Qubes beta 1 released
Posted Apr 13, 2011 20:50 UTC (Wed) by epa
In reply to: Qubes beta 1 released
Parent article: Qubes beta 1 released
Yes, applications run in isolated context - in a virtual machine, in fact. What we're seeing is that the interface provided to the virtual machine - Unix system calls - has failed to provide the isolation wanted. It's too complex and too leaky, and although processes cannot access another process's memory, they can by default do all sorts of other things like open TCP socket connections.
Instead the standard application interface is becoming a generic x86 architecture with a network interface. Applications are increasingly packaged to run against that API - as whole operating system images. Communication between applications happens using TCP/IP only and not via a shared filesystem or other IPC mechanisms.
It's sad in a way. It would be better if operating system process isolation worked better out of the box - so that even if your Firefox is totally 0wned the rest of your files are safe, for example. But rather than waiting for that to happen it is more convenient for users to give up and run things in full virtualized hardware.
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