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[bug#42048] [PATCH 0/6] Authenticated channels for everyone!

From: Ludovic Courtès
Subject: [bug#42048] [PATCH 0/6] Authenticated channels for everyone!
Date: Wed, 01 Jul 2020 14:17:50 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/26.3 (gnu/linux)


zimoun <> skribis:

> On Thu, 25 Jun 2020 at 23:04, Ludovic Courtès <> wrote:
>> The most visible effect is that channel introductions are now
>> part of the API and shown by ‘guix describe’.  It becomes a long-term
>> commitment because we want to be able to pass the output of
>> ‘guix describe -C channels’ or /run/current-system/channels.scm
>> to ‘guix pull’ and ‘guix time-machine’ in the future.
> How could I test this machinery with "guix time-machine"?

The normal way.  :-)

But of course, the new ‘introduction’ field of <channel> won’t be
recognized by older Guix versions.  In that case, you should use the
output of ‘guix describe -f channels-sans-intro’ as I wrote in the

>> Contrary to what I initially proposed¹, channel introductions are
>> stripped to the bare minimum: a commit/fingerprint pair (as is
>> currently the case on master, internally).  I figured it doesn’t
>> buy us much to have the commit/fingerprint pair signed; what
>> matters is that users obtain the introduction from a trusted
>> source, and the signature wouldn’t help with that.  I also got
>> rid of the idea of rendering introductions are opaque base64 blobs.
> What happens when traveling in time if the key used by the signature has
> been compromised?

In general, when a developer loses control over their key, another
committer should remove it right away form ‘.guix-authorizations’.  (I
did that today following Brett’s message, for example.)

Signatures on past commits can still be verified and everything is fine.
The (guix openpgp) code ignores key expiration and revocation; it “just”
verifies signatures.

> Today, everything is fine, I sign and I do in introduction.  Couple of
> months (or even years) later, my key will be compromised and so I will
> revoke it.  What happens if I do "guix time-machine -C"?

That’s OK.  The keyring is distributed along with the channel still
contains your key, with or without a revocation certificate, but that
doesn’t prevent us from verifying signatures on past commits.  (This is
different from what gpg does.)


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