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Subject[PATCH v2 0/3] initramfs: add support for xattrs in the initial ram disk
This patch set aims at solving the following use case: appraise files from
the initial ram disk. To do that, IMA checks the signature/hash from the
security.ima xattr. Unfortunately, this use case cannot be implemented
currently, as the CPIO format does not support xattrs.

This proposal consists in marshaling pathnames and xattrs in a file called
.xattr-list. They are unmarshaled by the CPIO parser after all files have
been extracted.

The difference from v1 ( is that all
xattrs are stored in a single file and not per file (solves the file name
limitation issue, as it is not necessary to add a suffix to files
containing xattrs).

The difference with another proposal
( is that xattrs can be
included in an image without changing the image format, as opposed to
defining a new one. As seen from the discussion, if a new format has to be
defined, it should fix the issues of the existing format, which requires
more time.

To fulfill both requirements, adding support for xattrs in a short time and
defining a new image format properly, this patch set takes an incremental
approach: it introduces a parser of xattrs that can be used either if
xattrs are in a regular file or directly added to the image (this patch set
reuses patch 9/15 of the existing proposal); in addition, it introduces a
wrapper of the xattr parser, to read xattrs from a file.

The changes introduced by this patch set don't cause any compatibility
issue: kernels without the xattr parser simply extracts .xattr-list and
don't unmarshal xattrs; kernels with the xattr parser don't unmarshal
xattrs if .xattr-list is not found in the image.

From the kernel space perspective, backporting this functionality to older
kernels should be very easy. It is sufficient to add a call to the new
function do_readxattrs(). From the user space perspective, no change is
required for the use case. A new dracut module ( will

getfattr --absolute-names -d -P -R -e hex -m security.ima \
<file list> | xattr.awk -b > ${initdir}/.xattr-list

where xattr.awk is the script that marshals xattrs (see patch 3/3). The
same can be done with the initramfs-tools ram disk generator.



- move xattr unmarshaling to CPIO parser

Mimi Zohar (1):
initramfs: set extended attributes

Roberto Sassu (2):
fs: add ksys_lsetxattr() wrapper
initramfs: introduce do_readxattrs()

fs/xattr.c | 9 ++-
include/linux/syscalls.h | 3 +
init/initramfs.c | 152 ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++-
3 files changed, 161 insertions(+), 3 deletions(-)


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