[ec2] [ubuntu-cloud] RFC: server-lucid-ec2-config: user-data configuration file

Carl Rosenberg carlsven at yahoo.com
Wed Jan 6 06:43:17 GMT 2010

It is perfectly reasonable to want to have stable images with no outside interference, be it for security or anything else.

All software has bugs. All updates can be presumed to have bugs until testing shows otherwise. Trusting the security procedures is not the point. The point is being able to say "exactly that image, that set of  3,081,675,282 bytes, has been tested in our system." 

Ubuntu can not do customer system testing and should not presume to.  Ubuntu can only say "we think this update fixes problem X/security concern Y and doesn't create any new problems given our test suite".

There is no bankruptcy of Ubuntu SRU policies if people want to control when they get updates. Allowing users to control when they get updates is a good thing.

Carl Rosenberg
Falling Rain Genomics

On 5 Jan 2010, at 15:38, Soren Hansen wrote:

> On Tue, Jan 05, 2010 at 03:11:50AM -0800, Eric Hammond wrote:
>> We choose when to update our running systems, often after testing in
>> development and QA environments.  However, if systems are being fired
>> up automatically by Amazon's Auto Scaling or Spot Instances and those
>> instances upgrade themselves on boot, then package upgrades are forced
>> on you whether or not you have tested, unless you choose to use a
>> date-fixed apt mirror like RightScale offers.
> If Ubuntu were ever to offer date-fixed repositories, I would personally
> consider that having declared complete bankruptcy on our SRU and
> security update policies and procedures. If we don't even trust our own
> process for these updates, and acknowledge the need for date-fixed
> repositories, we've lost. If we discover shortcomings in these
> processes, we need to fix them, not offer ways to circumvent them.
> Furthermore, even the smallest delays in applying security updates means
> a window of opportunity for an attacker. I consider it a critical
> feature for Ubuntu that our users should feel comfortable applying our
> security updates without much scrutiny.
> -- 
> Soren Hansen                 | 
> Lead virtualisation engineer | Ubuntu Server Team
> Canonical Ltd.               | http://www.ubuntu.com/
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