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Parent-Child IPC in Jefe

Jefe and the child processes communicate through a pipe. Jefe sends a request, the child handles the request, and the child returns a response to Jefe. Requests and responses are JSON objects delimited by CRLF ("\r\n").

Requests include:

  • specifying untrusted scripts with an associated name ("compile")
  • executing the scripts with an optional sandbox environment ("run")
  • removing the untrusted scripts associated with a name ("remove")

compile Request

The application sends the untrusted scripts to the child processes via Jefe. When the child receives the compile request, it creates a Script with the given scripts. The child associates the Script with the given script name. Reusing an existing name overwrites any current Script associated with the given name.

Jefe sends:

{ "cmd":"compile"
, "scriptName":"$someName"
, "script":"$sourceCode"
} <CRLF>

remove Request

The application no longer needs the given scripts. The child processes remove the scripts by name.

Jefe sends:

{ "cmd":"remove"
, "scriptName":"$someName"
} <CRLF>

run Request

When the child receives the run request, it finds the Script by name, and runs the script with the given sandbox object, and finally returns the sandbox object as potentially modified by the scripts during the run.

Jefe sends:

{ "cmd":"run"
, "scriptName":"$someName"
, "sandbox":{...}
} <CRLF>

When the scripts finishes running successfully, the (potentially updated) sandbox object is returned to Jefe:

{ "ok":true
, "response":{ "sandbox":{...} }
, "timeTaken":$elapsedMillis
} <CRLF>

When the scripts throws, the child responds with:

{ "ok":true
, "response":{ "exception":{...} }
} <CRLF>

Note: ok:true denotes that the child was able to run the scripts, not that the scripts ran without (its own definition of) error.

Sanity Checks

If Jefe somehow creates a malformed request (bug), the child prints to stderr and quits.

{ "ok":false
, "reason":"malformed request"
} <CRLF>

Each child has a maximum input size for a sanity check. This is by default 5MiB. Set the environment variable JEFE_MAX_INPUT_SIZE to alter this, or clone and update the scripts. If a child receives too much data, it prints to stderr and quits.

{ "ok":false
, "reason":"input too large
} <CRLF>
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