[lkml]   [2020]   [Sep]   [24]   [last100]   RSS Feed
Views: [wrap][no wrap]   [headers]  [forward] 
Messages in this thread
Patch in this message
Subject[PATCH v4 2/2] Add user-mode only option to unprivileged_userfaultfd sysctl knob
With this change, when the knob is set to 0, it allows unprivileged
users to call userfaultfd, like when it is set to 1, but with the
restriction that page faults from only user-mode can be handled.
In this mode, an unprivileged user (without SYS_CAP_PTRACE capability)
must pass UFFD_USER_MODE_ONLY to userfaultd or the API will fail with

This enables administrators to reduce the likelihood that
an attacker with access to userfaultfd can delay faulting kernel
code to widen timing windows for other exploits.

The default value of this knob is changed to 0. This is required for
correct functioning of pipe mutex. However, this will fail postcopy
live migration, which will be unnoticeable to the VM guests. To avoid
this, set 'vm.userfault = 1' in /sys/sysctl.conf. For more details,
refer to Andrea's reply [1].


Signed-off-by: Lokesh Gidra <>
Documentation/admin-guide/sysctl/vm.rst | 15 ++++++++++-----
fs/userfaultfd.c | 6 ++++--
2 files changed, 14 insertions(+), 7 deletions(-)

diff --git a/Documentation/admin-guide/sysctl/vm.rst b/Documentation/admin-guide/sysctl/vm.rst
index 4b9d2e8e9142..4263d38c3c21 100644
--- a/Documentation/admin-guide/sysctl/vm.rst
+++ b/Documentation/admin-guide/sysctl/vm.rst
@@ -871,12 +871,17 @@ file-backed pages is less than the high watermark in a zone.

-This flag controls whether unprivileged users can use the userfaultfd
-system calls. Set this to 1 to allow unprivileged users to use the
-userfaultfd system calls, or set this to 0 to restrict userfaultfd to only
-privileged users (with SYS_CAP_PTRACE capability).
+This flag controls the mode in which unprivileged users can use the
+userfaultfd system calls. Set this to 0 to restrict unprivileged users
+to handle page faults in user mode only. In this case, users without
+SYS_CAP_PTRACE must pass UFFD_USER_MODE_ONLY in order for userfaultfd to
+succeed. Prohibiting use of userfaultfd for handling faults from kernel
+mode may make certain vulnerabilities more difficult to exploit.

-The default value is 1.
+Set this to 1 to allow unprivileged users to use the userfaultfd system
+calls without any restrictions.
+The default value is 0.

diff --git a/fs/userfaultfd.c b/fs/userfaultfd.c
index 3191434057f3..3816c11a986a 100644
--- a/fs/userfaultfd.c
+++ b/fs/userfaultfd.c
@@ -28,7 +28,7 @@
#include <linux/security.h>
#include <linux/hugetlb.h>

-int sysctl_unprivileged_userfaultfd __read_mostly = 1;
+int sysctl_unprivileged_userfaultfd __read_mostly;

static struct kmem_cache *userfaultfd_ctx_cachep __read_mostly;

@@ -1972,7 +1972,9 @@ SYSCALL_DEFINE1(userfaultfd, int, flags)
struct userfaultfd_ctx *ctx;
int fd;

- if (!sysctl_unprivileged_userfaultfd && !capable(CAP_SYS_PTRACE))
+ if (!sysctl_unprivileged_userfaultfd &&
+ (flags & UFFD_USER_MODE_ONLY) == 0 &&
+ !capable(CAP_SYS_PTRACE))
return -EPERM;

 \ /
  Last update: 2020-09-24 08:57    [W:0.145 / U:1.508 seconds]
©2003-2020 Jasper Spaans|hosted at Digital Ocean and TransIP|Read the blog|Advertise on this site