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The Org Mode 7 Reference Manual
by Carsten Dominik and others
Paperback (6"x9"), 282 pages
ISBN 9781906966089
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16.4 Code evaluation and security issues

Org provides tools to work with the code snippets, including evaluating them.

Running code on your machine always comes with a security risk. Badly written or malicious code can be executed on purpose or by accident. Org has default settings which will only evaluate such code if you give explicit permission to do so, and as a casual user of these features you should leave these precautions intact.

For people who regularly work with such code, the confirmation prompts can become annoying, and you might want to turn them off. This can be done, but you must be aware of the risks that are involved.

Code evaluation can happen under the following circumstances:

Source code blocks
Source code blocks can be evaluated during export, or when pressing C-c C-c in the block. The most important thing to realize here is that Org mode files which contain code snippets are, in a certain sense, like executable files. So you should accept them and load them into Emacs only from trusted sources--just like you would do with a program you install on your computer. Make sure you know what you are doing before customizing the variables which take off the default security brakes.
User Option: org-confirm-babel-evaluate
When set to t user is queried before code block evaluation
Following shell and elisp links
Org has two link types that can directly evaluate code (see section 4.3 External links). These links can be problematic because the code to be evaluated is not visible.
User Option: org-confirm-shell-link-function
Function to queries user about shell link execution.
User Option: org-confirm-elisp-link-function
Functions to query user for Emacs Lisp link execution.
Formulas in tables
Formulas in tables (see section 15 The spreadsheet) are code that is evaluated either by the calc interpreter, or by the Emacs Lisp interpreter.
ISBN 9781906966089The Org Mode 7 Reference ManualSee the print edition