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> is there an analogous way to embed binary data into ELF binaries so
> that the original executable is unaffected but the embedded data in
> technically "inside" as far as exectuable packers are concerned)?

Yes, ELF support PROGBITS sections for that. It's pretty simple to use,
once you know the correct magic, of course.
> Luiz did something exactly like this, based on reslib:  I quote:

Yes, but I've given up this ide for now because it wouldn't work for Windows
and because it's ok to glue arbitrary data to executables. (Would UPX choke
on these?) Hence, srlua is as simple as you get.

So, the tarball mentioned in the previous post is no longer there.

However, I've not given up the idea of embedding several files in an
executable as a virtual read-only filesystem, complete with directory trees.
I've found that the CPIO format is a simple as you get for this task. And it's
seekable so you don't need to expand the archive into a temporary directory.
If there's interest, I can get back to this.