'unshare' does not work as expected in C api

This sequence of commands works:

unshare --fork --pid --mount 
umount /proc
mount -t proc proc /proc
umount /dev/pts
mount -t devpts devpts /dev/pts

However, the corresponding C program does not work as expected (it seems it does not unmount the previous /proc, and also it provides EBUSY trying to unmount the devpts):

unshare(CLONE_NEWPID | CLONE_NEWNS );
int pid = fork();
if (pid != 0) {
    int status;
    waitpid(-1, &status, 0);
    return status;
}

printf("My pid: %i\n", getpid()); // It prints 1 as expected

umount("/proc"); // Returns 0

system("mount"); // Should print error on mtab, but it prints the previous mounted filesystems

mount("proc", "/proc", "proc",
      MS_MGC_VAL | MS_NOSUID | MS_NOEXEC | MS_NODEV,
      NULL));  // Returns 0

umount("/dev/pts");  // Returns -1 errno = 0 (??)

mount("devpts", "/dev/pts", "devpts", 
      MS_MGC_VAL | MS_NOSUID | MS_NOEXEC | MS_NODEV,
      NULL) ); // Returns -1 errno = EBUSY

I omitted here error checking for readability

I think that unshare or unmount does not work as expect: even if it returns zero, it seems that does not unmount /proc (if I try to exec a system("mount") after that, it prints the mounted filesystems).

Answers


Despite your comment that

"sometimes" umount returns 0 "sometimes" -1, but in the end it does not unmount /proc at all

, in 10000 trials of the code from your pastebin, umount() always failed for me, returning -1 and not unmounting /proc. I am disinclined to believe that umount() ever returns 0 despite having failed to perform the requested unmounting, but if ever it does then that would constitute a bug in umount(). If you can in fact substantiate such a bug then the community-minded response would be to file a bug report against glibc.


The question then becomes why and how your bash script behaves differently. In fact, however, it does not seem to do.

In the first place, you have the wrong expectation of the unshare(1) command. Unlike the unshare(2) function, the unshare command does not affect the shell in which it is executed. Instead, it launches a separate process that has its own private copies of the specified namespaces. Normally you would specify the command to launch that process on the unshare command line, and in fact the program's manual page indicates that doing so is mandatory.

Empirically, I find that if I fail to specify such a command -- as you do -- then unshare launches a new shell as the target process. In particular, when I run your script (with sufficient privilege to use unshare), I immediately get a new prompt, but it is the prompt of the new shell, running in the foreground. This is immediately evident to me because the prompt is different (your prompt might not be any different under those circumstances, however). There is no error message, etc. from umount at that point because it has not yet run. If I manually attempt to umount proc in the (unshared) subshell, it fails with "device is busy" -- this is the analog of what your C program tries to do.

When I exit the subshell, the rest of the script runs, with both umounts and both mounts failing. That is to be expected, because the main script shares its mount namespace.


It is entirely plausible that /proc really is busy and therefore cannot be unmounted, even for a process that has a private copy of the mount namespace. It is likely that such a process is itself using its private copy of the mount of /proc. In contrast, I find that I can successfully unmount /dev/pts in a process with an unshared mount namespace, but not in a process that shares the system's copy of that namespace.


I found the problem checking the source code of unshare command. The /proc must be unmounted with MS_PRIVATE | MS_REC and mounted without them, this is essentially to ensure that the the mount has effect only in the current (the new) namespace. The second problem is it is not possible to umount /dev/pts without producing an effect on global namespace (this is caused by the internal routine of devpts driver). To have a private /dev/pts the only way is to mount it with the dedicated -o newinstance option. Finally /dev/ptmx should also be bind-remounted.

Therefore, this is the C working code as expected:

unshare(CLONE_NEWPID | CLONE_NEWNS );
int pid = fork();
if (pid != 0) {
    int status;
    waitpid(-1, &status, 0);
    return status;
}

printf("New PID after unshare is %i", getpid());

if (mount("none", "/proc", NULL, MS_PRIVATE|MS_REC, NULL)) {
    printf("Cannot umount proc! errno=%i", errno);
    exit(1);
}

if (mount("proc", "/proc", "proc", MS_NOSUID|MS_NOEXEC|MS_NODEV, NULL)) {
    printf("Cannot mount proc! errno=%i", errno);
    exit(1);
}


if (mount("devpts", "/dev/pts", "devpts", MS_MGC_VAL | MS_NOSUID | MS_NOEXEC, "newinstance") ) {
    printf("Cannot mount pts! errno=%i", errno);
    exit(1);
}

if (mount("/dev/pts/ptmx", "/dev/ptmx", NULL, MS_MGC_VAL | MS_NOSUID | MS_NOEXEC | MS_BIND, NULL) ) {
    printf("Cannot mount ptmx! errno=%i", errno);
    exit(1);
}

I think the issue is with the system("mount") which is spawns a shell and doesn't carry over the umount. Try opening a file in /proc/ after umount and see it works as expected.

See this -

unshare(CLONE_NEWPID | CLONE_NEWNS );
int rc = 0;
int pid = fork();
if (pid != 0) {
        int status;
        waitpid(-1, &status, 0);
        return status;
}

printf(">>> My pid: %d\n", getpid()); // It prints 1 as expected
rc = umount2("/proc", MNT_FORCE); // Returns 0
printf(">>> umount returned %d. errno = %d, desc = (%s)\n", rc, errno, strerror(errno));

rc = open("/proc/cpuinfo", O_RDONLY);
printf(">>> open returned %d. errno = %d, desc = (%s)\n", rc, errno, strerror(errno));

unshare bash != unshare c

unshare - run program with some namespaces unshared from parent

So basically with --fork you are forking from /bin/sh of /bin/bash (whatever you executing your script with) with --pid and --mount options. "fork" followed by "unshare"

unshare - disassociate parts of the process execution context (current proccess) You are unsharing from init and then forking.

CLONE_NEWPID is "clone" flag not "unshare"

So depending on what you are trying to achieve - i assume you are trying to make "/proc" and "/dev/pts" exclusive for child proccess.

Here is a little example with mount --bind local folders:

# mkdir mnt point
# touch point/point.txt
# mount --bind point mnt
# ls mnt
point.txt

# ./unshare
My pid: 28377
Child:
point.txt
Parent:

# ls mnt

Code:

#define _GNU_SOURCE
#include <sched.h>

int main(int argc, char *argv[])
{
        /** umount global */
        system("umount mnt/");
        int pid = fork();
        if (pid != 0) {
                int status;
                waitpid(-1, &status, 0);
                printf("Parent:\n");
                /* and here we don't */
                system("ls mnt/");
                return status;
        }
        /* unshare */
        unshare(CLONE_FS | CLONE_NEWNS);
        printf("My pid: %i\n", getpid()); // It prints 1 as expected
        /* mount exclusively */
        system("mount --bind point/ mnt/");
        printf("Child:\n");
        /* here we see it */
        system("ls mnt/"); 

        return 0;
}

there is also a nice example with bash: http://karelzak.blogspot.ru/2009/12/unshare1.html

continuation:

mount depends on /etc/mtab which is not always a symbolic link to /proc/mounts

so check /etc/mtab with ls -la.

also check the code for umount on /dev/pts with:

int ret = umount("/dev/pts");
int errsv = errno;
if(ret == -1) {
  printf("Error on umount: %s\n", strerror(errsv));
}

I am pretty sure it is used - check it with fuser /dev/pts/

** EDITED **

Finally - i am not sure that you can umount procfs in namespace only (i think it is impossible)

but you can mount your own copy of procfs in your namespace :

# mount -t proc proc /proc/

Now only your process is visible via ps -e.


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