I’m back from my vacation now, and instead of spending days reading through the backlog of emails I decided to polish up glick and make a release so that people can play with it.
One problem that the initial glick version had was that all file lookups were done via the /tmp/glick_root symlink. This symlink being in /tmp and possibly being owned by someone else is a security issue. So, in the new release we instead use “/proc/self/fd/1023” as the absolute prefix for the glick mount. While this looks a bit strange it is much more secure. However, it does make it a bit more complicated to create and test glick bundles, so glick now ships with the “glick-shell” tool that lets you point to a working directory and make /proc/self/fd/1023 point to that.
The new release also contains an easy to use script “glick-mkext2” that creates minimally sized ext2 images from a directory, in addition to the mkglick script that creates the actual glick.
I’ve also added –icon and –desktop-file switches to mkglick that lets you embed 48×48 png icons and desktop files into the ELF file. These are stored in the “.xdg.icon.48” and “.xdg.desktop” sections and can be easily extracted (using e.g. objdump, or some simple ELF header parsing code). In fact, glick now also ships with a tool “glick-extract” that lets you extract the filesystem, icon and desktop file parts easily.
I’ve talked to some people about the GPL licensing issue discussed in my previous entry, and I’ve come to believe that its ok to distribute glick bundles that contain non-GPL programs even though the glick code is GPL. Distributing such a bundle is really no different from distributing an iso file with both GPL and non-GPL software, which is explicitly ok due to the aggregation section in the GPL:
In addition, mere aggregation of another work not based on the Program with the Program (or with a work based on the Program) on a volume of a storage or distribution medium does not bring the other work under the scope of this License.
Of course, I am not a lawyer, so seek your own legal advice if you are unsure.
Anyway, this version of glick should be secure, easy to use and useful, please play with it and do amazing things. The source for the release and Fedora 7 rpms are availible from the glick webpage.