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From "Erb, Stephan" <>
Subject Re: Looking for feedback - Setting CommandInfo.user by default when launching tasks.
Date Tue, 29 Mar 2016 16:14:45 GMT
I am in favor of your proposal. We offer less attack surface if the executor is not running
as root.

Interesting though, this introduces another security problem: The credentials file in the
incoming Zookeeper  ACL patch ( will have to be readable
by everyone. That feels a little bit like being back to square one.
From: Steve Niemitz <>
Sent: Tuesday, March 29, 2016 17:34
Subject: Looking for feedback - Setting CommandInfo.user by default when launching tasks.

I've been working on some changes to how aurora submits tasks to mesos,
specifically around Docker tasks, but I'd also like to see how people feel
about making it more general.

Currently, when Aurora submits a task to mesos, it does NOT set
command.user on the ExecutorInfo, this means that mesos configures the
sandbox (mesos sandbox that is) as root, and launches the executor
(thermos_executor in our case) as root as well.

What then happens is that the executor then chown()s the sandbox it creates
to the aurora role/user, and also setuid()s the runners it forks to that
role/user.  However, the executor itself is still running as root.

My proposal / change is to set command.user to the aurora role by default,
which will cause the executor to run as that user.  I've tested this
already, and no changes are needed to the executor, it will still try to
chown the sandbox (which is fine since it already owns it), and setuid()
the runners it forks (again, fine, since they're already running as that

*The controversial part of this* however is I'd like to enable this
behavior BY DEFAULT, and allow disabling it (reverting to the current
behavior now) via a flag to the scheduler.  My reasoning here is two fold.
 1) It's a more secure default, preventing a compromised executor from
doing things it shouldn't, and 2) we already have a lot of "flag bloat",
and flags are hard enough to discover as they are.  However, I do believe
this should be considered as a "breaking change", particularly because of
finicky PEX extraction for the executor.

I'd like to hear people's thoughts on this.
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