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Extra package: control


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Package summary

control provides a common interface to register and control (what it calls) system facilities. This is intended primarily for facilities that can potentially be dangerous to system security, to let you enable, disable, or configure each facility. A typical facility is a configuration setting of a service or a SUID/SGID/setcap program, or a closely related group of such settings and/or programs that are managed together. We manage permissions on SUID/SGID/setcap programs because those programs pose risk to system security in case of vulnerabilities in them or in library code they use.

control originates in Owl and is actively maintained in ALT Linux.

Usage in Rocky Linux

While the original control package in Owl and ALT Linux merely provides the common interface mentioned above for other packages to register their facilities with (and many packages in those distros do), it's been adapted in Rocky Linux to provide its own sub-packages with facility specifications and RPM trigger scripts for other packages coming from EL. This way, we can control those facilities and have custom settings persist (be automatically saved and restored) over package upgrades without us having to maintain forks of those other packages.

The available facilities, their current settings, and lists of possible settings can be queried by running the control command without parameters. With all currently available sub-packages installed and upstream default settings, its output is:

chage               public        (public restricted)
gpasswd             public        (public wheelonly restricted)
mount               public        (public wheelonly unprivileged restricted)
newgidmap           public        (public wheelonly restricted)
newgrp              public        (public wheelonly restricted)
newuidmap           public        (public wheelonly restricted)
pam_timestamp_check public        (public restricted)
password-hash       sha512crypt   (sha512crypt yescrypt)
password-policy     pwquality     (pwquality passwdqc)
unix_chkpwd         public        (public restricted)
write               public        (public restricted)

With maximum security hardening, it changes to:

chage               restricted    (public restricted)
gpasswd             restricted    (public wheelonly restricted)
mount               restricted    (public wheelonly unprivileged restricted)
newgidmap           restricted    (public wheelonly restricted)
newgrp              restricted    (public wheelonly restricted)
newuidmap           restricted    (public wheelonly restricted)
pam_timestamp_check restricted    (public restricted)
password-hash       yescrypt      (sha512crypt yescrypt)
password-policy     passwdqc      (pwquality passwdqc)
unix_chkpwd         restricted    (public restricted)
write               restricted    (public restricted)

Please refer to control(8) man page for command-line usage syntax.


Currently, there are 4 sub-packages:


The main package providing the common interface, but no facilities of its own.


Facility specifications corresponding to the shadow-utils package. Currently, these allow to control access to 5 privileged programs - 3 of them (chage, gpasswd, and newgrp) are by default SUID root and 2 (newuidmap and newgidmap) are cap_setuid=ep.


Facility specifications corresponding to the util-linux and util-linux-core packages. Currently, these allow to control access to 3 privileged programs - 2 of them (mount and umount) are by default SUID root and 1 (write) SGID tty.


Facility specifications corresponding to the pam package. Currently, these allow to control user password hashing scheme and password policy in use by PAM-aware programs, as well as two SUID root PAM helper programs unix_chkpwd and pam_timestamp_check.

Change log

* Wed Jan  3 2024 Solar Designer <> 0.8.0-7
- Add unix_chkpwd and pam_timestamp_check facilities to the pam sub-package

* Wed Jan  3 2024 Solar Designer <> 0.8.0-6
- Revise password-hash and password-policy to process the underlying two
  "sub-facilities" (for the two configuration files updated by each of these)
  using the same logic that we had used for mount (where the two underlying
  "sub-facilities" are the mount and umount programs)

* Wed Dec 27 2023 Solar Designer <> 0.8.0-5
- Install control(8) mode 755 since some of its features work as non-root
- Add sub-package with facilities and triggers for pam password hashing and
  password policy

* Mon Dec 18 2023 Solar Designer <> 0.8.0-4
- Add sub-package with facilities and triggers for util-linux

* Mon Dec 18 2023 Solar Designer <> 0.8.0-3
- Rename the shadow sub-package to shadow-utils
- Rename the source files not to differentiate them by sub-package
- Add "Requires: shadow-utils" in the shadow-utils sub-package

* Wed Dec 13 2023 Solar Designer <> 0.8.0-2
- In addition to Requires(pre), also use Requires in the sub-package
- In %triggerprein_control, pre-check that the facility exists
- Use (renamed) copies of the trigger macros within this spec file

* Wed Dec 13 2023 Solar Designer <> 0.8.0-1
- Add macros for use in RPM triggers
- Add sub-package with facilities and triggers for shadow-utils

* Wed Dec  6 2023 Solar Designer <> 0.8.0-0
- Initial packaging for EL based on ALT Linux and Owl packages