Patch to authenticate by uid/gid on ControlSocket

Michael Gold torlists at
Sun Mar 1 10:37:09 UTC 2009

Hi all,

The attached patch allows tor ( to automatically authenticate
the client of a Unix-domain control socket, by asking the kernel for the
uid and gid of the remote user.  There are still some unresolved issues,
but feedback would be appreciated.

Unauthenticated connections on Unix-domain sockets are now disabled,
even if no authentication is configured; however, tor will always accept
control connections if the client has the same uid and gid as the server
(regardless of authentication settings).  The new config file parameters
"ControlAllowUsers" and "ControlAllowGroups" can be used to allow other
users.  Each takes a comma-separated list of user/group names; for
groups, any member of a group (as determined by /etc/group) is accepted.
This is similar to the AllowUsers/AllowGroups settings in openssh.

The problem I've run into is that the listener socket permissions are
affected by the umask, and Linux won't let users without write
permission connect (apparently other systems ignore the permissions).
The obvious solution of fchmod(fd, 0777) has no effect; other possible
solutions are:
 - Use chmod; this would be vulnerable to a race condition if another
   user could delete and replace the socket before the chmod, but it
   should be okay if there's a warning in the documentation.
 - Change the umask temporarily; this would affect all threads, so it's
   only an option if filesystem operations are restricted to one thread.

Any suggestions?

So far this patch has only been tested on Linux, but it seems to work
fine after manually fixing the socket permissions.  Testing on other
Unix-like systems would be helpful, if anyone's interested (run
autoreconf before building it).

-- Michael
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