[pkg-lxc-devel] Bug#839843: /usr/bin/lxc-create: Ran rm -rf on an entire filesystem after failing to create a container

Matthew Gabeler-Lee cheetah at fastcat.org
Fri Jan 11 04:30:18 GMT 2019

reassign 839843 lxc-templates 3.0.3-1

On 2019-01-10 18:12, Pierre-Elliott B├ęcue wrote:
> Matthew, I'm really sorry about the bad experience you've met in 2016. 
> I
> guess you don't have the reply to Christian question three years after.
> I'll let the bug open, but I guess it'll never find a solution.

Well, as you surmised I don't have much direct info at this stage, esp. 
since this happened on a work machine at a job I have since left.  
However looking back at Christian's questions, and comparing that to the 
current LXC code and the basics of what I know I was trying to do at the 
time, I think I now understand what went wrong.

As you can guess from the directory names, I was working on 
instantiating a CentOS container.

Looking at the lxc-centos template in current Buster, I see this code:


     echo "Interrupted, so cleaning up"
     lxc-destroy -n $name
     # maybe was interrupted before copy config
     rm -rf $path
     echo "exiting..."
     exit 1



And now the horror show makes a little more sense.  I suspect, in trying 
to work out how to change where it created the original rootfs from 
being under /var to the destination I wanted (a container-named folder 
in that /scratch filesystem), I had used --path /scratch.  I probably 
then realized it was creating the rootfs as /scratch/rootfs not 
/scratch/container-name, and hit Ctrl-C.  And that triggered the revert 
code above, which ran the rm -rf /scratch.

I note that only some of the templates have this pattern -- archlinux, 
centos, fedora, fedora-legacy, pld, and void-linux.  The lxc-debian 
template does not, though it does have a SIGINT handler, that cleans up 
something different and which looks guaranteed to be "safe".

So, I guess this bug needs to be reassigned to lxc-templates.  I've 
tried to do that above, hopefully I didn't fat finger it :)

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