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Taikun OCP Guide

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Secure with rootwrap

Rootwrap allows unprivileged users to safely run Compute actions as
the root user. Compute previously used sudo for this purpose, but this was difficult to
maintain, and did not allow advanced filters. The rootwrap command replaces
sudo for

To use rootwrap, prefix the Compute command with nova-rootwrap. For

$ sudo nova-rootwrap /etc/nova/rootwrap.conf command

A generic sudoers entry lets the Compute user run nova-rootwrap as root.
The nova-rootwrap
code looks for filter definition directories in its configuration file,
and loads command filters from them. It then checks if the command
requested by Compute matches one of those filters and, if so, executes
the command (as root). If no filter matches, it denies the request.


Be aware of issues with using NFS and root-owned files. The NFS share
must be configured with the no_root_squash option enabled,
in order for rootwrap to work correctly.

Rootwrap is fully controlled by the root user. The root user owns the
sudoers entry which allows Compute to run a specific rootwrap executable
as root, and only with a specific configuration file (which should also
be owned by root). The nova-rootwrap command imports the Python modules
it needs from a cleaned, system-default PYTHONPATH. The root-owned
configuration file points to root-owned filter definition directories,
which contain root-owned filters definition files. This chain ensures
that the Compute user itself is not in control of the configuration or
modules used by the nova-rootwrap executable.

Configure rootwrap

Configure rootwrap in the rootwrap.conf file. Because it
is in the trusted security path, it must be owned and writable by only
the root user. The rootwrap_config=entry parameter
specifies the file’s location in the sudoers entry and in the
nova.conf configuration file.

The rootwrap.conf file uses an INI file format with
these sections and parameters:

rootwrap.conf configuration options
Configuration option=Default value(Type) Description
(ListOpt) Comma-separated list of directories containing filter
definition files. Defines where rootwrap filters are stored. Directories
defined on this line should all exist, and be owned and writable only by
the root user.

If the root wrapper is not performing correctly, you can add a
workaround option into the nova.conf configuration file.
This workaround re-configures the root wrapper configuration to fall
back to running commands as sudo, and is a Kilo release

Including this workaround in your configuration file safeguards your
environment from issues that can impair root wrapper performance. Tool
changes that have impacted Python Build Reasonableness
for example, are a known issue that affects root wrapper

To set up this workaround, configure the
disable_rootwrap option in the [workaround]
section of the nova.conf configuration file.

The filters definition files contain lists of filters that rootwrap
will use to allow or deny a specific command. They are generally
suffixed by .filters . Since they are in the trusted
security path, they need to be owned and writable only by the root user.
Their location is specified in the rootwrap.conf file.

Filter definition files use an INI file format with a
[Filters] section and several lines, each with a unique
parameter name, which should be different for each filter you

Filters configuration options
Configuration option=Default value(Type) Description
[Filters] filter_name=kpartx: CommandFilter, /sbin/kpartx, root(ListOpt) Comma-separated list containing the filter class to use,
followed by the Filter arguments (which vary depending on the Filter
class selected).

Configure the rootwrap

Administrators can use rootwrap daemon support instead of running
rootwrap with sudo.
The rootwrap daemon reduces the overhead and performance loss that
results from running oslo.rootwrap with sudo. Each call that
needs rootwrap privileges requires a new instance of rootwrap. The
daemon prevents overhead from the repeated calls. The daemon does not
support long running processes, however.

To enable the rootwrap daemon, set use_rootwrap_daemon
to True in the Compute service configuration file.


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