Thanks for reaching out.
On Thu, May 27, 2021 at 2:04 AM James Miller <jamesstewartmiller(a)gmail.com>
I have been trying to get podman to work with systemd.
I have a pod with 4 containers inside, along with the pause container, and
I have generated systemd unit files using the command 'podman generate
If I place the generated files into the /etc/systemd/user/ directory,
then they run as expected, using the 'systemctl --user enable --now'
If I place them into the /etc/systemd/system directory they do not run.
This is as I expected, since the files are all in the standard user's home
directory, as are the volume mounts.
That's correct. By default, the unit files are bound to the *current*
user. Generating the files with *--new* will create units that can be run
by any user.
However, although I want them to run in the context of a standard
am concerned that if some hacker breaks out into my system then because the
command to stop and start systemd unit user files will be available to
them, then they can stop the running pod as a standard user, and my server
and django site will be down. It's as simple as 'systemctl --user stop
Doesn't that apply to any user on any system, including root? I would
argue that running a server as a non-root user is more secure, especially
when an attacker may get access to the host via that server; non-root can
do less harm.
I discussed the issue briefly with velix on the irc podman chat, he
suggested I use system groups. However, no matter how I configure my pod
and container unit files, and whether or not I use 'loginctl enable-linger'
I cannot get the pod to start.
I suspect that's because the unit files were not generated with --new. By
default, the units will only start/stop the containers/pods which in turn
are bound to a specific user. Using --new will create unit files that are
more portable and can, in theory, be used by any user. The following blog
goes into some details on that:
I have read that it is possible to start podman-containers having
the unit files inside the /etc/systemd/system directory, which would mean
that any command to stop the pod would be followed by the systemd bringing
them back up, and the systemctl command to manipulate the pod wouldn't be
available to the standard user.
Placing the files in the *system* directory makes them only accessible to
the system services (requires root).
The man pages of podman-generate-systemd explain where and how to place the
files for certain users.
So, what is the most secure way of starting the containers, in such a
if possible, that should some influence gain unprivileged access, they
cannot stop the pod.
I think that the most secure way is to run rootless, pretty much as you do
now. If there is a legitimate concern that an untrusted entity can gain
access to this machine, I would tackle that issue.
A major benefit of rootless containers is that in case an attacker manages
to take over the container and gain access to the host, they will run as an
unprivileged user; running a rootful container would imply acquiring root
privileges which in turn means much more harm.
James Stewart Miller Bsc(hons) Psych.
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