2No New Privileges Flag
   5The execve system call can grant a newly-started program privileges that
   6its parent did not have.  The most obvious examples are setuid/setgid
   7programs and file capabilities.  To prevent the parent program from
   8gaining these privileges as well, the kernel and user code must be
   9careful to prevent the parent from doing anything that could subvert the
  10child.  For example:
  12 - The dynamic loader handles ``LD_*`` environment variables differently if
  13   a program is setuid.
  15 - chroot is disallowed to unprivileged processes, since it would allow
  16   ``/etc/passwd`` to be replaced from the point of view of a process that
  17   inherited chroot.
  19 - The exec code has special handling for ptrace.
  21These are all ad-hoc fixes.  The ``no_new_privs`` bit (since Linux 3.5) is a
  22new, generic mechanism to make it safe for a process to modify its
  23execution environment in a manner that persists across execve.  Any task
  24can set ``no_new_privs``.  Once the bit is set, it is inherited across fork,
  25clone, and execve and cannot be unset.  With ``no_new_privs`` set, ``execve()``
  26promises not to grant the privilege to do anything that could not have
  27been done without the execve call.  For example, the setuid and setgid
  28bits will no longer change the uid or gid; file capabilities will not
  29add to the permitted set, and LSMs will not relax constraints after
  32To set ``no_new_privs``, use::
  34    prctl(PR_SET_NO_NEW_PRIVS, 1, 0, 0, 0);
  36Be careful, though: LSMs might also not tighten constraints on exec
  37in ``no_new_privs`` mode.  (This means that setting up a general-purpose
  38service launcher to set ``no_new_privs`` before execing daemons may
  39interfere with LSM-based sandboxing.)
  41Note that ``no_new_privs`` does not prevent privilege changes that do not
  42involve ``execve()``.  An appropriately privileged task can still call
  43``setuid(2)`` and receive SCM_RIGHTS datagrams.
  45There are two main use cases for ``no_new_privs`` so far:
  47 - Filters installed for the seccomp mode 2 sandbox persist across
  48   execve and can change the behavior of newly-executed programs.
  49   Unprivileged users are therefore only allowed to install such filters
  50   if ``no_new_privs`` is set.
  52 - By itself, ``no_new_privs`` can be used to reduce the attack surface
  53   available to an unprivileged user.  If everything running with a
  54   given uid has ``no_new_privs`` set, then that uid will be unable to
  55   escalate its privileges by directly attacking setuid, setgid, and
  56   fcap-using binaries; it will need to compromise something without the
  57   ``no_new_privs`` bit set first.
  59In the future, other potentially dangerous kernel features could become
  60available to unprivileged tasks if ``no_new_privs`` is set.  In principle,
  61several options to ``unshare(2)`` and ``clone(2)`` would be safe when
  62``no_new_privs`` is set, and ``no_new_privs`` + ``chroot`` is considerable less
  63dangerous than chroot by itself.