[IAEP] [Sugar-devel] A security vs. functionality question

Benjamin M. Schwartz bmschwar at fas.harvard.edu
Thu Aug 6 20:56:21 EDT 2009

Lucian Branescu wrote:
> Share with: My Neighborhood is too broad to allow full access. But
> Share with: John should be enough to assume that you trust John. Or
> instead have a separate option Share with: John (full acces).

Sugar does support direct Invitations for private sharing.  I like the
idea that full permissions would be retained if shared by invitation only,
but that permissions would have to be dropped before any public sharing.
This might be possible to implement in current systems.

> A chroot because afaik rainbow doesn't really work outside the XO
> distro My impression may be wrong, though.

Rainbow is not currently used much outside of the XO, but it should be,
and it can be.  Michael Stone, who developed it, no longer works for OLPC,
but he has continued to update it.  It can be packaged for any distro.
There has been some bitrot; Sugar needs to be tweaked to regain
compatibility.  Someone will have to be bold enough to write the patches.

> I had assumed everyone has root access, it is such a basic need for a
> machine you own.

Not all Sugar users run on machines that they own.  Some are students
running on school computers.  Some are children who run on their parents'
computers.  In any case, I'm uncomfortable with an Activity requiring
arbitrary root access, and what Rainbow provides is very much like a
chroot (chhome? chuser?).


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