[Whonix-devel] revisiting decision of using stable as a Whonix base

Patrick Schleizer adrelanos at riseup.net
Tue May 10 18:09:35 CEST 2016

> I wanted to revisit the decision of using stable as a Whonix base. The
> biggest (and only) advantage of using stable is to avoid unexpected
> dependency breakages that increase maintenance burden.
> From a security POV stable is a disaster that's guaranteed to have
> security bugs that are not patched for years at a time. Not every
> potentially exploitable bug that is discovered and fixed in upstream
> software versions is marked as a cve for backporting. What appears as a
> crash or DoS bug have security implications with enough effort. Linus is
> infamous for doing "silent" fixes where he marks scores of bugs as DoS
> when they have security implications and so they never make it into
> stable distro kernels. The situation is similar for userspace software
> in Debian stable to that suffer from publically discovered security
> problems but don't get upgraded because of policy.
> See:
> https://mjg59.dreamwidth.org/41085.html
> https://cxsecurity.com/issue/WLB-2008070032
> Are testing snapshots a workable compromise between security and stability?
> (Its up to you to post this conversation for public record)

I not mind about public vs private.

Debian testing:

- build keeps breaking (ok, never mind and testing snapshots would do)

- flood of constant upgrades (maybe also say never mind)

- users will keep running into issues which creates a user support hell
(this is serious)

- it's impossible to keep up and to see how it interacts with Whonix.
Just using testing in sources.list could quickly end in obscure stuff
(like apparmor changes) resulting in Tor not longer starting and whatnot.

Or do you suggest somehow slowing down testing by having Whonix decide
which snapshot of users are going to use?


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