[PATCH net-next 2/2 v5] netns: restrict uevents

From: Christian Brauner
Date: Sun Apr 29 2018 - 06:44:52 EST

commit 07e98962fa77 ("kobject: Send hotplug events in all network namespaces")

enabled sending hotplug events into all network namespaces back in 2010.
Over time the set of uevents that get sent into all network namespaces has
shrunk. We have now reached the point where hotplug events for all devices
that carry a namespace tag are filtered according to that namespace.
Specifically, they are filtered whenever the namespace tag of the kobject
does not match the namespace tag of the netlink socket.
Currently, only network devices carry namespace tags (i.e. network
namespace tags). Hence, uevents for network devices only show up in the
network namespace such devices are created in or moved to.

However, any uevent for a kobject that does not have a namespace tag
associated with it will not be filtered and we will broadcast it into all
network namespaces. This behavior stopped making sense when user namespaces
were introduced.

This patch simplifies and fixes couple of things:
- Split codepath for sending uevents by kobject namespace tags:
1. Untagged kobjects - uevent_net_broadcast_untagged():
Untagged kobjects will be broadcast into all uevent sockets recorded
in uevent_sock_list, i.e. into all network namespacs owned by the
intial user namespace.
2. Tagged kobjects - uevent_net_broadcast_tagged():
Tagged kobjects will only be broadcast into the network namespace they
were tagged with.
Handling of tagged kobjects in 2. does not cause any semantic changes.
This is just splitting out the filtering logic that was handled by
kobj_bcast_filter() before.
Handling of untagged kobjects in 1. will cause a semantic change. The
reasons why this is needed and ok have been discussed in [1]. Here is a
short summary:
- Userspace ignores uevents from network namespaces that are not owned by
the intial user namespace:
Uevents are filtered by userspace in a user namespace because the
received uid != 0. Instead the uid associated with the event will be
65534 == "nobody" because the global root uid is not mapped.
This means we can safely and without introducing regressions modify the
kernel to not send uevents into all network namespaces whose owning
user namespace is not the initial user namespace because we know that
userspace will ignore the message because of the uid anyway.
I have a) verified that is is true for every udev implementation out
there b) that this behavior has been present in all udev
implementations from the very beginning.
- Thundering herd:
Broadcasting uevents into all network namespaces introduces significant
All processes that listen to uevents running in non-initial user
namespaces will end up responding to uevents that will be meaningless
to them. Mainly, because non-initial user namespaces cannot easily
manage devices unless they have a privileged host-process helping them
out. This means that there will be a thundering herd of activity when
there shouldn't be any.
- Removing needless overhead/Increasing performance:
Currently, the uevent socket for each network namespace is added to the
global variable uevent_sock_list. The list itself needs to be protected
by a mutex. So everytime a uevent is generated the mutex is taken on
the list. The mutex is held *from the creation of the uevent (memory
allocation, string creation etc. until all uevent sockets have been
handled*. This is aggravated by the fact that for each uevent socket
that has listeners the mc_list must be walked as well which means we're
talking O(n^2) here. Given that a standard Linux workload usually has
quite a lot of network namespaces and - in the face of containers - a
lot of user namespaces this quickly becomes a performance problem (see
"Thundering herd" above). By just recording uevent sockets of network
namespaces that are owned by the initial user namespace we
significantly increase performance in this codepath.
- Injecting uevents:
There's a valid argument that containers might be interested in
receiving device events especially if they are delegated to them by a
privileged userspace process. One prime example are SR-IOV enabled
devices that are explicitly designed to be handed of to other users
such as VMs or containers.
This use-case can now be correctly handled since
commit 692ec06d7c92 ("netns: send uevent messages"). This commit
introduced the ability to send uevents from userspace. As such we can
let a sufficiently privileged (CAP_SYS_ADMIN in the owning user
namespace of the network namespace of the netlink socket) userspace
process make a decision what uevents should be sent. This removes the
need to blindly broadcast uevents into all user namespaces and provides
a performant and safe solution to this problem.
- Filtering logic:
This patch filters by *owning user namespace of the network namespace a
given task resides in* and not by user namespace of the task per se.
This means if the user namespace of a given task is unshared but the
network namespace is kept and is owned by the initial user namespace a
listener that is opening the uevent socket in that network namespace
can still listen to uevents.
- Fix permission for tagged kobjects:
Network devices that are created or moved into a network namespace that
is owned by a non-initial user namespace currently are send with
INVALID_{G,U}ID in their credentials. This means that all current udev
implementations in userspace will ignore the uevent they receive for
them. This has lead to weird bugs whereby new devices showing up in such
network namespaces were not recognized and did not get IPs assigned etc.
This patch adjusts the permission to the appropriate {g,u}id in the
respective user namespace. This way udevd is able to correctly handle
such devices.
- Simplify filtering logic:
do_one_broadcast() already ensures that only listeners in mc_list receive
uevents that have the same network namespace as the uevent socket itself.
So the filtering logic in kobj_bcast_filter is not needed (see [3]). This
patch therefore removes kobj_bcast_filter() and replaces
netlink_broadcast_filtered() with the simpler netlink_broadcast()

[1]: https://lkml.org/lkml/2018/4/4/739
[2]: https://lkml.org/lkml/2018/4/26/767
[3]: https://lkml.org/lkml/2018/4/26/738
Signed-off-by: Christian Brauner <christian.brauner@xxxxxxxxxx>
* non-functional changes
* patch unchanged
* new approach: patch added
* old approach: different patchset
* old approach: different patchset
lib/kobject_uevent.c | 137 ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++-------------
1 file changed, 95 insertions(+), 42 deletions(-)

diff --git a/lib/kobject_uevent.c b/lib/kobject_uevent.c
index 649bf60a9440..63d0816ab23b 100644
--- a/lib/kobject_uevent.c
+++ b/lib/kobject_uevent.c
@@ -232,30 +232,6 @@ int kobject_synth_uevent(struct kobject *kobj, const char *buf, size_t count)
return r;

-#ifdef CONFIG_NET
-static int kobj_bcast_filter(struct sock *dsk, struct sk_buff *skb, void *data)
- struct kobject *kobj = data, *ksobj;
- const struct kobj_ns_type_operations *ops;
- ops = kobj_ns_ops(kobj);
- if (!ops && kobj->kset) {
- ksobj = &kobj->kset->kobj;
- if (ksobj->parent != NULL)
- ops = kobj_ns_ops(ksobj->parent);
- }
- if (ops && ops->netlink_ns && kobj->ktype->namespace) {
- const void *sock_ns, *ns;
- ns = kobj->ktype->namespace(kobj);
- sock_ns = ops->netlink_ns(dsk);
- return sock_ns != ns;
- }
- return 0;
static int kobj_usermode_filter(struct kobject *kobj)
@@ -327,17 +303,14 @@ static struct sk_buff *alloc_uevent_skb(struct kobj_uevent_env *env,

return skb;

-static int kobject_uevent_net_broadcast(struct kobject *kobj,
- struct kobj_uevent_env *env,
- const char *action_string,
- const char *devpath)
+static int uevent_net_broadcast_untagged(struct kobj_uevent_env *env,
+ const char *action_string,
+ const char *devpath)
- int retval = 0;
-#if defined(CONFIG_NET)
struct sk_buff *skb = NULL;
struct uevent_sock *ue_sk;
+ int retval = 0;

/* send netlink message */
list_for_each_entry(ue_sk, &uevent_sock_list, list) {
@@ -353,19 +326,93 @@ static int kobject_uevent_net_broadcast(struct kobject *kobj,

- retval = netlink_broadcast_filtered(uevent_sock, skb_get(skb),
- 0, 1, GFP_KERNEL,
- kobj_bcast_filter,
- kobj);
+ retval = netlink_broadcast(uevent_sock, skb_get(skb), 0, 1,
/* ENOBUFS should be handled in userspace */
if (retval == -ENOBUFS || retval == -ESRCH)
retval = 0;
return retval;

+static int uevent_net_broadcast_tagged(struct sock *usk,
+ struct kobj_uevent_env *env,
+ const char *action_string,
+ const char *devpath)
+ struct user_namespace *owning_user_ns = sock_net(usk)->user_ns;
+ struct sk_buff *skb = NULL;
+ int ret = 0;
+ skb = alloc_uevent_skb(env, action_string, devpath);
+ if (!skb)
+ return -ENOMEM;
+ /* fix credentials */
+ if (owning_user_ns != &init_user_ns) {
+ struct netlink_skb_parms *parms = &NETLINK_CB(skb);
+ kuid_t root_uid;
+ kgid_t root_gid;
+ /* fix uid */
+ root_uid = make_kuid(owning_user_ns, 0);
+ if (uid_valid(root_uid))
+ parms->creds.uid = root_uid;
+ /* fix gid */
+ root_gid = make_kgid(owning_user_ns, 0);
+ if (gid_valid(root_gid))
+ parms->creds.gid = root_gid;
+ }
+ ret = netlink_broadcast(usk, skb, 0, 1, GFP_KERNEL);
+ /* ENOBUFS should be handled in userspace */
+ if (ret == -ENOBUFS || ret == -ESRCH)
+ ret = 0;
+ return ret;
+static int kobject_uevent_net_broadcast(struct kobject *kobj,
+ struct kobj_uevent_env *env,
+ const char *action_string,
+ const char *devpath)
+ int ret = 0;
+#ifdef CONFIG_NET
+ const struct kobj_ns_type_operations *ops;
+ const struct net *net = NULL;
+ ops = kobj_ns_ops(kobj);
+ if (!ops && kobj->kset) {
+ struct kobject *ksobj = &kobj->kset->kobj;
+ if (ksobj->parent != NULL)
+ ops = kobj_ns_ops(ksobj->parent);
+ }
+ /* kobjects currently only carry network namespace tags and they
+ * are the only tag relevant here since we want to decide which
+ * network namespaces to broadcast the uevent into.
+ */
+ if (ops && ops->netlink_ns && kobj->ktype->namespace)
+ if (ops->type == KOBJ_NS_TYPE_NET)
+ net = kobj->ktype->namespace(kobj);
+ if (!net)
+ ret = uevent_net_broadcast_untagged(env, action_string,
+ devpath);
+ else
+ ret = uevent_net_broadcast_tagged(net->uevent_sock->sk, env,
+ action_string, devpath);
+ return ret;
static void zap_modalias_env(struct kobj_uevent_env *env)
static const char modalias_prefix[] = "MODALIAS=";
@@ -724,9 +771,13 @@ static int uevent_net_init(struct net *net)

net->uevent_sock = ue_sk;

- mutex_lock(&uevent_sock_mutex);
- list_add_tail(&ue_sk->list, &uevent_sock_list);
- mutex_unlock(&uevent_sock_mutex);
+ /* Restrict uevents to initial user namespace. */
+ if (sock_net(ue_sk->sk)->user_ns == &init_user_ns) {
+ mutex_lock(&uevent_sock_mutex);
+ list_add_tail(&ue_sk->list, &uevent_sock_list);
+ mutex_unlock(&uevent_sock_mutex);
+ }
return 0;

@@ -734,9 +785,11 @@ static void uevent_net_exit(struct net *net)
struct uevent_sock *ue_sk = net->uevent_sock;

- mutex_lock(&uevent_sock_mutex);
- list_del(&ue_sk->list);
- mutex_unlock(&uevent_sock_mutex);
+ if (sock_net(ue_sk->sk)->user_ns == &init_user_ns) {
+ mutex_lock(&uevent_sock_mutex);
+ list_del(&ue_sk->list);
+ mutex_unlock(&uevent_sock_mutex);
+ }