Chapter 6. Writing a custom SELinux policy

This section guides you on how to write and use a custom policy that enables you to run your applications confined by SELinux.

6.2. Creating and enforcing an SELinux policy for a custom application

This example procedure provides steps for confining a simple daemon by SELinux. Replace the daemon with your custom application and modify the example rule according to the requirements of that application and your security policy.

Prerequisites

  • The policycoreutils-devel package and its dependencies are installed on your system.

Procedure

  1. For this example procedure, prepare a simple daemon that opens the /var/log/messages file for writing:

    1. Create a new file, and open it in a text editor of your choice:

      $ vi mydaemon.c
    2. Insert the following code:

      #include <unistd.h>
      #include <stdio.h>
      
      FILE *f;
      
      int main(void)
      {
      while(1) {
      f = fopen("/var/log/messages","w");
              sleep(5);
              fclose(f);
          }
      }
    3. Compile the file:

      $ gcc -o mydaemon mydaemon.c
    4. Create a systemd unit file for your daemon:

      $ vi mydaemon.service
      [Unit]
      Description=Simple testing daemon
      
      [Service]
      Type=simple
      ExecStart=/usr/local/bin/mydaemon
      
      [Install]
      WantedBy=multi-user.target
    5. Install and start the daemon:

      # cp mydaemon /usr/local/bin/
      # cp mydaemon.service /usr/lib/systemd/system
      # systemctl start mydaemon
      # systemctl status mydaemon
      ● mydaemon.service - Simple testing daemon
         Loaded: loaded (/usr/lib/systemd/system/mydaemon.service; disabled; vendor preset: disabled)
         Active: active (running) since Sat 2020-05-23 16:56:01 CEST; 19s ago
       Main PID: 4117 (mydaemon)
          Tasks: 1
         Memory: 148.0K
         CGroup: /system.slice/mydaemon.service
                 └─4117 /usr/local/bin/mydaemon
      
      May 23 16:56:01 localhost.localdomain systemd[1]: Started Simple testing daemon.
    6. Check that the new daemon is not confined by SELinux:

      $ ps -efZ | grep mydaemon
      system_u:system_r:unconfined_service_t:s0 root 4117    1  0 16:56 ?        00:00:00 /usr/local/bin/mydaemon
  2. Generate a custom policy for the daemon:

    $ sepolicy generate --init /usr/local/bin/mydaemon
    Created the following files:
    /home/example.user/mysepol/mydaemon.te # Type Enforcement file
    /home/example.user/mysepol/mydaemon.if # Interface file
    /home/example.user/mysepol/mydaemon.fc # File Contexts file
    /home/example.user/mysepol/mydaemon_selinux.spec # Spec file
    /home/example.user/mysepol/mydaemon.sh # Setup Script
  3. Rebuild the system policy with the new policy module using the setup script created by the previous command:

    # ./mydaemon.sh
    Building and Loading Policy
    + make -f /usr/share/selinux/devel/Makefile mydaemon.pp
    Compiling targeted mydaemon module
    Creating targeted mydaemon.pp policy package
    rm tmp/mydaemon.mod.fc tmp/mydaemon.mod
    + /usr/sbin/semodule -i mydaemon.pp
    ...

    Note that the setup script relabels the corresponding part of the file system using the restorecon command:

    restorecon -v /usr/local/bin/mydaemon /usr/lib/systemd/system
  4. Restart the daemon, and check that it now runs confined by SELinux:

    # systemctl restart mydaemon
    $ ps -efZ | grep mydaemon
    system_u:system_r:mydaemon_t:s0 root        8150       1  0 17:18 ?        00:00:00 /usr/local/bin/mydaemon
  5. Because the daemon is now confined by SELinux, SELinux also prevents it from accessing /var/log/messages. Display the corresponding denial message:

    # ausearch -m AVC -ts recent
    ...
    type=AVC msg=audit(1590247112.719:5935): avc:  denied  { open } for  pid=8150 comm="mydaemon" path="/var/log/messages" dev="dm-0" ino=2430831 scontext=system_u:system_r:mydaemon_t:s0 tcontext=unconfined_u:object_r:var_log_t:s0 tclass=file permissive=1
    ...
  6. You can get additional information also using the sealert tool:

    $ sealert
    SELinux is preventing mydaemon from open access on the file /var/log/messages.
    
     Plugin catchall (100. confidence) suggests *
    
    If you believe that mydaemon should be allowed open access on the messages 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 'mydaemon' --raw | audit2allow -M my-mydaemon
    # semodule -X 300 -i my-mydaemon.pp
    
    Additional Information:
    Source Context                system_u:system_r:mydaemon_t:s0
    Target Context                unconfined_u:object_r:var_log_t:s0
    Target Objects                /var/log/messages [ file ]
    Source                        mydaemon
    
    ...
  7. Use the audit2allow tool to suggest changes:

    $ ausearch -m AVC -ts recent | audit2allow -R
    
    require {
    	type mydaemon_t;
    }
    
    #============= mydaemon_t ==============
    logging_write_generic_logs(mydaemon_t)
  8. Because rules suggested by audit2allow can be incorrect for certain cases, use only a part of its output to find the corresponding policy interface:

    $ grep -r "logging_write_generic_logs" /usr/share/selinux/devel/include/ | grep .if
    /usr/share/selinux/devel/include/system/logging.if:interface(logging_write_generic_logs',
  9. Check the definition of the interface:

    $ cat /usr/share/selinux/devel/include/system/logging.if
    ...
    interface(logging_write_generic_logs',
            gen_require(`
                    type var_log_t;
            ')
    
            files_search_var($1)
            allow $1 var_log_t:dir list_dir_perms;
            write_files_pattern($1, var_log_t, var_log_t)
    ')
    ...
  10. In this case, you can use the suggested interface. Add the corresponding rule to your type enforcement file:

    $ echo "logging_write_generic_logs(mydaemon_t)" >> mydaemon.te

    Alternatively, you can add this rule instead of using the interface:

    $ echo "allow mydaemon_t var_log_t:file { open write getattr };" >> mydaemon.te
  11. Reinstall the policy:

    # ./mydaemon.sh
    Building and Loading Policy
    + make -f /usr/share/selinux/devel/Makefile mydaemon.pp
    Compiling targeted mydaemon module
    Creating targeted mydaemon.pp policy package
    rm tmp/mydaemon.mod.fc tmp/mydaemon.mod
    + /usr/sbin/semodule -i mydaemon.pp
    ...

Verification steps

  1. Check that your application runs confined by SELinux, for example:

    $ ps -efZ | grep mydaemon
    system_u:system_r:mydaemon_t:s0 root        8150       1  0 17:18 ?        00:00:00 /usr/local/bin/mydaemon
  2. Verify that your custom application does not cause any SELinux denials:

    # ausearch -m AVC -ts recent
    <no matches>

Additional resources

  • For more information, see the sepolgen(8), ausearch(8), audit2allow(1), audit2why(1), sealert(8), and restorecon(8) man pages.

6.3. Additional resources