Almost by definition, things are impractical. I doubt that debsums is any less impractical than, say, tripwire. (Not intending to debate that here.) I guess we have to go back to - security is, by definition, hard on time / energy / resources. Never mind vetting the vetters, web of trust, and internet of things, continuously growing the problem.
Nature of the beastie … and does it bring sufficient value to the party, I suppose.
In any case, although I appreciate the idea of vetting against source, that is too narrow a definition. It does not take into account user changes and files beyond original. Installations aren’t static. e.g. A file of contacts, with a changed phone number, could in theory be disastrous for the audience whonix is trying to serve.
I don’t disagree wasteful to reinvent the wheel, let those willing to dive in to the fiddly bits of such do so, and leverage that work - which would apply across all systems everywhere.
Not to say whonix can’t do its own thing for its own development, e.g. scripts, the runtime value of which was the question of the OP.
> The runtime checking for hdd issues, bit flip and non-sophisticated malware could be implemented as a shell and python library that gets run by any script at startup.
Without kernel change or the ‘ick’ of LD shimming (which would itself be suspect, particularly in a chain)?
I wonder to what extent selinux, apparmor, or a bastion host brings to the whonix party. (Integrity of system, vs. anonymity of outgoing network stream.)
In any case, seems the answer to the value of runtime checking is ‘yes’, however the solution to doing so is not present. And it is likely this is a well known issue that others than whonix are cognizant of and likely beating on, and we’ll probably hear about it if it is ever solved satisfactorily.
Doesn’t mean whonix couldn’t ‘sign’ its own stuff if it wanted to, I guess.