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 Forum index » Advanced Topics » Additional Software (PETs, n' stuff) » Browsers and Internet
Chrome & Clones -- as Spot from /mnt/home
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mikeslr


Joined: 16 Jun 2008
Posts: 2200
Location: 500 seconds from Sol

PostPosted: Fri 01 Dec 2017, 21:25    Post subject:  Chrome & Clones -- as Spot from /mnt/home  

Hi All,

The only flaw with hindsight is that it has no practical value, You only learn of your mistakes after the time when you could have avoided making them. So with hindsight I now know that I spent a lot of time looking for a solution which the FatDog Team have incorporated into FatDog64-720.

Following the voicing of my concerns here, http://murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?p=975238#975238 and Mike Walsh's courteous explanation that Google has left us no choice: new versions of Iron and other Web-browsers based on Chromium can no longer be run as Adminstrator (=root), but must be run as Spot or some other limited User. The next couple posts on that thread discuss some workarounds, and I later spent what I now believe was time wasted trying to find others.

This morning the FatDog Team announced the publication of FatDog64-720beta. One of their innovations has been to move the Spot Folder from /root to /mnt/home. The consequences of that move are discussed in more detail here: http://distro.ibiblio.org/fatdog/web/faqs/spot.html.

Woof is not used in building FatDog --thus allowing for more customization in its structure-- and applications which run under it are to a large extent (AFAIK entirely) compiled for it. So there was no assurance of the extent to which their accomplishments could be duplicated with a woof-built Puppy employing a Web-browser that was constructed to run-as-spot from /root.

My test subjects were 666philb's very recent XenialPup64-7.5, available from the links here, http://murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?p=910078#910078 and Mike Walsh's Iron-62.0.3250.0-amd64-tahr.sfs available from the link here, http://murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?p=934496#934496. As is always the case when exploring something likely to go wrong, I started with a fresh Frugal Install using a SaveFile with Automatic Save Removed.

It is a simple matter to move the spot folder from /root and symlink it back. My first discovery was that if that is done before SFS-Loading Iron-62_xxx.sfs, Iron won't start. However,

Step One: SFS load Iron-62_xxx.sfs and allow it to open. Copy Bookmarks to /spot/Downloads then import them from there. Close it.
Step Two: Move the Spot folder from /root to /mnt/home and symlink it back to /root.
Step Three: Execute a Manual Save.

Beneficial Consequences: Iron runs fine. Downloads are automatically redirected to /mnt/home/spot/Downloads; cache is automatically redirected to /mnt/home/spot/.cache. Without having to execute a Save to make them permanent, Extensions can be installed and bookmarks can be imported and later added and deleted. In short, the reservations I had regarding running Iron as Spot were resolved.

Note, however, that in order to import bookmarks, they had to first be copied to /spot/Downloads and imported from there.

Adverse consequences: Perhaps because of how 'Chrome-Clones' are currently structured, once the spot folder is moved to /mnt/home, it may not be possible to make use of any other 'Chrome-Clones' or even a newer version of your favorite 'Chrome-Clone'.

Edit: I'm not sure about this:
However, by opening Menu>Sytem>Login and Security Manager and placing an x in Palemoon's radio button, I was able to successfully run Palemoon as Spot, even though I had previous run it as Root.

Explanation for Edit: Examined /root and spot folders. Although Login and Security Manager had supposedly assigned Palemoon to spot, noting in spot evidenced Palemoon's presence. Neither of the .moonchild production folders --the one for cache and the one for configuration files-- appeared in spot. Both remained in /root, and apparently were being accessed by Palemoon which, if it was running from as spot should not happen. Will have to see if assigning Palemoon to spot before starting it the first time will make any difference.

Untested: Radio buttons are also available for firefox, seamonkey, google-chrome-stable, opera, vivaldi-stable, flashpeak-slimjet and chromium-browser. As many of those did not appear running Xenialpup64-7.0.8.5, and even though Iron was now a part of my system and did not appear, inclusion seems to be up to the Puppy's Dev. And how effective making a selection there is may depend on how the application was constructed.

Although the FatDog Team "does not officially support it" they were thoughtful enough to develop a script with the name "/root/make-spot-more-secure" for existing Fatdog users that was mentioned in their post about spot. I had hoped it might provide further guidance or insight, but was unable to locate a copy of it.

mikesLr

Last edited by mikeslr on Sun 03 Dec 2017, 20:33; edited 1 time in total
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mikeslr


Joined: 16 Jun 2008
Posts: 2200
Location: 500 seconds from Sol

PostPosted: Sun 03 Dec 2017, 12:41    Post subject: Revised Instructions and observations  

I edited the previous post when (setting up a new Xenialpup64) I discovered that attempts to import bookmarks after moving the spot folder failed.

Also edited my observations regarding running Palemoon as Spot after running it as root.

mikesLr
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mikeslr


Joined: 16 Jun 2008
Posts: 2200
Location: 500 seconds from Sol

PostPosted: Sun 03 Dec 2017, 21:19    Post subject: Further observations  

Hi all,

Note that I've edited both the above posts.

I've attempted both before and after moving /root/spot to /mnt/home/spot to SFS-load various Chrome & Clones and installing firefox & clones pets. With the exception of Slimjet-16.0.8.0-64amd-tahr.sfs, none of the chrome-clones would open. And, unless I missed something, this slimjet was not configured to run as spot. Despite using Login and Security Manager to assign slimjet to spot, it appeared to be running as root.

All firefox & clones ran as root. Assignment of firefox and palemoon by Login & Security to spot had no effect.

One thing I noticed about the version of Iron I used is that, unlike any other web-browser I've tried, it installs to spot: that is all its files were within spot with the exception of /usr/share/applications/iron.desktop. All other chrome-based browsers installed to /opt; and firefox-based browsers could be installed anywhere --as long as a script/wrapper was on the path-- but none of its files were in spot, itself, nor moved there by 'Login & Security' reassignment.

Once /root/spot is moved to /mnt/home/ and symlinked back, Installation programs --including the first run of SFS-Load-- do not follow the symlink. No files are written to spot.

Which leads me to believe that if, as a general rule, web-browsers are to be run as spot-from-/mnt/home:
(1) the installation program (or SFS-first run) must test for the existence of /mnt/home/spot.
(2) If absent, create that folder with the limited permissions currently assigned to /root/spot
(3) Install the application directly into /mnt/home/spot and
(4) create only such links to the OS as are necessary to run the application from /mnt/home/spot.

Regarding (4), unless I've missed it, the only reference pfind finds to iron was its desktop file @ /usr/share/applications. Its Exec argument =/root/spot/iron.sh. Am I correct in assuming that spot is 'on the path'? Can anyone explained that, if so, why moving it to /mnt/home didn't remove it from 'the path'? Or if the symlink back to /root was sufficient, why it wasn't sufficient for enabling configuring of chrome & clones?

Unfortunately, steps (1) and (2) are 'beyond my pay-grade'. Crying or Very sad

mikesLr
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s243a

Joined: 02 Sep 2014
Posts: 827

PostPosted: Sun 03 Dec 2017, 23:28    Post subject: Re: Revised Instructions and observations  

mikeslr wrote:
I edited the previous post when (setting up a new Xenialpup64) I discovered that attempts to import bookmarks after moving the spot folder failed.

Also edited my observations regarding running Palemoon as Spot after running it as root.

mikesLr


Maybe spot can't read the directory where the bookmarks are located.
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mikeslr


Joined: 16 Jun 2008
Posts: 2200
Location: 500 seconds from Sol

PostPosted: Mon 04 Dec 2017, 11:20    Post subject: Regarding Importing Bookmarks  

Hi s243a,

Just to clarify.

The idea behind Spot is that its access is limited to the spot folder. So it makes sense that in order to import bookmarks those bookmarks would have to be imported from within the spot folder, that is copied into that folder before attempting to use the Iron's import function. Initially, I copied bookmarks to /root/spot, but when that failed I copied them to /root/spot/Downloads which succeeded. I don't know why just /root/spot fails as the Iron writes and read its configuration and cache files from /root/spot.

Once, however, the spot folder was moved to /mnt/home/ --with a symlink to it in /root-- even with the bookmark file still within the included Download folder, Iron would go thru the motions, but fail to import them. As I recall, when iron was first loaded there are 2 or 3 locations which offered to import bookmarks: near top of disply, from drop-down menu>bookmarks, from within settings. Regardless of which was chosen, I could browse to the bookmark file in /xxx/Downloads, select it, Iron would report "Success", but in fact nothing was imported.

Even with the structure /mnt/home/spot, Iron continued to read and write configuration, cache and --if already imported-- bookmarks.

mikesLr
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