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From: (Eric W. Biederman)
To: "Michael Kerrisk \(man-pages\)" <>
Cc: "Serge E. Hallyn" <>,,,, Andrey Vagin <>,
	James Bottomley <>,
	"W. Trevor King" <>,
	Alexander Viro <>,
	Jonathan Corbet <>
Subject: Re: [PATCH 0/2] Add further ioctl() operations for namespace discovery
Date: Wed, 21 Dec 2016 09:22:17 +1300	[thread overview]
Message-ID: <> (raw)
In-Reply-To: <> (Michael Kerrisk's message of "Tue, 20 Dec 2016 16:35:28 +0100")

"Michael Kerrisk (man-pages)" <> writes:

> Hello Eric,
> On 12/19/2016 11:53 PM, Eric W. Biederman wrote:
>> "Michael Kerrisk (man-pages)" <> writes:
>>> Eric,
>>> The code proposed in this patch series is pretty small. Is there any
>>> chance we could make the 4.10 merge window, if the changes seem
>>> acceptable to you?
>> I see why you are asking but I am not comfortable with aiming for
>> the merge window that is on-going and could close at any moment.
>> I have seen recenly too many patches that should work fine have
>> some odd minor issue.  Like an extra _ in a label used in an ifdef
>> that resulted in memory stomps.    Linus might be more brave but i would
>> rather wait until the next merge window, so I don't need to worry about
>> spoiling anyone's holidays with a typo someone over looked.
> I'll just gently ask if you'll reconsider and take another look at the
> patches. They patches are very small, and don't change any existing
> behavior. And if we see a problem in the next weeks they could be pulled.
> In the meantime, I'd be aiming to publicize this API somewhat, so that we
> might get some eyeballs to spot design bugs. But, I do understand your
> position, if the answer is still "not for this merge window".

My position is still not this merge window.  I am more than happy to
queue up the changes for the next one.  Even on the best of days there
is a reasonable chance Linus would not be happy to receive code
development done in the merge window.

I think there is also just a little bit of discussion that needs
to happen with these new userspace APIs (below).  And I have seen way
too many times user space APIs added too quickly and having to be
repaired afterwards.

>> At first glance these patches seem reasonable. I don't see any problem
>> with the ioctls you have added.
>> That said I have a question.  Should we provide a more direct way to
>> find the answer to your question?  Something like the access system
>> call?
>> I think a more direct answer would be more maintainable in the long run
>> as it does not bind tools to specific implementation details in the
>> future.  Which could allow us to account for LSM policies and the like.
> My thoughts:
> 1. Regarding NS_GET_NSTYPE...  It always struck me as a little odd
>    that you could ask setns() to check if the supplied FD referred
>    to a certain type of NS (and thus, in a round about way, setns()
>    gives us the same information as NS_GET_NSTYPE), but you can't
>    directly ask what the NS type is. The fact that setns() has this
>    facility suggests that there could be other uses for the operation
>    "tell me what type of NS this FD refers to".

Yes.  I have no problem with that one.

> 2. Regarding NS_GET_CREATOR_UID... There are defined rules about what
>    this UID means with respect to capabilities in a namespace. It's
>    not an implementation detail, as I understand it. Also in terms of
>    introspecting to try to understand the structure of namespaces on
>    a running system, knowing this UID is useful in and of itself.

I am not quite sold on the name NS_GET_CREATOR_UID.  NS_GET_OWNER_UID
seems to match the code better.  The owner is the creator but
the important part seems to be the ownership not the act of creation.

> 3. NS_GET_NSTYPE and NS_GET_CREATOR_UID solve my problem, but
>    obviously your idea would make life simpler for user space.
>    Am I correct to understand that you mean an API that takes
>    three pieces of info: a PID, a capability, and an fd referring
>    to a /proc/PID/ns/xxx, and tells us whether PID has the specified
>    capability for operations in the specified namespace?

Something like that.  But yes something we can wire up to
ns_capable_noaudit and be told the result.  That will let the
LSMs and any future kerel changes have their say, without any extra
maintenance burden in the kernel.

What I really don't want is for userspace to start depending on the
current formula being the only factors that say if it has a capabliltiy
in a certain situation because in practice that just isn't true.
Permission checks just keep evoloving in the kernel.


  reply	other threads:[~2016-12-20 20:25 UTC|newest]

Thread overview: 10+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
2016-12-19 14:38 [PATCH 0/2] Add further ioctl() operations for namespace discovery Michael Kerrisk (man-pages)
2016-12-19 22:53 ` Eric W. Biederman
2016-12-20 15:35   ` Michael Kerrisk (man-pages)
2016-12-20 20:22     ` Eric W. Biederman [this message]
2016-12-20 20:55       ` Michael Kerrisk (man-pages)
2016-12-21  0:17         ` Eric W. Biederman
2016-12-21  9:53           ` Michael Kerrisk (man-pages)
2016-12-22  0:27             ` Eric W. Biederman
2016-12-22  7:20               ` Michael Kerrisk (man-pages)
2016-12-22 10:28                 ` Eric W. Biederman

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