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dbus-daemon(1)              General Commands Manual             dbus-daemon(1)

       dbus-daemon - Message bus daemon

       dbus-daemon  dbus-daemon  [--version] [--session] [--system] [--config-
       file=FILE]  [--print-address[=DESCRIPTOR]]   [--print-pid[=DESCRIPTOR]]

       dbus-daemon  is  the D-Bus message bus daemon. See http://www.freedesk-
       top.org/software/dbus/ for more information about the big  picture.  D-
       Bus  is  first a library that provides one-to-one communication between
       any two applications; dbus-daemon is  an  application  that  uses  this
       library to implement a message bus daemon. Multiple programs connect to
       the message bus daemon and can exchange messages with one another.

       There are two standard message bus instances:  the  systemwide  message
       bus  (installed  on  many systems as the "messagebus" init service) and
       the per-user-login-session message bus (started each time a  user  logs
       in).   dbus-daemon is used for both of these instances, but with a dif-
       ferent configuration file.

       The --session option is equivalent  to  "--config-file=/etc/dbus-1/ses-
       sion.conf"   and  the  --system  option  is  equivalent  to  "--config-
       file=/etc/dbus-1/system.conf".  By  creating  additional  configuration
       files  and  using  the --config-file option, additional special-purpose
       message bus daemons could be created.

       The systemwide daemon is normally launched by  an  init  script,  stan-
       dardly called simply "messagebus".

       The  systemwide  daemon is largely used for broadcasting system events,
       such as changes to the printer queue, or adding/removing devices.

       The per-session daemon is used for various  interprocess  communication
       among  desktop applications (however, it is not tied to X or the GUI in
       any way).

       SIGHUP will cause the D-Bus daemon to PARTIALLY reload  its  configura-
       tion file and to flush its user/group information caches. Some configu-
       ration changes would require kicking all apps off the bus; so they will
       only  take effect if you restart the daemon. Policy changes should take
       effect with SIGHUP.

       The following options are supported:

              Use the given configuration file.

       --fork Force the message bus to fork and become a daemon, even  if  the
              configuration  file  does  not  specify that it should.  In most
              contexts the configuration file already gets this right, though.

              Print the address of the message bus to standard output,  or  to
              the  given file descriptor. This is used by programs that launch
              the message bus.

              Print the process ID of the message bus to standard  output,  or
              to  the  given  file  descriptor.  This is used by programs that
              launch the message bus.

              Use the standard configuration file  for  the  per-login-session
              message bus.

              Use  the  standard configuration file for the systemwide message

              Print the version of the daemon.

       A message bus daemon has a configuration file that specializes it for a
       particular  application.  For example, one configuration file might set
       up the message bus to be a systemwide message bus, while another  might
       set it up to be a per-user-login-session bus.

       The  configuration  file  also  establishes  resource  limits, security
       parameters, and so forth.

       The configuration file is not part of any  interoperability  specifica-
       tion and its backward compatibility is not guaranteed; this document is
       documentation, not specification.

       The standard systemwide and per-session message bus setups are  config-
       ured  in  the  files  "/etc/dbus-1/system.conf"  and  "/etc/dbus-1/ses-
       sion.conf".  These files normally <include> a system-local.conf or ses-
       sion-local.conf;  you  can  put local overrides in those files to avoid
       modifying the primary configuration files.

       The configuration file is an XML document. It must have  the  following
       doctype declaration:

          <!DOCTYPE busconfig PUBLIC "-//freedesktop//DTD D-Bus Bus Configuration 1.0//EN"

       The following elements may be present in the configuration file.


       Root element.


       The  well-known  type  of  the  message bus. Currently known values are
       "system" and "session"; if other values are set, they should be  either
       added  to the D-Bus specification, or namespaced.  The last <type> ele-
       ment "wins" (previous values are ignored).

       Example: <type>session</type>


       Include a file <include>filename.conf</include> at this point.  If  the
       filename  is relative, it is located relative to the configuration file
       doing the including.

       <include> has an  optional  attribute  "ignore_missing=(yes|no)"  which
       defaults  to "no" if not provided. This attribute controls whether it's
       a fatal error for the included file to be absent.


       Include all files  in  <includedir>foo.d</includedir>  at  this  point.
       Files  in  the  directory  are included in undefined order.  Only files
       ending in ".conf" are included.

       This is intended to allow extension of the  system  bus  by  particular
       packages.  For  example, if CUPS wants to be able to send out notifica-
       tion  of  printer  queue  changes,  it  could   install   a   file   to
       /etc/dbus-1/system.d  that allowed all apps to receive this message and
       allowed the printer daemon user to send it.


       The user account the daemon should run as, as either a  username  or  a
       UID.  If the daemon cannot change to this UID on startup, it will exit.
       If this element is not present, the daemon  will  not  change  or  care
       about its UID.

       The last <user> entry in the file "wins", the others are ignored.

       The  user  is  changed  after the bus has completed initialization.  So
       sockets etc. will be created before changing user, but no data will  be
       read from clients before changing user. This means that sockets and PID
       files can be created in a location that requires  root  privileges  for


       If  present, the bus daemon becomes a real daemon (forks into the back-
       ground, etc.). This is generally used rather than  the  --fork  command
       line option.


       Add  an  address  that  the bus should listen on. The address is in the
       standard D-Bus format that contains  a  transport  name  plus  possible

       Example: <listen>unix:path=/tmp/foo</listen>

       Example: <listen>tcp:host=localhost,port=1234</listen>

       If there are multiple <listen> elements, then the bus listens on multi-
       ple addresses. The bus will pass its address  to  started  services  or
       other interested parties with the last address given in <listen> first.
       That is, apps will try to connect to the last <listen> address first.

       tcp sockets can accept IPv4 addresses, IPv6 addresses or hostnames.  If
       a  hostname resolves to multiple addresses, the server will bind to all
       of them. The family=ipv4 or family=ipv6 options can be used to force it
       to bind to a subset of addresses

       Example: <listen>tcp:host=localhost,port=0,family=ipv4</listen>

       A  special  case is using a port number of zero (or omitting the port),
       which means to choose an available port selected by the operating  sys-
       tem.  The  port  number chosen can be obtained with the --print-address
       command line parameter and will be present in  other  cases  where  the
       server  reports  its own address, such as when DBUS_SESSION_BUS_ADDRESS
       is set.

       Example: <listen>tcp:host=localhost,port=0</listen>

       tcp addresses also allow a bind=hostname option,  which  will  override
       the  host  option  specifying what address to bind to, without changing
       the address reported by the bus. The bind option can also take  a  spe-
       cial  name  '*'  to  cause  the  bus  to  listen  on  all local address
       (INADDR_ANY). The specified host should be a valid name  of  the  local
       machine or weird stuff will happen.

       Example: <listen>tcp:host=localhost,bind=*,port=0</listen>


       Lists  permitted  authorization  mechanisms.  If  this  element doesn't
       exist, then all known mechanisms are allowed.  If  there  are  multiple
       <auth>  elements,  all the listed mechanisms are allowed.  The order in
       which mechanisms are listed is not meaningful.

       Example: <auth>EXTERNAL</auth>

       Example: <auth>DBUS_COOKIE_SHA1</auth>


       Adds a directory to scan for .service files.  Directories  are  scanned
       starting with the last to appear in the config file (the first .service
       file found that provides a particular service will be used).

       Service files tell the bus how to automatically start a program.   They
       are  primarily  used  with the per-user-session bus, not the systemwide


       <standard_session_servicedirs/> is equivalent to specifying a series of
       <servicedir/>  elements  for  each  of the data directories in the "XDG
       Base Directory Specification" with the subdirectory  "dbus-1/services",
       so for example "/usr/share/dbus-1/services" would be among the directo-
       ries searched.

       The "XDG Base Directory Specification" can be found at http://freedesk-
       top.org/wiki/Standards/basedir-spec  if  it hasn't moved, otherwise try
       your favorite search engine.

       The <standard_session_servicedirs/> option is only relevant to the per-
       user-session bus daemon defined in /etc/dbus-1/session.conf. Putting it
       in any other configuration file would probably be nonsense.


       <standard_system_servicedirs/> specifies the standard system-wide acti-
       vation  directories  that  should  be searched for service files.  This
       option defaults to /usr/share/dbus-1/system-services.

       The <standard_system_servicedirs/> option is only relevant to the  per-
       system bus daemon defined in /etc/dbus-1/system.conf. Putting it in any
       other configuration file would probably be nonsense.


       <servicehelper/> specifies the setuid helper that  is  used  to  launch
       system  daemons  with  an  alternate user. Typically this should be the
       dbus-daemon-launch-helper executable in located in libexec.

       The <servicehelper/> option is only relevant to the per-system bus dae-
       mon defined in /etc/dbus-1/system.conf. Putting it in any other config-
       uration file would probably be nonsense.


       <limit> establishes a resource limit. For example:
         <limit name="max_message_size">64</limit>
         <limit name="max_completed_connections">512</limit>

       The name attribute is mandatory.  Available limit names are:
             "max_incoming_bytes"         : total size in bytes of messages
                                            incoming from a single connection
             "max_outgoing_bytes"         : total size in bytes of messages
                                            queued up for a single connection
             "max_message_size"           : max size of a single message in
             "service_start_timeout"      : milliseconds (thousandths) until
                                            a started service has to connect
             "auth_timeout"               : milliseconds (thousandths) a
                                            connection is given to
             "max_completed_connections"  : max number of authenticated connections
             "max_incomplete_connections" : max number of unauthenticated
             "max_connections_per_user"   : max number of completed connections from
                                            the same user
             "max_pending_service_starts" : max number of service launches in
                                            progress at the same time
             "max_names_per_connection"   : max number of names a single
                                            connection can own
             "max_match_rules_per_connection": max number of match rules for a single
             "max_replies_per_connection" : max number of pending method
                                            replies per connection
                                            (number of calls-in-progress)
             "reply_timeout"              : milliseconds (thousandths)
                                            until a method call times out

       The max incoming/outgoing queue sizes allow a new message to be  queued
       if one byte remains below the max. So you can in fact exceed the max by

       max_completed_connections divided by  max_connections_per_user  is  the
       number  of  users that can work together to denial-of-service all other
       users by using up all connections on the systemwide bus.

       Limits are normally only of interest on the  systemwide  bus,  not  the
       user session buses.


       The  <policy> element defines a security policy to be applied to a par-
       ticular set of connections to the bus. A policy is made up  of  <allow>
       and  <deny>  elements.  Policies  are normally used with the systemwide
       bus; they are analogous to a firewall in that they allow expected traf-
       fic and prevent unexpected traffic.

       The <policy> element has one of three attributes:
         user="username or userid"
         group="group name or gid"

       Policies are applied to a connection as follows:
          - all context="default" policies are applied
          - all group="connection's user's group" policies are applied
            in undefined order
          - all user="connection's auth user" policies are applied
            in undefined order
          - all context="mandatory" policies are applied

       Policies  applied  later  will override those applied earlier, when the
       policies overlap. Multiple policies with  the  same  user/group/context
       are applied in the order they appear in the config file.

       &lt;deny&gt; &lt;allow&gt;

       A  <deny>  element  appears below a <policy> element and prohibits some
       action. The <allow> element  makes  an  exception  to  previous  <deny>
       statements, and works just like <deny> but with the inverse meaning.

       The possible attributes of these elements are:
          send_type="method_call" | "method_return" | "signal" | "error"

          receive_type="method_call" | "method_return" | "signal" | "error"

          send_requested_reply="true" | "false"
          receive_requested_reply="true" | "false"

          eavesdrop="true" | "false"


          <deny send_interface="org.freedesktop.System" send_member="Reboot"/>
          <deny receive_interface="org.freedesktop.System" receive_member="Reboot"/>
          <deny own="org.freedesktop.System"/>
          <deny send_destination="org.freedesktop.System"/>
          <deny receive_sender="org.freedesktop.System"/>
          <deny user="john"/>
          <deny group="enemies"/>

       The  <deny> element's attributes determine whether the deny "matches" a
       particular action. If it matches, the action is  denied  (unless  later
       rules in the config file allow it).

       send_destination and receive_sender rules mean that messages may not be
       sent to or received from the *owner* of the given name, not  that  they
       may  not be sent *to that name*. That is, if a connection owns services
       A, B, C, and sending to A is denied, sending to B or C  will  not  work

       The  other  send_* and receive_* attributes are purely textual/by-value
       matches against the given field in the message header.

       "Eavesdropping" occurs when an application receives a message that  was
       explicitly  addressed  to  a name the application does not own, or is a
       reply to such a message. Eavesdropping thus only  applies  to  messages
       that  are  addressed  to services and replies to such messages (i.e. it
       does not apply to signals).

       For <allow>, eavesdrop="true" indicates that the rule matches even when
       eavesdropping. eavesdrop="false" is the default and means that the rule
       only allows messages to go to their specified recipient.   For  <deny>,
       eavesdrop="true"  indicates  that the rule matches only when eavesdrop-
       ping. eavesdrop="false" is the default for <deny>  also,  but  here  it
       means  that  the  rule applies always, even when not eavesdropping. The
       eavesdrop attribute can only be combined with send  and  receive  rules
       (with send_* and receive_* attributes).

       The  [send|receive]_requested_reply  attribute  works  similarly to the
       eavesdrop attribute. It controls whether the <deny> or <allow>  matches
       a  reply  that  is expected (corresponds to a previous method call mes-
       sage).  This attribute only makes sense for reply messages (errors  and
       method returns), and is ignored for other message types.

       For  <allow>,  [send|receive]_requested_reply="true" is the default and
       indicates  that  only  requested  replies  are  allowed  by  the  rule.
       [send|receive]_requested_reply="false"  means  that the rule allows any
       reply even if unexpected.

       For <deny>, [send|receive]_requested_reply="false" is the  default  but
       indicates  that the rule matches only when the reply was not requested.
       [send|receive]_requested_reply="true" indicates that the  rule  applies
       always, regardless of pending reply state.

       user  and  group denials mean that the given user or group may not con-
       nect to the message bus.

       For "name", "username", "groupname", etc.  the  character  "*"  can  be
       substituted,  meaning  "any."  Complex  globs  like  "foo.bar.*" aren't
       allowed for now because they'd be work to implement and maybe encourage
       sloppy security anyway.

       It  does not make sense to deny a user or group inside a <policy> for a
       user or group; user/group denials can only be inside  context="default"
       or context="mandatory" policies.

       A  single  <deny>  rule  may specify combinations of attributes such as
       send_destination and send_interface and send_type. In  this  case,  the
       denial  applies only if both attributes match the message being denied.
       e.g. <deny send_interface="foo.bar" send_destination="foo.blah"/> would
       deny  messages with the given interface AND the given bus name.  To get
       an OR effect you specify multiple <deny> rules.

       You can't include both send_ and receive_ attributes on the same  rule,
       since  "whether  the  message  can  be  sent"  and  "whether  it can be
       received" are evaluated separately.

       Be careful with send_interface/receive_interface, because the interface
       field in messages is optional.


       The  <selinux>  element  contains settings related to Security Enhanced
       Linux.  More details below.


       An <associate> element appears below an <selinux> element and creates a
       mapping. Right now only one kind of association is possible:
          <associate own="org.freedesktop.Foobar" context="foo_t"/>

       This  means  that  if  a connection asks to own the name "org.freedesk-
       top.Foobar" then the source context will be the context of the  connec-
       tion  and the target context will be "foo_t" - see the short discussion
       of SELinux below.

       Note, the context here is the target context when  requesting  a  name,
       NOT the context of the connection owning the name.

       There's  currently  no  way to set a default for owning any name, if we
       add this syntax it will look like:
          <associate own="*" context="foo_t"/>
       If you find a reason this is useful, let the  developers  know.   Right
       now the default will be the security context of the bus itself.

       If  two <associate> elements specify the same name, the element appear-
       ing later in the configuration file will be used.

       See http://www.nsa.gov/selinux/ for full details on SELinux. Some  use-
       ful excerpts:

               Every  subject  (process)  and  object  (e.g. file, socket, IPC
               object, etc) in the system is assigned a collection of security
               attributes,  known  as  a  security context. A security context
               contains all of the security attributes associated with a  par-
               ticular  subject  or  object  that are relevant to the security

               In order to better encapsulate security contexts and to provide
               greater efficiency, the policy enforcement code of SELinux typ-
               ically handles security identifiers (SIDs) rather than security
               contexts.  A  SID  is an integer that is mapped by the security
               server to a security context at runtime.

               When a security decision is required,  the  policy  enforcement
               code  passes a pair of SIDs (typically the SID of a subject and
               the SID of an object, but sometimes a pair of subject SIDs or a
               pair of object SIDs), and an object security class to the secu-
               rity server. The object security class indicates  the  kind  of
               object,  e.g.  a  process,  a  regular file, a directory, a TCP
               socket, etc.

               Access decisions specify whether or not a permission is granted
               for a given pair of SIDs and class. Each object class has a set
               of associated permissions  defined  to  control  operations  on
               objects with that class.

       D-Bus performs SELinux security checks in two places.

       First, any time a message is routed from one connection to another con-
       nection, the bus daemon will check permissions with the  security  con-
       text  of the first connection as source, security context of the second
       connection as target, object  class  "dbus"  and  requested  permission

       If  a  security  context  is not available for a connection (impossible
       when using UNIX domain sockets), then the target context  used  is  the
       context  of the bus daemon itself.  There is currently no way to change
       this default, because we're assuming that only UNIX domain sockets will
       be used to connect to the systemwide bus. If this changes, we'll proba-
       bly add a way to set the default connection context.

       Second, any time a connection asks to own a name, the bus  daemon  will
       check  permissions  with  the  security  context  of  the connection as
       source, the security context specified for the name in the config  file
       as target, object class "dbus" and requested permission "acquire_svc".

       The  security  context for a bus name is specified with the <associate>
       element described earlier in this document.  If a name has no  security
       context  associated  in the configuration file, the security context of
       the bus daemon itself will be used.

       If you're trying to figure out where your messages are going or why you
       aren't getting messages, there are several things you can try.

       Remember  that the system bus is heavily locked down and if you haven't
       installed a security policy file to  allow  your  message  through,  it
       won't work. For the session bus, this is not a concern.

       The  simplest  way  to figure out what's happening on the bus is to run
       the dbus-monitor program, which comes with the D-Bus package.  You  can
       also  send  test messages with dbus-send. These programs have their own
       man pages.

       If you want to know what the daemon itself is doing, you might consider
       running  a separate copy of the daemon to test against. This will allow
       you to put the daemon under a debugger, or run it with verbose  output,
       without messing up your real session and system daemons.

       To run a separate test copy of the daemon, for example you might open a
       terminal and type:
         DBUS_VERBOSE=1 dbus-daemon --session --print-address

       The test daemon address will be printed when  the  daemon  starts.  You
       will need to copy-and-paste this address and use it as the value of the
       DBUS_SESSION_BUS_ADDRESS  environment  variable  when  you  launch  the
       applications  you  want  to test. This will cause those applications to
       connect to your test bus instead  of  the  DBUS_SESSION_BUS_ADDRESS  of
       your real session bus.

       DBUS_VERBOSE=1  will  have NO EFFECT unless your copy of D-Bus was com-
       piled with verbose mode enabled. This is not recommended in  production
       builds due to performance impact. You may need to rebuild D-Bus if your
       copy was not built with debugging in mind. (DBUS_VERBOSE  also  affects
       the  D-Bus  library and thus applications using D-Bus; it may be useful
       to see verbose output on both the client side and from the daemon.)

       If you want to get fancy, you can create a custom bus configuration for
       your  test  bus (see the session.conf and system.conf files that define
       the two default configurations for example). This would  allow  you  to
       specify a different directory for .service files, for example.

       See http://www.freedesktop.org/software/dbus/doc/AUTHORS

       Please  send  bug reports to the D-Bus mailing list or bug tracker, see