Posted: 2017-03-22 23:15:59 by Alasdair Keyes

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I recently had some problems with some software on my laptop calling home and receiving an invalid response, this then caused the software to stop working correctly. Until this is resolved, I really want to keep on using the software. After testing in a VM with the network disabled, I realised that if it was unable to call home then it continued to work correctly.

A Virtualbox VM works fine and with the Vbox tools installed I have bi-directional copy/paste etc but it's not an elegant solution and the VM overhead is much greater than the native application.

From this I found out about the firejail tool. This is shipped in the standard Ubuntu repos and provides a great deal of sandboxing utilities that I was unaware of.

For me the --net=none argument was suitable. This creates a new unconnected network namespace before executing the app and restricting it's network access to localhost only.

$ firejail --net=none mytroublesomeapp

This is incredibly useful and a tool I will be making much more use of in future.

If you wish to test, try some of the following.

firejail --net=none firefox
firejail --net=none ping

The man pages show what other options are available too. It's well worth a look

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