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Date: Sat, 27 Aug 2016 16:06:38 +0200
From: Mickaël Salaün <>
To: Alexei Starovoitov <>
Cc:, Alexei Starovoitov <>,
        Andy Lutomirski <>,
        Daniel Borkmann
        Daniel Mack <>,
        "David S . Miller" <>,
        Kees Cook <>, Sargun Dhillon <>,,,,,
        Tejun Heo <>,
Subject: Re: [RFC v2 09/10] landlock: Handle cgroups (performance)

On 27/08/2016 01:05, Alexei Starovoitov wrote:
> On Fri, Aug 26, 2016 at 05:10:40PM +0200, Mickaël Salaün wrote:
>>> - I don't think such 'for' loop can scale. The solution needs to work
>>> with thousands of containers and thousands of cgroups.
>>> In the patch 06/10 the proposal is to use 'current' as holder of
>>> the programs:
>>> +   for (prog = current->seccomp.landlock_prog;
>>> +                   prog; prog = prog->prev) {
>>> +           if (prog->filter == landlock_ret->filter) {
>>> +                   cur_ret = BPF_PROG_RUN(prog->prog, (void *)&ctx);
>>> +                   break;
>>> +           }
>>> +   }
>>> imo that's the root of scalability issue.
>>> I think to be able to scale the bpf programs have to be attached to
>>> cgroups instead of tasks.
>>> That would be very different api. seccomp doesn't need to be touched.
>>> But that is the only way I see to be able to scale.
>> Landlock is inspired from seccomp which also use a BPF program per
>> thread. For seccomp, each BPF programs are executed for each syscall.
>> For Landlock, some BPF programs are executed for some LSM hooks. I don't
>> see why it is a scale issue for Landlock comparing to seccomp. I also
>> don't see why storing the BPF program list pointer in the cgroup struct
>> instead of the task struct change a lot here. The BPF programs execution
>> will be the same anyway (for each LSM hook). Kees should probably have a
>> better opinion on this.
> seccomp has its own issues and copying them doesn't make this lsm any better.
> Like seccomp bpf programs are all gigantic switch statement that looks
> for interesting syscall numbers. All syscalls of a task are paying
> non-trivial seccomp penalty due to such design. If bpf was attached per
> syscall it would have been much cheaper. Of course doing it this way
> for seccomp is not easy, but for lsm such facility is already there.
> Blank call of a single bpf prog for all lsm hooks is unnecessary
> overhead that can and should be avoided.

It's probably a misunderstanding. Contrary to seccomp which run all the
thread's BPF programs for any syscall, Landlock only run eBPF programs
for the triggered LSM hooks, if their type match. Indeed, thanks to the
multiple eBPF program types and contrary to seccomp, Landlock only run
an eBPF program when needed. Landlock will have almost no performance
overhead if the syscalls do not trigger the watched LSM hooks for the
current process.

>>> May be another way of thinking about it is 'lsm cgroup controller'
>>> that Sargun is proposing.
>>> The lsm hooks will provide stable execution points and the programs
>>> will be called like:
>>> prog = task_css_set(current)->dfl_cgrp->bpf.prog_effective[lsm_hook_id];
>>> BPF_PROG_RUN(prog, ctx);
>>> The delegation functionality and 'prog_effective' logic that
>>> Daniel Mack is proposing will be fully reused here.
>>> External container management software will be able to apply bpf
>>> programs to control tasks under cgroup and such
>>> bpf_landlock_cmp_cgroup_beneath() helper won't be necessary.
>>> The user will be able to register different programs for different lsm hooks.
>>> If I understand the patch 6/10 correctly, there is one (or a list) prog for
>>> all lsm hooks per task which is not flexible enough.
>> For each LSM hook triggered by a thread, all of its Landlock eBPF
>> programs (dedicated for this kind of hook) will be evaluated (if
>> needed). This is the same behavior as seccomp (list of BPF programs
>> attached to a process hierarchy) except the BPF programs are not
>> evaluated for syscall but for LSM hooks. There is no way to make it more
>> fine-grained :)
> There is a way to attach different bpf program per cgroup
> and per lsm hook. Such approach drastically reduces overhead
> of sandboxed application.

As said above, Landlock will not run an eBPF programs when not strictly
needed. Attaching to a cgroup will have the same performance impact as
attaching to a process hierarchy.

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