SELinux User's and Administrator's Guide

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7

Basic and advanced configuration of Security-Enhanced Linux (SELinux)

Mirek Jahoda

Red Hat Customer Content Services

Ioanna Gkioka

Red Hat Customer Content Services

Barbora Ančincová

Red Hat Customer Content Services

Tomáš Čapek

Red Hat Customer Content Services

Abstract

This book consists of two parts: SELinux and Managing Confined Services. The former describes the basics and principles upon which SELinux functions, the latter is more focused on practical tasks to set up and configure various services.

Part I. SELinux

Chapter 1. Introduction

Security-Enhanced Linux (SELinux) is an implementation of a mandatory access control mechanism in the Linux kernel, checking for allowed operations after standard discretionary access controls are checked. SELinux can enforce rules on files and processes in a Linux system, and on their actions, based on defined policies.
When using SELinux, files, including directories and devices, are referred to as objects. Processes, such as a user running a command or the Mozilla Firefox application, are referred to as subjects. Most operating systems use a Discretionary Access Control (DAC) system that controls how subjects interact with objects, and how subjects interact with each other. On operating systems using DAC, users control the permissions of files (objects) that they own. For example, on Linux operating systems, users could make their home directories world-readable, giving users and processes (subjects) access to potentially sensitive information, with no further protection over this unwanted action.
Relying on DAC mechanisms alone is fundamentally inadequate for strong system security. DAC access decisions are only based on user identity and ownership, ignoring other security-relevant information such as the role of the user, the function and trustworthiness of the program, and the sensitivity and integrity of the data. Each user typically has complete discretion over their files, making it difficult to enforce a system-wide security policy. Furthermore, every program run by a user inherits all of the permissions granted to the user and is free to change access to the user's files, so minimal protection is provided against malicious software. Many system services and privileged programs run with coarse-grained privileges that far exceed their requirements, so that a flaw in any one of these programs could be exploited to obtain further system access.[1]
The following is an example of permissions used on Linux operating systems that do not run Security-Enhanced Linux (SELinux). The permissions and output in these examples may differ slightly from your system. Use the following command to view file permissions:
~]$ ls -l file1
-rwxrw-r-- 1 user1 group1 0 2009-08-30 11:03 file1
In this example, the first three permission bits, rwx, control the access the Linux user1 user (in this case, the owner) has to file1. The next three permission bits, rw-, control the access the Linux group1 group has to file1. The last three permission bits, r--, control the access everyone else has to file1, which includes all users and processes.
Security-Enhanced Linux (SELinux) adds Mandatory Access Control (MAC) to the Linux kernel, and is enabled by default in Red Hat Enterprise Linux. A general purpose MAC architecture needs the ability to enforce an administratively-set security policy over all processes and files in the system, basing decisions on labels containing a variety of security-relevant information. When properly implemented, it enables a system to adequately defend itself and offers critical support for application security by protecting against the tampering with, and bypassing of, secured applications. MAC provides strong separation of applications that permits the safe execution of untrustworthy applications. Its ability to limit the privileges associated with executing processes limits the scope of potential damage that can result from the exploitation of vulnerabilities in applications and system services. MAC enables information to be protected from legitimate users with limited authorization as well as from authorized users who have unwittingly executed malicious applications.[2]
The following is an example of the labels containing security-relevant information that are used on processes, Linux users, and files, on Linux operating systems that run SELinux. This information is called the SELinux context, and is viewed using the following command:
~]ls -Z file1
-rwxrw-r--  user1 group1 unconfined_u:object_r:user_home_t:s0      file1
In this example, SELinux provides a user (unconfined_u), a role (object_r), a type (user_home_t), and a level (s0). This information is used to make access control decisions. With DAC, access is controlled based only on Linux user and group IDs. It is important to remember that SELinux policy rules are checked after DAC rules. SELinux policy rules are not used if DAC rules deny access first.

Note

On Linux operating systems that run SELinux, there are Linux users as well as SELinux users. SELinux users are part of SELinux policy. Linux users are mapped to SELinux users. To avoid confusion, this guide uses Linux user and SELinux user to differentiate between the two.

1.1. Benefits of running SELinux

  • All processes and files are labeled with a type. A type defines a domain for processes, and a type for files. Processes are separated from each other by running in their own domains, and SELinux policy rules define how processes interact with files, as well as how processes interact with each other. Access is only allowed if an SELinux policy rule exists that specifically allows it.
  • Fine-grained access control. Stepping beyond traditional UNIX permissions that are controlled at user discretion and based on Linux user and group IDs, SELinux access decisions are based on all available information, such as an SELinux user, role, type, and, optionally, a level.
  • SELinux policy is administratively-defined, enforced system-wide, and is not set at user discretion.
  • Reduced vulnerability to privilege escalation attacks. Processes run in domains, and are therefore separated from each other. SELinux policy rules define how processes access files and other processes. If a process is compromised, the attacker only has access to the normal functions of that process, and to files the process has been configured to have access to. For example, if the Apache HTTP Server is compromised, an attacker cannot use that process to read files in user home directories, unless a specific SELinux policy rule was added or configured to allow such access.
  • SELinux can be used to enforce data confidentiality and integrity, as well as protecting processes from untrusted inputs.
However, SELinux is not:
  • antivirus software,
  • a replacement for passwords, firewalls, or other security systems,
  • an all-in-one security solution.
SELinux is designed to enhance existing security solutions, not replace them. Even when running SELinux, it is important to continue to follow good security practices, such as keeping software up-to-date, using hard-to-guess passwords, firewalls, and so on.

1.2. Examples

The following examples demonstrate how SELinux increases security:
  • The default action is deny. If an SELinux policy rule does not exist to allow access, such as for a process opening a file, access is denied.
  • SELinux can confine Linux users. A number of confined SELinux users exist in SELinux policy. Linux users can be mapped to confined SELinux users to take advantage of the security rules and mechanisms applied to them. For example, mapping a Linux user to the SELinux user_u user, results in a Linux user that is not able to run (unless configured otherwise) set user ID (setuid) applications, such as sudo and su, as well as preventing them from executing files and applications in their home directory. If configured, this prevents users from executing malicious files from their home directories.
  • Process separation is used. Processes run in their own domains, preventing processes from accessing files used by other processes, as well as preventing processes from accessing other processes. For example, when running SELinux, unless otherwise configured, an attacker cannot compromise a Samba server, and then use that Samba server as an attack vector to read and write to files used by other processes, such as databases used by MariaDB.
  • SELinux helps limit the damage made by configuration mistakes. Domain Name System (DNS) servers often replicate information between each other in what is known as a zone transfer. Attackers can use zone transfers to update DNS servers with false information. When running the Berkeley Internet Name Domain (BIND) as a DNS server in Red Hat Enterprise Linux, even if an administrator forgets to limit which servers can perform a zone transfer, the default SELinux policy prevents zone files [3] from being updated using zone transfers, by the BIND named daemon itself, and by other processes.
  • See the NetworkWorld.com article, A seatbelt for server software: SELinux blocks real-world exploits[4], for background information about SELinux, and information about various exploits that SELinux has prevented.

1.3. SELinux Architecture

SELinux is a Linux security module that is built into the Linux kernel. SELinux is driven by loadable policy rules. When security-relevant access is taking place, such as when a process attempts to open a file, the operation is intercepted in the kernel by SELinux. If an SELinux policy rule allows the operation, it continues, otherwise, the operation is blocked and the process receives an error.
SELinux decisions, such as allowing or disallowing access, are cached. This cache is known as the Access Vector Cache (AVC). When using these cached decisions, SELinux policy rules need to be checked less, which increases performance. Remember that SELinux policy rules have no effect if DAC rules deny access first.

1.4. SELinux States and Modes

SELinux can be either in the enabled or disabled state. When disabled, only DAC rules are used. When enabled, SELinux can run in one of the following modes:
  • Enforcing: SELinux policy is enforced. SELinux denies access based on SELinux policy rules.
  • Permissive: SELinux policy is not enforced. SELinux does not deny access, but denials are logged for actions that would have been denied if running in enforcing mode.
Use the setenforce utility to change between enforcing and permissive mode. Changes made with setenforce do not persist across reboots. To change to enforcing mode, as the Linux root user, run the setenforce 1 command. To change to permissive mode, run the setenforce 0 command. Use the getenforce utility to view the current SELinux mode:
~]# getenforce
Enforcing
~]# setenforce 0
~]# getenforce
Permissive
~]# setenforce 1
~]# getenforce
Enforcing
Persistent states and modes changes are covered in Section 4.4, “Permanent Changes in SELinux States and Modes”.

1.5. Additional Resources

Red Hat Identity Management (IdM) provides a centralized solution to define SELinux user maps. For details, see Defining SELinux User Maps in the Linux Domain Identity, Authentication, and Policy Guide.


[1] "Integrating Flexible Support for Security Policies into the Linux Operating System", by Peter Loscocco and Stephen Smalley. This paper was originally prepared for the National Security Agency and is, consequently, in the public domain. See the original paper for details and the document as it was first released. Any edits and changes were done by Murray McAllister.
[2] "Meeting Critical Security Objectives with Security-Enhanced Linux", by Peter Loscocco and Stephen Smalley. This paper was originally prepared for the National Security Agency and is, consequently, in the public domain. See the original paper for details and the document as it was first released. Any edits and changes were done by Murray McAllister.
[3] Text files that include information, such as host name to IP address mappings, that are used by DNS servers.
[4] Marti, Don. "A seatbelt for server software: SELinux blocks real-world exploits". Published 24 February 2008. Accessed 27 August 2009: http://www.networkworld.com/article/2283723/lan-wan/a-seatbelt-for-server-software--selinux-blocks-real-world-exploits.html.

Chapter 2. SELinux Contexts

Processes and files are labeled with an SELinux context that contains additional information, such as an SELinux user, role, type, and, optionally, a level. When running SELinux, all of this information is used to make access control decisions. In Red Hat Enterprise Linux, SELinux provides a combination of Role-Based Access Control (RBAC), Type Enforcement (TE), and, optionally, Multi-Level Security (MLS).
The following is an example showing SELinux context. SELinux contexts are used on processes, Linux users, and files, on Linux operating systems that run SELinux. Use the following command to view the SELinux context of files and directories:
~]$ ls -Z file1
-rwxrw-r--  user1 group1 unconfined_u:object_r:user_home_t:s0      file1
SELinux contexts follow the SELinux user:role:type:level syntax. The fields are as follows:
SELinux user
The SELinux user identity is an identity known to the policy that is authorized for a specific set of roles, and for a specific MLS/MCS range. Each Linux user is mapped to an SELinux user using SELinux policy. This allows Linux users to inherit the restrictions placed on SELinux users. The mapped SELinux user identity is used in the SELinux context for processes in that session, in order to define what roles and levels they can enter. Enter the following command as root to view a list of mappings between SELinux and Linux user accounts (you need to have the policycoreutils-python package installed):
~]# semanage login -l
Login Name           SELinux User         MLS/MCS Range        Service

__default__          unconfined_u         s0-s0:c0.c1023       *
root                 unconfined_u         s0-s0:c0.c1023       *
system_u             system_u             s0-s0:c0.c1023       *
Output may differ slightly from system to system:
  • The Login Name column lists Linux users.
  • The SELinux User column lists which SELinux user the Linux user is mapped to. For processes, the SELinux user limits which roles and levels are accessible.
  • The MLS/MCS Range column, is the level used by Multi-Level Security (MLS) and Multi-Category Security (MCS).
  • The Service column determines the correct SELinux context, in which the Linux user is supposed to be logged in to the system. By default, the asterisk (*) character is used, which stands for any service.
role
Part of SELinux is the Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) security model. The role is an attribute of RBAC. SELinux users are authorized for roles, and roles are authorized for domains. The role serves as an intermediary between domains and SELinux users. The roles that can be entered determine which domains can be entered; ultimately, this controls which object types can be accessed. This helps reduce vulnerability to privilege escalation attacks.
type
The type is an attribute of Type Enforcement. The type defines a domain for processes, and a type for files. SELinux policy rules define how types can access each other, whether it be a domain accessing a type, or a domain accessing another domain. Access is only allowed if a specific SELinux policy rule exists that allows it.
level
The level is an attribute of MLS and MCS. An MLS range is a pair of levels, written as lowlevel-highlevel if the levels differ, or lowlevel if the levels are identical (s0-s0 is the same as s0). Each level is a sensitivity-category pair, with categories being optional. If there are categories, the level is written as sensitivity:category-set. If there are no categories, it is written as sensitivity.
If the category set is a contiguous series, it can be abbreviated. For example, c0.c3 is the same as c0,c1,c2,c3. The /etc/selinux/targeted/setrans.conf file maps levels (s0:c0) to human-readable form (that is CompanyConfidential). In Red Hat Enterprise Linux, targeted policy enforces MCS, and in MCS, there is just one sensitivity, s0. MCS in Red Hat Enterprise Linux supports 1024 different categories: c0 through to c1023. s0-s0:c0.c1023 is sensitivity s0 and authorized for all categories.
MLS enforces the Bell-La Padula Mandatory Access Model, and is used in Labeled Security Protection Profile (LSPP) environments. To use MLS restrictions, install the selinux-policy-mls package, and configure MLS to be the default SELinux policy. The MLS policy shipped with Red Hat Enterprise Linux omits many program domains that were not part of the evaluated configuration, and therefore, MLS on a desktop workstation is unusable (no support for the X Window System); however, an MLS policy from the upstream SELinux Reference Policy can be built that includes all program domains. For more information on MLS configuration, see Section 4.13, “Multi-Level Security (MLS)”.

2.1. Domain Transitions

A process in one domain transitions to another domain by executing an application that has the entrypoint type for the new domain. The entrypoint permission is used in SELinux policy and controls which applications can be used to enter a domain. The following example demonstrates a domain transition:

Procedure 2.1. An Example of a Domain Transition

  1. A user wants to change their password. To do this, they run the passwd utility. The /usr/bin/passwd executable is labeled with the passwd_exec_t type:
    ~]$ ls -Z /usr/bin/passwd
    -rwsr-xr-x  root root system_u:object_r:passwd_exec_t:s0 /usr/bin/passwd
    
    The passwd utility accesses /etc/shadow, which is labeled with the shadow_t type:
    ~]$ ls -Z /etc/shadow
    -r--------. root root system_u:object_r:shadow_t:s0    /etc/shadow
    
  2. An SELinux policy rule states that processes running in the passwd_t domain are allowed to read and write to files labeled with the shadow_t type. The shadow_t type is only applied to files that are required for a password change. This includes /etc/gshadow, /etc/shadow, and their backup files.
  3. An SELinux policy rule states that the passwd_t domain has entrypoint permission to the passwd_exec_t type.
  4. When a user runs the passwd utility, the user's shell process transitions to the passwd_t domain. With SELinux, since the default action is to deny, and a rule exists that allows (among other things) applications running in the passwd_t domain to access files labeled with the shadow_t type, the passwd application is allowed to access /etc/shadow, and update the user's password.
This example is not exhaustive, and is used as a basic example to explain domain transition. Although there is an actual rule that allows subjects running in the passwd_t domain to access objects labeled with the shadow_t file type, other SELinux policy rules must be met before the subject can transition to a new domain. In this example, Type Enforcement ensures:
  • The passwd_t domain can only be entered by executing an application labeled with the passwd_exec_t type; can only execute from authorized shared libraries, such as the lib_t type; and cannot execute any other applications.
  • Only authorized domains, such as passwd_t, can write to files labeled with the shadow_t type. Even if other processes are running with superuser privileges, those processes cannot write to files labeled with the shadow_t type, as they are not running in the passwd_t domain.
  • Only authorized domains can transition to the passwd_t domain. For example, the sendmail process running in the sendmail_t domain does not have a legitimate reason to execute passwd; therefore, it can never transition to the passwd_t domain.
  • Processes running in the passwd_t domain can only read and write to authorized types, such as files labeled with the etc_t or shadow_t types. This prevents the passwd application from being tricked into reading or writing arbitrary files.

2.2. SELinux Contexts for Processes

Use the ps -eZ command to view the SELinux context for processes. For example:

Procedure 2.2. View the SELinux Context for the passwd Utility

  1. Open a terminal, such as ApplicationsSystem ToolsTerminal.
  2. Run the passwd utility. Do not enter a new password:
    ~]$ passwd
    Changing password for user user_name.
    Changing password for user_name.
    (current) UNIX password:
    
  3. Open a new tab, or another terminal, and enter the following command. The output is similar to the following:
    ~]$ ps -eZ | grep passwd
    unconfined_u:unconfined_r:passwd_t:s0-s0:c0.c1023 13212 pts/1 00:00:00 passwd
    
  4. In the first tab/terminal, press Ctrl+C to cancel the passwd utility.
In this example, when the passwd utility (labeled with the passwd_exec_t type) is executed, the user's shell process transitions to the passwd_t domain. Remember that the type defines a domain for processes, and a type for files.
To view the SELinux contexts for all running processes, run the ps utility again. Note that below is a truncated example of the output, and may differ on your system:
]$ ps -eZ 
system_u:system_r:dhcpc_t:s0             1869 ?  00:00:00 dhclient
system_u:system_r:sshd_t:s0-s0:c0.c1023  1882 ?  00:00:00 sshd
system_u:system_r:gpm_t:s0               1964 ?  00:00:00 gpm
system_u:system_r:crond_t:s0-s0:c0.c1023 1973 ?  00:00:00 crond
system_u:system_r:kerneloops_t:s0        1983 ?  00:00:05 kerneloops
system_u:system_r:crond_t:s0-s0:c0.c1023 1991 ?  00:00:00 atd
The system_r role is used for system processes, such as daemons. Type Enforcement then separates each domain.

2.3. SELinux Contexts for Users

Use the following command to view the SELinux context associated with your Linux user:
~]$ id -Z
unconfined_u:unconfined_r:unconfined_t:s0-s0:c0.c1023
In Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Linux users run unconfined by default. This SELinux context shows that the Linux user is mapped to the SELinux unconfined_u user, running as the unconfined_r role, and is running in the unconfined_t domain. s0-s0 is an MLS range, which in this case, is the same as just s0. The categories the user has access to is defined by c0.c1023, which is all categories (c0 through to c1023).

Chapter 3. Targeted Policy

Targeted policy is the default SELinux policy used in Red Hat Enterprise Linux. When using targeted policy, processes that are targeted run in a confined domain, and processes that are not targeted run in an unconfined domain. For example, by default, logged-in users run in the unconfined_t domain, and system processes started by init run in the unconfined_service_t domain; both of these domains are unconfined.
Executable and writable memory checks may apply to both confined and unconfined domains. However, by default, subjects running in an unconfined domain can allocate writable memory and execute it. These memory checks can be enabled by setting Booleans, which allow the SELinux policy to be modified at runtime. Boolean configuration is discussed later.

3.1. Confined Processes

Almost every service that listens on a network, such as sshd or httpd, is confined in Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Also, most processes that run as the root user and perform tasks for users, such as the passwd utility, are confined. When a process is confined, it runs in its own domain, such as the httpd process running in the httpd_t domain. If a confined process is compromised by an attacker, depending on SELinux policy configuration, an attacker's access to resources and the possible damage they can do is limited.
Complete this procedure to ensure that SELinux is enabled and the system is prepared to perform the following example:

Procedure 3.1. How to Verify SELinux Status

  1. Confirm that SELinux is enabled, is running in enforcing mode, and that targeted policy is being used. The correct output should look similar to the output below:
    ~]$ sestatus
    SELinux status:                 enabled
    SELinuxfs mount:                /sys/fs/selinux
    SELinux root directory:         /etc/selinux
    Loaded policy name:             targeted
    Current mode:                   enforcing
    Mode from config file:          enforcing
    Policy MLS status:              enabled
    Policy deny_unknown status:     allowed
    Max kernel policy version:      30
    See Section 4.4, “Permanent Changes in SELinux States and Modes” for detailed information about changing SELinux modes.
  2. As root, create a file in the /var/www/html/ directory:
    ~]# touch /var/www/html/testfile
  3. Enter the following command to view the SELinux context of the newly created file:
    ~]$ ls -Z /var/www/html/testfile
    -rw-r--r--  root root unconfined_u:object_r:httpd_sys_content_t:s0 /var/www/html/testfile
    
    By default, Linux users run unconfined in Red Hat Enterprise Linux, which is why the testfile file is labeled with the SELinux unconfined_u user. RBAC is used for processes, not files. Roles do not have a meaning for files; the object_r role is a generic role used for files (on persistent storage and network file systems). Under the /proc directory, files related to processes may use the system_r role. The httpd_sys_content_t type allows the httpd process to access this file.
The following example demonstrates how SELinux prevents the Apache HTTP Server (httpd) from reading files that are not correctly labeled, such as files intended for use by Samba. This is an example, and should not be used in production. It assumes that the httpd and wget packages are installed, the SELinux targeted policy is used, and that SELinux is running in enforcing mode.

Procedure 3.2. An Example of Confined Process

  1. As root, start the httpd daemon:
    ~]# systemctl start httpd.service
    Confirm that the service is running. The output should include the information below (only the time stamp will differ):
    ~]$ systemctl status httpd.service
    httpd.service - The Apache HTTP Server
    	  Loaded: loaded (/usr/lib/systemd/system/httpd.service; disabled)
    	  Active: active (running) since Mon 2013-08-05 14:00:55 CEST; 8s ago
    
  2. Change into a directory where your Linux user has write access to, and enter the following command. Unless there are changes to the default configuration, this command succeeds:
    ~]$ wget http://localhost/testfile
    --2009-11-06 17:43:01--  http://localhost/testfile
    Resolving localhost... 127.0.0.1
    Connecting to localhost|127.0.0.1|:80... connected.
    HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 200 OK
    Length: 0 [text/plain]
    Saving to: `testfile'
    
    [ <=>                              ] 0     --.-K/s   in 0s
    
    2009-11-06 17:43:01 (0.00 B/s) - `testfile' saved [0/0]
    
  3. The chcon command relabels files; however, such label changes do not survive when the file system is relabeled. For permanent changes that survive a file system relabel, use the semanage utility, which is discussed later. As root, enter the following command to change the type to a type used by Samba:
    ~]# chcon -t samba_share_t /var/www/html/testfile
    Enter the following command to view the changes:
    ~]$ ls -Z /var/www/html/testfile
    -rw-r--r--  root root unconfined_u:object_r:samba_share_t:s0 /var/www/html/testfile
    
  4. Note that the current DAC permissions allow the httpd process access to testfile. Change into a directory where your user has write access to, and enter the following command. Unless there are changes to the default configuration, this command fails:
    ~]$ wget http://localhost/testfile
    --2009-11-06 14:11:23--  http://localhost/testfile
    Resolving localhost... 127.0.0.1
    Connecting to localhost|127.0.0.1|:80... connected.
    HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 403 Forbidden
    2009-11-06 14:11:23 ERROR 403: Forbidden.
    
  5. As root, remove testfile:
    ~]# rm -i /var/www/html/testfile
  6. If you do not require httpd to be running, as root, enter the following command to stop it:
    ~]# systemctl stop httpd.service
This example demonstrates the additional security added by SELinux. Although DAC rules allowed the httpd process access to testfile in step 2, because the file was labeled with a type that the httpd process does not have access to, SELinux denied access.
If the auditd daemon is running, an error similar to the following is logged to /var/log/audit/audit.log:
type=AVC msg=audit(1220706212.937:70): avc:  denied  { getattr } for  pid=1904 comm="httpd" path="/var/www/html/testfile" dev=sda5 ino=247576 scontext=unconfined_u:system_r:httpd_t:s0 tcontext=unconfined_u:object_r:samba_share_t:s0  tclass=file

type=SYSCALL msg=audit(1220706212.937:70): arch=40000003 syscall=196 success=no exit=-13 a0=b9e21da0 a1=bf9581dc a2=555ff4 a3=2008171 items=0 ppid=1902 pid=1904 auid=500 uid=48 gid=48 euid=48 suid=48 fsuid=48 egid=48 sgid=48 fsgid=48 tty=(none) ses=1 comm="httpd" exe="/usr/sbin/httpd" subj=unconfined_u:system_r:httpd_t:s0 key=(null)
Also, an error similar to the following is logged to /var/log/httpd/error_log:
[Wed May 06 23:00:54 2009] [error] [client 127.0.0.1] (13)Permission denied: access to /testfile denied

3.2. Unconfined Processes

Unconfined processes run in unconfined domains, for example, unconfined services executed by init end up running in the unconfined_service_t domain, unconfined services executed by kernel end up running in the kernel_t domain, and unconfined services executed by unconfined Linux users end up running in the unconfined_t domain. For unconfined processes, SELinux policy rules are applied, but policy rules exist that allow processes running in unconfined domains almost all access. Processes running in unconfined domains fall back to using DAC rules exclusively. If an unconfined process is compromised, SELinux does not prevent an attacker from gaining access to system resources and data, but of course, DAC rules are still used. SELinux is a security enhancement on top of DAC rules – it does not replace them.
To ensure that SELinux is enabled and the system is prepared to perform the following example, complete the Procedure 3.1, “How to Verify SELinux Status” described in Section 3.1, “Confined Processes”.
The following example demonstrates how the Apache HTTP Server (httpd) can access data intended for use by Samba, when running unconfined. Note that in Red Hat Enterprise Linux, the httpd process runs in the confined httpd_t domain by default. This is an example, and should not be used in production. It assumes that the httpd, wget, dbus and audit packages are installed, that the SELinux targeted policy is used, and that SELinux is running in enforcing mode.

Procedure 3.3. An Example of Unconfined Process

  1. The chcon command relabels files; however, such label changes do not survive when the file system is relabeled. For permanent changes that survive a file system relabel, use the semanage utility, which is discussed later. As the root user, enter the following command to change the type to a type used by Samba:
    ~]# chcon -t samba_share_t /var/www/html/testfile
    View the changes:
    ~]$ ls -Z /var/www/html/testfile
    -rw-r--r--  root root unconfined_u:object_r:samba_share_t:s0 /var/www/html/testfile
  2. Enter the following command to confirm that the httpd process is not running:
    ~]$ systemctl status httpd.service
    httpd.service - The Apache HTTP Server
       Loaded: loaded (/usr/lib/systemd/system/httpd.service; disabled)
       Active: inactive (dead)
    If the output differs, enter the following command as root to stop the httpd process:
    ~]# systemctl stop httpd.service
  3. To make the httpd process run unconfined, enter the following command as root to change the type of the /usr/sbin/httpd file, to a type that does not transition to a confined domain:
    ~]# chcon -t bin_t /usr/sbin/httpd
  4. Confirm that /usr/sbin/httpd is labeled with the bin_t type:
    ~]$ ls -Z /usr/sbin/httpd
    -rwxr-xr-x. root root system_u:object_r:bin_t:s0       /usr/sbin/httpd
    
  5. As root, start the httpd process and confirm, that it started successfully:
    ~]# systemctl start httpd.service
    ~]# systemctl status httpd.service
    httpd.service - The Apache HTTP Server
       Loaded: loaded (/usr/lib/systemd/system/httpd.service; disabled)
       Active: active (running) since Thu 2013-08-15 11:17:01 CEST; 5s ago
    
  6. Enter the following command to view httpd running in the unconfined_service_t domain:
    ~]$ ps -eZ | grep httpd
    system_u:system_r:unconfined_service_t:s0 11884 ? 00:00:00 httpd
    system_u:system_r:unconfined_service_t:s0 11885 ? 00:00:00 httpd
    system_u:system_r:unconfined_service_t:s0 11886 ? 00:00:00 httpd
    system_u:system_r:unconfined_service_t:s0 11887 ? 00:00:00 httpd
    system_u:system_r:unconfined_service_t:s0 11888 ? 00:00:00 httpd
    system_u:system_r:unconfined_service_t:s0 11889 ? 00:00:00 httpd
    
  7. Change into a directory where your Linux user has write access to, and enter the following command. Unless there are changes to the default configuration, this command succeeds:
    ~]$ wget http://localhost/testfile
    --2009-05-07 01:41:10--  http://localhost/testfile
    Resolving localhost... 127.0.0.1
    Connecting to localhost|127.0.0.1|:80... connected.
    HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 200 OK
    Length: 0 [text/plain]
    Saving to: `testfile'
    
    [ <=>                            ]--.-K/s   in 0s
    
    2009-05-07 01:41:10 (0.00 B/s) - `testfile' saved [0/0]
    Although the httpd process does not have access to files labeled with the samba_share_t type, httpd is running in the unconfined unconfined_service_t domain, and falls back to using DAC rules, and as such, the wget command succeeds. Had httpd been running in the confined httpd_t domain, the wget command would have failed.
  8. The restorecon utility restores the default SELinux context for files. As root, enter the following command to restore the default SELinux context for /usr/sbin/httpd:
    ~]# restorecon -v /usr/sbin/httpd
    restorecon reset /usr/sbin/httpd context system_u:object_r:unconfined_exec_t:s0->system_u:object_r:httpd_exec_t:s0
    
    Confirm that /usr/sbin/httpd is labeled with the httpd_exec_t type:
    ~]$ ls -Z /usr/sbin/httpd
    -rwxr-xr-x  root root system_u:object_r:httpd_exec_t:s0 /usr/sbin/httpd
  9. As root, enter the following command to restart httpd. After restarting, confirm that httpd is running in the confined httpd_t domain:
    ~]# systemctl restart httpd.service
    ~]$ ps -eZ | grep httpd
    system_u:system_r:httpd_t:s0    8883 ?        00:00:00 httpd
    system_u:system_r:httpd_t:s0    8884 ?        00:00:00 httpd
    system_u:system_r:httpd_t:s0    8885 ?        00:00:00 httpd
    system_u:system_r:httpd_t:s0    8886 ?        00:00:00 httpd
    system_u:system_r:httpd_t:s0    8887 ?        00:00:00 httpd
    system_u:system_r:httpd_t:s0    8888 ?        00:00:00 httpd
    system_u:system_r:httpd_t:s0    8889 ?        00:00:00 httpd
    
  10. As root, remove testfile:
    ~]# rm -i /var/www/html/testfile
    rm: remove regular empty file `/var/www/html/testfile'? y
    
  11. If you do not require httpd to be running, as root, enter the following command to stop httpd:
    ~]# systemctl stop httpd.service
The examples in these sections demonstrate how data can be protected from a compromised confined-process (protected by SELinux), as well as how data is more accessible to an attacker from a compromised unconfined-process (not protected by SELinux).

3.3. Confined and Unconfined Users

Each Linux user is mapped to an SELinux user using SELinux policy. This allows Linux users to inherit the restrictions on SELinux users. This Linux user mapping is seen by running the semanage login -l command as root:
~]# semanage login -l

Login Name           SELinux User         MLS/MCS Range        Service

__default__          unconfined_u         s0-s0:c0.c1023       *
root                 unconfined_u         s0-s0:c0.c1023       *
system_u             system_u             s0-s0:c0.c1023       *
In Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Linux users are mapped to the SELinux __default__ login by default, which is mapped to the SELinux unconfined_u user. The following line defines the default mapping:
__default__               unconfined_u              s0-s0:c0.c1023
The following procedure demonstrates how to add a new Linux user to the system and how to map that user to the SELinux unconfined_u user. It assumes that the root user is running unconfined, as it does by default in Red Hat Enterprise Linux:

Procedure 3.4. Mapping a New Linux User to the SELinux unconfined_u User

  1. As root, enter the following command to create a new Linux user named newuser:
    ~]# useradd newuser
  2. To assign a password to the Linux newuser user. Enter the following command as root:
    ~]# passwd newuser
    Changing password for user newuser.
    New UNIX password: Enter a password
    Retype new UNIX password: Enter the same password again
    passwd: all authentication tokens updated successfully.
    
  3. Log out of your current session, and log in as the Linux newuser user. When you log in, the pam_selinux PAM module automatically maps the Linux user to an SELinux user (in this case, unconfined_u), and sets up the resulting SELinux context. The Linux user's shell is then launched with this context. Enter the following command to view the context of a Linux user:
    [newuser@localhost ~]$ id -Z
    unconfined_u:unconfined_r:unconfined_t:s0-s0:c0.c1023
    

    Note

    If you no longer need the newuser user on your system, log out of the Linux newuser's session, log in with your account, and run the userdel -r newuser command as root. It will remove newuser along with their home directory.
Confined and unconfined Linux users are subject to executable and writable memory checks, and are also restricted by MCS or MLS.
To list the available SELinux users, enter the following command:
~]$seinfo -u
Users: 8
   sysadm_u
   system_u
   xguest_u
   root
   guest_u
   staff_u
   user_u
   unconfined_u
Note that the seinfo command is provided by the setools-console package, which is not installed by default.
If an unconfined Linux user executes an application that SELinux policy defines as one that can transition from the unconfined_t domain to its own confined domain, the unconfined Linux user is still subject to the restrictions of that confined domain. The security benefit of this is that, even though a Linux user is running unconfined, the application remains confined. Therefore, the exploitation of a flaw in the application can be limited by the policy.
Similarly, we can apply these checks to confined users. Each confined Linux user is restricted by a confined user domain. The SELinux policy can also define a transition from a confined user domain to its own target confined domain. In such a case, confined Linux users are subject to the restrictions of that target confined domain. The main point is that special privileges are associated with the confined users according to their role. In the table below, you can see examples of basic confined domains for Linux users in Red Hat Enterprise Linux:

Table 3.1. SELinux User Capabilities

User Role Domain X Window System su or sudo Execute in home directory and /tmp (default) Networking
sysadm_u sysadm_r sysadm_t yes su and sudo yes yes
staff_u staff_r staff_t yes only sudo yes yes
user_u user_r user_t yes no yes yes
guest_u guest_r guest_t no no no no
xguest_u xguest_r xguest_t yes no no Firefox only
  • Linux users in the user_t, guest_t, and xguest_t domains can only run set user ID (setuid) applications if SELinux policy permits it (for example, passwd). These users cannot run the su and sudo setuid applications, and therefore cannot use these applications to become root.
  • Linux users in the sysadm_t, staff_t, user_t, and xguest_t domains can log in using the X Window System and a terminal.
  • By default, Linux users in the guest_t and xguest_t domains cannot execute applications in their home directories or the /tmp directory, preventing them from executing applications, which inherit users' permissions, in directories they have write access to. This helps prevent flawed or malicious applications from modifying users' files.
  • By default, Linux users in the staff_t and user_t domains can execute applications in their home directories and /tmp. See Section 6.6, “Booleans for Users Executing Applications” for information about allowing and preventing users from executing applications in their home directories and /tmp.
  • The only network access Linux users in the xguest_t domain have is Firefox connecting to web pages.
Note that system_u is a special user identity for system processes and objects. It must never be associated to a Linux user. Also, unconfined_u and root are unconfined users. For these reasons, they are not included in the aforementioned table of SELinux user capabilities.
Alongside with the already mentioned SELinux users, there are special roles, that can be mapped to those users. These roles determine what SELinux allows the user to do:
  • webadm_r can only administrate SELinux types related to the Apache HTTP Server. See Section 14.2, “Types” for further information.
  • dbadm_r can only administrate SELinux types related to the MariaDB database and the PostgreSQL database management system. See Section 21.2, “Types” and Section 22.2, “Types” for further information.
  • logadm_r can only administrate SELinux types related to the syslog and auditlog processes.
  • secadm_r can only administrate SELinux.
  • auditadm_r can only administrate processes related to the audit subsystem.
To list all available roles, enter the following command:
~]$ seinfo -r
As mentioned before, the seinfo command is provided by the setools-console package, which is not installed by default.

3.3.1. The sudo Transition and SELinux Roles

In certain cases, confined users need to perform an administrative task that require root privileges. To do so, such a confined user has to gain a confined administrator SELinux role using the sudo command. The sudo command is used to give trusted users administrative access. When users precede an administrative command with sudo, they are prompted for their own password. Then, when they have been authenticated and assuming that the command is permitted, the administrative command is executed as if they were the root user.
As shown in Table 3.1, “SELinux User Capabilities”, only the staff_u and sysadm_u SELinux confined users are permitted to use sudo by default. When such users execute a command with sudo, their role can be changed based on the rules specified in the /etc/sudoers configuration file or in a respective file in the /etc/sudoers.d/ directory if such a file exists.
For more information about sudo, see the Gaining Privileges section in the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 System Administrator's Guide.

Procedure 3.5. Configuring the sudo Transition

This procedure shows how to set up sudo to transition a newly-created SELinux_user_u confined user from a default_role_t to a administrator_r administrator role. To configure a confined administrator role for an already existing SELinux user, skip the first two steps. Also, note that the following commands must be run as the root user. To better understand the placeholders in the following procedure, such as default_role_t or administrator_r, see the example in step 6.
  1. Create a new SELinux user and specify the default SELinux role and a supplementary confined administrator role for this user:
    ~]# semanage user -a -r s0-s0:c0.c1023 -R "default_role_r administrator_r" SELinux_user_u
  2. Set up the default SElinux policy context file. For example, to have the same SELinux rules as the staff_u SELinux user, copy the staff_u context file:
    ~]# cp /etc/selinux/targeted/contexts/users/staff_u /etc/selinux/targeted/contexts/users/SELinux_user_u
  3. Map the newly-created SELinux user to an existing Linux user:
    semanage login -a -s SELinux_user_u -rs0:c0.c1023 linux_user
  4. Create a new configuration file with the same name as your Linux user in the /etc/sudoers.d/ directory and add the following string to it:
    ~]# echo "linux_user ALL=(ALL) TYPE=administrator_t ROLE=administrator_r /bin/sh " > /etc/sudoers.d/linux_user
  5. Use the restorecon utility to relabel the linux_user home directory:
    ~]# restorecon -FR -v /home/linux_user
  6. When you log in to the system as the newly-created Linux user, the user is labeled with the default SELinux role:
    ~]$ id -Z
    SELinux_user_u:default_role_r:SELinux_user_t:s0:c0.c1023
    After running sudo, the user's SELinux context changes to the supplementary SELinux role as specified in /etc/sudoers.d/linux_user. The -i option used with sudo caused that an interactive shell is executed:
    ~]$ sudo -i
    ~]# id -Z
    SELinux_user_u:administrator_r:administrator_t:s0-s0:c0.c1023
    For the SELinux_user_u user from the example specified in the first step the output looks like below:
    ~]$ id -Z
    confined_u:staff_r:staff_t:s0:c0.c1023
    ~]$ sudo -i
    ~]# id -Z
    confined_u:webadm_r:webadm_t:s0:c0.c1023
    In the example bellow, we will create a new SELinux user confined_u with default assigned role staff_r and with sudo configured to change the role of confined_u from staff_r to webadm_r.
    ~]# semanage user -a -r s0-s0:c0.c1023 -R "staff_r webadm_r" confined_u
    ~]# cp /etc/selinux/targeted/contexts/users/staff_u /etc/selinux/targeted/contexts/users/confined_u
    ~]# semanage login -a -s confined_u -rs0:c0.c1023 linux_user
    ~]# restorecon -FR -v /home/linux_user
    ~]# echo "linux_user ALL=(ALL) TYPE=webadm_t ROLE=webadm_r /bin/sh " > /etc/sudoers.d/linux_user
    When you log in to the system as the newly-created Linux user, the user is labeled with the default SELinux role:
    ~]$ id -Z
    confined_u:staff_r:staff_t:s0:c0.c1023
    ~]$ sudo -i
    ~]# id -Z
    confined_u:webadm_r:webadm_t:s0:c0.c1023

Chapter 4. Working with SELinux

The following sections give a brief overview of the main SELinux packages in Red Hat Enterprise Linux; installing and updating packages; which log files are used; the main SELinux configuration file; enabling and disabling SELinux; SELinux modes; configuring Booleans; temporarily and persistently changing file and directory labels; overriding file system labels with the mount command; mounting NFS volumes; and how to preserve SELinux contexts when copying and archiving files and directories.

4.1. SELinux Packages

In Red Hat Enterprise Linux full installation, the SELinux packages are installed by default unless they are manually excluded during installation. If performing a minimal installation in text mode, the policycoreutils-python and the policycoreutils-gui package are not installed by default. Also, by default, SELinux runs in enforcing mode and the SELinux targeted policy is used. The following SELinux packages are installed on your system by default:
  • policycoreutils provides utilities such as restorecon, secon, setfiles, semodule, load_policy, and setsebool, for operating and managing SELinux.
  • selinux-policy provides a basic directory structure, the selinux-policy.conf file, and RPM macros.
  • selinux-policy-targeted provides the SELinux targeted policy.
  • libselinux – provides an API for SELinux applications.
  • libselinux-utils provides the avcstat, getenforce, getsebool, matchpathcon, selinuxconlist, selinuxdefcon, selinuxenabled, and setenforce utilities.
  • libselinux-python provides Python bindings for developing SELinux applications.
The following packages are not installed by default but can be optionally installed by running the yum install <package-name> command:
  • selinux-policy-devel provides utilities for creating a custom SELinux policy and policy modules.
  • selinux-policy-doc provides manual pages that describe how to configure SELinux altogether with various services.
  • selinux-policy-mls provides the MLS (Multi-Level Security) SELinux policy.
  • setroubleshoot-server translates denial messages, produced when access is denied by SELinux, into detailed descriptions that can be viewed with the sealert utility, also provided in this package.
  • setools-console provides the Tresys Technology SETools distribution, a number of utilities and libraries for analyzing and querying policy, audit log monitoring and reporting, and file context management. The setools package is a meta-package for SETools. The setools-gui package provides the apol and seaudit utilities. The setools-console package provides the sechecker, sediff, seinfo, sesearch, and findcon command-line utilities. See the Tresys Technology SETools page for information about these utilities. Note that setools and setools-gui packages are available only when the Red Hat Network Optional channel is enabled. For further information, see Scope of Coverage Details.
  • mcstrans translates levels, such as s0-s0:c0.c1023, to a form that is easier to read, such as SystemLow-SystemHigh.
  • policycoreutils-python provides utilities such as semanage, audit2allow, audit2why, and chcat, for operating and managing SELinux.
  • policycoreutils-gui provides system-config-selinux, a graphical utility for managing SELinux.

4.2. Which Log File is Used

In Red Hat Enterprise Linux, the dbus and audit packages are installed by default, unless they are removed from the default package selection. The setroubleshoot-server must be installed using Yum (use the yum install setroubleshoot-server command).
If the auditd daemon is running, an SELinux denial message, such as the following, is written to /var/log/audit/audit.log by default:
type=AVC msg=audit(1223024155.684:49): avc:  denied  { getattr } for  pid=2000 comm="httpd" path="/var/www/html/file1" dev=dm-0 ino=399185 scontext=unconfined_u:system_r:httpd_t:s0 tcontext=system_u:object_r:samba_share_t:s0 tclass=file
In addition, a message similar to the one below is written to the /var/log/message file:
May 7 18:55:56 localhost setroubleshoot: SELinux is preventing httpd (httpd_t) "getattr" to /var/www/html/file1 (samba_share_t). For complete SELinux messages. run sealert -l de7e30d6-5488-466d-a606-92c9f40d316d
In Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7, setroubleshootd no longer constantly runs as a service. However, it is still used to analyze the AVC messages. Two new programs act as a method to start setroubleshoot when needed:
  • The sedispatch utility runs as a part of the audit subsystem. When an AVC denial message is returned, sedispatch sends a message using dbus. These messages go straight to setroubleshootd if it is already running. If it is not running, sedispatch starts it automatically.
  • The seapplet utility runs in the system toolbar, waiting for dbus messages in setroubleshootd. It launches the notification bubble, allowing the user to review AVC messages.

Procedure 4.1. Starting Daemons Automatically

  1. To configure the auditd and rsyslog daemons to automatically start at boot, enter the following commands as the root user:
    ~]# systemctl enable auditd.service
    ~]# systemctl enable rsyslog.service
  2. To ensure that the daemons are enabled, type the following commands at the shell prompt:
    ~]$ systemctl is-enabled auditd
    enabled
    
    ~]$ systemctl is-enabled rsyslog
    enabled
    
    Alternatively, use the systemctl status service-name.service command and search for the keyword enabled in the command output, for example:
    ~]$ systemctl status auditd.service | grep enabled
    auditd.service - Security Auditing Service
       Loaded: loaded (/usr/lib/systemd/system/auditd.service; enabled)
    
To learn more on how the systemd daemon manages system services, see the Managing System Services chapter in the System Administrator's Guide.

4.3. Main Configuration File

The /etc/selinux/config file is the main SELinux configuration file. It controls whether SELinux is enabled or disabled and which SELinux mode and SELinux policy is used:
# This file controls the state of SELinux on the system.
# SELINUX= can take one of these three values:
#       enforcing - SELinux security policy is enforced.
#       permissive - SELinux prints warnings instead of enforcing.
#       disabled - No SELinux policy is loaded.
SELINUX=enforcing
# SELINUXTYPE= can take one of these two values:
#       targeted - Targeted processes are protected,
#       mls - Multi Level Security protection.
SELINUXTYPE=targeted
SELINUX=
The SELINUX option sets whether SELinux is disabled or enabled and in which mode - enforcing or permissive - it is running:
  • When using SELINUX=enforcing, SELinux policy is enforced, and SELinux denies access based on SELinux policy rules. Denial messages are logged.
  • When using SELINUX=permissive, SELinux policy is not enforced. SELinux does not deny access, but denials are logged for actions that would have been denied if running SELinux in enforcing mode.
  • When using SELINUX=disabled, SELinux is disabled, the SELinux module is not registered with the Linux kernel, and only DAC rules are used.
SELINUXTYPE=
The SELINUXTYPE option sets the SELinux policy to use. Targeted policy is the default policy. Only change this option if you want to use the MLS policy. For information on how to enable the MLS policy, see Section 4.13.2, “Enabling MLS in SELinux”.

4.4. Permanent Changes in SELinux States and Modes

As discussed in Section 1.4, “SELinux States and Modes”, SELinux can be enabled or disabled. When enabled, SELinux has two modes: enforcing and permissive.
Use the getenforce or sestatus commands to check in which mode SELinux is running. The getenforce command returns Enforcing, Permissive, or Disabled.
The sestatus command returns the SELinux status and the SELinux policy being used:
~]$ sestatus
SELinux status:                 enabled
SELinuxfs mount:                /sys/fs/selinux
SELinux root directory:         /etc/selinux
Loaded policy name:             targeted
Current mode:                   enforcing
Mode from config file:          enforcing
Policy MLS status:              enabled
Policy deny_unknown status:     allowed
Max kernel policy version:      30

Note

When systems run SELinux in permissive mode, users are able to label files incorrectly. Files created while SELinux is disabled are not labeled at all. This behavior causes problems when changing to enforcing mode because files are labeled incorrectly or are not labeled at all. To prevent incorrectly labeled and unlabeled files from causing problems, file systems are automatically relabeled when changing from the disabled state to permissive or enforcing mode.

4.4.1. Enabling SELinux

When enabled, SELinux can run in one of two modes: enforcing or permissive. The following sections show how to permanently change into these modes.

4.4.1.1. Enforcing Mode

When SELinux is running in enforcing mode, it enforces the SELinux policy and denies access based on SELinux policy rules. In Red Hat Enterprise Linux, enforcing mode is enabled by default when the system was initially installed with SELinux.
If SELinux was disabled, follow the procedure below to change mode to enforcing again:

Procedure 4.2. Changing to Enforcing Mode

This procedure assumes that the selinux-policy-targeted, selinux-policy, libselinux, libselinux-python, libselinux-utils, policycoreutils, and policycoreutils-python packages are installed. To verify that the packages are installed, use the following command:
rpm -q package_name
  1. Edit the /etc/selinux/config file as follows:
    # This file controls the state of SELinux on the system.
    # SELINUX= can take one of these three values:
    #       enforcing - SELinux security policy is enforced.
    #       permissive - SELinux prints warnings instead of enforcing.
    #       disabled - No SELinux policy is loaded.
    SELINUX=enforcing
    # SELINUXTYPE= can take one of these two values:
    #       targeted - Targeted processes are protected,
    #       mls - Multi Level Security protection.
    SELINUXTYPE=targeted
  2. Reboot the system:
    ~]# reboot
    On the next boot, SELinux relabels all the files and directories within the system and adds SELinux context for files and directories that were created when SELinux was disabled.

Note

After changing to enforcing mode, SELinux may deny some actions because of incorrect or missing SELinux policy rules. To view what actions SELinux denies, enter the following command as root:
~]# ausearch -m AVC,USER_AVC,SELINUX_ERR -ts today
Alternatively, with the setroubleshoot-server package installed, enter the following command as root:
~]# grep "SELinux is preventing" /var/log/messages
If SELinux denies some actions, see Chapter 11, Troubleshooting for information about troubleshooting.
Temporary changes in modes are covered in Section 1.4, “SELinux States and Modes”.

4.4.1.2. Permissive Mode

When SELinux is running in permissive mode, SELinux policy is not enforced. The system remains operational and SELinux does not deny any operations but only logs AVC messages, which can be then used for troubleshooting, debugging, and SELinux policy improvements. Each AVC is logged only once in this case.
To permanently change mode to permissive, follow the procedure below:

Procedure 4.3. Changing to Permissive Mode

  1. Edit the /etc/selinux/config file as follows:
    # This file controls the state of SELinux on the system.
    # SELINUX= can take one of these three values:
    #       enforcing - SELinux security policy is enforced.
    #       permissive - SELinux prints warnings instead of enforcing.
    #       disabled - No SELinux policy is loaded.
    SELINUX=permissive
    # SELINUXTYPE= can take one of these two values:
    #       targeted - Targeted processes are protected,
    #       mls - Multi Level Security protection.
    SELINUXTYPE=targeted
  2. Reboot the system:
    ~]# reboot
Temporary changes in modes are covered in Section 1.4, “SELinux States and Modes”.

4.4.2. Disabling SELinux

When SELinux is disabled, SELinux policy is not loaded at all; it is not enforced and AVC messages are not logged. Therefore, all benefits of running SELinux listed in Section 1.1, “Benefits of running SELinux” are lost.

Important

Red Hat strongly recommends to use permissive mode instead of permanently disabling SELinux. See Section 4.4.1.2, “Permissive Mode” for more information about permissive mode.
To permanently disable SELinux, follow the procedure below:

Procedure 4.4. Disabling SELinux

  1. Configure SELINUX=disabled in the /etc/selinux/config file:
    # This file controls the state of SELinux on the system.
    # SELINUX= can take one of these three values:
    #       enforcing - SELinux security policy is enforced.
    #       permissive - SELinux prints warnings instead of enforcing.
    #       disabled - No SELinux policy is loaded.
    SELINUX=disabled
    # SELINUXTYPE= can take one of these two values:
    #       targeted - Targeted processes are protected,
    #       mls - Multi Level Security protection.
    SELINUXTYPE=targeted
  2. Reboot your system. After reboot, confirm that the getenforce command returns Disabled:
    ~]$ getenforce
    Disabled

4.5. Changing SELinux Modes at Boot Time

On boot, you can set several kernel parameters to change the way SELinux runs:
enforcing=0
Setting this parameter causes the machine to boot in permissive mode, which is useful when troubleshooting issues. Using permissive mode might be the only option to detect a problem if your file system is too corrupted. Moreover, in permissive mode the system continues to create the labels correctly. The AVC messages that are created in this mode can be different than in enforcing mode. In permissive mode, only the first denial is reported. However, in enforcing mode you might get a denial on reading a directory and an application stops. In permissive mode, you get the same AVC message, but the application continues reading files in the directory and you get an AVC for each denial in addition.
selinux=0
This parameter causes the kernel to not load any part of the SELinux infrastructure. The init scripts notice that the system booted with the selinux=0 parameter and touch the /.autorelabel file. This causes the system to automatically relabel the next time you boot with SELinux enabled.

Important

Red Hat does not recommend using the selinux=0 parameter. To debug your system, prefer using permissive mode.
autorelabel=1
This parameter forces the system to relabel similarly to the following commands:
~]# touch /.autorelabel
~]# reboot
If the system labeling contains a large amount of errors, you might need to boot in permissive mode in order that the autorelabel succeeds.
For additional SELinux-related kernel boot parameters, such as checkreqprot, see the /usr/share/doc/kernel-doc-<KERNEL_VER>/Documentation/kernel-parameters.txt file. This documentation is installed with the kernel-doc package. Replace the <KERNEL_VER> string with the version number of the installed kernel, for example:
~]# yum install kernel-doc
~]$ less /usr/share/doc/kernel-doc-3.10.0/Documentation/kernel-parameters.txt

4.6. Booleans

Booleans allow parts of SELinux policy to be changed at runtime, without any knowledge of SELinux policy writing. This allows changes, such as allowing services access to NFS volumes, without reloading or recompiling SELinux policy.

4.6.1. Listing Booleans

For a list of Booleans, an explanation of what each one is, and whether they are on or off, run the semanage boolean -l command as the Linux root user. The following example does not list all Booleans and the output is shortened for brevity:
~]# semanage boolean -l
SELinux boolean                State  Default Description


smartmon_3ware                 (off  ,  off)  Determine whether smartmon can...
mpd_enable_homedirs            (off  ,  off)  Determine whether mpd can traverse...

Note

To have more detailed descriptions, install the selinux-policy-devel package.
The SELinux boolean column lists Boolean names. The Description column lists whether the Booleans are on or off, and what they do.
The getsebool -a command lists Booleans, whether they are on or off, but does not give a description of each one. The following example does not list all Booleans:
~]$ getsebool -a
cvs_read_shadow --> off
daemons_dump_core --> on
Run the getsebool boolean-name command to only list the status of the boolean-name Boolean:
~]$ getsebool cvs_read_shadow
cvs_read_shadow --> off
Use a space-separated list to list multiple Booleans:
~]$ getsebool cvs_read_shadow daemons_dump_core
cvs_read_shadow --> off
daemons_dump_core --> on

4.6.2. Configuring Booleans

Run the setsebool utility in the setsebool boolean_name on/off form to enable or disable Booleans.
The following example demonstrates configuring the httpd_can_network_connect_db Boolean:

Procedure 4.5. Configuring Booleans

  1. By default, the httpd_can_network_connect_db Boolean is off, preventing Apache HTTP Server scripts and modules from connecting to database servers:
    ~]$ getsebool httpd_can_network_connect_db
    httpd_can_network_connect_db --> off
    
  2. To temporarily enable Apache HTTP Server scripts and modules to connect to database servers, enter the following command as root:
    ~]# setsebool httpd_can_network_connect_db on
  3. Use the getsebool utility to verify the Boolean has been enabled:
    ~]$ getsebool httpd_can_network_connect_db
    httpd_can_network_connect_db --> on
    
    This allows Apache HTTP Server scripts and modules to connect to database servers.
  4. This change is not persistent across reboots. To make changes persistent across reboots, run the setsebool -P boolean-name on command as root:[5]
    ~]# setsebool -P httpd_can_network_connect_db on

4.6.3. Shell Auto-Completion

It is possible to use shell auto-completion with the getsebool, setsebool, and semanage utilities. Use the auto-completion with getsebool and setsebool to complete both command-line parameters and Booleans. To list only the command-line parameters, add the hyphen character ("-") after the command name and hit the Tab key:
~]# setsebool -[Tab]
-P
To complete a Boolean, start writing the Boolean name and then hit Tab:
~]$ getsebool samba_[Tab]
samba_create_home_dirs   samba_export_all_ro      samba_run_unconfined
samba_domain_controller  samba_export_all_rw      samba_share_fusefs
samba_enable_home_dirs   samba_portmapper         samba_share_nfs
~]# setsebool -P virt_use_[Tab]
virt_use_comm     virt_use_nfs      virt_use_sanlock
virt_use_execmem  virt_use_rawip    virt_use_usb
virt_use_fusefs   virt_use_samba    virt_use_xserver
The semanage utility is used with several command-line arguments that are completed one by one. The first argument of a semanage command is an option, which specifies what part of SELinux policy is managed:
~]# semanage [Tab]
boolean     export      import      login       node        port
dontaudit   fcontext    interface   module      permissive  user
Then, one or more command-line parameters follow:
~]# semanage fcontext -[Tab]
-a           -D           --equal      --help       -m           -o
--add        --delete     -f           -l           --modify     -S
-C           --deleteall  --ftype      --list       -n           -t
-d           -e           -h           --locallist  --noheading  --type
Finally, complete the name of a particular SELinux entry, such as a Boolean, SELinux user, domain, or another. Start typing the entry and hit Tab:
~]# semanage fcontext -a -t samba<tab>
samba_etc_t                     samba_secrets_t
sambagui_exec_t                 samba_share_t
samba_initrc_exec_t             samba_unconfined_script_exec_t
samba_log_t                     samba_unit_file_t
samba_net_exec_t
Command-line parameters can be chained in a command:
~]# semanage port -a -t http_port_t -p tcp 81

4.7. SELinux Contexts – Labeling Files

On systems running SELinux, all processes and files are labeled in a way that represents security-relevant information. This information is called the SELinux context. For files, this is viewed using the ls -Z command:
~]$ ls -Z file1
-rw-rw-r--  user1 group1 unconfined_u:object_r:user_home_t:s0 file1
In this example, SELinux provides a user (unconfined_u), a role (object_r), a type (user_home_t), and a level (s0). This information is used to make access control decisions. On DAC systems, access is controlled based on Linux user and group IDs. SELinux policy rules are checked after DAC rules. SELinux policy rules are not used if DAC rules deny access first.

Note

By default, newly-created files and directories inherit the SELinux type of their parent directories. For example, when creating a new file in the /etc directory that is labeled with the etc_t type, the new file inherits the same type:
~]$ ls -dZ - /etc
drwxr-xr-x. root root system_u:object_r:etc_t:s0       /etc
~]# touch /etc/file1
~]# ls -lZ /etc/file1
-rw-r--r--. root root unconfined_u:object_r:etc_t:s0   /etc/file1
There are multiple commands for managing the SELinux context for files, such as chcon, semanage fcontext, and restorecon.

4.7.1. Temporary Changes: chcon

The chcon command changes the SELinux context for files. However, changes made with the chcon command do not survive a file system relabel, or the execution of the restorecon command. SELinux policy controls whether users are able to modify the SELinux context for any given file. When using chcon, users provide all or part of the SELinux context to change. An incorrect file type is a common cause of SELinux denying access.

Quick Reference

  • Run the chcon -t type file-name command to change the file type, where type is an SELinux type, such as httpd_sys_content_t, and file-name is a file or directory name:
    ~]$ chcon -t httpd_sys_content_t file-name
  • Run the chcon -R -t type directory-name command to change the type of the directory and its contents, where type is an SELinux type, such as httpd_sys_content_t, and directory-name is a directory name:
    ~]$ chcon -R -t httpd_sys_content_t directory-name

Procedure 4.6. Changing a File's or Directory's Type

The following procedure demonstrates changing the type, and no other attributes of the SELinux context. The example in this section works the same for directories, for example, if file1 was a directory.
  1. Change into your home directory.
  2. Create a new file and view its SELinux context:
    ~]$ touch file1
    ~]$ ls -Z file1
    -rw-rw-r--  user1 group1 unconfined_u:object_r:user_home_t:s0 file1
    
    In this example, the SELinux context for file1 includes the SELinux unconfined_u user, object_r role, user_home_t type, and the s0 level. For a description of each part of the SELinux context, see Chapter 2, SELinux Contexts.
  3. Enter the following command to change the type to samba_share_t. The -t option only changes the type. Then view the change:
    ~]$ chcon -t samba_share_t file1
    ~]$ ls -Z file1 
    -rw-rw-r--  user1 group1 unconfined_u:object_r:samba_share_t:s0 file1
    
  4. Use the following command to restore the SELinux context for the file1 file. Use the -v option to view what changes:
    ~]$ restorecon -v file1
    restorecon reset file1 context unconfined_u:object_r:samba_share_t:s0->system_u:object_r:user_home_t:s0
    
    In this example, the previous type, samba_share_t, is restored to the correct, user_home_t type. When using targeted policy (the default SELinux policy in Red Hat Enterprise Linux), the restorecon command reads the files in the /etc/selinux/targeted/contexts/files/ directory, to see which SELinux context files should have.

Procedure 4.7. Changing a Directory and its Contents Types

The following example demonstrates creating a new directory, and changing the directory's file type along with its contents to a type used by the Apache HTTP Server. The configuration in this example is used if you want Apache HTTP Server to use a different document root (instead of /var/www/html/):
  1. As the root user, create a new web/ directory and then 3 empty files (file1, file2, and file3) within this directory. The web/ directory and files in it are labeled with the default_t type:
    ~]# mkdir /web
    ~]# touch /web/file{1,2,3}
    ~]# ls -dZ /web
    drwxr-xr-x  root root unconfined_u:object_r:default_t:s0 /web
    
    ~]# ls -lZ /web
    -rw-r--r--  root root unconfined_u:object_r:default_t:s0 file1
    -rw-r--r--  root root unconfined_u:object_r:default_t:s0 file2
    -rw-r--r--  root root unconfined_u:object_r:default_t:s0 file3
    
  2. As root, enter the following command to change the type of the web/ directory (and its contents) to httpd_sys_content_t:
    ~]# chcon -R -t httpd_sys_content_t /web/
    ~]# ls -dZ /web/
    drwxr-xr-x  root root unconfined_u:object_r:httpd_sys_content_t:s0 /web/
    
    ~]# ls -lZ /web/
    -rw-r--r--  root root unconfined_u:object_r:httpd_sys_content_t:s0 file1
    -rw-r--r--  root root unconfined_u:object_r:httpd_sys_content_t:s0 file2
    -rw-r--r--  root root unconfined_u:object_r:httpd_sys_content_t:s0 file3
    
  3. To restore the default SELinux contexts, use the restorecon utility as root:
    ~]# restorecon -R -v /web/
    restorecon reset /web context unconfined_u:object_r:httpd_sys_content_t:s0->system_u:object_r:default_t:s0
    restorecon reset /web/file2 context unconfined_u:object_r:httpd_sys_content_t:s0->system_u:object_r:default_t:s0
    restorecon reset /web/file3 context unconfined_u:object_r:httpd_sys_content_t:s0->system_u:object_r:default_t:s0
    restorecon reset /web/file1 context unconfined_u:object_r:httpd_sys_content_t:s0->system_u:object_r:default_t:s0
    
See the chcon(1) manual page for further information about chcon.

Note

Type Enforcement is the main permission control used in SELinux targeted policy. For the most part, SELinux users and roles can be ignored.

4.7.2. Persistent Changes: semanage fcontext

The semanage fcontext command is used to change the SELinux context of files. To show contexts to newly created files and directories, enter the following command as root:
~]# semanage fcontext -C -l
Changes made by semanage fcontext are used by the following utilities. The setfiles utility is used when a file system is relabeled and the restorecon utility restores the default SELinux contexts. This means that changes made by semanage fcontext are persistent, even if the file system is relabeled. SELinux policy controls whether users are able to modify the SELinux context for any given file.

Quick Reference

To make SELinux context changes that survive a file system relabel:
  1. Enter the following command, remembering to use the full path to the file or directory:
    ~]# semanage fcontext -a options file-name|directory-name
  2. Use the restorecon utility to apply the context changes:
    ~]# restorecon -v file-name|directory-name

Procedure 4.8. Changing a File's or Directory 's Type

The following example demonstrates changing a file's type, and no other attributes of the SELinux context. This example works the same for directories, for instance if file1 was a directory.
  1. As the root user, create a new file in the /etc directory. By default, newly-created files in /etc are labeled with the etc_t type:
    ~]# touch /etc/file1
    ~]$ ls -Z /etc/file1
    -rw-r--r--  root root unconfined_u:object_r:etc_t:s0       /etc/file1
    
    To list information about a directory, use the following command:
    ~]$ ls -dZ directory_name
  2. As root, enter the following command to change the file1 type to samba_share_t. The -a option adds a new record, and the -t option defines a type (samba_share_t). Note that running this command does not directly change the type; file1 is still labeled with the etc_t type:
    ~]# semanage fcontext -a -t samba_share_t /etc/file1
    ~]# ls -Z /etc/file1
    -rw-r--r--  root root unconfined_u:object_r:etc_t:s0       /etc/file1
    
    ~]$ semanage fcontext -C -l
    /etc/file1    unconfined_u:object_r:samba_share_t:s0
    
  3. As root, use the restorecon utility to change the type. Because semanage added an entry to file_contexts.local for /etc/file1, restorecon changes the type to samba_share_t:
    ~]# restorecon -v /etc/file1
    restorecon reset /etc/file1 context unconfined_u:object_r:etc_t:s0->system_u:object_r:samba_share_t:s0
    

Procedure 4.9. Changing a Directory and its Contents Types

The following example demonstrates creating a new directory, and changing the directory's file type along with its contents to a type used by Apache HTTP Server. The configuration in this example is used if you want Apache HTTP Server to use a different document root instead of /var/www/html/:
  1. As the root user, create a new web/ directory and then 3 empty files (file1, file2, and file3) within this directory. The web/ directory and files in it are labeled with the default_t type:
    ~]# mkdir /web
    ~]# touch /web/file{1,2,3}
    ~]# ls -dZ /web
    drwxr-xr-x  root root unconfined_u:object_r:default_t:s0 /web
    
    ~]# ls -lZ /web
    -rw-r--r--  root root unconfined_u:object_r:default_t:s0 file1
    -rw-r--r--  root root unconfined_u:object_r:default_t:s0 file2
    -rw-r--r--  root root unconfined_u:object_r:default_t:s0 file3
    
  2. As root, enter the following command to change the type of the web/ directory and the files in it, to httpd_sys_content_t. The -a option adds a new record, and the -t option defines a type (httpd_sys_content_t). The "/web(/.*)?" regular expression causes semanage to apply changes to web/, as well as the files in it. Note that running this command does not directly change the type; web/ and files in it are still labeled with the default_t type:
    ~]# semanage fcontext -a -t httpd_sys_content_t "/web(/.*)?"
    ~]$ ls -dZ /web
    drwxr-xr-x  root root unconfined_u:object_r:default_t:s0 /web
    
    ~]$ ls -lZ /web
    -rw-r--r--  root root unconfined_u:object_r:default_t:s0 file1
    -rw-r--r--  root root unconfined_u:object_r:default_t:s0 file2
    -rw-r--r--  root root unconfined_u:object_r:default_t:s0 file3
    
    The semanage fcontext -a -t httpd_sys_content_t "/web(/.*)?" command adds the following entry to /etc/selinux/targeted/contexts/files/file_contexts.local:
    /web(/.*)?    system_u:object_r:httpd_sys_content_t:s0
    
  3. As root, use the restorecon utility to change the type of web/, as well as all files in it. The -R is for recursive, which means all files and directories under web/ are labeled with the httpd_sys_content_t type. Since semanage added an entry to file.contexts.local for /web(/.*)?, restorecon changes the types to httpd_sys_content_t:
    ~]# restorecon -R -v /web
    restorecon reset /web context unconfined_u:object_r:default_t:s0->system_u:object_r:httpd_sys_content_t:s0
    restorecon reset /web/file2 context unconfined_u:object_r:default_t:s0->system_u:object_r:httpd_sys_content_t:s0
    restorecon reset /web/file3 context unconfined_u:object_r:default_t:s0->system_u:object_r:httpd_sys_content_t:s0
    restorecon reset /web/file1 context unconfined_u:object_r:default_t:s0->system_u:object_r:httpd_sys_content_t:s0
    
    Note that by default, newly-created files and directories inherit the SELinux type of their parent directories.

Procedure 4.10. Deleting an added Context

The following example demonstrates adding and removing an SELinux context. If the context is part of a regular expression, for example, /web(/.*)?, use quotation marks around the regular expression:
~]# semanage fcontext -d "/web(/.*)?"
  1. To remove the context, as root, enter the following command, where file-name|directory-name is the first part in file_contexts.local:
    ~]# semanage fcontext -d file-name|directory-name
    The following is an example of a context in file_contexts.local:
    /test    system_u:object_r:httpd_sys_content_t:s0
    
    With the first part being test. To prevent the test/ directory from being labeled with the httpd_sys_content_t after running restorecon, or after a file system relabel, enter the following command as root to delete the context from file_contexts.local:
    ~]# semanage fcontext -d /test
  2. As root, use the restorecon utility to restore the default SELinux context.
See the semanage(8) manual page for further information about semanage.

Important

When changing the SELinux context with semanage fcontext -a, use the full path to the file or directory to avoid files being mislabeled after a file system relabel, or after the restorecon command is run.

4.8. The file_t and default_t Types

When using a file system that supports extended attributes (EA), the file_t type is the default type of a file that has not yet been assigned EA value. This type is only used for this purpose and does not exist on correctly-labeled file systems, because all files on a system running SELinux should have a proper SELinux context, and the file_t type is never used in file-context configuration[6].
The default_t type is used on files that do not match any pattern in file-context configuration, so that such files can be distinguished from files that do not have a context on disk, and generally are kept inaccessible to confined domains. For example, if you create a new top-level directory, such as mydirectory/, this directory may be labeled with the default_t type. If services need access to this directory, you need to update the file-contexts configuration for this location. See Section 4.7.2, “Persistent Changes: semanage fcontext” for details on adding a context to the file-context configuration.

4.9. Mounting File Systems

By default, when a file system that supports extended attributes is mounted, the security context for each file is obtained from the security.selinux extended attribute of the file. Files in file systems that do not support extended attributes are assigned a single, default security context from the policy configuration, based on file system type.
Use the mount -o context command to override existing extended attributes, or to specify a different, default context for file systems that do not support extended attributes. This is useful if you do not trust a file system to supply the correct attributes, for example, removable media used in multiple systems. The mount -o context command can also be used to support labeling for file systems that do not support extended attributes, such as File Allocation Table (FAT) or NFS volumes. The context specified with the context option is not written to disk: the original contexts are preserved, and are seen when mounting without context if the file system had extended attributes in the first place.
For further information about file system labeling, see James Morris's "Filesystem Labeling in SELinux" article: http://www.linuxjournal.com/article/7426.

4.9.1. Context Mounts

To mount a file system with the specified context, overriding existing contexts if they exist, or to specify a different, default context for a file system that does not support extended attributes, as the root user, use the mount -o context=SELinux_user:role:type:level command when mounting the desired file system. Context changes are not written to disk. By default, NFS mounts on the client side are labeled with a default context defined by policy for NFS volumes. In common policies, this default context uses the nfs_t type. Without additional mount options, this may prevent sharing NFS volumes using other services, such as the Apache HTTP Server. The following example mounts an NFS volume so that it can be shared using the Apache HTTP Server:
~]# mount server:/export /local/mount/point -o \ context="system_u:object_r:httpd_sys_content_t:s0"
Newly-created files and directories on this file system appear to have the SELinux context specified with -o context. However, since these changes are not written to disk, the context specified with this option does not persist between mounts. Therefore, this option must be used with the same context specified during every mount to retain the desired context. For information about making context mount persistent, see Section 4.9.5, “Making Context Mounts Persistent”.
Type Enforcement is the main permission control used in SELinux targeted policy. For the most part, SELinux users and roles can be ignored, so, when overriding the SELinux context with -o context, use the SELinux system_u user and object_r role, and concentrate on the type. If you are not using the MLS policy or multi-category security, use the s0 level.

Note

When a file system is mounted with a context option, context changes by users and processes are prohibited. For example, running the chcon command on a file system mounted with a context option results in a Operation not supported error.

4.9.2. Changing the Default Context

As mentioned in Section 4.8, “The file_t and default_t Types”, on file systems that support extended attributes, when a file that lacks an SELinux context on disk is accessed, it is treated as if it had a default context as defined by SELinux policy. In common policies, this default context uses the file_t type. If it is desirable to use a different default context, mount the file system with the defcontext option.
The following example mounts a newly-created file system on /dev/sda2 to the newly-created test/ directory. It assumes that there are no rules in /etc/selinux/targeted/contexts/files/ that define a context for the test/ directory:
~]# mount /dev/sda2 /test/ -o defcontext="system_u:object_r:samba_share_t:s0"
In this example:
  • the defcontext option defines that system_u:object_r:samba_share_t:s0 is "the default security context for unlabeled files"[7].
  • when mounted, the root directory (test/) of the file system is treated as if it is labeled with the context specified by defcontext (this label is not stored on disk). This affects the labeling for files created under test/: new files inherit the samba_share_t type, and these labels are stored on disk.
  • files created under test/ while the file system was mounted with a defcontext option retain their labels.

4.9.3. Mounting an NFS Volume

By default, NFS mounts on the client side are labeled with a default context defined by policy for NFS volumes. In common policies, this default context uses the nfs_t type. Depending on policy configuration, services, such as Apache HTTP Server and MariaDB, may not be able to read files labeled with the nfs_t type. This may prevent file systems labeled with this type from being mounted and then read or exported by other services.
If you would like to mount an NFS volume and read or export that file system with another service, use the context option when mounting to override the nfs_t type. Use the following context option to mount NFS volumes so that they can be shared using the Apache HTTP Server:
~]# mount server:/export /local/mount/point -o context="system_u:object_r:httpd_sys_content_t:s0"
Since these changes are not written to disk, the context specified with this option does not persist between mounts. Therefore, this option must be used with the same context specified during every mount to retain the desired context. For information about making context mount persistent, see Section 4.9.5, “Making Context Mounts Persistent”.
As an alternative to mounting file systems with context options, Booleans can be enabled to allow services access to file systems labeled with the nfs_t type. See Part II, “Managing Confined Services” for instructions on configuring Booleans to allow services access to the nfs_t type.

4.9.4. Multiple NFS Mounts

When mounting multiple mounts from the same NFS export, attempting to override the SELinux context of each mount with a different context, results in subsequent mount commands failing. In the following example, the NFS server has a single export, export/, which has two subdirectories, web/ and database/. The following commands attempt two mounts from a single NFS export, and try to override the context for each one:
~]# mount server:/export/web /local/web -o context="system_u:object_r:httpd_sys_content_t:s0"
~]# mount server:/export/database /local/database -o context="system_u:object_r:mysqld_db_t:s0"
The second mount command fails, and the following is logged to /var/log/messages:
kernel: SELinux: mount invalid.  Same superblock, different security settings for (dev 0:15, type nfs)
To mount multiple mounts from a single NFS export, with each mount having a different context, use the -o nosharecache,context options. The following example mounts multiple mounts from a single NFS export, with a different context for each mount (allowing a single service access to each one):
~]# mount server:/export/web /local/web -o nosharecache,context="system_u:object_r:httpd_sys_content_t:s0"
~]# mount server:/export/database /local/database -o \ nosharecache,context="system_u:object_r:mysqld_db_t:s0"
In this example, server:/export/web is mounted locally to the /local/web/ directory, with all files being labeled with the httpd_sys_content_t type, allowing Apache HTTP Server access. server:/export/database is mounted locally to /local/database/, with all files being labeled with the mysqld_db_t type, allowing MariaDB access. These type changes are not written to disk.

Important

The nosharecache options allows you to mount the same subdirectory of an export multiple times with different contexts, for example, mounting /export/web/ multiple times. Do not mount the same subdirectory from an export multiple times with different contexts, as this creates an overlapping mount, where files are accessible under two different contexts.

4.9.5. Making Context Mounts Persistent

To make context mounts persistent across remounting and reboots, add entries for the file systems in the /etc/fstab file or an automounter map, and use the desired context as a mount option. The following example adds an entry to /etc/fstab for an NFS context mount:
server:/export /local/mount/ nfs context="system_u:object_r:httpd_sys_content_t:s0" 0 0

4.10. Maintaining SELinux Labels

These sections describe what happens to SELinux contexts when copying, moving, and archiving files and directories. Also, it explains how to preserve contexts when copying and archiving.

4.10.1. Copying Files and Directories

When a file or directory is copied, a new file or directory is created if it does not exist. That new file or directory's context is based on default-labeling rules, not the original file or directory's context unless options were used to preserve the original context. For example, files created in user home directories are labeled with the user_home_t type:
~]$ touch file1
~]$ ls -Z file1
-rw-rw-r--  user1 group1 unconfined_u:object_r:user_home_t:s0 file1
If such a file is copied to another directory, such as /etc, the new file is created in accordance to default-labeling rules for /etc. Copying a file without additional options may not preserve the original context:
~]$ ls -Z file1
-rw-rw-r--  user1 group1 unconfined_u:object_r:user_home_t:s0 file1
~]# cp file1 /etc/
~]$ ls -Z /etc/file1
-rw-r--r--  root root unconfined_u:object_r:etc_t:s0   /etc/file1
When file1 is copied to /etc, if /etc/file1 does not exist, /etc/file1 is created as a new file. As shown in the example above, /etc/file1 is labeled with the etc_t type, in accordance to default-labeling rules.
When a file is copied over an existing file, the existing file's context is preserved, unless the user specified cp options to preserve the context of the original file, such as --preserve=context. SELinux policy may prevent contexts from being preserved during copies.

Procedure 4.11. Copying Without Preserving SELinux Contexts

This procedure shows that when copying a file with the cp command, if no options are given, the type is inherited from the targeted, parent directory.
  1. Create a file in a user's home directory. The file is labeled with the user_home_t type:
    ~]$ touch file1
    ~]$ ls -Z file1
    -rw-rw-r--  user1 group1 unconfined_u:object_r:user_home_t:s0 file1
    
  2. The /var/www/html/ directory is labeled with the httpd_sys_content_t type, as shown with the following command:
    ~]$ ls -dZ /var/www/html/
    drwxr-xr-x  root root system_u:object_r:httpd_sys_content_t:s0 /var/www/html/
    
  3. When file1 is copied to /var/www/html/, it inherits the httpd_sys_content_t type:
    ~]# cp file1 /var/www/html/
    ~]$ ls -Z /var/www/html/file1
    -rw-r--r--  root root unconfined_u:object_r:httpd_sys_content_t:s0 /var/www/html/file1
    

Procedure 4.12. Preserving SELinux Contexts When Copying

This procedure shows how to use the --preserve=context option to preserve contexts when copying.
  1. Create a file in a user's home directory. The file is labeled with the user_home_t type:
    ~]$ touch file1
    ~]$ ls -Z file1
    -rw-rw-r--  user1 group1 unconfined_u:object_r:user_home_t:s0 file1
    
  2. The /var/www/html/ directory is labeled with the httpd_sys_content_t type, as shown with the following command:
    ~]$ ls -dZ /var/www/html/
    drwxr-xr-x  root root system_u:object_r:httpd_sys_content_t:s0 /var/www/html/
    
  3. Using the --preserve=context option preserves SELinux contexts during copy operations. As shown below, the user_home_t type of file1 was preserved when the file was copied to /var/www/html/:
    ~]# cp --preserve=context file1 /var/www/html/
    ~]$ ls -Z /var/www/html/file1
    -rw-r--r--  root root unconfined_u:object_r:user_home_t:s0 /var/www/html/file1
    

Procedure 4.13. Copying and Changing the Context

This procedure show how to use the --context option to change the destination copy's context. The following example is performed in the user's home directory:
  1. Create a file in a user's home directory. The file is labeled with the user_home_t type:
    ~]$ touch file1
    ~]$ ls -Z file1
    -rw-rw-r--  user1 group1 unconfined_u:object_r:user_home_t:s0 file1
    
  2. Use the --context option to define the SELinux context:
    ~]$ cp --context=system_u:object_r:samba_share_t:s0 file1 file2
  3. Without --context, file2 would be labeled with the unconfined_u:object_r:user_home_t context:
    ~]$ ls -Z file1 file2
    -rw-rw-r--  user1 group1 unconfined_u:object_r:user_home_t:s0 file1
    -rw-rw-r--  user1 group1 system_u:object_r:samba_share_t:s0 file2
    

Procedure 4.14. Copying a File Over an Existing File

This procedure shows that when a file is copied over an existing file, the existing file's context is preserved unless an option is used to preserve contexts.
  1. As root, create a new file, file1 in the /etc directory. As shown below, the file is labeled with the etc_t type:
    ~]# touch /etc/file1
    ~]$ ls -Z /etc/file1
    -rw-r--r--  root root unconfined_u:object_r:etc_t:s0   /etc/file1
    
  2. Create another file, file2, in the /tmp directory. As shown below, the file is labeled with the user_tmp_t type:
    ~]$ touch /tmp/file2
    ~$ ls -Z /tmp/file2
    -rw-r--r--  root root unconfined_u:object_r:user_tmp_t:s0 /tmp/file2
    
  3. Overwrite file1 with file2:
    ~]# cp /tmp/file2 /etc/file1
  4. After copying, the following command shows file1 labeled with the etc_t type, not the user_tmp_t type from /tmp/file2 that replaced /etc/file1:
    ~]$ ls -Z /etc/file1
    -rw-r--r--  root root unconfined_u:object_r:etc_t:s0   /etc/file1
    

Important

Copy files and directories, rather than moving them. This helps ensure they are labeled with the correct SELinux contexts. Incorrect SELinux contexts can prevent processes from accessing such files and directories.

4.10.2. Moving Files and Directories

Files and directories keep their current SELinux context when they are moved. In many cases, this is incorrect for the location they are being moved to. The following example demonstrates moving a file from a user's home directory to the /var/www/html/ directory, which is used by the Apache HTTP Server. Since the file is moved, it does not inherit the correct SELinux context:

Procedure 4.15. Moving Files and Directories

  1. Change into your home directory and create file in it. The file is labeled with the user_home_t type:
    ~]$ touch file1
    ~]$ ls -Z file1
    -rw-rw-r--  user1 group1 unconfined_u:object_r:user_home_t:s0 file1
    
  2. Enter the following command to view the SELinux context of the /var/www/html/ directory:
    ~]$ ls -dZ /var/www/html/
    drwxr-xr-x  root root system_u:object_r:httpd_sys_content_t:s0 /var/www/html/
    
    By default, /var/www/html/ is labeled with the httpd_sys_content_t type. Files and directories created under /var/www/html/ inherit this type, and as such, they are labeled with this type.
  3. As root, move file1 to /var/www/html/. Since this file is moved, it keeps its current user_home_t type:
    ~]# mv file1 /var/www/html/
    ~]# ls -Z /var/www/html/file1
    -rw-rw-r--  user1 group1 unconfined_u:object_r:user_home_t:s0 /var/www/html/file1
    
By default, the Apache HTTP Server cannot read files that are labeled with the user_home_t type. If all files comprising a web page are labeled with the user_home_t type, or another type that the Apache HTTP Server cannot read, permission is denied when attempting to access them using web browsers, such as Mozilla Firefox.

Important

Moving files and directories with the mv command may result in the incorrect SELinux context, preventing processes, such as the Apache HTTP Server and Samba, from accessing such files and directories.

4.10.3. Checking the Default SELinux Context

Use the matchpathcon utility to check if files and directories have the correct SELinux context. This utility queries the system policy and then provides the default security context associated with the file path.[8] The following example demonstrates using matchpathcon to verify that files in /var/www/html/ directory are labeled correctly:

Procedure 4.16. Checking the Default SELinux Conxtext with matchpathcon

  1. As the root user, create three files (file1, file2, and file3) in the /var/www/html/ directory. These files inherit the httpd_sys_content_t type from /var/www/html/:
    ~]# touch /var/www/html/file{1,2,3}
    ~]# ls -Z /var/www/html/
    -rw-r--r--  root root unconfined_u:object_r:httpd_sys_content_t:s0 file1
    -rw-r--r--  root root unconfined_u:object_r:httpd_sys_content_t:s0 file2
    -rw-r--r--  root root unconfined_u:object_r:httpd_sys_content_t:s0 file3
    
  2. As root, change the file1 type to samba_share_t. Note that the Apache HTTP Server cannot read files or directories labeled with the samba_share_t type.
    ~]# chcon -t samba_share_t /var/www/html/file1
  3. The matchpathcon -V option compares the current SELinux context to the correct, default context in SELinux policy. Enter the following command to check all files in the /var/www/html/ directory:
    ~]$ matchpathcon -V /var/www/html/*
    /var/www/html/file1 has context unconfined_u:object_r:samba_share_t:s0, should be system_u:object_r:httpd_sys_content_t:s0
    /var/www/html/file2 verified.
    /var/www/html/file3 verified.
    
The following output from the matchpathcon command explains that file1 is labeled with the samba_share_t type, but should be labeled with the httpd_sys_content_t type:
/var/www/html/file1 has context unconfined_u:object_r:samba_share_t:s0, should be system_u:object_r:httpd_sys_content_t:s0
To resolve the label problem and allow the Apache HTTP Server access to file1, as root, use the restorecon utility:
~]# restorecon -v /var/www/html/file1
restorecon reset /var/www/html/file1 context unconfined_u:object_r:samba_share_t:s0->system_u:object_r:httpd_sys_content_t:s0

4.10.4. Archiving Files with tar

The tar utility does not retain extended attributes by default. Since SELinux contexts are stored in extended attributes, contexts can be lost when archiving files. Use the tar --selinux command to create archives that retain contexts and to restore files from the archives. If a tar archive contains files without extended attributes, or if you want the extended attributes to match the system defaults, use the restorecon utility:
~]$ tar -xvf archive.tar | restorecon -f -
Note that depending on the directory, you may need to be the root user to run the restorecon.
The following example demonstrates creating a tar archive that retains SELinux contexts:

Procedure 4.17. Creating a tar Archive

  1. Change to the /var/www/html/ directory and view its SELinux context:
    ~]$ cd /var/www/html/
    html]$ ls -dZ /var/www/html/
    drwxr-xr-x. root root system_u:object_r:httpd_sys_content_t:s0 .
  2. As root, create three files (file1, file2, and file3) in /var/www/html/. These files inherit the httpd_sys_content_t type from /var/www/html/:
    html]# touch file{1,2,3}
    html]$ ls -Z /var/www/html/
    -rw-r--r--  root root unconfined_u:object_r:httpd_sys_content_t:s0 file1
    -rw-r--r--  root root unconfined_u:object_r:httpd_sys_content_t:s0 file2
    -rw-r--r--  root root unconfined_u:object_r:httpd_sys_content_t:s0 file3
    
  3. As root, enter the following command to create a tar archive named test.tar. Use the --selinux to retain the SELinux context:
    html]# tar --selinux -cf test.tar file{1,2,3}
  4. As root, create a new directory named test/, and then allow all users full access to it:
    ~]# mkdir /test
    ~]# chmod 777 /test/
  5. Copy the test.tar file into test/:
    ~]$ cp /var/www/html/test.tar /test/
  6. Change into test/ directory. Once in this directory, enter the following command to extract the tar archive. Specify the --selinux option again otherwise the SELinux context will be changed to default_t:
    ~]$ cd /test/
    test]$ tar --selinux -xvf test.tar
  7. View the SELinux contexts. The httpd_sys_content_t type has been retained, rather than being changed to default_t, which would have happened had the --selinux not been used:
    test]$ ls -lZ /test/
    -rw-r--r--  user1 group1 unconfined_u:object_r:httpd_sys_content_t:s0 file1
    -rw-r--r--  user1 group1 unconfined_u:object_r:httpd_sys_content_t:s0 file2
    -rw-r--r--  user1 group1 unconfined_u:object_r:httpd_sys_content_t:s0 file3
    -rw-r--r--  user1 group1 unconfined_u:object_r:default_t:s0 test.tar
    
  8. If the test/ directory is no longer required, as root, enter the following command to remove it, as well as all files in it:
    ~]# rm -ri /test/
See the tar(1) manual page for further information about tar, such as the --xattrs option that retains all extended attributes.

4.10.5. Archiving Files with star

The star utility does not retain extended attributes by default. Since SELinux contexts are stored in extended attributes, contexts can be lost when archiving files. Use the star -xattr -H=exustar command to create archives that retain contexts. The star package is not installed by default. To install star, run the yum install star command as the root user.
The following example demonstrates creating a star archive that retains SELinux contexts:

Procedure 4.18. Creating a star Archive

  1. As root, create three files (file1, file2, and file3) in the /var/www/html/. These files inherit the httpd_sys_content_t type from /var/www/html/:
    ~]# touch /var/www/html/file{1,2,3}
    ~]# ls -Z /var/www/html/
    -rw-r--r--  root root unconfined_u:object_r:httpd_sys_content_t:s0 file1
    -rw-r--r--  root root unconfined_u:object_r:httpd_sys_content_t:s0 file2
    -rw-r--r--  root root unconfined_u:object_r:httpd_sys_content_t:s0 file3
    
  2. Change into /var/www/html/ directory. Once in this directory, as root, enter the following command to create a star archive named test.star:
    ~]$ cd /var/www/html
    html]# star -xattr -H=exustar -c -f=test.star file{1,2,3}
    star: 1 blocks + 0 bytes (total of 10240 bytes = 10.00k).
    
  3. As root, create a new directory named test/, and then allow all users full access to it:
    ~]# mkdir /test
    ~]# chmod 777 /test/
  4. Enter the following command to copy the test.star file into test/:
    ~]$ cp /var/www/html/test.star /test/
  5. Change into test/. Once in this directory, enter the following command to extract the star archive:
    ~]$ cd /test/
    test]$ star -x -f=test.star 
    star: 1 blocks + 0 bytes (total of 10240 bytes = 10.00k).
    
  6. View the SELinux contexts. The httpd_sys_content_t type has been retained, rather than being changed to default_t, which would have happened had the -xattr -H=exustar option not been used:
    ~]$ ls -lZ /test/
    -rw-r--r--  user1 group1 unconfined_u:object_r:httpd_sys_content_t:s0 file1
    -rw-r--r--  user1 group1 unconfined_u:object_r:httpd_sys_content_t:s0 file2
    -rw-r--r--  user1 group1 unconfined_u:object_r:httpd_sys_content_t:s0 file3
    -rw-r--r--  user1 group1 unconfined_u:object_r:default_t:s0 test.star
    
  7. If the test/ directory is no longer required, as root, enter the following command to remove it, as well as all files in it:
    ~]# rm -ri /test/
  8. If star is no longer required, as root, remove the package:
    ~]# yum remove star
See the star(1) manual page for further information about star.

4.11. Information Gathering Tools

The utilities listed below are command-line tools that provide well-formatted information, such as access vector cache statistics or the number of classes, types, or Booleans.

avcstat

This command provides a short output of the access vector cache statistics since boot. You can watch the statistics in real time by specifying a time interval in seconds. This provides updated statistics since the initial output. The statistics file used is /sys/fs/selinux/avc/cache_stats, and you can specify a different cache file with the -f /path/to/file option.
~]# avcstat 
   lookups       hits     misses     allocs   reclaims      frees
  47517410   47504630      12780      12780      12176      12275

seinfo

This utility is useful in describing the break-down of a policy, such as the number of classes, types, Booleans, allow rules, and others. seinfo is a command-line utility that uses a policy.conf file, a binary policy file, a modular list of policy packages, or a policy list file as input. You must have the setools-console package installed to use the seinfo utility.
The output of seinfo will vary between binary and source files. For example, the policy source file uses the { } brackets to group multiple rule elements onto a single line. A similar effect happens with attributes, where a single attribute expands into one or many types. Because these are expanded and no longer relevant in the binary policy file, they have a return value of zero in the search results. However, the number of rules greatly increases as each formerly one line rule using brackets is now a number of individual lines.
Some items are not present in the binary policy. For example, neverallow rules are only checked during policy compile, not during runtime, and initial Security Identifiers (SIDs) are not part of the binary policy since they are required prior to the policy being loaded by the kernel during boot.
~]# seinfo

Statistics for policy file: /sys/fs/selinux/policy
Policy Version & Type: v.28 (binary, mls)

   Classes:            77    Permissions:       229
   Sensitivities:       1    Categories:       1024
   Types:            3001    Attributes:        244
   Users:               9    Roles:              13
   Booleans:          158    Cond. Expr.:       193
   Allow:          262796    Neverallow:          0
   Auditallow:         44    Dontaudit:      156710
   Type_trans:      10760    Type_change:        38
   Type_member:        44    Role allow:         20
   Role_trans:        237    Range_trans:      2546
   Constraints:        62    Validatetrans:       0
   Initial SIDs:       27    Fs_use:             22
   Genfscon:           82    Portcon:           373
   Netifcon:            0    Nodecon:             0
   Permissives:        22    Polcap:              2
The seinfo utility can also list the number of types with the domain attribute, giving an estimate of the number of different confined processes:
~]# seinfo -adomain -x | wc -l
550
Not all domain types are confined. To look at the number of unconfined domains, use the unconfined_domain attribute:
~]# seinfo -aunconfined_domain_type -x | wc -l
52
Permissive domains can be counted with the --permissive option:
~]# seinfo --permissive -x | wc -l
31
Remove the additional | wc -l command in the above commands to see the full lists.

sesearch

You can use the sesearch utility to search for a particular rule in the policy. It is possible to search either policy source files or the binary file. For example:
~]$ sesearch --role_allow -t httpd_sys_content_t
Found 20 role allow rules:
   allow system_r sysadm_r;
   allow sysadm_r system_r;
   allow sysadm_r staff_r;
   allow sysadm_r user_r;
   allow system_r git_shell_r;
   allow system_r guest_r;
   allow logadm_r system_r;
   allow system_r logadm_r;
   allow system_r nx_server_r;
   allow system_r staff_r;
   allow staff_r logadm_r;
   allow staff_r sysadm_r;
   allow staff_r unconfined_r;
   allow staff_r webadm_r;
   allow unconfined_r system_r;
   allow system_r unconfined_r;
   allow system_r user_r;
   allow webadm_r system_r;
   allow system_r webadm_r;
   allow system_r xguest_r;
The sesearch utility can provide the number of allow rules:
~]# sesearch --allow | wc -l
262798
And the number of dontaudit rules:
~]# sesearch --dontaudit | wc -l
156712

4.12. Prioritizing and Disabling SELinux Policy Modules

The SELinux module storage in /etc/selinux/ allows using a priority on SELinux modules. Enter the following command as root to show two module directories with a different priority:
~]# ls /etc/selinux/targeted/active/modules
100  400  disabled
While the default priority used by semodule utility is 400, the priority used in selinux-policy packages is 100, so you can find most of the SELinux modules installed with the priority 100.
You can override an existing module with a modified module with the same name using a higher priority. When there are more modules with the same name and different priorities, only a module with the highest priority is used when the policy is built.

Example 4.1. Using SELinux Policy Modules Priority

Prepare a new module with modified file context. Install the module with the semodule -i command and set the priority of the module to 400. We use sandbox.pp in the following example.
~]# semodule -X 400 -i sandbox.pp
~]# semodule --list-modules=full | grep sandbox
400 sandbox           pp
100 sandbox           pp
To return back to the default module, enter the semodule -r command as root:
~]# semodule -X 400 -r sandbox
libsemanage.semanage_direct_remove_key: sandbox module at priority 100 is now active.

Disabling a System Policy Module

To disable a system policy module, enter the following command as root:
semodule -d MODULE_NAME

Warning

If you remove a system policy module using the semodule -r command, it is deleted on your system's storage and you cannot load it again. To avoid unnecessary reinstallations of the selinux-policy-targeted package for restoring all system policy modules, use the semodule -d command instead.

4.13. Multi-Level Security (MLS)

The Multi-Level Security technology refers to a security scheme that enforces the Bell-La Padula Mandatory Access Model. Under MLS, users and processes are called subjects, and files, devices, and other passive components of the system are called objects. Both subjects and objects are labeled with a security level, which entails a subject's clearance or an object's classification. Each security level is composed of a sensitivity and a category, for example, an internal release schedule is filed under the internal documents category with a confidential sensitivity.
Figure 4.1, “Levels of clearance” shows levels of clearance as originally designed by the US defense community. Relating to our internal schedule example above, only users that have gained the confidential clearance are allowed to view documents in the confidential category. However, users who only have the confidential clearance are not allowed to view documents that require higher levels or clearance; they are allowed read access only to documents with lower levels of clearance, and write access to documents with higher levels of clearance.
Levels of clearance

Figure 4.1. Levels of clearance

Figure 4.2, “Allowed data flows using MLS” shows all allowed data flows between a subject running under the "Secret" security level and various objects with different security levels. In simple terms, the Bell-LaPadula model enforces two properties: no read up and no write down.
Allowed data flows using MLS

Figure 4.2. Allowed data flows using MLS

4.13.1. MLS and System Privileges

MLS access rules are always combined with conventional access permissions (file permissions). For example, if a user with a security level of "Secret" uses Discretionary Access Control (DAC) to block access to a file by other users, this also blocks access by users with a security level of "Top Secret". It is important to remember that SELinux MLS policy rules are checked after DAC rules. A higher security clearance does not automatically give permission to arbitrarily browse a file system.
Users with top-level clearances do not automatically acquire administrative rights on multi-level systems. While they may have access to all information on the computer, this is different from having administrative rights.

4.13.2. Enabling MLS in SELinux

Note

It is not recommended to use the MLS policy on a system that is running the X Window System.
Follow these steps to enable the SELinux MLS policy on your system.

Procedure 4.19. Enabling SELinux MLS Policy

  1. Install the selinux-policy-mls package:
    ~]# yum install selinux-policy-mls
  2. Before the MLS policy is enabled, each file on the file system must be relabeled with an MLS label. When the file system is relabeled, confined domains may be denied access, which may prevent your system from booting correctly. To prevent this from happening, configure SELINUX=permissive in the /etc/selinux/config file. Also, enable the MLS policy by configuring SELINUXTYPE=mls. Your configuration file should look like this:
    # This file controls the state of SELinux on the system.
    # SELINUX= can take one of these three values:
    #       enforcing - SELinux security policy is enforced.
    #       permissive - SELinux prints warnings instead of enforcing.
    #       disabled - No SELinux policy is loaded.
    SELINUX=permissive
    # SELINUXTYPE= can take one of these two values:
    #       targeted - Targeted processes are protected,
    #       mls - Multi Level Security protection.
    SELINUXTYPE=mls
    
  3. Make sure SELinux is running in permissive mode:
    ~]# setenforce 0
    ~]$ getenforce
    Permissive
    
  4. Use the fixfiles script to create the /.autorelabel file containing the -F option to ensure that files are relabeled upon next reboot:
    ~]# fixfiles -F onboot
  5. Reboot your system. During the next boot, all file systems will be relabeled according to the MLS policy. The label process labels all files with an appropriate SELinux context:
    *** Warning -- SELinux mls policy relabel is required.
    *** Relabeling could take a very long time, depending on file
    *** system size and speed of hard drives.
    ***********
    
    Each * (asterisk) character on the bottom line represents 1000 files that have been labeled. In the above example, eleven * characters represent 11000 files which have been labeled. The time it takes to label all files depends upon the number of files on the system, and the speed of the hard disk drives. On modern systems, this process can take as little as 10 minutes. Once the labeling process finishes, the system will automatically reboot.
  6. In permissive mode, SELinux policy is not enforced, but denials are still logged for actions that would have been denied if running in enforcing mode. Before changing to enforcing mode, as root, enter the following command to confirm that SELinux did not deny actions during the last boot. If SELinux did not deny actions during the last boot, this command does not return any output. See Chapter 11, Troubleshooting for troubleshooting information if SELinux denied access during boot.
    ~]# grep "SELinux is preventing" /var/log/messages
  7. If there were no denial messages in the /var/log/messages file, or you have resolved all existing denials, configure SELINUX=enforcing in the /etc/selinux/config file:
    # This file controls the state of SELinux on the system.
    # SELINUX= can take one of these three values:
    #       enforcing - SELinux security policy is enforced.
    #       permissive - SELinux prints warnings instead of enforcing.
    #       disabled - No SELinux policy is loaded.
    SELINUX=enforcing
    # SELINUXTYPE= can take one of these two values:
    #       targeted - Targeted processes are protected,
    #       mls - Multi Level Security protection.
    SELINUXTYPE=mls
    
  8. Reboot your system and make sure SELinux is running in enforcing mode:
    ~]$ getenforce
    Enforcing
    
    and the MLS policy is enabled:
    ~]# sestatus |grep mls
    Policy from config file:        mls
    

4.13.3. Creating a User With a Specific MLS Range

Follow these steps to create a new Linux user with a specific MLS range:

Procedure 4.20. Creating a User With a Specific MLS Range

  1. Add a new Linux user using the useradd command and map the new Linux user to an existing SELinux user (in this case, staff_u):
    ~]# useradd -Z staff_u john
  2. Assign the newly-created Linux user a password:
    prompt~]# passwd john
  3. Enter the following command as root to view the mapping between SELinux and Linux users. The output should be as follows:
    ~]# semanage login -l
    Login Name           SELinux User         MLS/MCS Range        Service
    
    __default__          user_u               s0-s0                *
    john                 staff_u              s0-s15:c0.c1023      *
    root                 root                 s0-s15:c0.c1023      *
    staff                staff_u              s0-s15:c0.c1023      *
    sysadm               staff_u              s0-s15:c0.c1023      *
    system_u             system_u             s0-s15:c0.c1023      *
  4. Define a specific range for user john:
    ~]# semanage login --modify --range s2:c100 john
  5. View the mapping between SELinux and Linux users again. Note that the user john now has a specific MLS range defined:
    ~]# semanage login -l
    Login Name           SELinux User         MLS/MCS Range        Service
    
    __default__          user_u               s0-s0                *
    john                 staff_u              s2:c100              *
    root                 root                 s0-s15:c0.c1023      *
    staff                staff_u              s0-s15:c0.c1023      *
    sysadm               staff_u              s0-s15:c0.c1023      *
    system_u             system_u             s0-s15:c0.c1023      *
  6. To correct the label on john's home directory if needed, enter the following command:
    ~]# chcon -R -l s2:c100 /home/john

4.13.4. Setting Up Polyinstantiated Directories

The /tmp and /var/tmp/ directories are normally used for temporary storage by all programs, services, and users. Such setup, however, makes these directories vulnerable to race condition attacks, or an information leak based on file names. SELinux offers a solution in the form of polyinstantiated directories. This effectively means that both /tmp and /var/tmp/ are instantiated, making them appear private for each user. When instantiation of directories is enabled, each user's /tmp and /var/tmp/ directory is automatically mounted under /tmp-inst and /var/tmp/tmp-inst.
Follow these steps to enable polyinstantiation of directories:

Procedure 4.21. Enabling Polyinstantiation Directories

  1. Uncomment the last three lines in the /etc/security/namespace.conf file to enable instantiation of the /tmp, /var/tmp/, and users' home directories:
    ~]$ tail -n 3 /etc/security/namespace.conf
    /tmp     /tmp-inst/            level      root,adm
    /var/tmp /var/tmp/tmp-inst/    level      root,adm
    $HOME    $HOME/$USER.inst/     level
    
  2. Ensure that in the /etc/pam.d/login file, the pam_namespace.so module is configured for session:
    ~]$ grep namespace /etc/pam.d/login
    session    required     pam_namespace.so
    
  3. Reboot your system.

4.14. File Name Transition

The file name transition feature allows policy writers to specify the file name when writing policy transition rules. It is possible to write a rule that states: If a process labeled A_t creates a specified object class in a directory labeled B_t and the specified object class is named objectname, it gets the label C_t. This mechanism provides more fine-grained control over processes on the system.
Without file name transition, there are three possible ways how to label an object:
  • By default, objects inherit labels from parent directories. For example, if the user creates a file in a directory labeled etc_t, then the file is labeled also etc_t. However, this method is useless when it is desirable to have multiple files within a directory with different labels.
  • Policy writers can write a rule in policy that states: If a process with type A_t creates a specified object class in a directory labeled B_t, the object gets the new C_t label. This practice is problematic if a single program creates multiple objects in the same directory where each object requires a separate label. Moreover, these rules provide only partial control, because names of the created objects are not specified.
  • Certain applications have SELinux awareness that allow such an application to ask the system what the label of a certain path should be. These applications then request the kernel to create the object with the required label. Examples of applications with SELinux awareness are the rpm package manager, the restorecon utility, or the udev device manager. However, it is not possible to instruct every application that creates files or directories with SELinux awareness. It is often necessary to relabel objects with the correct label after creating. Otherwise, when a confined domain attempts to use the object, AVC messages are returned.
The file name transition feature decreases problems related to incorrect labeling and improves the system to be more secure. Policy writers are able to state properly that a certain application can only create a file with a specified name in a specified directory. The rules take into account the file name, not the file path. This is the basename of the file path. Note that file name transition uses an exact match done by the strcmp() function. Use of regular expressions or wildcard characters is not considered.

Note

File paths can vary in the kernel and file name transition does not use the paths to determine labels. Consequently, this feature only affects initial file creation and does not fix incorrect labels of already created objects.

Example 4.2. Examples of Policy Rules Written with File Name Transition

The example below shows a policy rule with file name transition:
filetrans_pattern(unconfined_t, admin_home_t, ssh_home_t, dir, ".ssh")
This rule states that if a process with the unconfined_t type creates the ~/.ssh/ directory in a directory labeled admin_home_t, the ~/.ssh/ directory gets the label ssh_home_t.
Similar examples of policy rules written with file name transition are presented below:
filetrans_pattern(staff_t, user_home_dir_t, httpd_user_content_t, dir, "public_html")
filetrans_pattern(thumb_t, user_home_dir_t, thumb_home_t, file, "missfont.log")
filetrans_pattern(kernel_t, device_t, xserver_misc_device_t, chr_file, "nvidia0")
filetrans_pattern(puppet_t, etc_t, krb5_conf_t, file, "krb5.conf")

Note

The file name transition feature affects mainly policy writers, but users can notice that instead of file objects almost always created with the default label of the containing directory, some file objects have a different label as specified in policy.

4.15. Disabling ptrace()

The ptrace() system call allows one process to observe and control the execution of another process and change its memory and registers. This call is used primarily by developers during debugging, for example when using the strace utility. When ptrace() is not needed, it can be disabled to improve system security. This can be done by enabling the deny_ptrace Boolean, which denies all processes, even those that are running in unconfined_t domains, from being able to use ptrace() on other processes.
The deny_ptrace Boolean is disabled by default. To enable it, run the setsebool -P deny_ptrace on command as the root user:
~]# setsebool -P deny_ptrace on
To verify if this Boolean is enabled, use the following command:
~]$ getsebool deny_ptrace
deny_ptrace --> on
To disable this Boolean, run the setsebool -P deny_ptrace off command as root:
~]# setsebool -P deny_ptrace off

Note

The setsebool -P command makes persistent changes. Do not use the -P option if you do not want changes to persist across reboots.
This Boolean influences only packages that are part of Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Consequently, third-party packages could still use the ptrace() system call. To list all domains that are allowed to use ptrace(), enter the following command. Note that the setools-console package provides the sesearch utility and that the package is not installed by default.
~]# sesearch -A -p ptrace,sys_ptrace -C | grep -v deny_ptrace | cut -d ' ' -f 5

4.16. Thumbnail Protection

The thumbnail icons can potentially allow an attacker to break into a locked machine using removable media, such as USB devices or CDs. When the system detects a removable media, the Nautilus file manager executes the thumbnail driver code to display thumbnail icons in an appropriate file browser even if the machine is locked. This behavior is unsafe because if the thumbnail executables were vulnerable, the attacker could use the thumbnail driver code to bypass the lock screen without entering the password.
Therefore, a new SELinux policy is used to prevent such attacks. This policy ensures that all thumbnail drivers are locked when the screen is locked. The thumbnail protection is enabled for both confined users and unconfined users. This policy affects the following applications:
  • /usr/bin/evince-thumbnailer
  • /usr/bin/ffmpegthumbnailer
  • /usr/bin/gnome-exe-thumbnailer.sh
  • /usr/bin/gnome-nds-thumbnailer
  • /usr/bin/gnome-xcf-thumbnailer
  • /usr/bin/gsf-office-thumbnailer
  • /usr/bin/raw-thumbnailer
  • /usr/bin/shotwell-video-thumbnailer
  • /usr/bin/totem-video-thumbnailer
  • /usr/bin/whaaw-thumbnailer
  • /usr/lib/tumbler-1/tumblerd
  • /usr/lib64/tumbler-1/tumblerd


[5] To temporarily revert to the default behavior, as the Linux root user, run the setsebool httpd_can_network_connect_db off command. For changes that persist across reboots, run the setsebool -P httpd_can_network_connect_db off command.
[6] Files in the /etc/selinux/targeted/contexts/files/ directory define contexts for files and directories. Files in this directory are read by the restorecon and setfiles utilities to restore files and directories to their default contexts.
[7] Morris, James. "Filesystem Labeling in SELinux". Published 1 October 2004. Accessed 14 October 2008: http://www.linuxjournal.com/article/7426.
[8] See the matchpathcon(8) manual page for further information about matchpathcon.

Chapter 5. The sepolicy Suite

The sepolicy utility provides a suite of features to query the installed SELinux policy. These features are either new or were previously provided by separate utilities, such as sepolgen or setrans. The suite allows you to generate transition reports, man pages, or even new policy modules, thus giving users easier access and better understanding of the SELinux policy.
The policycoreutils-devel package provides sepolicy. Run the following command as the root user to install sepolicy:
~]# yum install policycoreutils-devel
The sepolicy suite provides the following features that are invoked as command-line parameters:

Table 5.1. The sepolicy Features

FeatureDescription
booleansQuery the SELinux Policy to see description of Booleans
communicateQuery the SELinux policy to see if domains can communicate with each other
generateGenerate an SELinux policy module template
guiGraphical User Interface for SELinux Policy
interfaceList SELinux Policy interfaces
manpageGenerate SELinux man pages
networkQuery SELinux policy network information
transitionQuery SELinux policy and generate a process transition report

5.1. The sepolicy Python Bindings

In previous versions of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, the setools package included the sesearch and seinfo utilities. The sesearch utility is used for searching rules in a SELinux policy while the seinfo utility allows you to query various other components in the policy.
In Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7, Python bindings for sesearch and seinfo have been added so that you can use the functionality of these utilities through the sepolicy suite. See the example below:
> python
>>> import sepolicy
>>> sepolicy.info(sepolicy.ATTRIBUTE)
Returns a dictionary of all information about SELinux Attributes
>>>sepolicy.search([sepolicy.ALLOW])
Returns a dictionary of all allow rules in the policy.

5.2. Generating SELinux Policy Modules: sepolicy generate

In previous versions of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, the sepolgen or selinux-polgengui utilities were used for generating a SELinux policy. These tools have been merged to the sepolicy suite. In Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7, the sepolicy generate command is used to generate an initial SELinux policy module template.
Unlike sepolgen, it is not necessary to run sepolicy generate as the root user. This utility also creates an RPM spec file, which can be used to build an RPM package that installs the policy package file (NAME.pp) and the interface file (NAME.if) to the correct location, provides installation of the SELinux policy into the kernel, and fixes the labeling. The setup script continues to install SELinux policy and sets up the labeling. In addition, a manual page based on the installed policy is generated using the sepolicy manpage command. [9] Finally, sepolicy generate builds and compiles the SELinux policy and the manual page into an RPM package, ready to be installed on other systems.
When sepolicy generate is executed, the following files are produced:
NAME.te – type enforcing file
This file defines all the types and rules for a particular domain.
NAME.if – interface file
This file defines the default file context for the system. It takes the file types created in the NAME.te file and associates file paths to the types. Utilities, such as restorecon and rpm, use these paths to write labels.
NAME_selinux.spec – RPM spec file
This file is an RPM spec file that installs SELinux policy and sets up the labeling. This file also installs the interface file and a man page describing the policy. You can use the sepolicy manpage -d NAME command to generate the man page.
NAME.sh – helper shell script
This script helps to compile, install, and fix the labeling on the system. It also generates a man page based on the installed policy, compiles, and builds an RPM package suitable to be installed on other systems.
If it is possible to generate an SELinux policy module, sepolicy generate prints out all generated paths from the source domain to the target domain. See the sepolicy-generate(8) manual page for further information about sepolicy generate.

5.3. Understanding Domain Transitions: sepolicy transition

Previously, the setrans utility was used to examine if transition between two domain or process types is possible and printed out all intermediary types that are used to transition between these domains or processes. In Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7, setrans is provided as part of the sepolicy suite and the sepolicy transition command is now used instead.
The sepolicy transition command queries a SELinux policy and creates a process transition report. The sepolicy transition command requires two command-line arguments – a source domain (specified by the -s option) and a target domain (specified by the -t option). If only the source domain is entered, sepolicy transition lists all possible domains that the source domain can transition to. The following output does not contain all entries. The @ character means execute:
~]$ sepolicy transition -s httpd_t
httpd_t @ httpd_suexec_exec_t --> httpd_suexec_t
httpd_t @ mailman_cgi_exec_t --> mailman_cgi_t
httpd_t @ abrt_retrace_worker_exec_t --> abrt_retrace_worker_t
httpd_t @ dirsrvadmin_unconfined_script_exec_t --> dirsrvadmin_unconfined_script_t
httpd_t @ httpd_unconfined_script_exec_t --> httpd_unconfined_script_t
If the target domain is specified, sepolicy transition examines SELinux policy for all transition paths from the source domain to the target domain and lists these paths. The output below is not complete:
~]$ sepolicy transition -s httpd_t -t system_mail_t
httpd_t @ exim_exec_t --> system_mail_t
httpd_t @ courier_exec_t --> system_mail_t
httpd_t @ sendmail_exec_t --> system_mail_t
httpd_t ... httpd_suexec_t @ sendmail_exec_t --> system_mail_t
httpd_t ... httpd_suexec_t @ exim_exec_t --> system_mail_t
httpd_t ... httpd_suexec_t @ courier_exec_t --> system_mail_t
httpd_t ... httpd_suexec_t ... httpd_mojomojo_script_t @ sendmail_exec_t --> system_mail_t
See the sepolicy-transition(8) manual page for further information about sepolicy transition.

5.4. Generating Manual Pages: sepolicy manpage

The sepolicy manpage command generates manual pages based on the SELinux policy that document process domains. As a result, such documentation is always up-to-date. Each name of automatically generated manual pages consists of the process domain name and the _selinux suffix, for example httpd_selinux.
The manual pages include several sections that provide information about various parts of the SELinux policy for confined domains:
  • The Entrypoints section contains all executable files that need to be executed during a domain transition.
  • The Process Types section lists all process types that begin with the same prefix as the target domain.
  • The Booleans section lists Booleans associated with the domain.
  • The Port Types section contains the port types matching the same prefix as the domain and describes the default port numbers assigned to these port types.
  • The Managed Files section describes the types that the domain is allowed to write to and the default paths associated with these types.
  • The File Contexts section contains all file types associated with the domain and describes how to use these file types along with the default path labeling on a system.
  • The Sharing Files section explains how to use the domain sharing types, such as public_content_t.
See the sepolicy-manpage(8) manual page for further information about sepolicy manpage.


[9] See Section 5.4, “Generating Manual Pages: sepolicy manpage for more information about sepolicy manpage.

Chapter 6. Confining Users

In Red Hat Enterprise Linux, users are mapped to the SELinux unconfined_u user by default. All processes run by unconfined_u are in the unconfined_t domain. This means that users can access across the system within the limits of the standard Linux DAC policy. However, a number of confined SELinux users are available in Red Hat Enterprise Linux. This means that users can be restricted to limited set of capabilities. Each Linux user is mapped to an SELinux user using SELinux policy, allowing Linux users to inherit the restrictions placed on SELinux users, for example (depending on the user), not being able to:
  • run the X Window System
  • use networking
  • run setuid applications (unless SELinux policy permits it)
  • or run the su and sudo commands.
For example, processes run by the SELinux user_u user are in the user_t domain. Such processes can connect to network, but can not run the su or sudo commands. This helps protect the system from the user. See Section 3.3, “Confined and Unconfined Users”, Table 3.1, “SELinux User Capabilities” for further information about confined users and their capabilities.

6.1. Linux and SELinux User Mappings

As root, enter the following command to view the mapping between Linux users and SELinux users:
~]# semanage login -l

Login Name           SELinux User         MLS/MCS Range        Service

__default__          unconfined_u         s0-s0:c0.c1023       *
root                 unconfined_u         s0-s0:c0.c1023       *
system_u             system_u             s0-s0:c0.c1023       *
In Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Linux users are mapped to the SELinux __default__ login by default (which is in turn mapped to the SELinux unconfined_u user). When a Linux user is created with the useradd command, if no options are specified, they are mapped to the SELinux unconfined_u user. The following defines the default-mapping:
__default__          unconfined_u         s0-s0:c0.c1023       *

6.2. Confining New Linux Users: useradd

Linux users mapped to the SELinux unconfined_u user run in the unconfined_t domain. This is seen by running the id -Z command while logged-in as a Linux user mapped to unconfined_u:
~]$ id -Z
unconfined_u:unconfined_r:unconfined_t:s0-s0:c0.c1023
When Linux users run in the unconfined_t domain, SELinux policy rules are applied, but policy rules exist that allow Linux users running in the unconfined_t domain almost all access. If unconfined Linux users execute an application that SELinux policy defines can transition from the unconfined_t domain to its own confined domain, unconfined Linux users are still subject to the restrictions of that confined domain. The security benefit of this is that, even though a Linux user is running unconfined, the application remains confined, and therefore, the exploitation of a flaw in the application can be limited by policy.

Note

This does not protect the system from the user. Instead, the user and the system are being protected from possible damage caused by a flaw in the application.
When creating Linux users with the useradd command, use the -Z option to specify which SELinux user they are mapped to. The following example creates a new Linux user, useruuser, and maps that user to the SELinux user_u user. Linux users mapped to the SELinux user_u user run in the user_t domain. In this domain, Linux users are unable to run setuid applications unless SELinux policy permits it (such as passwd), and cannot run the su or sudo command, preventing them from becoming the root user with these commands.

Procedure 6.1. Confining a New Linux User to user_u SELinux User

  1. As root, create a new Linux user (useruuser) that is mapped to the SELinux user_u user.
    ~]# useradd -Z user_u useruuser
  2. To view the mapping between useruuser and user_u, enter the following command as root:
    ~]# semanage login -l
    
    Login Name           SELinux User         MLS/MCS Range        Service
    
    __default__          unconfined_u         s0-s0:c0.c1023       *
    root                 unconfined_u         s0-s0:c0.c1023       *
    system_u             system_u             s0-s0:c0.c1023       *
    useruuser            user_u               s0                   *
    
  3. As root, assign a password to the Linux useruuser user:
    ~]# passwd useruuser
    Changing password for user useruuser.
    New password: Enter a password
    Retype new password: Enter the same password again
    passwd: all authentication tokens updated successfully.
    
  4. Log out of your current session, and log in as the Linux useruuser user. When you log in, the pam_selinux module maps the Linux user to an SELinux user (in this case, user_u), and sets up the resulting SELinux context. The Linux user's shell is then launched with this context. Enter the following command to view the context of a Linux user:
    ~]$ id -Z
    user_u:user_r:user_t:s0
    
  5. Log out of the Linux useruuser's session, and log back in with your account. If you do not want the Linux useruuser user, enter the following command as root to remove it, along with its home directory:
    ~]# userdel -Z -r useruuser

6.3. Confining Existing Linux Users: semanage login

If a Linux user is mapped to the SELinux unconfined_u user (the default behavior), and you would like to change which SELinux user they are mapped to, use the semanage login command. The following example creates a new Linux user named newuser, then maps that Linux user to the SELinux user_u user:

Procedure 6.2. Mapping Linux Users to the SELinux Users

  1. As root, create a new Linux user (newuser). Since this user uses the default mapping, it does not appear in the semanage login -l output:
    ~]# useradd newuser
    ~]# semanage login -l
    
    Login Name           SELinux User         MLS/MCS Range        Service
    
    __default__          unconfined_u         s0-s0:c0.c1023       *
    root                 unconfined_u         s0-s0:c0.c1023       *
    system_u             system_u             s0-s0:c0.c1023       *
    
  2. To map the Linux newuser user to the SELinux user_u user, enter the following command as root:
    ~]# semanage login -a -s user_u newuser
    The -a option adds a new record, and the -s option specifies the SELinux user to map a Linux user to. The last argument, newuser, is the Linux user you want mapped to the specified SELinux user.
  3. To view the mapping between the Linux newuser user and user_u, use the semanage utility again:
    ~]# semanage login -l
    
    Login Name           SELinux User         MLS/MCS Range        Service
    
    __default__          unconfined_u         s0-s0:c0.c1023       *
    newuser              user_u               s0                   *
    root                 unconfined_u         s0-s0:c0.c1023       *
    system_u             system_u             s0-s0:c0.c1023       *
    
  4. As root, assign a password to the Linux newuser user:
    ~]# passwd newuser
    Changing password for user newuser.
    New password: Enter a password
    Retype new password: Enter the same password again
    passwd: all authentication tokens updated successfully.
    
  5. Log out of your current session, and log in as the Linux newuser user. Enter the following command to view the newuser's SELinux context:
    ~]$ id -Z
    user_u:user_r:user_t:s0
  6. Log out of the Linux newuser's session, and log back in with your account. If you do not want the Linux newuser user, enter the following command as root to remove it, along with its home directory:
    ~]# userdel -r newuser
    As root, remove the mapping between the Linux newuser user and user_u:
    ~]# semanage login -d newuser
    ~]# semanage login -l
    
    Login Name           SELinux User         MLS/MCS Range        Service
    
    __default__          unconfined_u         s0-s0:c0.c1023       *
    root                 unconfined_u         s0-s0:c0.c1023       *
    system_u             system_u             s0-s0:c0.c1023       *
    

6.4. Changing the Default Mapping

In Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Linux users are mapped to the SELinux __default__ login by default (which is in turn mapped to the SELinux unconfined_u user). If you would like new Linux users, and Linux users not specifically mapped to an SELinux user to be confined by default, change the default mapping with the semanage login command.
For example, enter the following command as root to change the default mapping from unconfined_u to user_u:
~]# semanage login -m -S targeted -s "user_u" -r s0 __default__
Verify the __default__ login is mapped to user_u:
~]# semanage login -l

Login Name           SELinux User         MLS/MCS Range        Service

__default__          user_u               s0-s0:c0.c1023       *
root                 unconfined_u         s0-s0:c0.c1023       *
system_u             system_u             s0-s0:c0.c1023       *
If a new Linux user is created and an SELinux user is not specified, or if an existing Linux user logs in and does not match a specific entry from the semanage login -l output, they are mapped to user_u, as per the __default__ login.
To change back to the default behavior, enter the following command as root to map the __default__ login to the SELinux unconfined_u user:
~]# semanage login -m -S targeted -s "unconfined_u" -r s0-s0:c0.c1023 __default__

6.5. xguest: Kiosk Mode

The xguest package provides a kiosk user account. This account is used to secure machines that people walk up to and use, such as those at libraries, banks, airports, information kiosks, and coffee shops. The kiosk user account is very limited: essentially, it only allows a user to log in and use Firefox to browse Internet websites. Guest user is assigned to xguest_u, see Table 3.1, “SELinux User Capabilities”. Any changes made while logged in with this account, such as creating files or changing settings, are lost when you log out.
To set up the kiosk account:
  1. As root, install the xguest package. Install dependencies as required:
    ~]# yum install xguest
  2. In order to allow the kiosk account to be used by a variety of people, the account is not password-protected, and as such, the account can only be protected if SELinux is running in enforcing mode. Before logging in with this account, use the getenforce utility to confirm that SELinux is running in enforcing mode:
    ~]$ getenforce
    Enforcing
    
    If this is not the case, see Section 4.4, “Permanent Changes in SELinux States and Modes” for information about changing to enforcing mode. It is not possible to log in with this account if SELinux is in permissive mode or disabled.
  3. You can only log in to this account using the GNOME Display Manager (GDM). Once the xguest package is installed, a Guest account is added to the GDM login screen.

6.6. Booleans for Users Executing Applications

Not allowing Linux users to execute applications (which inherit users' permissions) in their home directories and the /tmp directory, which they have write access to, helps prevent flawed or malicious applications from modifying files that users own.
Booleans are available to change this behavior, and are configured with the setsebool utility, which must be run as root. The setsebool -P command makes persistent changes. Do not use the -P option if you do not want changes to persist across reboots:

guest_t

To prevent Linux users in the guest_t domain from executing applications in their home directories and /tmp:
~]# setsebool -P guest_exec_content off

xguest_t

To prevent Linux users in the xguest_t domain from executing applications in their home directories and /tmp:
~]# setsebool -P xguest_exec_content off

user_t

To prevent Linux users in the user_t domain from executing applications in their home directories and /tmp:
~]# setsebool -P user_exec_content off

staff_t

To prevent Linux users in the staff_t domain from executing applications in their home directories and /tmp:
~]# setsebool -P staff_exec_content off
To turn the staff_exec_content boolean on and to allow Linux users in the staff_t domain to execute applications in their home directories and /tmp:
~]# setsebool -P staff_exec_content on

Chapter 7. Securing Programs Using Sandbox

The sandbox security utility adds a set of SELinux policies that allow a system administrator to run an application within a tightly confined SELinux domain. Restrictions on permission to open new files or access to the network can be defined. This enables testing the processing characteristics of untrusted software securely, without risking damage to the system.

7.1. Running an Application Using Sandbox

Before using the sandbox utility, the policycoreutils-sandbox package must be installed:
~]# yum install policycoreutils-sandbox
The basic syntax to confine an application is:
~]$ sandbox [options] application_under_test
To run a graphical application in a sandbox, use the -X option. For example:
~]$ sandbox -X evince
The -X tells sandbox to set up a confined secondary X Server for the application (in this case, evince), before copying the needed resources and creating a closed virtual environment in the user’s home directory or in the /tmp directory.
To preserve data from one session to the next:
~]$ sandbox -H sandbox/home -T sandbox/tmp -X firefox
Note that sandbox/home is used for /home and sandbox/tmp is used for /tmp. Different applications are placed in different restricted environments. The application runs in full-screen mode and this prevents access to other functions. As mentioned before, you cannot open or create files except those which are labeled as sandbox_x_file_t.
Access to the network is also initially impossible inside the sandbox. To allow access, use the sandbox_web_t label. For example, to launch Firefox:
~]$ sandbox ‑X ‑t sandbox_web_t firefox

Warning

The sandbox_net_t label allows unrestricted, bi-directional network access to all network ports. The sandbox_web_t allows connections to ports required for web browsing only.
Use of sandbox_net_t should made with caution and only when required.
See the sandbox (8) manual page for information, and a full list of available options.

Chapter 8. sVirt

sVirt is a technology included in Red Hat Enterprise Linux that integrates SELinux and virtualization. sVirt applies Mandatory Access Control (MAC) to improve security when using virtual machines. The main reasons for integrating these technologies are to improve security and harden the system against bugs in the hypervisor that might be used as an attack vector aimed toward the host or to another virtual machine.
This chapter describes how sVirt integrates with virtualization technologies in Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

Non-Virtualized Environment

In a non-virtualized environment, hosts are separated from each other physically and each host has a self-contained environment, consisting of services such as a Web server, or a DNS server. These services communicate directly to their own user space, host kernel and physical host, offering their services directly to the network. The following image represents a non-virtualized environment:

Virtualized Environment

In a virtualized environment, several operating systems can be housed (as "guests") within a single host kernel and physical host. The following image represents a virtualized environment:

8.1. Security and Virtualization

When services are not virtualized, machines are physically separated. Any exploit is usually contained to the affected machine, with the obvious exception of network attacks. When services are grouped together in a virtualized environment, extra vulnerabilities emerge in the system. If there is a security flaw in the hypervisor that can be exploited by a guest instance, this guest may be able to not only attack the host, but also other guests running on that host. This is not theoretical; attacks already exist on hypervisors. These attacks can extend beyond the guest instance and could expose other guests to attack.
sVirt is an effort to isolate guests and limit their ability to launch further attacks if exploited. This is demonstrated in the following image, where an attack cannot break out of the virtual machine and extend to another host instance:
SELinux introduces a pluggable security framework for virtualized instances in its implementation of Mandatory Access Control (MAC). The sVirt framework allows guests and their resources to be uniquely labeled. Once labeled, rules can be applied which can reject access between different guests.

8.2. sVirt Labeling

Like other services under the protection of SELinux, sVirt uses process-based mechanisms and restrictions to provide an extra layer of security over guest instances. Under typical use, you should not even notice that sVirt is working in the background. This section describes the labeling features of sVirt.
As shown in the following output, when using sVirt, each Virtual Machine (VM) process is labeled and runs with a dynamically generated level. Each process is isolated from other VMs with different levels:
~]# ps -eZ | grep qemu

system_u:system_r:svirt_t:s0:c87,c520 27950 ?  00:00:17 qemu-kvm
system_u:system_r:svirt_t:s0:c639,c757 27989 ? 00:00:06 qemu-system-x86
The actual disk images are automatically labeled to match the processes, as shown in the following output:
~]# ls -lZ /var/lib/libvirt/images/*

system_u:object_r:svirt_image_t:s0:c87,c520   image1
The following table outlines the different labels that can be assigned when using sVirt:

Table 8.1. sVirt Labels

TypeSELinux ContextDescription
Virtual Machine Processessystem_u:system_r:svirt_t:MCS1MCS1 is a randomly selected MCS field. Currently approximately 500,000 labels are supported.
Virtual Machine Imagesystem_u:object_r:svirt_image_t:MCS1Only processes labeled svirt_t with the same MCS fields are able to read/write these image files and devices.
Virtual Machine Shared Read/Write Contentsystem_u:object_r:svirt_image_t:s0All processes labeled svirt_t are allowed to write to the svirt_image_t:s0 files and devices.
Virtual Machine Imagesystem_u:object_r:virt_content_t:s0System default label used when an image exits. No svirt_t virtual processes are allowed to read files/devices with this label.
It is also possible to perform static labeling when using sVirt. Static labels allow the administrator to select a specific label, including the MCS/MLS field, for a virtual machine. Administrators who run statically-labeled virtual machines are responsible for setting the correct label on the image files. The virtual machine will always be started with that label, and the sVirt system will never modify the label of a statically-labeled virtual machine's content. This allows the sVirt component to run in an MLS environment. You can also run multiple virtual machines with different sensitivity levels on a system, depending on your requirements.

Chapter 9. Secure Linux Containers

Linux Containers (LXC) is a low-level virtualization feature that allows you to run multiple copies of the same service at the same time on a system. Compared to full virtualization, containers do not require an entire new system to boot, can use less memory, and can use the base operating system in a read-only manner. For example, LXC allow you to run multiple web servers simultaneously, each with their own data while sharing the system data, and even running as the root user. However, running a privileged process within a container could affect other processes running outside of the container or processes running in other containers. Secure Linux containers use the SELinux context, therefore preventing the processes running within them from interacting with each other or with the host.
The Docker application is the main utility for managing Linux Containers in Red Hat Enterprise Linux. As an alternative, you can also use the virsh command-line utility provided by the libvirt package.
For further details about Linux Containers, see Getting Started with Containers.

Chapter 10. SELinux systemd Access Control

In Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7, system services are controlled by the systemd daemon. In previous releases of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, daemons could be started in two ways:
  • At boot time, the System V init daemon launched an init.rc script and then this script launched the desired daemon. For example, the Apache server, which was started at boot, got the following SELinux label:
    system_u:system_r:httpd_t:s0
  • An administrator launched the init.rc script manually, causing the daemon to run. For example, when the service httpd restart command was invoked on the Apache server, the resulting SELinux label looked as follows:
    unconfined_u:system_r:httpd_t:s0
When launched manually, the process adopted the user portion of the SELinux label that started it, making the labeling in the two scenarios above inconsistent. With the systemd daemon, the transitions are very different. As systemd handles all the calls to start and stop daemons on the system, using the init_t type, it can override the user part of the label when a daemon is restarted manually. As a result, the labels in both scenarios above are system_u:system_r:httpd_t:s0 as expected and the SELinux policy could be improved to govern which domains are able to control which units.

10.1. SELinux Access Permissions for Services

In previous versions of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, an administrator was able to control, which users or applications were able to start or stop services based on the label of the System V Init script. Now, systemd starts and stops all services, and users and processes communicate with systemd using the systemctl utility. The systemd daemon has the ability to consult the SELinux policy and check the label of the calling process and the label of the unit file that the caller tries to manage, and then ask SELinux whether or not the caller is allowed the access. This approach strengthens access control to critical system capabilities, which include starting and stopping system services.
For example, previously, administrators had to allow NetworkManager to execute systemctl to send a D-Bus message to systemd, which would in turn start or stop whatever service NetworkManager requested. In fact, NetworkManager was allowed to do everything systemctl could do. It was also impossible to setup confined administrators so that they could start or stop just particular services.
To fix these issues, systemd also works as an SELinux Access Manager. It can retrieve the label of the process running systemctl or the process that sent a D-Bus message to systemd. The daemon then looks up the label of the unit file that the process wanted to configure. Finally, systemd can retrieve information from the kernel if the SELinux policy allows the specific access between the process label and the unit file label. This means a compromised application that needs to interact with systemd for a specific service can now be confined by SELinux. Policy writers can also use these fine-grained controls to confine administrators. Policy changes involve a new class called service, with the following permissions:
class service
{
       start
       stop
       status
       reload
       kill
       load
       enable
       disable
}
For example, a policy writer can now allow a domain to get the status of a service or start and stop a service, but not enable or disable a service. Access control operations in SELinux and systemd do not match in all cases. A mapping was defined to line up systemd method calls with SELinux access checks. Table 10.1, “Mapping of systemd unit file method calls on SELinux access checks” maps access checks on unit files while Table 10.2, “Mapping of systemd general system calls on SELinux access checks” covers access checks for the system in general. If no match is found in either table, then the undefined system check is called.

Table 10.1. Mapping of systemd unit file method calls on SELinux access checks

systemd unit file method SELinux access check
DisableUnitFiles disable
EnableUnitFiles enable
GetUnit status
GetUnitByPID status
GetUnitFileState status
Kill stop
KillUnit stop
LinkUnitFiles enable
ListUnits status
LoadUnit status
MaskUnitFiles disable
PresetUnitFiles enable
ReenableUnitFiles enable
Reexecute start
Reload reload
ReloadOrRestart start
ReloadOrRestartUnit start
ReloadOrTryRestart start
ReloadOrTryRestartUnit start
ReloadUnit reload
ResetFailed stop
ResetFailedUnit stop
Restart start
RestartUnit start
Start start
StartUnit start
StartUnitReplace start
Stop stop
StopUnit stop
TryRestart start
TryRestartUnit start
UnmaskUnitFiles enable

Table 10.2. Mapping of systemd general system calls on SELinux access checks

systemd general system call SELinux access check
ClearJobs reboot
FlushDevices halt
Get status
GetAll status
GetJob status
GetSeat status
GetSession status
GetSessionByPID status
GetUser status
Halt halt
Introspect status
KExec reboot
KillSession halt
KillUser halt
ListJobs status
ListSeats status
ListSessions status
ListUsers status
LockSession halt
PowerOff halt
Reboot reboot
SetUserLinger halt
TerminateSeat halt
TerminateSession halt
TerminateUser halt

Example 10.1. SELinux Policy for a System Service

By using the sesearch utility, you can list policy rules for a system service. For example, calling the sesearch -A -s NetworkManager_t -c service command returns:
allow NetworkManager_t dnsmasq_unit_file_t : service { start stop status reload kill load } ; 
allow NetworkManager_t nscd_unit_file_t : service { start stop status reload kill load } ; 
allow NetworkManager_t ntpd_unit_file_t : service { start stop status reload kill load } ; 
allow NetworkManager_t pppd_unit_file_t : service { start stop status reload kill load } ; 
allow NetworkManager_t polipo_unit_file_t : service { start stop status reload kill load } ;

10.2. SELinux and journald

In systemd, the journald daemon (also known as systemd-journal) is the alternative for the syslog utility, which is a system service that collects and stores logging data. It creates and maintains structured and indexed journals based on logging information that is received from the kernel, from user processes using the libc syslog() function, from standard and error output of system services, or using its native API. It implicitly collects numerous metadata fields for each log message in a secure way.
The systemd-journal service can be used with SELinux to increase security. SELinux controls processes by only allowing them to do what they were designed to do; sometimes even less, depending on the security goals of the policy writer. For example, SELinux prevents a compromised ntpd process from doing anything other than handle Network Time. However, the ntpd process sends syslog messages, so that SELinux would allow the compromised process to continue to send those messages. The compromised ntpd could format syslog messages to match other daemons and potentially mislead an administrator, or even worse, a utility that reads the syslog file into compromising the whole system.
The systemd-journal daemon verifies all log messages and, among other things, adds SELinux labels to them. It is then easy to detect inconsistencies in log messages and prevent an attack of this type before it occurs. You can use the journalctl utility to query logs of systemd journals. If no command-line arguments are specified, running this utility lists the full content of the journal, starting from the oldest entries. To see all logs generated on the system, including logs for system components, execute journalctl as root. If you execute it as a non-root user, the output will be limited only to logs related to the currently logged-in user.

Example 10.2. Listing Logs with journalctl

It is possible to use journalctl for listing all logs related to a particular SELinux label. For example, the following command lists all logs logged under the system_u:system_r:policykit_t:s0 label:
~]# journalctl _SELINUX_CONTEXT=system_u:system_r:policykit_t:s0
Oct 21 10:22:42 localhost.localdomain polkitd[647]: Started polkitd version 0.112
Oct 21 10:22:44 localhost.localdomain polkitd[647]: Loading rules from directory /etc/polkit-1/rules.d
Oct 21 10:22:44 localhost.localdomain polkitd[647]: Loading rules from directory /usr/share/polkit-1/rules.d
Oct 21 10:22:44 localhost.localdomain polkitd[647]: Finished loading, compiling and executing 5 rules
Oct 21 10:22:44 localhost.localdomain polkitd[647]: Acquired the name org.freedesktop.PolicyKit1 on the system bus Oct 21 10:23:10 localhost polkitd[647]: Registered Authentication Agent for unix-session:c1 (system bus name :1.49, object path /org/freedesktop/PolicyKit1/AuthenticationAgent, locale en_US.UTF-8) (disconnected from bus)
Oct 21 10:23:35 localhost polkitd[647]: Unregistered Authentication Agent for unix-session:c1 (system bus name :1.80 [/usr/bin/gnome-shell --mode=classic], object path /org/freedesktop/PolicyKit1/AuthenticationAgent, locale en_US.utf8)
For more information about journalctl, see the journalctl(1) manual page.

Chapter 11. Troubleshooting

The following chapter describes what happens when SELinux denies access; the top three causes of problems; where to find information about correct labeling; analyzing SELinux denials; and creating custom policy modules with audit2allow.

11.1. What Happens when Access is Denied

SELinux decisions, such as allowing or disallowing access, are cached. This cache is known as the Access Vector Cache (AVC). Denial messages are logged when SELinux denies access. These denials are also known as "AVC denials", and are logged to a different location, depending on which daemons are running:
DaemonLog Location
auditd on/var/log/audit/audit.log
auditd off; rsyslogd on/var/log/messages
setroubleshootd, rsyslogd, and auditd on/var/log/audit/audit.log. Easier-to-read denial messages also sent to /var/log/messages
If you are running the X Window System, have the setroubleshoot and setroubleshoot-server packages installed, and the setroubleshootd and auditd daemons are running, a warning is displayed when access is denied by SELinux:
Clicking on Show presents a detailed analysis of why SELinux denied access, and a possible solution for allowing access. If you are not running the X Window System, it is less obvious when access is denied by SELinux. For example, users browsing your website may receive an error similar to the following:
Forbidden

You don't have permission to access file name on this server
For these situations, if DAC rules (standard Linux permissions) allow access, check /var/log/messages and /var/log/audit/audit.log for "SELinux is preventing" and "denied" errors respectively. This can be done by running the following commands as the root user:
~]# grep "SELinux is preventing" /var/log/messages
~]# grep "denied" /var/log/audit/audit.log

11.2. Top Three Causes of Problems

The following sections describe the top three causes of problems: labeling problems, configuring Booleans and ports for services, and evolving SELinux rules.

11.2.1. Labeling Problems

On systems running SELinux, all processes and files are labeled with a label that contains security-relevant information. This information is called the SELinux context. If these labels are wrong, access may be denied. An incorrectly labeled application may cause an incorrect label to be assigned to its process. This may cause SELinux to deny access, and the process may create mislabeled files.
A common cause of labeling problems is when a non-standard directory is used for a service. For example, instead of using /var/www/html/ for a website, an administrator wants to use /srv/myweb/. On Red Hat Enterprise Linux, the /srv directory is labeled with the var_t type. Files and directories created and /srv inherit this type. Also, newly-created top-level directories (such as myserver/) may be labeled with the default_t type. SELinux prevents the Apache HTTP Server (httpd) from accessing both of these types. To allow access, SELinux must know that the files in /srv/myweb/ are to be accessible to httpd:
~]# semanage fcontext -a -t httpd_sys_content_t "/srv/myweb(/.*)?"
This semanage command adds the context for the /srv/myweb/ directory (and all files and directories under it) to the SELinux file-context configuration[10]. The semanage utility does not change the context. As root, run the restorecon utility to apply the changes:
~]# restorecon -R -v /srv/myweb
See Section 4.7.2, “Persistent Changes: semanage fcontext” for further information about adding contexts to the file-context configuration.

11.2.1.1. What is the Correct Context?

The matchpathcon utility checks the context of a file path and compares it to the default label for that path. The following example demonstrates using matchpathcon on a directory that contains incorrectly labeled files:
~]$ matchpathcon -V /var/www/html/*
/var/www/html/index.html has context unconfined_u:object_r:user_home_t:s0, should be system_u:object_r:httpd_sys_content_t:s0
/var/www/html/page1.html has context unconfined_u:object_r:user_home_t:s0, should be system_u:object_r:httpd_sys_content_t:s0
In this example, the index.html and page1.html files are labeled with the user_home_t type. This type is used for files in user home directories. Using the mv command to move files from your home directory may result in files being labeled with the user_home_t type. This type should not exist outside of home directories. Use the restorecon utility to restore such files to their correct type:
~]# restorecon -v /var/www/html/index.html 
restorecon reset /var/www/html/index.html context unconfined_u:object_r:user_home_t:s0->system_u:object_r:httpd_sys_content_t:s0
To restore the context for all files under a directory, use the -R option:
~]# restorecon -R -v /var/www/html/
restorecon reset /var/www/html/page1.html context unconfined_u:object_r:samba_share_t:s0->system_u:object_r:httpd_sys_content_t:s0
restorecon reset /var/www/html/index.html context unconfined_u:object_r:samba_share_t:s0->system_u:object_r:httpd_sys_content_t:s0
See Section 4.10.3, “Checking the Default SELinux Context” for a more detailed example of matchpathcon.

11.2.2. How are Confined Services Running?

Services can be run in a variety of ways. To cater for this, you need to specify how you run your services. This can be achieved through Booleans that allow parts of SELinux policy to be changed at runtime, without any knowledge of SELinux policy writing. This allows changes, such as allowing services access to NFS volumes, without reloading or recompiling SELinux policy. Also, running services on non-default port numbers requires policy configuration to be updated using the semanage command.
For example, to allow the Apache HTTP Server to communicate with MariaDB, enable the httpd_can_network_connect_db Boolean:
~]# setsebool -P httpd_can_network_connect_db on
If access is denied for a particular service, use the getsebool and grep utilities to see if any Booleans are available to allow access. For example, use the getsebool -a | grep ftp command to search for FTP related Booleans:
~]$ getsebool -a | grep ftp
ftpd_anon_write --> off
ftpd_full_access --> off
ftpd_use_cifs --> off
ftpd_use_nfs --> off

ftpd_connect_db --> off
httpd_enable_ftp_server --> off
tftp_anon_write --> off
For a list of Booleans and whether they are on or off, run the getsebool -a command. For a list of Booleans, an explanation of what each one is, and whether they are on or off, run the semanage boolean -l command as root. See Section 4.6, “Booleans” for information about listing and configuring Booleans.

Port Numbers

Depending on policy configuration, services may only be allowed to run on certain port numbers. Attempting to change the port a service runs on without changing policy may result in the service failing to start. For example, run the semanage port -l | grep http command as root to list http related ports:
~]# semanage port -l | grep http
http_cache_port_t              tcp      3128, 8080, 8118
http_cache_port_t              udp      3130
http_port_t                    tcp      80, 443, 488, 8008, 8009, 8443
pegasus_http_port_t            tcp      5988
pegasus_https_port_t           tcp      5989
The http_port_t port type defines the ports Apache HTTP Server can listen on, which in this case, are TCP ports 80, 443, 488, 8008, 8009, and 8443. If an administrator configures httpd.conf so that httpd listens on port 9876 (Listen 9876), but policy is not updated to reflect this, the following command fails:
~]# systemctl start httpd.service
Job for httpd.service failed. See 'systemctl status httpd.service' and 'journalctl -xn' for details.
~]# systemctl status httpd.service
httpd.service - The Apache HTTP Server
   Loaded: loaded (/usr/lib/systemd/system/httpd.service; disabled)
   Active: failed (Result: exit-code) since Thu 2013-08-15 09:57:05 CEST; 59s ago
  Process: 16874 ExecStop=/usr/sbin/httpd $OPTIONS -k graceful-stop (code=exited, status=0/SUCCESS)
  Process: 16870 ExecStart=/usr/sbin/httpd $OPTIONS -DFOREGROUND (code=exited, status=1/FAILURE)
An SELinux denial message similar to the following is logged to /var/log/audit/audit.log:
type=AVC msg=audit(1225948455.061:294): avc:  denied  { name_bind } for  pid=4997 comm="httpd" src=9876 scontext=unconfined_u:system_r:httpd_t:s0 tcontext=system_u:object_r:port_t:s0 tclass=tcp_socket
To allow httpd to listen on a port that is not listed for the http_port_t port type, run the semanage port command to add a port to policy configuration[11]:
~]# semanage port -a -t http_port_t -p tcp 9876
The -a option adds a new record; the -t option defines a type; and the -p option defines a protocol. The last argument is the port number to add.

11.2.3. Evolving Rules and Broken Applications

Applications may be broken, causing SELinux to deny access. Also, SELinux rules are evolving – SELinux may not have seen an application running in a certain way, possibly causing it to deny access, even though the application is working as expected. For example, if a new version of PostgreSQL is released, it may perform actions the current policy has not seen before, causing access to be denied, even though access should be allowed.
For these situations, after access is denied, use the audit2allow utility to create a custom policy module to allow access. See Section 11.3.8, “Allowing Access: audit2allow” for information about using audit2allow.

11.3. Fixing Problems

The following sections help troubleshoot issues. They go over: checking Linux permissions, which are checked before SELinux rules; possible causes of SELinux denying access, but no denials being logged; manual pages for services, which contain information about labeling and Booleans; permissive domains, for allowing one process to run permissive, rather than the whole system; how to search for and view denial messages; analyzing denials; and creating custom policy modules with audit2allow.

11.3.1. Linux Permissions

When access is denied, check standard Linux permissions. As mentioned in Chapter 1, Introduction, most operating systems use a Discretionary Access Control (DAC) system to control access, allowing users to control the permissions of files that they own. SELinux policy rules are checked after DAC rules. SELinux policy rules are not used if DAC rules deny access first.
If access is denied and no SELinux denials are logged, use the following command to view the standard Linux permissions:
~]$ ls -l /var/www/html/index.html
-rw-r----- 1 root root 0 2009-05-07 11:06 index.html
In this example, index.html is owned by the root user and group. The root user has read and write permissions (-rw), and members of the root group have read permissions (-r-). Everyone else has no access (---). By default, such permissions do not allow httpd to read this file. To resolve this issue, use the chown command to change the owner and group. This command must be run as root:
~]# chown apache:apache /var/www/html/index.html
This assumes the default configuration, in which httpd runs as the Linux Apache user. If you run httpd with a different user, replace apache:apache with that user.
See the Fedora Documentation Project "Permissions" draft for information about managing Linux permissions.

11.3.2. Possible Causes of Silent Denials

In certain situations, AVC denial messages may not be logged when SELinux denies access. Applications and system library functions often probe for more access than required to perform their tasks. To maintain least privilege without filling audit logs with AVC denials for harmless application probing, the policy can silence AVC denials without allowing a permission by using dontaudit rules. These rules are common in standard policy. The downside of dontaudit is that, although SELinux denies access, denial messages are not logged, making troubleshooting more difficult.
To temporarily disable dontaudit rules, allowing all denials to be logged, enter the following command as root:
~]# semodule -DB
The -D option disables dontaudit rules; the -B option rebuilds policy. After running semodule -DB, try exercising the application that was encountering permission problems, and see if SELinux denials — relevant to the application — are now being logged. Take care in deciding which denials should be allowed, as some should be ignored and handled by dontaudit rules. If in doubt, or in search of guidance, contact other SELinux users and developers on an SELinux list, such as fedora-selinux-list.
To rebuild policy and enable dontaudit rules, enter the following command as root:
~]# semodule -B
This restores the policy to its original state. For a full list of dontaudit rules, run the sesearch --dontaudit command. Narrow down searches using the -s domain option and the grep command. For example:
~]$ sesearch --dontaudit -s smbd_t | grep squid
dontaudit smbd_t squid_port_t : tcp_socket name_bind ;
dontaudit smbd_t squid_port_t : udp_socket name_bind ;

11.3.3. Manual Pages for Services

Manual pages for services contain valuable information, such as what file type to use for a given situation, and Booleans to change the access a service has (such as httpd accessing NFS volumes). This information may be in the standard manual page or in the manual page that can be automatically generated from the SELinux policy for every service domain using the sepolicy manpage utility. Such manual pages are named in the service-name_selinux format. Such manual pages are also shipped with the selinux-policy-doc package.
For example, the httpd_selinux(8) manual page has information about what file type to use for a given situation, as well as Booleans to allow scripts, sharing files, accessing directories inside user home directories, and so on. Other manual pages with SELinux information for services include:
  • Samba: the samba_selinux(8) manual page for example describes that enabling the samba_enable_home_dirs Boolean allows Samba to share users home directories.
  • NFS: the nfsd_selinux(8) manual page describes SELinux nfsd policy that allows users to setup their nfsd processes in as secure a method as possible.
The information in manual pages helps you configure the correct file types and Booleans, helping to prevent SELinux from denying access.
See Section 5.4, “Generating Manual Pages: sepolicy manpage for further information about sepolicy manpage.

11.3.4. Permissive Domains

When SELinux is running in permissive mode, SELinux does not deny access, but denials are logged for actions that would have been denied if running in enforcing mode. Previously, it was not possible to make a single domain permissive (remember: processes run in domains). In certain situations, this led to making the whole system permissive to troubleshoot issues.
Permissive domains allow an administrator to configure a single process (domain) to run permissive, rather than making the whole system permissive. SELinux checks are still performed for permissive domains; however, the kernel allows access and reports an AVC denial for situations where SELinux would have denied access.
Permissive domains have the following uses:
  • They can be used for making a single process (domain) run permissive to troubleshoot an issue without putting the entire system at risk by making it permissive.
  • They allow an administrator to create policies for new applications. Previously, it was recommended that a minimal policy be created, and then the entire machine put into permissive mode, so that the application could run, but SELinux denials still logged. The audit2allow could then be used to help write the policy. This put the whole system at risk. With permissive domains, only the domain in the new policy can be marked permissive, without putting the whole system at risk.

11.3.4.1. Making a Domain Permissive

To make a domain permissive, run the semanage permissive -a domain command, where domain is the domain you want to make permissive. For example, enter the following command as root to make the httpd_t domain (the domain the Apache HTTP Server runs in) permissive:
~]# semanage permissive -a httpd_t
To view a list of domains you have made permissive, run the semodule -l | grep permissive command as root. For example:
~]# semodule -l | grep permissive
permissive_httpd_t    (null)
permissivedomains     (null)
If you no longer want a domain to be permissive, run the semanage permissive -d domain command as root. For example:
~]# semanage permissive -d httpd_t

11.3.4.2. Disabling Permissive Domains

The permissivedomains.pp module contains all of the permissive domain declarations that are presented on the system. To disable all permissive domains, enter the following command as root:
~]# semodule -d permissivedomains

Note

Once a policy module is disabled through the semodule -d command, it is no longer showed in the output of the semodule -l command. To see all policy modules including disabled, enter the following command as root:
~]# semodule --list-modules=full

11.3.4.3. Denials for Permissive Domains

The SYSCALL message is different for permissive domains. The following is an example AVC denial (and the associated system call) from the Apache HTTP Server:
type=AVC msg=audit(1226882736.442:86): avc:  denied  { getattr } for  pid=2427 comm="httpd" path="/var/www/html/file1" dev=dm-0 ino=284133 scontext=unconfined_u:system_r:httpd_t:s0 tcontext=unconfined_u:object_r:samba_share_t:s0 tclass=file

type=SYSCALL msg=audit(1226882736.442:86): arch=40000003 syscall=196 success=no exit=-13 a0=b9a1e198 a1=bfc2921c a2=54dff4 a3=2008171 items=0 ppid=2425 pid=2427 auid=502 uid=48 gid=48 euid=48 suid=48 fsuid=48 egid=48 sgid=48 fsgid=48 tty=(none) ses=4 comm="httpd" exe="/usr/sbin/httpd" subj=unconfined_u:system_r:httpd_t:s0 key=(null)
By default, the httpd_t domain is not permissive, and as such, the action is denied, and the SYSCALL message contains success=no. The following is an example AVC denial for the same situation, except the semanage permissive -a httpd_t command has been run to make the httpd_t domain permissive:
type=AVC msg=audit(1226882925.714:136): avc:  denied  { read } for  pid=2512 comm="httpd" name="file1" dev=dm-0 ino=284133 scontext=unconfined_u:system_r:httpd_t:s0 tcontext=unconfined_u:object_r:samba_share_t:s0 tclass=file

type=SYSCALL msg=audit(1226882925.714:136): arch=40000003 syscall=5 success=yes exit=11 a0=b962a1e8 a1=8000 a2=0 a3=8000 items=0 ppid=2511 pid=2512 auid=502 uid=48 gid=48 euid=48 suid=48 fsuid=48 egid=48 sgid=48 fsgid=48 tty=(none) ses=4 comm="httpd" exe="/usr/sbin/httpd" subj=unconfined_u:system_r:httpd_t:s0 key=(null)
In this case, although an AVC denial was logged, access was not denied, as shown by success=yes in the SYSCALL message.
See Dan Walsh's "Permissive Domains" blog entry for further information about permissive domains.

11.3.5. Searching For and Viewing Denials

This section assumes the setroubleshoot, setroubleshoot-server, dbus and audit packages are installed, and that the auditd, rsyslogd, and setroubleshootd daemons are running. See Section 4.2, “Which Log File is Used” for information about starting these daemons. A number of utilites are available for searching for and viewing SELinux AVC messages, such as ausearch, aureport, and sealert.

ausearch

The audit package provides the ausearch utility that can query the audit daemon logs for events based on different search criteria.[12] The ausearch utility accesses /var/log/audit/audit.log, and as such, must be run as the root user:
Searching ForCommand
all denialsausearch -m avc,user_avc,selinux_err,user_selinux_err
denials for that todayausearch -m avc -ts today
denials from the last 10 minutesausearch -m avc -ts recent
To search for SELinux AVC messages for a particular service, use the -c comm-name option, where comm-name is the executable’s name, for example, httpd for the Apache HTTP Server, and smbd for Samba:
~]# ausearch -m avc -c httpd
~]# ausearch -m avc -c smbd
With each ausearch command, it is advised to use either the --interpret (-i) option for easier readability, or the --raw (-r) option for script processing. See the ausearch(8) manual page for further ausearch options.

aureport

The audit package provides the aureport utility, which produces summary reports of the audit system logs. [13] The aureport utility accesses /var/log/audit/audit.log, and as such, must be run as the root user. To view a list of SELinux denial messages and how often each one occurred, run the aureport -a command. The following is example output that includes two denials:
~]# aureport -a

AVC Report
========================================================
# date time comm subj syscall class permission obj event
========================================================
1. 05/01/2009 21:41:39 httpd unconfined_u:system_r:httpd_t:s0 195 file getattr system_u:object_r:samba_share_t:s0 denied 2
2. 05/03/2009 22:00:25 vsftpd unconfined_u:system_r:ftpd_t:s0 5 file read unconfined_u:object_r:cifs_t:s0 denied 4

sealert

The setroubleshoot-server package provides the sealert utility, which reads denial messages translated by setroubleshoot-server.[14] Denials are assigned IDs, as seen in /var/log/messages. The following is an example denial from messages:
setroubleshoot: SELinux is preventing /usr/sbin/httpd from name_bind access on the tcp_socket. For complete SELinux messages. run sealert -l 8c123656-5dda-4e5d-8791-9e3bd03786b7
In this example, the denial ID is 8c123656-5dda-4e5d-8791-9e3bd03786b7. The -l option takes an ID as an argument. Running the sealert -l 8c123656-5dda-4e5d-8791-9e3bd03786b7 command presents a detailed analysis of why SELinux denied access, and a possible solution for allowing access.
If you are running the X Window System, have the setroubleshoot and setroubleshoot-server packages installed, and the setroubleshootd, dbus and auditd daemons are running, a warning is displayed when access is denied by SELinux:
An AVC denial message
Clicking on Show launches the sealert GUI, which allows you to troubleshoot the problem:
Alternatively, run the sealert -b command to launch the sealert GUI. To view a detailed analysis of all denial messages, run the sealert -l \* command.

11.3.6. Raw Audit Messages

Raw audit messages are logged to /var/log/audit/audit.log. The following is an example AVC denial message (and the associated system call) that occurred when the Apache HTTP Server (running in the httpd_t domain) attempted to access the /var/www/html/file1 file (labeled with the samba_share_t type):
type=AVC msg=audit(1226874073.147:96): avc:  denied  { getattr } for  pid=2465 comm="httpd" path="/var/www/html/file1" dev=dm-0 ino=284133 scontext=unconfined_u:system_r:httpd_t:s0 tcontext=unconfined_u:object_r:samba_share_t:s0 tclass=file

type=SYSCALL msg=audit(1226874073.147:96): arch=40000003 syscall=196 success=no exit=-13 a0=b98df198 a1=bfec85dc a2=54dff4 a3=2008171 items=0 ppid=2463 pid=2465 auid=502 uid=48 gid=48 euid=48 suid=48 fsuid=48 egid=48 sgid=48 fsgid=48 tty=(none) ses=6 comm="httpd" exe="/usr/sbin/httpd" subj=unconfined_u:system_r:httpd_t:s0 key=(null)
{ getattr }
The item in the curly brackets indicates the permission that was denied. The getattr entry indicates the source process was trying to read the target file's status information. This occurs before reading files. This action is denied due to the file being accessed having a wrong label. Commonly seen permissions include getattr, read, and write.
comm="httpd"
The executable that launched the process. The full path of the executable is found in the exe= section of the system call (SYSCALL) message, which in this case, is exe="/usr/sbin/httpd".
path="/var/www/html/file1"
The path to the object (target) the process attempted to access.
scontext="unconfined_u:system_r:httpd_t:s0"
The SELinux context of the process that attempted the denied action. In this case, it is the SELinux context of the Apache HTTP Server, which is running in the httpd_t domain.
tcontext="unconfined_u:object_r:samba_share_t:s0"
The SELinux context of the object (target) the process attempted to access. In this case, it is the SELinux context of file1. Note that the samba_share_t type is not accessible to processes running in the httpd_t domain.
In certain situations, the tcontext may match the scontext, for example, when a process attempts to execute a system service that will change characteristics of that running process, such as the user ID. Also, the tcontext may match the scontext when a process tries to use more resources (such as memory) than normal limits allow, resulting in a security check to see if that process is allowed to break those limits.
From the system call (SYSCALL) message, two items are of interest:
  • success=no: indicates whether the denial (AVC) was enforced or not. success=no indicates the system call was not successful (SELinux denied access). success=yes indicates the system call was successful. This can be seen for permissive domains or unconfined domains, such as unconfined_service_t and kernel_t.
  • exe="/usr/sbin/httpd": the full path to the executable that launched the process, which in this case, is exe="/usr/sbin/httpd".
An incorrect file type is a common cause for SELinux denying access. To start troubleshooting, compare the source context (scontext) with the target context (tcontext). Should the process (scontext) be accessing such an object (tcontext)? For example, the Apache HTTP Server (httpd_t) should only be accessing types specified in the httpd_selinux(8) manual page, such as httpd_sys_content_t, public_content_t, and so on, unless configured otherwise.

11.3.7. sealert Messages

Denials are assigned IDs, as seen in /var/log/messages. The following is an example AVC denial (logged to messages) that occurred when the Apache HTTP Server (running in the httpd_t domain) attempted to access the /var/www/html/file1 file (labeled with the samba_share_t type):
hostname setroubleshoot: SELinux is preventing httpd (httpd_t) "getattr" to /var/www/html/file1 (samba_share_t). For complete SELinux messages. run sealert -l 32eee32b-21ca-4846-a22f-0ba050206786
As suggested, run the sealert -l 32eee32b-21ca-4846-a22f-0ba050206786 command to view the complete message. This command only works on the local machine, and presents the same information as the sealert GUI:
~]$ sealert -l 32eee32b-21ca-4846-a22f-0ba050206786
SELinux is preventing httpd from getattr access on the file /var/www/html/file1.

*****  Plugin restorecon (92.2 confidence) suggests   ************************

If you want to fix the label. 
/var/www/html/file1 default label should be httpd_sys_content_t.
Then you can run restorecon.
Do
# /sbin/restorecon -v /var/www/html/file1

*****  Plugin public_content (7.83 confidence) suggests   ********************

If you want to treat file1 as public content
Then you need to change the label on file1 to public_content_t or public_content_rw_t.
Do
# semanage fcontext -a -t public_content_t '/var/www/html/file1'
# restorecon -v '/var/www/html/file1'

*****  Plugin catchall (1.41 confidence) suggests   **************************

If you believe that httpd should be allowed getattr access on the file1 file by default.
Then you should report this as a bug.
You can generate a local policy module to allow this access.
Do
allow this access for now by executing:
# ausearch -c 'httpd' --raw | audit2allow -M my-httpd
# semodule -i my-httpd.pp


Additional Information:
Source Context                system_u:system_r:httpd_t:s0
Target Context                unconfined_u:object_r:samba_share_t:s0
Target Objects                /var/www/html/file1 [ file ]
Source                        httpd
Source Path                   httpd
Port                          <Unknown>
Host                          hostname.redhat.com
Source RPM Packages           
Target RPM Packages           
Policy RPM                    selinux-policy-3.13.1-166.el7.noarch
Selinux Enabled               True
Policy Type                   targeted
Enforcing Mode                Enforcing
Host Name                     hostname.redhat.com
Platform                      Linux hostname.redhat.com
                              3.10.0-693.el7.x86_64 #1 SMP Thu Jul 6 19:56:57
                              EDT 2017 x86_64 x86_64
Alert Count                   2
First Seen                    2017-07-20 02:52:11 EDT
Last Seen                     2017-07-20 02:52:11 EDT
Local ID                      32eee32b-21ca-4846-a22f-0ba050206786

Raw Audit Messages
type=AVC msg=audit(1500533531.140:295): avc:  denied  { getattr } for  pid=24934 comm="httpd" path="/var/www/html/file1" dev="vda1" ino=31457414 scontext=system_u:system_r:httpd_t:s0 tcontext=unconfined_u:object_r:samba_share_t:s0 tclass=file


Hash: httpd,httpd_t,samba_share_t,file,getattr
Summary
A brief summary of the denied action. This is the same as the denial in /var/log/messages. In this example, the httpd process was denied access to a file (file1), which is labeled with the samba_share_t type.
Detailed Description
A more verbose description. In this example, file1 is labeled with the samba_share_t type. This type is used for files and directories that you want to export using Samba. The description suggests changing the type to a type that can be accessed by the Apache HTTP Server and Samba, if such access is desired.
Allowing Access
A suggestion for how to allow access. This may be relabeling files, enabling a Boolean, or making a local policy module. In this case, the suggestion is to label the file with a type accessible to both the Apache HTTP Server and Samba.
Fix Command
A suggested command to allow access and resolve the denial. In this example, it gives the command to change the file1 type to public_content_t, which is accessible to the Apache HTTP Server and Samba.
Additional Information
Information that is useful in bug reports, such as the policy package name and version (selinux-policy-3.13.1-166.el7.noarch), but may not help towards solving why the denial occurred.
Raw Audit Messages
The raw audit messages from /var/log/audit/audit.log that are associated with the denial. See Section 11.3.6, “Raw Audit Messages” for information about each item in the AVC denial.

11.3.8. Allowing Access: audit2allow

Warning

Do not use the example in this section in production. It is used only to demonstrate the use of the audit2allow utility.
The audit2allow utility gathers information from logs of denied operations and then generates SELinux policy allow rules.[15] After analyzing denial messages as per Section 11.3.7, “sealert Messages”, and if no label changes or Booleans allowed access, use audit2allow to create a local policy module. When access is denied by SELinux, running audit2allow generates Type Enforcement rules that allow the previously denied access.
The following example demonstrates using audit2allow to create a policy module:
  1. A denial message and the associated system call are logged to the /var/log/audit/audit.log file:
    type=AVC msg=audit(1226270358.848:238): avc:  denied  { write } for  pid=13349 comm="certwatch" name="cache" dev=dm-0 ino=218171 scontext=system_u:system_r:certwatch_t:s0 tcontext=system_u:object_r:var_t:s0 tclass=dir
    
    type=SYSCALL msg=audit(1226270358.848:238): arch=40000003 syscall=39 success=no exit=-13 a0=39a2bf a1=3ff a2=3a0354 a3=94703c8 items=0 ppid=13344 pid=13349 auid=4294967295 uid=0 gid=0 euid=0 suid=0 fsuid=0 egid=0 sgid=0 fsgid=0 tty=(none) ses=4294967295 comm="certwatch" exe="/usr/bin/certwatch" subj=system_u:system_r:certwatch_t:s0 key=(null)
    
    In this example, certwatch was denied the write access to a directory labeled with the var_t type. Analyze the denial message as per Section 11.3.7, “sealert Messages”. If no label changes or Booleans allowed access, use audit2allow to create a local policy module.
  2. Enter the following command to produce a human-readable description of why the access was denied. The audit2allow utility reads /var/log/audit/audit.log, and as such, must be run as the root user:
    ~]# audit2allow -w -a
    type=AVC msg=audit(1226270358.848:238): avc:  denied  { write } for  pid=13349 comm="certwatch" name="cache" dev=dm-0 ino=218171 scontext=system_u:system_r:certwatch_t:s0 tcontext=system_u:object_r:var_t:s0 tclass=dir
    	Was caused by:
    		Missing type enforcement (TE) allow rule.
    
    	You can use audit2allow to generate a loadable module to allow this access.
    
    The -a command-line option causes all audit logs to be read. The -w option produces the human-readable description. As shown, access was denied due to a missing Type Enforcement rule.
  3. Enter the following command to view the Type Enforcement rule that allows the denied access:
    ~]# audit2allow -a
    
    
    #============= certwatch_t ==============
    allow certwatch_t var_t:dir write;
    

    Important

    Missing Type Enforcement rules are usually caused by bugs in the SELinux policy, and should be reported in Red Hat Bugzilla. For Red Hat Enterprise Linux, create bugs against the Red Hat Enterprise Linux product, and select the selinux-policy component. Include the output of the audit2allow -w -a and audit2allow -a commands in such bug reports.
  4. To use the rule displayed by audit2allow -a, enter the following command as root to create a custom module. The -M option creates a Type Enforcement file (.te) with the name specified with -M, in your current working directory:
    ~]# audit2allow -a -M mycertwatch
    ******************** IMPORTANT ***********************
    To make this policy package active, execute:
    
    semodule -i mycertwatch.pp
    
  5. Also, audit2allow compiles the Type Enforcement rule into a policy package (.pp):
    ~]# ls
    mycertwatch.pp  mycertwatch.te
    
    To install the module, enter the following command as the root:
    ~]# semodule -i mycertwatch.pp

    Important

    Modules created with audit2allow may allow more access than required. It is recommended that policy created with audit2allow be posted to the upstream SELinux list for review. If you believe there is a bug in the policy, create a bug in Red Hat Bugzilla.
If you have multiple denial messages from multiple processes, but only want to create a custom policy for a single process, use the grep utility to narrow down the input for audit2allow. The following example demonstrates using grep to only send denial messages related to certwatch through audit2allow:
~]# grep certwatch /var/log/audit/audit.log | audit2allow -R -M mycertwatch2
******************** IMPORTANT ***********************
To make this policy package active, execute:

semodule -i mycertwatch2.pp


[10] Files in /etc/selinux/targeted/contexts/files/ define contexts for files and directories. Files in this directory are read by the restorecon and setfiles utilities to restore files and directories to their default contexts.
[11] The semanage port -a command adds an entry to the /etc/selinux/targeted/modules/active/ports.local file. Note that by default, this file can only be viewed by root.
[12] See the ausearch(8) manual page for further information about ausearch.
[13] See the aureport(8) manual page for further information about aureport.
[14] See the sealert(8) manual page for further information about sealert.
[15] See the audit2allow(1) manual page for more information about audit2allow.

Chapter 12. Further Information

12.1. Contributors

12.2. Other Resources

Fedora

The National Security Agency (NSA)

NSA was the original developer of SELinux. Researchers in NSA's National Information Assurance Research Laboratory (NIARL) designed and implemented flexible mandatory access controls in the major subsystems of the Linux kernel and implemented the new operating system components provided by the Flask architecture, namely the security server and the access vector cache.

Tresys Technology

Tresys Technology are the upstream for:

The SELinux GitHub repositories

SELinux Project Wiki

The SELinux Notebook - The Foundations - 4th Edition

DigitalOcean: An Introduction to SELinux on CentOS 7

IRC

On Freenode:
  • #selinux
  • #fedora-selinux

Part II. Managing Confined Services

Chapter 13. Introduction

This part of the book focuses more on practical tasks and provides information how to set up and configure various services. For each service, there are listed the most common types and Booleans with the specifications. Also included are real-world examples of configuring those services and demonstrations of how SELinux complements their operation.
When SELinux is in enforcing mode, the default policy used in Red Hat Enterprise Linux, is the targeted policy. Processes that are targeted run in a confined domain, and processes that are not targeted run in an unconfined domain. See Chapter 3, Targeted Policy for more information about targeted policy and confined and unconfined processes.

Chapter 14. The Apache HTTP Server

The Apache HTTP Server provides an open-source HTTP server with the current HTTP standards.[16]
In Red Hat Enterprise Linux, the httpd package provides the Apache HTTP Server. Enter the following command to see if the httpd package is installed:
~]$ rpm -q httpd
package httpd is not installed
If it is not installed and you want to use the Apache HTTP Server, use the yum utility as the root user to install it:
~]# yum install httpd

14.1. The Apache HTTP Server and SELinux

When SELinux is enabled, the Apache HTTP Server (httpd) runs confined by default. Confined processes run in their own domains, and are separated from other confined processes. If a confined process is compromised by an attacker, depending on SELinux policy configuration, an attacker's access to resources and the possible damage they can do is limited. The following example demonstrates the httpd processes running in their own domain. This example assumes the httpd, setroubleshoot, setroubleshoot-server and policycoreutils-python packages are installed:
  1. Run the getenforce command to confirm SELinux is running in enforcing mode:
    ~]$ getenforce
    Enforcing
    
    The command returns Enforcing when SELinux is running in enforcing mode.
  2. Enter the following command as root to start httpd:
    ~]# systemctl start httpd.service
    Confirm that the service is running. The output should include the information below (only the time stamp will differ):
    ~]# systemctl status httpd.service       
    httpd.service - The Apache HTTP Server
    	  Loaded: loaded (/usr/lib/systemd/system/httpd.service; disabled)
    	  Active: active (running) since Mon 2013-08-05 14:00:55 CEST; 8s ago
    
  3. To view the httpd processes, execute the following command:
    ~]$ ps -eZ | grep httpd
    system_u:system_r:httpd_t:s0    19780 ?        00:00:00 httpd
    system_u:system_r:httpd_t:s0    19781 ?        00:00:00 httpd
    system_u:system_r:httpd_t:s0    19782 ?        00:00:00 httpd
    system_u:system_r:httpd_t:s0    19783 ?        00:00:00 httpd
    system_u:system_r:httpd_t:s0    19784 ?        00:00:00 httpd
    system_u:system_r:httpd_t:s0    19785 ?        00:00:00 httpd
    
    The SELinux context associated with the httpd processes is system_u:system_r:httpd_t:s0. The second last part of the context, httpd_t, is the type. A type defines a domain for processes and a type for files. In this case, the httpd processes are running in the httpd_t domain.
SELinux policy defines how processes running in confined domains (such as httpd_t) interact with files, other processes, and the system in general. Files must be labeled correctly to allow httpd access to them. For example, httpd can read files labeled with the httpd_sys_content_t type, but cannot write to them, even if Linux (DAC) permissions allow write access. Booleans must be enabled to allow certain behavior, such as allowing scripts network access, allowing httpd access to NFS and CIFS volumes, and httpd being allowed to execute Common Gateway Interface (CGI) scripts.
When the /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf file is configured so httpd listens on a port other than TCP ports 80, 443, 488, 8008, 8009, or 8443, the semanage port command must be used to add the new port number to SELinux policy configuration. The following example demonstrates configuring httpd to listen on a port that is not already defined in SELinux policy configuration for httpd, and, as a consequence, httpd failing to start. This example also demonstrates how to then configure the SELinux system to allow httpd to successfully listen on a non-standard port that is not already defined in the policy. This example assumes the httpd package is installed. Run each command in the example as the root user:
  1. Enter the following command to confirm httpd is not running:
    ~]# systemctl status httpd.service
    httpd.service - The Apache HTTP Server
    	  Loaded: loaded (/usr/lib/systemd/system/httpd.service; disabled)
              Active: inactive (dead)
    
    If the output differs, stop the process:
    ~]# systemctl stop httpd.service
  2. Use the semanage utility to view the ports SELinux allows httpd to listen on:
    ~]# semanage port -l | grep -w http_port_t
    http_port_t                    tcp      80, 443, 488, 8008, 8009, 8443
    
  3. Edit the /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf file as root. Configure the Listen option so it lists a port that is not configured in SELinux policy configuration for httpd. In this example, httpd is configured to listen on port 12345:
    # Change this to Listen on specific IP addresses as shown below to 
    # prevent Apache from glomming onto all bound IP addresses (0.0.0.0)
    #
    #Listen 12.34.56.78:80
    Listen 127.0.0.1:12345
    
  4. Enter the following command to start httpd:
    ~]# systemctl start httpd.service
    Job for httpd.service failed. See 'systemctl status httpd.service' and 'journalctl -xn' for details.
    
    An SELinux denial message similar to the following is logged:
    setroubleshoot: SELinux is preventing the httpd (httpd_t) from binding to port 12345. For complete SELinux messages. run sealert -l f18bca99-db64-4c16-9719-1db89f0d8c77
    
  5. For SELinux to allow httpd to listen on port 12345, as used in this example, the following command is required:
    ~]# semanage port -a -t http_port_t -p tcp 12345
  6. Start httpd again and have it listen on the new port:
    ~]# systemctl start httpd.service
  7. Now that SELinux has been configured to allow httpd to listen on a non-standard port (TCP 12345 in this example), httpd starts successfully on this port.
  8. To prove that httpd is listening and communicating on TCP port 12345, open a telnet connection to the specified port and issue a HTTP GET command, as follows:
    ~]# telnet localhost 12345
    Trying 127.0.0.1...
    Connected to localhost.
    Escape character is '^]'.
    GET / HTTP/1.0
    
    HTTP/1.1 200 OK
    Date: Wed, 02 Dec 2009 14:36:34 GMT
    Server: Apache/2.2.13 (Red Hat)
    Accept-Ranges: bytes
    Content-Length: 3985
    Content-Type: text/html; charset=UTF-8
    [...continues...]
    

14.2. Types

The main permission control method used in SELinux targeted policy to provide advanced process isolation is Type Enforcement. All files and processes are labeled with a type: types define a SELinux domain for processes and a SELinux type for files. SELinux policy rules define how types access each other, whether it be a domain accessing a type, or a domain accessing another domain. Access is only allowed if a specific SELinux policy rule exists that allows it.
The following example creates a new file in the /var/www/html/ directory, and shows the file inheriting the httpd_sys_content_t type from its parent directory (/var/www/html/):
  1. Enter the following command to view the SELinux context of /var/www/html/:
    ~]$ ls -dZ /var/www/html
    drwxr-xr-x  root root system_u:object_r:httpd_sys_content_t:s0 /var/www/html
    
    This shows /var/www/html/ is labeled with the httpd_sys_content_t type.
  2. Create a new file by using the touch utility as root:
    ~]# touch /var/www/html/file1
  3. Enter the following command to view the SELinux context:
    ~]$ ls -Z /var/www/html/file1
    -rw-r--r--  root root unconfined_u:object_r:httpd_sys_content_t:s0 /var/www/html/file1
    
The ls -Z command shows file1 labeled with the httpd_sys_content_t type. SELinux allows httpd to read files labeled with this type, but not write to them, even if Linux permissions allow write access. SELinux policy defines what types a process running in the httpd_t domain (where httpd runs) can read and write to. This helps prevent processes from accessing files intended for use by another process.
For example, httpd can access files labeled with the httpd_sys_content_t type (intended for the Apache HTTP Server), but by default, cannot access files labeled with the samba_share_t type (intended for Samba). Also, files in user home directories are labeled with the user_home_t type: by default, this prevents httpd from reading or writing to files in user home directories.
The following lists some of the types used with httpd. Different types allow you to configure flexible access:
httpd_sys_content_t
Use this type for static web content, such as .html files used by a static website. Files labeled with this type are accessible (read only) to httpd and scripts executed by httpd. By default, files and directories labeled with this type cannot be written to or modified by httpd or other processes. Note that by default, files created in or copied into the /var/www/html/ directory are labeled with the httpd_sys_content_t type.
httpd_sys_script_exec_t
Use this type for scripts you want httpd to execute. This type is commonly used for Common Gateway Interface (CGI) scripts in the /var/www/cgi-bin/ directory. By default, SELinux policy prevents httpd from executing CGI scripts. To allow this, label the scripts with the httpd_sys_script_exec_t type and enable the httpd_enable_cgi Boolean. Scripts labeled with httpd_sys_script_exec_t run in the httpd_sys_script_t domain when executed by httpd. The httpd_sys_script_t domain has access to other system domains, such as postgresql_t and mysqld_t.
httpd_sys_rw_content_t
Files labeled with this type can be written to by scripts labeled with the httpd_sys_script_exec_t type, but cannot be modified by scripts labeled with any other type. You must use the httpd_sys_rw_content_t type to label files that will be read from and written to by scripts labeled with the httpd_sys_script_exec_t type.
httpd_sys_ra_content_t
Files labeled with this type can be appended to by scripts labeled with the httpd_sys_script_exec_t type, but cannot be modified by scripts labeled with any other type. You must use the httpd_sys_ra_content_t type to label files that will be read from and appended to by scripts labeled with the httpd_sys_script_exec_t type.
httpd_unconfined_script_exec_t
Scripts labeled with this type run without SELinux protection. Only use this type for complex scripts, after exhausting all other options. It is better to use this type instead of disabling SELinux protection for httpd, or for the entire system.

Note

To see more of the available types for httpd, enter the following command:
~]$ grep httpd /etc/selinux/targeted/contexts/files/file_contexts

Procedure 14.1. Changing the SELinux Context

The type for files and directories can be changed with the chcon command. Changes made with chcon do not survive a file system relabel or the restorecon command. SELinux policy controls whether users are able to modify the SELinux context for any given file. The following example demonstrates creating a new directory and an index.html file for use by httpd, and labeling that file and directory to allow httpd access to them:
  1. Use the mkdir utility as root to create a top-level directory structure to store files to be used by httpd:
    ~]# mkdir -p /my/website
  2. Files and directories that do not match a pattern in file-context configuration may be labeled with the default_t type. This type is inaccessible to confined services:
    ~]$ ls -dZ /my
    drwxr-xr-x  root root unconfined_u:object_r:default_t:s0 /my
    
  3. Enter the following command as root to change the type of the my/ directory and subdirectories, to a type accessible to httpd. Now, files created under /my/website/ inherit the httpd_sys_content_t type, rather than the default_t type, and are therefore accessible to httpd:
    ~]# chcon -R -t httpd_sys_content_t /my/
    ~]# touch /my/website/index.html
    ~]# ls -Z /my/website/index.html
    -rw-r--r--  root root unconfined_u:object_r:httpd_sys_content_t:s0 /my/website/index.html
    
See Section 4.7.1, “Temporary Changes: chcon” for further information about chcon.
Use the semanage fcontext command (semanage is provided by the policycoreutils-python package) to make label changes that survive a relabel and the restorecon command. This command adds changes to file-context configuration. Then, run restorecon, which reads file-context configuration, to apply the label change. The following example demonstrates creating a new directory and an index.html file for use by httpd, and persistently changing the label of that directory and file to allow httpd access to them:
  1. Use the mkdir utility as root to create a top-level directory structure to store files to be used by httpd:
    ~]# mkdir -p /my/website
  2. Enter the following command as root to add the label change to file-context configuration:
    ~]# semanage fcontext -a -t httpd_sys_content_t "/my(/.*)?"
    The "/my(/.*)?" expression means the label change applies to the my/ directory and all files and directories under it.
  3. Use the touch utility as root to create a new file:
    ~]# touch /my/website/index.html
  4. Enter the following command as root to apply the label changes (restorecon reads file-context configuration, which was modified by the semanage command in step 2):
    ~]# restorecon -R -v /my/
    restorecon reset /my context unconfined_u:object_r:default_t:s0->system_u:object_r:httpd_sys_content_t:s0
    restorecon reset /my/website context unconfined_u:object_r:default_t:s0->system_u:object_r:httpd_sys_content_t:s0
    restorecon reset /my/website/index.html context unconfined_u:object_r:default_t:s0->system_u:object_r:httpd_sys_content_t:s0
    
See Section 4.7.2, “Persistent Changes: semanage fcontext” for further information on semanage.

14.3. Booleans

SELinux is based on the least level of access required for a service to run. Services can be run in a variety of ways; therefore, you need to specify how you run your services. This can be achieved using Booleans that allow parts of SELinux policy to be changed at runtime, without any knowledge of SELinux policy writing. This allows changes, such as allowing services access to NFS volumes, without reloading or recompiling SELinux policy.
To modify the state of a Boolean, use the setsebool command. For example, to enable the httpd_anon_write Boolean, enter the following command as the root user:
~]# setsebool -P httpd_anon_write on
To disable a Boolean, using the same example, simply change on to off in the command, as shown below:
~]# setsebool -P httpd_anon_write off

Note

Do not use the -P option if you do not want setsebool changes to persist across reboots.
Below is a description of common Booleans available that cater for the way httpd is running:
httpd_anon_write
When disabled, this Boolean allows httpd to only have read access to files labeled with the public_content_rw_t type. Enabling this Boolean allows httpd to write to files labeled with the public_content_rw_t type, such as a public directory containing files for a public file transfer service.
httpd_mod_auth_ntlm_winbind
Enabling this Boolean allows access to NTLM and Winbind authentication mechanisms using the mod_auth_ntlm_winbind module in httpd.
httpd_mod_auth_pam
Enabling this Boolean allows access to PAM authentication mechanisms using the mod_auth_pam module in httpd.
httpd_sys_script_anon_write
This Boolean defines whether or not HTTP scripts are allowed write access to files labeled with the public_content_rw_t type, as used in a public file transfer service.
httpd_builtin_scripting
This Boolean defines access to httpd scripting. Having this Boolean enabled is often required for PHP content.
httpd_can_network_connect
When disabled, this Boolean prevents HTTP scripts and modules from initiating a connection to a network or remote port. Enable this Boolean to allow this access.
httpd_can_network_connect_db
When disabled, this Boolean prevents HTTP scripts and modules from initiating a connection to database servers. Enable this Boolean to allow this access.
httpd_can_network_relay
Enable this Boolean when httpd is being used as a forward or reverse proxy.
httpd_can_sendmail
When disabled, this Boolean prevents HTTP modules from sending mail. This can prevent spam attacks should a vulnerability be found in httpd. Enable this Boolean to allow HTTP modules to send mail.
httpd_dbus_avahi
When disabled, this Boolean denies httpd access to the avahi service throughD-Bus. Enable this Boolean to allow this access.
httpd_enable_cgi
When disabled, this Boolean prevents httpd from executing CGI scripts. Enable this Boolean to allow httpd to execute CGI scripts (CGI scripts must be labeled with the httpd_sys_script_exec_t type).
httpd_enable_ftp_server
Enabling this Boolean allows httpd to listen on the FTP port and act as an FTP server.
httpd_enable_homedirs
When disabled, this Boolean prevents httpd from accessing user home directories. Enable this Boolean to allow httpd access to user home directories; for example, content in /home/*/.
httpd_execmem
When enabled, this Boolean allows httpd to execute programs that require memory addresses that are both executable and writable. Enabling this Boolean is not recommended from a security standpoint as it reduces protection against buffer overflows, however certain modules and applications (such as Java and Mono applications) require this privilege.
httpd_ssi_exec
This Boolean defines whether or not server side include (SSI) elements in a web page can be executed.
httpd_tty_comm
This Boolean defines whether or not httpd is allowed access to the controlling terminal. Usually this access is not required, however in cases such as configuring an SSL certificate file, terminal access is required to display and process a password prompt.
httpd_unified
When enabled, this Boolean allows httpd_t complete access to all of the httpd types (that is to execute, read, or write sys_content_t). When disabled, there is separation in place between web content that is read-only, writable, or executable. Disabling this Boolean ensures an extra level of security but adds the administrative overhead of having to individually label scripts and other web content based on the file access that each should have.
httpd_use_cifs
Enable this Boolean to allow httpd access to files on CIFS volumes that are labeled with the cifs_t type, such as file systems mounted using Samba.
httpd_use_nfs
Enable this Boolean to allow httpd access to files on NFS volumes that are labeled with the nfs_t type, such as file systems mounted using NFS.

Note

Due to the continuous development of the SELinux policy, the list above might not contain all Booleans related to the service at all times. To list them, run the following command:
~]$ getsebool -a | grep service_name
Run the following command to view description of a particular Boolean:
~]$ sepolicy booleans -b boolean_name
Note that the additional policycoreutils-devel package providing the sepolicy utility is required for this command to work.

14.4. Configuration examples

The following examples provide real-world demonstrations of how SELinux complements the Apache HTTP Server and how full function of the Apache HTTP Server can be maintained.

14.4.1. Running a static site

To create a static website, label the .html files for that website with the httpd_sys_content_t type. By default, the Apache HTTP Server cannot write to files that are labeled with the httpd_sys_content_t type. The following example creates a new directory to store files for a read-only website:
  1. Use the mkdir utility as root to create a top-level directory:
    ~]# mkdir /mywebsite
  2. As root, create a /mywebsite/index.html file. Copy and paste the following content into /mywebsite/index.html:
    <html>
    <h2>index.html from /mywebsite/</h2>
    </html>
    
  3. To allow the Apache HTTP Server read only access to /mywebsite/, as well as files and subdirectories under it, label the directory with the httpd_sys_content_t type. Enter the following command as root to add the label change to file-context configuration:
    ~]# semanage fcontext -a -t httpd_sys_content_t "/mywebsite(/.*)?"
  4. Use the restorecon utility as root to make the label changes:
    ~]# restorecon -R -v /mywebsite
    restorecon reset /mywebsite context unconfined_u:object_r:default_t:s0->system_u:object_r:httpd_sys_content_t:s0
    restorecon reset /mywebsite/index.html context unconfined_u:object_r:default_t:s0->system_u:object_r:httpd_sys_content_t:s0
    
  5. For this example, edit the /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf file as root. Comment out the existing DocumentRoot option. Add a DocumentRoot "/mywebsite" option. After editing, these options should look as follows:
    #DocumentRoot "/var/www/html"
    DocumentRoot "/mywebsite"
    
  6. Enter the following command as root to see the status of the Apache HTTP Server. If the server is stopped, start it:
    ~]# systemctl status httpd.service
    httpd.service - The Apache HTTP Server
       Loaded: loaded (/usr/lib/systemd/system/httpd.service; disabled)
       Active: inactive (dead)
    
    ~]# systemctl start httpd.service
    If the server is running, restart the service by executing the following command as root (this also applies any changes made to httpd.conf):
    ~]# systemctl status httpd.service
    httpd.service - The Apache HTTP Server
       Loaded: loaded (/usr/lib/systemd/system/httpd.service; disabled)
       Active: active (running) since Wed 2014-02-05 13:16:46 CET; 2s ago
    
    ~]# systemctl restart httpd.service
  7. Use a web browser to navigate to http://localhost/index.html. The following is displayed:
    index.html from /mywebsite/
    

14.4.2. Sharing NFS and CIFS volumes

By default, NFS mounts on the client side are labeled with a default context defined by policy for NFS volumes. In common policies, this default context uses the nfs_t type. Also, by default, Samba shares mounted on the client side are labeled with a default context defined by policy. In common policies, this default context uses the cifs_t type.
Depending on policy configuration, services may not be able to read files labeled with the nfs_t or cifs_t types. This may prevent file systems labeled with these types from being mounted and then read or exported by other services. Booleans can be enabled or disabled to control which services are allowed to access the nfs_t and cifs_t types.
Enable the httpd_use_nfs Boolean to allow httpd to access and share NFS volumes (labeled with the nfs_t type):
~]# setsebool -P httpd_use_nfs on
Enable the httpd_use_cifs Boolean to allow httpd to access and share CIFS volumes (labeled with the cifs_t type):
~]# setsebool -P httpd_use_cifs on

Note

Do not use the -P option if you do not want setsebool changes to persist across reboots.

14.4.3. Sharing files between services

Type Enforcement helps prevent processes from accessing files intended for use by another process. For example, by default, Samba cannot read files labeled with the httpd_sys_content_t type, which are intended for use by the Apache HTTP Server. Files can be shared between the Apache HTTP Server, FTP, rsync, and Samba, if the desired files are labeled with the public_content_t or public_content_rw_t type.
The following example creates a directory and files, and allows that directory and files to be shared (read only) through the Apache HTTP Server, FTP, rsync, and Samba:
  1. Use the mkdir utility as root to create a new top-level directory to share files between multiple services:
    ~]# mkdir /shares
  2. Files and directories that do not match a pattern in file-context configuration may be labeled with the default_t type. This type is inaccessible to confined services:
    ~]$ ls -dZ /shares
    drwxr-xr-x  root root unconfined_u:object_r:default_t:s0 /shares
    
  3. As root, create a /shares/index.html file. Copy and paste the following content into /shares/index.html:
    <html>
    <body>
    <p>Hello</p>
    </body>
    </html>
    
  4. Labeling /shares/ with the public_content_t type allows read-only access by the Apache HTTP Server, FTP, rsync, and Samba. Enter the following command as root to add the label change to file-context configuration:
    ~]# semanage fcontext -a -t public_content_t "/shares(/.*)?"
  5. Use the restorecon utility as root to apply the label changes:
    ~]# restorecon -R -v /shares/
    restorecon reset /shares context unconfined_u:object_r:default_t:s0->system_u:object_r:public_content_t:s0
    restorecon reset /shares/index.html context unconfined_u:object_r:default_t:s0->system_u:object_r:public_content_t:s0
    
To share /shares/ through Samba:
  1. Confirm the samba, samba-common, and samba-client packages are installed (version numbers may differ):
    ~]$ rpm -q samba samba-common samba-client
    samba-3.4.0-0.41.el6.3.i686
    samba-common-3.4.0-0.41.el6.3.i686
    samba-client-3.4.0-0.41.el6.3.i686
    
    If any of these packages are not installed, install them by running the following command as root:
    ~]# yum install package-name
  2. Edit the /etc/samba/smb.conf file as root. Add the following entry to the bottom of this file to share the /shares/ directory through Samba:
    [shares]
    comment = Documents for Apache HTTP Server, FTP, rsync, and Samba
    path = /shares
    public = yes
    writable = no
    
  3. A Samba account is required to mount a Samba file system. Enter the following command as root to create a Samba account, where username is an existing Linux user. For example, smbpasswd -a testuser creates a Samba account for the Linux testuser user:
    ~]# smbpasswd -a testuser
    New SMB password: Enter a password
    Retype new SMB password: Enter the same password again
    Added user testuser.
    
    If you run the above command, specifying a user name of an account that does not exist on the system, it causes a Cannot locate Unix account for 'username'! error.
  4. Start the Samba service:
    ~]# systemctl start smb.service
  5. Enter the following command to list the available shares, where username is the Samba account added in step 3. When prompted for a password, enter the password assigned to the Samba account in step 3 (version numbers may differ):
    ~]$ smbclient -U username -L localhost
    Enter username's password:
    Domain=[HOSTNAME] OS=[Unix] Server=[Samba 3.4.0-0.41.el6]
    
    Sharename       Type      Comment
    ---------       ----      -------
    shares          Disk      Documents for Apache HTTP Server, FTP, rsync, and Samba
    IPC$            IPC       IPC Service (Samba Server Version 3.4.0-0.41.el6)
    username        Disk      Home Directories
    Domain=[HOSTNAME] OS=[Unix] Server=[Samba 3.4.0-0.41.el6]
    
    Server               Comment
    ---------            -------
    
    Workgroup            Master
    ---------            -------
    
  6. User the mkdir utility to create a new directory. This directory will be used to mount the shares Samba share:
    ~]# mkdir /test/
  7. Enter the following command as root to mount the shares Samba share to /test/, replacing username with the user name from step 3:
    ~]# mount //localhost/shares /test/ -o user=username
    Enter the password for username, which was configured in step 3.
  8. View the content of the file, which is being shared through Samba:
    ~]$ cat /test/index.html
    <html>
    <body>
    <p>Hello</p>
    </body>
    </html>
    
To share /shares/ through the Apache HTTP Server:
  1. Confirm the httpd package is installed (version number may differ):
    ~]$ rpm -q httpd
    httpd-2.2.11-6.i386
    
    If this package is not installed, use the yum utility as root to install it:
    ~]# yum install httpd
  2. Change into the /var/www/html/ directory. Enter the following command as root to create a link (named shares) to the /shares/ directory:
    html]# ln -s /shares/ shares
  3. Start the Apache HTTP Server:
    ~]# systemctl start httpd.service
  4. Use a web browser to navigate to http://localhost/shares. The /shares/index.html file is displayed.
By default, the Apache HTTP Server reads an index.html file if it exists. If /shares/ did not have index.html, and instead had file1, file2, and file3, a directory listing would occur when accessing http://localhost/shares:
  1. Remove the index.html file:
    ~]# rm -i /shares/index.html
  2. Use the touch utility as root to create three files in /shares/:
    ~]# touch /shares/file{1,2,3}
    ~]# ls -Z /shares/
    -rw-r--r--  root root system_u:object_r:public_content_t:s0 file1
    -rw-r--r--  root root unconfined_u:object_r:public_content_t:s0 file2
    -rw-r--r--  root root unconfined_u:object_r:public_content_t:s0 file3
    
  3. Enter the following command as root to see the status of the Apache HTTP Server:
    ~]# systemctl status httpd.service
    httpd.service - The Apache HTTP Server
       Loaded: loaded (/usr/lib/systemd/system/httpd.service; disabled)
       Active: inactive (dead)
    
    If the server is stopped, start it:
    ~]# systemctl start httpd.service
  4. Use a web browser to navigate to http://localhost/shares. A directory listing is displayed:

14.4.4. Changing port numbers

Depending on policy configuration, services may only be allowed to run on certain port numbers. Attempting to change the port a service runs on without changing policy may result in the service failing to start. Use the semanage utility as the root user to list the ports SELinux allows httpd to listen on:
~]# semanage port -l | grep -w http_port_t
http_port_t                    tcp      80, 443, 488, 8008, 8009, 8443
By default, SELinux allows httpd to listen on TCP ports 80, 443, 488, 8008, 8009, or 8443. If /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf is configured so that httpd listens on any port not listed for http_port_t, httpd fails to start.
To configure httpd to run on a port other than TCP ports 80, 443, 488, 8008, 8009, or 8443:
  1. Edit the /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf file as root so the Listen option lists a port that is not configured in SELinux policy for httpd. The following example configures httpd to listen on the 10.0.0.1 IP address, and on TCP port 12345:
    # Change this to Listen on specific IP addresses as shown below to 
    # prevent Apache from glomming onto all bound IP addresses (0.0.0.0)
    #
    #Listen 12.34.56.78:80
    Listen 10.0.0.1:12345
    
  2. Enter the following command as the root user to add the port to SELinux policy configuration:
    ~]# semanage port -a -t http_port_t -p tcp 12345
  3. Confirm that the port is added:
    ~]# semanage port -l | grep -w http_port_t
    http_port_t                    tcp      12345, 80, 443, 488, 8008, 8009, 8443
    
If you no longer run httpd on port 12345, use the semanage utility as root to remove the port from policy configuration:
~]# semanage port -d -t http_port_t -p tcp 12345


[16] For more information, see the section named The Apache HTTP Sever in the System Administrator's Guide.

Chapter 15. Samba

Samba is an open-source implementation of the Server Message Block (SMB) and Common Internet File System (CIFS) protocols that provides file and print services between clients across various operating systems.[17]
In Red Hat Enterprise Linux, the samba package provides the Samba server. Run the following command to see if the samba package is installed:
~]$ rpm -q samba
package samba is not installed
If it is not installed and you want to use Samba, use the yum utility as the root user to install it:
~]# yum install samba

15.1. Samba and SELinux

When SELinux is enabled, the Samba server (smbd) runs confined by default. Confined services run in their own domains, and are separated from other confined services. The following example demonstrates the smbd process running in its own domain. This example assumes the samba package is installed:
  1. Run the getenforce command to confirm SELinux is running in enforcing mode:
    ~]$ getenforce
    Enforcing
    
    The command returns Enforcing when SELinux is running in enforcing mode.
  2. Run the following command as root to start smbd:
    ~]# systemctl start smb.service
    Confirm that the service is running. The output should include the information below (only the time stamp will differ):
    ~]# systemctl status smb.service
    smb.service - Samba SMB Daemon
       Loaded: loaded (/usr/lib/systemd/system/smb.service; disabled)
       Active: active (running) since Mon 2013-08-05 12:17:26 CEST; 2h 22min ago
    
  3. To view the smbd processes, execute the following command:
    ~]$ ps -eZ | grep smb
    system_u:system_r:smbd_t:s0      9653 ?        00:00:00 smbd
    system_u:system_r:smbd_t:s0      9654?        00:00:00 smbd
    
    The SELinux context associated with the smbd processes is system_u:system_r:smbd_t:s0. The second last part of the context, smbd_t, is the type. A type defines a domain for processes and a type for files. In this case, the smbd processes are running in the smbd_t domain.
Files must be labeled correctly to allow smbd to access and share them. For example, smbd can read and write to files labeled with the samba_share_t type, but by default, cannot access files labeled with the httpd_sys_content_t type, which is intended for use by the Apache HTTP Server. Booleans must be enabled to allow certain behavior, such as allowing home directories and NFS volumes to be exported through Samba, as well as to allow Samba to act as a domain controller.

15.2. Types

The main permission control method used in SELinux targeted policy to provide advanced process isolation is Type Enforcement. All files and processes are labeled with a type: types define a SELinux domain for processes and a SELinux type for files. SELinux policy rules define how types access each other, whether it be a domain accessing a type, or a domain accessing another domain. Access is only allowed if a specific SELinux policy rule exists that allows it.
Label files with the samba_share_t type to allow Samba to share them. Only label files you have created, and do not relabel system files with the samba_share_t type: Booleans can be enabled to share such files and directories. SELinux allows Samba to write to files labeled with the samba_share_t type, as long as the /etc/samba/smb.conf file and Linux permissions are set accordingly.
The samba_etc_t type is used on certain files in the /etc/samba/ directory, such as smb.conf. Do not manually label files with the samba_etc_t type. If files in this directory are not labeled correctly, enter the restorecon -R -v /etc/samba command as the root user to restore such files to their default contexts. If /etc/samba/smb.conf is not labeled with the samba_etc_t type, starting the Samba service may fail and an SELinux denial message may be logged. The following is an example denial message when /etc/samba/smb.conf was labeled with the httpd_sys_content_t type:
setroubleshoot: SELinux is preventing smbd (smbd_t) "read" to ./smb.conf (httpd_sys_content_t). For complete SELinux messages. run sealert -l deb33473-1069-482b-bb50-e4cd05ab18af

15.3. Booleans

SELinux is based on the least level of access required for a service to run. Services can be run in a variety of ways; therefore, you need to specify how you run your services. Use the following Booleans to set up SELinux:
smbd_anon_write
Having this Boolean enabled allows smbd to write to a public directory, such as an area reserved for common files that otherwise has no special access restrictions.
samba_create_home_dirs
Having this Boolean enabled allows Samba to create new home directories independently. This is often done by mechanisms such as PAM.
samba_domain_controller
When enabled, this Boolean allows Samba to act as a domain controller, as well as giving it permission to execute related commands such as useradd, groupadd, and passwd.
samba_enable_home_dirs
Enabling this Boolean allows Samba to share users' home directories.
samba_export_all_ro
Export any file or directory, allowing read-only permissions. This allows files and directories that are not labeled with the samba_share_t type to be shared through Samba. When the samba_export_all_ro Boolean is enabled, but the samba_export_all_rw Boolean is disabled, write access to Samba shares is denied, even if write access is configured in /etc/samba/smb.conf, as well as Linux permissions allowing write access.
samba_export_all_rw
Export any file or directory, allowing read and write permissions. This allows files and directories that are not labeled with the samba_share_t type to be exported through Samba. Permissions in /etc/samba/smb.conf and Linux permissions must be configured to allow write access.
samba_run_unconfined
Having this Boolean enabled allows Samba to run unconfined scripts in the /var/lib/samba/scripts/ directory.
samba_share_fusefs
This Boolean must be enabled for Samba to share fusefs file systems.
samba_share_nfs
Disabling this Boolean prevents smbd from having full access to NFS shares through Samba. Enabling this Boolean will allow Samba to share NFS volumes.
use_samba_home_dirs
Enable this Boolean to use a remote server for Samba home directories.
virt_use_samba
Allow virtual machine access to CIFS files.

Note

Due to the continuous development of the SELinux policy, the list above might not contain all Booleans related to the service at all times. To list them, run the following command:
~]$ getsebool -a | grep service_name
Run the following command to view description of a particular Boolean:
~]$ sepolicy booleans -b boolean_name
Note that the additional policycoreutils-devel package providing the sepolicy utility is required for this command to work.

15.4. Configuration examples

The following examples provide real-world demonstrations of how SELinux complements the Samba server and how full function of the Samba server can be maintained.

15.4.1. Sharing directories you create

The following example creates a new directory, and shares that directory through Samba:
  1. Confirm that the samba, samba-common, and samba-client packages are installed:
    ~]$ rpm -q samba samba-common samba-client
    package samba is not installed
    package samba-common is not installed
    package samba-client is not installed
    
    If any of these packages are not installed, install them by using the yum utility as root:
    ~]# yum install package-name
  2. Use the mkdir utility as root to create a new top-level directory to share files through Samba:
    ~]# mkdir /myshare
  3. Use the touch utility root to create an empty file. This file is used later to verify the Samba share mounted correctly:
    ~]# touch /myshare/file1
  4. SELinux allows Samba to read and write to files labeled with the samba_share_t type, as long as the /etc/samba/smb.conf file and Linux permissions are set accordingly. Run the following command as root to add the label change to file-context configuration:
    ~]# semanage fcontext -a -t samba_share_t "/myshare(/.*)?"
  5. Use the restorecon utility as root to apply the label changes:
    ~]# restorecon -R -v /myshare
    restorecon reset /myshare context unconfined_u:object_r:default_t:s0->system_u:object_r:samba_share_t:s0
    restorecon reset /myshare/file1 context unconfined_u:object_r:default_t:s0->system_u:object_r:samba_share_t:s0
    
  6. Edit /etc/samba/smb.conf as root. Add the following to the bottom of this file to share the /myshare/ directory through Samba:
    [myshare]
    comment = My share
    path = /myshare
    public = yes
    writable = no
    
  7. A Samba account is required to mount a Samba file system. Run the following command as root to create a Samba account, where username is an existing Linux user. For example, smbpasswd -a testuser creates a Samba account for the Linux testuser user:
    ~]# smbpasswd -a testuser
    New SMB password: Enter a password
    Retype new SMB password: Enter the same password again
    Added user testuser.
    
    If you enter the above command, specifying a user name of an account that does not exist on the system, it causes a Cannot locate Unix account for 'username'! error.
  8. Start the Samba service:
    ~]# systemctl start smb.service
  9. Run the following command to list the available shares, where username is the Samba account added in step 7. When prompted for a password, enter the password assigned to the Samba account in step 7 (version numbers may differ):
    ~]$ smbclient -U username -L localhost
    Enter username's password:
    Domain=[HOSTNAME] OS=[Unix] Server=[Samba 3.4.0-0.41.el6]
    
    Sharename       Type      Comment
    ---------       ----      -------
    myshare         Disk      My share
    IPC$            IPC       IPC Service (Samba Server Version 3.4.0-0.41.el6)
    username        Disk      Home Directories
    Domain=[HOSTNAME] OS=[Unix] Server=[Samba 3.4.0-0.41.el6]
    
    Server               Comment
    ---------            -------
    
    Workgroup            Master
    ---------            -------
    
  10. Use the mkdir utility as root to create a new directory. This directory will be used to mount the myshare Samba share:
    ~]# mkdir /test/
  11. Run the following command as root to mount the myshare Samba share to /test/, replacing username with the user name from step 7:
    ~]# mount //localhost/myshare /test/ -o user=username
    Enter the password for username, which was configured in step 7.
  12. Run the following command to view the file1 file created in step 3:
    ~]$ ls /test/
    file1
    

15.4.2. Sharing a website

It may not be possible to label files with the samba_share_t type, for example, when wanting to share a website in the /var/www/html/ directory. For these cases, use the samba_export_all_ro Boolean to share any file or directory (regardless of the current label), allowing read only permissions, or the samba_export_all_rw Boolean to share any file or directory (regardless of the current label), allowing read and write permissions.
The following example creates a file for a website in /var/www/html/, and then shares that file through Samba, allowing read and write permissions. This example assumes the httpd, samba, samba-common, samba-client, and wget packages are installed:
  1. As the root user, create a /var/www/html/file1.html file. Copy and paste the following content into this file:
    <html>
    <h2>File being shared through the Apache HTTP Server and Samba.</h2>
    </html>
    
  2. Run the following command to view the SELinux context of file1.html:
    ~]$ ls -Z /var/www/html/file1.html
    -rw-r--r--. root root unconfined_u:object_r:httpd_sys_content_t:s0 /var/www/html/file1.html
    
    The file is labeled with the httpd_sys_content_t. By default, the Apache HTTP Server can access this type, but Samba cannot.
  3. Start the Apache HTTP Server:
    ~]# systemctl start httpd.service
  4. Change into a directory your user has write access to, and enter the following command. Unless there are changes to the default configuration, this command succeeds:
    ~]$ wget http://localhost/file1.html
    Resolving localhost... 127.0.0.1
    Connecting to localhost|127.0.0.1|:80... connected.
    HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 200 OK
    Length: 84 [text/html]
    Saving to: `file1.html.1'
    
    100%[=======================>] 84          --.-K/s   in 0s      
    
    `file1.html.1' saved [84/84]
    
  5. Edit /etc/samba/smb.conf as root. Add the following to the bottom of this file to share the /var/www/html/ directory through Samba:
    [website]
    comment = Sharing a website
    path = /var/www/html/
    public = no
    writable = no
    
  6. The /var/www/html/ directory is labeled with the httpd_sys_content_t type. By default, Samba cannot access files and directories labeled with the this type, even if Linux permissions allow it. To allow Samba access, enable the samba_export_all_ro Boolean:
    ~]# setsebool -P samba_export_all_ro on
    Do not use the -P option if you do not want the change to persist across reboots. Note that enabling the samba_export_all_ro Boolean allows Samba to access any type.
  7. Start the Samba service:
    ~]# systemctl start smb.service


[17] For more information, see the Samba section in the System Administrator's Guide.

Chapter 16. File Transfer Protocol

File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is one of the oldest and most commonly used protocols found on the Internet today. Its purpose is to reliably transfer files between computer hosts on a network without requiring the user to log directly into the remote host or have knowledge of how to use the remote system. It allows users to access files on remote systems using a standard set of simple commands.
The Very Secure FTP Daemon (vsftpd) is designed from the ground up to be fast, stable, and, most importantly, secure. Its ability to handle large numbers of connections efficiently and securely is why vsftpd is the only stand-alone FTP distributed with Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
In Red Hat Enterprise Linux, the vsftpd package provides the Very Secure FTP daemon. Run the following command to see if vsftpd is installed:
~]$ rpm -q vsftpd
package vsftpd is not installed
If you want an FTP server and the vsftpd package is not installed, use the yum utility as the root user to install it:
~]# yum install vsftpd

16.1. Types

The main permission control method used in SELinux targeted policy to provide advanced process isolation is Type Enforcement. All files and processes are labeled with a type: types define a SELinux domain for processes and a SELinux type for files. SELinux policy rules define how types access each other, whether it be a domain accessing a type, or a domain accessing another domain. Access is only allowed if a specific SELinux policy rule exists that allows it.
By default, anonymous users have read access to files in the /var/ftp/ directory when they log in using FTP. This directory is labeled with the public_content_t type, allowing only read access, even if write access is configured in /etc/vsftpd/vsftpd.conf. The public_content_t type is accessible to other services, such as Apache HTTP Server, Samba, and NFS.
Use one of the following types to share files through FTP:
public_content_t
Label files and directories you have created with the public_content_t type to share them read-only through vsftpd. Other services, such as Apache HTTP Server, Samba, and NFS, also have access to files labeled with this type. Files labeled with the public_content_t type cannot be written to, even if Linux permissions allow write access. If you require write access, use the public_content_rw_t type.
public_content_rw_t
Label files and directories you have created with the public_content_rw_t type to share them with read and write permissions through vsftpd. Other services, such as Apache HTTP Server, Samba, and NFS, also have access to files labeled with this type. Remember that Booleans for each service must be enabled before they can write to files labeled with this type.

16.2. Booleans

SELinux is based on the least level of access required for a service to run. Services can be run in a variety of ways; therefore, you need to specify how you run your services. Use the following Booleans to set up SELinux:
ftpd_anon_write
When disabled, this Boolean prevents vsftpd from writing to files and directories labeled with the public_content_rw_t type. Enable this Boolean to allow users to upload files using FTP. The directory where files are uploaded to must be labeled with the public_content_rw_t type and Linux permissions must be set accordingly.
ftpd_full_access
When this Boolean is enabled, only Linux (DAC) permissions are used to control access, and authenticated users can read and write to files that are not labeled with the public_content_t or public_content_rw_t types.
ftpd_use_cifs
Having this Boolean enabled allows vsftpd to access files and directories labeled with the cifs_t type; therefore, having this Boolean enabled allows you to share file systems mounted using Samba through vsftpd.
ftpd_use_nfs
Having this Boolean enabled allows vsftpd to access files and directories labeled with the nfs_t type; therefore, this Boolean allows you to share file systems mounted using NFS through vsftpd.
ftpd_connect_db
Allow FTP daemons to initiate a connection to a database.
httpd_enable_ftp_server
Allow the httpd daemon to listen on the FTP port and act as a FTP server.
tftp_anon_write
Having this Boolean enabled allows TFTP access to a public directory, such as an area reserved for common files that otherwise has no special access restrictions.

Important

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.3 does not provide the ftp_home_dir Boolean. See the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.3 Release Notes document for more information.

Note

Due to the continuous development of the SELinux policy, the list above might not contain all Booleans related to the service at all times. To list them, run the following command:
~]$ getsebool -a | grep service_name
Run the following command to view description of a particular Boolean:
~]$ sepolicy booleans -b boolean_name
Note that the additional policycoreutils-devel package providing the sepolicy utility is required for this command to work.

Chapter 17. Network File System

A Network File System (NFS) allows remote hosts to mount file systems over a network and interact with those file systems as though they are mounted locally. This enables system administrators to consolidate resources onto centralized servers on the network.[18]
In Red Hat Enterprise Linux, the nfs-utils package is required for full NFS support. Run the following command to see if the nfs-utils is installed:
~]$ rpm -q nfs-utils
package nfs-utils is not installed
If it is not installed and you want to use NFS, use the yum utility as root to install it:
~]# yum install nfs-utils

17.1. NFS and SELinux

When running SELinux, the NFS daemons are confined by default except the nfsd process, which is labeled with the unconfined kernel_t domain type. The SELinux policy allows NFS to share files by default. Also, passing SELinux labels between a client and the server is supported, which provides better security control of confined domains accessing NFS volumes. For example, when a home directory is set up on an NFS volume, it is possible to specify confined domains that are able to access only the home directory and not other directories on the volume. Similarly, applications, such as Secure Virtualization, can set the label of an image file on an NFS volume, thus increasing the level of separation of virtual machines.
The support for labeled NFS is disabled by default. To enable it, see Section 17.4.1, “Enabling SELinux Labeled NFS Support”.

17.2. Types

The main permission control method used in SELinux targeted policy to provide advanced process isolation is Type Enforcement. All files and processes are labeled with a type: types define a SELinux domain for processes and a SELinux type for files. SELinux policy rules define how types access each other, whether it be a domain accessing a type, or a domain accessing another domain. Access is only allowed if a specific SELinux policy rule exists that allows it.
By default, mounted NFS volumes on the client side are labeled with a default context defined by policy for NFS. In common policies, this default context uses the nfs_t type. The root user is able to override the default type using the mount -context option. The following types are used with NFS. Different types allow you to configure flexible access:
var_lib_nfs_t
This type is used for existing and new files copied to or created in the /var/lib/nfs/ directory. This type should not need to be changed in normal operation. To restore changes to the default settings, run the restorecon -R -v /var/lib/nfs command as the root user.
nfsd_exec_t
The /usr/sbin/rpc.nfsd file is labeled with the nfsd_exec_t, as are other system executables and libraries related to NFS. Users should not label any files with this type. nfsd_exec_t will transition to nfsd_t.

17.3. Booleans

SELinux is based on the least level of access required for a service to run. Services can be run in a variety of ways; therefore, you need to specify how you run your services. Use the following Booleans to set up SELinux:
ftpd_use_nfs
When enabled, this Boolean allows the ftpd daemon to access NFS volumes.
cobbler_use_nfs
When enabled, this Boolean allows the cobblerd daemon to access NFS volumes.
git_system_use_nfs
When enabled, this Boolean allows the Git system daemon to read system shared repositories on NFS volumes.
httpd_use_nfs
When enabled, this Boolean allows the httpd daemon to access files stored on NFS volumes.
samba_share_nfs
When enabled, this Boolean allows the smbd daemon to share NFS volumes. When disabled, this Boolean prevents smbd from having full access to NFS shares using Samba.
sanlock_use_nfs
When enabled, this Boolean allows the sanlock daemon to manage NFS volumes.
sge_use_nfs
When enabled, this Boolean allows the sge scheduler to access NFS volumes.
use_nfs_home_dirs
When enabled, this Boolean adds support for NFS home directories.
virt_use_nfs
When enabled, this Boolean allows confident virtual guests to manage files on NFS volumes.
xen_use_nfs
When enabled, this Boolean allows Xen to manage files on NFS volumes.
git_cgi_use_nfs
When enabled, this Boolean allows the Git Common Gateway Interface (CGI) to access NFS volumes.

Note

Due to the continuous development of the SELinux policy, the list above might not contain all Booleans related to the service at all times. To list them, run the following command:
~]$ getsebool -a | grep service_name
Run the following command to view description of a particular Boolean:
~]$ sepolicy booleans -b boolean_name
Note that the additional policycoreutils-devel package providing the sepolicy utility is required for this command to work.

17.4. Configuration Examples

17.4.1. Enabling SELinux Labeled NFS Support

The following example demonstrates how to enable SELinux labeled NFS support. This example assumes that the nfs-utils package is installed, that the SELinux targeted policy is used, and that SELinux is running in enforcing mode.

Note

Steps 1-3 are supposed to be performed on the NFS server, nfs-srv.
  1. If the NFS server is running, stop it:
    [nfs-srv]# systemctl stop nfs
    Confirm that the server is stopped:
    [nfs-srv]# systemctl status nfs
    nfs-server.service - NFS Server
       Loaded: loaded (/usr/lib/systemd/system/nfs-server.service; disabled)
       Active: inactive (dead)
    
  2. Edit the /etc/sysconfig/nfs file to set the RPCNFSDARGS flag to "-V 4.2":
    # Optional arguments passed to rpc.nfsd. See rpc.nfsd(8)
    RPCNFSDARGS="-V 4.2"
  3. Start the server again and confirm that it is running. The output will contain information below, only the time stamp will differ:
    [nfs-srv]# systemctl start nfs
    [nfs-srv]# systemctl status nfs
    nfs-server.service - NFS Server
       Loaded: loaded (/usr/lib/systemd/system/nfs-server.service; disabled)
       Active: active (exited) since Wed 2013-08-28 14:07:11 CEST; 4s ago
    
  4. On the client side, mount the NFS server:
    [nfs-client]# mount -o v4.2 server:mntpoint localmountpoint
  5. All SELinux labels are now successfully passed from the server to the client:
    [nfs-srv]$ ls -Z file
    -rw-rw-r--. user user unconfined_u:object_r:svirt_image_t:s0 file
    [nfs-client]$ ls -Z file
    -rw-rw-r--. user user unconfined_u:object_r:svirt_image_t:s0 file

Note

If you enable labeled NFS support for home directories or other content, the content will be labeled the same as it was on an EXT file system. Also note that mounting systems with different versions of NFS or an attempt to mount a server that does not support labeled NFS could cause errors to be returned.


[18] See the Network File System (NFS) chapter in the Storage Administration Guide for more information.

Chapter 18. Berkeley Internet Name Domain

BIND performs name resolution services using the named daemon. BIND lets users locate computer resources and services by name instead of numerical addresses.
In Red Hat Enterprise Linux, the bind package provides a DNS server. Run the following command to see if the bind package is installed:
~]$ rpm -q bind
package bind is not installed
If it is not installed, use the yum utility as the root user to install it:
~]# yum install bind

18.1. BIND and SELinux

The default permissions on the /var/named/slaves/, /var/named/dynamic/ and /var/named/data/ directories allow zone files to be updated using zone transfers and dynamic DNS updates. Files in /var/named/ are labeled with the named_zone_t type, which is used for master zone files.
For a slave server, configure the /etc/named.conf file to place slave zones in /var/named/slaves/. The following is an example of a domain entry in /etc/named.conf for a slave DNS server that stores the zone file for testdomain.com in /var/named/slaves/:
zone "testdomain.com" {
			type slave;
			masters { IP-address; };
			file "/var/named/slaves/db.testdomain.com";
		       };
If a zone file is labeled named_zone_t, the named_write_master_zones Boolean must be enabled to allow zone transfers and dynamic DNS to update the zone file. Also, the mode of the parent directory has to be changed to allow the named user or group read, write and execute access.
If zone files in /var/named/ are labeled with the named_cache_t type, a file system relabel or running restorecon -R /var/ will change their type to named_zone_t.

18.2. Types

The main permission control method used in SELinux targeted policy to provide advanced process isolation is Type Enforcement. All files and processes are labeled with a type: types define a SELinux domain for processes and a SELinux type for files. SELinux policy rules define how types access each other, whether it be a domain accessing a type, or a domain accessing another domain. Access is only allowed if a specific SELinux policy rule exists that allows it.
The following types are used with BIND. Different types allow you to configure flexible access:
named_zone_t
Used for master zone files. Other services cannot modify files of this type. The named daemon can only modify files of this type if the named_write_master_zones Boolean is enabled.
named_cache_t
By default, named can write to files labeled with this type, without additional Booleans being set. Files copied or created in the /var/named/slaves/,/var/named/dynamic/ and /var/named/data/ directories are automatically labeled with the named_cache_t type.
named_var_run_t
Files copied or created in the /var/run/bind/, /var/run/named/, and /var/run/unbound/ directories are automatically labeled with the named_var_run_t type.
named_conf_t
BIND-related configuration files, usually stored in the /etc directory, are automatically labeled with the named_conf_t type.
named_exec_t
BIND-related executable files, usually stored in the /usr/sbin/ directory, are automatically labeled with the named_exec_t type.
named_log_t
BIND-related log files, usually stored in the /var/log/ directory, are automatically labeled with the named_log_t type.
named_unit_file_t
Executable BIND-related files in the /usr/lib/systemd/system/ directory are automatically labeled with the named_unit_file_t type.

18.3. Booleans

SELinux is based on the least level of access required for a service to run. Services can be run in a variety of ways; therefore, you need to specify how you run your services. Use the following Booleans to set up SELinux:
named_write_master_zones
When disabled, this Boolean prevents named from writing to zone files or directories labeled with the named_zone_t type. The daemon does not usually need to write to zone files; but in the case that it needs to, or if a secondary server needs to write to zone files, enable this Boolean to allow this action.
named_tcp_bind_http_port
When enabled, this Boolean allows BIND to bind an Apache port.

Note

Due to the continuous development of the SELinux policy, the list above might not contain all Booleans related to the service at all times. To list them, run the following command:
~]$ getsebool -a | grep service_name
Run the following command to view description of a particular Boolean:
~]$ sepolicy booleans -b boolean_name
Note that the additional policycoreutils-devel package providing the sepolicy utility is required for this command to work.

18.4. Configuration Examples

18.4.1. Dynamic DNS

BIND allows hosts to update their records in DNS and zone files dynamically. This is used when a host computer's IP address changes frequently and the DNS record requires real-time modification.
Use the /var/named/dynamic/ directory for zone files you want updated by dynamic DNS. Files created in or copied into this directory inherit Linux permissions that allow named to write to them. As such files are labeled with the named_cache_t type, SELinux allows named to write to them.
If a zone file in /var/named/dynamic/ is labeled with the named_zone_t type, dynamic DNS updates may not be successful for a certain period of time as the update needs to be written to a journal first before being merged. If the zone file is labeled with the named_zone_t type when the journal attempts to be merged, an error such as the following is logged:
named[PID]: dumping master file: rename: /var/named/dynamic/zone-name: permission denied
Also, the following SELinux denial message is logged:
setroubleshoot: SELinux is preventing named (named_t) "unlink" to zone-name (named_zone_t)
To resolve this labeling issue, use the restorecon utility as root:
~]# restorecon -R -v /var/named/dynamic

Chapter 19. Concurrent Versioning System

The Concurrent Versioning System (CVS) is a free revision-control system. It is used to monitor and keep track of modifications to a central set of files which are usually accessed by several different users. It is commonly used by programmers to manage a source code repository and is widely used by open source developers.
In Red Hat Enterprise Linux, the cvs package provides CVS. Enter the following command to see if the cvs package is installed:
~]$ rpm -q cvs
package cvs is not installed
If it is not installed and you want to use CVS, use the yum utility as root to install it:
~]# yum install cvs

19.1. CVS and SELinux

The cvs daemon runs labeled with the cvs_t type. By default in Red Hat Enterprise Linux, CVS is only allowed to read and write certain directories. The label cvs_data_t defines which areas cvs has read and write access to. When using CVS with SELinux, assigning the correct label is essential for clients to have full access to the area reserved for CVS data.

19.2. Types

The main permission control method used in SELinux targeted policy to provide advanced process isolation is Type Enforcement. All files and processes are labeled with a type: types define a SELinux domain for processes and a SELinux type for files. SELinux policy rules define how types access each other, whether it be a domain accessing a type, or a domain accessing another domain. Access is only allowed if a specific SELinux policy rule exists that allows it.
The following types are used with CVS. Different types allow you to configure flexible access:
cvs_data_t
This type is used for data in a CVS repository. CVS can only gain full access to data if it has this type.
cvs_exec_t
This type is used for the /usr/bin/cvs binary.

19.3. Booleans

SELinux is based on the least level of access required for a service to run. Services can be run in a variety of ways; therefore, you need to specify how you run your services. Use the following Booleans to set up SELinux:
cvs_read_shadow
This Boolean allows the cvs daemon to access the /etc/shadow file for user authentication.

Note

Due to the continuous development of the SELinux policy, the list above might not contain all Booleans related to the service at all times. To list them, run the following command:
~]$ getsebool -a | grep service_name
Run the following command to view description of a particular Boolean:
~]$ sepolicy booleans -b boolean_name
Note that the additional policycoreutils-devel package providing the sepolicy utility is required for this command to work.

19.4. Configuration Examples

19.4.1. Setting up CVS

This example describes a simple CVS setup and an SELinux configuration which allows remote access. Two hosts are used in this example; a CVS server with a host name of cvs-srv with an IP address of 192.168.1.1 and a client with a host name of cvs-client and an IP address of 192.168.1.100. Both hosts are on the same subnet (192.168.1.0/24). This is an example only and assumes that the cvs and xinetd packages are installed, that the SELinux targeted policy is used, and that SELinux is running in enforced mode.
This example will show that even with full DAC permissions, SELinux can still enforce policy rules based on file labels and only allow access to certain areas that have been specifically labeled for access by CVS.

Note

Steps 1-9 are supposed be performed on the CVS server, cvs-srv.
  1. This example requires the cvs and xinetd packages. Confirm that the packages are installed:
    [cvs-srv]$ rpm -q cvs xinetd
    package cvs is not installed
    package xinetd is not installed
    
    If they are not installed, use the yum utility as root to install it:
    [cvs-srv]# yum install cvs xinetd
  2. Enter the following command as root to create a group named CVS:
    [cvs-srv]# groupadd CVS
    This can by also done by using the system-config-users utility.
  3. Create a user with a user name of cvsuser and make this user a member of the CVS group. This can be done using system-config-users.
  4. Edit the /etc/services file and make sure that the CVS server has uncommented entries looking similar to the following:
    cvspserver	2401/tcp			# CVS client/server operations
    cvspserver	2401/udp			# CVS client/server operations
    
  5. Create the CVS repository in the root area of the file system. When using SELinux, it is best to have the repository in the root file system so that recursive labels can be given to it without affecting any other subdirectories. For example, as root, create a /cvs/ directory to house the repository:
    [root@cvs-srv]# mkdir /cvs
  6. Give full permissions to the /cvs/ directory to all users:
    [root@cvs-srv]# chmod -R 777 /cvs

    Warning

    This is an example only and these permissions should not be used in a production system.
  7. Edit the /etc/xinetd.d/cvs file and make sure that the CVS section is uncommented and configured to use the /cvs/ directory. The file should look similar to:
    service cvspserver
    {
    	disable	= no
    	port			= 2401
    	socket_type		= stream
    	protocol		= tcp
    	wait			= no
    	user			= root
    	passenv			= PATH
    	server			= /usr/bin/cvs
    	env			= HOME=/cvs
    	server_args		= -f --allow-root=/cvs pserver
    #	bind			= 127.0.0.1
    
  8. Start the xinetd daemon:
    [cvs-srv]# systemctl start xinetd.service
  9. Add a rule which allows inbound connections through TCP on port 2401 by using the system-config-firewall utility.
  10. On the client side, enter the following command as the cvsuser user:
    [cvsuser@cvs-client]$ cvs -d /cvs init
  11. At this point, CVS has been configured but SELinux will still deny logins and file access. To demonstrate this, set the $CVSROOT variable on cvs-client and try to log in remotely. The following step is supposed to be performed on cvs-client:
    [cvsuser@cvs-client]$ export CVSROOT=:pserver:cvsuser@192.168.1.1:/cvs
    [cvsuser@cvs-client]$
    [cvsuser@cvs-client]$ cvs login
    Logging in to :pserver:cvsuser@192.168.1.1:2401/cvs
    CVS password: ********
    cvs [login aborted]: unrecognized auth response from 192.168.100.1: cvs pserver: cannot open /cvs/CVSROOT/config: Permission denied
    
    SELinux has blocked access. In order to get SELinux to allow this access, the following step is supposed to be performed on cvs-srv:
  12. Change the context of the /cvs/ directory as root in order to recursively label any existing and new data in the /cvs/ directory, giving it the cvs_data_t type:
    [root@cvs-srv]# semanage fcontext -a -t cvs_data_t '/cvs(/.*)?'
    [root@cvs-srv]# restorecon -R -v /cvs
  13. The client, cvs-client should now be able to log in and access all CVS resources in this repository:
    [cvsuser@cvs-client]$ export CVSROOT=:pserver:cvsuser@192.168.1.1:/cvs
    [cvsuser@cvs-client]$
    [cvsuser@cvs-client]$ cvs login
    Logging in to :pserver:cvsuser@192.168.1.1:2401/cvs
    CVS password: ********
    [cvsuser@cvs-client]$
    

Chapter 20. Squid Caching Proxy

Squid is a high-performance proxy caching server for web clients, supporting FTP, Gopher, and HTTP data objects. It reduces bandwidth and improves response times by caching and reusing frequently-requested web pages.[19]
In Red Hat Enterprise Linux, the squid package provides the Squid Caching Proxy. Enter the following command to see if the squid package is installed:
~]$ rpm -q squid
package squid is not installed
If it is not installed and you want to use squid, use the yum utility as root to install it:
~]# yum install squid

20.1. Squid Caching Proxy and SELinux

When SELinux is enabled, Squid runs confined by default. Confined processes run in their own domains, and are separated from other confined processes. If a confined process is compromised by an attacker, depending on SELinux policy configuration, an attacker's access to resources and the possible damage they can do is limited. The following example demonstrates the Squid processes running in their own domain. This example assumes the squid package is installed:
  1. Run the getenforce command to confirm SELinux is running in enforcing mode:
    ~]$ getenforce
    Enforcing
    
    The command returns Enforcing when SELinux is running in enforcing mode.
  2. Enter the following command as the root user to start the squid daemon:
    ~]# systemctl start squid.service
    Confirm that the service is running. The output should include the information below (only the time stamp will differ):
    ~]# systemctl status squid.service
    squid.service - Squid caching proxy
       Loaded: loaded (/usr/lib/systemd/system/squid.service; disabled)
       Active: active (running) since Mon 2013-08-05 14:45:53 CEST; 2s ago
  3. Enter the following command to view the squid processes:
    ~]$ ps -eZ | grep squid
    system_u:system_r:squid_t:s0    27018 ?        00:00:00 squid
    system_u:system_r:squid_t:s0    27020 ?        00:00:00 log_file_daemon
    
    The SELinux context associated with the squid processes is system_u:system_r:squid_t:s0. The second last part of the context, squid_t, is the type. A type defines a domain for processes and a type for files. In this case, the Squid processes are running in the squid_t domain.
SELinux policy defines how processes running in confined domains, such as squid_t, interact with files, other processes, and the system in general. Files must be labeled correctly to allow squid access to them.
When the /etc/squid/squid.conf file is configured so squid listens on a port other than the default TCP ports 3128, 3401 or 4827, the semanage port command must be used to add the required port number to the SELinux policy configuration. The following example demonstrates configuring squid to listen on a port that is not initially defined in SELinux policy configuration for it, and, as a consequence, the server failing to start. This example also demonstrates how to then configure the SELinux system to allow the daemon to successfully listen on a non-standard port that is not already defined in the policy. This example assumes the squid package is installed. Run each command in the example as the root user:
  1. Connfirm the squid daemon is not running:
    ~]# systemctl status squid.service
    squid.service - Squid caching proxy
       Loaded: loaded (/usr/lib/systemd/system/squid.service; disabled)
       Active: inactive (dead)
    
    If the output differs, stop the process:
    ~]# systemctl stop squid.service
  2. Enter the following command to view the ports SELinux allows squid to listen on:
    ~]# semanage port -l | grep -w -i squid_port_t
    squid_port_t                   tcp      3401, 4827
    squid_port_t                   udp      3401, 4827
    
    
  3. Edit /etc/squid/squid.conf as root. Configure the http_port option so it lists a port that is not configured in SELinux policy configuration for squid. In this example, the daemon is configured to listen on port 10000:
    # Squid normally listens to port 3128
    http_port 10000
    
  4. Run the setsebool command to make sure the squid_connect_any Boolean is set to off. This ensures squid is only permitted to operate on specific ports:
    ~]# setsebool -P squid_connect_any 0
  5. Start the squid daemon:
    ~]# systemctl start squid.service
    Job for squid.service failed. See 'systemctl status squid.service' and 'journalctl -xn' for details.
    
    An SELinux denial message similar to the following is logged:
    localhost setroubleshoot: SELinux is preventing the squid (squid_t) from binding to port 10000. For complete SELinux messages. run sealert -l 97136444-4497-4fff-a7a7-c4d8442db982
    
  6. For SELinux to allow squid to listen on port 10000, as used in this example, the following command is required:
    ~]# semanage port -a -t squid_port_t -p tcp 10000
  7. Start squid again and have it listen on the new port:
    ~]# systemctl start squid.service
  8. Now that SELinux has been configured to allow Squid to listen on a non-standard port (TCP 10000 in this example), it starts successfully on this port.

20.2. Types

The main permission control method used in SELinux targeted policy to provide advanced process isolation is Type Enforcement. All files and processes are labeled with a type: types define a SELinux domain for processes and a SELinux type for files. SELinux policy rules define how types access each other, whether it be a domain accessing a type, or a domain accessing another domain. Access is only allowed if a specific SELinux policy rule exists that allows it.
The following types are used with Squid. Different types allow you to configure flexible access:
httpd_squid_script_exec_t
This type is used for utilities such as cachemgr.cgi, which provides a variety of statistics about Squid and its configuration.
squid_cache_t
Use this type for data that is cached by Squid, as defined by the cache_dir directive in /etc/squid/squid.conf. By default, files created in or copied into the /var/cache/squid/ and /var/spool/squid/ directories are labeled with the squid_cache_t type. Files for the squidGuard URL redirector plug-in for squid created in or copied to the /var/squidGuard/ directory are also labeled with the squid_cache_t type. Squid is only able to use files and directories that are labeled with this type for its cached data.
squid_conf_t
This type is used for the directories and files that Squid uses for its configuration. Existing files, or those created in or copied to the /etc/squid/ and /usr/share/squid/ directories are labeled with this type, including error messages and icons.
squid_exec_t
This type is used for the squid binary, /usr/sbin/squid.
squid_log_t
This type is used for logs. Existing files, or those created in or copied to /var/log/squid/ or /var/log/squidGuard/ must be labeled with this type.
squid_initrc_exec_t
This type is used for the initialization file required to start squid which is located at /etc/rc.d/init.d/squid.
squid_var_run_t
This type is used by files in the /var/run/ directory, especially the process id (PID) named /var/run/squid.pid which is created by Squid when it runs.

20.3. Booleans

SELinux is based on the least level of access required for a service to run. Services can be run in a variety of ways; therefore, you need to specify how you run your services. Use the following Booleans to set up SELinux:
squid_connect_any
When enabled, this Boolean permits Squid to initiate a connection to a remote host on any port.
squid_use_tproxy
When enabled, this Boolean allows Squid to run as a transparent proxy.

Note

Due to the continuous development of the SELinux policy, the list above might not contain all Booleans related to the service at all times. To list them, run the following command:
~]$ getsebool -a | grep service_name
Run the following command to view description of a particular Boolean:
~]$ sepolicy booleans -b boolean_name
Note that the additional policycoreutils-devel package providing the sepolicy utility is required for this command to work.

20.4. Configuration Examples

20.4.1. Squid Connecting to Non-Standard Ports

The following example provides a real-world demonstration of how SELinux complements Squid by enforcing the above Boolean and by default only allowing access to certain ports. This example will then demonstrate how to change the Boolean and show that access is then allowed.
Note that this is an example only and demonstrates how SELinux can affect a simple configuration of Squid. Comprehensive documentation of Squid is beyond the scope of this document. See the official Squid documentation for further details. This example assumes that the Squid host has two network interfaces, Internet access, and that any firewall has been configured to allow access on the internal interface using the default TCP port on which Squid listens (TCP 3128).
  1. Confirm that the squid is installed:
    ~]$ rpm -q squid
    package squid is not installed
    
    If the package is not installed, use the yum utility as root to install it:
    ~]# yum install squid
  2. Edit the main configuration file, /etc/squid/squid.conf, and confirm that the cache_dir directive is uncommented and looks similar to the following:
    cache_dir ufs /var/spool/squid 100 16 256
    
    This line specifies the default settings for the cache_dir directive to be used in this example; it consists of the Squid storage format (ufs), the directory on the system where the cache resides (/var/spool/squid), the amount of disk space in megabytes to be used for the cache (100), and finally the number of first-level and second-level cache directories to be created (16 and 256 respectively).
  3. In the same configuration file, make sure the http_access allow localnet directive is uncommented. This allows traffic from the localnet ACL which is automatically configured in a default installation of Squid on Red Hat Enterprise Linux. It will allow client machines on any existing RFC1918 network to have access through the proxy, which is sufficient for this simple example.
  4. In the same configuration file, make sure the visible_hostname directive is uncommented and is configured to the host name of the machine. The value should be the fully qualified domain name (FQDN) of the host:
    visible_hostname squid.example.com
    
  5. As root, enter the following command to start the squid daemon. As this is the first time squid has started, this command will initialise the cache directories as specified above in the cache_dir directive and will then start the daemon:
    ~]# systemctl start squid.service
    Ensure that squid starts successfully. The output will include the information below, only the time stamp will differ:
    ~]# systemctl status squid.service
    squid.service - Squid caching proxy
       Loaded: loaded (/usr/lib/systemd/system/squid.service; disabled)
       Active: active (running) since Thu 2014-02-06 15:00:24 CET; 6s ago
    
  6. Confirm that the squid process ID (PID) has started as a confined service, as seen here by the squid_var_run_t value:
    ~]# ls -lZ /var/run/squid.pid 
    -rw-r--r--. root squid unconfined_u:object_r:squid_var_run_t:s0 /var/run/squid.pid
    
  7. At this point, a client machine connected to the localnet ACL configured earlier is successfully able to use the internal interface of this host as its proxy. This can be configured in the settings for all common web browsers, or system-wide. Squid is now listening on the default port of the target machine (TCP 3128), but the target machine will only allow outgoing connections to other services on the Internet through common ports. This is a policy defined by SELinux itself. SELinux will deny access to non-standard ports, as shown in the next step:
  8. When a client makes a request using a non-standard port through the Squid proxy such as a website listening on TCP port 10000, a denial similar to the following is logged:
    SELinux is preventing the squid daemon from connecting to network port 10000
    
  9. To allow this access, the squid_connect_any Boolean must be modified, as it is disabled by default:
    ~]# setsebool -P squid_connect_any on

    Note

    Do not use the -P option if you do not want setsebool changes to persist across reboots.
  10. The client will now be able to access non-standard ports on the Internet as Squid is now permitted to initiate connections to any port, on behalf of its clients.


[19] See the Squid Caching Proxy project page for more information.

Chapter 21. MariaDB (a replacement for MySQL)

The MariaDB database is a multi-user, multi-threaded SQL database server that consists of the MariaDB server daemon (mysqld) and many client programs and libraries.[20]
In Red Hat Enterprise Linux, the mariadb-server package provides MariaDB. Run the following command to see if the mariadb-server package is installed:
~]$ rpm -q mariadb-server
package mariadb-server is not installed
If it is not installed, use the yum utility as root to install it:
~]# yum install mariadb-server

21.1. MariaDB and SELinux

When MariaDB is enabled, it runs confined by default. Confined processes run in their own domains, and are separated from other confined processes. If a confined process is compromised by an attacker, depending on SELinux policy configuration, an attacker's access to resources and the possible damage they can do is limited. The following example demonstrates the MariaDB processes running in their own domain. This example assumes the mariadb-server package is installed:
  1. Run the getenforce command to confirm SELinux is running in enforcing mode:
    ~]$ getenforce
    Enforcing
    
    The command returns Enforcing when SELinux is running in enforcing mode.
  2. Run the following command as the root user to start mariadb:
    ~]# systemctl start mariadb.service
    Confirm that the service is running. The output should include the information below (only the time stamp will differ):
    ~]# systemctl status mariadb.service
    mariadb.service - MariaDB database server
       Loaded: loaded (/usr/lib/systemd/system/mariadb.service; disabled)
       Active: active (running) since Mon 2013-08-05 11:20:11 CEST; 3h 28min ago
    
  3. Run the following command to view the mysqld processes:
    ~]$ ps -eZ | grep mysqld
    system_u:system_r:mysqld_safe_t:s0 12831 ?     00:00:00 mysqld_safe
    system_u:system_r:mysqld_t:s0   13014 ?        00:00:00 mysqld
    
    The SELinux context associated with the mysqld processes is system_u:system_r:mysqld_t:s0. The second last part of the context, mysqld_t, is the type. A type defines a domain for processes and a type for files. In this case, the mysqld processes are running in the mysqld_t domain.

21.2. Types

The main permission control method used in SELinux targeted policy to provide advanced process isolation is Type Enforcement. All files and processes are labeled with a type: types define a SELinux domain for processes and a SELinux type for files. SELinux policy rules define how types access each other, whether it be a domain accessing a type, or a domain accessing another domain. Access is only allowed if a specific SELinux policy rule exists that allows it.
The following types are used with mysqld. Different types allow you to configure flexible access:
mysqld_db_t
This type is used for the location of the MariaDB database. In Red Hat Enterprise Linux, the default location for the database is the /var/lib/mysql/ directory, however this can be changed. If the location for the MariaDB database is changed, the new location must be labeled with this type. See the example in Section 21.4.1, “MariaDB Changing Database Location” for instructions on how to change the default database location and how to label the new section appropriately.
mysqld_etc_t
This type is used for the MariaDB main configuration file /etc/my.cnf and any other configuration files in the /etc/mysql/ directory.
mysqld_exec_t
This type is used for the mysqld binary located at /usr/libexec/mysqld, which is the default location for the MariaDB binary on Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Other systems may locate this binary at /usr/sbin/mysqld which should also be labeled with this type.
mysqld_unit_file_t
This type is used for executable MariaDB-related files located in the /usr/lib/systemd/system/ directory by default in Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
mysqld_log_t
Logs for MariaDB need to be labeled with this type for proper operation. All log files in the /var/log/ directory matching the mysql.* wildcard must be labeled with this type.
mysqld_var_run_t
This type is used by files in the /var/run/mariadb/ directory, specifically the process id (PID) named /var/run/mariadb/mariadb.pid which is created by the mysqld daemon when it runs. This type is also used for related socket files such as /var/lib/mysql/mysql.sock. Files such as these must be labeled correctly for proper operation as a confined service.

21.3. Booleans

SELinux is based on the least level of access required for a service to run. Services can be run in a variety of ways; therefore, you need to specify how you run your services. Use the following Booleans to set up SELinux:
selinuxuser_mysql_connect_enabled
When enabled, this Boolean allows users to connect to the local MariaDB server.
exim_can_connect_db
When enabled, this Boolean allows the exim mailer to initiate connections to a database server.
ftpd_connect_db
When enabled, this Boolean allows ftp daemons to initiate connections to a database server.
httpd_can_network_connect_db
Enabling this Boolean is required for a web server to communicate with a database server.

Note

Due to the continuous development of the SELinux policy, the list above might not contain all Booleans related to the service at all times. To list them, run the following command:
~]$ getsebool -a | grep service_name
Run the following command to view description of a particular Boolean:
~]$ sepolicy booleans -b boolean_name
Note that the additional policycoreutils-devel package providing the sepolicy utility is required for this command to work.

21.4. Configuration Examples

21.4.1. MariaDB Changing Database Location

When using Red Hat Enterprise Linux, the default location for MariaDB to store its database is /var/lib/mysql/. This is where SELinux expects it to be by default, and hence this area is already labeled appropriately for you, using the mysqld_db_t type.
The location where the database is stored 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 MariaDB 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 MariaDB. Comprehensive documentation of MariaDB is beyond the scope of this document. See the official MariaDB documentation for further details. This example assumes that the mariadb-server and setroubleshoot-server packages are installed, that the auditd service is running, and that there is a valid database in the default location of /var/lib/mysql/.
  1. View the SELinux context of the default database location for mysql:
    ~]# ls -lZ /var/lib/mysql
    drwx------. mysql mysql system_u:object_r:mysqld_db_t:s0 mysql
    
    This shows mysqld_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.
  2. Run the following command and enter the mysqld root password to show the available databases:
    ~]# mysqlshow -u root -p
    Enter password: *******
    +--------------------+
    |     Databases      |
    +--------------------+
    | information_schema |
    | mysql              |
    | test               |
    | wikidb             |
    +--------------------+
    
  3. Stop the mysqld daemon:
    ~]# systemctl stop mariadb.service
  4. Create a new directory for the new location of the database(s). In this example, /mysql/ is used:
    ~]# mkdir -p /mysql
  5. Copy the database files from the old location to the new location:
    ~]# cp -R /var/lib/mysql/* /mysql/
  6. Change the ownership of this location to allow access by the mysql user and group. This sets the traditional Unix permissions which SELinux will still observe:
    ~]# chown -R mysql:mysql /mysql
  7. Run the following command to see the initial context of the new directory:
    ~]# ls -lZ /mysql
    drwxr-xr-x. mysql mysql unconfined_u:object_r:usr_t:s0   mysql
    
    The context usr_t of this newly created directory is not currently suitable to SELinux as a location for MariaDB database files. Once the context has been changed, MariaDB will be able to function properly in this area.
  8. Open the main MariaDB configuration file /etc/my.cnf with a text editor and modify the datadir option so that it refers to the new location. In this example the value that should be entered is /mysql:
    [mysqld]
    datadir=/mysql
    
    Save this file and exit.
  9. Start mysqld. The service should fail to start, and a denial message will be logged to the /var/log/messages file:
    ~]# systemctl start mariadb.service
    Job for mariadb.service failed. See 'systemctl status postgresql.service' and 'journalctl -xn' for details.
    
    However, if the audit daemon is running alongside the setroubleshoot service, the denial will be logged to the /var/log/audit/audit.log file instead:
    SELinux is preventing /usr/libexec/mysqld "write" access on /mysql. For complete SELinux messages. run sealert -l b3f01aff-7fa6-4ebe-ad46-abaef6f8ad71
    
    The reason for this denial is that /mysql/ is not labeled correctly for MariaDB data files. SELinux is stopping MariaDB from having access to the content labeled as usr_t. Perform the following steps to resolve this problem:
  10. Run the following command to add a context mapping for /mysql/. Note that the semanage utility is not installed by default. If it is missing on your system, install the policycoreutils-python package.
    ~]# semanage fcontext -a -t mysqld_db_t "/mysql(/.*)?"
  11. This mapping is written to the /etc/selinux/targeted/contexts/files/file_contexts.local file:
    ~]# grep -i mysql /etc/selinux/targeted/contexts/files/file_contexts.local
    
    /mysql(/.*)?    system_u:object_r:mysqld_db_t:s0
    
  12. Now use the restorecon utility to apply this context mapping to the running system:
    ~]# restorecon -R -v /mysql
  13. Now that the /mysql/ location has been labeled with the correct context for MariaDB, mysqld starts:
    ~]# systemctl start mariadb.service
  14. Confirm the context has changed for /mysql/:
    ~]$ ls -lZ /mysql
    drwxr-xr-x. mysql mysql system_u:object_r:mysqld_db_t:s0 mysql
    
  15. The location has been changed and labeled, and mysqld has started successfully. At this point all running services should be tested to confirm normal operation.


[20] See the MariaDB project page for more information.

Chapter 22. PostgreSQL

PostgreSQL is an Object-Relational database management system (DBMS).[21]
In Red Hat Enterprise Linux, the postgresql-server package provides PostgreSQL. Run the following command to see if the postgresql-server package is installed:
~]# rpm -q postgresql-server
If it is not installed, use the yum utility as root to install it:
~]# yum install postgresql-server

22.1. PostgreSQL and SELinux

When PostgreSQL is enabled, it runs confined by default. Confined processes run in their own domains, and are separated from other confined processes. If a confined process is compromised by an attacker, depending on SELinux policy configuration, an attacker's access to resources and the possible damage they can do is limited. The following example demonstrates the PostgreSQL processes running in their own domain. This example assumes the postgresql-server package is installed:
  1. Run the getenforce command to confirm SELinux is running in enforcing mode:
    ~]$ getenforce
    Enforcing
    
    The command returns Enforcing when SELinux is running in enforcing mode.
  2. Run the following command as the root user to start postgresql:
    ~]# systemctl start postgresql.service
    Confirm that the service is running. The output should include the information below (only the time stamp will differ):
    ~]# systemctl start postgresql.service
    postgresql.service - PostgreSQL database server
       Loaded: loaded (/usr/lib/systemd/system/postgresql.service; disabled)
       Active: active (running) since Mon 2013-08-05 14:57:49 CEST; 12s
    
  3. Run the following command to view the postgresql processes:
    ~]$ ps -eZ | grep postgres
    system_u:system_r:postgresql_t:s0 395 ?    00:00:00 postmaster
    system_u:system_r:postgresql_t:s0 397 ?    00:00:00 postmaster
    system_u:system_r:postgresql_t:s0 399 ?    00:00:00 postmaster
    system_u:system_r:postgresql_t:s0 400 ?    00:00:00 postmaster
    system_u:system_r:postgresql_t:s0 401 ?    00:00:00 postmaster
    system_u:system_r:postgresql_t:s0 402 ?    00:00:00 postmaster
    
    The SELinux context associated with the postgresql processes is system_u:system_r:postgresql_t:s0. The second last part of the context, postgresql_t, is the type. A type defines a domain for processes and a type for files. In this case, the postgresql processes are running in the postgresql_t domain.

22.2. Types

The main permission control method used in SELinux targeted policy to provide advanced process isolation is Type Enforcement. All files and processes are labeled with a type: types define a SELinux domain for processes and a SELinux type for files. SELinux policy rules define how types access each other, whether it be a domain accessing a type, or a domain accessing another domain. Access is only allowed if a specific SELinux policy rule exists that allows it.
The following types are used with postgresql. Different types allow you to configure flexible access. Note that in the list below are used several regular expression to match the whole possible locations:
postgresql_db_t
This type is used for several locations. The locations labeled with this type are used for data files for PostgreSQL:
  • /usr/lib/pgsql/test/regres
  • /usr/share/jonas/pgsql
  • /var/lib/pgsql/data
  • /var/lib/postgres(ql)?
postgresql_etc_t
This type is used for configuration files in the /etc/postgresql/ directory.
postgresql_exec_t
This type is used for several locations. The locations labeled with this type are used for binaries for PostgreSQL:
  • /usr/bin/initdb(.sepgsql)?
  • /usr/bin/(se)?postgres
  • /usr/lib(64)?/postgresql/bin/.*
  • /usr/lib(64)?/pgsql/test/regress/pg_regress
systemd_unit_file_t
This type is used for the executable PostgreSQL-related files located in the /usr/lib/systemd/system/ directory.
postgresql_log_t
This type is used for several locations. The locations labeled with this type are used for log files:
  • /var/lib/pgsql/logfile
  • /var/lib/pgsql/pgstartup.log
  • /var/lib/sepgsql/pgstartup.log
  • /var/log/postgresql
  • /var/log/postgres.log.*
  • /var/log/rhdb/rhdb
  • /var/log/sepostgresql.log.*
postgresql_var_run_t
This type is used for run-time files for PostgreSQL, such as the process id (PID) in the /var/run/postgresql/ directory.

22.3. Booleans

SELinux is based on the least level of access required for a service to run. Services can be run in a variety of ways; therefore, you need to specify how you run your services. Use the following Booleans to set up SELinux:
selinuxuser_postgresql_connect_enabled
Having this Boolean enabled allows any user domain (as defined by PostgreSQL) to make connections to the database server.

Note

Due to the continuous development of the SELinux policy, the list above might not contain all Booleans related to the service at all times. To list them, run the following command:
~]$ getsebool -a | grep service_name
Run the following command to view description of a particular Boolean:
~]$ sepolicy booleans -b boolean_name
Note that the additional policycoreutils-devel package providing the sepolicy utility is required for this command to work.

22.4. Configuration Examples

22.4.1. PostgreSQL Changing Database Location

When using Red Hat Enterprise Linux, 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 postgresql_db_t type.
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. See the official PostgreSQL documentation for further details. This example assumes that the postgresql-server package is installed.
  1. View the SELinux context of the default database location for postgresql:
    ~]# ls -lZ /var/lib/pgsql
    drwx------. postgres postgres system_u:object_r:postgresql_db_t:s0 data
    
    This shows 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.
  2. 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
  3. 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
    
  4. 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
  5. Open the /etc/systemd/system/postgresql.service file with a text editor and modify the PGDATA and PGLOG variables to point to the new location:
    ~]# vi /etc/systemd/system/postgresql.service
    PGDATA=/opt/postgresql/data
    PGLOG=/opt/postgresql/data/pgstartup.log
    
    Save this file and exit the text editor.
    If the /etc/systemd/system/postgresql.service file does not exist, create it and insert the following content:
    .include /lib/systemd/system/postgresql.service
    [Service]
    
    # Location of database directory
    Environment=PGDATA=/opt/postgresql/data
    Environment=PGLOG=/opt/postgresql/data/pgstartup.log
  6. Initialize the database in the new location:
    ~]$ su - postgres -c "initdb -D /opt/postgresql/data"
  7. Having changed the database location, starting the service will fail at this point:
    ~]# systemctl start postgresql.service
    Job for postgresql.service failed. See 'systemctl status postgresql.service' and 'journalctl -xn' for details.
    
    SELinux has caused the service to not start. This is because the new location is not properly labeled. The following steps explain how to label the new location (/opt/postgresql/) and start the postgresql service properly:
  8. Use the semanage utility to add a context mapping for /opt/postgresql/ and any other directories/files within it:
    ~]# semanage fcontext -a -t postgresql_db_t "/opt/postgresql(/.*)?"
  9. This mapping is written to the /etc/selinux/targeted/contexts/files/file_contexts.local file:
    ~]# grep -i postgresql /etc/selinux/targeted/contexts/files/file_contexts.local
    
    /opt/postgresql(/.*)?    system_u:object_r:postgresql_db_t:s0
    
  10. Now use the restorecon utility to apply this context mapping to the running system:
    ~]# restorecon -R -v /opt/postgresql
  11. Now that the /opt/postgresql/ location has been labeled with the correct context for PostgreSQL, the postgresql service will start successfully:
    ~]# systemctl start postgresql.service
  12. Confirm the context is correct for /opt/postgresql/:
    ~]$ ls -lZ /opt
    drwxr-xr-x. root root system_u:object_r:postgresql_db_t:s0 postgresql
    
  13. 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/
  14. The location has been changed and labeled, and postgresql has started successfully. At this point all running services should be tested to confirm normal operation.


[21] See the PostgreSQL project page for more information.

Chapter 23. rsync

The rsync utility performs fast file transfer and it is used for synchronizing data between systems. [22]
When using Red Hat Enterprise Linux, the rsync package provides rsync. Enter the following command to see if the rsync package is installed:
~]$ rpm -q rsync
package rsync is not installed
If it is not installed, use the yum utility as root to install it:
~]# yum install rsync

23.1. rsync and SELinux

SELinux requires files to have an extended attribute to define the file type. Policy governs the access daemons have to these files. If you want to share files using the rsync daemon, you must label the files and directories with the public_content_t type. Like most services, correct labeling is required for SELinux to perform its protection mechanisms over rsync.[23]

23.2. Types

The main permission control method used in SELinux targeted policy to provide advanced process isolation is Type Enforcement. All files and processes are labeled with a type: types define a SELinux domain for processes and a SELinux type for files. SELinux policy rules define how types access each other, whether it be a domain accessing a type, or a domain accessing another domain. Access is only allowed if a specific SELinux policy rule exists that allows it.
The following types are used with rsync. Different types all you to configure flexible access:
public_content_t
This is a generic type used for the location of files (and the actual files) to be shared using rsync. If a special directory is created to house files to be shared with rsync, the directory and its contents need to have this label applied to them.
rsync_exec_t
This type is used for the /usr/bin/rsync system binary.
rsync_log_t
This type is used for the rsync log file, located at /var/log/rsync.log by default. To change the location of the file rsync logs to, use the --log-file=FILE option to the rsync command at run-time.
rsync_var_run_t
This type is used for the rsyncd lock file, located at /var/run/rsyncd.lock. This lock file is used by the rsync server to manage connection limits.
rsync_data_t
This type is used for files and directories which you want to use as rsync domains and isolate them from the access scope of other services. Also, the public_content_t is a general SELinux context type, which can be used when a file or a directory interacts with multiple services (for example, FTP and NFS directory as an rsync domain).
rsync_etc_t
This type is used for rsync-related files in the /etc directory.

23.3. Booleans

SELinux is based on the least level of access required for a service to run. Services can be run in a variety of ways; therefore, you need to specify how you run your services. Use the following Booleans to set up SELinux:
rsync_anon_write
Having this Boolean enabled allows rsync in the rsync_t domain to manage files, links and directories that have a type of public_content_rw_t. Often these are public files used for public file transfer services. Files and directories must be labeled this type.
rsync_client
Having this Boolean enabled allows rsync to initiate connections to ports defined as rsync_port_t, as well as allowing the daemon to manage files, links, and directories that have a type of rsync_data_t. Note that rsync must be in the rsync_t domain in order for SELinux to enact its control over it. The configuration example in this chapter demonstrates rsync running in the rsync_t domain.
rsync_export_all_ro
Having this Boolean enabled allows rsync in the rsync_t domain to export NFS and CIFS volumes with read-only access to clients.

Note

Due to the continuous development of the SELinux policy, the list above might not contain all Booleans related to the service at all times. To list them, run the following command:
~]$ getsebool -a | grep service_name
Run the following command to view description of a particular Boolean:
~]$ sepolicy booleans -b boolean_name
Note that the additional policycoreutils-devel package providing the sepolicy utility is required for this command to work.

23.4. Configuration Examples

23.4.1. Rsync as a daemon

When using Red Hat Enterprise Linux, rsync can be used as a daemon so that multiple clients can directly communicate with it as a central server, in order to house centralized files and keep them synchronized. The following example will demonstrate running rsync as a daemon over a network socket in the correct domain, and how SELinux expects this daemon to be running on a pre-defined (in SELinux policy) TCP port. This example will then show how to modify SELinux policy to allow the rsync daemon to run normally on a non-standard port.
This example will be performed on a single system to demonstrate SELinux policy and its control over local daemons and processes. Note that this is an example only and demonstrates how SELinux can affect rsync. Comprehensive documentation of rsync is beyond the scope of this document. See the official rsync documentation for further details. This example assumes that the rsync, setroubleshoot-server and audit packages are installed, that the SELinux targeted policy is used and that SELinux is running in enforcing mode.

Procedure 23.1. Getting rsync to launch as rsync_t

  1. Run the getenforce command to confirm SELinux is running in enforcing mode:
    ~]$ getenforce
    Enforcing
    
    The command returns Enforcing when SELinux is running in enforcing mode.
  2. Run the which command to confirm that the rsync binary is in the system path:
    ~]$ which rsync
    /usr/bin/rsync
    
  3. When running rsync as a daemon, a configuration file should be used and saved as /etc/rsyncd.conf. Note that the following configuration file used in this example is very simple and is not indicative of all the possible options that are available, rather it is just enough to demonstrate the rsync daemon:
    log file = /var/log/rsync.log
    pid file = /var/run/rsyncd.pid
    lock file = /var/run/rsync.lock
    [files]
    	path = /srv/rsync
            comment = file area
            read only = false
            timeout = 300
    
  4. Now that a simple configuration file exists for rsync to operate in daemon mode, you can start it by running the following command:
    ~]# systemctl start rsyncd.service
    Ensure that rsyncd was successfully started (the output is supposed to look similar to the one below, only the time stamp will differ):
    ~]# systemctl status rsyncd.service
    rsyncd.service - fast remote file copy program daemon
       Loaded: loaded (/usr/lib/systemd/system/rsyncd.service; disabled)
       Active: active (running) since Thu 2014-02-27 09:46:24 CET; 2s ago
     Main PID: 3220 (rsync)
       CGroup: /system.slice/rsyncd.service
               └─3220 /usr/bin/rsync --daemon --no-detach
    
    SELinux can now enforce its protection mechanisms over the rsync daemon as it is now running in the rsync_t domain:
    ~]$ ps -eZ | grep rsync
    system_u:system_r:rsync_t:s0     3220 ?        00:00:00 rsync
    
This example demonstrated how to get rsyncd running in the rsync_t domain. Rsync can also be run as a socket-activated service. In that case, the rsyncd is not executed until a client tries to connect to the service. To enable rsyncd to run as a socket-activated service, follow the steps above. To start rsyncd as a socket-activated service, enter the following command as root:
~]# systemctl start rsyncd.socket
The next example shows how to get this daemon successfully running on a non-default port. TCP port 10000 is used in the next example.

Procedure 23.2. Running the rsync daemon on a non-default port

  1. Modify the /etc/rsyncd.conf file and add the port = 10000 line at the top of the file in the global configuration area (that is, before any file areas are defined). The new configuration file will look like:
    log file = /var/log/rsyncd.log
    pid file = /var/run/rsyncd.pid
    lock file = /var/run/rsync.lock
    port = 10000
    [files]
            path = /srv/rsync
            comment = file area
            read only = false
    	timeout = 300
    
  2. After launching the rsync daemon with this new setting, a denial message similar to the following is logged by SELinux:
    Jul 22 10:46:59 localhost setroubleshoot: SELinux is preventing the rsync (rsync_t) from binding to port 10000. For complete SELinux messages, run sealert -l c371ab34-639e-45ae-9e42-18855b5c2de8
    
  3. Use the semanage utility to add TCP port 10000 to the SELinux policy in rsync_port_t:
    ~]# semanage port -a -t rsync_port_t -p tcp 10000
  4. Now that TCP port 10000 has been added to the SELinux policy for rsync_port_t, rsyncd will start and operate normally on this port:
    ~]# systemctl start rsyncd.service
    ~]# netstat -lnp | grep 10000
    tcp        0      0 0.0.0.0:10000   0.0.0.0:*      LISTEN      9910/rsync
    
SELinux has had its policy modified and is now permitting rsyncd to operate on TCP port 10000.


[22] See the Rsync project page for more information.
[23] See the rsync_selinux(8) manual page for more information about rsync and SELinux.

Chapter 24. Postfix

Postfix is an open-source Mail Transport Agent (MTA), which supports protocols like LDAP, SMTP AUTH (SASL), and TLS.[24]
In Red Hat Enterprise Linux, the postfix package provides Postfix. Enter the following command to see if the postfix package is installed:
~]$ rpm -q postfix
package postfix is not installed
If it is not installed, use the yum utility root to install it:
~]# yum install postfix

24.1. Postfix and SELinux

When Postfix is enabled, it runs confined by default. Confined processes run in their own domains, and are separated from other confined processes. If a confined process is compromised by an attacker, depending on SELinux policy configuration, an attacker's access to resources and the possible damage they can do is limited. The following example demonstrates the Postfix and related processes running in their own domain. This example assumes the postfix package is installed and that the Postfix service has been started:
  1. Run the getenforce command to confirm SELinux is running in enforcing mode:
    ~]$ getenforce
    Enforcing
    
    The command returns Enforcing when SELinux is running in enforcing mode.
  2. Enter the following command as the root user to start postfix:
    ~]# systemctl start postfix.service
    Confirm that the service is running. The output should include the information below (only the time stamp will differ):
    ~]# systemctl status postfix.service
    postfix.service - Postfix Mail Transport Agent
       Loaded: loaded (/usr/lib/systemd/system/postfix.service; disabled)
       Active: active (running) since Mon 2013-08-05 11:38:48 CEST; 3h 25min ago
    
  3. Run following command to view the postfix processes:
    ~]$ ps -eZ | grep postfix
    system_u:system_r:postfix_master_t:s0 1651 ?   00:00:00 master
    system_u:system_r:postfix_pickup_t:s0 1662 ?   00:00:00 pickup
    system_u:system_r:postfix_qmgr_t:s0 1663 ?     00:00:00 qmgr
    
    In the output above, the SELinux context associated with the Postfix master process is system_u:system_r:postfix_master_t:s0. The second last part of the context, postfix_master_t, is the type for this process. A type defines a domain for processes and a type for files. In this case, the master process is running in the postfix_master_t domain.

24.2. Types

The main permission control method used in SELinux targeted policy to provide advanced process isolation is Type Enforcement. All files and processes are labeled with a type: types define a SELinux domain for processes and a SELinux type for files. SELinux policy rules define how types access each other, whether it be a domain accessing a type, or a domain accessing another domain. Access is only allowed if a specific SELinux policy rule exists that allows it.
The following types are used with Postfix. Different types all you to configure flexible access:
postfix_etc_t
This type is used for configuration files for Postfix in the /etc/postfix/ directory.
postfix_data_t
This type is used for Postfix data files in the /var/lib/postfix/ directory.
postfix_var_run_t
This type is used for Postfix files stored in the /run/ directory.
postfix_initrc_exec_t
The Postfix executable files are labeled with the postfix_initrc_exec_t type. When executed, they transition to the postfix_initrc_t domain.
postfix_spool_t
This type is used for Postfix files stored in the /var/spool/ directory.

Note

To see the full list of files and their types for Postfix, enter the following command:
~]$ grep postfix /etc/selinux/targeted/contexts/files/file_contexts

24.3. Booleans

SELinux is based on the least level of access required for a service to run. Services can be run in a variety of ways; therefore, you need to specify how you run your services. Use the following Booleans to set up SELinux:
postfix_local_write_mail_spool
Having this Boolean enabled allows Postfix to write to the local mail spool on the system. Postfix requires this Boolean to be enabled for normal operation when local spools are used.

Note

Due to the continuous development of the SELinux policy, the list above might not contain all Booleans related to the service at all times. To list them, run the following command:
~]$ getsebool -a | grep service_name
Run the following command to view description of a particular Boolean:
~]$ sepolicy booleans -b boolean_name
Note that the additional policycoreutils-devel package providing the sepolicy utility is required for this command to work.

24.4. Configuration Examples

24.4.1. SpamAssassin and Postfix

SpamAssasin is an open-source mail filter that provides a way to filter unsolicited email (spam messages) from incoming email.[25]
When using Red Hat Enterprise Linux, the spamassassin package provides SpamAssassin. Enter the following command to see if the spamassassin package is installed:
~]$ rpm -q spamassassin
package spamassassin is not installed
If it is not installed, use the yum utility as root to install it:
~]# yum install spamassassin
SpamAssassin operates in tandem with a mailer such as Postfix to provide spam-filtering capabilities. In order for SpamAssassin to effectively intercept, analyze and filter mail, it must listen on a network interface. The default port for SpamAssassin is TCP/783, however this can be changed. The following example provides a real-world demonstration of how SELinux complements SpamAssassin by only allowing it access to a certain port by default. This example will then demonstrate how to change the port and have SpamAssassin operate on a non-default port.
Note that this is an example only and demonstrates how SELinux can affect a simple configuration of SpamAssassin. Comprehensive documentation of SpamAssassin is beyond the scope of this document. See the official SpamAssassin documentation for further details. This example assumes the spamassassin is installed, that any firewall has been configured to allow access on the ports in use, that the SELinux targeted policy is used, and that SELinux is running in enforcing mode:

Procedure 24.1. Running SpamAssassin on a non-default port

  1. Use the semanage utility as root to show the port that SELinux allows the spamd daemon to listen on by default:
    ~]# semanage port -l | grep spamd
    spamd_port_t		tcp	783
    
    This output shows that TCP/783 is defined in spamd_port_t as the port for SpamAssassin to operate on.
  2. Edit the /etc/sysconfig/spamassassin configuration file and modify it so that it will start SpamAssassin on the example port TCP/10000:
    # Options to spamd
    SPAMDOPTIONS="-d -p 10000 -c m5 -H"
    
    This line now specifies that SpamAssassin will operate on port 10000. The rest of this example will show how to modify the SELinux policy to allow this socket to be opened.
  3. Start SpamAssassin and an error message similar to the following will appear:
    ~]# systemctl start spamassassin.service
    Job for spamassassin.service failed. See 'systemctl status spamassassin.service' and 'journalctl -xn' for details.
    
    This output means that SELinux has blocked access to this port.
  4. A denial message similar to the following will be logged by SELinux:
    SELinux is preventing the spamd (spamd_t) from binding to port 10000.
    
  5. As root, run semanage to modify the SELinux policy in order to allow SpamAssassin to operate on the example port (TCP/10000):
    ~]# semanage port -a -t spamd_port_t -p tcp 10000
  6. Confirm that SpamAssassin will now start and is operating on TCP port 10000:
    ~]# systemctl start spamassassin.service
    
    ~]# netstat -lnp | grep 10000
    tcp	0	0 127.0.0.1:10000	0.0.0.0:*	LISTEN	2224/spamd.pid
    
  7. At this point, spamd is properly operating on TCP port 10000 as it has been allowed access to that port by the SELinux policy.


[24] For more information, see the Postfix section in the System Administrator's Guide.
[25] For more information, see the Spam Filters section in the System Administrator's Guide.

Chapter 25. DHCP

The dhcpd daemon is used in Red Hat Enterprise Linux to dynamically deliver and configure Layer 3 TCP/IP details for clients.
The dhcp package provides the DHCP server and the dhcpd daemon. Enter the following command to see if the dhcp package is installed:
~]# rpm -q dhcp
package dhcp is not installed
If it is not installed, use the yum utility as root to install it:
~]# yum install dhcp

25.1. DHCP and SELinux

When dhcpd is enabled, it runs confined by default. Confined processes run in their own domains, and are separated from other confined processes. If a confined process is compromised by an attacker, depending on SELinux policy configuration, an attacker's access to resources and the possible damage they can do is limited. The following example demonstrates dhcpd and related processes running in their own domain. This example assumes the dhcp package is installed and that the dhcpd service has been started:
  1. Run the getenforce command to confirm SELinux is running in enforcing mode:
    ~]$ getenforce
    Enforcing
    
    The command returns Enforcing when SELinux is running in enforcing mode.
  2. Enter the following command as the root user to start dhcpd:
    ~]# systemctl start dhcpd.service
    Confirm that the service is running. The output should include the information below (only the time stamp will differ):
    ~]# systemctl status dhcpd.service
    dhcpd.service - DHCPv4 Server Daemon
       Loaded: loaded (/usr/lib/systemd/system/dhcpd.service; disabled)
       Active: active (running) since Mon 2013-08-05 11:49:07 CEST; 3h 20min ago
  3. Run following command to view the dhcpd processes:
    ~]$ ps -eZ | grep dhcpd
    system_u:system_r:dhcpd_t:s0 5483 ?        00:00:00 dhcpd
    
    The SELinux context associated with the dhcpd process is system_u:system_r:dhcpd_t:s0.

25.2. Types

The main permission control method used in SELinux targeted policy to provide advanced process isolation is Type Enforcement. All files and processes are labeled with a type: types define a SELinux domain for processes and a SELinux type for files. SELinux policy rules define how types access each other, whether it be a domain accessing a type, or a domain accessing another domain. Access is only allowed if a specific SELinux policy rule exists that allows it.
The following types are used with DHCP:
dhcp_etc_t
This type is mainly used for files in the /etc directory, including configuration files.
dhcpd_var_run_t
This type is used for the PID file for dhcpd, in the /var/run/ directory.
dhcpd_exec_t
This type is used for transition of DHCP executable files to the dhcpd_t domain.
dhcpd_initrc_exec_t
This type is used for transition of DHCP executable files to the dhcpd_initrc_t domain.

Note

To see the full list of files and their types for dhcpd, enter the following command:
~]$ grep dhcp /etc/selinux/targeted/contexts/files/file_contexts

Chapter 26. OpenShift by Red Hat

OpenShift by Red Hat is a Platform as a Service (PaaS) that enables developers to build and deploy web applications. OpenShift provides a wide selection of programming languages and frameworks including Java, Ruby, and PHP. It also provides integrated developer tools to support the application life cycle, including Eclipse integration, JBoss Developer Studio, and Jenkins. OpenShift uses an open source ecosystem to provide a platform for mobile applications, database services, and more. [26]
In Red Hat Enterprise Linux, the rhc package provides the OpenShift client tools. Run the following command to see if it is installed:
~]$ rpm -q rhc
package rhc is not installed
If rhc is not installed, see the OpenShift Enterprise Client Tools Installation Guide and OpenShift Online Client Tools Installation Guide for detailed information on the OpenShift client tools installation process.

26.1. OpenShift and SELinux

SELinux provides better security control over applications that use OpenShift because all processes are labeled according to the SELinux policy. Therefore, SELinux protects OpenShift from possible malicious attacks within different gears running on the same node.
See the Dan Walsh's presentation for more information about SELinux and OpenShift.

26.2. Types

The main permission control method used in SELinux targeted policy to provide advanced process isolation is Type Enforcement. All files and processes are labeled with a type: types define a SELinux domain for processes and a SELinux type for files. SELinux policy rules define how types access each other, whether it be a domain accessing a type, or a domain accessing another domain. Access is only allowed if a specific SELinux policy rule exists that allows it.
The following types are used with OpenShift. Different types allow you to configure flexible access:

Process types

openshift_t
The OpenShift process is associated with the openshift_t SELinux type.

Types on executables

openshift_cgroup_read_exec_t
SELinux allows files with this type to transition an executable to the openshift_cgroup_read_t domain.
openshift_cron_exec_t
SELinux allows files with this type to transition an executable to the openshift_cron_t domain.
openshift_initrc_exec_t
SELinux allows files with this type to transition an executable to the openshift_initrc_t domain.

Writable types

openshift_cgroup_read_tmp_t
This type allows OpenShift control groups (cgroup) read and access temporary files in the /tmp directory.
openshift_cron_tmp_t
This type allows storing temporary files of the OpenShift cron jobs in /tmp.
openshift_initrc_tmp_t
This type allows storing the OpenShift initrc temporary files in /tmp.
openshift_log_t
Files with this type are treated as OpenShift log data, usually stored under the /var/log/ directory.
openshift_rw_file_t
OpenShift have permission to read and to write to files labeled with this type.
openshift_tmp_t
This type is used for storing the OpenShift temporary files in /tmp.
openshift_tmpfs_t
This type allows storing the OpenShift data on a tmpfs file system.
openshift_var_lib_t
This type allows storing the OpenShift files in the /var/lib/ directory.
openshift_var_run_t
This type allows storing the OpenShift files in the /run/ or /var/run/ directory.

26.3. Booleans

SELinux is based on the least level of access required for a service to run. Services can be run in a variety of ways; therefore, you need to specify how you run your services. Use the following Booleans to set up SELinux:
openshift_use_nfs
Having this Boolean enabled allows installing OpenShift on an NFS share.

Note

Due to the continuous development of the SELinux policy, the list above might not contain all Booleans related to the service at all times. To list them, run the following command:
~]$ getsebool -a | grep service_name
Run the following command to view description of a particular Boolean:
~]$ sepolicy booleans -b boolean_name
Note that the additional policycoreutils-devel package providing the sepolicy utility is required for this command to work.

26.4. Configuration Examples

26.4.1. Changing the Default OpenShift Directory

By default, OpenShift stores its data in the /var/lib/openshift/ directory, which is labeled with the openshift_var_lib_t SELinux type. To allow OpenShift to store data in a different directory, label the new directory with the proper SELinux context.
The following procedure shows how to change the default OpenShift directory for storing data to /srv/openshift/:

Procedure 26.1. Changing the Default OpenShift Directory for Storing Data

  1. As root, create a new openshift/ directory within the /srv directory. The new directory is labeled with the var_t type:
    ~]# mkdir /srv/openshift
    ~]$ ls -Zd /srv/openshift
    drwxr-xr-x. root root unconfined_u:object_r:var_t:s0   openshift/
    
  2. As root, use the semanage utility to map /srv/openshift/ to the proper SELinux context:
    ~]# semanage fcontext -a -e /var/lib/openshift /srv/openshift
  3. Then, use the restorecon utility as root to apply the changes:
    ~]# restorecon -R -v /srv/openshift
  4. The /srv/openshift/ directory is now labeled with the correct openshift_var_lib_t type:
    ~]$ls -Zd /srv/openshift
    drwxr-xr-x. root root unconfined_u:object_r:openshift_var_lib_t:s0   openshift/
    

Chapter 27. Identity Management

Identity Management (IdM) provides a unifying environment for standards-defined, common network services, including PAM, LDAP, Kerberos, DNS, NTP, and certificate services. IdM allows Red Hat Enterprise Linux systems to serve as domain controllers.[27]
In Red Hat Enterprise Linux, the ipa-server package provides the IdM server. Enter the following command to see if the ipa-server package is installed:
~]$ rpm -q ipa-server
package ipa-server is not installed
If it is not installed, enter the following command as the root user to install it:
~]# yum install ipa-server

27.1. Identity Management and SELinux

Identity Management can map IdM users to configured SELinux roles per host so that it is possible to specify SELinux context for IdM access rights. During the user login process, the System Security Services Daemon (SSSD) queries the access rights defined for a particular IdM user. Then the pam_selinux module sends a request to the kernel to launch the user process with the proper SELinux context according to the IdM access rights, for example guest_u:guest_r:guest_t:s0.
For more information about Identity Management and SELinux, see the Linux Domain, Identity, Authentication, and Policy Guide for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.

27.1.1. Trust to Active Directory Domains

In previous versions of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Identity Management used the WinSync utility to allow users from Active Directory (AD) domains to access data stored on IdM domains. To do that, WinSync had to replicate the user and group data from the AD server to the local server and kept the data synchronized.
In Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7, the SSSD daemon has been enhanced to work with AD and users are able to create a trusted relationship between IdM and AD domains. The user and group data are read directly from the AD server. Additionally, Kerberos cross-realm trust allowing single sign-on (SSO) authentication between the AD and IdM domains is provided. If SSO is set, users from the AD domains can access data protected by Kerberos that is stored on the IdM domains without requiring a password.
This feature is not installed by default. To use it, install the additional ipa-server-trust-ad package.

27.2. Configuration Examples

27.2.1. Mapping SELinux users to IdM users

The following procedure shows how to create a new SELinux mapping and how to add a new IdM user to this mapping.

Procedure 27.1. How to Add a User to an SELinux Mapping

  1. To create a new SELinux mapping, enter the following command where SELinux_mapping is the name of the new SELinux mapping and the --selinuxuser option specifies a particular SELinux user:
    ~]$ ipa selinuxusermap-add SELinux_mapping --selinuxuser=staff_u:s0-s0:c0.c1023
  2. Enter the following command to add an IdM user with the tuser user name to the SELinux mapping:
    ~]$ ipa selinuxusermap-add-user --users=tuser SELinux_mapping
  3. To add a new host named ipaclient.example.com to the SELinux mapping, enter the following command:
    ~]$ ipa selinuxusermap-add-host --hosts=ipaclient.example.com SELinux_mapping
  4. The tuser user gets the staff_u:s0-s0:c0.c1023 label when logged in to the ipaclient.example.com host:
    [tuser@ipa-client]$ id -Z
    staff_u:staff_r:staff_t:s0-s0:c0.c1023
    


[27] For more information about Identity Management, see the Linux Domain, Identity, Authentication, and Policy Guide for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.

Chapter 28. Red Hat Gluster Storage

Red Hat Gluster Storage provides flexible and affordable unstructured data storage for the enterprise. GlusterFS, a key building block of Gluster, is based on a stackable user-space design and aggregates various storage servers over a network and interconnects them into one large parallel network file system. The POSIX-compatible GlusterFS servers, which use the XFS file system format to store data on disks, can be accessed using industry standard access protocols including NFS and CIFS.
See the Product Documentation for Red Hat Gluster Storage collection of guides for more information.
The glusterfs-server package provides Red Hat Gluster Storage. For detailed information about its installation process, see the Installation Guide for Red Hat Gluster Storage.

28.1. Red Hat Gluster Storage and SELinux

When enabled, SELinux serves as an additional security layer by providing flexible mandatory access control for the glusterd (GlusterFS Management Service) and glusterfsd (NFS server) processes as a part of Red Hat Gluster Storage. These processes have advanced process isolation unbounded with the glusterd_t SELinux type.

28.2. Types

The main permission control method used in SELinux targeted policy to provide advanced process isolation is Type Enforcement. All files and processes are labeled with a type: types define a SELinux domain for processes and a SELinux type for files. SELinux policy rules define how types access each other, whether it be a domain accessing a type, or a domain accessing another domain. Access is only allowed if a specific SELinux policy rule exists that allows it.
The following types are used with Red Hat Gluster Storage. Different types allow you to configure flexible access:

Process types

glusterd_t
The Gluster processes are associated with the glusterd_t SELinux type.

Types on executables

glusterd_initrc_exec_t
The SELinux-specific script type context for the Gluster init script files.
glusterd_exec_t
The SELinux-specific executable type context for the Gluster executable files.

Port Types

gluster_port_t
This type is defined for glusterd. By default, glusterd uses 204007-24027, and 38465-38469 TCP ports.

File Contexts

glusterd_brick_t
This type is used for files threated as glusterd brick data.
glusterd_conf_t
This type is associated with the glusterd configuration data, usually stored in the /etc directory.
glusterd_log_t
Files with this type are treated as glusterd log data, usually stored under the /var/log/ directory.
glusterd_tmp_t
This type is used for storing the glusterd temporary files in the /tmp directory.
glusterd_var_lib_t
This type allows storing the glusterd files in the /var/lib/ directory.
glusterd_var_run_t
This type allows storing the glusterd files in the /run/ or /var/run/ directory.

28.3. Booleans

SELinux is based on the least level of access required for a service to run. Services can be run in a variety of ways; therefore, you need to specify how you run your services. Use the following Booleans to set up SELinux:
gluster_export_all_ro
Having this Boolean enabled allows glusterfsd to share files and directory as read-only. This Boolean is disabled by default.
gluster_export_all_rw
Having this Boolean enabled allows glusterfsd to share files and directories with read and write access. This Boolean is enabled by default.
gluster_anon_write
Having this Boolean enabled allows glusterfsd to modify public files labeled with the public_content_rw_t SELinux type.

Note

Due to the continuous development of the SELinux policy, the list above might not contain all Booleans related to the service at all times. To list them, run the following command:
~]$ getsebool -a | grep service_name
Run the following command to view description of a particular Boolean:
~]$ sepolicy booleans -b boolean_name
Note that the additional policycoreutils-devel package providing the sepolicy utility is required for this command to work.

28.4. Configuration Examples

28.4.1. Labeling Gluster Bricks

A Gluster brick is an export directory on a server in the trusted storage pool. In case that the brick is not labeled with the correct SELinux context, glusterd_brick_t, SELinux denies certain file access operations and generates various AVC messages.
The following procedure shows how to label Gluster bricks with the correct SELinux context. The procedure assumes that you previously created and formatted a logical volume, for example /dev/rhgs/gluster, to be used as the Gluster brick.
For detailed information about Gluster bricks, see the Red Hat Gluster Storage Volumes chapter in the Administration Guide for Red Hat Gluster Storage.

Procedure 28.1. How to Label a Gluster Brick

  1. Create a directory to mount the previously formatted logical volume. For example:
    ~]# mkdir /mnt/brick1
  2. Mount the logical volume, in this case /dev/vg-group/gluster, to the /mnt/brick1/ directory created in the previous step.
    ~]# mount /dev/vg-group/gluster /mnt/brick1/
    Note that the mount command mounts devices only temporarily. To mount the device permanently, add an entry similar as the following one to the /etc/fstab file:
    /dev/vg-group/gluster    /mnt/brick1  xfs rw,inode64,noatime,nouuid      1 2
    For more information, see the fstab(5) manual page.
  3. Check the SELinux context of /mnt/brick1/:
    ~]$ ls -lZd /mnt/brick1/
    drwxr-xr-x. root root system_u:object_r:unlabeled_t:s0 /mnt/brick1/
    The directory is labeled with the unlabeled_t SELinux type.
  4. Change the SELinux type of /mnt/brick1/ to the glusterd_brick_t SELinux type:
    ~]# semanage fcontext -a -t glusterd_brick_t "/mnt/brick1(/.*)?"
  5. Use the restorecon utility to apply the changes:
    ~]# restorecon -Rv /mnt/brick1
  6. Finally, verify that the context has been successfully changed:
    ~]$ ls -lZd /mnt/brick1
    drwxr-xr-x. root root system_u:object_r:glusterd_brick_t:s0 /mnt/brick1/

Chapter 29. References

The following references are pointers to additional information that is relevant to SELinux but beyond the scope of this guide. Note that due to the rapid development of SELinux, some of this material may only apply to specific releases of Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

Books

SELinux by Example
Mayer, MacMillan, and Caplan
Prentice Hall, 2007
SELinux: NSA's Open Source Security Enhanced Linux
Bill McCarty
O'Reilly Media Inc., 2004

Tutorials and Help

Tutorials and talks from Russell Coker
Dan Walsh's Journal
Red Hat Knowledgebase

General Information

NSA SELinux main website
NSA SELinux FAQ

Community

SELinux Project Wiki
SELinux community page
IRC
irc.freenode.net, #selinux

Appendix A. Revision History

Revision History
Revision 0.3-02Mon Oct 9 2017Mirek Jahoda
Async release with fixes.
Revision 0.3-01Thu Jul 13 2017Mirek Jahoda
Version for 7.4 GA publication.
Revision 0.2-18Wed Nov 2 2016Mirek Jahoda
Version for 7.3 GA publication.
Revision 0.2-11Sun Jun 26 2016Mirek Jahoda
Async release with fixes.
Revision 0.2-10Sun Feb 14 2016Robert Krátký
Async release with fixes.
Revision 0.2-9Thu Dec 10 2015Barbora Ančincová
Added the Red Hat Gluster Storage chapter.
Revision 0.2-8Thu Nov 11 2015Barbora Ančincová
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.2 GA release of the book.
Revision 0.2-7Thu Aug 13 2015Barbora Ančincová
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.2 Beta release of the book.
Revision 0.2-6Wed Feb 18 2015Barbora Ančincová
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.1 GA release of the book.
Revision 0.2-5Fri Dec 05 2014Barbora Ančincová
Update to sort order on the Red Hat Customer Portal.
Revision 0.2-4Thu Dec 04 2014Barbora Ančincová
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.1 Beta release of the book.
Revision 0.1-41Tue May 20 2014Tomáš Čapek
Rebuild for style changes.
Revision 0.1-1Tue Jan 17 2013Tomáš Čapek
Initial creation of the book for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7

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