[PATCH v2 1/1] xattr: Allow user.* xattr on symlink and special files

J. Bruce Fields bfields at fieldses.org
Mon Jul 12 19:31:39 UTC 2021

On Mon, Jul 12, 2021 at 01:47:59PM -0400, Vivek Goyal wrote:
> On Mon, Jul 12, 2021 at 11:41:06AM -0400, J. Bruce Fields wrote:
> > Looks like 0xd is what the server returns to access on a device node
> > with mode bits rw- for the caller.
> > 
> > Commit c11d7fd1b317 "nfsd: take xattr bits into account for permission
> > checks" added the ACCESS_X* bits for regular files and directories but
> > not others.
> > 
> > But you don't want to determine permission from the mode bits anyway,
> > you want it to depend on the owner,
> Thinking more about this part. Current implementation of my patch is
> effectively doing both the checks. It checks that you are owner or
> have CAP_FOWNER in xattr_permission() and then goes on to call
> inode_permission(). And that means file mode bits will also play a
> role. If caller does not have write permission on the file, it will
> be denied setxattr().
> If I don't call inode_permission(), and just return 0 right away for
> file owner (for symlinks and special files), then just being owner
> is enough to write user.* xattr. And then even security modules will
> not get a chance to block that operation. IOW, if you are owner of
> a symlink or special file, you can write as many user.* xattr as you
> like and except quota does not look like anything else can block
> it. I am wondering if this approach is ok?

Yeah, I'd expect security modules to get a say, and I wouldn't expect
mode bits on device nodes to be useful for deciding whether it makes
sense for xattrs to be readable or writeable.

But, I don't really know.

Do we have any other use cases besides this case of storing security
labels in user xattrs?


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