Boston Linux & UNIX was originally founded in 1994 as part of The Boston Computer Society. We meet on the third Wednesday of each month at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in Building E51.

Reproducible Builds for a Better Future

Date and Time

Wednesday, November 16, 2016 from 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm


MIT Building E-51, Room 315


Valerie R. Young - spectranaut riseup net


Debian's Reproducible Builds project


Many free software projects (Tor, Debian, Fedora and more) have dedicated a great deal of time and effort toward the reproducible builds goal: anyone can download the source code and generate identical binaries. This technical goal has a massive impact on delivering free software's promised freedoms. Our vision:

  • Anyone can verify that the binary program they are running came from the source code they separately downloaded.
    Anyone can reliably modify their software without fear it will not build on their system.

This talk will begin with the story of the Tor browser bundle becoming entirely reproducible. You will learn how the technical success of Tor inspired the Debian project's ongoing efforts, resulting in an 85% reproducible operating system so far, and other parallel efforts. After laying down this technical and historical background, the talk will focus on concrete ways that achieving reproducible builds will change our relationship with software in the future.

The intended audience is anyone who cares about free software, no matter your technical experience.

Meeting Notes


  1. More on reproducible builds
  2. About the speaker

BLU is a member of BostonUserGroups
BLU is a member of BostonUserGroups
We also thank MIT for the use of their facilities.

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