namespaces(7)



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

NAME
       namespaces - overview of Linux namespaces

DESCRIPTION
       A namespace wraps a global system resource in an abstraction that makes
       it appear to the processes within the namespace that  they  have  their
       own  isolated  instance  of the global resource.  Changes to the global
       resource are visible to other processes that are members of  the  name-
       space,  but are invisible to other processes.  One use of namespaces is
       to implement containers.

       Linux provides the following namespaces:

       Namespace   Constant          Isolates
       Cgroup      CLONE_NEWCGROUP   Cgroup root directory
       IPC         CLONE_NEWIPC      System V IPC, POSIX message queues
       Network     CLONE_NEWNET      Network devices, stacks, ports, etc.
       Mount       CLONE_NEWNS       Mount points
       PID         CLONE_NEWPID      Process IDs
       User        CLONE_NEWUSER     User and group IDs
       UTS         CLONE_NEWUTS      Hostname and NIS domain name

       This page describes the various namespaces  and  the  associated  /proc
       files, and summarizes the APIs for working with namespaces.

   The namespaces API
       As  well as various /proc files described below, the namespaces API in-
       cludes the following system calls:

       clone(2)
              The clone(2) system call creates a new process.   If  the  flags
              argument  of  the  call  specifies one or more of the CLONE_NEW*
              flags listed below, then new namespaces  are  created  for  each
              flag,  and  the  child  process  is made a member of those name-
              spaces.  (This system call also implements a number of  features
              unrelated to namespaces.)

       setns(2)
              The  setns(2)  system call allows the calling process to join an
              existing namespace.  The namespace to join is  specified  via  a
              file  descriptor  that refers to one of the /proc/[pid]/ns files
              described below.

       unshare(2)
              The unshare(2) system call moves the calling process  to  a  new
              namespace.   If  the flags argument of the call specifies one or
              more of the CLONE_NEW* flags listed below, then  new  namespaces
              are  created  for  each  flag, and the calling process is made a
              member of those namespaces.  (This system call also implements a
              number of features unrelated to namespaces.)

       Creation  of new namespaces using clone(2) and unshare(2) in most cases
       requires the CAP_SYS_ADMIN capability.  User namespaces are the  excep-
       tion:  since Linux 3.8, no privilege is required to create a user name-
       space.

   The /proc/[pid]/ns/ directory
       Each process has a /proc/[pid]/ns/ subdirectory  containing  one  entry
       for each namespace that supports being manipulated by setns(2):

           $ ls -l /proc/$$/ns
           total 0
           lrwxrwxrwx. 1 mtk mtk 0 Apr 28 12:46 cgroup -> cgroup:[4026531835]
           lrwxrwxrwx. 1 mtk mtk 0 Apr 28 12:46 ipc -> ipc:[4026531839]
           lrwxrwxrwx. 1 mtk mtk 0 Apr 28 12:46 mnt -> mnt:[4026531840]
           lrwxrwxrwx. 1 mtk mtk 0 Apr 28 12:46 net -> net:[4026531969]
           lrwxrwxrwx. 1 mtk mtk 0 Apr 28 12:46 pid -> pid:[4026531836]
           lrwxrwxrwx. 1 mtk mtk 0 Apr 28 12:46 pid_for_children -> pid:[4026531834]
           lrwxrwxrwx. 1 mtk mtk 0 Apr 28 12:46 user -> user:[4026531837]
           lrwxrwxrwx. 1 mtk mtk 0 Apr 28 12:46 uts -> uts:[4026531838]

       Bind  mounting  (see  mount(2))  one  of the files in this directory to
       somewhere else in the filesystem keeps the corresponding  namespace  of
       the  process  specified by pid alive even if all processes currently in
       the namespace terminate.

       Opening one of the files in this directory (or  a  file  that  is  bind
       mounted  to  one  of  these files) returns a file handle for the corre-
       sponding namespace of the process specified by pid.  As  long  as  this
       file  descriptor remains open, the namespace will remain alive, even if
       all processes in the namespace terminate.  The file descriptor  can  be
       passed to setns(2).

       In  Linux  3.7  and  earlier,  these  files were visible as hard links.
       Since Linux 3.8, they appear as symbolic links.  If two  processes  are
       in  the  same namespace, then the device IDs and inode numbers of their
       /proc/[pid]/ns/xxx symbolic links will be the same; an application  can
       check  this  using  the  stat.st_dev and stat.st_ino fields returned by
       stat(2).  The content of this symbolic link is a string containing  the
       namespace type and inode number as in the following example:

           $ readlink /proc/$$/ns/uts
           uts:[4026531838]

       The symbolic links in this subdirectory are as follows:

       /proc/[pid]/ns/cgroup (since Linux 4.6)
              This file is a handle for the cgroup namespace of the process.

       /proc/[pid]/ns/ipc (since Linux 3.0)
              This file is a handle for the IPC namespace of the process.

       /proc/[pid]/ns/mnt (since Linux 3.8)
              This file is a handle for the mount namespace of the process.

       /proc/[pid]/ns/net (since Linux 3.0)
              This file is a handle for the network namespace of the process.

       /proc/[pid]/ns/pid (since Linux 3.8)
              This  file  is  a  handle  for the PID namespace of the process.
              This handle is permanent for the lifetime of the process  (i.e.,
              a process's PID namespace membership never changes).

       /proc/[pid]/ns/pid_for_children (since Linux 4.12)
              This  file  is a handle for the PID namespace of child processes
              created by this process.  This can change as  a  consequence  of
              calls to unshare(2) and setns(2) (see pid_namespaces(7)), so the
              file may differ  from  /proc/[pid]/ns/pid.   The  symbolic  link
              gains  a  value only after the first child process is created in
              the namespace.  (Beforehand, readlink(2) of  the  symbolic  link
              will return an empty buffer.)

       /proc/[pid]/ns/user (since Linux 3.8)
              This file is a handle for the user namespace of the process.

       /proc/[pid]/ns/uts (since Linux 3.0)
              This file is a handle for the UTS namespace of the process.

       Permission to dereference or read (readlink(2)) these symbolic links is
       governed by a ptrace access mode  PTRACE_MODE_READ_FSCREDS  check;  see
       ptrace(2).

   The /proc/sys/user directory
       The files in the /proc/sys/user directory (which is present since Linux
       4.9) expose limits on the number of namespaces of  various  types  that
       can be created.  The files are as follows:

       max_cgroup_namespaces
              The value in this file defines a per-user limit on the number of
              cgroup namespaces that may be created in the user namespace.

       max_ipc_namespaces
              The value in this file defines a per-user limit on the number of
              ipc namespaces that may be created in the user namespace.

       max_mnt_namespaces
              The value in this file defines a per-user limit on the number of
              mount namespaces that may be created in the user namespace.

       max_net_namespaces
              The value in this file defines a per-user limit on the number of
              network namespaces that may be created in the user namespace.

       max_pid_namespaces
              The value in this file defines a per-user limit on the number of
              pid namespaces that may be created in the user namespace.

       max_user_namespaces
              The value in this file defines a per-user limit on the number of
              user namespaces that may be created in the user namespace.

       max_uts_namespaces
              The value in this file defines a per-user limit on the number of
              user namespaces that may be created in the user namespace.

       Note the following details about these files:

       *  The values in these files are modifiable by privileged processes.

       *  The values exposed by these files are the limits for the user  name-
          space in which the opening process resides.

       *  The  limits  are per-user.  Each user in the same user namespace can
          create namespaces up to the defined limit.

       *  The limits apply to all users, including UID 0.

       *  These limits apply in addition to  any  other  per-namespace  limits
          (such as those for PID and user namespaces) that may be enforced.

       *  Upon  encountering  these  limits, clone(2) and unshare(2) fail with
          the error ENOSPC.

       *  For the initial user namespace, the default value in each  of  these
          files is half the limit on the number of threads that may be created
          (/proc/sys/kernel/threads-max).  In all descendant user  namespaces,
          the default value in each file is MAXINT.

       *  When  a  namespace  is created, the object is also accounted against
          ancestor namespaces.  More precisely:

          +  Each user namespace has a creator UID.

          +  When a namespace is created, it is accounted against the  creator
             UIDs  in each of the ancestor user namespaces, and the kernel en-
             sures that the corresponding namespace limit for the creator  UID
             in the ancestor namespace is not exceeded.

          +  The  aforementioned  point ensures that creating a new user name-
             space cannot be used as a means to escape the limits in force  in
             the current user namespace.

   Cgroup namespaces (CLONE_NEWCGROUP)
       See cgroup_namespaces(7).

   IPC namespaces (CLONE_NEWIPC)
       IPC  namespaces isolate certain IPC resources, namely, System V IPC ob-
       jects (see svipc(7)) and (since Linux 2.6.30) POSIX message queues (see
       mq_overview(7)).   The common characteristic of these IPC mechanisms is
       that IPC objects are identified by  mechanisms  other  than  filesystem
       pathnames.

       Each  IPC namespace has its own set of System V IPC identifiers and its
       own POSIX message queue filesystem.  Objects created in  an  IPC  name-
       space are visible to all other processes that are members of that name-
       space, but are not visible to processes in other IPC namespaces.

       The following /proc interfaces are distinct in each IPC namespace:

       *  The POSIX message queue interfaces in /proc/sys/fs/mqueue.

       *  The System V IPC interfaces in /proc/sys/kernel, namely: msgmax, ms-
          gmnb, msgmni, sem, shmall, shmmax, shmmni, and shm_rmid_forced.

       *  The System V IPC interfaces in /proc/sysvipc.

       When an IPC namespace is destroyed (i.e., when the last process that is
       a member of the namespace terminates), all IPC objects in the namespace
       are automatically destroyed.

       Use  of  IPC  namespaces  requires a kernel that is configured with the
       CONFIG_IPC_NS option.

   Network namespaces (CLONE_NEWNET)
       See network_namespaces(7).

   Mount namespaces (CLONE_NEWNS)
       See mount_namespaces(7).

   PID namespaces (CLONE_NEWPID)
       See pid_namespaces(7).

   User namespaces (CLONE_NEWUSER)
       See user_namespaces(7).

   UTS namespaces (CLONE_NEWUTS)
       UTS namespaces provide isolation of two system identifiers:  the  host-
       name and the NIS domain name.  These identifiers are set using sethost-
       name(2) and setdomainname(2), and  can  be  retrieved  using  uname(2),
       gethostname(2), and getdomainname(2).

       Use  of  UTS  namespaces  requires a kernel that is configured with the
       CONFIG_UTS_NS option.

EXAMPLE
       See clone(2) and user_namespaces(7).

SEE ALSO
       nsenter(1), readlink(1), unshare(1), clone(2),  ioctl_ns(2),  setns(2),
       unshare(2), proc(5), capabilities(7), cgroup_namespaces(7), cgroups(7),
       credentials(7),  network_namespaces(7),  pid_namespaces(7),  user_name-
       spaces(7), lsns(8), switch_root(8)

COLOPHON
       This  page  is  part of release 4.16 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                             2018-02-02                     NAMESPACES(7)

Man(1) output converted with man2html
list of all man pages