self extracting and executing archive
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Avril ef3baa0e38
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sfexec - Self Extracting Executable

sfexec is a simple tool to create archive-like native binaries that extract contents from their static memory to temporary files when ran. It is useful for packaging a bunch of binaries into a single one. Temporary files are cleaned up after the post-extraction script hook.


$ echo "Hello world!" > file.txt
$ sfexec-create -e 'cat %location/file.txt' - file.txt
Writing to /home/avril/work/sfexec/file.h...
 + test.txt OK
Adding lengths...
Adding names...
 - "test.txt" OK
Compiling binary...
$ ./sfexec
Extracting 1 files to "/tmp/eda0bd22-9565-7e3c-e1d0-f7cdff96770e"...
 <- test.txt (13)
exec: cat /tmp/eda0bd22-9565-7e3c-e1d0-f7cdff96770e/test.txt
Hello world!


It comes with 2 scripts, sfexec-create and sfexec-create-compress. Both take the same arguments:

Argument Description
-s Silent mode. Do not output anything when extracting
-e <string> Post-extraction hook. See below for details.
-u Do not check data integrity (skip hashing)
- Stop reading argument flags

sfexec-create-compress compresses the binary with gzip, and decompresses when executed.

Post-extraction hook

The post extraction hook is passed to /bin/sh, with some input changes:

Argument Usage
%location The directory root that the files are extracted to
%argc The number of command line arguments passed to sfexec
%args A list of all args passed to sfexec
%arg[n] The nth argument passed to sfexec, if n is outside the range of arguments, nothing is replaced.


To build the sfexec binary, g++ is used, along with sha256_literal for verifying the data (unless -u is specified) and post-extraction hook. To clone sha256_literal run:

$ make deps

Included in the repo is a pre-built generator binary, signed with my PGP key at generator-v<version>.gpg with a checksum in generator-v<version>.sha256. Alternatively you can build it yourself like so:

Building the generator

To build the generator yourself, Rust and Cargo are needed.

$ make clean && make generator

Will remove the pre-built generator binaries, build the generator, and symlink accordingly. You can also compile without sha2 crate dependancy (for data hash integrity checks), this will in effect force the -u option always.

$ make clean && make generator-no-hash


GPL'd with love <3