[IPython-dev] Notebook kernels + LXC

Thomas Kluyver takowl at gmail.com
Wed Oct 24 12:48:52 EDT 2012

A question on SO [1] got me thinking again about security in
multi-user cases. I've read recently about LXC [2], which provides
lightweight isolated environments for a set of processes.

Is there mileage in an option for the notebook server to start each
kernel in a new LXC container? That would give OS-level limitations on
what a remote user can do, without the overhead of running full
virtual machines. I imagine this could be paired with a way to share
access to a particular notebook or session, so a malicious user
getting access can only damage files in that project. It could
probably also be set up so that file access is read-only.

Of course, I may be on completely the wrong track. But the notebook is
clearly going to be used in cases where the 'all or nothing' access to
the underlying system is too coarse. Maybe this is one way to offer
finer-grained control.

[1] http://stackoverflow.com/questions/13044921/prevent-user-del-files-in-ipython-notebook-environment/13053501#13053501
[2] http://lxc.sourceforge.net/


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