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Thread: Adding PPAs through your browser

  1. #1
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    Adding PPAs through your browser

    What if you could add a PPA with a simple click in your browser?

    Eg, I want to install Lutris. I go to lutris.net and click the big download button, which is a PPA link. The browser sends the link to add-apt-repository-gui, which asks me to confirm and then sets up the PPA. Lutris is now automatically installed and updated.

    Would this be a good thing?

  2. #2
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    Re: Adding PPAs through your browser

    Quote Originally Posted by metacell View Post
    Would this be a good thing?
    No. It would be bad for security. Browsers are being moved into containers to prevent malicious code from running with full reign over a system. Plus, inside a business, there's often a 1:100 ratio of admins to users, so users would be frustrated when they couldn't install anything.

    I bet gdebi could be setup as a browser addon for specific mime-types. Seems like a bad idea to me to have any browser allowed to launch a program that needs sudo. What if sudo access was unlocked outside 60 seconds ago so the command from the browser completes without asking? Just seems like a terrible idea for security.

  3. #3
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    Re: Adding PPAs through your browser

    Most of what you suggest can all ready be done. A browser takes us to a web site which in turn offers to set up a PPA as a repository. Is this not what happens with Wine and the Google Chrome browser? But the software is not installed automatically. We need to update our sources list and run an install command which requires our sudo password.

    A PPA is a Personal Package Archive, and is a method of distributing software to users, without requiring developers to undergo the full process of distribution in the main ubuntu repositories.
    PPAs have not undergone the same process of validation as regular ubuntu packages.
    Subsequently, installing a PPA should be considered to be a low-security alternative as compared to the main repository,
    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/PPA

    It would be our decision to trust the developer. I certainly think that running a script from a web site and giving it administrator rights to install whatever may be listed in the script is down right dangerous.

    Regards
    It is a machine. It is more stupid than we are. It will not stop us from doing stupid things.
    Ubuntu user #33,200. Linux user #530,530


  4. #4
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    Re: Adding PPAs through your browser

    Quote Originally Posted by grahammechanical View Post
    Most of what you suggest can all ready be done. A browser takes us to a web site which in turn offers to set up a PPA as a repository. Is this not what happens with Wine and the Google Chrome browser?
    I think I've missed that. Can you click a link in Chrome and it sets up a PPA?

  5. #5
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    Re: Adding PPAs through your browser

    The browser would have to have elevated permissions to install anything if it were possible. This would be a major security issue for me.
    “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can".

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  6. #6
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    Re: Adding PPAs through your browser

    Real life example. You live in a neighborhood where theft is common. Do you leave your door unlocked while you're gone all day so you can save 10 seconds unlocking it when you get home?

  7. #7
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    Re: Adding PPAs through your browser

    Quote Originally Posted by Frogs Hair View Post
    The browser would have to have elevated permissions to install anything if it were possible. This would be a major security issue for me.
    I was thinking the browser sends the link to another app, and that app asks the user for permissions to install a PPA.

    Like when you click a magnet: link, and the browser sends the link to your BitTorrent application.

    So the browser itself wouldn't need elevated permissions, would it?

  8. #8
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    Re: Adding PPAs through your browser

    Quote Originally Posted by metacell View Post
    I was thinking the browser sends the link to another app, and that app asks the user for permissions to install a PPA.

    Like when you click a magnet: link, and the browser sends the link to your BitTorrent application.

    So the browser itself wouldn't need elevated permissions, would it?
    Having the browser as part of the installation chain would be a security issue for me though it may not for other users. Check out the pling store app image as an example of a browser with installation capabilities. https://www.pling.com/p/1175480/
    “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can".

    Ubuntu Documentation Search: Popular Pages
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