On August 16, 2006 5:57:15 PM -0400 Daniel Kahn Gillmor wrote:
> On August 16, carson@taltos.org said:
>
> > Does any UNIX variant have a "close all my open fds except for
> > these" syscall? Or an easy way to get back a list of in-use fds? I
> > really wish such a beast would be added, as calling close() on all
> > possible fd numbers is _such_ a hack...

>
> While i understand the security advantage of this practice, it can
> sometimes be ill-advised on systems that use external libraries which
> have plugins, because you don't know what those plugins are going to
> need. (alternatively, you could argue that a library with a plugin
> architecture is itself less secure...)
>
> For example, some NSS (name service switch) extensions will use file
> descriptors themselves (e.g. sockets to external LDAP resources), and
> don't take kindly to them being killed mid-run.
>
> I ran into this problem with gdm a while back:
>
> http://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=315846#c19
>
> gdm had a similar "close_all_file_descriptors_except()" function, and
> it was clobbering the LDAP connections that NSS was expecting to have
> held open.


I'd suggest that this is a bug in gdm that doesn't apply to openssh.
If you're a system application and are going to close all fd's, you
probably should fork/exec yourself immediately. As you said, you
don't know what things are open on your behalf.

But holding open an ldap connection (from a system library) across fork/exec
is almost certainly wrong. In fact I'd be surprised if FD_CLOEXEC isn't
set on the ldap fd's.

-frank
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