[Bug 1098233] Re: flashplugin-installer do not honore proxy settings

Jan Groenewald jan at aims.ac.za
Wed Aug 14 12:57:52 UTC 2013

I think the problem is un update-notifier

This bit of code checks the environment 
0 jan at muizenberg:/var/autofs/misc/home/jan$grep -C3 nv /usr/lib/update-notifier/package-data-downloader
	Failed downloads are reported to the user via the
	update-notifier interface."""

	# Get our proxy settings from the environment
	proxies = {}
		for proto in ('http','https','ftp'):
				proxies[proto] = os.environ[proto+"_proxy"]
			except KeyError:

0 jan at muizenberg:/var/autofs/misc/home/jan$dpkg -S /usr/lib/update-notifier/package-data-downloader
update-notifier-common: /usr/lib/update-notifier/package-data-downloader

Both these /etc/environment and /etc/apt/apt.conf are ignored:

0 jan at muizenberg:/var/autofs/misc/home/jan$cat /etc/environment PATH="/usr/local/sbin:/usr/local/bin:/usr/sbin:/usr/bin:/sbin:/bin:/usr/games"
0 jan at muizenberg:/var/autofs/misc/home/jan$cat /etc/apt/apt.conf
Acquire::http::proxy "http://proxy.aims.ac.za:3128/";
Acquire::https::proxy "https://proxy.aims.ac.za:3128/";
Acquire::ftp::proxy "ftp://proxy.aims.ac.za:3128/";
0 jan at muizenberg:/var/autofs/misc/home/jan$

However when I run

env | grep prox

from either root's crontab -e or from /etc/crontab as root, I do see the
appropriate proxies set. I thought this was where os.environ would get
the value, but it does not. You can stick a print statement in  /usr/lib
/update-notifier/package-data-downloader to see that omission.

Some history

Some of those workarounds seem way too long. For us it works to go from
the command line (not from cron) , where your http_proxy is set:

apt-get --reinstall install flashplugin-installer

In real life, many of my users flash stops working each time there is an
update to flashplugin-installer, because they are not familiar with the
command line. In addition, their entire apt system stays broken with
this error popping up every subsequent time they install/update anything
else graphically.

So, while it is marked as WONTFIX here:
seems to be due to this:

That still leaves many users in a bad position. Despite the comment 4
linked above explaining why apt.conf should not be read. However, it
goes on to say:

"So you can specify a system proxy by setting the http_proxy variable in
/etc/environment. Depending on how you're gaining root privileges for
apt, you may still run into problems due to bug #982684, which will
hopefully be fixed soon."

That other bug #982684 is fixed released April 2013, but I don't really
see how it affects the cronjob /etc/cron.daily/update-notifier, though
I'm not sure the cronjob uses sudo or pkexec.

In any case, on Ubuntu 12.04.2, the proxy still isn't read from
/etc/environment. If that is really fixed then the problem will go away
for many users who do set /etc/environment (knowingly by editing the
file, or unknowningly from the Dash > Network > Proxy > Manual > Apply
Systemwide, which seems to write to /etc/environment).

And while that will fix it for my computer lab institutional desktops,
imaged by me, all the visiting laptops set the proxy via PAC file, not
via manual > apply system wide, so that they still don't have the
problem fixed.

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