Re: [PATCH 0/5 RFC] Add an interface to discover relationships between namespaces

From: Michael Kerrisk (man-pages)
Date: Thu Jul 28 2016 - 06:45:30 EST

On 07/26/2016 10:39 PM, Andrew Vagin wrote:
On Tue, Jul 26, 2016 at 09:17:31PM +0200, Michael Kerrisk (man-pages) wrote:
Hello Andrew,

On 26 July 2016 at 20:25, Andrew Vagin <avagin@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
On Tue, Jul 26, 2016 at 10:03:25AM +0200, Michael Kerrisk (man-pages) wrote:
On 07/26/2016 04:54 AM, Andrew Vagin wrote:
On Mon, Jul 25, 2016 at 09:59:43AM -0500, Eric W. Biederman wrote:
"Michael Kerrisk (man-pages)" <mtk.manpages@xxxxxxxxx> writes:


So, from my point of view, the important piece that was missing from
your commit message was the note to use readlink("/proc/self/fd/%d")
on the returned FDs. I think that detail needs to be part of the
commit message (and also the man page text). I think it even be
helpful to include the above program as part of the commit message:
it helps people more quickly grasp the API.

Please, please make the standard way to compare these things fstat.
That is much less magic than a symlink, and a little more future proof.
Possibly even kcmp.

I like the idea to use kcmp to compare namespaces. I am going to add this
functionality to kcmp and describe all these in the man page.

Hi Andrey,

Can you briefly sketch out the proposed API and how it would be used?
I'd find it useful to see that even before the implementation.

Sure. If a process wants to compare two namespaces, it needs to get file
descriptors for them (open /proc/PID/ns/XXX, use new ioctl-s, find a
process which has them),
and then it calls kcmp(pid1, pid2, KCMP_NSFD, ns_fd1, ns_fd2)

For example, if we want to compare pid namespaces for 1 and 2 processes:

What's the purpose of the following line, and the use of 'pid' in the
kcmp() call?:

It's the existing interface of kcmp. It's used to check whether the
two processes identified by pid1 and pid2 share a kernel resource
such as virtual memory, file descriptors, and so on.

Yes, understood, but it seems a slightly weird use of the interface,
since in general pid1 will be the same as pid2 in this use case,
whereas in the other use cases, pid1 and pid2 are generally not

If we want to compare two file descriptors of the current process,
it is one of cases for which kcmp can be used. We can call kcmp to
compare two namespaces which are opened in other processes.

Is there really a use case there? I assume we're talking about the
scenario where a process in one namespace opens a /proc/PID/ns/*
file descriptor and passes that FD to another process via a UNIX
domain socket. Is that correct?

So, supposing that we want to build a map of the relationships
between namespaces using the proposed kcmp() API, and there are
say N namespaces? Does this mena we make (N * (N-1) / 2) calls
to kcmp()?



pid = getpid();
ns_fd1 = open("/proc/1/ns/pid")
ns_fd2 = open("/proc/2/ns/pid")

if (!kcmp(pid, pid, KCMP_NSFD, ns_fd1, ns_fd2))
printf("Both processes live in the same pid namespace\n");



Michael Kerrisk
Linux man-pages maintainer;
Linux/UNIX System Programming Training: