The title says it all. I would like to know what software you have in a flatpak. If you want to include your reasoning, go ahead.

  • @henfredemars
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    5 months ago

    Yes. I removed Firefox and installed the flatpak version because it’s a little more secure.

    EDIT: it might not actually be more secure, but it doesn’t appear to be less secure based on how I read the information in the replies.

    • million
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      5 months ago

      Is that due to flatpak sandboxing?

      Edit: it’s interesting, this repo is saying the opposite, https://github.com/trytomakeyouprivate/Recommended-Flatpak-Apps/blob/main/Apps/Browsers.md

      The Flatpak Sandbox restricts the Browsers abilities to isolate the processes from another, and also valuable internal data like your history or passwords.

      Edit 2: since folks are asking further details are linked in the article. Keep in mind I am not personally making these claims, I am in learn mode just like a lot of other folks.

      From https://seirdy.one/notes/2022/06/12/flatpak-and-web-browsers/:

      When distributing browsers through Flatpak, things get a bit…weird. Nesting sandboxes in Flatpak doesn’t really work, since Flatpak forbids access to user namespaces

      • @henfredemars
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        5 months ago

        I am not so sure this really establishes that Firefox in a Flatpak is less secure. From the linked bug:

        You lose the namespace isolation, and by extension the chroot, but that’s it. It’s definitely nice to have, but to say it’s “most” of the sandboxing seems a misrepresentation. Note that some distros disable the kernel support for them by default, so that’s what they currently get regardless of Flatpak.

        It might be more accurate to say that some per process isolation features don’t work because flatpak uses them to isolate Firefox from the rest of the system. This could make it easier to smuggle data between processes in Firefox. It reads like a trade off to me and the impact depends on your security model – whether you value interprocess isolation more than isolation between the app and the system.

        Either way, interesting find! I didn’t know some of Firefox’s sandboxing is precluded by the Flatpak sandboxing. I edited my comment to dispell the claim that it’s more secure.

        • million
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          25 months ago

          Yeah as they said it’s complicated, but in an unintuitive way more sandbox of apps can lead to apps being less effective at sandboxing themselves. Which, like you said, can be good bad or neutral depending on your threat model.

          Personally I am leaning towards not using browser in Flatpaks since I trust the browser to sandbox itself. Not the position I started from initially where I would have assumed more sandboxing is a uniformly good thing.

          • @henfredemars
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            25 months ago

            Much respect for the discussion. I learned things.

      • @henfredemars
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        5 months ago

        This resource makes a claim but presents nothing to back it up. I would like to learn more.

      • million
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        25 months ago

        You should probably read the included details if you haven’t and address those points directly. I’d love to know what is wrong about the problems they have described.

        • @dino@discuss.tchncs.de
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          15 months ago

          Did you think I was referring to your post? Because otherwise I don’t understand what you are aiming at.