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[libvirt] [PATCH 15/15] qemu: set CAP_COMPROMISE_KERNEL so that pci passthrough works

Any system with CAP_COMPROMISE_KERNEL available in the kernel was not
able to perform PCI passthrough device assignment without 1) running
qemu as root *and* 2) setting "clear_emulator_capabilities=0" in

This patch is the final piece to make pci passthrough once again work
properly with a non-root qemu. It sets CAP_COMPROMISE_KERNEL; now that
virCommand is properly setup to honor that request for non-root child
processes, it will actually do some good.

It is still necessary to set the file capability for the qemu binary,
however (see the rules for determining effective caps of a process
running as non-root in "man 7 capabilities"). This can be done with:

  filecap $path-to-qemu-binary compromise_kernel
 src/qemu/qemu_process.c | 11 +++++++++++
 1 file changed, 11 insertions(+)

diff --git a/src/qemu/qemu_process.c b/src/qemu/qemu_process.c
index a343ac3..537c515 100644
--- a/src/qemu/qemu_process.c
+++ b/src/qemu/qemu_process.c
@@ -3859,6 +3859,17 @@ int qemuProcessStart(virConnectPtr conn,
     if (cfg->clearEmulatorCapabilities)
+    /* On kernels that have this capability, we must set it for qemu
+     * in order for PCI passthrough with -device pci-assign to work
+     * (the qemu binary must also have that *file* capability, set
+     * with "filecap /usr/bin/qemu-kvm compromise_kernel", for
+     * example).  (either that, or qemu must be run as root, with
+     * "clear_emulator_capabilities=0" in /etc/libvirt/qemu.conf).
+     */
+    virCommandAllowCap(cmd, CAP_COMPROMISE_KERNEL);
     /* in case a certain disk is desirous of CAP_SYS_RAWIO, add this */
     for (i = 0; i < vm->def->ndisks; i++) {
         virDomainDiskDefPtr disk = vm->def->disks[i];

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