Manchester Free Software

Manchester Free Software

Manchester Free Software

Title: Manchester Free Software
Location: MadLab
Date: 20-05-2014
Start Time: 19:00
End Time: 21:00

The purpose of Manchester Free Software is to promote the Free Software philosophy.

There are other Free Software related groups in Manchester but MFS is the only one that focuses on the Free Software philosophy. We are not FSF Manchester although we share much of the FSF philosophy.

Anybody is welcome to the meetings, but you will be particularly interested if you are into such things as Free Software Foundation, GNU Project including GNU/Linux, League for Programming Freedom, Free as in freedom BSDs like FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, Open Rights Group, Mozilla project, OSS Watch, Hackspace Foundation, mySociety, anti-Digital Restrictions Management, OpenStreetMap, Free Our Data, The Libel Reform Campaign,, Open Data Manchester, Mozilla Drumbeat.

This meeting will be a series of discussions on the Free Software implications on the following:

GPG & key signing

Since there was a lot interest, but difficulty for some, with GPG and key signing last meeting, we’ll have another round of key signing and GPG discussion. If you want to have your key signed then you’ll need to do some preparations beforehand as detailed below. It’s too late and/or not the appropriate time to do these actions (1. and 2.) at the key signing itself. You need to have:

1. Generated a key pair! (If you haven’t already)

Instructions on how to generate a key pair are in:

Key pair generation

As described in the document, it is recommend to generate keys of type RSA and of 4096 bits.

2. Printed and checked slips of paper of your public key details.

Install the ‘signing-party’ package (it’s available for both .deb and .rpm distros) to get the ‘gpg-key2ps’ command and then run:

$ gpg-key2ps your_key-id >

Print ‘’ (if you need it in PDF format then use the ‘ps2pdf’ command on the PS file).

Cut out the slips.

Check the details on each slip match the output of (the details are in slightly different order):

$ gpg –fingerprint your_key-id

Bring the checked slips with you!

3. Proof of identity

Some people might sign your key because you present them with your passport but some might not. Some people might sign your key because they have known you in person for some time but some might not.

More info:

OpenSSL Heartbleed

Discussion on the bug, its consequences and the future.

LibrePlanet 2014

The FSF’s LibrePlanet 2014 conference took place at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The programme included speakers from the FSF, the EFF, Wikimedia, APRIL, Tor, Red Hat, Xiph, O’Reilly, Trisquel, and many others. We didn’t get to this last month (at least fully). Sadly the videos for this year aren’t up yet but those from 2013 are.

Feel free to raise similar items in the meeting for discussion.


The meeting will be followed by informal discussion and socialising in the bar opposite, Common. There are soft drinks available and there is no pressure to consume alcohol.