minimum install & pickling

Paul Boddie paul at
Wed Sep 17 11:43:54 CEST 2008

On 17 Sep, 07:26, "Aaron \"Castironpi\" Brady" <castiro... at>
> Sometimes questions come up on here about unpickling safely and
> executing foreign code.  I was thinking a minimum install that didn't
> even have access to modules like 'os' could be safe.   (Potentially.)
> I have time to entertain this a little, though all the devs are busy.
> I can bring it up again in a few months if it's a better time.

One alternative might be to provide "safe" versions of the underlying
functions in modules like "os". Previously, I did wonder why people
didn't link Python against a bunch of alternative libraries which
would provide implementations of things like "open", "chdir" and so
on, but then I was made aware of fakeroot and fakechroot which do more
or less this for any program (in conjunction with chroot) in order to
restrict the behaviour of those programs, without any need to
statically link the programs first.


> A lot of modules would have to go.  <Long list>  IPC modules:
> subprocess, socket, signal, popen2, asyncore, asynchat.  ctypes, mmap,
> platform.popen, glob, shutil, dircache, and many more</Long>.

Potentially, these could remain, but you'd want to provide "fake"
versions of the underlying functions, potentially implementing your
own preferred flavour of access control. So, with a call to the
"socket" function, the wrapped version might first consult some kind
of behaviour policy set by the user in order to get permission to open
a connection to a remote host.

There's a discussion of rexec and related solutions on the Wiki:


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