[arch-haskell] Package Signing

Xyne xyne at archlinux.ca
Sat Oct 12 07:40:22 UTC 2013

>> One solution might be to build the packages on kiwilight, then mount the
>> directory of built packages with sshfs.  You could then run the signing script
>> locally. I don't know much bandwith that will use, but I think it's worth
>> trying. In the worst case scenario, it will be equivalent to downloading the
>> packages. Whether or not that's a problem depends on your connection.
>I don't see how that could be anything else but the worst case, GnuPG
>on the machine needs to consume the entire package in order to create
>the digest, hence all built packages must be downloaded :-(

I understand that such a solution is not ideal. but is it not possible in the
absence of other solutions? Aside from ghc itself, are there any really big
packages? For ghc, if you are still using the one from community then it is
already signed.

>> Could you simply make kiwilight the main host and have xsounds mirror it? The
>> process would then be the following:
>> 1) ssh into kiwilight, build, and move to haskell/$arch if necessary
>> 2) mount haskell/$arch via ssh and run the signing script locally
>> You would then have a fully signed repo in haskell/$arch that can be mirrored
>> by xsounds.
>Of course I could.  It could be argued that since the building happens
>on kiwilight we all are forced to trust all (root) users of that
>system anyway.  Adding a signature (which is created on kiwilight)
>won't decrease the trustworthiness of the packages, but a signature
>would mean that the trustworthiness is kept as the packages are copied
>over to xsounds.
>I find security to be very tricky, so any comments and corrections to
>my thinking is more than welcome.

This may well be the best solution. Kiwilight is already run by a trusted user,
so I think it can be trusted as much as [community] can, provided that no one
else has root access. You should ask Kaiting about that.

I think this is a scenario for using subkeys. As I understand it, you should
generate a new local master key for package signing. From that key you can then
generate a signing subkey that you can upload to sign packages on kiwilight.

I have never used subkeys myself, so I have no practical advice to give. This
page from the Debian Wiki may be a good starting point:

By keeping the master key yourself, you can always revoke the signing subkey,
regardless of what happens on the server.

I would use a relatively strong password on the uploaded key for added


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