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From: Mike Palmiotto <>
Subject: [RFC] userspace: netlink/sestatus feature parity
Date: Mon, 29 Jun 2020 15:40:05 -0400
Message-ID: <> (raw)

In looking at the userspace AVC netlink and sestatis code, I noticed
there are a few discrepancies between the two mechanisms. Considering
sestatus is intended (AFAICT) to be a swap-in replacement for netlink,
I'd expect all of the same code paths to be covered. This doesn't seem
to be the case.

One such difference is the handling of `setenforce` events in
`selinux_status_updated/setenforce()`. While netlink updates the
internal `avc_enforcing` state, `selinux_status_updated/setenforce()`
do not.

Any userspace object manager wishing to use sestatus with the internal
AVC is not guaranteed to have accurate state during calls to
`avc_has_perm_noaudit`, unless they reach out to netlink. sestatus was
initially implemented for use in sepgsql, which did not require use of

To more robustly support use of sestatus, I'm proposing that we
improve upon the sestatus code by having it update/reset AVC internal
state (avc_enforcing, for example) on status events.

Would such a patch be of interest? Or would it be simpler to just
update `avc_has_perm_noaudit` to query sestatus for enforcing, rather
than refer to `avc_enforcing`?

A few questions further questions in case this improvement is of interest:

1) Should there be separate callbacks for netlink counterparts in
sestatus, or is the existing infrastructure suitable for implementing
handling of those events?

2) With netlink we're guaranteed sequential processing of events. The
same is not true for mmap()'ed status updates. Do we care about the
order in which events are processed?

Thanks in advance,
Mike Palmiotto

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Thread overview: 3+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
2020-06-29 19:40 Mike Palmiotto [this message]
2020-07-06 13:23 ` Stephen Smalley
2020-07-06 16:55   ` Mike Palmiotto

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