Re: [RFC/PATCH] revoke/frevoke system calls V2

From: Edgar Toernig
Date: Wed Aug 09 2006 - 04:40:01 EST

Alan Cox wrote:
> Ar Llu, 2006-08-07 am 22:41 +0200, ysgrifennodd Edgar Toernig:
> >
> > Your implementation is much cruder - it simply takes the fd
> > away from the app; any future use gives EBADF. As a bonus,
> It needs to give -ENXIO/0 as per BSD that much is clear.

Ah, OK. And not to forget select/poll. (What about SIGHUP?)
I'm not sure though, whether it's really necessary to allow the
owner of a file to revoke fds - I would feel better if only root
(or someone with the right caps) could revoke fds/mappings.

> To use revoke() I must own the file
> If I own the file I can make it a symlink to a pty/tty pair
> I can revoke a pty/tty pair

With the EIO/EOF behaviour that's not a problem - apps that deal
with ttys have to expect that condition.

> > A serious question: What do you need this feature of revoking
> > regular files (or block devices) for? Maybe my imagination
> > is lacking, but I can't find a use where fuser(1) (or similar
> > tools) wouldn't be as good or even better than revoke(2).
> On a typical non-SELinux system with a typical desktop configuration
> (SELinux can effectively replace revoke) you need revoke on block
> devices in order to guarantee security

Hmm... which apps have an open fd on block devices? Usually a
filesystem is mounted on the device and then there are no fds
to the block-dev involved. Or do you expect the "fuser -m"
behaviour from revoke? Afaics, that's not the case at the moment.
Which users have perms to access a block-dev anyway?

> There are specific cases where being able to revoke access to one of
> your files is useful as well, particularly if you are moving it from
> open permissions to private permissions. That one is to be honest much
> less interesting and it is easy enough to make our revoke()
> implementation return -EINVAL.

Hmm... then use fuser and kill the process instead of silently taking
away fds and mappings.

My summary: revoke on chars devs with EIO/EOF behaviour is ok.
revoke on blocks devs is questionable
revoke on regular files is wrong.

Ciao, ET.
To unsubscribe from this list: send the line "unsubscribe linux-kernel" in
the body of a message to majordomo@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
More majordomo info at
Please read the FAQ at