[SailfishDevel] Suggestion: expose androids intents on dbus

E.S. Rosenberg es.rosenberg+sailfishos.org at gmail.com
Sun Feb 22 21:12:34 UTC 2015

2015-02-15 21:23 GMT+02:00 Anton Thomasson <antonthomasson at gmail.com>:

> Hi
> 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?
> Regards,
> Anton (attah)
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Hi attah,
I'm not familiar with android so forgive me if I'm completely
misunderstanding what is happening here.
I mainly have lots of questions and probably not so much extra input...

Are you basically using alien as a 'shell' (just like one would use tcsh,
zsh etc) to execute jars? Isn't that how alien always works?

What are these intents?

My gut says that more access might be dangerous, also in the sense that
someone may end up writing a jolla native app that still depends on alien
being there and having a ton of unnecessary overhead (without even talking
about the security implications), surely not the aim of jolla or the
community if we want to improve the jolla ecosystem...

(What are the security implications of what you are proposing?)

Hope you don't mind my flood of questions, the subject matter looks
interesting to me and so far no one seems to have commented at all...

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