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Date: Fri, 20 May 2022 10:14:07 +0200
From: Vegard Nossum <>
Subject: Re: linux-distros list policy and Linux kernel

On 5/16/22 21:12, Greg KH wrote:
> On Sun, May 15, 2022 at 06:27:40PM +0200, Solar Designer wrote:
>> 1. Adjust linux-distros policy to allow "embargoes" on publicly 
>> fixed Linux kernel issues.  (Only for Linux kernel, not for other 
>> projects.)


> So if you all could just modify the rules to be something like, 
> "embargos are not broken when changes are posted in public, or 
> accepted into public trees, unless the changes or discussions around 
> them turn out to disclose the security related issue."
> That would allow us to still get changes merged into Linus's tree, 
> and the stable trees, and the distro trees before the oss-security 
> announcement goes out to the world.

As a distribution, our preference is to see sources/patches and binaries
released simultaneously by both upstream and distributions. This way,
the window of exploitation for attackers combing through git history
and/or changelogs is as small as possible. If the patch first appears in
git or on a public mailing list before distros have had a chance to
prepare, build, and test a new release then attackers who closely
monitor these have an advantage over our users.

However, barring that option, our preference would be to adjust the
linux-distros list policy as proposed (option 1/Greg KH's proposal).

> I think we can all agree that this is our overall goal anyway, to 
> make software more secure and keep user's systems safe.  Disclosing 
> problems before the fixes even have the ability to make it to a 
> user's systems goes directly against that goal.

Absolutely agree on this -- we just have slightly different ideas of
what the best way to keep users safe is.

> I wouldn't like to see this happen as I think the distros get a lot 
> of value out of the current situation.

Absolutely, there is no doubt that our users are more secure with the
advance notice that the linux-distros list has provided us with so far.

In any case, I really think we should take this opportunity to iron out
a process that both upstream and distros are happy with and that is also
less confusing for people who want to report security issues, as that
itself has been a problem for a long time (3 mailing lists, different
embargo periods, ...).

I'll respond a bit later with a slightly more detailed option that also
includes potential modifications to the in-kernel documentation as
displayed on


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