#sudo #security #wayland #pulseaudio

app ego

Alter Ego: run Linux desktop applications under a different local user

9 releases (5 stable)

1.1.5 Jan 2, 2022
1.1.3 Nov 12, 2021
1.1.2 May 8, 2021
1.1.1 Mar 22, 2021
0.3.1 Mar 17, 2020

#63 in Command line utilities

Download history 118/week @ 2022-06-02 11/week @ 2022-06-09 4/week @ 2022-06-16 17/week @ 2022-06-23 12/week @ 2022-06-30 28/week @ 2022-07-07 14/week @ 2022-07-14 33/week @ 2022-07-21 29/week @ 2022-07-28 15/week @ 2022-08-04 4/week @ 2022-08-11 3/week @ 2022-08-18 30/week @ 2022-08-25 2/week @ 2022-09-01 35/week @ 2022-09-08 15/week @ 2022-09-15

82 downloads per month

MIT and LGPL-2.1

34KB
689 lines

ego (a.k.a Alter Ego)

Crates.io version Tests status

Do all your games need access to your documents, browser history, SSH private keys?

... No? Just run ego steam!

Ego is a tool to run Linux desktop applications under a different local user. Currently integrates with Wayland, Xorg, PulseAudio and xdg-desktop-portal. You may think of it as xhost for Wayland and PulseAudio. This is done using filesystem ACLs and xhost command.

Disclaimer: DO NOT RUN UNTRUSTED PROGRAMS VIA EGO. However, using ego is more secure than running applications directly under your primary user.

Distro packages

Distribution packages are available for:

After installing the package, add yourself to the ego-users group. After logout and login, the ego command should just work.

(varia/README.md documents recommendations for distro packagers)

Manual setup

Ego aims to come with sane defaults and be easy to set up.

Requirements:

  • Rust & cargo
  • libacl.so library (Debian/Ubuntu: libacl1-dev; Fedora: libacl-devel; Arch: acl)
  • xhost binary (Debian/Ubuntu: x11-xserver-utils; Fedora: xorg-xhost; Arch: xorg-xhost)

Recommended: (Not needed when using --sudo mode, but some desktop functionality may not work).

  • machinectl command (Debian/Ubuntu/Fedora: systemd-container; Arch: systemd)
  • xdg-desktop-portal-gtk (Debian/Ubuntu/Fedora/Arch: xdg-desktop-portal-gtk)

Installation:

  1. Run:

    cargo install ego
    sudo cp ~/.cargo/bin/ego /usr/local/bin/
    
  2. Create local user named "ego": [1]

    sudo useradd ego --uid 155 --create-home
    
  3. That's all, try it:

    ego xdg-open .
    

[1] No extra groups are needed by the ego user. UID below 1000 hides this user on the login screen.

Avoid password prompt

If using "machinectl" mode (default if available), you need the rather new systemd version >=247 and polkit >=0.106 to do this securely.

Create file /etc/polkit-1/rules.d/50-ego-machinectl.rules, polkit will automatically load it (replace <myname> with your own username):

polkit.addRule(function(action, subject) {
    if (action.id == "org.freedesktop.machine1.host-shell" &&
        action.lookup("user") == "ego" &&
        subject.user == "<myname>") {
            return polkit.Result.YES;
    }
});
sudo mode

For sudo, add the following to /etc/sudoers (replace <myname> with your own username):

<myname> ALL=(ego) NOPASSWD:ALL

Changelog

1.1.5 (2022-01-02)
  • Document xhost requirement, improve xhost error reporting (#76)
  • Upgrade to clap 3.0.0 stable (#71)

(Version 1.1.4 was yanked, it was accidentally released with a regression)

1.1.3 (2021-11-12)
  • Pin clap version (fixes #65) (#68)
1.1.2 (2021-05-08)
  • Enable sudo askpass helper if SUDO_ASKPASS is set (#58)
    • Example how to set up a GUI password prompt with sudo: https://askubuntu.com/a/314401
    • Note: For a GUI password prompt with the machinectl mode, you need to run a Polkit authentication agent instead
1.1.1 (2021-03-23)
  • Include drop-in files for polkit, sudoers.d, sysusers.d -- for distro packages (#53)
  • Documentation tweaks (#51, #53)
1.1.0 (2021-03-07)
  • Default to machinectl if available, fall back to sudo otherwise (#47)
  • Documentation & minor improvements (#46, #48)
0.4.1 (2021-01-29)
  • Fixed --machinectl on Ubuntu, Debian with dash shell (#42)
  • Fixed error reporting when command execution fails (#43)
  • Documented how to avoid password prompt with machinectl & other doc tweaks (#41)
0.4.0 (2021-01-29)
  • Improved integration with desktop environments:
    • Launch xdg-desktop-portal-gtk in machinectl session (#6, #31)
    • Old behavior is still available via --machinectl-bare switch.
  • Shell completion files are now auto-generated with clap-generate 3.0.0-beta.2 (#36, #28)
    • bash, zsh and fish shells are supported out of the box.
  • Code reorganization and CI improvements (#21, #23)
  • Dependency updates (#20, #24, #27, #22, #26, #33, #35, #38, #37, #39)
0.3.1 (2020-03-17)
  • Improved error message for missing target user (#16)
0.3.0 (2020-03-02)
  • Initial machinectl support (using --machinectl) (#8)
  • Updated: posix-acl (#9)
0.2.0 (2020-02-17)
  • Added zsh completion support (#5)
  • Added --verbose flag (#4)
  • Added --user argument and command-line parsing (#3)
0.1.0 (2020-02-13)

Initial version

Appendix

Ego is licensed under the MIT License (see the LICENSE file). Ego was created by Marti Raudsepp. Ego's primary website is at https://github.com/intgr/ego

Thanks to Alexander Payne (myrrlyn) for relinquishing the unused "ego" crate name.

Dependencies

~2MB
~34K SLoC