SUMMARY: vi with no shell

From: Marina Daniels (
Date: Tue Feb 06 1996 - 20:47:59 CST

     Lots of thanks to everybody that responded.
     Some people said they thought you could turn off that option when
     compiling elm.
     What it actually lets you turn off is breaking into a shell from elm
     itself, which we did turn off,
     however when it asked which editor we wanted, we said `vi' and you can
     still break into the shell
     from vi.
     Other people said to use .exrc files:
     Try placing a file named .exrc in the home directory of each user with
     read-only permissions for them, and the following contents
     where /bin/false is a dummy shell or something that tells them that
     they can't
     get a shell.
     (Make sure to specify that exrc=noexrc in the same file,
     so that the usre cannot attempt to load another .exrc file to bypass
     You may want to remove all write permissions to .exrc so the user can
     vi the file and remove the line
     Other people suggested getting source code for a `vi' clone and
     compiling it without the shell option:
        You could get a copy of the "vim" ( = Vi IMproved) vi-clone, which
        all that vi does, and more, and switch off the shell fork option in
        source-code - I heartily recommend it!
     Sure - checkout OSH & its accompaning 'nvi' which has been modified to
     specifically stop vi shell-escapes (though do note that this nvi has
     some build
     'oddities' with curses libraries..).
     OSH URL is:
     The simplist and strongest way I know is to get the source
     for vi clone (such as the one that comes with Liux) or vi
     itself (from the BSD destribution), rip out the shell escape
     code and compile it statically.
     Another option: compile GNU vi with shell escape capability
     Thanks once again

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