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SubjectRe: [PATCH 2/4] autofs4 - track uid and gid of last mount requester
Quoting Ian Kent (
> On Fri, 2008-08-08 at 11:48 +0800, Ian Kent wrote:
> > > >
> > > > Please remind me again why autofs's use of current->uid and
> > > > current->gid is not busted in the presence of PID namespaces, where
> > > > these things are no longer system-wide unique?
> > >
> > > I actually don't see what the autofs4_waitq->pid is used for. It's
> > > copied from current into wq->pid at autofs4_wait, and into a packet to
> > > send to userspace (I assume) at autofs4_notify_daemon.
> > >
> > > So as long as a daemon can serve multiple pid namespaces (which
> > > doubtless it can), the pid could be confusing (or erroneous) for the
> > > daemon.
> >
> > Your point is well taken.
> >
> > The pid is used purely for logging purposes to aid in debugging in user
> > space. I'm not sure it is worth worrying about it too much as the daemon
> > has no business interfering with user space processes it is not the
> > owner of.
> >
> > >
> > > If I'm remotely right about how the pid is being used, then the thing to
> > > do would be to
> > > 1. store the daemon's pid namespace (would that belong in
> > > the autofs_sb_info?)
> >
> > Yep.
> >
> > > 2. store the task_pid(current) in the waitqueue
> > > 3. retrieve the pid_t for the waiting task in the daemon's
> > > pid namespace, and put that into the packet at
> > > autofs4_notify_daemon.
> > >
> > > I realize this patch was about the *uids*, but the pids seem more
> > > urgent.
> >
> > OK, I get it.
> > I'll have a go at doing this for completeness.
> On second thoughts I'm not sure about this.
> The pid that is logged needs to relate to a process in the name space of
> the one that caused the mount to be done.
> For example, suppose a GUI user finds mounts never expiring, then we get
> a debug log to try and identify the culprit. So the pid should
> correspond to a process that the user sees (So I guess in the namespace
> of that user).
> This is the only reason I added the pid to the request packet in the
> first place.
> Please correct me if my understanding of this is not right.

It's not wrong, but we just have to think through which value is the
most useful.

Any process executing clone(CLONE_NEWPID) (with CAP_SYS_ADMIN) can start
an application in a new pid namespace. So imagine the user at the
desktop clicking some button which runs an application in a new pid
namespace. Now if the user starts an xterm and runs ps -ef, the pid
values he'll see for the tasks in that new namespace will not be the
same as those which the application sees for itself, and not the same as
those which, right now, autofs would report.

For instance, if I start a shell in a new pid namespace, then within the
new pid namespace ps -ef gives me:

sh-3.2# ps -ef
root 1 0 0 10:54 pts/1 00:00:00 /bin/sh
root 5 1 0 10:54 pts/1 00:00:00 /bin/sleep 100
root 6 1 0 10:54 pts/1 00:00:00 ps -ef

but from another shell as the same user, partial output of ps -ef
gives me:

root 2877 2876 0 10:54 pts/1 00:00:00 /bin/sh
root 2881 2877 0 10:54 pts/1 00:00:00 /bin/sleep 100

And so what we're trying to decide is whether autofs should send
pid 5 or pid 2881 for a message about the "/bin/sleep 100" task.

In fact, if the user clicks that button twice, chances are both
instances of the application will have the same pid values for each
process in the application. So now if autofs sends a message to the
user about the application, the user cannot tell which process is at

Autofs will be sending the user some message about 'process 5'. The
user won't know whether it means "the real" pid 5, [watchdog/0],
pid 5 in the first instance of the application, or pid 5 in the
second instance.

Now it's true that the user's xterm may still be in a different
(descendent) pidns of the autofs daemon. But we can't expect
the autofs daemon to do pid_t translation for the user, so I
think what we have to aim for is making sure that the values
reported are unique within the pidns of the autofs daemon. And
that means sending back either the pid values in the autofs
daemon's pid namespace, or using the top-level pid_ts, that is,
the pid values in the init namespace, which will be unique
on the whole system.

Sorry this turned out long-winded, I hope it makes sense.
And if I'm just showing a misunderstanding of what you're doing,
please do correct me :)


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