For review: user_namespace(7) man page
Michael Kerrisk (man-pages)
mtk.manpages at gmail.com
Mon Sep 1 16:58:12 UTC 2014
On 08/22/2014 11:12 PM, Serge E. Hallyn wrote:
> Quoting Michael Kerrisk (man-pages) (mtk.manpages at gmail.com):
>> Hello Eric et al.,
>> For various reasons, my work on the namespaces man pages
>> fell off the table a while back. Nevertheless, the pages have
>> been close to completion for a while now, and I recently restarted,
>> in an effort to finish them. As you also noted to me f2f, there have
>> been recently been some small namespace changes that you may affect
>> the content of the pages. Therefore, I'll take the opportunity to
>> send the namespace-related pages out for further (final?) review.
>> So, here, I start with the user_namespaces(7) page, which is shown
>> in rendered form below, with source attached to this mail. I'll
>> send various other pages in follow-on mails.
>> Review comments/suggestions for improvements / bug fixes welcome.
>> user_namespaces - overview of Linux user_namespaces
>> For an overview of namespaces, see namespaces(7).
>> User namespaces isolate security-related identifiers and
>> attributes, in particular, user IDs and group IDs (see creden‐
>> tials(7), the root directory, keys (see keyctl(2)), and capabili‐
>> ties (see capabilities(7)). A process's user and group IDs can
>> be different inside and outside a user namespace. In particular,
>> a process can have a normal unprivileged user ID outside a user
>> namespace while at the same time having a user ID of 0 inside the
>> namespace; in other words, the process has full privileges for
>> operations inside the user namespace, but is unprivileged for
>> operations outside the namespace.
>> Nested namespaces, namespace membership
>> User namespaces can be nested; that is, each user namespace—
>> except the initial ("root") namespace—has a parent user names‐
>> pace, and can have zero or more child user namespaces. The par‐
>> ent user namespace is the user namespace of the process that cre‐
>> ates the user namespace via a call to unshare(2) or clone(2) with
>> the CLONE_NEWUSER flag.
>> The kernel imposes (since version 3.11) a limit of 32 nested lev‐
>> els of user namespaces. Calls to unshare(2) or clone(2) that
>> would cause this limit to be exceeded fail with the error EUSERS.
>> Each process is a member of exactly one user namespace. A
>> process created via fork(2) or clone(2) without the CLONE_NEWUSER
>> flag is a member of the same user namespace as its parent. A
>> process can join another user namespace with setns(2) if it has
>> the CAP_SYS_ADMIN in that namespace; upon doing so, it gains a
>> full set of capabilities in that namespace.
>> A call to clone(2) or unshare(2) with the CLONE_NEWUSER flag
>> makes the new child process (for clone(2)) or the caller (for
>> unshare(2)) a member of the new user namespace created by the
>> The child process created by clone(2) with the CLONE_NEWUSER flag
>> starts out with a complete set of capabilities in the new user
>> namespace. Likewise, a process that creates a new user namespace
>> using unshare(2) or joins an existing user namespace using
>> setns(2) gains a full set of capabilities in that namespace. On
>> the other hand, that process has no capabilities in the parent
>> (in the case of clone(2)) or previous (in the case of unshare(2)
>> and setns(2)) user namespace, even if the new namespace is cre‐
>> ated or joined by the root user (i.e., a process with user ID 0
>> in the root namespace).
>> Note that a call to execve(2) will cause a process to lose any
>> capabilities that it has, unless it has a user ID of 0 within the
>> namespace. See the discussion of user and group ID mappings,
> The above is an approximation, but a bit misleading. On exec, the task
> capability set is recalculated according to the usual rules. So if the
> file being executed has file capabilities, the result task may end up
> with capabilities even if it is not root (even if it is uid -1).
> Perhaps it should be phrased as:
> Note that a call to execve(2) will cause a process' capabilities
> to be recalculated (see capabilities(7)), so that usually, unless
> it has a user ID of 0 within the namespace, it will lose all
> capabilities. See the discussion of user and group ID mappings,
Thanks, Serge. Changed as you suggest.
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