are beyond what MediaGoblin can do as MediaGoblin itself: things need to happen on another layer (or layers) too. Hence “userops”!

If this is something you likewise care about, and especially if it’s something you’re working on or thinking about (or would like to), consider joining the conversation!

by Christopher Allan Webber at March 16, 2015 07:12 PM

March 15, 2015

Nick Clifton

GNU Toolchain Update, March 2015

Hi Guys,

  There are several things to report this month:

  * GDB 7.9 has been released:

    GDB 7.9 brings new targets, features and improvements, some of which have been reported here already.  The full list is available on the website, but here are a few that I think you might find interesting:

      * Compilation and injection of source code into the inferior (requires GCC 5.0 or higher built with

      * Hardware watchpoint support on x86 GNU Hurd.

      * New target: MIPS SDE

  * The 2015 GNU Tools Cauldron will be taking place in Prague this year:

  * The NEWLIB and CYGWIN projects are now using a joint GIT based repository:

     Read-only:   git clone git://
     Read/Write:  git clone

   * The x86 targets now support pointer bounds checking via the use of the MPX library.  This library uses hardware available on forthcoming Intel processors (and current Intel simulators) to perform the checking, which makes it much faster than software only solutions:


March 15, 2015 02:49 PM

March 13, 2015

FSF Blogs

Watch Your Freedom (Because Apple's Not)

Apple's failure to release the source code for these products and software violates users' freedoms to study, modify, and distribute software, regardless of the type of device on which that software is run. Its integration of Digital Restrictions Management technologies into its products like Apple TV and iTunes place unethical restrictions on users' interactions with movies, music, and other media. And even though Apple has said it will release the source code of ResearchKit, an upcoming platform to collect data on volunteer medical research, it cannot guarantee users' privacy or protection for their data because of the proprietary iOS software on which it runs. Without access to the full source code of the operating systems collecting their personal and health information, it is impossible for users to ensure the safety and security of their data.

With these products, Apple only invests more in its battle against computer user freedom and, by extension, "free speech, free commerce, free association, privacy, and technological innovation," said FSF executive director John Sullivan in a statement in September.

The Free Software Foundation urges users to decline to purchase all Apple products, including the Apple Watch, iPhone, TV, and MacBook, and instead choose to use free software for all their devices. For mobile and wearable devices, choose software such as Replicant, a free software version of Android, and F-Droid, a mobile app repository of free software. For desktop and notebook computers, install a free GNU/Linux distribution and have a look around the FSF's Free Software Directory.

Also, people should join the many activists and free software users who have emailed Tim Cook (, pledging to boycott Apple products due to the company's use of DRM and proprietary software. Please CC us on your email at You are welcome to use this example email from our anti-DRM campaign, Defective by Design.

March 13, 2015 05:55 PM

Wherever you are, we want you to be part of LibrePlanet

This year's program is bursting with something for everyone in the free software movement, from inquisitive newcomers to hardcore developers.

Keynotes talks will be given by Karen Sandler, executive director of Software Freedom Conservancy and GNOME Foundation board member; Benjamin Mako Hill, peer production scholar and activist; and the FSF's founder, Richard Stallman.

Another way to participate remotely is to join the conversation around the conference on the libreplanet-discuss mailing list. Subscribe now and dive in.

If you can make it to Massachusetts, it's not too late to register. Students and FSF members enjoy gratis admission. That means that, if you aren't already a member, this a great time to become one. Members enjoy a variety of benefits and support free software year-round.

So we can run the conference as smoothly as possible for everyone, we ask that you register by the end of the day on Tuesday, March 17th. However, late registrations and walk-ups will still be accepted.

Finally, we'd like to express our excitement about working with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Student Information Processing Board, our organizing partner for LibrePlanet 2015.

See you soon, whether it's in person or online.

March 13, 2015 03:23 PM

guix @ Savannah

GNU Guix recruits for GSoC

This year again Guix participates in the Google Summer of Code under the umbrella of the GNU Project.

If you are an eligible student, your contributions to GNU's package manager and to the Guix System Distribution are welcome!

We have collected project ideas (see also related ideas for GNU dmd) touching a variety of topics. If you are a free software hacker passionate about GNU/Linux packaging, Scheme, functional programming, operating system development, or peer-to-peer networking, check out the proposed projects. The list is far from exhaustive, so feel free to bring your own!

Get in touch with us on the mailing list and on the #guix IRC channel.

Make sure to send your application to Google by March 27th.

About GNU Guix

GNU Guix is a functional package manager for the GNU system. The Guix System Distribution (GuixSD) is an advanced distribution of the GNU system that relies on GNU Guix.

In addition to standard package management features, Guix supports transactional upgrades and roll-backs, unprivileged package management, per-user profiles, and garbage collection. It also offers a declarative approach to operating system configuration management. Guix uses low-level mechanisms from the Nix package manager, except that packages are defined as native Guile modules, using extensions to the Scheme language.

At this stage the Guix System Distribution can be used on an i686 or x86_64 machine. It is also possible to use Guix on top of an already installed GNU/Linux system, including on mips64el and armv7.

by Ludovic Courtès at March 13, 2015 12:25 PM

ccd2cue @ Savannah

GNU ccd2cue 0.5 released

GNU ccd2cue 0.5 (March 13, 2015)

GNU ccd2cue is a CCD sheet to CUE sheet converter. It supports the
full extent of CUE sheet format expressiveness, including mixed-mode
discs and CD-Text meta-data. It plays an important role for those who
need to use optical disc data which is only available in the proprietary
sheet format CCD, but don’t want to surrender their freedom. It fills
an important gap in the free software world because before its
conception it was impossible to use complex forms of optical disc data
laid out by CCD sheets in a whole/holy free operating system.

The GNU ccd2cue documentation is also intended to be a reference
documentation for both sheet format specifications. That way we can
reverse engineer the secret CCD sheet proprietary format only once and
then make the information available for developers in order to benefit
all free software users that want their software to be interoperable.
The CUE sheet format is not a secret, but with this package we take the
opportunity to ensure that its specification is available under a free
documentation license for the sake of the whole free software community.


• Danish, German, Ukrainian and Vietnamese translations.
• Support for localized Unix manual pages. Feature suggested by
Mario Blättermann (German translator).
• Respectable Unix manual pages.
• Localizable ‘--help’ meta-variables. Bug reported by Mario
• Numerous grammatical and markup corrections to the user’s manual.
Patch submitted by Karl Berry.
• Make target ‘announcegnu’ which automatically sends a signed
announcement message to <>, <> and
<> mailing lists when a release
is ready. This target can only be made in VCS checkouts.
• Make target ‘fetchpo’ which fetches from the Translation Project
the latest PO files available . This target can only be made in
VCS checkouts.
• Latest release news, manifesto, package’s description and version
in a single point of maintenance.
• Package meta-information, as release date and build system version,
automatically generated at configuration time.
• Announcement message in user’s manual and homepage.
• Make target ‘distdir’ can be made when top-level documentation
files are missing.


Here are the compressed sources and a GPG detached signature:

Use a mirror for higher download bandwidth:

Use a ‘.sig’ file to verify that the corresponding file (without the
‘.sig’ suffix) is intact. First, be sure to download both the ‘.sig’
file and the corresponding tarball. Then, run a command like this:

gpg --verify ccd2cue-0.5.tar.gz.sig

If that command fails because you don’t have the required public key,
then run this command to import it:

gpg --recv-keys 0x28D618AF --keyserver hkp://

and rerun the ‘gpg --verify’ command.

This release is signed by Bruno Félix Rezende Ribeiro. His key
fingerprint is ‘7CB1 208C 7336 56B7 5962 2500 27B9 C6FD 28D6 18AF’.

This release was bootstrapped with the following tools:
• GNU Autoconf 2.69
• GNU Automake 1.14.1
• GNU Texinfo 5.2


Atom feed
Help and support mailing list
Bug reporting mailing list
IRC channel
Support Tracker
Bug Tracker
Development page

by Bruno Félix Rezende Ribeiro at March 13, 2015 03:41 AM

March 12, 2015

denemo @ Savannah

Denemo 1.2.2 is released

New features:
More mouse selection support
Extend an already made selection by dragging
Dragging selection now scrolls as needed

Large (Deep) Score Support
Hide staffs in the Display
Display only selected staffs, e.g. woodwind section
Use for deep scores, e.g. full orchestra.
Navigation commands available
Improved Ornamentation Interface
Place accidentals above and/or below ornament
Stack ornaments.
Quick and easy WYSIWYG dragging.
Support for Proof-Reading
Add PDF Annotations to Denemo typeset Score
Open the proof-read score in Denemo
Locate proof reading marks
Transfer proof read comments to the Denemo score
Edit/Delete all of one type of object
Chord Chart Bass Inversion Sequences
Support for editing from MIDI controller
Artificial Harmonics
Arbitrary text for N’th time bars
Intelligent tied notes edits
Duplicate, Split or Merge Movements

by Richard Shann at March 12, 2015 12:21 PM

March 11, 2015

FSF Blogs

New article by RMS, "Why We Need Free Digital Hardware Designs"

Richard Stallman's latest article "Why We Need Free Digital Hardware Designs", published today in Wired magazine, addresses these questions. His clear and nuanced answers, which take into account both the world of today and the future we are building, show us how to ensure our freedom in both.

March 11, 2015 05:55 PM


March 10, 2015

FSF News

LibrePlanet free software conference coming to MIT March 21-22

Organized around the theme "Free Software Everywhere," the conference's sessions touch on the many places and ways in which free software is used around the world, as well as ways to make free software ubiquitous. Keynote speakers include Free Software Foundation founder Richard Stallman, Software Freedom Conservancy executive director Karen Sandler, and University of Washington professor Benjamin Mako Hill.

This year's LibrePlanet conference will feature over 30 sessions, such as Attribution revolution -- turning copyright upside-down, Fighting surveillance with a free, distributed, and federated net, and Librarians fight back: free software solutions for digital privacy, as well as a hands-on workshop showing participants how to replace even the low-level proprietary software on laptops with something that respects their freedom.

"If you're bothered by the loss of control over your computer and cell phone and all your digital information, and want to know what you can do about it, come to LibrePlanet. The LibrePlanet program is full of presenters who are working from a variety of disciplines to protect our freedom, privacy, and security as computer users," said Libby Reinish, a campaigns manager at the Free Software Foundation.

Online registration for LibrePlanet 2015 is now open; attendees may also register in person at the event.

About LibrePlanet

LibrePlanet is the annual conference of the Free Software Foundation, and is co-produced by the Student Information Processing Board. What was once a small gathering of FSF members has grown into a larger event for anyone with an interest in the values of software freedom. LibrePlanet is always gratis for associate members of the FSF. To sign up for announcements about LibrePlanet 2015, visit

LibrePlanet 2014 was held at MIT from March 22-23, 2014. Over 350 attendees from all over the world came together for conversations, demonstrations, and keynotes centered around the theme of "Free Software, Free Society." You can watch videos from past conferences at

About the Free Software Foundation

The Free Software Foundation, founded in 1985, is dedicated to promoting computer users' right to use, study, copy, modify, and redistribute computer programs. The FSF promotes the development and use of free (as in freedom) software -- particularly the GNU operating system and its GNU/Linux variants -- and free documentation for free software. The FSF also helps to spread awareness of the ethical and political issues of freedom in the use of software, and its Web sites, located at and, are an important source of information about GNU/Linux. Donations to support the FSF's work can be made at Its headquarters are in Boston, MA, USA.

More information about the FSF, as well as important information for journalists and publishers, is at

Media Contact

Libby Reinish
Campaigns Manager
Free Software Foundation
+1 (617) 542 5942

March 10, 2015 09:10 PM

www @ Savannah

GNUnet News

We are participating in GSoC 2015!


GNUnet is participating in this year's GSoC under the GNU umbrella. Our project ideas are listed here:

You are encouraged to ask questions about the project ideas and involve in discussions with us on our mailing list: You can also find most of us on Freenode IRC: #gnunet; note that our IRC channel may have some delay so please be patient.

by Sree Harsha Totakura at March 10, 2015 10:15 AM

March 09, 2015

gnuzilla @ Savannah

IceCat 31.5.0 release

GNUzilla is the GNU version of the Mozilla suite, and GNU IceCat is the GNU version of the Firefox browser. Its main advantage is an ethical one: it is entirely free software. While the Firefox source code from the Mozilla project is free software, they distribute and recommend non-free software as plug-ins and addons. Also their trademark license restricts distribution in several ways incompatible with freedom 0.

The user manual pages are at
You can contribute by joining the wiki and editing the manuals.

Source tarballs, binaries for generic GNU/Linux systems and translations are available at
GPG key ID:D7E04784 GNU IceCat releases
Fingerprint: A573 69A8 BABC 2542 B5A0 368C 3C76 EED7 D7E0 4784

The main improvement in this version is the support for Windows, MacOS and Android, which added to GNU/Linux cover most user platforms. All versions are cross-compiled from GNU/Linux, so only free software is used for building. The published binaries have been tested for:

  • Windows Vista or newer
  • MacOS 10.4 or newer
  • Android 2.3 or newer
  • GNU/Linux with glibc 2.15 or newer (Debian Testing, Ubuntu Precise)

Binaries for Trisquel, Parabola and Fedora will be provided by the distros as usual.

Thanks to the developers of TorBrowser, on which the multiplatform support was based!

Changes since v31.4.0

  • Updated to v31.5.0ESR
  • Added build support for Windows, MacOS and Android
  • Searchplugin instalation for mobile
  • Make sure app.update and datareporting are disabled
  • Updated html5-video-everywhere to 0.2.30
  • Use prename instead of rename
  • Adapt Spyblock for mobile
  • Added patches to fix build bugs for Windows, MacOS and Android
  • Enable LibreJs on mobile
  • Updated aboutIcecat graphics
  • Added android-images dir
  • Fixed about:rights page content
  • Added mobile branding files
  • Added more fields to
  • Fake uname/arch no longer needed

by Ruben Rodriguez at March 09, 2015 09:13 PM

FSF Blogs

The new and improved

The new look of the site marks the completion of migration from a legacy system to CiviCRM, an actively maintained constituent relationship management system, which we run on top of Drupal. This launch was a team project. The improved look and feel of the membership system was aided by the effort of former outreach and communications coordinator William Theaker, whose knowledge of CiviCRM proved invaluable during development. System administrators Lisa Maginnis and Stephen Mahood have done lots of hard work to update and improve our hardware and system architecture to handle the traffic we've been receiving.

CiviCRM is the project that satisfied the requirements for a free software fundraising system on the High Priority Projects list, and was officially endorsed by the FSF in 2010. We love CiviCRM because it is more efficient and featureful than our in-house solution was, it uses the Affero General Public License, our contributions can benefit all of the organizations that use it, and likewise, we can benefit from the contributions of others. We use CiviCRM for managing memberships and for all of our nonmember donations, as well.

Our migration to CiviCRM changes how our membership system works. For instance, we have retired the old referral system. In the future, we will implement a new referral system, but for now, when creating a new membership, you will be able to fill out an "in honor of" section with referral information. We have also retired the member number system. Member badges now display the date you became an FSF member, rather than a unique ID number. If the old member button is embedded on your Web site, please update your site with the new HTML snippet displayed on your member benefits page. Potential new members will be interested to know that, because it is 2015, there is no longer an eight character limit on usernames! And of course, member benefits remain the same, including access to our XMPP (Jabber) server, email forwarding addresses, a 20% discount at the shop, and gratis registration for our annual LibrePlanet conference. If your membership is expired, you can renew via the same URL as before:

The new member dashboard presents some information that wasn't previously available, such as your FSF event registrations and attendance, and your personal campaign pages. It's also possible to tweak more of your account information, such as your email format preference (plain text or HTML). Now that our basic migration to CiviCRM is complete, we will be adding new features to the site based upon CiviCRM's capabilities.

We know that this migration hasn't been entirely smooth sailing. We thank you for your continued patience as we deal with migration-related issues. Now that some of the dust has settled, we hope that you enjoy the new! If you haven't yet, please log in and try it out. If you have any questions about your membership, please contact

March 09, 2015 08:00 PM