[rb-general] Reproducible Android apps: resources.arsc

Torsten Grote t at grobox.de
Mon Jun 18 22:36:23 CEST 2018

Hi Chris,

On 06/18/2018 05:14 PM, Chris Lamb wrote:
> Thanks for your email. Please excuse my terse reply :)

No problem. I am German. Your reply is totally fine ;)

> Possibly, but if .apk files are "just" .zip files then diffoscope
> should really be able to handle them better.

AFAIK diffoscope uses apktool to show more differences in APK files. The
zip differences are shown via zipinfo, so I am not sure there's more
diffoscope could do.

> Could you perhaps provide two .apk files in question, ideally in a
> wishlist bug against diffoscope?

I could do that. Do you want me to go ahead with this regardless of
whether apktool is responsible for it?

> Eek! I must say this made me squirm IRl as disorderfs was intended to
> locate, detect and ultimately fix non-determinism, not to work-around
> it!  :'-(

Yeah, sorry about that. It was the only solution we could find. But that
is why I am here asking for better ideas. Also it gives us the clue that
the file ordering is probably responsible for the differences. We
consider it just a temporary work-around.

> If disorderfs ""fixes"" the issue for you, then you at least know the
> reason why. What tool, exactly, is creating these files?

The Android build process is a bit obscure. I suspect the aapt2 tool
from the Android SDK build-tools is responsible, but it might also be
the android gradle plugin.

Anyway, I agree the issue would need to be solved in Android upstream.
That is why I opened a ticket with them that I had linked in my previous
mail and which includes a bit more details.

Kind Regards,

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