Split Softokn off from NSS
The softokn cryptographic module of NSS should be split off as nss-softokn package. The utilities library which is a common library required by softokn and the rest of nss utils should also be packaged separately as nss-utils.
- Name: emaldonado
- email: email@example.com
- Targeted release: Fedora 28
- Last updated: (DATE)
- Percentage of completion: 75%
The softokn cryptographic module of NSS should be split off as the nss-softkn pacakage. A set of utilities called by both softokn and the rest of NSS would also need to be packaged as its own package.
NSS is FIPS 140 validated but what is really submitted for FIPS validation is the cryptographic module, that is, softkn. This split is to enable users and packagers to upgrade to the current version of NSS while preserving the last FIPS validated version of the cryptographic module if they so require. Fedora based distributions such as, but not limited to, RHEL would greatly benefit from this feature in terms of maintenance.
Benefit to Fedora
It will make Fedora a convenient Linux distribution to use when trying to be FIPS compliant.
This will not affect developers as it is a packaging change only and no changes to the NSS API are required nor changes to their build systems. The same libraries are shipped as before. They just get distributed among three packages.
The nss shared libraries which are currently distributed as
nss: libnss3.so, libnssutil3.so, libnssdbm3.so, libssl3.so, libsmime3.so, libsoftokn3.so, libsoftokn3.chk, libnssckbi.so, libnsspem.so softokn-freebl: libfreebl3.so, libfreebl3.chk
would be distributed among the packages as
nss: libnss3.so, libnssutil3.so, libnssdbm3.so, libssl3.so, libsmime3.so, libnssckbi.so, libnsspem.so softokn: libsoftokn3.so, libsoftokn3.chk softokn-freebl: libfreebl3.so, libfreebl3.chk util: ibnssutil3.so
How To Test
Separately package nss, nss-softokn, and nss-util all having the same version numbers. Separately package nss, and nss-util as the latest release while keeping nss-softokn at an earlier release such as the current release which gor FIPS validated. There should not be conflicts at installation time in either of the above cases. Components that depend on NSS should install withourt conflicts There should be no regressions for components that depend on NSS. Examples of these are glibc, mod_nss, nss_compat_nss, crypto-utils, openswan, and Pidgin's libpurple.
Neither developers nor end users should notice any difference with the exception seeing more packages being installed if they look closely at their yum installs or upgrades.
glibc, pmod_nss, nss_compat_nss, crypto-utils, openswan, and libpurple are some packages that depend on NSS. NSSS has no significant dependencies except for NSPR and this would have no effect on this relationship.
There are two contingency plans in case this split cannot be accomplished in time. 1) Make softokn and util sub-packages of nss instead of stand-alone packages. 2) Revert to using the current monolithic approach.
- A proof of concept implementation of this proposal can be obtained by executing
- The Fedora Release Notes should describe the new packaging.