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SubjectRe: [PATCH RFC] user-namespaced file capabilities - now with even more magic
Quoting Michael Kerrisk (man-pages) (
> Hi Serge,
> On 11/19/2016 04:17 PM, Serge E. Hallyn wrote:
> > Root in a user ns cannot be trusted to write a traditional
> > security.capability xattr. If it were allowed to do so, then any
> > unprivileged user on the host could map his own uid to root in a
> > namespace, write the xattr, and execute the file with privilege on the
> > host.
> >
> > This patch introduces v3 of the security.capability xattr. It builds a
> > vfs_ns_cap_data struct by appending a uid_t rootid to struct
> > vfs_cap_data. This is the absolute uid_t (i.e. the uid_t in
> > init_user_ns) of the root id (uid 0 in a namespace) in whose namespaces
> > the file capabilities may take effect.
> >
> > When a task in a user ns (which is privileged with CAP_SETFCAP toward
> > that user_ns) asks to write v2 security.capability, the kernel will
> > transparently rewrite the xattr as a v3 with the appropriate rootid.
> > Subsequently, any task executing the file which has the noted kuid as
> > its root uid, or which is in a descendent user_ns of such a user_ns,
> > will run the file with capabilities.
> >
> > If a task writes a v3 security.capability, then it can provide a
> > uid (valid within its own user namespace, over which it has CAP_SETFCAP)
> > for the xattr. The kernel will translate that to the absolute uid, and
> > write that to disk. After this, a task in the writer's namespace will
> > not be able to use those capabilities, but a task in a namespace where
> > the given uid is root will.
> >
> > Only a single security.capability xattr may be written. A task may
> > overwrite the existing one so long as it was written by a user mapped
> > into his own user_ns over which he has CAP_SETFCAP.
> >
> > This allows a simple setxattr to work, allows tar/untar to work, and
> > allows us to tar in one namespace and untar in another while preserving
> > the capability, without risking leaking privilege into a parent
> > namespace.
> Could we have a man-pages patch for this feature? Presumably for
> user_namespaces(7) or capabilities(7).

capabilities.7 doesn't actually mention anything about user namespaces
right now. I'll come up with a patch for both I think. Do you have a
deadline for a new release coming up?

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