LADDER(1)             User Contributed Perl Documentation            LADDER(1)

       Ladder - creates migration repositories for software release sets

       Ladder creates a SecureApt repository to migrate production devices
       from one release milestone to the next. The repository contains all
       binary packages which would be installed to upgrade the target package
       of the specified release, including base packages. Source packages are
       not included as this would make the final tarball much larger than
       necessary. Sources should remain available via the main repositories.

       For the purposes of "ladder", the bare installation / rootfs should be
       considered to always precede the first software release. Subsequent
       steps can then be based on the tarball of the previous milestone.

       Note that if using "multistrap" or a foreign architecture
       "debootstrap", ensure that the rootfs inside the tarball is configured
       and repacked before being used with "ladder". i.e.  use the production
       tarball rather than the build system tarball.

       Ladder checks the installed package list from the production tarball
       for that release, calculates the packages needed to migrate to the
       specified milestone and prepares a repository containing those
       packages, including all dependencies.

       If the specified package list and the specified milestone are NOT
       contiguous, errors can result if some of the contained packages need to
       migrate between data formats. For most cases, create a ladder step for
       each software release and upgrade devices in the same sequence.
       "ladder" steps can be chained by modifying the update scripts.

Config files
       Ladder configuration files live in /etc/ladder.d/ and need to be named
       after the release described. e.g. /etc/ladder.d/internal.conf.

       A minimal file to upgrade to Debian sid could look like:


       A more comprehensive config file could look like:

        extrapackages=bar baz other

       (It is possible to list more than one package, as a space separated
       list.  Commas or other markers will not be parsed by apt.)

       The section name (e.g. internal in the example above) is used as the
       milestone name, which can differ from the suite name and the branch

       For more information on the key and keyringdir options, see the section
       on SecureApt below.

       The rootfs is expected to carry some existing apt sources, the location
       specified in the config file should be the one additional source which
       provides the updated packages and the expectation is that this will
       have a different suite name to the suite configured in the rootfs. If
       the location and suite are the same, "apt" will print messages about
       duplicate source lists but these messages can be ignored.

       In order for apt to calculate the packages needed for the update, all
       repositories which are enabled in the rootfs tarball including the
       location specified in the config file must be accessible on the machine
       running "ladder".

Deployment of ladder tarballs
       The final tarball contains an example apt source showing the syntax
       which would be suitable for use with the packaged repository. The full
       path will need to be specified in the final sources list file.  e.g.

        deb copy:///milestone suite main

       May need to be modified to:

        deb copy:///media/usb0/milestone suite main

       The example source is packaged as ladder.list in the tarball.

       The key should normally already be part of a keyring package and
       installed on the devices. If not, an exported copy of the public key is
       also included in the tarball which can be included into the device
       keyring using "apt-key" (which needs to be run as root):

        apt-key add /path/milestone/ladder.gpg

       Some scripting / programming support will be needed to make this
       process seamless on-device, in particular to provide the knowledge of
       the actual sequence of milestone names, but this is beyond the scope of
       "ladder", if only because the ladder tarball needs to be unpacked

       If the system is set with some standard apt sources already, the
       upgrade will need to only allow "apt-get" to see the ladder repository
       (because the normal network connection isn't available, so the update
       would fail).  To do this, use apt command line options to reset the
       location of the SourceList and SourceParts:

        apt-get -o Dir::Etc::SourceList=ladder.list -o Dir::Etc::SourceParts=./dir/ update

       (./dir/ should be an empty directory - or a directory containing empty
       .list files and nothing else.)

       The only requirements to use the ladder tarball are to create the
       relevant source list file, ensure the key is available and then call
       apt-get update; apt-get upgrade. There is no need for perl, reprepro or
       anything else used by "ladder" itself.

Example update script
       If the configuration file includes the "updatescript" option an example
       script will be included, listing the value of the "rootpackage" option
       to be removed. If the "mountpoint" option is set, the DIR variable will
       be set in the example script as well. (You may need to invest time in a
       "udev" rule as part of your rootfs to get a known mount point but such
       rules are beyond the scope of this documentation.)


        set -e
        CONFIG=-y -o Dir::Etc::SourceList=${DIR}/ladder.list -o Dir::Etc::SourceParts=${DIR}/list.d/
        apt-key add ${DIR}/pubkey.asc
        apt-get ${CONFIG} update
        if [ -n "$ROOTPKG" ]; then
           apt-get ${CONFIG} --purge autoremove $ROOTPKG
        apt-get ${CONFIG} dist-upgrade
        apt-get ${CONFIG} autoclean

       Signing a ladder step repository requires that the secret key is usable
       without a passphrase and that the secret key is accessible to the root
       user, either directly or via sudo.

       As with anything related to GnuPG, protecting the secret key is the
       sole responsibility of the key owner. It is recommended that ladder
       steps are only created in a secure environment comparable with that
       used to generate the keys. The same requirements apply to the machines
       which use the secret key to sign the internal milestone repositories,
       so it may be appropriate to create ladder steps on those machines.

       Specifying a keyring directory and key ID
           If "keyringdir" is used, the specified directory must contain the
           public and secret keyrings which contain the specified "key".
           "ladder" will then make both the secret key and public key
           accessible to the root user using a temporary keyring in
           /var/lib/ladder/keys. Only the key available in
           /var/lib/ladder/keys will be available to the repository signing
           process. "ladder" only needs to be able to read the secret and
           public keyrings of the keyringdir specified. Ensure that the secret
           key is available - without a passphrase - or the repository will
           not be signed.

       Using just a key ID
           If "keyringdir" is not used, the user must ensure that the key is
           available to the root user as ladder requires sudo/root to be able
           to use apt. Ensure that the specified secret key is available -
           without a passphrase - to the root user or the repository will not
           be signed.

            sudo gpg --list-secret-key KEYID

           Using "keyringdir" is generally the easiest option.

       If the key is not available, the repository simply won't be signed and
       devices would need to pass the AllowUnauthenticated option to "apt-get"
       when using the ladder repository. ladder does not add the
       unauthenticated option to generated upgrade scripts! You can tell a
       SecureApt repository by the presence of the Release.gpg file.

       It is possible to auto-generate GnuPG keys but "ladder" does not
       support this currently. The main problem is entropy - generating a new
       GnuPG (or SSH) key requires a lot of entropy, especially as default key
       lengths increase. It is a lot easier to ensure high entropy when the
       key generation process is interactive.

   Keyring packages are recommended
       With careful planning, the security of the step upgrades can be much
       improved by modifying the update scripts to not add the signing key
       using "apt-key add" but instead to provide a keyring package in the
       rootfs itself which contains the public key which will be used to sign
       the next milestone. This is how Debian arranges keys - the release of
       milestone A is not made until the key which will be used to sign
       milestone B has the corresponding public key already included in the
       keyring package in milestone A.

       Such keyring packages themselves need to be in the milestone repository
       because then the keyring package itself is protected by SecureApt.

       Note that keyring packages will make it harder to use the downgrade
       solution explained below, hence the need for planning.

   Key expiries
       Key expiry dates will complicate "ladder" usage, especially if
       downgrades are to be available. If a device was released on milestone D
       and needs to be downgraded to milestone B, you will have problems if
       the key used to sign milestone B has since expired. Equally, repairing
       or servicing a device running milestone B becomes problematic if the
       key for milestone B has expired whilst the device was in use.

       Avoid using expiry dates on keys unless you are very, very confident
       that a particular milestone will not be in use after a certain date.

   Key management
       Keys can be revoked but this relies on the devices which need to verify
       that key being able to download the revocation certificate and then to
       still have a usable key available for the upgrade. Consider revoking
       the key for milestone B in the version of the keyring package released
       with milestone D (milestone C still needs it to be able to upgrade).
       This allows keys to be revoked on-device but still be usable should it
       become necessary to repair, service or downgrade.

       If a key is compromised, then unless the keyring package in any one
       milestone still includes a usable key, there may be no way of securely
       upgrading devices without manually adding a replacement key. Take care
       of your secret keys.

Steps and milestones
       Ladder - as with Debian - only works forwards. Downgrades are not
       supported. If the rootfs tarball contains an existing apt source which
       contains packages NEWER than the requested milestone, then the packages
       downloaded will be for the existing apt source, not the milestone.
       Check the output with the "-n|--dry-run" option.

       However, judicious use of the "rootpackage" option can assist with
       limited downgrades - especially when the software being downgraded is
       under your own control. The generated updatescript can use "apt-get
       --purge autoremove" on the root package. Specifying a core library or
       special platform dependency package here can allow the rootfs to be
       returned to a pristine state. The required milestone can then be
       installed as if from a clean base. This is not quite the same as an
       explicit downgrade but is a much more reliable mechanism as it provides
       the equivalent rootfs to when the original milestone was created.

       For these reasons, always keep a copy of the original clean rootfs
       which has no complicating apt sources.

       If your root package is a shared library, you can specify multiple root
       packages in the config file so that all released SONAME versions are
       removed. Use only spaces to separate packages in the config file.

       If you are using keyring packages, ensure that a suitable keyring
       package is available to the ladder step which purges the root package.
       To be able to upgrade to the end milestone from a purged rootfs, the
       keyring package first needs to be upgraded to include the key used to
       sign the end milestone (although the upgraded keyring package is free
       to include revoked copies of intermediary keys, if appropriate).

       Ladder works in the /var/lib/ladder directory, unpacking the tarball
       into ./rootfs and creating the repository in a directory named after
       the milestone.

       Results will be /var/lib/ladder/ladder-$name.tgz

       "ladder" was written with a specific purpose in mind but is available
       in Debian in the hope it will be useful for other situations as well.
       If there are specific situations where "ladder" could be extended to be
       more useful for others, let me know using the Debian bug tracking

       Note that "reprepro" already has snapshot support which is not the same
       as a "ladder" of milestones. Snapshots include full sources and
       ancillary packages which are not needed on-device and are intended for
       build systems and developer use - ladder milestones are intended to
       provide a small repository which can be used on machines after

perl v5.14.2                      2012-03-12                         LADDER(1)