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Permission requirements

Sematext Agent requires root privileges to perform several operations:

  • scan active processes as well as their resources such as file descriptors, open sockets, etc.
  • load eBPF probes on kernel symbols
  • monitoring network traffic
  • accessing process log files
  • opening the /dev/kmsg device for reading kernel log buffer messages

Rootless mode

It is possible to run Sematext Agent with non-root privileges taking into accounts the following considerations:

  • eBPF bytecode will fail to load. This implies that among other things the eBPF-based network tracer will refuse to start.
  • getting process metrics, metadata, file descriptors, and open sockets would fail for certain processes
  • service/logs discovery might not function properly
  • agent will not be able to read log messages from the /dev/kmsg device

Bind mounts

In container setups, Sematext Agent requires that the following bind mounts are defined. Please note, the majority of bind mounts are propagated to container as read-only volumes.

  • /:/hostfs:ro - the root partition is mounted in order to collect disk space metrics from inside the container.
  • /sys/:/hostfs/sys:ro - sysfs is needed for scanning the cgroup hierarchies for container metrics collection.
  • /var/run/:/var/run/ - Sematext Agent has a persistent journal where it writes events that failed to ship. By default, the agent stores events in the /var/run/st-agent directory on the host. This means that even if the container is removed, the journal is still accessible for future agent containers.
  • /sys/kernel/debug:/sys/kernel/debug - is required by the eBPF engine to attach kprobes on kernel symbols. Note, if your system doesn't support eBPF, this bind mount is not required.
  • /etc/passwd:/etc/passwd:ro and /etc/group:/etc/group:ro - for the purpose of resolving user/group identifiers to their symbolic names, the agent needs to access these files. Users/groups are collected as part of process metadata.