NLnet Labs 💞 Packagers

NLnet Labs 💞 Packagers
Photo by freestocks / Unsplash

We are at our best when we can focus on Internet protocols and building elegant implementations in software. That is why we love it when others help out with packaging and distributing our software. And, on February 14th, it feels appropriate to express some love and appreciation for the many packaging efforts for our projects.

By Alex Band and Maarten Aertsen

We love working with package maintainers because it is very close to our vision of how we want to work, where each of us plays an integral part in what makes open-source a thriving community.

To all package maintainers of our software: we may not know you personally, but that does not make us less grateful. Please let us know if you would like us to send you some stickers or coasters as a token of our appreciation.
Stickers are the glue that hold the Internet together. ;)


  • Alpine: Natanael Copa
  • Archlinux: Bruno Pagani, Antonio Rojas
  • Debian and derivatives: Ondřej Surý, Markus Schade, Daniel Kahn Gillmor, Simon Josefsson
  • Fedora: Paul Wouters
  • FreeBSD: Jaap Akkerhuis (ports)
  • Gentoo: proxy maintainers team (they are looking for help)
  • Homebrew: Anand Buddhdev, Rui Chen, FX Coudert,  
  • Nixos: Christoph Hrdinka


  • Alpine: Jakub Jirutka
  • Archlinux: Bruno Pagani, David Runge, T.J. Townsend
  • Debian and derivatives: Robert Edmonds, Michael Tokarev
  • Fedora: Paul Wouters
  • FreeBSD: Cy Schubert (base system), Jaap Akkerhuis (ports)
  • Gentoo: Marc Schiffbauer
  • Homebrew: Hannes Braun, Clément L., Patrick Linnane, Caleb Xu
  • Nixos: Andreas Schrägle      
Let us know if we are missing your favourite packagers!


  • Debian and derivatives: Mathieu Mirmont, Timo Aaltonen
  • Fedora: Paul Wouters
  • FreeBSD: (our own) Jaap Akkerhuis
  • Gentoo: proxy maintainers team (they are looking for help)

ldns (lib & utils)

  • Alpine: Natanael Copa
  • Archlinux: Felix Yan, Evangelos Foutras
  • Debian and derivatives: Eric Dorland, Robert Edmonds, Ondřej Surý, Daniel Kahn Gillmor, Michael Tokarev
  • Fedora: Paul Wouters
  • FreeBSD: Jaap Akkerhuis
  • Gentoo: Marc Schiffbauer
  • Homebrew: Annand Buddhev, Carlo Cabrera, Rui Chen, FX Coudert
  • Nixos: Will Dietz

What about Rust?

When we started writing software in the Rust programming language in 2018, we initially only published binaries and libraries called "crates" on the Rust community's registry, If you wanted to use software like Krill or Routinator, you had to build it yourself for your system.

Especially given the popularity of the Routinator project, we were anticipating package requests from users quite early on. We were hoping to see interested packagers pick up our new work, but it turned out that creating packages from Rust code was quite tricky, given the fast pace at which the language developed. 

We understand that packaging can be hard if we, or someone who maintains one of our dependencies, use a very recent feature of the Rust language. This obstacle affects the whole Rust ecosystem. Please let us know if there are other showstoppers we should be aware of!

We decided to set up our own package repository as a stop-gap solution, and before we knew it, we were building packages for a veritable smörgåsbord of platforms and architectures. And, because we were managing more and more Rust projects, we even created an open-source reusable workflow.

While our users love what we're currently offering, building these workflows and maintaining a package repository is not our core expertise. We want to devote our time to our primary mission: build software for DNS and BGP routing. We also believe that having an extra pair of eyes, ensuring everything is in the right place for each platform and architecture, is beneficial for everyone.

This is why we are incredibly excited that Routinator is now packaged upstream in Fedora and Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux (EPEL). Thanks a lot to Michel Lind and Yang Yu for building and maintaining it. We hope this marks the start of many more packages to follow, following in the same tradition as with our C projects.

While NLnet Labs will not retire our package repository for Rust projects any time soon, we are interested in which package you would prefer, given the choice: ours or the native one for your platform.