diff options
authorTejun Heo <>2015-06-18 16:54:28 -0400
committerTejun Heo <>2015-06-18 16:54:28 -0400
commit8a0792ef8e01f03cb43806c6a87738bde34df713 (patch)
parent187fe84067bd377047cfcb7f2bbc7c9dc12d290c (diff)
cgroup: add delegation section to unified hierarchy documentation
v2: Rearranged paragraphs as suggested by Johannes Weiner. Signed-off-by: Tejun Heo <> Acked-by: Johannes Weiner <>
1 files changed, 84 insertions, 18 deletions
diff --git a/Documentation/cgroups/unified-hierarchy.txt b/Documentation/cgroups/unified-hierarchy.txt
index eb102fb72213..86847a7647ab 100644
--- a/Documentation/cgroups/unified-hierarchy.txt
+++ b/Documentation/cgroups/unified-hierarchy.txt
@@ -17,15 +17,18 @@ CONTENTS
3. Structural Constraints
3-1. Top-down
3-2. No internal tasks
-4. Other Changes
- 4-1. [Un]populated Notification
- 4-2. Other Core Changes
- 4-3. Per-Controller Changes
- 4-3-1. blkio
- 4-3-2. cpuset
- 4-3-3. memory
-5. Planned Changes
- 5-1. CAP for resource control
+4. Delegation
+ 4-1. Model of delegation
+ 4-2. Common ancestor rule
+5. Other Changes
+ 5-1. [Un]populated Notification
+ 5-2. Other Core Changes
+ 5-3. Per-Controller Changes
+ 5-3-1. blkio
+ 5-3-2. cpuset
+ 5-3-3. memory
+6. Planned Changes
+ 6-1. CAP for resource control
1. Background
@@ -245,9 +248,72 @@ cgroup must create children and transfer all its tasks to the children
before enabling controllers in its "cgroup.subtree_control" file.
-4. Other Changes
+4. Delegation
-4-1. [Un]populated Notification
+4-1. Model of delegation
+A cgroup can be delegated to a less privileged user by granting write
+access of the directory and its "cgroup.procs" file to the user. Note
+that the resource control knobs in a given directory concern the
+resources of the parent and thus must not be delegated along with the
+Once delegated, the user can build sub-hierarchy under the directory,
+organize processes as it sees fit and further distribute the resources
+it got from the parent. The limits and other settings of all resource
+controllers are hierarchical and regardless of what happens in the
+delegated sub-hierarchy, nothing can escape the resource restrictions
+imposed by the parent.
+Currently, cgroup doesn't impose any restrictions on the number of
+cgroups in or nesting depth of a delegated sub-hierarchy; however,
+this may in the future be limited explicitly.
+4-2. Common ancestor rule
+On the unified hierarchy, to write to a "cgroup.procs" file, in
+addition to the usual write permission to the file and uid match, the
+writer must also have write access to the "cgroup.procs" file of the
+common ancestor of the source and destination cgroups. This prevents
+delegatees from smuggling processes across disjoint sub-hierarchies.
+Let's say cgroups C0 and C1 have been delegated to user U0 who created
+C00, C01 under C0 and C10 under C1 as follows.
+ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ - C0 - C00
+ ~ cgroup ~ \ C01
+ ~ hierarchy ~
+ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ - C1 - C10
+C0 and C1 are separate entities in terms of resource distribution
+regardless of their relative positions in the hierarchy. The
+resources the processes under C0 are entitled to are controlled by
+C0's ancestors and may be completely different from C1. It's clear
+that the intention of delegating C0 to U0 is allowing U0 to organize
+the processes under C0 and further control the distribution of C0's
+On traditional hierarchies, if a task has write access to "tasks" or
+"cgroup.procs" file of a cgroup and its uid agrees with the target, it
+can move the target to the cgroup. In the above example, U0 will not
+only be able to move processes in each sub-hierarchy but also across
+the two sub-hierarchies, effectively allowing it to violate the
+organizational and resource restrictions implied by the hierarchical
+structure above C0 and C1.
+On the unified hierarchy, let's say U0 wants to write the pid of a
+process which has a matching uid and is currently in C10 into
+"C00/cgroup.procs". U0 obviously has write access to the file and
+migration permission on the process; however, the common ancestor of
+the source cgroup C10 and the destination cgroup C00 is above the
+points of delegation and U0 would not have write access to its
+"cgroup.procs" and thus be denied with -EACCES.
+5. Other Changes
+5-1. [Un]populated Notification
cgroup users often need a way to determine when a cgroup's
subhierarchy becomes empty so that it can be cleaned up. cgroup
@@ -289,7 +355,7 @@ supported and the interface files "release_agent" and
"notify_on_release" do not exist.
-4-2. Other Core Changes
+5-2. Other Core Changes
- None of the mount options is allowed.
@@ -306,14 +372,14 @@ supported and the interface files "release_agent" and
- The "cgroup.clone_children" file is removed.
-4-3. Per-Controller Changes
+5-3. Per-Controller Changes
-4-3-1. blkio
+5-3-1. blkio
- blk-throttle becomes properly hierarchical.
-4-3-2. cpuset
+5-3-2. cpuset
- Tasks are kept in empty cpusets after hotplug and take on the masks
of the nearest non-empty ancestor, instead of being moved to it.
@@ -322,7 +388,7 @@ supported and the interface files "release_agent" and
masks of the nearest non-empty ancestor.
-4-3-3. memory
+5-3-3. memory
- use_hierarchy is on by default and the cgroup file for the flag is
not created.
@@ -407,9 +473,9 @@ supported and the interface files "release_agent" and
memory.low, memory.high, and memory.max will use the string "max" to
indicate and set the highest possible value.
-5. Planned Changes
+6. Planned Changes
-5-1. CAP for resource control
+6-1. CAP for resource control
Unified hierarchy will require one of the capabilities(7), which is
yet to be decided, for all resource control related knobs. Process