capabilities(7)



CAPABILITIES(7)            Linux Programmer's Manual           CAPABILITIES(7)

NAME
       capabilities - overview of Linux capabilities

DESCRIPTION
       For  the  purpose  of  performing  permission  checks, traditional UNIX
       implementations distinguish two  categories  of  processes:  privileged
       processes  (whose  effective  user ID is 0, referred to as superuser or
       root), and unprivileged processes (whose  effective  UID  is  nonzero).
       Privileged processes bypass all kernel permission checks, while unpriv-
       ileged processes are subject to full permission checking based  on  the
       process's  credentials (usually: effective UID, effective GID, and sup-
       plementary group list).

       Starting with kernel 2.2, Linux divides  the  privileges  traditionally
       associated  with  superuser into distinct units, known as capabilities,
       which can be independently enabled and disabled.   Capabilities  are  a
       per-thread attribute.

   Capabilities list
       The following list shows the capabilities implemented on Linux, and the
       operations or behaviors that each capability permits:

       CAP_AUDIT_CONTROL (since Linux 2.6.11)
              Enable and  disable  kernel  auditing;  change  auditing  filter
              rules; retrieve auditing status and filtering rules.

       CAP_AUDIT_READ (since Linux 3.16)
              Allow reading the audit log via a multicast netlink socket.

       CAP_AUDIT_WRITE (since Linux 2.6.11)
              Write records to kernel auditing log.

       CAP_BLOCK_SUSPEND (since Linux 3.5)
              Employ  features  that can block system suspend (epoll(7) EPOLL-
              WAKEUP, /proc/sys/wake_lock).

       CAP_CHOWN
              Make arbitrary changes to file UIDs and GIDs (see chown(2)).

       CAP_DAC_OVERRIDE
              Bypass file read, write, and execute permission checks.  (DAC is
              an abbreviation of "discretionary access control".)

       CAP_DAC_READ_SEARCH
              * Bypass file read permission checks and directory read and exe-
                cute permission checks;
              * Invoke open_by_handle_at(2).

       CAP_FOWNER
              * Bypass permission checks on operations that  normally  require
                the filesystem UID of the process to match the UID of the file
                (e.g., chmod(2), utime(2)), excluding those operations covered
                by CAP_DAC_OVERRIDE and CAP_DAC_READ_SEARCH;
              * set  extended  file  attributes  (see  chattr(1)) on arbitrary
                files;
              * set Access Control Lists (ACLs) on arbitrary files;
              * ignore directory sticky bit on file deletion;
              * specify O_NOATIME for arbitrary files in open(2) and fcntl(2).

       CAP_FSETID
              Don't clear set-user-ID and set-group-ID mode bits when  a  file
              is  modified; set the set-group-ID bit for a file whose GID does
              not match the filesystem or any of the supplementary GIDs of the
              calling process.

       CAP_IPC_LOCK
              Lock memory (mlock(2), mlockall(2), mmap(2), shmctl(2)).

       CAP_IPC_OWNER
              Bypass permission checks for operations on System V IPC objects.

       CAP_KILL
              Bypass  permission  checks  for  sending  signals (see kill(2)).
              This includes use of the ioctl(2) KDSIGACCEPT operation.

       CAP_LEASE (since Linux 2.4)
              Establish leases on arbitrary files (see fcntl(2)).

       CAP_LINUX_IMMUTABLE
              Set  the  FS_APPEND_FL  and  FS_IMMUTABLE_FL  inode  flags  (see
              chattr(1)).

       CAP_MAC_ADMIN (since Linux 2.6.25)
              Override  Mandatory  Access  Control (MAC).  Implemented for the
              Smack Linux Security Module (LSM).

       CAP_MAC_OVERRIDE (since Linux 2.6.25)
              Allow MAC configuration or state changes.  Implemented  for  the
              Smack LSM.

       CAP_MKNOD (since Linux 2.4)
              Create special files using mknod(2).

       CAP_NET_ADMIN
              Perform various network-related operations:
              * interface configuration;
              * administration of IP firewall, masquerading, and accounting;
              * modify routing tables;
              * bind to any address for transparent proxying;
              * set type-of-service (TOS)
              * clear driver statistics;
              * set promiscuous mode;
              * enabling multicasting;
              * use   setsockopt(2)  to  set  the  following  socket  options:
                SO_DEBUG, SO_MARK, SO_PRIORITY (for  a  priority  outside  the
                range 0 to 6), SO_RCVBUFFORCE, and SO_SNDBUFFORCE.

       CAP_NET_BIND_SERVICE
              Bind  a socket to Internet domain privileged ports (port numbers
              less than 1024).

       CAP_NET_BROADCAST
              (Unused)  Make socket broadcasts, and listen to multicasts.

       CAP_NET_RAW
              * use RAW and PACKET sockets;
              * bind to any address for transparent proxying.

       CAP_SETGID
              Make arbitrary manipulations of process GIDs  and  supplementary
              GID  list;  forge  GID  when passing socket credentials via UNIX
              domain sockets; write a group ID mapping  in  a  user  namespace
              (see user_namespaces(7)).

       CAP_SETFCAP (since Linux 2.6.24)
              Set file capabilities.

       CAP_SETPCAP
              If  file  capabilities  are  not  supported: grant or remove any
              capability in the caller's permitted capability set to  or  from
              any  other process.  (This property of CAP_SETPCAP is not avail-
              able when the kernel is configured to support file capabilities,
              since CAP_SETPCAP has entirely different semantics for such ker-
              nels.)

              If file capabilities are supported: add any capability from  the
              calling thread's bounding set to its inheritable set; drop capa-
              bilities from the bounding set (via  prctl(2)  PR_CAPBSET_DROP);
              make changes to the securebits flags.

       CAP_SETUID
              Make   arbitrary   manipulations  of  process  UIDs  (setuid(2),
              setreuid(2), setresuid(2), setfsuid(2)); forge UID when  passing
              socket credentials via UNIX domain sockets; write a user ID map-
              ping in a user namespace (see user_namespaces(7)).

       CAP_SYS_ADMIN
              * Perform a range of system administration operations including:
                quotactl(2),   mount(2),   umount(2),  swapon(2),  swapoff(2),
                sethostname(2), and setdomainname(2);
              * perform privileged syslog(2) operations (since  Linux  2.6.37,
                CAP_SYSLOG should be used to permit such operations);
              * perform VM86_REQUEST_IRQ vm86(2) command;
              * perform  IPC_SET and IPC_RMID operations on arbitrary System V
                IPC objects;
              * override RLIMIT_NPROC resource limit;
              * perform operations on trusted and security Extended Attributes
                (see xattr(7));
              * use lookup_dcookie(2);
              * use  ioprio_set(2) to assign IOPRIO_CLASS_RT and (before Linux
                2.6.25) IOPRIO_CLASS_IDLE I/O scheduling classes;
              * forge PID when passing  socket  credentials  via  UNIX  domain
                sockets;
              * exceed  /proc/sys/fs/file-max,  the  system-wide  limit on the
                number of open files, in system calls that open  files  (e.g.,
                accept(2), execve(2), open(2), pipe(2));
              * employ  CLONE_* flags that create new namespaces with clone(2)
                and unshare(2) (but, since Linux 3.8, creating user namespaces
                does not require any capability);
              * call perf_event_open(2);
              * access privileged perf event information;
              * call  setns(2)  (requires  CAP_SYS_ADMIN  in the target names-
                pace);
              * call fanotify_init(2);
              * call bpf(2);
              * perform KEYCTL_CHOWN and KEYCTL_SETPERM keyctl(2) operations;
              * perform madvise(2) MADV_HWPOISON operation;
              * employ the TIOCSTI ioctl(2)  to  insert  characters  into  the
                input  queue of a terminal other than the caller's controlling
                terminal;
              * employ the obsolete nfsservctl(2) system call;
              * employ the obsolete bdflush(2) system call;
              * perform various privileged block-device ioctl(2) operations;
              * perform various privileged filesystem ioctl(2) operations;
              * perform administrative operations on many device drivers.

       CAP_SYS_BOOT
              Use reboot(2) and kexec_load(2).

       CAP_SYS_CHROOT
              Use chroot(2).

       CAP_SYS_MODULE
              Load  and  unload  kernel  modules   (see   init_module(2)   and
              delete_module(2));  in  kernels before 2.6.25: drop capabilities
              from the system-wide capability bounding set.

       CAP_SYS_NICE
              * Raise process nice value (nice(2), setpriority(2)) and  change
                the nice value for arbitrary processes;
              * set real-time scheduling policies for calling process, and set
                scheduling policies and  priorities  for  arbitrary  processes
                (sched_setscheduler(2), sched_setparam(2), shed_setattr(2));
              * set  CPU  affinity  for  arbitrary  processes (sched_setaffin-
                ity(2));
              * set I/O scheduling class and priority for arbitrary  processes
                (ioprio_set(2));
              * apply  migrate_pages(2)  to arbitrary processes and allow pro-
                cesses to be migrated to arbitrary nodes;
              * apply move_pages(2) to arbitrary processes;
              * use the MPOL_MF_MOVE_ALL flag with mbind(2) and move_pages(2).

       CAP_SYS_PACCT
              Use acct(2).

       CAP_SYS_PTRACE
              *  Trace arbitrary processes using ptrace(2);
              *  apply get_robust_list(2) to arbitrary processes;
              *  transfer data to or from the memory  of  arbitrary  processes
                 using process_vm_readv(2) and process_vm_writev(2).
              *  inspect processes using kcmp(2).

       CAP_SYS_RAWIO
              * Perform I/O port operations (iopl(2) and ioperm(2));
              * access /proc/kcore;
              * employ the FIBMAP ioctl(2) operation;
              * open devices for accessing x86 model-specific registers (MSRs,
                see msr(4))
              * update /proc/sys/vm/mmap_min_addr;
              * create memory mappings at addresses below the value  specified
                by /proc/sys/vm/mmap_min_addr;
              * map files in /proc/bus/pci;
              * open /dev/mem and /dev/kmem;
              * perform various SCSI device commands;
              * perform certain operations on hpsa(4) and cciss(4) devices;
              * perform   a  range  of  device-specific  operations  on  other
                devices.

       CAP_SYS_RESOURCE
              * Use reserved space on ext2 filesystems;
              * make ioctl(2) calls controlling ext3 journaling;
              * override disk quota limits;
              * increase resource limits (see setrlimit(2));
              * override RLIMIT_NPROC resource limit;
              * override maximum number of consoles on console allocation;
              * override maximum number of keymaps;
              * allow more than 64hz interrupts from the real-time clock;
              * raise msg_qbytes limit for a System V message queue above  the
                limit in /proc/sys/kernel/msgmnb (see msgop(2) and msgctl(2));
              * override the /proc/sys/fs/pipe-size-max limit when setting the
                capacity of a pipe using the F_SETPIPE_SZ fcntl(2) command.
              * use F_SETPIPE_SZ to increase the capacity of a pipe above  the
                limit specified by /proc/sys/fs/pipe-max-size;
              * override  /proc/sys/fs/mqueue/queues_max  limit  when creating
                POSIX message queues (see mq_overview(7));
              * employ prctl(2) PR_SET_MM operation;
              * set /proc/PID/oom_score_adj to a value lower  than  the  value
                last set by a process with CAP_SYS_RESOURCE.

       CAP_SYS_TIME
              Set  system  clock (settimeofday(2), stime(2), adjtimex(2)); set
              real-time (hardware) clock.

       CAP_SYS_TTY_CONFIG
              Use vhangup(2); employ various privileged ioctl(2) operations on
              virtual terminals.

       CAP_SYSLOG (since Linux 2.6.37)
              *  Perform  privileged  syslog(2) operations.  See syslog(2) for
                 information on which operations require privilege.
              *  View kernel addresses exposed via /proc and other  interfaces
                 when  /proc/sys/kernel/kptr_restrict  has  the value 1.  (See
                 the discussion of the kptr_restrict in proc(5).)

       CAP_WAKE_ALARM (since Linux 3.0)
              Trigger something that will wake up the system (set  CLOCK_REAL-
              TIME_ALARM and CLOCK_BOOTTIME_ALARM timers).

   Past and current implementation
       A full implementation of capabilities requires that:

       1. For  all  privileged  operations,  the kernel must check whether the
          thread has the required capability in its effective set.

       2. The kernel must provide system calls allowing a thread's  capability
          sets to be changed and retrieved.

       3. The  filesystem must support attaching capabilities to an executable
          file, so that a process gains those capabilities when  the  file  is
          executed.

       Before kernel 2.6.24, only the first two of these requirements are met;
       since kernel 2.6.24, all three requirements are met.

   Thread capability sets
       Each thread has three capability sets containing zero or  more  of  the
       above capabilities:

       Permitted:
              This  is a limiting superset for the effective capabilities that
              the thread may assume.  It is also a limiting superset  for  the
              capabilities  that  may  be  added  to  the inheritable set by a
              thread that does not have  the  CAP_SETPCAP  capability  in  its
              effective set.

              If  a  thread  drops a capability from its permitted set, it can
              never reacquire that capability (unless it execve(2)s  either  a
              set-user-ID-root  program,  or  a  program whose associated file
              capabilities grant that capability).

       Inheritable:
              This is a set of capabilities  preserved  across  an  execve(2).
              Inheritable  capabilities  remain inheritable when executing any
              program, and inheritable capabilities are added to the permitted
              set when executing a program that has the corresponding bits set
              in the file inheritable set.

              Because inheritable capabilities  are  not  generally  preserved
              across  execve(2)  when running as a non-root user, applications
              that wish to run  helper  programs  with  elevated  capabilities
              should consider using ambient capabilities, described below.

       Effective:
              This  is  the  set of capabilities used by the kernel to perform
              permission checks for the thread.

       Ambient (since Linux 4.3):
              This is a set of  capabilities  that  are  preserved  across  an
              execve(2)  of  a  program  that  is not privileged.  The ambient
              capability set obeys the invariant that no capability  can  ever
              be ambient if it is not both permitted and inheritable.

              The  ambient  capability  set  can  be  directly  modified using
              prctl(2).  Ambient capabilities  are  automatically  lowered  if
              either  of  the corresponding permitted or inheritable capabili-
              ties is lowered.

              Executing a program that changes UID or GID due to the set-user-
              ID or set-group-ID bits or executing a program that has any file
              capabilities set will clear the ambient set.  Ambient  capabili-
              ties  are  added to the permitted set and assigned to the effec-
              tive set when execve(2) is called.

       A child created via fork(2) inherits copies of its parent's  capability
       sets.  See below for a discussion of the treatment of capabilities dur-
       ing execve(2).

       Using capset(2), a thread may manipulate its own capability  sets  (see
       below).

       Since  Linux  3.2,  the  file /proc/sys/kernel/cap_last_cap exposes the
       numerical value of the highest capability supported by the running ker-
       nel; this can be used to determine the highest bit that may be set in a
       capability set.

   File capabilities
       Since kernel 2.6.24, the kernel supports  associating  capability  sets
       with  an executable file using setcap(8).  The file capability sets are
       stored in an extended attribute (see setxattr(2)) named  security.capa-
       bility.   Writing  to  this extended attribute requires the CAP_SETFCAP
       capability.  The file capability sets, in conjunction with the capabil-
       ity sets of the thread, determine the capabilities of a thread after an
       execve(2).

       The three file capability sets are:

       Permitted (formerly known as forced):
              These capabilities are automatically permitted  to  the  thread,
              regardless of the thread's inheritable capabilities.

       Inheritable (formerly known as allowed):
              This set is ANDed with the thread's inheritable set to determine
              which inheritable capabilities are enabled in the permitted  set
              of the thread after the execve(2).

       Effective:
              This is not a set, but rather just a single bit.  If this bit is
              set, then during an execve(2) all of the new permitted capabili-
              ties  for  the  thread are also raised in the effective set.  If
              this bit is not set, then after an execve(2), none  of  the  new
              permitted capabilities is in the new effective set.

              Enabling the file effective capability bit implies that any file
              permitted or inheritable capability  that  causes  a  thread  to
              acquire   the   corresponding  permitted  capability  during  an
              execve(2) (see the transformation rules  described  below)  will
              also  acquire  that capability in its effective set.  Therefore,
              when   assigning   capabilities   to    a    file    (setcap(8),
              cap_set_file(3),  cap_set_fd(3)),  if  we  specify the effective
              flag as being enabled for any  capability,  then  the  effective
              flag  must  also be specified as enabled for all other capabili-
              ties for which the corresponding permitted or inheritable  flags
              is enabled.

   Transformation of capabilities during execve()
       During  an execve(2), the kernel calculates the new capabilities of the
       process using the following algorithm:

           P'(ambient) = (file is privileged) ? 0 : P(ambient)

           P'(permitted) = (P(inheritable) & F(inheritable)) |
                           (F(permitted) & cap_bset) | P'(ambient)

           P'(effective) = F(effective) ? P'(permitted) : P'(ambient)

           P'(inheritable) = P(inheritable)    [i.e., unchanged]

       where:

           P         denotes the value of a thread capability set  before  the
                     execve(2)

           P'        denotes  the  value  of a thread capability set after the
                     execve(2)

           F         denotes a file capability set

           cap_bset  is the value of the capability  bounding  set  (described
                     below).

       A  privileged  file is one that has capabilities or has the set-user-ID
       or set-group-ID bit set.

   Safety checking for capability-dumb binaries
       A capability-dumb binary is an application that has been marked to have
       file  capabilities, but has not been converted to use the libcap(3) API
       to manipulate its capabilities.  (In other words, this is a traditional
       set-user-ID-root  program  that has been switched to use file capabili-
       ties, but whose code has not been modified to understand capabilities.)
       For such applications, the effective capability bit is set on the file,
       so that the file permitted capabilities are  automatically  enabled  in
       the  process  effective set when executing the file.  The kernel recog-
       nizes a file which has the effective capability bit set as  capability-
       dumb for the purpose of the check described here.

       When  executing  a  capability-dumb  binary,  the  kernel checks if the
       process obtained all permitted capabilities that were specified in  the
       file  permitted  set,  after  the  capability transformations described
       above have been performed.  (The typical  reason  why  this  might  not
       occur  is that the capability bounding set masked out some of the capa-
       bilities in the file permitted set.)  If the process did not obtain the
       full  set of file permitted capabilities, then execve(2) fails with the
       error EPERM.  This prevents possible security risks  that  could  arise
       when a capability-dumb application is executed with less privilege that
       it needs.  Note that, by definition, the application could  not  itself
       recognize this problem, since it does not employ the libcap(3) API.

   Capabilities and execution of programs by root
       In  order to provide an all-powerful root using capability sets, during
       an execve(2):

       1. If a set-user-ID-root program is being executed, or the real user ID
          of  the  process is 0 (root) then the file inheritable and permitted
          sets are defined to be all ones (i.e., all capabilities enabled).

       2. If a set-user-ID-root program  is  being  executed,  then  the  file
          effective bit is defined to be one (enabled).

       The upshot of the above rules, combined with the capabilities transfor-
       mations described above, is that when a process execve(2)s a  set-user-
       ID-root  program,  or  when  a  process  with  an  effective  UID  of 0
       execve(2)s a program, it gains all capabilities in  its  permitted  and
       effective  capability  sets,  except those masked out by the capability
       bounding set.  This provides semantics that are the same as those  pro-
       vided by traditional UNIX systems.

   Capability bounding set
       The capability bounding set is a security mechanism that can be used to
       limit the capabilities that can be gained  during  an  execve(2).   The
       bounding set is used in the following ways:

       * During  an  execve(2),  the capability bounding set is ANDed with the
         file permitted capability set, and the result of  this  operation  is
         assigned  to  the  thread's permitted capability set.  The capability
         bounding set thus places a limit on the permitted  capabilities  that
         may be granted by an executable file.

       * (Since  Linux  2.6.25) The capability bounding set acts as a limiting
         superset for the capabilities that a thread can add to its  inherita-
         ble  set  using capset(2).  This means that if a capability is not in
         the bounding set, then a thread can't  add  this  capability  to  its
         inheritable  set,  even  if it was in its permitted capabilities, and
         thereby cannot have this capability preserved in  its  permitted  set
         when  it execve(2)s a file that has the capability in its inheritable
         set.

       Note that the bounding set masks the file permitted  capabilities,  but
       not  the inherited capabilities.  If a thread maintains a capability in
       its inherited set that is not in its bounding set, then  it  can  still
       gain  that capability in its permitted set by executing a file that has
       the capability in its inherited set.

       Depending on the kernel version, the capability bounding set is  either
       a system-wide attribute, or a per-process attribute.

       Capability bounding set prior to Linux 2.6.25

       In  kernels before 2.6.25, the capability bounding set is a system-wide
       attribute that affects all threads on the system.  The bounding set  is
       accessible via the file /proc/sys/kernel/cap-bound.  (Confusingly, this
       bit  mask  parameter  is  expressed  as  a  signed  decimal  number  in
       /proc/sys/kernel/cap-bound.)

       Only  the  init process may set capabilities in the capability bounding
       set; other than that, the superuser (more precisely: programs with  the
       CAP_SYS_MODULE capability) may only clear capabilities from this set.

       On  a  standard system the capability bounding set always masks out the
       CAP_SETPCAP capability.  To remove this restriction (dangerous!),  mod-
       ify  the  definition  of CAP_INIT_EFF_SET in include/linux/capability.h
       and rebuild the kernel.

       The system-wide capability bounding set  feature  was  added  to  Linux
       starting with kernel version 2.2.11.

       Capability bounding set from Linux 2.6.25 onward

       From  Linux  2.6.25,  the  capability  bounding  set  is  a  per-thread
       attribute.  (There is no longer a system-wide capability bounding set.)

       The bounding set is inherited at fork(2) from the thread's parent,  and
       is preserved across an execve(2).

       A thread may remove capabilities from its capability bounding set using
       the prctl(2) PR_CAPBSET_DROP operation, provided it has the CAP_SETPCAP
       capability.   Once a capability has been dropped from the bounding set,
       it cannot be restored to that set.  A thread can determine if  a  capa-
       bility is in its bounding set using the prctl(2) PR_CAPBSET_READ opera-
       tion.

       Removing capabilities from the bounding set is supported only  if  file
       capabilities  are  compiled  into  the kernel.  In kernels before Linux
       2.6.33, file capabilities were an optional feature configurable via the
       CONFIG_SECURITY_FILE_CAPABILITIES option.  Since Linux 2.6.33, the con-
       figuration option has been removed and  file  capabilities  are  always
       part  of the kernel.  When file capabilities are compiled into the ker-
       nel, the init process (the ancestor of all  processes)  begins  with  a
       full bounding set.  If file capabilities are not compiled into the ker-
       nel, then init begins with  a  full  bounding  set  minus  CAP_SETPCAP,
       because  this capability has a different meaning when there are no file
       capabilities.

       Removing a capability from the bounding set does not remove it from the
       thread's  inherited  set.   However it does prevent the capability from
       being added back into the thread's inherited set in the future.

   Effect of user ID changes on capabilities
       To preserve the traditional semantics for  transitions  between  0  and
       nonzero  user IDs, the kernel makes the following changes to a thread's
       capability sets on changes to the thread's real, effective, saved  set,
       and filesystem user IDs (using setuid(2), setresuid(2), or similar):

       1. If one or more of the real, effective or saved set user IDs was pre-
          viously 0, and as a result of the UID changes all of these IDs  have
          a  nonzero value, then all capabilities are cleared from the permit-
          ted and effective capability sets.

       2. If the effective user ID is changed from  0  to  nonzero,  then  all
          capabilities are cleared from the effective set.

       3. If the effective user ID is changed from nonzero to 0, then the per-
          mitted set is copied to the effective set.

       4. If the filesystem user ID is changed from 0 to  nonzero  (see  setf-
          suid(2)),  then  the  following  capabilities  are  cleared from the
          effective  set:  CAP_CHOWN,  CAP_DAC_OVERRIDE,  CAP_DAC_READ_SEARCH,
          CAP_FOWNER,  CAP_FSETID,  CAP_LINUX_IMMUTABLE  (since Linux 2.6.30),
          CAP_MAC_OVERRIDE,  and  CAP_MKNOD  (since  Linux  2.6.30).   If  the
          filesystem UID is changed from nonzero to 0, then any of these capa-
          bilities that are enabled in the permitted set are  enabled  in  the
          effective set.

       If a thread that has a 0 value for one or more of its user IDs wants to
       prevent its permitted capability set being cleared when it  resets  all
       of  its  user  IDs  to  nonzero values, it can do so using the prctl(2)
       PR_SET_KEEPCAPS  operation  or  the  SECBIT_KEEP_CAPS  securebits  flag
       described below.

   Programmatically adjusting capability sets
       A  thread  can  retrieve  and  change  its  capability  sets  using the
       capget(2)  and  capset(2)  system   calls.    However,   the   use   of
       cap_get_proc(3)  and cap_set_proc(3), both provided in the libcap pack-
       age, is preferred for this purpose.  The following rules govern changes
       to the thread capability sets:

       1. If  the  caller  does  not  have the CAP_SETPCAP capability, the new
          inheritable set must be a subset of the combination of the  existing
          inheritable and permitted sets.

       2. (Since Linux 2.6.25) The new inheritable set must be a subset of the
          combination of the  existing  inheritable  set  and  the  capability
          bounding set.

       3. The new permitted set must be a subset of the existing permitted set
          (i.e., it is not possible to acquire permitted capabilities that the
          thread does not currently have).

       4. The new effective set must be a subset of the new permitted set.

   The securebits flags: establishing a capabilities-only environment
       Starting  with kernel 2.6.26, and with a kernel in which file capabili-
       ties are enabled, Linux implements a set of per-thread securebits flags
       that  can be used to disable special handling of capabilities for UID 0
       (root).  These flags are as follows:

       SECBIT_KEEP_CAPS
              Setting this flag allows a thread that has one or more 0 UIDs to
              retain  its  capabilities  when it switches all of its UIDs to a
              nonzero value.  If this flag is not set, then such a UID  switch
              causes the thread to lose all capabilities.  This flag is always
              cleared on an execve(2).  (This flag provides the same function-
              ality as the older prctl(2) PR_SET_KEEPCAPS operation.)

       SECBIT_NO_SETUID_FIXUP
              Setting  this  flag  stops  the kernel from adjusting capability
              sets  when  the  thread's  effective  and  filesystem  UIDs  are
              switched  between  zero and nonzero values.  (See the subsection
              Effect of user ID changes on capabilities.)

       SECBIT_NOROOT
              If this bit is set, then the kernel does not grant  capabilities
              when  a  set-user-ID-root program is executed, or when a process
              with an effective or real UID of 0 calls  execve(2).   (See  the
              subsection Capabilities and execution of programs by root.)

       SECBIT_NO_CAP_AMBIENT_RAISE
              Setting this flag disallows raising ambient capabilities via the
              prctl(2) PR_CAP_AMBIENT_RAISE operation.

       Each of the above "base" flags has a companion "locked" flag.   Setting
       any  of  the "locked" flags is irreversible, and has the effect of pre-
       venting further changes to the corresponding "base" flag.   The  locked
       flags   are:   SECBIT_KEEP_CAPS_LOCKED,  SECBIT_NO_SETUID_FIXUP_LOCKED,
       SECBIT_NOROOT_LOCKED, and SECBIT_NO_CAP_AMBIENT_RAISE_LOCKED.

       The securebits flags can be modified and retrieved using  the  prctl(2)
       PR_SET_SECUREBITS  and  PR_GET_SECUREBITS  operations.  The CAP_SETPCAP
       capability is required to modify the flags.

       The securebits flags are  inherited  by  child  processes.   During  an
       execve(2),  all  of  the  flags  are preserved, except SECBIT_KEEP_CAPS
       which is always cleared.

       An application can use the following call to lock itself,  and  all  of
       its  descendants,  into  an  environment  where the only way of gaining
       capabilities is by executing a program with associated  file  capabili-
       ties:

           prctl(PR_SET_SECUREBITS,
                   SECBIT_KEEP_CAPS_LOCKED |
                   SECBIT_NO_SETUID_FIXUP |
                   SECBIT_NO_SETUID_FIXUP_LOCKED |
                   SECBIT_NOROOT |
                   SECBIT_NOROOT_LOCKED);

   Interaction with user namespaces
       For  a  discussion  of  the interaction of capabilities and user names-
       paces, see user_namespaces(7).

CONFORMING TO
       No standards govern capabilities, but the Linux capability  implementa-
       tion   is   based   on  the  withdrawn  POSIX.1e  draft  standard;  see
       <http://wt.tuxomania.net/publications/posix.1e/>.

NOTES
       From kernel 2.5.27 to kernel 2.6.26, capabilities were an optional ker-
       nel  component,  and  could  be  enabled/disabled  via the CONFIG_SECU-
       RITY_CAPABILITIES kernel configuration option.

       The /proc/PID/task/TID/status file can be used to view  the  capability
       sets  of a thread.  The /proc/PID/status file shows the capability sets
       of a process's main thread.  Before Linux 3.8, nonexistent capabilities
       were  shown  as  being enabled (1) in these sets.  Since Linux 3.8, all
       nonexistent capabilities (above CAP_LAST_CAP)  are  shown  as  disabled
       (0).

       The libcap package provides a suite of routines for setting and getting
       capabilities that is more comfortable and less likely  to  change  than
       the  interface  provided by capset(2) and capget(2).  This package also
       provides the setcap(8) and getcap(8) programs.  It can be found at
       <http://www.kernel.org/pub/linux/libs/security/linux-privs>.

       Before kernel 2.6.24, and from kernel 2.6.24 to kernel 2.6.32  if  file
       capabilities  are not enabled, a thread with the CAP_SETPCAP capability
       can manipulate the capabilities of threads other than itself.  However,
       this is only theoretically possible, since no thread ever has CAP_SETP-
       CAP in either of these cases:

       * In the pre-2.6.25 implementation the system-wide capability  bounding
         set,  /proc/sys/kernel/cap-bound,  always  masks out this capability,
         and this can not be changed without modifying the kernel  source  and
         rebuilding.

       * If file capabilities are disabled in the current implementation, then
         init starts out with this capability  removed  from  its  per-process
         bounding  set,  and  that bounding set is inherited by all other pro-
         cesses created on the system.

SEE ALSO
       capsh(1),    setpriv(1),    prctl(2),    setfsuid(2),     cap_clear(3),
       cap_copy_ext(3),  cap_from_text(3),  cap_get_file(3),  cap_get_proc(3),
       cap_init(3),   capgetp(3),   capsetp(3),   libcap(3),   credentials(7),
       user_namespaces(7), pthreads(7), getcap(8), setcap(8)

       include/linux/capability.h in the Linux kernel source tree

COLOPHON
       This  page  is  part of release 4.05 of the Linux man-pages project.  A
       description of the project, information about reporting bugs,  and  the
       latest     version     of     this    page,    can    be    found    at
       https://www.kernel.org/doc/man-pages/.

Linux                             2016-03-15                   CAPABILITIES(7)

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