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Re: [libvirt] (resend) Problems with virt-manager checking access on virtual images.



On Fri, Jan 30, 2009 at 07:38:40AM -0500, Daniel J Walsh wrote:
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> Met with Cole this morning and we talked about how SELinux can cause
> people headaches when installing virtual images from random locations.
> 
> User downloads a iso image to his home directory and then uses
> virt-manager to install it.  Problem is when the user has the whole
> thing configured, virt-manager tells libvirt to install.  It executes
> qemu and SELinux prevents qemu from reading the iso image because it is
> labeled user_home_t and qemu is not allowed to read the contents of the
> home directory.  qemu blows up with permission denied and the user is at
> a loss to what just happened.
> 
> As we talked we realised this is not just an SELinux problem, but would
> also happen if a use had an nfs homedir or potentially a samba home
> directory where root was not allowed access.  Also pam_namespace would
> cause problems, in the /tmp or /home/dwalsh would not be the same for
> root as they are for the user.
> 
> One solution to the SELinux problem is to have a label that virt-manager
> could apply to the iso image (virt_content_ro_t).  This would allow qemu
> to access the file as long as it had search access to the path to the
> image.  solving most of these problems.  But the user could still have
> an access problem that would be tough to diagnose.  We came up with the
> idea of a running a simple helper application to check read access to
> the image file.  During the install, virt-manager could tell libvirt to
> verify access by executing "qemuaccess /home/dwalsh/windows.iso".  If
> this executable was labeled qemu_exec_t like the other qemu images the
> same SELinux transitions would happen and we could instantly figure out
> if SELinux was going to cause problems.  As a side benefit we could also
> check if NFS or samba would cause a problems.  If qemuaccess failed,
> virt-manager could put up a diagnostic message suggesting SELinux, NFS,
> or Samba might be a problem, and the user could move the iso image to
> some directory like /var/lib/libvirt/isos/, where libirt would have access.

I don't particularly like the idea of running another program to check
this because SELinux context isn't the only thing which will potentially
prevent QEMU accessing the disk image. CGroups device policy make prevent
it. A setuid() call in QEMU to drop privileges, may prevent it. It may
be asked to open it read-write, and only be able to open it read-only .
It may want to take a lock on the image, but it already be locked, and
so on. QEMU does already report pretty much the same error message as 
the qemuaccess program does when it is unable to access a disk image

# virsh start demo
libvir: QEMU error : internal error unable to start guest: qemu: could not open disk image /home/berrange/Fedora-9-i686-Live.iso

IMHO, this all stems from a mistake I made when designing the original
virt-manager  UI. Namely, I should never have used a generic file 
dialog which allows selection of disk images anywhere on the host.  It
was wrong for general disk images, in just the same way that its wrong
for ISO images. And absolutely useless for remote provisioning.

With the storage pool APIs we have the opportunity to fix this in a way
helps not only the SELinux case, but also the app in general. Instead of
showing a generic file dialog, we should just show a dialog displaying
the configured storage pools, and allow the user to pick an ISO out of
one of the the pools. virt-manager should offer to remember which storage
pool contains installable ISO images, and which should be used by default
for disk images. We already have /var/lib/libvirt/images by default for
disk images, and should add /var/lib/libvirt/isos too. If a user downloads
an ISO to their home directory, we could easily have a option in the UI
for 'Import an ISO file to the pool' which would move it into the correct
location. 

NB, here I am talking about use of the system-wide QEMU driver instance
of 'qemu:///system', which runs privileged on the host. This is really
intended at server deployments of virt, but we have been happening to 
use it for general ad-hoc desktop usage too in Fedora.

There is also a per-user 'qemu://session' UI where both libvirtd and the
QEMU guests run unprivileged as that user's UID. In that scenario the
storage pools should use something like $HOME/VirtualMachines/images and
"$HOME/VirtualMachines/ISOs'as the default pools for disk & ISOs
respectively. I would like to see Fedora use qemu:///session by default
for generic desktop virt usage, in which case everything runs as that
UID, and keeps everything in $HOME. 

Regards,
Daniel
-- 
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