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SubjectRe: [RFC PATCH] fs: call_usermodehelper_root helper introduced
On Thu, 23 May 2013 14:32:51 -0700
ebiederm@xmission.com (Eric W. Biederman) wrote:

> "J. Bruce Fields" <bfields@fieldses.org> writes:
>
> > On Thu, May 23, 2013 at 03:55:47PM -0400, J. Bruce Fields wrote:
> >> On Thu, May 23, 2013 at 09:05:26AM -0400, Jeff Layton wrote:
> >> > What might help most here is to lay out a particular scenario for how
> >> > you envision setting up knfsd in a container so we can ensure that it's
> >> > addressed properly by whatever solution you settle on.
> >
> > BTW the problem I have here is that the only case I've personally had
> > any interest in is using network and file namespaces to isolate nfsd's
> > to make them safe to migrate across nodes of a cluster.
> >
> > So while the idea of making user namespaces and unprivileged knfsd and
> > the rest work is really interesting and I'm happy to think about it, I'm
> > not sure how feasible or useful it is.
> >
> > I'd therefore actually prefer just to take something like Stanislav's
> > patch now and put off the problem of how to make it work correctly with
> > user namespaces until we actually turn that on. His patch fixes a real
> > bug that we have now, while user-namespaced-nfsd still sounds a bit
> > pie-in-the-sky to me.
> >
> >
> > But maybe I don't understand why Eric thinks nfsd in usernamespaces is
> > imminent. Or maybe I'm missing some security problem that Stanislav's
> > patch would introduce now without allowing nfsd to run in a user
> > namespace.
>
> The problem I saw is less pronounced but I think actually exists without
> user namespaces as well. In particular if we let root in the container
> start knfsd in a network and mount namespace. Then if that container
> does not have certain capabilities like say CAP_MKNOD all of a sudden
> we have a process running in the container with CAP_MKNOD.
>
> I haven't had time to look at everything just yet but I don't think
> solving this is particularly hard.
>
> There are really two very simple solutions.
> 1) When we start knfsd in the container we create a kernel thread that
> is a child of the userspace process that started knfsd. That kernel
> thread can then be used to launch user mode helpers.
>
> This uses the same code as is needed today to launch user mode
> helpers with just a different parent thread.
>
> 2) We pass enough information for the user mode helper to figure out
> what container this is all for. File descriptors or whatever.
> Then the user mode helper outside the container using chdir and setns
> sets up the environment that the user mode helper typically expects
> and runs the process inside of the container.
>
> Or we look at what the user mode helper is doing and realize we don't
> need to run the user mode binary inside of the container. If all it
> does is query /etc/passwd for username to uid mapping for example (for
> user namespaces we will probably care but not without them).
>
> I don't think any of this is hard to implement.
>
> I think user namespaces are imminent because after my last pass through
> the code the remaining work looked pretty trivial, and as soon as the
> dust settles I expect user namespaces become the common way to run code
> in containers, which should greatly increase the demand for this feature
> in user namespaces.
>
> Eric
>

Resurrecting this discussion after some time with some questions:

If we went with option #2 above, would it be sufficient to simply pass
a pid to the process? Then, since it runs as root, it could
open /proc/<pid>/ns/mnt and pass that fd to setns()?

Do you also have to chdir()/chroot() too? If so, how would one get the
path for that?

--
Jeff Layton <jlayton@redhat.com>


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