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Subject[PATCH v2 1/8] capability: add capable_or to test for multiple caps with exactly one audit message
Add the interface `capable_or()` as an alternative to or multiple
`capable()` calls, like `capable_or(CAP_SYS_NICE, CAP_SYS_ADMIN)`
instead of `capable(CAP_SYS_NICE) || capable(CAP_SYS_ADMIN)`.
`capable_or()` will in particular generate exactly one audit message,
either for the left most capability in effect or, if the task has none,
the first one.
This is especially helpful with regard to SELinux, where each audit
message about a not allowed capability will create an avc denial.
Using this function with the least invasive capability as left most
argument (e.g. CAP_SYS_NICE before CAP_SYS_ADMIN) enables policy writers
to only allow the least invasive one and SELinux domains pass this check
with only capability:sys_nice or capability:sys_admin allowed without
any avc denial message.

Signed-off-by: Christian Göttsche <>

avoid varargs and fix to two capabilities; capable_or3() can be added
later if needed
include/linux/capability.h | 5 +++++
kernel/capability.c | 29 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
2 files changed, 34 insertions(+)

diff --git a/include/linux/capability.h b/include/linux/capability.h
index 65efb74c3585..a16d1edea9b3 100644
--- a/include/linux/capability.h
+++ b/include/linux/capability.h
@@ -207,6 +207,7 @@ extern bool has_ns_capability(struct task_struct *t,
extern bool has_capability_noaudit(struct task_struct *t, int cap);
extern bool has_ns_capability_noaudit(struct task_struct *t,
struct user_namespace *ns, int cap);
+extern bool capable_or(int cap1, int cap2);
extern bool capable(int cap);
extern bool ns_capable(struct user_namespace *ns, int cap);
extern bool ns_capable_noaudit(struct user_namespace *ns, int cap);
@@ -230,6 +231,10 @@ static inline bool has_ns_capability_noaudit(struct task_struct *t,
return true;
+static inline bool capable_or(int cap1, int cap2)
+ return true;
static inline bool capable(int cap)
return true;
diff --git a/kernel/capability.c b/kernel/capability.c
index 765194f5d678..cd8f3efe6d08 100644
--- a/kernel/capability.c
+++ b/kernel/capability.c
@@ -435,6 +435,35 @@ bool ns_capable_setid(struct user_namespace *ns, int cap)

+ * capable_or - Determine if the current task has one of two superior capabilities in effect
+ * @cap1: The capabilities to be tested for first
+ * @cap2: The capabilities to be tested for secondly
+ *
+ * Return true if the current task has at one of the two given superior
+ * capabilities currently available for use, false if not.
+ *
+ * In contrast to or'ing capable() this call will create exactly one audit
+ * message, either for @cap1, if it is granted or both are not permitted,
+ * or @cap2, if it is granted while the other one is not.
+ *
+ * The capabilities should be ordered from least to most invasive, i.e. CAP_SYS_ADMIN last.
+ *
+ * This sets PF_SUPERPRIV on the task if the capability is available on the
+ * assumption that it's about to be used.
+ */
+bool capable_or(int cap1, int cap2)
+ if (ns_capable_noaudit(&init_user_ns, cap1))
+ return ns_capable(&init_user_ns, cap1);
+ if (ns_capable_noaudit(&init_user_ns, cap2))
+ return ns_capable(&init_user_ns, cap2);
+ return ns_capable(&init_user_ns, cap1);
* capable - Determine if the current task has a superior capability in effect
* @cap: The capability to be tested for
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