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Re: Limiting the power of packages

Lars Wirzenius wrote on 03/10/2018:
> The problem: when a .deb package is installed, upgraded, or removed,
> the maintainer scripts are run as root and can thus do anything.
> Sometimes what they do is an unwelcome surprise to the user. For
> example, the Microsoft Skype .deb and the Google Chrome .deb add to
> the APT sources lists and APT accepted signing keys.

> A suggestion: we restrict where packages can install files and what
> maintainer scripts can do.

> This could be done, for example, by having each package labelled with
> an installation profile, which declares what the package intends to do
> upon installation, upgrade, or removal.
> * default: install files in /usr only
> * kernel: install files in /boot, trigger initramfs
> * core: can install files anywhere, trigger anything

This would be a nice safety feature for users and for us maintainers: I
know I won't screw up anybody's system with a font package as I
restricted it to /usr/share and /etc/fonts.

But I don't think it would solve the problem you pose. Who is going to
set the profile? If if is the 3rd party packager, they will just use
'core' and install their APT source (or whatever they want). If it can
be specified or overridden by the user at install time, then trying to
install Skype with --profile=default will make the installation fail,
and the user will just resort to --profile=core.