Wandering Thoughts archives


You can't delegate a ZFS administration permission to delete only snapshots

ZFS has a system that lets you selectively delegate administration permissions from root to other users (exposed through 'zfs allow') on a per filesystem tree basis. This led to the following interesting question (and answer) over on the fediverse:

@wxcafe: hey can anyone here confirm that there's no zfs permission for destroying only snapshots?

@cks: I can confirm this based on the ZFS on Linux code. The 'can you destroy a snapshot' code delegates to a general 'can you destroy things' permission check that uses the overall 'destroy' permission.

(It also requires mount permissions, presumably because you have to be able to unmount something that you're about to destroy.)

The requirement for unmount means that delegating 'destroy' permissions may not work on Linux (or may not always work), because only root can unmount things on Linux. I haven't tested to see whether ZFS will let you delegate unmount permission (and thereby pass its internal checks) but then later the unmount operation will fail, or whether the permission cannot be delegated on Linux (which would mean that you can't delegate 'destroy' either).

The inability to allow people to only delete snapshots is a bit unfortunately, because you can delegate the ability to create them (as the 'snapshot' permission). It would be nice to be able to delegate snapshot management entirely to people (or to an unprivileged account used for automated snapshot management) but not let them destroy the filesystem itself.

This situation is the outcome of two separate and individually sensible design decisions, which combine together here in a not great way. First, ZFS decided that creating snapshots would be a separate 'zfs' command but destroying them would be part of 'zfs destroy' (a decision that I personally dislike because of how it puts you that much closer to an irreversible error). Then when it added delegated permissions, ZFS chose to delegate pretty much by 'zfs' commands, although it could have chosen a different split. Since destroying snapshots is part of 'zfs destroy', it is all covered under one 'destroy' permission.

(The code in the ZFS kernel module does not require this; it has a separate permission check function for each sort of thing being destroyed. They all just call a common permission check function.)

The good news is that while writing this entry and reading the 'zfs allow' manpage, I realized that there may sort of be a workaround under specific situations. I'll just quote myself on Mastodon:

Actually I think it may be possible to do this in practice under selective circumstances. You can delegate a permission only for descendants of a filesystem, not for the filesystem itself, so if a filesystem will only ever have snapshots underneath it, I think that a 'descendants only' destroy delegation will in practice only let people destroy snapshots, because that's all that exists.

Disclaimer: this is untested.

On our fileservers, we don't have nested filesystems (or at least not any that contain data), so we could do this; anything that we'll snapshot has no further real filesystems as children. However in other setups you would have a mixture of real filesystems and snapshots under a top level filesystem, and delegating 'destroy' permission would allow people to destroy both.

(This assumes that you can delegate 'unmount' permission so that the ZFS code will allow you to do destroys in the first place. The relevant ZFS code checks for unmount permission before it checks for destroy permission.)

solaris/ZFSNoSnapshotDeleteDelegation written at 22:35:04; Add Comment

Some git aliases that I use

As a system administrator, I primarily use git not to develop my own local changes but to keep track of what's going on in projects that we (or I) use or care about, and to pull their changes into local repositories. This has caused me to put together a set of git aliases that are probably somewhat different than what programmers wind up with. For much the same reason that I periodically inventory my Firefox addons, I'm writing down my common aliases here today.

All of these are presented in the form that they would be in the '[alias]' section of .gitconfig.

  • source = remote get-url origin

    I don't always remember the URL of the upstream of my local tracking repository for something, and often I wind up want to go there to do things like look at issues, releases, or whatever.

  • plog = log @{1}..

    My most common git operation is to pull changes from upstream and look at what they are. This alias uses the reflog to theoretically show me the log for what was just pulled, which should be from the last reflog position to now.

    (I'm not confident that this always does the right thing, so often I just cut and paste the commit IDs that are printed by 'git pull'. It's a little bit more work but I trust my understanding more.)

  • slog = log --pretty=slog

    Normally if I'm reading a repo's log at all, I read the full log. But there are some repos where this isn't really useful and some situations where I just want a quick overview, so I only look at the short log. This goes along with the following in .gitconfig to actually define the 'slog' format:

        slog = format:* %s

  • pslog = log --pretty=slog @{1}..

    This is a combination of 'git plog' and 'git slog'; it shows me the log for the pull (theoretically) in short log form.

  • ffpull = pull --ff-only
    ffmerge = merge --ff-only

    These are two aliases I use if I don't entirely trust the upstream repo to not have rebased itself on me. The ffpull alias pulls with only a fast-forward operation allowed (the equivalent of setting 'git config pull.ff only', which I don't always remember to do), while ffmerge is what I use in worktrees.

(Probably I should set up a git alias or something that configures a newly cloned repo with all of the settings that I want. So far I think that's only 'pull.ff only', but there will probably be more in the future.)

I have other git aliases but in practice I mostly don't remember them (for instance, I have an 'idiff' alias for 'git diff --cached').

programming/GitAliasesIUse written at 00:52:07; Add Comment

Page tools: See As Normal.
Login: Password:
Atom Syndication: Recent Pages, Recent Comments.

This dinky wiki is brought to you by the Insane Hackers Guild, Python sub-branch.