udev in containers

Oren Laadan orenl at cs.columbia.edu
Fri Jan 28 14:11:55 PST 2011

On 01/28/2011 03:18 PM, Eric W. Biederman wrote:
> "Serge E. Hallyn" <serge.hallyn at canonical.com> writes:
>> Hi,
>> Now that we are allowing udev to run in containers, Daniel has
>> noticed that updates to sysfs uevent files will trigger a flurry
>> of activity in all containers on the host.  While not a problem
>> with just a few containers, this can severaly impact performance
>> with hundreds or more containers.
>> (Daniel, would it be possible for you to get some measurements
>> on host and in a container versus # of active containers, with
>> and without udev?  Do you have a otehrwise unused machien you
>> could try that on?)
>> Is there anything we can/should do about this?
>> Two approaches, neither sufficiently thought out yet, would be
>> to generalize the directory tagging currently used for
>> /sys/class/net, and full-fledged implementation of a device
>> namespace.
>> The directory tagging would probably only work if we can assign
>> multiple tags to a device, but we could for instance make
>> /sys/block tagged, and really no container probably needs to see
>> /sys/block/sda.
>> The device namespace would be similar, except I suspect it
>> would not only hide certain devices from certain namespaces,
>> but it would actually virtualize the device major:minor
>> mapping, for checkpoint/restart, so that /dev/sda could be
>> redirected to another device more completely than simply
>> fudging the nodes under /dev.
>> Comments?  Designs?  Plans?
> To answer you earlier question: What did I expect the device namespace
> to look like.
> - Only purely virtual devices like  /dev/pts, /dev/null, /dev/nbd and /dev/loop0 present.

I'd also want to see virtualized physical devices here - for example,
containers for virtual desktops will require /dev/rtc.

And I can also think of use-cases in which we'd like to let containers
direct access to physical devices. For example, consider a system with
10 physical disk partitions, that we'd like to provision to containers
that are allocated dynamically. We want the disk to always look like
e.g. /dev/sda in all containers, but (from the "host") map a different
partition to each container.

> - Fully virtualized major/minor look up preventing us from even talking
>   about devices in other namespaces.
> - Support from the user/security namespace so that mknod and mount are safe.
> I get a certain uncomfortable feeling about mknod and mount running free
> in a container without restrictions that make container without restrictions...

I agree.


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