The Flux Independent Minister of Privilege (IMP or flux-imp(8)) is a setuid helper used by multi-user Flux instances to launch, monitor, and control processes running as users other than the instance owner. By default, the IMP is installed in a safe mode where it does not implement any of this functionality. In order to enable a multi-user system instance, the IMP requires some basic configuration.

At startup, the IMP reads its configuration from a compiled in glob(7) pattern ${sysconfdir}/flux/imp/conf.d/*.toml. The configuration files in this directory are security sensitive, and as such, should be installed with root ownership and without global write permissions. The parent directory should also have root ownership and no global write permissions without the sticky bit set. On startup, the IMP will validate file and path ownership and permissions and will emit an error if it finds any issues.

For basic IMP functionality, at least one user must be allowed to use the flux-imp exec command (see exec.allowed-users), and the IMP has to be configured with at least one allowed job shell (see exec.allowed-shells).

The full list of supported tables and keys in the IMP configuration are detailed below.


The following are keys in the [exec] table, required for configuring flux-imp exec support:


An array of users allowed to utilize the IMP exec functionality. This is required for multi-user Flux instance support.


An array of absolute paths to job shells which the IMP will execute on behalf of an instance owner as the guest user in a multi-user instance. Typically, only the system-installed job shell should be listed here, but multiple shells are supported in the event that an experimental job shell or multiple Flux versions need to be supported.


A boolean value which, if true, tells the IMP to fall back to execution of the job shell as the instance owner when the IMP is not installed setuid. This is disabled by default and should only be used for testing. If set in a real system instance, this would allow users to execute arbitrary commands as the Flux system instance owner userid (e.g. flux)


A boolean value which, if true, enables PAM support for the IMP exec subcommand, allowing a flux PAM stack to be executed for multi user jobs. If enabled, the flux PAM stack must exist and have at least one auth and one session module configured, e.g.:

auth    required pam_localuser.so
session required pam_limits.so

This option requires that the flux-security project was built with --enable-pam.

The following keys in the [run] table configure flux-imp run support, which is used to configure the flux-imp run command, which is used to allow the Flux system instance user to execute a prolog, epilog or other script with elevated privileges:


The run table consists of a dictionary of tables, each of which configures a new flux-imp run command. In the common case the sub-tables might be [run.prolog] and [run.epilog], but arbitrary commands can also be placed here, for example if a node health check script or other command needs to be run with privileges.

Each sub-table under [run] further supports the following keys:


The absolute executable path to invoke for flux-imp run <name>.


An array of users allowed to invoke command <name>.


An array of environment variables or glob(7) patters of environment variables which will be passed through to the executed command. By default, only FLUX_JOB_ID and FLUX_JOB_USERID will be passed to the executed command.

The following top-level keys are also supported:


Set to true if the IMP should simulate a setuid installation when run under sudo(8). This option is only useful for testing.


allowed-users = [ "flux" ]
allowed-shells = [ "/usr/libexec/flux/flux-shell" ]

allowed-environment = [ "FLUX_*" ]
allowed-users = [ "flux" ]
path = "/etc/flux/system/prolog"

allowed-environment = [ "FLUX_*" ]
allowed-users = [ "flux" ]
path = "/etc/flux/system/epilog"


Flux: http://flux-framework.org

RFC 15: Independent Minister of Privilege for Flux: The Security IMP: https://flux-framework.readthedocs.io/projects/flux-rfc/en/latest/spec_15.html


flux-config-security(5), flux-config(5), flux-imp(8)