Main Question:

At which point can I trust external, unofficial repos? Are there security implications for blindingly adding third party repos to a workstation? However, I've been very suspect of including non-offical repos.

Background and my particular case:

I'd like to install a Juce. From what I understand, this is a stand alone utility to host VST (virtual instruments used in music production). I've found what appears to be it's source on github and have tried to compile that in a throw away VM. However, after receiving an errors on install (to which I may open a ticket here or on github later), I was curious to see if anyone had packaged it for Ubuntu.

  • 1
    This particular package is apparently being added to xenials applicaitons. I am assuming the launchpad versions for earlier releases are OK. – Charles Green Mar 10 '16 at 17:09
  • Thanks. What is the xenials? – Rick Mar 10 '16 at 17:19
  • 1
    Xenial is the codename for Ubuntu 16.04, out in April. – Oli Mar 10 '16 at 17:21
  • So this may be a non-issue in a month then? – Rick Mar 10 '16 at 17:22

There are a few problems:

  • Any repo can overwrite any package by default. You can pin a repo to only allow certain packages but that doesn't help against this because...
  • Those packages can write files anywhere. They'd have to not overwrite any existing files but there are plenty of places you could hide a malicious file, which isn't to mention...
  • Packages can run anything as root on install and removal.

So yes, if you can't trust the controller of a repository (or trust that they're vetting the code that's going into the repo), you shouldn't be using that repo. A malicious package is game over.

  • As I thought. I generally do not add 3rd party repos, but for the particular situation, since Juce should be in 16.04, I should just wait a month. Upvote and many thanks. – Rick Mar 10 '16 at 17:24

Your Answer

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you acknowledge that you have read our updated terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy, and that your continued use of the website is subject to these policies.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.