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NAME

       setns - reassociate thread with a namespace

SYNOPSIS

       #define _GNU_SOURCE             /* See feature_test_macros(7) */
       #include <sched.h>

       int setns(int fd, int nstype);

DESCRIPTION

       Given a file descriptor referring to a namespace, reassociate the calling thread with that
       namespace.

       The fd argument is a file descriptor referring to  one  of  the  namespace  entries  in  a
       /proc/[pid]/ns/  directory;  see namespaces(7) for further information on /proc/[pid]/ns/.
       The calling thread will be reassociated with the corresponding namespace, subject  to  any
       constraints imposed by the nstype argument.

       The  nstype  argument  specifies  which  type  of  namespace  the  calling  thread  may be
       reassociated with.  This argument can have one of the following values:

       0      Allow any type of namespace to be joined.

       CLONE_NEWCGROUP (since Linux 4.6)
              fd must refer to a cgroup namespace.

       CLONE_NEWIPC (since Linux 3.0)
              fd must refer to an IPC namespace.

       CLONE_NEWNET (since Linux 3.0)
              fd must refer to a network namespace.

       CLONE_NEWNS (since Linux 3.8)
              fd must refer to a mount namespace.

       CLONE_NEWPID (since Linux 3.8)
              fd must refer to a descendant PID namespace.

       CLONE_NEWUSER (since Linux 3.8)
              fd must refer to a user namespace.

       CLONE_NEWUTS (since Linux 3.0)
              fd must refer to a UTS namespace.

       Specifying nstype as 0 suffices if the caller knows  (or  does  not  care)  what  type  of
       namespace  is  referred  to by fd.  Specifying a nonzero value for nstype is useful if the
       caller does not know what type of namespace is referred to by fd and wants to ensure  that
       the  namespace  is  of  a  particular  type.   (The  caller might not know the type of the
       namespace referred to by fd if the file descriptor was opened by another process and,  for
       example, passed to the caller via a UNIX domain socket.)

       If  fd  refers  to  a  PID  namespaces,  the  semantics  are somewhat different from other
       namespace types: reassociating the calling thread with a PID namespace  changes  only  the
       PID  namespace  that subsequently created child processes of the caller will be placed in;
       it does not change the PID namespace of the  caller  itself.   Reassociating  with  a  PID
       namespace  is  allowed  only  if the PID namespace specified by fd is a descendant (child,
       grandchild, etc.)  of the PID namespace  of  the  caller.   For  further  details  on  PID
       namespaces, see pid_namespaces(7).

       A  process  reassociating  itself  with  a  user  namespace  must  have  the CAP_SYS_ADMIN
       capability in the target user namespace.  Upon successfully joining a  user  namespace,  a
       process  is  granted  all capabilities in that namespace, regardless of its user and group
       IDs.  A multithreaded process may not change user  namespace  with  setns().   It  is  not
       permitted  to use setns() to reenter the caller's current user namespace.  This prevents a
       caller that has dropped capabilities from regaining  those  capabilities  via  a  call  to
       setns().  For security reasons, a process can't join a new user namespace if it is sharing
       filesystem-related attributes (the attributes whose sharing is controlled by the  clone(2)
       CLONE_FS  flag)  with  another  process.   For  further  details  on  user namespaces, see
       user_namespaces(7).

       A process may not be reassociated with a new  mount  namespace  if  it  is  multithreaded.
       Changing  the  mount  namespace  requires  that the caller possess both CAP_SYS_CHROOT and
       CAP_SYS_ADMIN capabilities in its own user namespace and CAP_SYS_ADMIN in the target mount
       namespace.   See  user_namespaces(7) for details on the interaction of user namespaces and
       mount namespaces.

       Using setns() to change the caller's cgroup namespace does not change the caller's  cgroup
       memberships.

RETURN VALUE

       On  success,  setns()  returns 0.  On failure, -1 is returned and errno is set to indicate
       the error.

ERRORS

       EBADF  fd is not a valid file descriptor.

       EINVAL fd refers to a namespace whose type does not match that specified in nstype.

       EINVAL There is problem with reassociating the thread with the specified namespace.

       EINVAL The caller tried  to  join  an  ancestor  (parent,  grandparent,  and  so  on)  PID
              namespace.

       EINVAL The caller attempted to join the user namespace in which it is already a member.

       EINVAL The  caller  shares filesystem (CLONE_FS) state (in particular, the root directory)
              with other processes and tried to join a new user namespace.

       EINVAL The caller is multithreaded and tried to join a new user namespace.

       ENOMEM Cannot allocate sufficient memory to change the specified namespace.

       EPERM  The calling thread did not have the required capability for this operation.

VERSIONS

       The setns() system call first appeared in Linux in kernel 3.0; library support  was  added
       to glibc in version 2.14.

CONFORMING TO

       The setns() system call is Linux-specific.

NOTES

       Not  all  of the attributes that can be shared when a new thread is created using clone(2)
       can be changed using setns().

EXAMPLE

       The program below takes two or more arguments.  The first argument specifies the  pathname
       of  a  namespace  file  in an existing /proc/[pid]/ns/ directory.  The remaining arguments
       specify a command and its arguments.  The program opens the  namespace  file,  joins  that
       namespace using setns(), and executes the specified command inside that namespace.

       The  following  shell  session  demonstrates the use of this program (compiled as a binary
       named ns_exec) in conjunction with the CLONE_NEWUTS example program in  the  clone(2)  man
       page (complied as a binary named newuts).

       We  begin  by  executing  the example program in clone(2) in the background.  That program
       creates a child in a separate UTS namespace.   The  child  changes  the  hostname  in  its
       namespace,  and then both processes display the hostnames in their UTS namespaces, so that
       we can see that they are different.

           $ su                   # Need privilege for namespace operations
           Password:
           # ./newuts bizarro &
           [1] 3549
           clone() returned 3550
           uts.nodename in child:  bizarro
           uts.nodename in parent: antero
           # uname -n             # Verify hostname in the shell
           antero

       We then run the program shown below, using it to execute a shell.  Inside that  shell,  we
       verify that the hostname is the one set by the child created by the first program:

           # ./ns_exec /proc/3550/ns/uts /bin/bash
           # uname -n             # Executed in shell started by ns_exec
           bizarro

   Program source
       #define _GNU_SOURCE
       #include <fcntl.h>
       #include <sched.h>
       #include <unistd.h>
       #include <stdlib.h>
       #include <stdio.h>

       #define errExit(msg)    do { perror(msg); exit(EXIT_FAILURE); \
                               } while (0)

       int
       main(int argc, char *argv[])
       {
           int fd;

           if (argc < 3) {
               fprintf(stderr, "%s /proc/PID/ns/FILE cmd args...\n", argv[0]);
               exit(EXIT_FAILURE);
           }

           fd = open(argv[1], O_RDONLY); /* Get file descriptor for namespace */
           if (fd == -1)
               errExit("open");

           if (setns(fd, 0) == -1)       /* Join that namespace */
               errExit("setns");

           execvp(argv[2], &argv[2]);    /* Execute a command in namespace */
           errExit("execvp");
       }

SEE ALSO

       nsenter(1), clone(2), fork(2), unshare(2), vfork(2), namespaces(7), unix(7)

COLOPHON

       This  page  is  part of release 4.16 of the Linux man-pages project.  A description of the
       project, information about reporting bugs, and the latest version of  this  page,  can  be
       found at https://www.kernel.org/doc/man-pages/.