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pkg-gate / doc / system_repository.txt

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System Repository and Publishers


Linked images, and zones in particular, must keep certain packages
in sync with the global zone in order to be functional. The global zone will
constrain packages within the non-global zones and configure special publishers
in the non-global zone (NGZ). These publishers (henceforth called system
publishers) are special because the non-global zone cannot make certain kinds of
modifications to them. Among the forbidden operations for the non-global zone on
the system publishers are deleting, disabling, removing or replacing origins
provided by the system repository, and any other operations which might prevent
the solver from meeting the constraints imposed by the constraint package. The
global zone must provide the means for the non-global zone to configure itself
with system publishers by providing information like origins. The global zone
also has to provide a connection to the system publishers' repositories which is
available even in a scratch zone.

The Data path:

The pkg client in the NGZ uses the system repository in the global zone as a
proxy to the system publishers.  To ensure that a communication path between the
pkg client in the NGZ and the system repository in the global zone always
exists, the zone proxy client and the zone proxy daemon were created.

The zone proxy client runs in the NGZ. When started, it creates a socket which
listens on an inet port on in the NGZ. It passes the file descriptor
for this socket to the zone proxy daemon in the global zone via a door call. The
zone proxy daemon listens for connections on the file descriptor. When zone
proxy daemon receives a connection, it proxies the connection to the system
depot.  The system depot is an Apache instance running in the global zone which
provides connectivity to and configuration of publishers.

The system depot acts as a proxy for the http and https repositories for
the publishers it provides.  When proxying to https repositories, it uses the
keys and certificates in the global zone to identify itself and verify the
server's identity.  It also provides a http interface to the file repositories
for the publishers it provides as well as serving publisher and image
configuration via the syspub/0 response.


The syspub/0 response is a p5s file.  The p5s file contains publisher
configuration and image configuration.  Currently, the only image configuration
it contains is the publisher search order for the provided publishers, but other
information may be added to the response as needed.  In addition to the basic
collection of publisher information, the p5s file also contains a list of URIs
which the pkg client should proxy to via the system depot instead of contacting
them directly.  When creating a p5s file, the URI for origins and mirrors can
be transformed.  HTTPS URIs are transformed to HTTP URIs since the system depot
will be doing the SSL communication, not the pkg client.  File URIs are
transformed into HTTP URIs with a special format.  The URIs contain the special
token "<sysrepo>" which the p5s parser knows to replace with the URI of the zone
proxy client.  The rest of the URI contains the prefix of the publisher, then
the sha1 hash of the global zone path to the file repository.

The information for the syspub/0 response comes from the global zone's image's
configuration.  The application/pkg/system-repository service is responsible for
transforming the image configuration into an Apache configuration file and
causing the system depot to reread its configuration.  The global zone
pkg client restarts the application/pkg/system-repository service whenever the
image's publisher configuration changes.

The Apache configuration file, written by using the Mako template
sysrepo_httpd.conf.mako does two things:

 * enables an Apache proxy accepting only requests to the configured
   publisher http URIs (and utilizes a file-based proxy cache) only listening
   on the loopback interface by default.

 * adds a series of mod_rewrite RewriteRule and Alias directives to allow
   the Apache instance to gain access to configured file:// publishers.

The Apache URIs are accessible from the system repository configured at
'<sysrepo>' for a given publisher '<publisher>' are below.

We serve static responses to the following URIs, the content being either
a known versions file, or the p5s file mentioned above:


For access to file:// repositories, we use rewrite rules and Alias directives to
access the file repository contents.  In order to allow repositories with
different paths, yet prevent exposing those paths to system repository clients,
we use an SHA-1 hash of the path, and include that in the URI (below, this hash
is represented by "HASH")  The URIs we accept for file:// repositories are:

  http://<sysrepo>/<publisher>/HASH/file/1/<file hash>
  http://<sysrepo>/<publisher>/HASH/manifest/0/<package name@version>

The system publisher also responds to 'OPTIONS * HTTP/1.0' requests.

When we detect that a request to a given <publisher>/HASH refers to a GZ
publisher within a .p5p archive, that request is rewritten so that a custom WSGI
application, handles the request.  That application accepts URIs
of the form:


where path is the remainder of the original system repository file:// URI, after
the <publisher> and HASH components have been removed.
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