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SubjectRe: Re: [PATCH RFC] pidns: introduce syscall getvpid

On 09/17/2015 12:31 AM, Serge E. Hallyn wrote:
> On Wed, Sep 16, 2015 at 09:49:02AM -0500, Eric W. Biederman wrote:
>> "Serge E. Hallyn" <> writes:
>>> On Wed, Sep 16, 2015 at 10:37:33AM +0300, Konstantin Khlebnikov wrote:
>>>> On 15.09.2015 20:41, Serge Hallyn wrote:
>>>>> Quoting Stéphane Graber (
>>>>>> On Tue, Sep 15, 2015 at 06:01:38PM +0300, Konstantin Khlebnikov wrote:
>>>>>>> On 15.09.2015 17:27, Eric W. Biederman wrote:
>>>>>>>> Konstantin Khlebnikov <> writes:
>>>>>>>>> pid_t getvpid(pid_t pid, pid_t source, pid_t target);
>>>>>>>>> This syscall converts pid from one pid-ns into pid in another pid-ns:
>>>>>>>>> it takes @pid in namespace of @source task (zero for current) and
>>>>>>>>> returns related pid in namespace of @target task (zero for current too).
>>>>>>>>> If pid is unreachable from target pid-ns then it returns zero.
>>>>>>>> This interface as presented is inherently racy. It would be better
>>>>>>>> if source and target were file descriptors referring to the namespaces
>>>>>>>> you wish to translate between.
>>>>>>> Yep, it's racy. As well as any operation with non-child pids.
>>>>>>> With file descriptors for source/target result will be racy anyway.
>>>>>>>>> Such conversion is required for interaction between processes from
>>>>>>>>> different pid-namespaces. For example when system service talks with
>>>>>>>>> client from isolated container via socket about task in container:
>>>>>>>> Sockets are already supported. At least the metadata of sockets is.
>>>>>>>> Maybe we need this but I am not convinced of it's utility.
>>>>>>>> What are you trying to do that motivates this?
>>>>>>> I'm working on hierarchical container management system which
>>>>>>> allows to create and control nested sub-containers from containers
>>>>>>> ( ). Main server works in host and
>>>>>>> have to interact with all levels of nested namespaces. This syscall
>>>>>>> makes some operations much easier: server must remember only pid in
>>>>>>> host pid namespace and convert it into right vpid on demand.
>>>>>> Note that as Eric said earlier, sending a PID inside a ucred through a
>>>>>> unix socket will have the pid translated.
>>>>>> So while your solution certainly should be faster, you can already achieve
>>>>>> what you want today by doing:
>>>>>> == Translate PID in container to PID in host
>>>>>> - open a socket
>>>>>> - setns to container's pidns
>>>>>> - send ucred from that container containing the requested container PID
>>>>>> - host sees the host PID
>>>>>> == Translate PID on host to PID in container
>>>>>> - open a socket
>>>>>> - setns to container's pidns
>>>>>> - send ucred from the host containing the request host PID
>>>>>> (send will fail if the host PID isn't part of that container)
>>>>>> - container sees the container PID
>>>>> In addition, since commit e4bc332451 : /proc/PID/status: show all sets of pid according to ns
>>>>> we now also have 'NSpid' etc in /proc/$$/status.
>>>> As I see this works perfectly only for converting host pid into virtual.
>>>> Backward conversion is troublesome: we have to scan all pids in host
>>>> procfs and somehow filter tasks from container and its sub-pid-ns.
>>>> Or I am missing something trivial?
>>> Ah, no that doesn't help with this.
>>> What Stéphane describes is what I've done in several projects.
>>> Getting it right is however actually quite tricky. I'm not
>>> convinced it's at the level of "since you can do (sweep hands)
>>> all this, we don't need a simple syscall to do it."
>>> So I'd encourage you to resend using namespace inode fds for
>>> source and target as Eric suggested. We still may decide that
>>> the syscall isn't needed, but it's a trivial change to your
>>> patch and removes that race. And I'm not convinced it's not
>>> needed.
>> At this point my primary concern is that a pattern that would need to be
>> convering to and from pids quickly is potentially fundamentally racy to
>> the point of broken.
> The cgmanager GetTasks and GetTasksRecursive, and reading of the
> lxcfs cgroup /tasks files, require converting every pid from the
> cgmanager's namespace to the reading task's namespace.
>> Especially with unix domain sockets passing and converting pids in a way
>> that covers the common case.
>> I am clearly missing some nuance of this use case.
> lxcfs and cgmanager are imo proof that we *can* do without the new
> syscall. However, the git history will show that there are some
> complications, and the system load when a few systemds are starting
> will show that it does take a performance toll on the host at some
> point. Still as I say it's doable. The syscall implementation was
> very simple, though.

Yes, previous email discussed about the implementation of syscall or procfs:;#1971723

but it seems complicated implemented by procfs, the original discussion at:;#2076440


> -serge
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