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Excerpts from Sean Conner's message of 2015-10-03 03:21:44 +0200:
>   Sorry about that---hot button topic.

That much is obvious.

>   I never heard of this, and did some reading up on it.  In my case, it
> won't work since we use a platform not supported by UPX. 

Interesting. May I ask which platform?
If this is bare metal (but otherwise powerful enough to not warrant XIP),
bootloader (fe uBoot) usually plays the same role as UPX.

> it can decompress in place.


> in general, it does extration to an external file.  

No. It's the opposite. Generally it works pure in-memory for native binaries.
Extract to /tmp and execve() is a last-chance fallback when the packed
file structure is too unusual for the internal loader to handle it.