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Re: Bug#862698: ITP: minecraft -- blocks to build anything you can imagine

On Tue, 16 May 2017 at 09:58:11 -0700, Russ Allbery wrote:
> Another thing that would be a really neat addition to a wrapper around
> Minecraft would be to run it inside a restrictive namespace by default.

Yes, that's why I suggested Flatpak. It would also be possible to use
a long bwrap command-line - that's what Flatpak does internally.
One day I should try making game-data-packager's games (mostly the quake
family) use bwrap like that. This would be easier if we had and could
rely on "the /usr merge" - Flatpak runtimes always use merged-/usr
for that reason.

However, as long as Minecraft and other proprietary software requires
X11[1], it's going to be hard to put it in a sandbox that actually
protects you very much - and that's equally true with or without
Flatpak. Using a separate games-playing uid, together
with the support for "fast user switching" (Ctrl+Alt+Fx with a nice
GUI) in desktop environments like GNOME[2], and systemd-logind's
ability to grant and revoke hardware access as this switching occurs,
seems a lot safer for the medium term.

This is of course a trade-off: banishing all untrusted software to
separate hardware would be safer (resistant to kernel vulnerabilities
and permissions misconfiguration) but less convenient, whereas assuming
X11 isn't being abused is more convenient but less safe. Choose your
preferred safety/convenience balance.


[1] Also, as long as it requires networking and X11 uses abstract Unix
    sockets, since abstract Unix sockets are mediated by network
    namespaces, not filesystem namespaces
[2] I'm sure other desktop environments also do this, I just don't use
    them frequently enough to know how