Chris Lamb (software developer)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Chris Lamb
Chris Lamb FLOSS UK 2018.jpg
Lamb, 26 April 2018
Chris Lamb

(1985-12-16) 16 December 1985 (age 33)
United Kingdom
Other nameslamby
OccupationSoftware developer
Known forDebian GNU/Linux, Reproducible builds

Chris Lamb (lamby, born 16 December 1985) is an English free software developer and advocate. He held the position of Debian Project Leader from April 2017[1] until April 2019. He currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Open Source Initiative,[2] Software in the Public Interest[3] , the GNOME Advisory Board[4] , the KDE Advisory Board and is a core developer in the Reproducible Builds project[5] which aims to prove that source code has not been tampered with to include backdoors or other malicious code.


After graduating with a degree in computer science from the University of Warwick, Lamb joined Playfire, a social networking website for video game players, as Technical Architect.[6] After it was acquired in May 2012, he was a founding employee of fashion startup participating in the Y Combinator seed accelerator.[7] In 2015, Lamb left Thread to pursue freelancing.[8] As a freelancer, Lamb has contributed to PureOS, a fully free GNU/Linux distribution based on Debian that has received endorsement from the Free Software Foundation[9][10] and is shipped on the Librem devices manufactured by Purism, was the lead developer of a number of health care technologies such as MedicSpot, OpenSpirometer and Concept to Clinic, a data science competition to improve the automated detection of lung cancer.[11]


Succeeding Mehdi Dogguy, Lamb successfully ran for the position of Debian Project Leader in 2017 and 2018. He was re-elected in 2018[12] and after announcing he would not run for third term[13] he was succeeded by Sam Hartman in April 2019.[14]

After contributing to the LilyPond packaging in December 2006,[15] he became more involved in the Debian community and the project itself by working on Debian Live via the Google Summer of Code programmme.[16] Early work in Debian revolved around contributing to the and Debian Installer as well as the, JavaScript and Python packaging teams.[17] In 2008, he became an official Debian Developer.

He is now part of the FTP Master team,[18] responsible for legal and copyright issues as well as maintaining the state of packages and the archive, accepting and rejecting packages. Outside of these roles, he is a core contributor to the Lintian quality assurance tool and the Python packaging and quality assurance teams. He is also the author of many Debian-specific tools such as, installation-birthday tools as well as the Debbugs Enhancement Suite Chrome browser extension. He also is a contributor to the Debian Long Term Support (LTS) initiative.

In 2019, Lamb received an award from Google for his work on Reproducible builds within Debian.[19]

Reproducible builds[edit]

Lamb is a core contributor to the Reproducible builds project, a set of software practices that can ensure that no malicious flaws have been introduced during compilation processes. As part of this, he has authored numerous patches for upstream projects and toolchains,[20] maintains the diffoscope tool and operates the and web services.[21]

In November 2016, Lamb was awarded a grant from the Linux Foundation's Core Infrastructure Initiative to fund his work in this area.[22] In November 2018, he oversaw the Reproducible Builds project joining the Software Freedom Conservancy[23] and in 2019, Lamb received an award from Google for his work on Reproducible builds within Debian[24] including working on making the Debian Installer reproducible.[25]


He also regularly contributes to the Tails operating system, Django web development framework and is also the author of a number of free and open-source tools such as Python bindings for the Shamir's Secret Sharing cryptographic algorithm,[26] a Strava Chrome browser extension[27] as well as a number of hacks such as a Sudoku solver implemented entirely within a PostScript document[28] and a method of using strace to give the cp shell command a progress bar.[29]

In 2018, due to licensing changes to several Redis Labs modules making them no longer free and open source,[30] he forked versions from prior to the license change and now maintains changes to these modules under their original free licenses.[31] Lamb has also been a reviewer and judge for the New York University Tandon School of Engineering's Cyber Security Awareness Week (CSAW), an annual conference where tens of thousands of students compete in events and learn skills in cyber security in 2017[32] and 2019.[33]


Lamb has spoken at many conferences and events including All Things Open, DebConf, FOSDEM, FOSSASIA, LibrePlanet, SCALE and and has taught seminars at University of Cambridge's Computer Laboratory and New York University Tandon School of Engineering. He has also appeared as a guest on a number of podcasts.[34]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Debian Project Leader Elections 2017". Retrieved 2018-12-15.
  2. ^ "2018 Affiliate and Individual Member Election Results". 2018-03-17. Retrieved 2018-06-22.
  3. ^ "SPI board of directors for 2019". Retrieved 2019-08-04.
  4. ^ "AdvisoryBoard - GNOME Wiki!". Retrieved 2019-06-12.
  5. ^ "Who is involved?". Retrieved 2019-04-23.
  6. ^ "Playfire: The social network dedicated to gamers". Archived from the original on 1 December 2011. Retrieved 17 August 2011.
  7. ^ "2012: Selected highlights".
  8. ^ "2014: Selected highlights".
  9. ^ Robertson, Donald (2017-12-21). "FSF adds PureOS to list of endorsed GNU/Linux distributions". Retrieved 2018-10-06.
  10. ^ "× Open Source Operating Systems Linux FSF Adds PureOS To List of Endorsed GNU/Linux Distributions". Slash Dot. Archived from the original on 28 March 2018. Retrieved 28 March 2018.
  11. ^ "Portfolio". Retrieved 2019-05-18.
  12. ^ "Debian Project Leader Elections 2018". Retrieved 2019-04-24.
  13. ^ "Re: Debian Project Leader Elections 2019: Call for nominations". Retrieved 2019-04-24.
  14. ^ "Debian Project Leader Elections 2019". Retrieved 2019-04-23.
  15. ^ "#400550 - lilypond: midi2ly reports error on line 60 (no module named lilylib) - Debian Bug report logs". Retrieved 2018-12-24.
  16. ^ "10 Years of Debian". Retrieved 2018-06-22.
  17. ^ "New Debian leader wants more variety in developer ranks". Retrieved 2018-12-15.
  18. ^ "Teams/FTPMaster".
  19. ^ "Google Open Source Peer Bonus winners are here! - Google Open Source Blog". Retrieved 2019-05-10.
  20. ^ "Reproducible Builds in April 2019 —". Retrieved 2019-05-18.
  21. ^ "Reproducible Builds in May 2019 —". Retrieved 2019-06-12.
  22. ^ "The Linux Foundation's Core Infrastructure Initiative Renews Funding for Reproducible Builds Project".
  23. ^ "Reproducible Builds joins the Software Freedom Conservancy". Retrieved 2018-12-15.
  24. ^ "Google Open Source Peer Bonus winners are here! - Google Open Source Blog". Retrieved 2019-05-10.
  25. ^ "#926242 - Please test reproducibility status of Debian Installer images - Debian Bug report logs". Retrieved 2019-06-12.
  26. ^ "python-gfshare: Secret sharing in Python - Chris Lamb". Retrieved 2019-04-23.
  27. ^ "Strava Enhancement Suite - Chrome Web Store". Retrieved 2019-04-23.
  28. ^ "Sudoku solver in PostScript - Chris Lamb". Retrieved 2019-04-23.
  29. ^ ""Can you get cp to give a progress bar like wget?" - Chris Lamb". Retrieved 2019-04-23.
  30. ^ "New software licenses aim to protect against cloud providers - SD Times". Retrieved 2019-04-23.
  31. ^ "GoodFORM: Free and Open Redis Modules".
  32. ^ "CSAW :: Judges". Retrieved 2019-07-05.
  33. ^ "CSAW :: Judges". Retrieved 2019-07-05.
  34. ^ "Reproducible Builds and Secure Software". Retrieved 2018-12-15.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Mehdi Dogguy
Debian Project Leader
April 2017 — 2019
Succeeded by
Sam Hartman