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Re: security vs. configure

From: Michael Still
Subject: Re: security vs. configure
Date: Mon, 23 Apr 2001 22:17:19 +1000

On Mon, 23 Apr 2001, Tom Holroyd wrote:

> On Mon, 23 Apr 2001, Michael Still wrote:
> > Autoconf could run gnupg / pgp (if present) after generating the configure
> > script and produce a checksum on the script. If this was a default action,
> > then it would increase the chance of developers having at least some
> > checksumming.
> >
> > It doesn't fix doubt over the intentions of the developer though.


> What would be nice is if it were possible for configure to automatically
> check the signature or checksum.  Since that's hard to do on an unpacked
> archive, signed packages might go the "tarball inside a tarball" route,
> where the configure script actually unpacks the real tarball after
> checking the signature.
>       $ tar -xzf file_you_just_downloaded.tgz
>       $ cd project_dir_created_by_tar
>       $ ls
>       configure       project.tar     project.tar.asc
> with maybe a few README, INSTALL, COPYRIGHT, and other (non-executable,
> non-data) boilerplate files.  Then configure does all the integrity
> checking.

I don't like the tarball inside a tarball approach... This adds another
level of complexity and inconvenience for users, and I would think would
concern most developers as well.

Perhaps we're looking at this wrong -- at some point people need to say
that the user is responsible for their own security. If a simple system
can't be implemented to assist them, then perhaps they should be left on
their own.


Michael Still (address@hidden) -- a whole bunch of Open Source stuff including PDF 

"Grrrrrrr! I'm a volleyballing machine!"

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