Capabilities

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Notes: please use the first argument of the template to provide more detailed indications. (Discuss in Talk:Capabilities#)

The intention of this article is to remove the setuid attribute in the binaries that require certain root-privileges. In this way, it eliminates the need for "all or nothing", using a fine grained control with POSIX 1003.1e capabilities.

Use with caution, some programs do not know about file capabilities. It apparently works correctly, but have some unexpected side effects (see for example #util-linux-ng)

Prerequisites

You need libcap, for setting file capabalities that are extended attributes, with the utility setcap.

# pacman -S libcap

Setuid-root files by package

coreutils

Note: Warning: Do not use it, because su will return incorrect password.
# chmod u-s /bin/su
# setcap cap_setgid,cap_setuid+ep /bin/su

dcron

# chmod u-s /usr/bin/crontab
# setcap cap_dac_override,cap_setgid+ep /usr/bin/crontab

inetutils

# chmod u-s /usr/bin/rsh
# setcap cap_net_bind_service+ep /usr/bin/rsh
# chmod u-s /usr/bin/rcp
# setcap cap_net_bind_service+ep /usr/bin/rcp
# chmod u-s /usr/bin/rlogin
# setcap cap_net_bind_service+ep /usr/bin/rlogin

iputils

# chmod u-s /bin/ping
# setcap cap_net_raw+ep /bin/ping
# chmod u-s /bin/ping6
# setcap cap_net_raw+ep /bin/ping6
# chmod u-s /bin/traceroute
# setcap cap_net_raw+ep /bin/traceroute
# chmod u-s /bin/traceroute6
# setcap cap_net_raw+ep /bin/traceroute6

pam

# chmod u-s /sbin/unix_chkpwd
# setcap cap_dac_read_search+ep /sbin/unix_chkpwd

pmount

Does not work without setuid.

screen

Always needs setuid to perform some security checks. See screen(1) man page.

shadow

# chmod u-s /usr/bin/chage
# setcap cap_dac_read_search+ep /usr/bin/chage
# chmod u-s /usr/bin/chfn
# setcap cap_chown,cap_setuid+ep /usr/bin/chfn
# chmod u-s /usr/bin/chsh
# setcap cap_chown,cap_setuid+ep /usr/bin/chsh
# chmod u-s /usr/bin/expiry
# setcap cap_dac_override,cap_setgid+ep /usr/bin/expiry
# chmod u-s /usr/bin/gpasswd
# setcap cap_chown,cap_dac_override,cap_setuid+ep /usr/bin/gpasswd
# chmod u-s /usr/bin/newgrp
# setcap cap_dac_override,cap_setgid+ep /usr/bin/newgrp
# chmod u-s /usr/bin/passwd
# setcap cap_chown,cap_dac_override,cap_fowner+ep /usr/bin/passwd

sudo

Sudo does not work without setuid.

util-linux-ng

Note: Warning: Do not use it, because mount and umount can not do some checks, then users can mount/umount filesystems that do not have permission.
# chmod u-s /bin/mount
# setcap cap_dac_override,cap_sys_admin+ep /bin/mount
# chmod u-s /bin/umount
# setcap cap_dac_override,cap_sys_admin+ep /bin/umount

xorg-xserver

# chmod u-s /usr/bin/Xorg
# setcap cap_chown,cap_dac_override,cap_sys_rawio,cap_sys_admin+ep /usr/bin/Xorg

Other programs that benefit from capabilities

The following progrmas are not setuid, but do require root privileges to work. By enabling some capabilities regular users can use the program without privilege elevation.

chvt

# setcap cap_dac_read_search,cap_sys_tty_config+ep+ep /usr/bin/chvt

iftop

# setcap cap_net_raw+ep /usr/bin/iftop

Useful commands

Find setuid-root files

$ find /bin /sbin /lib /usr/bin /usr/sbin /usr/lib -perm /4000 -user root

Find setgid-root files

$ find /bin /sbin /lib /usr/bin /usr/sbin /usr/lib -perm /2000 -group root

Additional Resources

  • Man Page capabilities(7) setcap(8) getcap(8)