Obviously, it can not rwx files that it doesn't have permission to. But I am talking about other "actions", I know of them is binding to ports with lower number than 1024. What else ?


Non-privileged processes can’t do a lot of things; on Linux, man 7 capabilities contains a comprehensive list.

Examples beyond your two include:

  • controlling auditing;
  • setting up BPF;
  • changing file ownership to arbitrary values;
  • opening raw sockets;
  • changing to arbitrary users and groups;
  • setting up arbitrary namespaces;
  • loading or unloading kernel modules;
  • rebooting.

Note that on Linux, all this isn’t controlled only by root, but also by capabilities, so subsets of these privileges can be granted to non-root processes. There are also other mechanisms to request a privileged process to perform a privileged operation on behalf of a non-privileged user (e.g. rebooting).

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.