In computer security, a sandbox is a security mechanism for separating running programs, usually in an effort to mitigate system failures and/or software vulnerabilities from spreading. The isolation metaphor is taken from the idea of children who do not play well together, so each is given their own sandbox to play in alone. It is often used to execute untested or untrusted programs or code, possibly from unverified or untrusted third parties, suppliers, users or websites, without risking harm to the host machine or operating system.  A sandbox typically provides a tightly controlled set of resources for guest programs to run in, such as storage and memory scratch space. Network access, the ability to inspect the host system, or read from input devices are usually disallowed or heavily restricted.
In the sense of providing a highly controlled environment, sandboxes may be seen as a specific example of virtualization. Sandboxing is frequently used to test unverified programs that may contain a virus or other malicious code without allowing the software to harm the host device. 
A sandbox is implemented by executing the software in a restricted operating system environment, thus controlling the resources (e.g. file descriptors, memory, file system space, etc.) that a process may use. 
Examples of sandbox implementations include the following:
Some of the use cases for sandboxes include the following:
Java applets were small applications written in the Java programming language, or another programming language that compiles to Java bytecode, and delivered to users in the form of Java bytecode. The user launched the Java applet from a web page, and the applet was then executed within a Java virtual machine (JVM) in a process separate from the web browser itself. A Java applet could appear in a frame of the web page, a new application window, Sun's AppletViewer, or a stand-alone tool for testing applets.
Wine is a free and open-source compatibility layer that aims to allow application software and computer games developed for Microsoft Windows to run on Unix-like operating systems. Wine also provides a software library, named Winelib, against which developers can compile Windows applications to help port them to Unix-like systems.
Security-Enhanced Linux (SELinux) is a Linux kernel security module that provides a mechanism for supporting access control security policies, including mandatory access controls (MAC).
In computing, cross-platform software is computer software that is designed to work in several computing platforms. Some cross-platform software requires a separate build for each platform, but some can be directly run on any platform without special preparation, being written in an interpreted language or compiled to portable bytecode for which the interpreters or run-time packages are common or standard components of all supported platforms.
chroot on Unix and Unix-like operating systems is an operation that changes the apparent root directory for the current running process and its children. A program that is run in such a modified environment cannot name files outside the designated directory tree. The term "chroot" may refer to the chroot(2) system call or the chroot(8) wrapper program. The modified environment is called a chroot jail.
This is a list of operating systems specifically focused on security. Operating systems for general-purpose usage may be secure without having a specific focus on security.
Systrace is a computer security utility which limits an application's access to the system by enforcing access policies for system calls. This can mitigate the effects of buffer overflows and other security vulnerabilities. It was developed by Niels Provos and runs on various Unix-like operating systems.
In computer security, mandatory access control (MAC) refers to a type of access control by which the operating system or database constrains the ability of a subject or initiator to access or generally perform some sort of operation on an object or target. In the case of operating systems, a subject is usually a process or thread; objects are constructs such as files, directories, TCP/UDP ports, shared memory segments, IO devices, etc. Subjects and objects each have a set of security attributes. Whenever a subject attempts to access an object, an authorization rule enforced by the operating system kernel examines these security attributes and decides whether the access can take place. Any operation by any subject on any object is tested against the set of authorization rules to determine if the operation is allowed. A database management system, in its access control mechanism, can also apply mandatory access control; in this case, the objects are tables, views, procedures, etc.
An application firewall is a form of firewall that controls input/output or system calls of an application or service. It operates by monitoring and blocking communications based on a configured policy, generally with predefined rule sets to choose from. The application firewall can control communications up to the application layer of the OSI model, which is the highest operating layer, and where it gets its name. The two primary categories of application firewalls are network-based and host-based.
A hypervisor is a type of computer software, firmware or hardware that creates and runs virtual machines. A computer on which a hypervisor runs one or more virtual machines is called a host machine, and each virtual machine is called a guest machine. The hypervisor presents the guest operating systems with a virtual operating platform and manages the execution of the guest operating systems. Unlike an emulator, the guest executes most instructions on the native hardware. Multiple instances of a variety of operating systems may share the virtualized hardware resources: for example, Linux, Windows, and macOS instances can all run on a single physical x86 machine. This contrasts with operating-system–level virtualization, where all instances must share a single kernel, though the guest operating systems can differ in user space, such as different Linux distributions with the same kernel.
seccomp is a computer security facility in the Linux kernel. seccomp allows a process to make a one-way transition into a "secure" state where it cannot make any system calls except
write to already-open file descriptors. Should it attempt any other system calls, the kernel will either just log the event or terminate the process with SIGKILL or SIGSYS. In this sense, it does not virtualize the system's resources but isolates the process from them entirely.
OS-level virtualization is an operating system (OS) paradigm in which the kernel allows the existence of multiple isolated user space instances, called containers, zones, virtual private servers (OpenVZ), partitions, virtual environments (VEs), virtual kernels, or jails. Such instances may look like real computers from the point of view of programs running in them. A computer program running on an ordinary operating system can see all resources of that computer. However, programs running inside of a container can only see the container's contents and devices assigned to the container.
The XTS-400 is a multilevel secure computer operating system. It is multiuser and multitasking that uses multilevel scheduling in processing data and information. It works in networked environments and supports Gigabit Ethernet and both IPv4 and IPv6.
A sandbox is a testing environment that isolates untested code changes and outright experimentation from the production environment or repository, in the context of software development including Web development, Automation and revision control. The isolation metaphor is taken from the idea of children who do not play well together, so each is given their own sandbox to play in alone.
The following is a timeline of virtualization development. In computing, virtualization is the use of a computer to simulate another computer. Through virtualization, a host simulates a guest by exposing virtual hardware devices, which may be done through software or by allowing access to a physical device connected to the machine.
FreeBSD is a free and open-source Unix-like operating system descended from the Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD), which was based on Research Unix. The first version of FreeBSD was released in 1993. In 2005, FreeBSD was the most popular open-source BSD operating system, accounting for more than three-quarters of all installed and permissively licensed BSD systems.
Mobile security, or mobile device security, is the protection of smartphones, tablets, and laptops from threats associated with wireless computing. It has become increasingly important in mobile computing. The security of personal and business information now stored on smartphones is of particular concern.
Snap is a software packaging and deployment system developed by Canonical for operating systems that use the Linux kernel and the systemd init system. The packages, called snaps, and the tool for using them, snapd, work across a range of Linux distributions and allow upstream software developers to distribute their applications directly to users. Snaps are self-contained applications running in a sandbox with mediated access to the host system. Snap was originally released for cloud applications but was later ported to also work for Internet of Things devices and desktop applications.
Genode is a free and open-source software operating system (OS) framework consisting of a microkernel abstraction layer and a set of user space components. The framework is notable as one of the few open-source operating systems not derived from a proprietary OS, such as Unix. The characteristic design philosophy is that a small trusted computing base is of primary concern in a security-oriented OS.
Android devices have the ability to run virtual machines or emulate other operating systems. It does this either via desktop virtualization, platform virtualization, or emulation via compatibility layer.