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SubjectRe: [PATCH] Add new open(2) flag - O_EMPTY_PATH
On Fri, Jan 06, 2023 at 02:06:51PM +0100, Christian Brauner wrote:
> On Wed, Dec 28, 2022 at 09:02:49PM +0500, Ameer Hamza wrote:
> > This patch adds a new flag O_EMPTY_PATH that allows openat and open
> > system calls to open a file referenced by fd if the path is empty,
> > and it is very similar to the FreeBSD O_EMPTY_PATH flag. This can be
> > beneficial in some cases since it would avoid having to grant /proc
> > access to things like samba containers for reopening files to change
> > flags in a race-free way.
> >
> > Signed-off-by: Ameer Hamza <>
> > ---
> In general this isn't a bad idea and Aleksa and I proposed this as part
> of the openat2() patchset (see [1]).
> However, the reason we didn't do this right away was that we concluded
> that it shouldn't be simply adding a flag. Reopening file descriptors
> through procfs is indeed very useful and is often required. But it's
> also been an endless source of subtle bugs and security holes as it
> allows reopening file descriptors with more permissions than the
> original file descriptor had.
> The same lax behavior should not be encoded into O_EMPTYPATH. Ideally we
> would teach O_EMPTYPATH to adhere to magic link modes by default. This
> would be tied to the idea of upgrade mask in openat2() (cf. [2]). They
> allow a caller to specify the permissions that a file descriptor may be
> reopened with at the time the fd is opened.
> [1]:
> [2]:

Thank you for the detailed explanation and sorry for getting back late
at it. It seems like a pre-requisite for O_EMPTYPATH is to make it safe
and that depends on a patchset that Aleksa was working on. It would be
helpful to know the current status of that effort and if we could expect
it in the near future.

The repo[1] that was mentioned here[2] seems to be private. I am wondering
if there's a way to look at the patch somehow.


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