[Python-Dev] Validating SSL By Default (aka Including a Cert Bundle in CPython)

R. David Murray rdmurray at bitdance.com
Mon Jun 3 11:28:51 CEST 2013

On Mon, 03 Jun 2013 19:38:45 +1200, Ben Hoyt <benhoyt at gmail.com> wrote:
> Love this idea. Some third-party HTTP libraries turn this on by
> default in any case (eg: requests, and I think others), so this would
> mean Python would get their "safe-by-default" behaviour in its stdlib.
> > > Ideally this would take the shape of attempting to locate the system
> > > certificate store if possible, and if that doesn't work falling back to the
> > > bundled certificates. That way the various Linux distros can easily have
> > > their copies of Python depend soley on their built in certs, but Windows,
> > > OSX, Source compiles etc will all still have a fallback value.
> >
> > My preference would be actually be for the included certificates file
> > to be used by default. This would provide a consistent experience
> > across platforms. We could provide options to look for system cert
> > repositories if desired.
> Very much agreed. When the Windows version of the mimetypes module
> tried to use Windows' system mimetype mappings by default, chaos and
> bugs ensued (for example, http://bugs.python.org/issue15207 and
> http://bugs.python.org/issue10551).

On the other hand, the fact that it uses /etc/mimetypes on unix
does *not* cause chaos, quite the opposite:  it means Python recognizes
new mime types provided by the distro automatically, which provides
for a more consistent experience for the Python application user.

The situation for certs is probably fairly parallel:  on unix, it would
probably be an advantage as Python would automatically follow distro
decisions about cert chains, while on windows trying to use a system
cert store would probably be a disaster.

An application can choose to explicitly ignore the system mimetypes
file, by the way.

That said, I don't feel strongly either way about the cert store case.


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