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bug#42162: Recovering source tarballs

From: Ludovic Courtès
Subject: bug#42162: Recovering source tarballs
Date: Tue, 21 Jul 2020 23:22:00 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/26.3 (gnu/linux)


zimoun <zimon.toutoune@gmail.com> skribis:

> On Mon, 20 Jul 2020 at 10:39, Ludovic Courtès <ludo@gnu.org> wrote:
>> zimoun <zimon.toutoune@gmail.com> skribis:
>> > On Sat, 11 Jul 2020 at 17:50, Ludovic Courtès <ludo@gnu.org> wrote:
>> There are many many comments in your message, so I took the liberty to
>> reply only to the essence of it.  :-)
> Many comments because many open topics. ;-)

Understood, and they’re very valuable but (1) I choose not to just do
email :-), and (2) I like to separate issues in reasonable chunks rather
than long threads addressing all the problems we’ll have to deal with.

I think it really helps keep things tractable!

>> Lookup issue.  :-)  The hash in a CID is not just a raw blob hash.
>> Files are typically chunked beforehand, assembled as a Merkle tree, and
>> the CID is roughly the hash to the tree root.  So it would seem we can’t
>> use IPFS as-is for tarballs.
> Using the Git-repo map/table, then it becomes an option, right?
> Well, SWH would be a backend and IPFS could be another one.  Or any
> "cloudy" storage system that could appear in the future, right?

Sure, why not.

>> >>   • If we no longer deal with tarballs but upstreams keep signing
>> >>     tarballs (not raw directory hashes), how can we authenticate our
>> >>     code after the fact?
>> >
>> > Does Guix automatically authenticate code using signed tarballs?
>> Not automatically; packagers are supposed to authenticate code when they
>> add a package (‘guix refresh -u’ does that automatically).
> So I miss the point of having this authentication information in the
> future where upstream has disappeared.

What I meant above, is that often, what we have is things like detached
signatures of raw tarballs, or documents referring to a tarball hash:


>> But today, we store tarball hashes, not directory hashes.
> We store what "guix hash" returns. ;-)
> So it is easy to migrate from tarball hashes to whatever else. :-)

True, but that other thing, as it stands, would be a nar hash (like for
‘git-fetch’), not a Git-tree hash (what SWH uses).

> I mean, it is "(sha256 (base32" and it is easy to have also
> "(sha256-tree (base32" or something like that.

Right, but that first and foremost requires daemon support.

It’s doable, but migration would have to take a long time, since this is
touching core parts of the “protocol”.

> I have not done yet the clear back-to-envelop computations.  Roughly,
> there are ~23 commits on average per day updating packages, so say 70%
> of them are url-fetch, it is ~16 new tarballs per day, on average.
> How the model using a Git-repo will scale?  Because, naively the
> output of "disassemble-archive" in full text (pretty-print format) for
> the hello-2.10.tar is 120KB and so 16*365*120K = ~700Mb per year
> without considering all the Git internals.  Obviously, it depends on
> the number of files and I do not know if hello is a representative
> example.

Interesting, thanks for making that calculation!  We could make the
format more compact if needed.


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