The _apt user ignores group membership.

Bug #1668944 reported by Reik Keutterling on 2017-03-01
This bug affects 1 person
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
apt (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

Actually I had the same problem described in
I want to use client certificates with apt. But I don't want to make them world readable in order to make apt working. So I created a group 'ssl-cert' and changed the group ownership of the ssl cert files to match this group. I also added the _apt user to the ssl-cert group.

Then I tried to open these files as user '_apt' in bash (su -s /bin/bash _apt) which works well.

But if I run: "apt-get -o "Debug::Acquire::https=true" update" I still get the following error:
* error reading ca cert file /etc/certs/mycert/ca.pem (Error while reading file.)
* Closing connection 26

So my guess is that apt somehow ignores the ssl-cert membership.

Possible workarounds:
- make ssl client cert world readable
- change owner ssl client cert to _apt
- change main group of _apt user from 'nogroup' to 'ssl-cert'
- set APT::Sandbox::User "root"; in apt.conf.d

Neither of them is pretty.
Maybe this is a wanted behavior, then just suggest how to fix the issue in nice way.

David Kalnischkies (donkult) wrote :

The recommended way is "chown _apt:root FILE && chmod 400 FILE" at the moment. Ideally we wouldn't need the chown (or have it root:root), but that isn't very realistic to be implementable without rolling our own TLS stack in the process at the moment, so we have to make due with that for now.
Disabling the feature or making the file world readable does work as well, but totally defeats the point of course…

I don't see what the point of trying to us groups here is. Are you trying to share the same certificate for multiple things? If so that's a bad idea. You should have a certificate for each and every usecase (= client), not a single one shared between multiple clients on the same machine.

Changed in apt (Ubuntu):
status: New → Invalid

Ok, but:

Why is it a bad idea to have a shared client certificate between multiple client applications on the same host?
Why is apt-get just not "respecting" the groups of the _apt user?

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