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Verifying software freedom with reproducible builds

Vagrant Cascadian

The Reproducible Builds project aims to move towards a world where binary software can be independently verified, by anyone, as the product of a given source. Many people interested in Free Software rely on the distributors of binary software to respect their freedoms. Unfortunately, most software incorporates unintended information into the binaries, resulting in differences in the binaries between consecutive builds. If software normally produces different binaries every time it is built, how can we verify and prove that it is the intended result of the source code? By incorportating best practices documented by the Reproducible Builds project into software development projects, an independently verifyable chain from the source code to the binaries can be formed. Once independent verification becomes common practice, people can get back to working with software that respects user freedoms.


6 years, 8 months ago

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LibrePlanet 2017 video · LibrePlanet 2017 · LibrePlanet · lp2017 · video

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LibrePlanet 2017 Videos (libreplanet)


CC BY-SA 4.0


This talk was presented at LibrePlanet.


LibrePlanet is the Free Software Foundation's annual conference. The FSF campaigns for free/libre software, meaning it respects users' freedom and community. We believe that users are entitled to this; all software should be free.


We do not advocate "open source".

That term was coined to reject our views. It refers to similar practices, but usually presented solely as advantageous, without talking of right and wrong.


Richard Stallman launched the free software movement in 1983 by announcing development of the free operating system, GNU. By 1992, GNU was nearly operational; one major essential component was lacking, the kernel.


In 1992, Torvalds freed the kernel Linux, which filled the last gap in GNU. Since then, the combined GNU/Linux system has run in millions of computers. Nowadays you can buy a new computer with a totally free GNU/Linux system preinstalled.


The views of the speaker may not represent the Free Software Foundation. The Foundation supports the free software cause and freedom to share, and basic freedoms in the digital domain, but has no position on other political issues.