February 9, 2019

Go Issue #21876 – archive/zip: Reader.Read returns ErrChecksum

Out of curiosity I took one of the HelpWanted issues from the Go Repository at github, investigated it and had some fun.


The Go Issue 21876 states that “archive/zip: Reader.Read returns ErrChecksum on certain files” where a zip file is created “where the directory entries don’t have the ’d' bit set”. Further, then such a zip file is processed with some ruby code [2] where all directory entries in the zip file are removed. Last, Go is used to transforms the zip file to a tar file [1].

What happened

IMO this is a non-issue from Go’s point of view, here is why:

I was able to reproduce the issue on “go version go1.11.5 darwin/amd64” with the *.jar file and ruby code provided to this issue. Also, I was able to create a similar zip file using ZIP(1L) on macOS that behaved similarly with the ruby script provided and then processed with the go code of this issue.

(I extracted both the go and ruby code here [0] together with a test to reproduce the issue and a fix for it)

What seems to be happening is the following:

  1. The given *.jar file contains data descriptor entries [4] for each entry in the zip file.

  2. The produced zip file by the ruby code [2] left bit 3 set on 1 of the general purpose bit flag that is part of the central directory header and that indicates the presence of a corresponding data descriptor entry for a file within the zip file…

  3. … but Ruby’s zip implementation Rubyzip [5] does not write data descriptor entries at all [6] (at least for all non-encryption zip files IMO / see ::Zip::NullDecrypter) and ignores the general purpose bit flag on bit 3 that was copied over initially [7].

  4. Go’s zip reader implementation reads the general purpose flag on bit 3 when reading the central directory header entry of every file in the zip file [8] and then expects to get to find a data descriptor entry after the corresponding file data section within the zip file.

  5. Ultimately Go’s zip reader reads a wrong CRC [9] since no data descriptor entry is present and then emits ErrChecksum

Issue reproduced

Here we produce a zip file with data descriptors included for zip file entries using “-fd” flag with ZIP(1L) on macOS. Then, as described in the issue, the ruby script is used to remove directories out of the zip file and the zip file is transformed to a tar file using Go. Run the following script to reproduce the issue:

cd src/org.golang.go.issues/21876
# see it fail
# see it not fail with cleared gp_flags (see below)
./run.sh -fixed


To fix this issue on the issuers side, general purpose flags can be cleared.

e.gp_flags &= ~0x8

Also (I’m not a ruby expert) Rubyzip’s zip output stream might have to be fixed for entries that where copied over from an existing zip file. There is an issue [10] on Rubyzip that is Open and indicates to be similar to Issue21876.

Similar to Go’s zip reader, macOS’s Archive Utility.app cannot open the ZIP file produced by Rubyzip.

ZIP data descriptor entries

missing data descriptor entries and leftover flags after Rubyzip modified zip file:

ZIP file structure (simplified)

      [local file header 1]
      [file data         1]
      [data descriptor   1] <- these are missing (incl. crc) after Rubyzip modified the zip file
      [local file header n]
      [file data         n]
      [data descriptor   n]
      [central directory header 1] <- bit 3 on the general purpose flags is still set
      [central directory header n]


[0] https://github.com/marcellanz/go-21876

[1] https://github.com/marcellanz/go-21876/blob/master/src/org.golang.go.issues/21876/go-21876.go

[2] https://github.com/marcellanz/go-21876/blob/master/src/org.golang.go.issues/21876/go-21876-issue-script-given.rb

[3] https://github.com/marcellanz/go-21876/blob/master/src/org.golang.go.issues/21876/go-21876-issue-script-given-fixed.rb

[4] https://pkware.cachefly.net/webdocs/casestudies/APPNOTE.TXT

[5] https://github.com/rubyzip/rubyzip

[6] https://github.com/rubyzip/rubyzip/blob/v1.2.2/lib/zip/output_stream.rb#L130-L131

[7] https://github.com/rubyzip/rubyzip/blob/v1.2.2/lib/zip/central_directory.rb#L127

[8] https://github.com/golang/go/blob/release-branch.go1.11/src/archive/zip/reader.go#L170-L171

[9] https://github.com/golang/go/blob/release-branch.go1.11/src/archive/zip/reader.go#L447-L448

[10] https://github.com/rubyzip/rubyzip/issues/249

© Marcel Lanz 2018-2020 | 3e5e5a2

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