Revision 109 as of 2015-01-27 20:29:05

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While handling a security update, one must prepare the upload, then follow these steps to publish.

Publishing an Update to Soyuz


Stable releases

  1. If also unembargoing a development release from the Ubuntu Security PPA, unembargo the development release first (see below).

  2. Prepare your local configuration

  3. Upload the updated source packages via dput to each release's Security PPA target. Notification about failed builds should be automatically sent to security@ubuntu.com.

  4. If the update requires urgently updating the cloud images, alert utlemming that an update is coming that requires regenerating the images (specifics are not required so as not to accidentally break embargo). Package manifests can be found in http://cloud-images.ubuntu.com/releases/<release>/release/*.manifest

  5. Set the name of the source package being updated: export SRCPKG="srcpkg1 srcpkg2..."

  6. Wait for the finished builds on all supported architectures to finish and appear at the Ubuntu Security PPA: $UCT/scripts/sis-changes --action check-build $SRCPKG

    • NOTE: if there is a problem with a buildd, ask webops in #webops. Eg: "webops: can you please kill the build for kde4libs 4:4.9.0a-0ubuntu2 on lamiak?". Can see the build farm at https://launchpad.net/builders/.

  7. Unembargo by copying the packages into the archive accepted queue with: $UQT/security-tools/unembargo $SRCPKG

    • NOTE: if you are using unembargo to publish from a non-private PPA (eg, ubuntu-security-proposed or ubuntu-mozilla-security), you may have to also get an archive admin to adjust overrides (use find-bin-overrides and give to an archive admin).

  8. If this is a sponsored update (for universe), edit the CVE entries in UCT to reflect the update.

Development release

In general, security updates are not under embargo and can be uploaded directly to the development release without a USN. For updates that are embargoed in the development release, the process is similar to the above, but different due to LP: #334858.

  1. Prepare your local configuration

  2. Set the name of the source package being updated: export SRCPKG="srcpkg1 srcpkg2..."

  3. Upload the updated source packages via dput to the development release's Security PPA target. The distribution name should not contain the '-security' suffix. Notification about failed builds should be automatically sent to security@ubuntu.com.

  4. Wait for the finished builds on all supported architectures to finish and appear at the Ubuntu Security PPA: $UCT/scripts/sis-changes --include-devel -r <development release> --action check-build $SRCPKG. NOTE: due to a bug in sis-changes, this doesn't actually work so you'll have to check the PPA manually.

  5. When the issue is public, ask an archive admin to unembargo the package using $UQT/security-tools/unembargo $SRCPKG. Eg, to unembargo curl on utopic, ask an archive admin to use:

    $ $UQT/security-tools/unembargo --ppa=ubuntu-security -r utopic --pocket=proposed curl

    In theory, the copy-package can also be used by an archive admin, followed by any override adjustments (you can use the find-bin-overrides script from lp:ubuntu-qa-tools/security-tools for a list of overrides). However, this tool may not work with the private ubuntu-security PPA. Eg, to unembargo sudo 1.7.2p7-1ubuntu2 on utopic, you would ask the archive admin to run the following (see ArchiveAdministration for more information):

    $ copy-package -b --ppa=ubuntu-security -s utopic --to-primary --to-suite utopic-proposed -e 1.7.2p7-1ubuntu2 sudo
    $ change-override -c universe -s utopic-proposed sudo-ldap
    • This may need to be done by a someone who is both a member of ubuntu-security and ubuntu-archive

  6. Delete SRCPKG from Security PPA for the development release. This should be done before unembargoing the stable releases to ensure it is copied only to the release pocket, and not the security pocket for the development release.

  7. At this point, the publication for the development release is completed (a USN is not issued for the development release). Proceed to unembargo the stable releases as needed (see above).


Occasionally (usually only in the case of an emergency) the Ubuntu Security team may be asked to update or sponsor a package in the Canonical partner archive. After verifying that the source packaging is correct for partner, uploading is a simple matter of dputting the package to the Ubuntu archive (the Section specified in the packaging tells Launchpad to put it in partner). Launchpad restricts copies from PPAs to the partner archive, so the packages must be uploaded directly to the archive (requires membership in canonical-partner-dev).

Kernel publication

  1. Prepare your local configuration

  2. Set the name of the source package being updated, using the ABI Packages page as a guide (git branches with stars are not handled by the Security Team): export SRCPKG="srcpkg1 srcpkg2..."

  3. Make sure to check the ABI is consistent: $UQT/security-tools/kernel-abi-check

    • This will say if the ABI has changed, and what the version was in the last published USN
    • Make sure you have the latest USN database: cd $UCT; ./scripts/fetch-db database.pickle.bz2

  4. Make sure all the packages are in the archive: $UCT/scripts/sis-changes --action check-build $SRCPKG --ppa ubuntu --pocket Security -r REL

Announce Publication

(for main/restricted publications in stable releases)

  1. Assign a USN (format is NNN-S, and the following instructions assume $USN has been set as desired):
    1. For a new issue, run: USN=$(ssh people.canonical.com "~ubuntu-security/bin/get-next-usn" $SRCPKG) optionally including any extra information explaining why the USN was issued.

    2. For an old issue that needs correction or continuation, start with the issue's original USN, keep NNN and increase S. (e.g. original issue was 42-1, updated USN will be 42-2).

    3. For a new issue that affects different software with identical CVEs, get a new USN normally for the first source package, and then keep NNN and increase S for each additional source package. (e.g. CVE-2008-1693 affected both poppler and koffice, so 603-1 was used for poppler and 603-2 was used for koffice). Please note that different versions of the same software (e.g. emacs21 and emacs22) should not do this, but instead use a single USN with S=1.
  2. To create the USN template script, run: $UCT/scripts/sis-changes --download /tmp/pending $SRCPKG && cd /tmp/pending && $UCT/scripts/sis-generate-usn $USN *.changes > ~/new-usn.sh

    • For announcing kernels, add --kernel-mode --filter-bins '^linux-image-\d' --no-new-warn to the sis-generate-usn command line to make binary package lists saner. --no-new-warn is only necessary when publishing a new source tarball

    • For announcing kernels that have been already released, add --kernel-mode --filter-bins '^linux-image-\d' --no-new-warn --ppa ubuntu --pocket Security -r REL[,REL] to the sis-changes command line. --no-new-warn is only necessary when publishing a new source tarball

    • For announcing Mozilla updates, see https://wiki.ubuntu.com/SecurityTeam/PublicationNotes#Mozilla%20Publishing

  3. Edit ~/new-usn.sh to include a correct title, summary, action, description, and then limit the binary list to only those affected by the USN (umt compare-bin may be helpful in determing the affected binaries). Leave all URLs as-is. Have the description proofread by somebody else.

    • When announcing kernels, look at the *source.changes file that is now in /tmp/pending to make sure the CVEs for all the releases since the last USN are present. Make sure no CVE fixes have been reverted and are listed in ~/new-usn.sh by mistake, and that all the changelog entries since the last update are listed.

  4. To populate the USN database with the new USN details and generate the template email (sent to security@ubuntu.com), run: bash ~/new-usn.sh

  5. Wait until the packages are actually mirrored to the archive; the publisher runs hourly at :03, and updates should usually appear on security.ubuntu.com within 20-40 minutes, depending on the size and number of binary packages (note 0403 UTC publication run is skipped due to the Contents generation job). If it is more than 3 hours before the packages are mirrored, then ask #is. To verify that the packages have arrived, run: ssh people.canonical.com "~ubuntu-security/bin/check-upload $USN"

  6. Once packages are in the archive, GPG sign and send the USN email with the following headers:
    To: ubuntu-security-announce@lists.ubuntu.com
    Reply-to: Ubuntu Security <security@ubuntu.com>
    Mail-Followup-to: Ubuntu Security <security@ubuntu.com>
    This can be done any number of ways. Typically it involves forwarding the email inline, adjusting the From to be from you, adjusting the Subject to remove any Fwd text, removing any attachments, adjusting the body text to remove forwarding information, disabling any email signatures, then signing the email with PGP/MIME.
  7. Approve the USN mail on https://lists.ubuntu.com/mailman/admindb/ubuntu-security-announce. Ensure to reject duplicate mails from you (some list subscribers bounce mails back unmodified). Verify it went through in https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-security-announce/.

  8. Copy the updated USN database by running: ssh people.canonical.com "~ubuntu-security/bin/push-usn-db"

  9. Create a new USN page for this by running: w3m -dump http://www.ubuntu.com/usn/update/usn-$USN; w3m -dump http://www.ubuntu.com/usn/usn-$USN | awk '/Ubuntu Security/,/Back to top$/' This should return an 'Ok' message (eg, 'Loading USN-1110-1: Ok') followed by a text dump of the page. If this returns 'No such USN: usn-xxx', wait a couple of minutes and try again. Bugs in the microsite can be filed at https://bugs.launchpad.net/usn-website. Urgent issues for problems that are identified as problems with the USN microsite should be directed to mars (coding errors) or #webops (all other issues).

  10. Update your local USN database and update the CVE tracker:
    1. cd $UCT && bzr up && ./scripts/fetch-db database.pickle.bz2 && ./scripts/sync-from-usns.py

      • For any missing CVEs, run ./scripts/active_edit -p PACKAGE -c CVE for each package and CVE that was fixed by the USN, and fill in the details in active/CVE with an editor.

      • Run ./scripts/sync-from-usns.py -u if visual inspection of updates looks correct.

      • If visual inspection indicates that unwanted USNs will be synced, run ./scripts/sync-from-usns.py -u --usn=$USN

      • Run bzr status ; bzr diff to see what will be checked-in. Run bzr ci -m $USN to check in the changes.

  11. (This step is normally automated now.) To help reduce the load on security.archive.com, new packages in -security should be automatically copied to -updates at :28 and :58. For large updates (OOo, firefox, kernel, kdebase) be sure to verify that they did indeed get copied. If not, ping an archive admin about doing a pocket-copy from -security to -updates. Please note that security fake syncs and any packages with a new source orig.tar.gz will need to be manually copied to -updates by an archive admin.

    • IMPORTANT: the copier verifies that the new changelog in -security is a direct descendant of what is in -updates if the package currently exists in -updates. This helps ensure that a change in -updates is not reverted by a -security update. If this verification step fails, the package will not be automatically copied and a security team member must verify the changes are ok, and ask an archive admin to copy it manually.

  12. Check for any outstanding LP bugs tied to the CVEs that are resolved with the USN. https://bugs.launchpad.net/bugs/cve/YYYY-NNNN

  13. Delete SRCPKG from Security PPA.

Media coverage

Sometimes a security vulnerability is covered by the media. In an effort to provide accurate information for users, PR and journalists, use the following process if your update has media coverage or is otherwise high profile.

  1. First, prepare and publish the updates as described above once the issue is public
  2. Create a KnowledgeBase article by navigating to MediaCoverageTemplate and saving it as https://wiki.ubuntu.com/SecurityTeam/KnowledgeBase/<Something>

  3. Fill in the details of the knowledgebase article using the template
  4. Get signoff from at least one other member of the security team
  5. Update https://wiki.ubuntu.com/SecurityTeam/KnowledgeBase#Media_coverage to include a link to your new article (TODO: automate?)

  6. Send an email to 'sian.aherne@canonical.com', CC'ing 'security@ubuntu.com' and any other relevant individuals

  7. Update the CVE in UCT to reference the knowledgebase article
  8. Optionally update the published USN to reference the knowledgebase article (see below)

Republishing/Editing a Published USN

  1. Update the USN database with ssh -t people.canonical.com ~ubuntu-security/bin/edit-usn NNN-S, where NNN-S corresponds to the edited USN, eg 582-2.

  2. Copy the updated USN database by running: ssh people.canonical.com "~ubuntu-security/bin/push-usn-db"

  3. Create a new USN page for this by navigating to http://www.ubuntu.com/usn/update/usn-###-#. Via the command line: w3m -dump http://www.ubuntu.com/usn/update/usn-$USN. This should return an 'Ok' message (eg, 'Loading USN-1110-1: Ok'). If this returns 'No such USN: usn-xxx', wait a couple of minutes and try again.

Removing a Published USN

  1. On people.canonical.com, create/verify a new database with the USN removed, and copy it into place:

    $ cd ~ubuntu-security/usn
    # make a backup of the original
    $ cp ./database-all.pickle ./database-all.pickle.$(date +%Y-%m-%d)
    # create the new db:
    $ cd ~ubuntu-security/usn
    $ ../bzr-pulls/usn-tool/usn.py --export --db=./database-all.pickle > ./orig.yaml
    $ cp ./orig.yaml updated.yaml
    ... edit updated.yaml to remove the USN ...
    $ cat ./updated.yaml | ../bzr-pulls/usn-tool/usn.py --import --db=./database-all.pickle.new
    # verify the db
    $ ../bzr-pulls/usn-tool/usn.py --export --db=./database-all.pickle.new > ./verify.yaml
    $ diff ./updated.yaml ./verify.yaml # should be identical
    $ diff ./orig.yaml ./verify.yaml    # should have only the USN removed
    # copy into place
    $ mv ./database-all.pickle.new ./database-all.pickle
  2. Copy the updated USN database by running: ssh people.canonical.com "~ubuntu-security/bin/push-usn-db"

  3. ask #webops to remove the USN from the usn microsite

Local Configuration

  1. Make sure ~/.ubuntu-cve-tracker.conf is fully configured (see the u-c-t README), and set the path to the ubuntu-cve-tracker bzr tree check-out: UCT=/path/to/ubuntu-cve-tracker

  2. Grab the database.pickle file: cd $UCT; ./scripts/fetch-db database.pickle.bz2

  3. set UQT to the ubuntu-qa-tools tree check-out: UQT=/path/to/ubuntu-qa-tools

  4. Set up ~/.dput.cf with the appropriate Security PPA upload entries:

    • [security]
      fqdn = ppa.launchpad.net
      incoming = ~ubuntu-security/ppa/ubuntu/%(security)s
      login = anonymous
  5. Now you can upload with dput. For example:

    • $ dput -s security:lucid ./*_source.changes  # dry run
      $ dput security:lucid ./*_source.changes

Security Proposed PPA

This ppa is a public PPA which builds packages with only -security enabled. It is used to build packages that need wider testing. Packages can either be tested directly from this PPA, or more often pocket copied into the -proposed. A member of ubuntu-archive is required to copy packages from this PPA to -proposed.

To use the security-proposed PPA:

  1. Set up ~/.dput.cf to have an entry like this for each release:

    • [security-proposed]
      fqdn = ppa.launchpad.net
      incoming = ~ubuntu-security-proposed/ppa/ubuntu/%(security-proposed)s
      login = anonymous
  2. Then can upload with:
    • $ dput -s security-proposed:lucid ./*_source.changes  # dry run
      $ dput security-proposed:lucid ./*_source.changes

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