limited python virtual machine

Nick Coghlan ncoghlan at
Sat Jan 29 20:59:39 EST 2005

Alex Martelli wrote:
> It didn't seem to me that Steven's question was so restricted; and since
> he thanked me for my answer (which of course is probably inapplicable to
> some custom interpreter that's not written yet) it appears to me that my
> interpretation of his question was correct, and my answer useful to him.

Yes, I'd stopped following the thread for a bit, and the discussion had moved 
further afield than I realised :)

> If you _can_ execute (whatever) in a separate process, then an approach
> based on BSD's "jail" or equivalent features of other OS's may be able
> to give you all you need, without needing other restrictions to be coded
> in the interpreter (or whatever else you run in that process).

I think that's where these discussion have historically ended. . . making a 
Python-specific sandbox gets complicated enough that it ends up making more 
sense to just use an OS-based sandbox that lets you execute arbitrary binaries 
relatively safely.

The last suggestion I recall along these lines was chroot() plus a monitoring 
daemon that killed the relevant subprocess if it started consuming too much 
memory or looked like it had got stuck in an infinite loop.


Nick Coghlan   |   ncoghlan at   |   Brisbane, Australia

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