[Python-ideas] install pip packages from Python prompt

Wes Turner wes.turner at gmail.com
Tue Oct 31 19:38:36 EDT 2017

You could teach them subprocess and os command injection safety from the

import subprocess
import sys
cmd = [sys.executable, -m', 'pip', 'install', '-r',
retcode = subprocess.check_call(cmd)
assert retcode == 0

(Because shell=True is dangerous and str.split is dangerous):

filename = "'/etc/ passwd' ; shutdown -r now"
cmd = ("cat '%s'" % filename)
# "cat ''/etc/ passwd'' ; shutdown -r now"

# ["'", '/etc', 'passwd', ';', 'shutdown', '-r', 'now']

# ['cmd', '', '/etc', 'passwd', ';', 'shutdown', '-r', 'now']

(Sarge solves for a number of additional cases beyond shlex.split (empty
string should be '', 'already-quoted commands')




Of course, we're programmers and our input is not untrusted, so shell=True
without any string operations is not as dangerous.

On Tuesday, October 31, 2017, Wes Turner <wes.turner at gmail.com> wrote:

> You could teach them subprocess and os command injection safety from the
> start:
> ```python
> import subprocess
> import sys
> cmd = [sys.executable, -m', 'pip', 'install', '-r',
> 'psfblessed-requirements.txt'])
> retcode = subprocess.check_call(cmd)
> assert retcode == 0
> ```
> (Because shell=True is dangerous)
> On Tuesday, October 31, 2017, Terry Reedy <tjreedy at udel.edu
> <javascript:_e(%7B%7D,'cvml','tjreedy at udel.edu');>> wrote:
>> On 10/31/2017 12:21 PM, Ivan Levkivskyi wrote:
>>> I think it was proposed several times before, but I just wanted to
>>> revive the idea that we could add
>>> a GUI interface to install/update packages from IDLE (maybe even with
>>> some package browser).
>> https://bugs.python.org/issue23551.  I agreed with and still agree with
>> Raymond's opening message in Feb 2015:
>> "In teaching Python, I find that many Windows users are command-line
>> challenged and have difficulties using and accessing PIP. ... I would love
>> to be able to start a class with a fresh Python download from python.org
>> and effortlessly install requests and other tools without users having to
>> fire-up a terminal window and wrestle with the various parts."
>> The one change I made in Raymond's proposal is that instead of having
>> multiple IDLE menu entries tied to multiple IDLE functions invoking
>> multiple pip functions, there would be one IDLE menu entry, perhaps 'Help
>> => Install packages' (plural intentional), that would invoke a standalone
>> tkinter based gui front-end to pip.  'Standalone' means no dependency on
>> IDLE code.  I don't think every IDE or app should *have to* write its own
>> gui.  Plus, a standalone tkinter module could be invoked from a command
>> line with 'python -m pipgui' or invoked from interactive python with
>> 'import pipgui; pipgui.main()'.
>> In April 2016, after posting the idea to pydev list and getting 'go
>> ahead's from Nick Coughlin and someone else, with no negatives, I approved
>> Upendra Kumar's GSOC proposal to write a pip gui.  This was
>> https://bugs.python.org/issue27051.  On June 20, Ned Deily and Nick
>> Coughlin vetoed adding a pip gui anywhere in the stdlib since it depended
>> on something not in the stdlib, and perhaps for other reasons I don't fully
>> understand.
>> Looking back, I can see that I made two mistakes.
>> The first was proposing to use the public-looking pip.main after
>> importing pip.  It is actually intended to be private (and should have been
>> named '_main' to make that clearer).  As it turns out, the extra work of
>> accessing pip through the intended command line interface (via
>> subprocess) is necessary anyway since running pip makes changes to the
>> in-memory modules that are not reset when .main is called again.  So it
>> might as well be used for every access.
>> The second was not requiring an approved PEP before proceeding to actual
>> coding.
>> --
>> Terry Jan Reedy
>> _______________________________________________
>> Python-ideas mailing list
>> Python-ideas at python.org
>> https://mail.python.org/mailman/listinfo/python-ideas
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