[aur-general] Discussion about AUR packages signing

Daniel Micay danielmicay at gmail.com
Fri Aug 8 03:24:24 EDT 2014

On 08/08/14 02:53 AM, Martti Kühne wrote:
> On Fri, Aug 8, 2014 at 8:35 AM, Fabien Dubosson
> <fabien.dubosson at gmail.com> wrote:
>> [...]
>> But it has not the same meaning. Maintainer's name gives me the
>> information that I am installing a package that claims to be provided by
>> this maintainer, or uploaded with this maintainer account. GPG
>> signatures will add the certitude that I'm installing the same package
>> as the maintainer wrote in person. I admit this is not happening really
>> often...
> Well, I don't see how this idea is supposed to be compatible with what
> I see as the benefits of the AUR...
> I love that I can make changes and proceed doing so in the course of
> building and installing a PKGBUILD from the AUR. So the PKGBUILDs I
> usually install aren't cryptographically similar to the package AUR
> would provide, deeming any cryptographic signing mechanism useless.
> The official wording of the AUR - unsupported, not to be fully trusted
> content - leads to the fact that any AUR helper should notify you of
> this fact every time you use the AUR and offer you editing between any
> and all of the files involved.
> cheers!
> mar77i

If the sources were signed, those helpers could use the Pacman keyring
to avoid unnecessarily prompting for editing when the user already
trusts the packager. A warning that the *specific* package is NOT
trusted is more likely to lead to users checking it than a warning
stating that *all* AUR packages are untrusted.

Of course, AUR helpers could also do this with a list of names as Dave
suggested but it doesn't assure end-to-end security (the AUR is a pile
of PHP and could quite feasibly be hacked) but they won't be able to
leverage the existing trust database already populated with developers,
trusted users and any third party repository keys trusted by the user.

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