wayland screen locker and security in general

cat zixon65 at gmail.com
Wed Apr 6 17:00:20 PDT 2011

On Wed, Apr 6, 2011 at 11:57 AM, Michal Suchanek <hramrach at centrum.cz>wrote:

> On 6 April 2011 18:34, Jerome Glisse <j.glisse at gmail.com> wrote:
> > 2011/4/6 Michal Suchanek <hramrach at centrum.cz>:
> >> 2011/4/5 Kristian Høgsberg <krh at bitplanet.net>:
> >>> On Tue, Apr 5, 2011 at 5:59 AM, Michal Suchanek <hramrach at centrum.cz>
> wrote:
> >>>> Hello,
> >>>>
> >>>> what is the plan for screensave/screenlocker support in wayland?
> >>>>
> >>>> The support in X is a fail in several ways.
> >>>
> >>> It sure is.  The plan for Wayland is that the lock screen is just part
> >>> of the compositor.  There are no problems with detecting idle or other
> >>> applications having grabs this way, and the compositor completely
> >>> controls what goes on the screen so you don't have other applications
> >>> raising their window over the screensaver.  There doesn't even have to
> >>> be a screensaver window, the compositor can just paint a black screen.
> >>>
> >>> It is of course possible to define a plugin or an out-of-process (fork
> >>> a special Wayland client and give it a special surface to render to,
> >>> similar to your second option below) mechanism for rendering fun
> >>> screensavers.
> >>>
> >>
> >> IMHO having anything that requires somewhat uncommon functionality as
> >> part of the compositor is lame. The same if a new plugin is required
> >> for any new function somebody comes up with.
> >>
> >> Eventually there should be multiple compositors to choose from and
> >> they should *not* each include everything and the kitchen sink.
> >>
> >> Thanks
> >>
> >> Michal
> >
> > I don't think it's lame, a good compositor with good theming
> > capabilities and you will only need one. Moreover you can add very
> Seriously, it's not just look what makes the difference between a good
> window manager and a bad one.
> Maybe with wayland there is need only for one but I doubt that, there
> is no one-size-fits-all application of any kind I know of.
> Yet if you insist on the compositor doing anything that a "normal"
> application is not allowed to do instead of a modular system that
> allows authorizing applications to do something you effectively make
> developing a new compositor very hard, and switching between different
> compositors as well.
> > usefull feature in the compositor regarding locked screen, for
> > instance you can force the compositor to always composite a small
> > picture (some kind of icon) on top of fullscreen app so no app can
> > malisiously present itself as being a screensaver and spy on user
> > password. Only the compositor would paint without the icon. This is
> > just one example.
> Sure. Or you could grant your movie player the privilege to paint
> without an icon as your screensaver does when you are bothered by it.
> But that requires putting the movie player into the compositor, eh?
> >
> > I think wayland design is to avoid redoing X and trying to add new
> > protocol for screensaver or whatever new application one might come up
> > with, is to be avoided. Of course that means that piece like the
> > compositor will have to include bunch of code that were previously
> > "standalone".
> Oh, so also VNC client and server must be in the compositor (to spy on
> and inject events), and so must be x2x (or w2w), any application that
> needs to manipulate clipboard in unusual ways (such as providing
> format conversion), and the hotkeys application that launches your
> media player when you press |> on the keyboard. And rdesktop that
> requires raw keycodes.
> And a bunch I missed, I am sure.
> It's not like it should be a separate scrensaver protocol. It should
> be a protocol that any application can use to do its thing.
> Thanks
> Michal
my understanding is that wayland is suppost to  be a simple protocol, not
the end all be all hub of the desktop, attributes could be nice but  I think
the overall result is that things like screen locking should be left up to
the implimentation. wayland needs to be a base for putting stuff on the
screen and giving input. screensavers could be setup to work different
viewports or a second protocol could be used to operate the many features of
the desktop
the server could keep a whitelist of programs that inhibit the screen while
running so that a malicious program doesn't leave the screen unlocked for
intruders or scrape your password. There are some situations that these
programs/features don't make sense .
so that
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