Fake user data for download

Some software require user data like name and address to download it. It does not matter what you put in, so we can use fake data.

An example is DaVinci Resolve which we are currently packaging in PR #152113.

Arch Linux uses this fake data:

_reqjson="{ \
    \"firstname\": \"Arch\", \
    \"lastname\": \"Linux\", \
    \"email\": \"someone@archlinux.org\", \
    \"phone\": \"202-555-0194\", \
    \"country\": \"us\", \
    \"state\": \"New York\", \
    \"city\": \"AUR\", \
    \"product\": \"DaVinci Resolve\" \

Since it does not matter what we put in, we should not spend too much time bikeshedding about it, but i think it’s an opportunity to advertise our project.

To make it more unlikely that the download fails, because we use a city that is not in their form drop down, we should use a real location. Our users are all around the world, so i suggest we use the location where the project started and make it popular in the vendors stats!

First Name: NixOS
Last Name: Linux (that’s our family)
Email: someone@nixos.org (maybe use a real e-mail to reach package maintainers instead?)
Phone: +31 71 452 5670 (from Fake Netherlands Phone Numbers (Array) - United States - Fake Number)
Country: Netherlands
State/Province: Province of Utrecht
Postcode: 3584CX
City: Utrecht
Address: Heidelberglaan 200

(NixOS started in 2003 as a research project at Utrecht University)

Since this topic relates to marketing, i invite the marketing team to leave their opinion.

My goal here is to decide which data package maintainers should use and document it, so no one has to spend time thinking about it in the future.


A legal entity exists for the NixOS Foundation, though that might not be a good choice for this purpose.

Either way, for me personally the main trouble is in restrictions like non-redistributability.

If user data is required for download, I wonder if automated download with fake data is even… complying to the requirements. But it probably depends on each particular case, and maybe even jurisdiction; I’m no lawyer.

Thanks for your responses!

The form says:

Your details will be registered on the Blackmagic Design database to receive occasional news of important software updates, new products and services.

I don’t think the NixOS Foundation wants such information.

I think that is a solved issue and not related to this case. If they don’t want us to redistribute it, we don’t do it and let the user build the package locally.

Yes, that depends on their requirement. When i sign a form from a german state department, i sign something like “i assure the correctness of the provided information”. In the case of DaVinci Resolve there is nothing like that. So i assume it to be legal to provide fake data. But i’m also not a lawyer.

Right :smiley: (pad to 20)