Oracle Solaris Trusted Extensions Administrator's Procedures

Global Zone Processes and Labeled Zones

In Trusted Extensions, MAC policy applies to all processes, including processes in the global zone. Processes in the global zone run at the label ADMIN_HIGH. When files from a global zone are shared, they are shared at the label ADMIN_LOW. Therefore, because MAC prevents a higher-labeled process from modifying a lower-level object, the global zone usually cannot write to an NFS-mounted system.

However, in a limited number of cases, actions in a labeled zone can require that a global zone process modify a file in that zone.

To enable a global zone process to mount a remote file system with read/write permissions, the mount must be under the zone path of the zone whose label corresponds to that of the remote file system. But it must not be mounted under that zone's root path.

Consider a zone that is named public at the label PUBLIC. The zone path is /zone/public/. All directories under the zone path are at the label PUBLIC, as in:


Of the directories under the zone path, only files under /zone/public/root are visible from the public zone. All other directories and files at the label PUBLIC are accessible only from the global zone. The path /zone/public/root is the zone root path.

From the perspective of the public zone administrator, the zone root path is visible as /. Similarly, the public zone administrator cannot access a user's home directory in the zone path, /zone/public/home/username directory. That directory is visible only from the global zone. The public zone mounts that directory in the zone root path as /home/username. From the perspective of the global zone, that mount is visible as /zone/public/root/home/username.

The public zone administrator can modify /home/username. A global zone process, when files in a user's home directory need to be modified, does not use that path. The global zone uses the user's home directory in the zone path, /zone/public/home/username.

For example, when a user allocates a device in the public zone, a global zone process that runs at the label ADMIN_HIGH modifies the dev directory in the zone path, /zone/public/dev. Similarly, when a user saves a desktop configuration, the desktop configuration file is modified by a global zone process in the /zone/public/home/username. Finally, to share files from a labeled zone, the global zone administrator creates the configuration file, dfstab, in the zone path, /zone/public/etc/dfs/dfstab. A labeled zone administrator cannot access that file, and cannot share files from the labeled zone. To share a labeled directory, see How to Share Directories From a Labeled Zone.