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seccomp (short for secure computing mode) is a computer security facility in the Linux kernel. seccomp allows a process to make a one-way transition into a "secure" state where it cannot make any system calls except exit(), sigreturn(), read() and write() to already-open file descriptors. Should it attempt any other system calls, the kernel will either just log the event or terminate the process with SIGKILL or SIGSYS.[1][2] In this sense, it does not virtualize the system's resources but isolates the process from them entirely.

Quick facts: Original author(s), Initial release, Written ...
Original author(s)Andrea Arcangeli
Initial releaseMarch 8, 2005; 18 years ago (2005-03-08)
Written inC
Operating systemLinux
LicenseGNU General Public License

seccomp mode is enabled via the prctl(2) system call using the PR_SET_SECCOMP argument, or (since Linux kernel 3.17[3]) via the seccomp(2) system call.[4] seccomp mode used to be enabled by writing to a file, /proc/self/seccomp, but this method was removed in favor of prctl().[5] In some kernel versions, seccomp disables the RDTSC x86 instruction, which returns the number of elapsed processor cycles since power-on, used for high-precision timing.[6]

seccomp-bpf is an extension to seccomp[7] that allows filtering of system calls using a configurable policy implemented using Berkeley Packet Filter rules. It is used by OpenSSH[8] and vsftpd as well as the Google Chrome/Chromium web browsers on ChromeOS and Linux.[9] (In this regard seccomp-bpf achieves similar functionality, but with more flexibility and higher performance, to the older systrace—which seems to be no longer supported for Linux.)

Some consider seccomp comparable to OpenBSD pledge(2) and FreeBSD capsicum(4)[citation needed].