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1.4. SELinux States and Modes

SELinux can run in one of three modes: disabled, permissive, or enforcing.
Disabled mode is strongly discouraged; not only does the system avoid enforcing the SELinux policy, it also avoids labeling any persistent objects such as files, making it difficult to enable SELinux in the future.
In permissive mode, the system acts as if SELinux is enforcing the loaded security policy, including labeling objects and emitting access denial entries in the logs, but it does not actually deny any operations. While not recommended for production systems, permissive mode can be helpful for SELinux policy development.
Enforcing mode is the default, and recommended, mode of operation; in enforcing mode SELinux operates normally, enforcing the loaded security policy on the entire system.
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, enter the setenforce 1 command as the Linux root user. To change to permissive mode, enter the setenforce 0 command. Use the getenforce utility to view the current SELinux mode:
~]# getenforce
Enforcing
~]# setenforce 0
~]# getenforce
Permissive
~]# setenforce 1
~]# getenforce
Enforcing
In Red Hat Enterprise Linux, you can set individual domains to permissive mode while the system runs in enforcing mode. For example, to make the httpd_t domain permissive:
~]# semanage permissive -a httpd_t
See Section 11.3.4, “Permissive Domains” for more information.

Note

Persistent states and modes changes are covered in Section 4.4, “Permanent Changes in SELinux States and Modes”.