[Devel] Re: [patch 05/10] add "permit user mounts in new namespace" clone flag

Serge E. Hallyn serue at us.ibm.com
Tue Apr 17 11:15:00 PDT 2007

Quoting Miklos Szeredi (miklos at szeredi.hu):
> > I'm a bit lost about what is currently done and who advocates for what.
> > 
> > It seems to me the MNT_ALLOWUSERMNT (or whatever :) flag should be
> > propagated.  In the /share rbind+chroot example, I assume the admin
> > would start by doing
> > 
> > 	mount --bind /share /share
> > 	mount --make-slave /share
> > 	mount --bind -o allow_user_mounts /share (or whatever)
> > 	mount --make-shared /share
> > 
> > then on login, pam does
> > 
> > 	chroot /share/$USER
> > 
> > or some sort of
> > 
> > 	mount --bind /share /home/$USER/root
> > 	chroot /home/$USER/root
> > 
> > or whatever.  In any case, the user cannot make user mounts except under
> > /share, and any cloned namespaces will still allow user mounts.
> I don't quite understand your method.  This is how I think of it:
> mount --make-rshared /
> mkdir -p /mnt/ns/$USER
> mount --rbind / /mnt/ns/$USER
> mount --make-rslave /mnt/ns/$USER

This was my main point - that the tree in which users can mount will be
a slave of /, so that propagating the "are user mounts allowed" flag
among peers is safe and intuitive.

> mount --set-flags --recursive -oallowusermnt /mnt/ns/$USER
> chroot /mnt/ns/$USER
> su - $USER
> I did actually try something equivalent (without the fancy mount
> commands though), and it worked fine.  The only "problem" is the
> proliferation of mounts in /proc/mounts.  There was a recently posted
> patch in AppArmor, that at least hides unreachable mounts from
> /proc/mounts, so the user wouldn't see all those.  But it could still
> be pretty confusing to the sysadmin.
> So in that sense doing it the complicated way, by first cloning the
> namespace, and then copying and sharing mounts individually which need
> to be shared could relieve this somewhat.

True.  But the kernel functionality you provide enables both ways so no
problem in either case :)

> Another point: user mounts under /proc and /sys shouldn't be allowed.
> There are files there (at least in /proc) that are seemingly writable
> by the user, but they are still not writable in the sense, that
> "normal" files are.

Good point.

> Anyway, there are lots of userspace policy issues, but those don't
> impact the kernel part.

Though it might make sense to enforce /proc and /sys not allowing user
mounts under them in the kernel.

> As for the original question of propagating the "allowusermnt" flag, I
> think it doesn't matter, as long as it's consistent and documented.
> Propagating some mount flags and not propagating others is
> inconsistent and confusing, so I wouldn't want that.  Currently
> remount doesn't propagate mount flags, that may be a bug, dunno.

Dave, any thoughts on safety of propagating the vfsmount read-only


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