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Snap-declaration store scoping

Store scoping is the inclusion of a brand store on-store constraint linked to an auto-connection in the snap-declaration assertion, a file used to describe various snap properties.

Linking an auto-connection grant to a brand store limits the scope of an interface. This then safeguards against malicious attacks that might otherwise allow auto-connections to be made outside a brand store when a snap is installed on a generic device.

Declaration syntax

Old versions of the snap-declaration assertion could only define auto-connections in a way that couldn’t link connections to a brand store:

type: snap-declaration
format: 1
authority-id: canonical
revision: 1
series: 16
snap-id: some-snap-id
plugs:
  snapd-control:
    allow-auto-connection: true
    allow-installation: true
publisher-id: some-account-id
snap-name: snap-name
timestamp: 2022-01-26T11:15:49.885580Z
sign-key-sha3-384: some-account-key

With the release of snapd version 2.36 in 2018, the snap-declaration assertion was updated to include a brand store definition for each granted interface:

type: snap-declaration
format: 1
authority-id: canonical
revision: 2
series: 16
snap-id: some-snap-id
plugs:
  snapd-control:
    allow-auto-connection:
      on-store:
        - your-brand-store
    allow-installation:
      on-store:
        - your-brand-store
publisher-id: some-account-id
snap-name: snap-name
timestamp: 2022-01-26T11:15:49.885580Z
sign-key-sha3-384: some-account-key

The following shows the previous snap-declaration assertion updated to use the new brand store limits with your-brand-store as an example:

Old version                         New version
                 
plugs:                              plugs:
  snapd-control:                      snapd-control:
    allow-auto-connection: true         allow-auto-connection:
    allow-installation: true              on-store:
                                           - your-brand-store
                                        allow-installation:
                                          on-store:
                                           - your-brand-store

Design limitations mean a snap can’t be prevented from being installed, but linking an auto-connection to a brand store means any auto-connection can be prevented from happening.

The Snap Store team admins can enable this feature with no action needed from the customer: the process includes generating new revisions for each snap-declaration assertion, for each snap, with special interface grants in the customer’s brand store.

Devices on shelves

The oldest version of snapd that supports snap-declaration store scoping is 2.36.

If a customer has devices already flashed and sitting on shelves with a snapd version 2.36 or newer, the addition of store scoping will be transparent to those devices when first booted.

If a customer has devices on shelves flashed with a version of snapd older than 2.36, they should also update autonomously, with snapd updating first before migrating the assertions to the newer formats. This assumes refreshing is correctly in place.

Lastly, if a customer has existing snaps that require new auto-connections in newer revisions, they should consider defining the assumes attribute in their snapcraft.yaml file.

Pre-existing auto-connections in a pre store-scoped snap-declaration should not be affected because of the assertion format handling.

Rolling back store scoping

In the unlikely event that enabling store scoping causes a customer to experience issues, the constraint can be disabled. It’s possible for a snap to have a snap-declaration assertion revision with the on-store constraint and next one without, for example, and snapd will use the newer revision.

Last updated 7 months ago. Help improve this document in the forum.