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What is the difference between applets loaded over the net and applets loaded vi

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Question: What is the difference between applets loaded over the net and applets loaded via the file system?

Answer: There are two different ways that applets are loaded by a Java system. The way an applet enters the system affects what it is allowed to do.

If an applet is loaded over the net, then it is loaded by the applet class loader, and is subject to the restrictions enforced by the applet security manager.

If an applet resides on the client's local disk, and in a directory that is on the client's CLASSPATH, then it is loaded by the file system loader. The most important differences are

  • applets loaded via the file system are allowed to read and write files
  • applets loaded via the file system are allowed to load libraries on the client
  • applets loaded via the file system are allowed to exec processes
  • applets loaded via the file system are allowed to exit the virtual machine
  • applets loaded via the file system are not passed through the byte code verifier
  • Java-enabled browsers use the applet class loader to load applets specified with file: URLs. So, the restrictions and protections that accrue from the class loader and its associated security manager are now in effect for applets loaded via file: URLs.

This means that if you specify the URL like so:

Location: file:/home/me/public_html/something.html
and the file something.html contains an applet, the browser loads it using its applet class loader.

From Java Applet Security FAQ


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