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From: Jeremy Evans <code@jeremyevans.net>
To: Eric Wong <e@80x24.org>
Cc: unicorn-public@bogomips.org
Subject: Re: Patch: Add after_worker_ready configuration option
Date: Wed, 22 Feb 2017 19:43:36 -0800	[thread overview]
Message-ID: <20170223034336.GE81807@jeremyevans.local> (raw)
In-Reply-To: <20170223023221.GB15864@starla>

On 02/23 02:32, Eric Wong wrote:
> Jeremy Evans <code@jeremyevans.net> wrote:
> > This adds a hook that is called after the application has
> > been loaded by the worker process, directly before it starts
> > accepting requests.  This hook is necessary if your application
> > needs to get gain access to resources during initialization,
> > and then drop privileges before serving requests.
> > 
> > This is especially useful in conjunction with chroot support
> > so the app can load all the normal ruby libraries it needs
> > to function, and then chroot before accepting requests.
> > 
> > If you are preloading the app, it's possible to drop privileges
> > or chroot in after_fork, but if you are not preloading the app,
> > there is not currently a properly place to handle this, hence
> > the reason for this feature.
> This means using Unicorn::Worker#user directly,
> and not Unicorn::Configurator#user.  OK...

Correct.  We could add configuration support to specify when to call
Worker#user, but that seems like overkill.
> Also, were you planning to send a v2 for chroot support?
> I'm fine with either.

Sorry about that, I will send a v2 for chroot support tomorrow.

> > --- a/lib/unicorn/configurator.rb
> > +++ b/lib/unicorn/configurator.rb
> > @@ -162,7 +165,7 @@ def after_fork(*args, &block)
> >    # sets after_worker_exit hook to a given block.  This block will be called
> >    # by the master process after a worker exits:
> >    #
> > -  #  after_fork do |server,worker,status|
> > +  #  after_worker_exit do |server,worker,status|
> >    #    # status is a Process::Status instance for the exited worker process
> >    #    unless status.success?
> >    #      server.logger.error("worker process failure: #{status.inspect}")
> This looks like an unrelated hunk which belongs in a separate
> patch.  I can squeeze in a separate fix for this (credited to
> you) or you can send a separate patch.
Correct, this was an unrelated bug in my last patch.  I'll separate this
hunk into a separate patch.

> > @@ -172,6 +175,18 @@ def after_worker_exit(*args, &block)
> >      set_hook(:after_worker_exit, block_given? ? block : args[0], 3)
> >    end
> >  
> > +  # sets after_worker_ready hook to a given block.  This block will be called
> > +  # by a worker process after it has been fully loaded, directly before it
> > +  # starts responding to requests:
> > +  #
> > +  #  after_worker_ready do |server,worker|
> > +  #    server.logger.info("worker #{worker.nr} ready, dropping privileges")
> > +  #    worker.user('username', 'groupname')
> > +  #  end
> The documentation should probably say something along the lines
> of:
>     Do not use Unicorn::Configurator#user if you rely on
>     changing users in the after_worker_ready hook.
> And maybe corresponding documentation for Unicorn::Configurator#user,
> too.

OK, I'll update the documentation to be more complete.

> Anyways, I'm somewhat inclined to accept this as well, but will
> think about it a bit, too.
> One problem I have with this change is that it requires users
> read more documentation and know more caveats to use.
It's unfortunate, but I think it's necessary in this case. Unicorn's
default behavior works for most users, but this makes it so you
don't have to override HttpServer#init_worker_process to get similar

> Adding to that, Unicorn::Configurator#user has been favored
> (documentation-wise) over Unicorn::Worker#user in the past;
> so it's a bit of a reversal(*)

I think Configurator#user still makes sense for most users.  As the
documentation mentions, directly calling Worker#user should only
be done if Configurator#user is not sufficient.

> Based on the series of changes you're making, I'm sensing you're
> working on some complex system which might need more security
> than a typical app.

These patches are related to all applications using Unicorn that I run
on OpenBSD (about 20 separate applications).  They are designed to
to reduce the attack surface if an attacker is able to find a
remote code execution vulnerability in one of the applications.

In addition to chroot(2), after chrooting, these applications also
use pledge(2), which is an OpenBSD-specific system call filter
(similar in principle to seccomp(2) in Linux).

> I know you use OpenBSD, and I don't know much about the init
> system or how deployment works, there.
It's a very simple sh(1) based-init system, similar to traditional Unix.
Most OpenBSD system daemons will start as root, chroot to a specific
directory, drop privileges (possibly separate privileges in separate
daemon processes connected via IPC), and finally use pledge(2) to limit
what each process can actually use in terms of system calls.

> Nowadays, it seems more common things (binding sockets,
> switching users, chrooting, etc..) is handled by init systems
> (at least systemd); and having that functionality in unicorn
> would mean redundant bloat.

I believe only Linux uses a systemd-like approach, and while most
Linux systems use systemd these days, usage is not universal
(notable exceptions are Slackware, Void, and Gentoo).  But my
knowledge of other operating systems is not very broad.

> It would be useful to me and folks who won't use these features
> to understand how and why they're used.  That can help justify
> the (admittedly small) memory overhead which comes with it.

True.  I'm sorry the commit messages didn't provide a more thorough
explanation.  I will try to improve that in the future.

> (*) Fwiw, I wasn't thrilled to add user switching to unicorn back
>     in 2009/2010, as it should not need to run privileged ports.

I think had you not added it, there wouldn't be a need for a chroot
patch, since otherwise one would assume any user that wanted to
drop privileges would just run the necessary code themselves.

One thing to keep in mind is that if you did not add the user switching
code, developers who need it would implement it themselves, and would
likely miss things like initgroups.

>     So I'm wondering if there can be some of that which could be
>     trimmed out someday or made optional, somehow.

I'm not sure how open you are to a plugin-like system for Unicorn, where
you can have separate files for separate features, and users can choose
which features the want to use.  This limits memory usage so that you
don't pay a memory cost for features you don't use.  This is the
approach used by Sequel, Roda, and Rodauth (other libraries I maintain),
and if you are interested in a similar system for Unicorn, I would be
happy to work on one.

I do have a couple of additional patches I plan to send, but I think it
may be better to ask here first.

One is that SIGUSR1 handling doesn't work well with chroot if the log
file is outside of the chroot, since the worker process may not have
access to reopen the file.  One simple fix is to reopen the logs in
the master process, then send SIGQUIT instead of SIGUSR1 to the child
processes.  Are you open to a patch that does that?

The second feature is more exotic security feature called fork+exec.
The current issue with unicorn's direct forking of children is that
forked children share the memory layout of the server.  This is good
from a memory usage standpoint due to CoW memory.  However, if there
is a memory vulnerability in the unicorn application, this makes it
easier to exploit, since if the a unicorn worker process crashes, the
master process will fork a child with pretty much the same memory
layout.  This allows address space discovery attacks.  Using fork+exec,
each child process would have a unique address space for ASLR, on
most Unix-like systems (Linux, MacOS X, NetBSD, OpenBSD, Solaris).
There are additional security advantages from fork+exec on OpenBSD, but
all Unix-like systems that use ASLR can benefit from the unique
memory layout per process.


  parent reply	other threads:[~2017-02-23  3:43 UTC|newest]

Thread overview: 6+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
2017-02-23  0:49 Patch: Add after_worker_ready configuration option Jeremy Evans
2017-02-23  2:32 ` Eric Wong
2017-02-23  2:34   ` Eric Wong
2017-02-23  3:43   ` Jeremy Evans [this message]
2017-02-23  9:23     ` Eric Wong
2017-02-23 20:00       ` Jeremy Evans

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