There is a move to Bring Back Blogging and having recently sorted out my own FreshRSS install I am completely in favour of such a thing. RSS feeds with complete posts, for preference, not just a teaser intro sentence/paragraph.

It’s also a reminder to me that I should blog more, and what better way to start 2023 than with my traditional recap of my Free Software activities in 2022. For previous years see 2019, 2020 + 2021


I attended DebConf22 in Prizen, Kosova this year, and finally hit the end of my luck in avoiding COVID. 0/10, would not recommend. Thankfully I didn’t come down with symptoms until I got home (I felt fine and tested negative on arrival home, then started to feel terrible the next day and tested again), so I was able to enjoy the conference itself. I also made it to Linux Security Summit Europe 2022, which aligned with work related bits and was interesting. I suspect I would have been better going to LPC 2022 for the hallway track, though I did manage to get some overlap with folk being in town given that both were the same week.


Most of my contributions to Free software continue to happen within Debian.

We continue to operate a roughly 3 month rotation for Debian Keyring in terms of handling the regular updates, and I dealt with 2022.03.24, 2022.06.26, 2022.08.11, 2022.09.24, 2022.09.25 + 2022.12.24. There were a few out of cycle updates this year and I handled a couple of them.

My other contributions are largely within the Debian Electronics Packaging Team. gcc-xtensa-lx106 saw a few updates, to GCC 11 + enabling D (10 + 11), then to GCC 12 (12). binutils-xtensa-lx106 got some minor packaging cleanups, which also served to force a rebuild with the current binutils source (5).

libsigrokdecode got an upload to enable building with Python 3.10 (0.5.3-3). Related, I updated sdcc to a new upstream version (4.2.0+dfsg-1) - it’s used for the sigrok-firmware-fx2lafw package and I do have a tendency to play with microcontrollers, so it’s good to have a recent version available in the archive.

I continue to pay attention to OpenOCD, with a minor set of updates to pull in some fixes from master (0.11.0-2). I was pleased to see the release process for 0.12.0 kick off and have been uploading RCs as they come out (0.12.0~rc1-1, 0.12.0~rc2-1 + 0.12.0~rc3-1). Upstream have been interested in the upcoming bookworm release cycle and I’m hopeful we’ll get 0.12.0 proper in before freeze. libjaylink also saw an upstream release (0.3.1-1).

Package upload sponsorship isn’t normally something I get involved with, because I find I have to spend a lot of time checking over things before I’m comfortable doing the upload. However I did sponsor an initial upload for sugarjar and an update for mgba (0.10.0+dsfg-1, currently stuck in NEW). Credit to Michel for dealing swiftly with my review comments, and Ryan for producing a nicely reviewable set of changes.

As part of the Data Protection Team I responded to various inbound queries to that team. There was also some discussion on debian-vote as part of the DPL election that I engaged with, as well as discussions at DebConf about how we can do things better.

For Debian New Members I’m mostly inactive as an application manager - we generally seem to have enough available recently. If that changes I’ll look at stepping in to help, but I don’t see that happening (it got close this year but several people had stood up before I got around to offering). I continue to be involved in Front Desk, having various conversations throughout the year with the rest of the team and occasionally approving some of the checks for new applicants.

Towards the end of the year I got involved with the Debian Games Team, largely because I’m keen to try and get my Kodi working with libretro based emulators - I’d really like to be able to play old style games from the same interface as I can engage with locally stored movies, music and TV.

It turns out there are a lot of moving pieces to make that happen, some missing from Debian and others in need of some TLC. I updated retroarch to current upstream (1.13.0+dfsg-1 + 1.13.0+dfsg-2) but while I was doing so upstream did another release. I plan on uploading 1.14.0 once 1.13.0 has migrated to testing. It turned out I also needed to update libretro-core-info (1.13.0-1) and retroarch-assets (1.7.6+git20221024+dfsg-1). In terms of actual emulators I pulled in new versions for genesisplusgx (1.7.4+git20221128-1) and libretro-bsnes-mercury (094+git20220807-1).

On the Kodi side I haven’t uploaded anything yet. I’ve filed an ITP for rcheevos, which is a dependency for game.libretro and I have a fledgling package for game.libretro that I finally got working today. I’m not sure if I can get it cleaned up enough in time to make the bookworm release, but I’m hoping that at least the libretro piece is in a bit better shape now (though I’m aware there are more emulator cores that could do with being updated).


This year was a quiet year for personal Linux contributions. I submitted a minor fix for the qca8081 PHY with speeds lower than 2.5Gb/s that caused me issues on my RB5009.

Personal projects

2022 finally saw a minor releases of onak, 0.6.2, which resulted in a corresponding Debian upload (0.6.2-1). It has a couple of bug fixes but nothing major.. As I said last year it’s not dead, just resting, but Sequoia PGP is probably where you should be looking for a modern OpenPGP implementation.

I added some basic Debian packaging to mqtt-arp - I didn’t bother uploading it as it’s a fairly niche package, but I’m using it locally.

I changed jobs at the start of the year and surprisingly this marks the first time I have had a role where I’ve been actively encouraged to work on Free software projects and push upstream, both at an organisational and team level. That’s been pretty cool and early on I managed a minor cosmetic fix in zstd, some certificate checking in a calnex tool and an optimisation for fetching sensor data on network switches.

There was also some performance investigation that led to the discovery and fixing of excessive heap allocation in a torrent library.

Finally I managed to submit my first kernel contribution that was part of a day job need rather than just a personal itch - it only took me 18 years from my first contribution being taken. That work enables IMA measurement logs to be carried over kexec on x86_64. I’ve got some additional patches (to export Intel TXT info via securityfs and support measurement of kexec initramfs components) but both haven’t had a lot of feedback and I need to do some clean-up and re-submit.

That wraps up 2022. For 2023 I’m hoping to get the remaining Kodi/libretro pieces in place in Debian - I think I’m close to having something that works well enough to upload, and I have some ideas about general infrastructure to make things easier longer term. I’m expecting to chase up the 2 stalled work-related kernel contributions (and I’ve spent some time trying to cleanup the early decompression logic too but not in a state suitable for submission yet). Conference-wise I hope to be at DebConf23. I’ll miss FOSDEM - it’s too close to a few other things I’ve got going on. And I’m sure some unplanned stuff will come up too. While this is still a fairly insignificant amount of contributions compared to others I see posting on Debian Planet I do feel I’ve managed to increase my involvement this year, and hopefully that’ll continue. Happy New Year, folks!