[Python-ideas] CLI option for isolated mode

M.-A. Lemburg mal at egenix.com
Fri Nov 9 09:19:04 CET 2012

On 08.11.2012 23:13, Christian Heimes wrote:
> Hi everybody,
> I like to propose a new option for the Python interpreter:
>   python -I
> It shall start the interpreter in isolated mode which ignores any
> environment variables set by the user and any files installed by the
> user. The mode segregate a Python program from anything an unpriviliged
> user is able to modify and uses only files that are installed by a
> system adminstrator.
> The isolated mode implies -E (ignore all PYTHON* environment vars) and
> -s (don't add user site directory). It also refrains from the inclusion
> of '' or getcwd() to sys.path. TKinter doesn't load and execute Python
> scripts from the user's home directory. Other parts of the stdlib should
> be checked, too.
> The option is intended for OS and application scripts that doesn't want
> to become affected by user installed files or files in the current
> working path of a user.
> The idea is motivated by a couple of bug reports, for example:
> https://bugs.launchpad.net/bugs/938869  lsb_release crashed with SIGABRT
> in Py_FatalError()
> http://bugs.python.org/issue16202  sys.path[0] security issues
> http://bugs.python.org/issue16248  Security bug in tkinter allows for
> untrusted, arbitrary code execution.

Sounds like a good idea. I'd be interested in this, because it would
make debugging user installation problems easier.

The only thing I'm not sure about is the option character "-I". It
reminds me too much of the -I typically used for include paths
in C compilers :-)

BTW: In order to have Python applications respect this flag, there
should be an easy way to access this flag in Python programs, e.g.

Marc-Andre Lemburg

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