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Re: qtwebengine support/security status

From: Jack Hill
Subject: Re: qtwebengine support/security status
Date: Tue, 21 Jan 2020 13:29:00 -0500 (EST)
User-agent: Alpine 2.20 (DEB 67 2015-01-07)

On Mon, 20 Jan 2020, Jack Hill wrote:

Hi Guix,

Thanks to Mike and everyone for working on qtwebengine and qutebrowser. I'm happy and thankful that Guix's features and the community's commitment allow packaging these in a principled way.

Before I use these packages to browse untrusted websites, I wanted to double check that it is safe to do so. According to [0] we are using Qt 5.12.6 which is the latest LTS. I agree with the assessment there that that's pretty good. However the messaging from Qt, "We do update to the latest Chromium version in use before a Qt release. After a release some bug fixes and security patches are backported. For LTS releases of Qt we might also update Chromium in a patch level release," [1] makes me less sure that qtwebengine will continue to be secure over the lifetime of a Qt release. qtwebengine at 69.0.3497.128 already seems to be behind our ungoogled-chromium package at 78.0.3904.108.


I'm also curious how Qt releases will be handled in Guix. Can they go directly to master, or will they need to go through a staging or core-updates cycles.

So summarize, do we think it's prudent to expose our qtwebengine to random web pages? Thanks for your thoughts and all the hard work!

I also asked about this on the #qutebrowser IRC channel as well. The_Compiler, qutebrowser's primary developer said,

< The-Compiler> jackhill: they do backport security fixes since Qt 5.12 is an LTS release, but it's mostly a "best effort" kind of thing

< The-Compiler> jackhill: I use (and recommend) the latest Qt release as soon as show-stopper bugs are fixed, usually in the .1 release (and for Archlinux I ask the packager to backport patches)

Does this mean that we should keep the latest qtwebengine for web browsers as well?


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