[FFmpeg-devel] [RFC] roots duties and rights

Michael Niedermayer michaelni
Mon Oct 11 13:23:42 CEST 2010


Attila asked me to start a discussion about what duties and rights root should
What things people have to provide for the various requests. What they expect
from root and so on.

also please keep both ML in the CC in case of replies

Heres a quick dump of /dev/brain
* Keep the system running smoothly so all "users" can do their work.
  -Keep the system secure so its not hacked
  -Recognize problems early and take preemtpive action, aka a mail to
   the MLs with "we only have 100 mb space left in incoming" for example
  -Replace hardware when it fails, search for possible donations on ML/IRC
   ask the foundation to fund hw where needed.
  -Install security updates quickly
  -Make regular backups and store them off site, keep past backups so
   undetected corruption does not make them useless
* Do all the administrative things that normal users dont have the right to
  and that havnt been delegated to volunteers.
  - Create mailinglists that are related to the project when requested by the
    project leader
  - Open and Close SVN/GIT accounts if requested by the project leader (root can
    not reject such requests)
  - Install software that is requested by project members for their work with
    the FOSS projects
  - Open SSH accounts for project members when their FOSS-project related work
    needs such account
  - help with forgotten passwords after the user proofes his identity
  - Root shall attempt to work on requests approximately in order and not ignore
    requests for months
  - Root shall in case of ambiguity of a request ask instead of guessing.
* Have plans in place for total hardware failure (fire / earthquake / ...)
* Have plans in place for the system being successfully hacked
* Root must not involve itself deeply in any of the hosted projects, that is
  to ensure roots impartiality and avoid conflict of interest
  This conflict of interest exists both in form of making decisions as root
  to favor ones personal preference in a project. As well as participating
  in project internal discussions while implicating ones authority.
* Each project shall have its own incoming directory and who has access to
  move and delete files from this directory shall be the project leaders
  decission. Its each projects duty to move files out of there.
* Root must have public GPG keys and they must be published where users can
  easily find them. These keys checksums must be available in SVN/GIT of the
  hosted projects so that people who work with the code have means to verify
  roots (and the developers) public GPG keys.
* Root must before expiration of the previous SSL key either generate SSL keys
  signed by an upstream CA or put self signed SSL keys signed with their
  gpg key on the webpage and ML

-Reject software installation when there is risk to the security or stability
 of the server
-Root may resign, in which case new candidates shall be found and a vote
 amongth all developers who had write access prior to the resignation shall be
 held. The project leader of each project has a veto right against candidates.
 This veto right is necessary as root is a service provider and not a power
 position and if one asks for candidates for root the most power hungry people
 in the projects come forward. And it is also important that root is trusted
 by all, more so than root being the one with the prettiest face.
-Like everyone root can be busy with family, military, jail, girls, pizza,
 in which case it is understood that root cannot attend to their duties for a
 while. But its expected that the roots at least try to have 1 person of them
 reachable by some means of communication within reasonable time intervals
 who has then some kind of internet access within reasonable distance in case
 of emergencies.
-Root may close an account if
 -(ssh) the account appears unused since a long time and the user doesnt
        awnser email/ML. For project specific accounts like SVN/GIT the project
        leader makes the decision about closing.
 -(any) There is reason to believe that the account is used by someone else
        than the intended user without his agreement and knowledge.
 -(any) The account is used for criminal or malicious activity
 -Root shall if there is no immedeate danger and there is doubt about the
  malliciousness of someones activities try to contact that person before
  account closure to confirm that there really is no misunderstanding and a
  legitimate intent.
-Root may temporary disable any service if its misbehaving in a way
 that causes harm like a ML sending hundreads of mails, ftp being used for
 warez, ...
-Root may ban any IP, IP range if accesses from these ranges have happened
 that cause unreasonable stability, security or bandwidth issues.
-Root may reject requests that are unrelated to the FOSS project from which
 the request is made. Root of course should not unreasonable do so but be
 nice unless there is a reason to reject (like bandwidth, space, time ...)
 root should elaborately explain such rejections to the requesting user
-Root may reject any request that is missing needed information, that is
 root does not have to go hunting missing details that the user should have
-Root may delegate any work/rights to other people of roots choice but root is
 fully responsible for that persons actions. Such delegations must be made public.
 root may revoke any such delegation without specifying reasons at any time.

Duties of the users
-If the user has reason to belive that ones pland action could affect other
 users or the stability or security of the system then he should contact the
 public mailinglists or root first and or the affected users if its just one
-Shared files (like incoming and samples) should not be moved or deleted
 without prior public dicsussion on the mailinglists
-Users shall try to provide all information root needs when making requests
 -For Mailing list creation ML name and ML admin email are needed
 -For creating of SSH accounts a public SSH key and wanted username must be
  submited by secure means
 -For recovering a forgotten password proof of identity and the username is

Michael     GnuPG fingerprint: 9FF2128B147EF6730BADF133611EC787040B0FAB

Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.
-- Albert Einstein
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