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SubjectRe: [PATCH] [request for inclusion] Realtime LSM
Ingo Molnar wrote:
> * Peter Williams <pwil3058@bigpond.net.au> wrote:
>
>
>>I don't object to rlimits per se and I think that they are useful but
>>not as a sole solution to this problem. Being able to give a task
>>preferential treatment is a permissions issue and should be solved as
>>one.
>>
>>Having RT cpu usage limits on tasks is a useful tool to have when
>>granting normal users the privilege of running tasks as RT tasks so
>>that you can limit the damage that they can do BUT the presence of a
>>limit on a task is not a very good criterion for granting that
>>privilege.
>
>
> i think you are talking about my rlimit patch (the 'RT CPU limit' patch)
> - but that one is not in discussion here.
>
> what is being discussed currently is the other rlimit patch (from Chris
> Wright and Matt Mackall) which implements a simple rlimit ceiling for
> the RT (and nice) priorities a task can set. The rlimit defaults to 0,
> meaning no change in behavior by default. A value of 50 means RT
> priority levels 1-50 are allowed. A value of 100 means all 99 privilege
> levels from 1 to 99 are allowed. CAP_SYS_NICE is blanket permission.
> It's all pretty finegrained and and it's a quite straightforward
> extension of what we have today.

OK. My misunderstanding.

But the patch you describe still seems a little loose to me in that it
doesn't control both which users AND which programs they can run.
Although I suppose that can be managed by suitable setting of file
permissions?

Also I presume that root privileges are needed to set the rlimits which
means that the program has to be setuid root or run from a setuid root
wrapper. In the first of these cases the program will be running for a
(hopefully) short while with way more privilege than it needs. This is
why I'm attracted to mechanisms that allow programs to be given a subset
of root's privileges and only for specified users.

I would be nice to have a solution to this particular problem that fits
in with such a generalized "granular" privilege mechanism (when/if such
a mechanism becomes available in the future) rather than a quirky fix
that is specific to this problem and doesn't generalize well to similar
problems when they arise in the future. However, I agree with your
opinion that granting CAP_SYS_NICE is dangerous without some limit on
the priority levels is dangerous and think that a generalized "granular"
privilege mechanism would need to include such restrictions.
> The patch does not attempt to do any
> "damage control" of abuse caused by RT tasks, and is hence much simpler
> than my patch or Con's SCHED_ISO patch. ("damage control" could be done
> from userspace anyway)

Yes. In kernel "damage control" is an optional extra not a necessity
with this solution. Not so sure about with the RT LSB solution though.

Peter
--
Peter Williams pwil3058@bigpond.net.au

"Learning, n. The kind of ignorance distinguishing the studious."
-- Ambrose Bierce
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