[PATCH v17 00/13] open: introduce openat2(2) syscall

From: Aleksa Sarai
Date: Sat Nov 16 2019 - 20:18:23 EST

This patchset is being developed here:

Patch changelog:
* Add a path_is_under() check for LOOKUP_IS_SCOPED in complete_walk(), as a
last line of defence to ensure that namei bugs will not break the contract
* Update based on feedback by Al Viro:
* Make nd_jump_link() free the passed path on error, so that callers don't
need to worry about it in the error path.
* Remove needless m_retry and r_retry variables in handle_dots().
* Always return -ECHILD from follow_dotdot_rcu().
v16: <https://lore.kernel.org/lkml/20191116002802.6663-1-cyphar@xxxxxxxxxx/>
v15: <https://lore.kernel.org/lkml/20191105090553.6350-1-cyphar@xxxxxxxxxx/>
v14: <https://lore.kernel.org/lkml/20191010054140.8483-1-cyphar@xxxxxxxxxx/>
v13: <https://lore.kernel.org/lkml/20190930183316.10190-1-cyphar@xxxxxxxxxx/>
v12: <https://lore.kernel.org/lkml/20190904201933.10736-1-cyphar@xxxxxxxxxx/>
v11: <https://lore.kernel.org/lkml/20190820033406.29796-1-cyphar@xxxxxxxxxx/>
v10: <https://lore.kernel.org/lkml/20190719164225.27083-1-cyphar@xxxxxxxxxx/>
v09: <https://lore.kernel.org/lkml/20190706145737.5299-1-cyphar@xxxxxxxxxx/>
v08: <https://lore.kernel.org/lkml/20190520133305.11925-1-cyphar@xxxxxxxxxx/>
v07: <https://lore.kernel.org/lkml/20190507164317.13562-1-cyphar@xxxxxxxxxx/>
v06: <https://lore.kernel.org/lkml/20190506165439.9155-1-cyphar@xxxxxxxxxx/>
v05: <https://lore.kernel.org/lkml/20190320143717.2523-1-cyphar@xxxxxxxxxx/>
v04: <https://lore.kernel.org/lkml/20181112142654.341-1-cyphar@xxxxxxxxxx/>
v03: <https://lore.kernel.org/lkml/20181009070230.12884-1-cyphar@xxxxxxxxxx/>
v02: <https://lore.kernel.org/lkml/20181009065300.11053-1-cyphar@xxxxxxxxxx/>
v01: <https://lore.kernel.org/lkml/20180929103453.12025-1-cyphar@xxxxxxxxxx/>

For a very long time, extending openat(2) with new features has been
incredibly frustrating. This stems from the fact that openat(2) is
possibly the most famous counter-example to the mantra "don't silently
accept garbage from userspace" -- it doesn't check whether unknown flags
are present[1].

This means that (generally) the addition of new flags to openat(2) has
been fraught with backwards-compatibility issues (O_TMPFILE has to be
defined as __O_TMPFILE|O_DIRECTORY|[O_RDWR or O_WRONLY] to ensure old
kernels gave errors, since it's insecure to silently ignore the
flag[2]). All new security-related flags therefore have a tough road to
being added to openat(2).

Furthermore, the need for some sort of control over VFS's path resolution (to
avoid malicious paths resulting in inadvertent breakouts) has been a very
long-standing desire of many userspace applications. This patchset is a revival
of Al Viro's old AT_NO_JUMPS[3] patchset (which was a variant of David
Drysdale's O_BENEATH patchset[4] which was a spin-off of the Capsicum
project[5]) with a few additions and changes made based on the previous
discussion within [6] as well as others I felt were useful.

In line with the conclusions of the original discussion of AT_NO_JUMPS, the
flag has been split up into separate flags. However, instead of being an
openat(2) flag it is provided through a new syscall openat2(2) which provides
several other improvements to the openat(2) interface (see the patch
description for more details). The following new LOOKUP_* flags are added:

* LOOKUP_NO_XDEV blocks all mountpoint crossings (upwards, downwards,
or through absolute links). Absolute pathnames alone in openat(2) do not
trigger this. Magic-link traversal which implies a vfsmount jump is also
blocked (though magic-link jumps on the same vfsmount are permitted).

* LOOKUP_NO_MAGICLINKS blocks resolution through /proc/$pid/fd-style
links. This is done by blocking the usage of nd_jump_link() during
resolution in a filesystem. The term "magic-links" is used to match
with the only reference to these links in Documentation/, but I'm
happy to change the name.

It should be noted that this is different to the scope of
~LOOKUP_FOLLOW in that it applies to all path components. However,
you can do openat2(NO_FOLLOW|NO_MAGICLINKS) on a magic-link and it
will *not* fail (assuming that no parent component was a
magic-link), and you will have an fd for the magic-link.

In order to correctly detect magic-links, the introduction of a new
LOOKUP_MAGICLINK_JUMPED state flag was required.

* LOOKUP_BENEATH disallows escapes to outside the starting dirfd's
tree, using techniques such as ".." or absolute links. Absolute
paths in openat(2) are also disallowed. Conceptually this flag is to
ensure you "stay below" a certain point in the filesystem tree --
but this requires some additional to protect against various races
that would allow escape using "..".

Currently LOOKUP_BENEATH implies LOOKUP_NO_MAGICLINKS, because it
can trivially beam you around the filesystem (breaking the
protection). In future, there might be similar safety checks done as
in LOOKUP_IN_ROOT, but that requires more discussion.

In addition, two new flags are added that expand on the above ideas:

* LOOKUP_NO_SYMLINKS does what it says on the tin. No symlink
resolution is allowed at all, including magic-links. Just as with
LOOKUP_NO_MAGICLINKS this can still be used with NOFOLLOW to open an
fd for the symlink as long as no parent path had a symlink

* LOOKUP_IN_ROOT is an extension of LOOKUP_BENEATH that, rather than
blocking attempts to move past the root, forces all such movements
to be scoped to the starting point. This provides chroot(2)-like
protection but without the cost of a chroot(2) for each filesystem
operation, as well as being safe against race attacks that chroot(2)
is not.

If a race is detected (as with LOOKUP_BENEATH) then an error is
generated, and similar to LOOKUP_BENEATH it is not permitted to cross
magic-links with LOOKUP_IN_ROOT.

The primary need for this is from container runtimes, which
currently need to do symlink scoping in userspace[7] when opening
paths in a potentially malicious container. There is a long list of
CVEs that could have bene mitigated by having RESOLVE_THIS_ROOT
(such as CVE-2017-1002101, CVE-2017-1002102, CVE-2018-15664, and
CVE-2019-5736, just to name a few).

In order to make all of the above more usable, I'm working on
libpathrs[8] which is a C-friendly library for safe path resolution. It
features a userspace-emulated backend if the kernel doesn't support
openat2(2). Hopefully we can get userspace to switch to using it, and
thus get openat2(2) support for free once it's ready.

Future work would include implementing things like RESOLVE_NO_AUTOMOUNT and
possibly a RESOLVE_NO_REMOTE (to allow programs to be sure they don't hit DoSes
though stale NFS handles).

[1]: https://lwn.net/Articles/588444/
[2]: https://lore.kernel.org/lkml/CA+55aFyyxJL1LyXZeBsf2ypriraj5ut1XkNDsunRBqgVjZU_6Q@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
[3]: https://lore.kernel.org/lkml/20170429220414.GT29622@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
[4]: https://lore.kernel.org/lkml/1415094884-18349-1-git-send-email-drysdale@xxxxxxxxxx
[5]: https://lore.kernel.org/lkml/1404124096-21445-1-git-send-email-drysdale@xxxxxxxxxx
[6]: https://lwn.net/Articles/723057/
[7]: https://github.com/cyphar/filepath-securejoin
[8]: https://github.com/openSUSE/libpathrs

The current draft of the openat2(2) man-page is included below.

OPENAT2(2) Linux Programmer's Manual OPENAT2(2)

openat2 - open and possibly create a file (extended)

#include <sys/types.h>
#include <sys/stat.h>
#include <fcntl.h>

int openat2(int dirfd, const char *pathname, struct open_how *how, size_t size);

Note: There is no glibc wrapper for this system call; see NOTES.

The openat2() system call opens the file specified by pathname. If the specified file
does not exist, it may optionally (if O_CREAT is specified in how.flags) be created by

As with openat(2), if pathname is relative, then it is interpreted relative to the direc-
tory referred to by the file descriptor dirfd (or the current working directory of the
calling process, if dirfd is the special value AT_FDCWD.) If pathname is absolute, then
dirfd is ignored (unless how.resolve contains RESOLVE_IN_ROOT, in which case pathname is
resolved relative to dirfd.)

The openat2() system call is an extension of openat(2) and provides a superset of its
functionality. Rather than taking a single flag argument, an extensible structure (how)
is passed instead to allow for future extensions. size must be set to sizeof(struct
open_how), to facilitate future extensions (see the "Extensibility" section of the NOTES
for more detail on how extensions are handled.)

The open_how structure
The following structure indicates how pathname should be opened, and acts as a superset of
the flag and mode arguments to openat(2).

struct open_how {
__aligned_u64 flags; /* O_* flags. */
__u16 mode; /* Mode for O_{CREAT,TMPFILE}. */
__u16 __padding[3]; /* Must be zeroed. */
__aligned_u64 resolve; /* RESOLVE_* flags. */

Any future extensions to openat2() will be implemented as new fields appended to the above
structure (or through reuse of pre-existing padding space), with the zero value of the new
fields acting as though the extension were not present.

The meaning of each field is as follows:

The file creation and status flags to use for this operation. All of the
O_* flags defined for openat(2) are valid openat2() flag values.

Unlike openat(2), it is an error to provide openat2() unknown or conflicting
flags in flags.

File mode for the new file, with identical semantics to the mode argument to
openat(2). However, unlike openat(2), it is an error to provide openat2()
with a mode which contains bits other than 0777.

It is an error to provide openat2() a non-zero mode if flags does not con-

Change how the components of pathname will be resolved (see path_resolu-
tion(7) for background information.) The primary use case for these flags
is to allow trusted programs to restrict how untrusted paths (or paths in-
side untrusted directories) are resolved. The full list of resolve flags is
given below.

Disallow traversal of mount points during path resolution (including
all bind mounts).

Users of this flag are encouraged to make its use configurable (un-
less it is used for a specific security purpose), as bind mounts are
very widely used by end-users. Setting this flag indiscrimnately for
all uses of openat2() may result in spurious errors on previously-
functional systems.

Disallow resolution of symbolic links during path resolution. This

If the trailing component is a symbolic link, and flags contains both
O_PATH and O_NOFOLLOW, then an O_PATH file descriptor referencing the
symbolic link will be returned.

Users of this flag are encouraged to make its use configurable (un-
less it is used for a specific security purpose), as symbolic links
are very widely used by end-users. Setting this flag indiscrimnately
for all uses of openat2() may result in spurious errors on previ-
ously-functional systems.

Disallow all magic link resolution during path resolution.

If the trailing component is a magic link, and flags contains both
O_PATH and O_NOFOLLOW, then an O_PATH file descriptor referencing the
magic link will be returned.

Magic-links are symbolic link-like objects that are most notably
found in proc(5) (examples include /proc/[pid]/exe and
/proc/[pid]/fd/*.) Due to the potential danger of unknowingly open-
ing these magic links, it may be preferable for users to disable
their resolution entirely (see symboliclink(7) for more details.)

Do not permit the path resolution to succeed if any component of the
resolution is not a descendant of the directory indicated by dirfd.
This results in absolute symbolic links (and absolute values of path-
name) to be rejected.

Currently, this flag also disables magic link resolution. However,
this may change in the future. The caller should explicitly specify
RESOLVE_NO_MAGICLINKS to ensure that magic links are not resolved.

Treat dirfd as the root directory while resolving pathname (as though
the user called chroot(2) with dirfd as the argument.) Absolute sym-
bolic links and ".." path components will be scoped to dirfd. If
pathname is an absolute path, it is also treated relative to dirfd.

However, unlike chroot(2) (which changes the filesystem root perma-
nently for a process), RESOLVE_IN_ROOT allows a program to effi-
ciently restrict path resolution for only certain operations. It
also has several hardening features (such detecting escape attempts
during .. resolution) which chroot(2) does not.

Currently, this flag also disables magic link resolution. However,
this may change in the future. The caller should explicitly specify
RESOLVE_NO_MAGICLINKS to ensure that magic links are not resolved.

It is an error to provide openat2() unknown flags in resolve.

On success, a new file descriptor is returned. On error, -1 is returned, and errno is set

The set of errors returned by openat2() includes all of the errors returned by openat(2),
as well as the following additional errors:

EINVAL An unknown flag or invalid value was specified in how.

EINVAL mode is non-zero, but flags does not contain O_CREAT or O_TMPFILE.

EINVAL size was smaller than any known version of struct open_how.

E2BIG An extension was specified in how, which the current kernel does not support (see
the "Extensibility" section of the NOTES for more detail on how extensions are han-

EAGAIN resolve contains either RESOLVE_IN_ROOT or RESOLVE_BENEATH, and the kernel could
not ensure that a ".." component didn't escape (due to a race condition or poten-
tial attack.) Callers may choose to retry the openat2() call.

EXDEV resolve contains either RESOLVE_IN_ROOT or RESOLVE_BENEATH, and an escape from the
root during path resolution was detected.

EXDEV resolve contains RESOLVE_NO_XDEV, and a path component attempted to cross a mount

ELOOP resolve contains RESOLVE_NO_SYMLINKS, and one of the path components was a symbolic
link (or magic link).

ELOOP resolve contains RESOLVE_NO_MAGICLINKS, and one of the path components was a magic

openat2() was added to Linux in kernel 5.FOO.

This system call is Linux-specific.

The semantics of RESOLVE_BENEATH were modelled after FreeBSD's O_BENEATH.

Glibc does not provide a wrapper for this system call; call it using systemcall(2).

In order to allow for struct open_how to be extended in future kernel revisions, openat2()
requires userspace to specify the size of struct open_how structure they are passing. By
providing this information, it is possible for openat2() to provide both forwards- and
backwards-compatibility â with size acting as an implicit version number (because new ex-
tension fields will always be appended, the size will always increase.) This extensibil-
ity design is very similar to other system calls such as perf_setattr(2),
perf_event_open(2), and clone(3).

If we let usize be the size of the structure according to userspace and ksize be the size
of the structure which the kernel supports, then there are only three cases to consider:

* If ksize equals usize, then there is no version mismatch and how can be used

* If ksize is larger than usize, then there are some extensions the kernel sup-
ports which the userspace program is unaware of. Because all extensions must
have their zero values be a no-op, the kernel treats all of the extension fields
not set by userspace to have zero values. This provides backwards-compatibil-

* If ksize is smaller than usize, then there are some extensions which the
userspace program is aware of but the kernel does not support. Because all ex-
tensions must have their zero values be a no-op, the kernel can safely ignore
the unsupported extension fields if they are all-zero. If any unsupported ex-
tension fields are non-zero, then -1 is returned and errno is set to E2BIG.
This provides forwards-compatibility.

Therefore, most userspace programs will not need to have any special handling of exten-
sions. However, if a userspace program wishes to determine what extensions the running
kernel supports, they may conduct a binary search on size (to find the largest value which
doesn't produce an error of E2BIG.)

openat(2), path_resolution(7), symlink(7)

Linux 2019-11-05 OPENAT2(2)

Aleksa Sarai (13):
namei: only return -ECHILD from follow_dotdot_rcu()
nsfs: clean-up ns_get_path() signature to return int
namei: allow nd_jump_link() to produce errors
namei: allow set_root() to produce errors
namei: LOOKUP_NO_SYMLINKS: block symlink resolution
namei: LOOKUP_NO_MAGICLINKS: block magic-link resolution
namei: LOOKUP_NO_XDEV: block mountpoint crossing
namei: LOOKUP_BENEATH: O_BENEATH-like scoped resolution
namei: LOOKUP_IN_ROOT: chroot-like scoped resolution
namei: LOOKUP_{IN_ROOT,BENEATH}: permit limited ".." resolution
open: introduce openat2(2) syscall
selftests: add openat2(2) selftests
Documentation: path-lookup: include new LOOKUP flags

CREDITS | 4 +-
Documentation/filesystems/path-lookup.rst | 68 ++-
arch/alpha/kernel/syscalls/syscall.tbl | 1 +
arch/arm/tools/syscall.tbl | 1 +
arch/arm64/include/asm/unistd.h | 2 +-
arch/arm64/include/asm/unistd32.h | 2 +
arch/ia64/kernel/syscalls/syscall.tbl | 1 +
arch/m68k/kernel/syscalls/syscall.tbl | 1 +
arch/microblaze/kernel/syscalls/syscall.tbl | 1 +
arch/mips/kernel/syscalls/syscall_n32.tbl | 1 +
arch/mips/kernel/syscalls/syscall_n64.tbl | 1 +
arch/mips/kernel/syscalls/syscall_o32.tbl | 1 +
arch/parisc/kernel/syscalls/syscall.tbl | 1 +
arch/powerpc/kernel/syscalls/syscall.tbl | 1 +
arch/s390/kernel/syscalls/syscall.tbl | 1 +
arch/sh/kernel/syscalls/syscall.tbl | 1 +
arch/sparc/kernel/syscalls/syscall.tbl | 1 +
arch/x86/entry/syscalls/syscall_32.tbl | 1 +
arch/x86/entry/syscalls/syscall_64.tbl | 1 +
arch/xtensa/kernel/syscalls/syscall.tbl | 1 +
fs/namei.c | 185 +++++--
fs/nsfs.c | 29 +-
fs/open.c | 149 +++--
fs/proc/base.c | 3 +-
fs/proc/namespaces.c | 20 +-
include/linux/fcntl.h | 12 +-
include/linux/namei.h | 12 +-
include/linux/proc_ns.h | 4 +-
include/linux/syscalls.h | 3 +
include/uapi/asm-generic/unistd.h | 5 +-
include/uapi/linux/fcntl.h | 40 ++
kernel/bpf/offload.c | 12 +-
kernel/events/core.c | 2 +-
security/apparmor/apparmorfs.c | 6 +-
tools/testing/selftests/Makefile | 1 +
tools/testing/selftests/openat2/.gitignore | 1 +
tools/testing/selftests/openat2/Makefile | 8 +
tools/testing/selftests/openat2/helpers.c | 109 ++++
tools/testing/selftests/openat2/helpers.h | 107 ++++
.../testing/selftests/openat2/openat2_test.c | 316 +++++++++++
.../selftests/openat2/rename_attack_test.c | 160 ++++++
.../testing/selftests/openat2/resolve_test.c | 523 ++++++++++++++++++
42 files changed, 1686 insertions(+), 113 deletions(-)
create mode 100644 tools/testing/selftests/openat2/.gitignore
create mode 100644 tools/testing/selftests/openat2/Makefile
create mode 100644 tools/testing/selftests/openat2/helpers.c
create mode 100644 tools/testing/selftests/openat2/helpers.h
create mode 100644 tools/testing/selftests/openat2/openat2_test.c
create mode 100644 tools/testing/selftests/openat2/rename_attack_test.c
create mode 100644 tools/testing/selftests/openat2/resolve_test.c

base-commit: 31f4f5b495a62c9a8b15b1c3581acd5efeb9af8c