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bug#42162: Recovering source tarballs

From: zimoun
Subject: bug#42162: Recovering source tarballs
Date: Wed, 22 Jul 2020 02:27:39 +0200


On Tue, 21 Jul 2020 at 23:22, Ludovic Courtès <ludo@gnu.org> wrote:

>>> >>   • 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:
>   https://sympa.inria.fr/sympa/arc/swh-devel/2016-07/msg00009.html

I still miss why it matters to store detached signature of raw tarballs.

The authentication is done now (at package time and/or inclusion in the
lookup table proposal).  I miss why we would have to re-authenticate
again later.

IMHO, having a lookup table that returns the signatures from a tarball
hash or an archive of all the OpenGPG keys ever published is another

>>> 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).

Ok, now I am totally convinced that a lookup table is The Right Thing™. :-)

>> 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”.

Doable but not necessary tractable. :-)

>> 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.

Compressing should help.

Considering 14000 packages, based on this 120KB estimation, it leads to:
0.7*14k*120K= ~1.2GB for the Git-repo of the current Guix.


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