[Python-Dev] doc for new restricted execution design for Python

Brett Cannon brett at python.org
Wed Jun 28 19:49:03 CEST 2006

On 6/28/06, Guido van Rossum <guido at python.org> wrote:
> On 6/28/06, Brett Cannon <brett at python.org> wrote:
> > On 6/28/06, Guido van Rossum <guido at python.org> wrote:
> > > - File size should be rounded up to some block size (512 if you don't
> > > have filesystem specific information) before adding to the total.
> >
> > Why?
> Because that's how filesystems work. Allocations are in terms of block
> sizes. 1000 files of 1 byte take up the same space as 1000 files of
> 512 bytes (in most common filesystems anyway -- I think Reiserfs may
> be different).
> > > - Total number of files (i.e. inodes) in existence should be capped,
> too.
> >
> > If you want that kind of cap, just specify individual files you are
> willing
> > to let people open for reading; that is your cap.  Only have to worry
> about
> > this if you open an entire directory open for writing.
> I'm not talking about filedescriptors (although that's another
> cappable resource); I'm talking about number of files in the
> filesystem. Most unix filesystems have a limit; I've run into it
> occasionally when I had a really large partition with not enough
> inodes configured and I was creating lots of tiny files. See df(1).

I understand that.  What I am saying is that by specifying only specific
files to open you cap the number of open inodes you create.  If you only
have room for five more inodes for the program to open, only specify five
specific files for the sandboxed interpreter (see?  I learn fast  =) that it
can open.

> > - If sandboxed code is allowed to create directories, the total depth
> > > and the total path length should also be capped.
> >
> > Once again, another one of those balance issues of where do we draw the
> line
> > in terms of simplicity in the setting compared to controlling every
> possible
> > setting people will want (especially, it seems, when it comes to writing
> to
> > disk).  And if you want to allow directory writing, you need to allow
> use of
> > the platform's OS-specific module ( e.g., posix) to do it since open()
> won't
> > let you create a directory.
> >
> > I really want to keep the settings and setup simple.  I don't want to
> > overburden people with a ton of security settings.
> Well, I prefixed it with "if you want to allow directory creation". If
> you don't allow that, fine. But if you do allow that (and it's an
> easily controlled operation just like file creation) I've given you
> some things to watch out for. I once ran into a situation where a
> script had gone off into deep recursion and created a near-infinite
> hierarchy of directories that rm -r couldn't remove (because it
> constructs absolute paths that exceeded MAXPATH).

I would rather not handle that and just warn people that if they allow full
use of 'os' that they better know what they are doing.


> > (I find reading about trusted and untrusted code confusing; a few
> > > times I've had to read a sentence three times before realizing I had
> > > swapped those two words. Perhaps we can distinguish between trusted
> > > and sandboxed? Or even native and sandboxed?)
> > Fair enough.  When I do the next draft I will make them more distinctive
> > (probably "trusted" and "sandboxed").
> Great!
> --
> --Guido van Rossum (home page: http://www.python.org/~guido/)
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