Namespaced File Capabilities

S3hh's Blog

Namespaced file capabilities

As of this past week, namespaced file capabilities are available in the upstream kernel. (Thanks to Eric Biederman for many review cycles and for the final pull request)

TL;DR

Some packages install binaries with file capabilities, and fail to install if you cannot set the file capabilities. Such packages could not be installed from inside a user namespace. With this feature, that problem is fixed.

Yay!

What are they?

POSIX capabilities are pieces of root’s privilege which can be individually used.

File capabilites are POSIX capability sets attached to files. When files with associated capabilities are executed, the resulting task may end up with privilege even if the calling user was unprivileged.

What’s the problem

In single-user-namespace days, POSIX capabilities were completely orthogonal to userids. You can be a non-root user with CAP_SYS_ADMIN, for instance. This can happen by starting as root, setting PR_SET_KEEPCAPS through prctl(2), and…

View original post 284 more words

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