10.4.1. PostgreSQL Changing Database Location
When using Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6, the default location for PostgreSQL to store its database is
/var/lib/pgsql/data. This is where SELinux expects it to be by default, and hence this area is already labeled appropriately for you, using the
The area where the database is located can be changed depending on individual environment requirements or preferences, however it is important that SELinux is aware of this new location; that it is labeled accordingly. This example explains how to change the location of a PostgreSQL database and then how to label the new location so that SELinux can still provide its protection mechanisms to the new area based on its contents.
Note that this is an example only and demonstrates how SELinux can affect PostgreSQL. Comprehensive documentation of PostgreSQL is beyond the scope of this document. Refer to the official PostgreSQL documentation
for further details. This example assumes that the postgresql-server
package is installed.
ls -lZ /var/lib/pgsql command to view the SELinux context of the default database location for
ls -lZ /var/lib/pgsql
drwx------. postgres postgres system_u:object_r:postgresql_db_t:s0 data
postgresql_db_t which is the default context element for the location of database files. This context will have to be manually applied to the new database location that will be used in this example in order for it to function properly.
Create a new directory for the new location of the database(s). In this example,
/opt/postgresql/data/ is used. If you use a different location, replace the text in the following steps with your location:
mkdir -p /opt/postgresql/data
Perform a directory listing of the new location. Note that the initial context of the new directory is usr_t. This context is not sufficient for SELinux to offer its protection mechanisms to PostgreSQL. Once the context has been changed, it will be able to function properly in the new area.
ls -lZ /opt/postgresql/
drwxr-xr-x. root root unconfined_u:object_r:usr_t:s0 data
Change the ownership of the new location to allow access by the postgres user and group. This sets the traditional Unix permissions which SELinux will still observe.
chown -R postgres:postgres /opt/postgresql
Open the PostgreSQL init file
/etc/rc.d/init.d/postgresql with a text editor and modify the
PGLOG variables to point to the new location:
Save this file and exit the text editor.
Initialize the database in the new location.
su - postgres -c "initdb -D /opt/postgresql/data"
Having changed the database location, starting the service will fail at this point:
service postgresql start
Starting postgresql service: [FAILED]
SELinux has caused the service to not start. This is because the new location is not properly labelled. The following steps explain how to label the new location (
/opt/postgresql/) and start the postgresql service properly:
semanage command to add a context mapping for
/opt/postgresql/ and any other directories/files within it:
semanage fcontext -a -t postgresql_db_t "/opt/postgresql(/.*)?"
This mapping is written to the
grep -i postgresql /etc/selinux/targeted/contexts/files/file_contexts.local
Now use the
restorecon command to apply this context mapping to the running system:
restorecon -R -v /opt/postgresql
Now that the
/opt/postgresql/ location has been labeled with the correct context for PostgreSQL, the
postgresql service will start successfully:
service postgresql start
Starting postgreSQL service: [ OK ]
Confirm the context is correct for
ls -lZ /opt
drwxr-xr-x. root root system_u:object_r:postgresql_db_t:s0 postgresql
Check with the
ps command that the
postgresql process displays the new location:
ps aux | grep -i postmaster
postgres 21564 0.3 0.3 42308 4032 ? S 10:13 0:00 /usr/bin/postmaster -p 5432 -D /opt/postgresql/data/
The location has been changed and labeled, and the
postgresql daemon has started successfully. At this point all running services should be tested to confirm normal operation.