SELinux Archive on
 help / color / Atom feed
From: Stephen Smalley <>
To: Ondrej Mosnacek <>
Cc:, Casey Schaufler <>,
	Linux Security Module list 
	Tejun Heo <>,,
Subject: Re: [PATCH v2 0/3] Allow initializing the kernfs node's secctx based on its parent
Date: Tue, 22 Jan 2019 10:26:58 -0500
Message-ID: <> (raw)
In-Reply-To: <>

On 1/22/19 9:17 AM, Stephen Smalley wrote:
> On 1/22/19 3:49 AM, Ondrej Mosnacek wrote:
>> On Mon, Jan 14, 2019 at 10:01 AM Ondrej Mosnacek <> 
>> wrote:
>>> On Thu, Jan 10, 2019 at 6:55 PM Casey Schaufler 
>>> <> wrote:
>>>> Resending after email configuration repair.
>>>> On 1/10/2019 6:15 AM, Stephen Smalley wrote:
>>>>> On 1/9/19 5:03 PM, Casey Schaufler wrote:
>>>>>> On 1/9/2019 12:37 PM, Stephen Smalley wrote:
>>>>>>> On 1/9/19 12:19 PM, Casey Schaufler wrote:
>>>>>>>> On 1/9/2019 8:28 AM, Ondrej Mosnacek wrote:
>>>>>>>>> Changes in v2:
>>>>>>>>> - add docstring for the new hook in union security_list_options
>>>>>>>>> - initialize *ctx to NULL and *ctxlen to 0 in case the hook is not
>>>>>>>>>      implemented
>>>>>>>>> v1: 
>>>>>>>>> This series adds a new security hook that allows to initialize 
>>>>>>>>> the security
>>>>>>>>> context of kernfs properly, taking into account the parent 
>>>>>>>>> context. Kernfs
>>>>>>>>> nodes require special handling here, since they are not bound 
>>>>>>>>> to specific
>>>>>>>>> inodes/superblocks, but instead represent the backing tree 
>>>>>>>>> structure that
>>>>>>>>> is used to build the VFS tree when the kernfs tree is mounted.
>>>>>>>>> The kernfs nodes initially do not store any security context 
>>>>>>>>> and rely on
>>>>>>>>> the LSM to assign some default context to inodes created over 
>>>>>>>>> them.
>>>>>>>> This seems like a bug in kernfs. Why doesn't kernfs adhere to 
>>>>>>>> the usual
>>>>>>>> and expected filesystem behavior?
>>>>>>> sysfs / kernfs didn't support xattrs at all when we first added 
>>>>>>> support for setting security contexts to it, so originally all 
>>>>>>> sysfs / kernfs inodes had a single security context, and we only 
>>>>>>> required separate storage for the inodes that were explicitly 
>>>>>>> labeled by userspace.
>>>>>>> Later kernfs grew support for trusted.* xattrs using 
>>>>>>> simple_xattrs but the existing security.* support was left mostly 
>>>>>>> unchanged.
>>>>>> OK, so as I said, this seems like a bug in kernfs.
>>>>>>>>> Kernfs
>>>>>>>>> inodes, however, allow setting an explicit context via the 
>>>>>>>>> *setxattr(2)
>>>>>>>>> syscalls, in which case the context is stored inside the kernfs 
>>>>>>>>> node's
>>>>>>>>> metadata.
>>>>>>>>> SELinux (and possibly other LSMs) initialize the context of 
>>>>>>>>> newly created
>>>>>>>>> FS objects based on the parent object's context (usually the 
>>>>>>>>> child inherits
>>>>>>>>> the parent's context, unless the policy dictates otherwise).
>>>>>>>> An LSM might use information about the parent other than the 
>>>>>>>> "context".
>>>>>>>> Smack, for example, uses an attribute SMACK64TRANSMUTE from the 
>>>>>>>> parent
>>>>>>>> to determine whether the Smack label of the new object should be 
>>>>>>>> taken
>>>>>>>> from the parent or the process. Passing the "context" of the 
>>>>>>>> parent is
>>>>>>>> insufficient for Smack.
>>>>>>> IIUC, this would involve switching the handling of security.* 
>>>>>>> xattrs in kernfs over to use simple_xattrs too (so that we can 
>>>>>>> store multiple such attributes), and then pass the entire 
>>>>>>> simple_xattrs list or at least anything with a security.* prefix 
>>>>>>> when initializing a new node or refreshing an existing inode.  
>>>>>>> Then the security module could extract any security.* attributes 
>>>>>>> of interest for use in determining the label of new inodes and in 
>>>>>>> refreshing the label of an inode.
>>> I actually had a patch to do just that at one point because I thought
>>> for a while that it would be required to call
>>> security_inode_init_security() (which I had tried to somehow force
>>> into the kernfs node creation at some point), but then I realized it
>>> is not actually needed (although would make thing a bit nicer) and put
>>> it away... I will try to dig it out and reuse here.
>> Okay, now that I tried to do this with full xattr support I ran into a
>> problem. Along with converting kernfs to use simple_xattrs for
>> security attributes, I removed the call to
>> security_inode_notifysecctx() from kernfs_refresh_inode(), as it no
>> longer makes sense (kernfs doesn't know which attribute contains the
>> context; the LSM should now be able to pull it out via
>> vfs_getxattr()). However, SELinux now doesn't set the right security
>> context in the selinux_d_instantiate() hook, because the policy tells
>> it to use genfs, not xattr.
>> So... I'm not sure how to fix this. Setting fs_use_xattr for cgroupfs
>> in the policy won't work, because then all nodes will be unlabeled_t
>> by default. Maybe we could patch the genfs case in
>> inode_doinit_with_dentry() to try fetching the xattr first? I'm not
>> very confident about touching that part of the code, so I would
>> welcome some advice here.
>> This is the code I have so far, in case it helps:
> I would have left security_inode_notifysecctx() or an equivalent that 
> passes all of the xattrs to push the security attributes to the security 
> module.
> Blindly calling __vfs_getxattr() on genfs could be a problem; IIRC, 
> doing so on fuse filesytems can create a deadlock during mount.  Or at 
> least that was the issue with switching fuse to fs_use_xattr in the past.

See commits 4d546f81717d253ab67643bf072c6d8821a9249c, 
811f3799279e567aa354c649ce22688d949ac7a9 and for some prior 
work and discussions in this area.

      reply index

Thread overview: 22+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
2019-01-09 16:28 Ondrej Mosnacek
2019-01-09 16:28 ` [PATCH v2 1/3] LSM: Add new hook for generic node initialization Ondrej Mosnacek
2019-01-09 17:08   ` Casey Schaufler
2019-01-11  1:57     ` Paul Moore
2019-01-11 18:30       ` Casey Schaufler
2019-01-14  9:01       ` Ondrej Mosnacek
2019-01-09 16:28 ` [PATCH v2 2/3] selinux: Implement the object_init_security hook Ondrej Mosnacek
2019-01-09 16:28 ` [PATCH v2 3/3] kernfs: Initialize security of newly created nodes Ondrej Mosnacek
2019-01-11 20:52   ` Tejun Heo
2019-01-09 17:19 ` [PATCH v2 0/3] Allow initializing the kernfs node's secctx based on its parent Casey Schaufler
2019-01-09 20:37   ` Stephen Smalley
2019-01-09 22:03     ` Casey Schaufler
2019-01-10 14:15       ` Stephen Smalley
2019-01-10 17:54         ` Casey Schaufler
2019-01-10 19:37           ` Stephen Smalley
2019-01-11  2:20             ` Paul Moore
2019-01-14  9:01               ` Ondrej Mosnacek
2019-01-11 18:22             ` Casey Schaufler
2019-01-14  9:01           ` Ondrej Mosnacek
2019-01-22  8:49             ` Ondrej Mosnacek
2019-01-22 14:17               ` Stephen Smalley
2019-01-22 15:26                 ` Stephen Smalley [this message]

Reply instructions:

You may reply publically to this message via plain-text email
using any one of the following methods:

* Save the following mbox file, import it into your mail client,
  and reply-to-all from there: mbox

  Avoid top-posting and favor interleaved quoting:

* Reply using the --to, --cc, and --in-reply-to
  switches of git-send-email(1):

  git send-email \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \

* If your mail client supports setting the In-Reply-To header
  via mailto: links, try the mailto: link

SELinux Archive on

Archives are clonable:
	git clone --mirror selinux/git/0.git

	# If you have public-inbox 1.1+ installed, you may
	# initialize and index your mirror using the following commands:
	public-inbox-init -V2 selinux selinux/ \
	public-inbox-index selinux

Example config snippet for mirrors

Newsgroup available over NNTP:

AGPL code for this site: git clone