System queries with Lua: l3sys-query

Karl Berry karl at
Wed Mar 6 00:34:25 CET 2024

Hi Joseph and David,

    a script for doing (primarily) directory listings from Lua

I passed it on to tlsecurity at for completeness, though I think
everyone there is also here.
    The aim here is to be able to use it from restricted shell escape, which
    means appropriate security review, etc. Hopefully we've been
    conservative in that regard (currently it should simply refuse to
    provide a listing at all outside pwd). Before thinking about a release,
    I'd like to know what we need to do security-wise to have a chance to
    get this into the default restricted list.

Do I understand correctly that the key safety bit is:

  -- Look for absolute paths or any trying to leave the confines of the current
  -- directory: this is not supported.
  if match(spec,"%.%.") or 
     match(spec,"^/") or 
     match(spec,"^\\") or 
     match(spec,"[a-zA-Z]:") then

That looks ok to me. And when I tried running it, I got back the
expected blank line for anything untoward.

So I see no problems for security. I believe the --all option is
ineffective? (Which seems good.)

I have a number of non-security comments, but will write those up later
today or tomorrow. Wanted to send this off now. --thanks, karl.

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