App installer design: click packages

Marc Deslauriers marc.deslauriers at
Mon May 13 17:56:43 UTC 2013

On 13-05-13 11:05 AM, Alejandro J. Cura wrote:
> Colin Watson wrote on 08/05/13 11:14:
>> Is there anything else people can think of that a system like this
>> needs to consider?
> This thread assumes that packages need to be uncompressed and
> installed before usage, so I'd like to ask if there was any discussion
> re: using something like squashfs images as the distributed packages
> instead of a zip or tar-like file.
> This would mean that such downloaded images can be mounted read-only
> by whatever launches applications, using nosuid, nodev, and with the
> required uid, and then run immediately, instead of having to go thru a
> copy of files from the package to the storage, which slows down
> installation and usually requires double the storage space.
> I'm surely missing some bits of the picture, so please flame me if
> that's the case.

That would mean we'd need to have a privileged helper to be able to
mount application packages at application execution time. There are a
lot of security implications of doing something like this, and I fear
this would be a substantial attack surface.


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