[SailfishDevel] Suggestion: expose androids intents on dbus

Anton Thomasson antonthomasson at gmail.com
Sun Feb 15 19:23:37 UTC 2015


I recently managed to execute Android commands from outside of Alien Dalvik.
This was achieved by looking at how it's done when apps are launched and
Alien Dalvik is started normally.

To see the resulting scripts, go here: https://github.com/attah/alien-tools

Now to the point, I think these should be exposed for use in sailfish
native apps.
The way I see it being done is by adding a daemon that forwards intents
that it receives over dbus.
This solves a couple of things, firstly that it seems to require root for
the intents to take effect and secondly it enables us to add a layer of
security so that the user is prompted when app wants to invoke an intent.
This obviously needs a "allow permanently" option, otherwise intents won't
be very useful. Using a daemon also takes care of the fact that it would
have to execute in a rather particular environment. That is what i have
managed to set up in alien-tools, but it is essentially the same as in
/opt/alien/system/script/start_alien.sh, which is what is invoked by the
aliendalvik.service. So spawning the daemon from there would work.

Polkit seems to be the way to do handle permissions, so that should work
out. I also think that this whole thing is better done, at least in part,
by Jolla. Especially since it needs to work with Alien Dalvik which is
3rd-party, and so that it goes together well with the workflow of the os in
general. Thus this email. :)

I'm not sure how much else, apart from intents, that we'd like to have
exposed. I found that the "input" application works as well, and many other
should too. The scary part her is that i could send input without being
root. Not sure that is a very good idea. And even if we would add som
security layer, who is to check what is ok and what is not? Intents at
least have a limited scope whereas input can do pretty much anything.

What do you guys think?

Anton (attah)
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