Re: LPC 2021 presentation - Kernel cgroups and namespaces: Can they contribute to FFI claims?


elana.copperman@...
 

I think this was in the domain of Paul's new WG, and the basis for collaboration with his new flavor of the Dev Process WG.

-----Original Message-----
From: devel@... <devel@...> On Behalf Of John MacGregor
Sent: Wednesday, September 29, 2021 3:52 PM
To: Gurvitz, Eli (Mobileye) <eli.gurvitz@...>; devel@...
Subject: Re: [ELISA Technical Community] LPC 2021 presentation - Kernel cgroups and namespaces: Can they contribute to FFI claims?

+1

I didn't want to be the first one to say it, but this question applies to all Linux features or mechanisms.

Like
- SELinux
- seccomp
- BPF
- eBPF
- and, and, and...

This makes enabling Linux to be used in safety-critical applications very challenging...

John

On 29/09/2021 14:18, Gurvitz, Eli (Mobileye) wrote:
Hi,

Regarding the Priyanka and Bruce's presentation, I think the pre-requisite for using namespaces and cgroups for FFI is to "qualify" these mechanisms. This means showing that they fulfill their (reverse-engineered?) requirements and also don't cause interference by themselves.

Thanks,
Eli

-----Original Message-----
From: devel@... <devel@...> On Behalf Of
elana.copperman@...
Sent: Wednesday, September 29, 2021 12:40
To: Paul Albertella <paul.albertella@...>;
devel@...
Subject: Re: [ELISA Technical Community] LPC 2021 presentation - Kernel cgroups and namespaces: Can they contribute to FFI claims?

Totally agreed with the problem space, and the proposed path forward.
Paul - until we sort out the final details of "development process" WG evolution, can we use tomorrow's call for kickstarting this discussion.
A good starting point would be the presentation from last week's LPC on Kernel cgroups and namespaces: Can they contribute to FFI claims? https://linuxplumbersconf.org/event/11/contributions/1079/
Including some of the questions raised by Bruce and Priyanka in their closing slide.
Regards
Elana

-----Original Message-----
From: devel@... <devel@...> On Behalf Of
Paul Albertella
Sent: Wednesday, September 29, 2021 12:23 PM
To: devel@...
Subject: Re: [ELISA Technical Community] LPC 2021 presentation - Kernel cgroups and namespaces: Can they contribute to FFI claims?

Hi Elana,

On 29/09/2021 06:50, elana.copperman@... wrote:
And in a more general sense, what are the criteria for acceptance of
such kernel features as the basis for safety claims such as FFI?

@Paul Albertella <mailto:paul.albertella@...> - I would
hope that your new WG will be helpful to make clear guidelines on such questions.
Yes, that's very much my intention!

There are really two broad sets of criteria, which can be summarised in the following two questions:

1) What role does the feature have in achieving a safety goal?
2) What gives us confidence that the feature can fulfil that role?

In my opinion, there's nothing to *prevent* us from using any Linux feature as the basis for a safety claim, provided that we can:

* Document our answers to these questions (Assertions)
* Provide material to support these answers (Evidence)

The challenge is that we then have to satisfy a safety assessor that these are valid and sufficient!

One of the issues we face when answering these questions for Linux (and open source software in general) is that the 'traditional' answers (as described in safety standards like ISO 26262) are not always well-supported by either assertions or evidence from open source communities.

However, it's vitally important to recognise that safety standards do allow for 'non-traditional' answers and evidence, provided that we are prepared to make a reasoned argument to support these.

My goal with the OSEP WG is to explore specific examples of this, to understand what Linux contributors (or maintainers) and safety system developers (or integrators) can do to both frame better answers and provide better evidence.

Regards,

Paul











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