My Free Software Activities in May 2020

Welcome to Here is my monthly report (+ the first week in June) that covers what I have been doing for Debian. If you're interested in Java, Games and LTS topics, this might be interesting for you.

Debian Games

  • I decided to upgrade Nethack to version 3.6.6 that fixed several security vulnerabilities and a GCC 10 FTBFS bug. Unfortunately the Debian specific lisp fork of Nethack is no longer compatible with the most recent changes. I could fix some errors but really didn't want to maintain something that should better be upstreamed. I filed Debian bug #961932 because nethack-lisp is unusable now. In my opinion the lisp fork prevents more regular updates and it really needs a maintainer who likes to care for the code. But the best solution would be to merge the code upstream. Anyone interested in a challenge?
  • This month I could update a couple of games that haven't seen much love in the past years, but to be fair, all of them still just worked fine. They just needed some modifications due to the switch to debhelper-compat = 13, or they could not be reproducibly build or cross-build from source. And then there were also some GCC 10 bugs, that are currently severity normal but will become release-critical soon. So there was briquolo (#960386, reproducible-build patch by Chris Lamb), a 3D breakout game, empire (#957172, GCC-10), asc (#957013, GCC-10), asc-music, ace-of-penguins (#956976, GCC-10), foobillardplus (#914622, cross-build, patch by Helmut Grohne), vodovod (cross-build, patch by Helmut Grohne), holotz-castle (cross-build, patch by Helmut Grohne), kball (cross-build, patch by Helmut Grohne), zaz, an action puzzle game, xgalaga (cross-build, patch by Helmut Grohne), xmahjongg and plee-the-bear (Boost FTBFS, patch by Giovanni Mascellani and a cross-build issue, patch by Helmut Grohne).
  • I was contacted by Martin Gerhardy, upstream maintainer of caveexpress and former lead-developer of ufoai. He is currently working on a new free software voxel game engine and its tools. He asked me to take a look at the Debian packaging but I couldn't promise to package it yet, although this is certainly something that interests me. I will provide some feedback for the prelimary Debian packaging though, which he has prepared already. In the meantime he released a new version of caveexpress and I hope that we can find a solution for an ufoai RC-bug quite soon, but at least before Debian freezes.
  • I sponsored bzflag and supertux for Reiner Herrman. Greatly appreciated!
  • Ryan Tandy contributed an overhauled mgba package, a Game Boy Advance emulator. Thanks a lot!
  • I also packaged new versions of hexalate, hitori and peg-e.

Debian Java

  • New upstream versions this month: undertow, jboss-xnio and libapache-mod-jk. The latter package contained a wrongly named file that prevented the apache tools a2enmod and a2dismod from symlinking that file. I corrected the error by preparing a stable point-update as well.


  • I packaged new versions of wabt, privacybadger and https-everywhere. I would like to update ublock-origin as well but the package is still stuck in the NEW queue. I don't know why.
  • I packaged a new upstream version of xarchiver and applied a patch to address Debian bug #959914. There is still a problem with multi-part encrypted 7zip files but since it is already known upstream, I am confident there will be a fix eventually.

Debian LTS

This was my 51. month as a paid contributor and I have been paid to work 25 hours on Debian LTS, a project started by Raphaël Hertzog. In that time I did the following:

  • DLA-2209-1. Issued a security update for tomcat8 fixing 4 CVE. The update was delayed due to an error, which was not discovered by the test suite and a new CVE, CVE-2020-9484.
  • squid3: I have almost completed the update and prepared patches for 16 different security vulnerabilities in Stretch and Jessie. Due to the in part invasive changes I will publish a request for testing on the debian-lts mailing list first. If there are no negative reports, the update should happen next week now.
  • imagemagick: I am currently working on a complete update of the popular image manipulation program. I have already completed 10 patches but I intend to release a full update until the end of the month.


Extended Long Term Support (ELTS) is a project led by Freexian to further extend the lifetime of Debian releases. It is not an official Debian project but all Debian users benefit from it without cost. The current ELTS release is Debian 7 "Wheezy". This was my 24. month and I have been paid to work 9,25 hours on ELTS.

  • ELA-232-1. Issued a security update for nss fixing 1 CVE.
  • ELA-233-1. Issued a security update for openjdk-7 fixing 1 CVE.
  • Prepared the last security update of linux for Wheezy. The new kernel will be available on Saturday, 13.06.2020, after it passes the usual tests.

Thanks for reading and see you next time.

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