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sys-kernel: enable kernel config CONFIG_BPF_LSM #846

merged 1 commit into from
Feb 18, 2021


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@mauriciovasquezbernal mauriciovasquezbernal commented Feb 15, 2021

Enable this option to make it possible to use LSM hooks with BPF.

Fixes flatcar/Flatcar#343


I built a local qemu image and performed the following tests.

  1. Checked that CONFIG_BPF_LSM is actually enabled
$ cat /proc/config.gz | gunzip | grep CONFIG_BPF_LSM
  1. Deployed a simple eBPF program that uses the LSM open_file hook.
# compile example on local host (requires clang-10 and llvm-10)
$ cd libbpf-bootstrap/src
$ make
# copy to test instance
$ scp -P 2222 minimal core@localhost:/tmp
$ sudo /tmp/minimal 
libbpf: loading object 'minimal_bpf' from buffer
libbpf: elf: section(2) lsm/file_open, size 104, link 0, flags 6, type=1
libbpf: sec 'lsm/file_open': found program 'restrict_filesystems' at insn offset 0 (0 bytes), code size 13 insns (104 bytes)
libbpf: elf: section(3) license, size 4, link 0, flags 3, type=1
libbpf: license of minimal_bpf is GPL
libbpf: elf: section(4) .rodata.str1.1, size 13, link 0, flags 32, type=1
libbpf: elf: skipping unrecognized data section(4) .rodata.str1.1
libbpf: elf: section(5) .BTF, size 458, link 0, flags 0, type=1
libbpf: elf: section(6) .BTF.ext, size 144, link 0, flags 0, type=1
libbpf: elf: section(7) .symtab, size 120, link 11, flags 0, type=2
libbpf: looking for externs among 5 symbols...
libbpf: collected 0 externs total
libbpf: loading kernel BTF '/sys/kernel/btf/vmlinux': 0
Successfully started!

In other terminal

$ sudo cat /sys/kernel/debug/tracing/trace_pipe
            sudo-1007    [012] d...   797.038227: bpf_trace_printk: file opened

            sudo-1007    [012] d...   797.038259: bpf_trace_printk: file opened

            sudo-1007    [012] d...   797.038539: bpf_trace_printk: file opened

            sudo-1007    [012] d...   797.038555: bpf_trace_printk: file opened

It shows the eBPF program is working as expected.

@t-lo t-lo requested a review from a team February 16, 2021 08:17
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krnowak commented Feb 16, 2021

@mauriciovasquezbernal : Want to have a stab at running a test build? Or want me to start it?

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t-lo commented Feb 16, 2021

It's the first change after branching off 2583. Looks like a low-risk change to me and was tested locally (had a chat with @mauriciovasquezbernal about it); we might even consider to just merge and wait for the nightly.

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Contributor Author

I updated the PR description with the details of the tests I did. I don't know that well the details of how the merge / build / test processes work for Flatcar, so I let you folks choose the best way to move ahead.

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Well, so it builds (sometimes adding a config breaks a build actually), you tested that it works, so let the nightly build run the tests on the change.

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There is a potential performance penalty with this PR as the BPF LSM hook is enabled by default on Flatcar (we're not explicitly setting CONFIG_LSM and it includes bpf by default).

Other distros like Ubuntu don't enable bpf in CONFIG_LSM by default. I think we could follow the same approach, enable CONFIG_BPF_LSM but don't add bpf to the default list in CONFIG_LSM, users willing to use this feature could boot with the lsm=...bpf parameter on the kernel.

Said that, I'm wondering how to remove bpf on Flatcar since we're not setting CONFIG_LSM. I have two ideas:

  1. Define it to the default value it has now but removing bpf. CONFIG_LSM="lockdown,yama,loadpin,safesetid,integrity,selinux,smack,tomoyo,apparmor". If some of the DEFAULT_SECURITY_ flags is set it could be out of sync.
  2. Add some logic here to remove bpf from the list. It seems to me the better way to go, but it's not done for any other flag so I prefer to ask before.

Any suggestions to do this?

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t-lo commented Feb 17, 2021

I think 1. is a cleaner approach than 2. The initramfs hack in the build script makes sense because it integrates the kernel / modules config with the initramfs step in the build process. Adding CONFIG_LSM there would not be related to any other build step; having it in the kernel config would be much more transparent on what we want to achieve, therefore easier to maintain.

Enable this option to make it possible to use LSM hooks with BPF.

Signed-off-by: Mauricio Vasquez <>
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Makes sense to me. I updated the PR to include CONFIG_LSM="lockdown,yama,loadpin,safesetid,integrity,selinux,smack,tomoyo,apparmor", this is the default value in the kernel when there is not any DEFAULT_SECURITY_* flag set.

I tested again locally and it works fine, the bpf hook is disabled by default and can be enabled with the lsm=bpf kernel boot parameter.

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t-lo commented Feb 18, 2021

LGTM, let's pull it in.

@dongsupark dongsupark merged commit 1c8b7f0 into main Feb 18, 2021
@dongsupark dongsupark deleted the mauricio/enable_config_bpf_lsm branch February 18, 2021 17:19
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