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Sign Repository Metadata

The RPM plugin is able to sign repository metadata using a signing service configured by an administrator. This enables package managers to verify the authenticity of metadata before installing packages referenced by that metadata. The metadata signing is enabled for all repositories that have a signing service associated with them.


Let us assume that a signing service is already supplied by an administrator and is queryable via REST API in an ordinary way. The only thing that needs to be done by a user is to create a new repository with the associated signing service, like so:

#!/usr/bin/env bash

# Create RPM repository
if [ $# -eq 0 ]; then
export REPO_NAME

echo "Fetching the signing service."
SIGNING_SERVICE_HREF=$(pulp signing-service show --name 'sign-metadata' | jq -r '.pulp_href')

echo "Creating a new repository named ${REPO_NAME}."
REPO_HREF=$(http POST "$BASE_ADDR"/pulp/api/v3/repositories/rpm/rpm/ name="${REPO_NAME}" \
    metadata_signing_service="${SIGNING_SERVICE_HREF}" \
    | jq -r '.pulp_href')
export REPO_HREF

echo "Inspecting Repository."
pulp rpm repository show --name "${REPO_NAME}"

Then, the repository needs to be published and a new distribution needs to be created out of it, as usually. Follow the instructions provided in the tutorial to do so.

The publication will automatically contain a detached ascii-armored signature and a public key. Both the detached signature and the public key are used by package managers during the process of verification.

Installing Packages

When a distribution with signed repodata is created, a user can install packages from a signed repository. But, at first, it is necessary to set up the configuration for the repository. One may initialize the configuration by leveraging the utility dnf config-manager like shown below. Afterwards, the user should be able to install the packages by running dnf install packages.

#!/usr/bin/env bash

BASE_URL=$(pulp rpm distribution show --name "${DIST_NAME}" | jq -r '.base_url')
BASE_PATH=$(pulp rpm distribution show --name "${DIST_NAME}" | jq -r '.base_path')

echo "Setting up a YUM repository."
sudo dnf config-manager --add-repo "${BASE_URL}"
sudo dnf config-manager --save \
    --setopt=*"${BASE_PATH}".gpgcheck=0 \
    --setopt=*"${BASE_PATH}".repo_gpgcheck=1 \

sudo dnf install --downloadonly -y walrus


Package managers take advantage of signed repositories only when the attribute repo_gpgcheck is set to 1. Also, bear in mind that the attribute gpgkey should be configured as well to let the managers know which public key has to be used during the verification.