Notes for Distributors¶
This document has information for anyone who is packaging copies of Botan for use by downstream developers, such as through a Linux distribution or other package management system.
In most environments, zlib, bzip2, and sqlite are already installed, so there is
no reason to not include support for them in Botan as well. Build with options
--with-zlib --with-bzip2 --with-sqlite3 to enable these features.
Even though OpenSSL is also typically already installed, using
--with-openssl by default is not recommended. OpenSSL is sometimes faster
and sometimes slower than Botan, and the relative speeds vary depending on the
algorithm and CPU.
Set Path to the System CA bundle¶
Most Unix/Linux systems maintain a list of trusted CA certificates at some well
known path like
/etc/ssl/cert.pem. Unfortunately the exact path varies between systems. Use
--system-cert-bundle=PATH to set this path. If the option is not used,
configure.py tries a list of known locations.
Set Distribution Info¶
If your distribution of Botan involves creating library binaries, use the
--distribution-info= to set the version of your
packaging. For example Foonix OS might distribute its 4th revision of the
package for Botan 2.1.3 using
--distribution-info='Foonix 2.1.3-4'. The
string is completely free-form, since it depends on how the distribution numbers
releases and packages.
Any value set with
--distribution-info flag will be included in the version
string, and can read through the
Minimize Distribution Patches¶
We (Botan upstream) strongly prefer that downstream distributions maintain no long-term patches against Botan. Even if it is a build problem which probably only affects your environment, please open an issue on github and include the patch you are using. Perhaps the issue does affect other users, and even if not it would be better for everyone if the library were improved so it were not necessary for the patch to be created in the first place. For example, having to modify or remove a build data file, or edit the makefile after generation, suggests an area where the build system is insufficiently flexible.
Obviously nothing in the BSD-2 license prevents you from distributing patches or modified versions of Botan however you please. But long term patches by downstream distributors have a tendency to bitrot and sometimes even result in security problems (such as in the Debian OpenSSL RNG fiasco) because the patches are never reviewed by the library developers. So we try to discourage them, and work to ensure they are never necessary.