gittuf implements a subset of the TUF specification with some modifications to make it a better fit for Git repositories. A more detailed description of gittuf can be found in the living design document.
Note: Some of the features listed here are still under active development. Contributions are welcome!
gittuf has the following key features.
gittuf uses TUF semantics to establish a root of trust for a Git repository. The owners of the Git repository are expected to maintain this root of trust, which is fundamental to the rest of gittuf’s features.
gittuf allows repository owners to declare and distribute the public keys required to verify Git commit and tag signatures. While Git provides mechanisms for signing with GPG, SSH keys, and X.509 certificates, discovering verification materials and identifying whether they can be trusted is left to users.
Unfortunately, this has some shortcomings. For one, it is not trivial to always identify the right public keys to use. Additionally, using existing distribution and revocation systems like the PGP/GPG Web of Trust has unfortunate side effects. If a key is revoked, it is unclear which of its historic signatures can continue to be trusted. gittuf tackles these issues by directly associating public keys with the repository and by continuously tracking policies so that it is unambiguous when a key is revoked.
gittuf builds on the improved key distribution and revocation mechanisms by leveraging Git’s commit and tag signing to define access control policies. Repository owners can define rules such as the set of developers authorized to make changes to a branch or create a tag. In addition, repository owners can also create policies that dictate which users can make changes to specific files in the repository. In each of these cases, developers are primarily identified by their signing keys. gittuf provides a granular permission model that can be used to create branch protection rules, maintain write-permissions in monorepos, and more, all without reliance on a centralized security system!
While developing gittuf, we have the following goals.
gittuf provides features to implement different policies without requiring the use of specific systems or tools. For example, gittuf supports a variety of signing mechanisms such as GPG keys and Sigstore’s gitsign.
gittuf is designed with great care to be compatible with standard Git repositories. All additional artifacts are stored in Git’s object store in a gittuf-specific namespace. These artifacts are not visible in the “main” contents of a repository, and therefore do not create any clutter.