Seccomp can restrict the syscalls that processes running inside a container are allowed to make to the kernel. A pod can explicitly request to use a seccomp profile via field .spec.securityContext.seccompProfile. The seccomp profile can be of types Localhost (point to a local file containing a seccomp profile), RuntimeDefault (use the container runtime engine's default seccomp profile), or Unconfined (use no seccomp profile for the container).

apiVersion: v1
kind: Pod
 name: pod0
  app: pod0
    type: RuntimeDefault


Historically, Kubernetes could not enforce default seccomp profiles, and pods would run unconfined unless explicitly requested for each pod. In recent versions of upstream Kubernetes, administrators can specify that all pods' seccomp profile shall default to the runtime default with the --seccomp-default command line flag.

Enforcement of RuntimeDefault seccomp rules in Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform

Contrary to upstream Kubernetes, in Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform (OCP) 4.12 and beyond, the use of the runtime default seccomp profile is enforced through SCCs. For pods that do not explicitly request a seccomp profile but which are matched by an SCC that specifies the .seccompProfiles field, the SCC controller will automatically set the pods' .spec.securityContext.seccompProfile to the value requested by the SCC. One of the reasons behind introducing the new (...)-v2 SCCs in Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform was the automatic enforcement of the RuntimeDefault seccomp profile for pods.

$ oc get scc restricted -o custom-columns=SECCOMP_PROFILE:.seccompProfiles

$ oc get scc restricted-v2 -o custom-columns=SECCOMP_PROFILE:.seccompProfiles



In turn, for OCP, this means that when you inspect a pod and neither .spec.securityContext.seccompProfile nor .spec.containers.securityContext.seccompProfile are set, the pod will run unconfined seccomp. For example, this can happen when a pod is matched by the privileged SCC.

Querying the effective seccomp profile

Beyond oc get pod or oc describe pod, administrators have several different ways to query a container's effective seccomp. One way is to inspect the containers with crictl inspect. When no seccomp profile is applied, field .info.runtimeSpec.linux.seccomp will be empty:

# crictl inspect $(crictl ps | awk '/pod-unconfined$/ {print $1}') | jq '.info.runtimeSpec.linux.seccomp'


When a seccomp profile is applied, field .info.runtimeSpec.linux.seccomp will contain the full seccomp profile definition:

# crictl inspect $(crictl ps | awk '/pod-runtime-default$/ {print $1}') | jq '.info.runtimeSpec.linux.seccomp' | head
 "defaultAction": "SCMP_ACT_ERRNO",
 "defaultErrnoRet": 38,
 "architectures": [
 "syscalls": [

# crictl inspect $(crictl ps | awk '/default-pod$/ {print $1}') | jq '.info.runtimeSpec.linux.seccomp' | wc -l



A low-level way of determining if a process inside a container is restricted by seccomp is to look at the /proc/${pid}/status file. It contains a field Seccomp, which will show the processes' seccomp mode, which is either 0 (SECCOMP_MODE_DISABLED), 1 (SECCOMP_MODE_STRICT), or 2 (SECCOMP_MODE_FILTER).

Therefore, an unconfined container will yield the following:

$ oc exec pod-unconfined – grep Seccomp /proc/1/status

Seccomp: 0


Whereas a confined container will show 2 for process 1's seccomp status:

$ oc exec pod-runtime-default – grep Seccomp /proc/1/status

Seccomp: 2


Wrap up

Seccomp restricts system calls to the kernel from processes running in a container. OCP can enforce a seccomp profile using SCC; something Kubernetes cannot do without an additional flag. Look for ways your organization can implement this feature for more secure containers.