Your message dated Fri, 11 Aug 2017 12:44:51 -0700
with message-id <>
and subject line Closing inactive Policy bugs
has caused the Debian Bug report #572571,
regarding packages SHOULD ship checksums (a-la dh_md5sums, but better)
to be marked as done.

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Package: debian-policy
Severity: wishlist

[ For the full context, see the -devel thread starting at ]

On Thu, Mar 04, 2010 at 01:12:26PM -0800, Russ Allbery wrote:
> > Russ, while we are at it, would you mind a bug report on the policy to
> > suggest (starting at SHOULD?) to store md5sums in packages?
> Not that I've had any time to work on Policy (or Lintian) in the last
> month, but that does seem reasonable to me.  It seems to be a widespread
> best practice already, and a lot of people are turning up in this thread
> to say that they find it useful.

Here we go.

Currently, packages ships file checksums which are computed at package
build time by the means of dh_md5sums (usually), and stored under
/var/lib/dpkg/info/*md5sums.  Several people find those checksums
useful, mostly for file corruption detection a-la CRC.

Empirical tests show that the archive coverage is pretty good, most
packages seem to ship those checksums.

Hence, there is a desire to turn a similar feature into, for start, a
SHOULD requirement, meant to become a MUST later on.

However, a few generality shortcomings should probably be addressed,
such as the usage of different checksumming mechanisms. Even though the
intented purpose of those checksums is not intrusion detection, it would
be nice to use stronger checksums such as sha1 and, more generally, to
not have the specific kind of checksum used carved in stone.

Thanks for considering,

Stefano Zacchiroli -o- PhD in Computer Science \ PostDoc @ Univ. Paris 7
zack@{,,} -<>-
Dietro un grande uomo c'è ..|  .  |. Et ne m'en veux pas si je te tutoie
sempre uno zaino ...........| ..: |.... Je dis tu à tous ceux que j'aime

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control: user
control: usertag -1 +obsolete
control: tag -1 +wontfix

Russ Allbery and I did a round of in-person bug triage at DebConf17 and
we are closing this bug as inactive.

The reasons for closing fall into the following categories, from most
frequent to least frequent:

- issue is appropriate for Policy, there is a consensus on how to fix
  the problem, but preparing the patch is very time-consuming and no-one
  has volunteered to do it, and we do not judge the issue to be
  important enough to keep an open bug around;

- issue is appropriate for Policy but there does not yet exist a
  consensus on what should change, and no recent discussion.  A fresh
  discussion might allow us to reach consensus, and the messages in the
  old bug are unlikely to help very much; or

- issue is not appropriate for Policy.

If you feel this bug is still relevant and want to restart the
discussion, you can re-open the bug.  However, please consider instead
opening a new bug with a message that summarises and condenses the
previous discussion, updates the report for the current state of Debian,
and makes clear exactly what you think should change.

A lot of these old bugs have long side tangents and numerous messages,
and that old discussion is not necessarily helpful for figuring out what
Debian Policy should say today.

Sean Whitton

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