How to add custom SELinux filename transition rules in RHEL7

Solution Verified - Updated -


  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7


  • The Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 7 SELinux User's and Administrator's Guide details a new file name transition feature and gives some policy examples but doesn't make it clear how a sysadmin could easily add a new rule. How can this be done?

  • An fcontext rule like the following makes it possible for restorecon to set /var/www/html/*/rwstorage files to the httpd_sys_rw_content_t type:

    semanage fcontext -a -t httpd_sys_rw_content_t "/var/www/html(/.*)?/rwstorage"

    However, the restorecon is always required, e.g.:

    ~]# mkdir -p /var/www/html/vhost1/rwstorage
    ~]# stat -c "%C  %n" /var/www/html/vhost1/{,rwstorage}
    unconfined_u:object_r:httpd_sys_content_t:s0  /var/www/html/vhost1/
    unconfined_u:object_r:httpd_sys_content_t:s0  /var/www/html/vhost1/rwstorage
    ~]# restorecon /var/www/html/vhost1/rwstorage
    ~]# stat -c "%C  %n" /var/www/html/vhost1/rwstorage
    unconfined_u:object_r:httpd_sys_rw_content_t:s0  /var/www/html/vhost1/rwstorage

    How can we make it so the manual restorecon isn't necessary in these situations? (And no we don't want to use the existing "/var/www/html(/.*)?/uploads" rule.)


Using restorecond

  • Some situations can be easily handled by the restorecond service (provided by the policycoreutils-restorecond package from optional channel)

    • restorecond allows for adding watch-paths to the lists in /etc/selinux/restorecond.conf and /etc/selinux/restorecond_user.conf
    • This doesn't solve all situations since the syntax only allows * in the last component of the target path (e.g., /root/.ssh/* is allowed but /var/www/html/*/rwstorage is not)

Using file name transition rules

  • See instructions outlined in this blog post by Red Hatter & SELinux guru Dan Walsh:
    Dan Walsh's Blog - Adding a new filename transition rule

  • Alternatively, another Red Hatter wrote a unsupported script that automates the process:
    GitHub - ryran/b19scripts/
    For example:

    1. Download the script to a bin dir and make it executable

    2. Check the license and the help page

      [root@r72 ~]# grep '#  ' $(which
      #    This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify
      #    it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
      #    the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or
      #    (at your option) any later version.
      #    This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
      #    but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
      #    General Public License <> for more details.
      [root@r72 ~]# -h
      Where TARGET_FILE is the file to get auto-labeled without requiring restorecon.
      Where TARGET_FILE_CLASS is most likely "file" or "dir" but could be anything
      returned by "seinfo --class" command.
      1. Add a rule to fcontext db first, e.g.:
        * semanage fcontext -a -t httpd_sys_rw_content_t \
        * semanage fcontext -a -t httpd_sys_rw_content_t \
      2. Then execute this script, e.g.:
 /var/www/html/vhost1/bak/rwstoragedir dir
 /var/www/html/vhost2/rwstoragefile file
      Note that by default this will set the source process domain to "unconfined_t",
      which is suitable for triggering on actions that normal unconfined users make.
      This can be overridden by changing the "PROCESS_DOMAIN" environment variable.
      Note that the script will prompt for a module name unless the environment
      variable "NEW_MODULE_NAME" is set. It will also prompt if "NEW_MODULE_NAME" is
      set to the name of a currently loaded module, as listed by "semodule -l".
    3. Create the desired fcontext rule and test that it works, e.g.:

      [root@r72 ~]# semanage fcontext -a -t httpd_sys_rw_content_t "/var/www/html(/.*)?/rwstorage"
      [root@r72 ~]# mkdir -p /var/www/html/vhost1/rwstorage
      [root@r72 ~]# stat -c %C /var/www/html/vhost1/rwstorage
      [root@r72 ~]# restorecon /var/www/html/vhost1/rwstorage
      [root@r72 ~]# stat -c %C /var/www/html/vhost1/rwstorage
    4. Execute the script as directed, e.g.:

      [root@r72 ~]# /var/www/html/vhost1/rwstorage dir
      Missing packages
      Try: yum install selinux-policy-devel setools-console
      [root@r72 ~]# yum install selinux-policy-devel setools-console -y
      [root@r72 ~]# /var/www/html/vhost1/rwstorage dir
      Source process domain: "unconfined_t"
      Parent directory type: "httpd_sys_content_t"
      Target file: "rwstorage"
      Target class: "dir"
      About to create a file name transition policy module based on above specs.
      Cancel now if any of them are empty or incorrect.
      The new module will need a name.
      Names for loaded modules can be seen with the "semodule -l" command.
      Example: "my-filetrans-rwstorage"
      Enter a unique name for this new filetrans module:
      > my-filetrans-rwstorage
      Creating module files in tempdir: /tmp/tmp.addfiletrans.rwKR0U2CAI
      Executing: 'make -f /usr/share/selinux/devel/Makefile my-filetrans-rwstorage.pp'
      Compiling targeted my-filetrans-rwstorage module
      /usr/bin/checkmodule:  loading policy configuration from tmp/my-filetrans-rwstorage.tmp
      /usr/bin/checkmodule:  policy configuration loaded
      /usr/bin/checkmodule:  writing binary representation (version 17) to tmp/my-filetrans-rwstorage.mod
      Creating targeted my-filetrans-rwstorage.pp policy package
      rm tmp/my-filetrans-rwstorage.mod.fc tmp/my-filetrans-rwstorage.mod
      Assuming the above command finished without issue ...
      The final step requires you to manually install the module yourself
      Execute the following command:
        semodule -i /tmp/tmp.addfiletrans.rwKR0U2CAI/my-filetrans-rwstorage.pp
      After that you should see your module in "semodule -l"
      You can then disable it with "semodule -d my-filetrans-rwstorage"
      Or re-enable it with "semodule -e my-filetrans-rwstorage"
      You can also uninstall (remove) it with "semodule -r my-filetrans-rwstorage"
    5. Follow directions to install the module and confirm it works, e.g.:

      [root@r72 ~]# semodule -i /tmp/tmp.addfiletrans.rwKR0U2CAI/my-filetrans-rwstorage.pp
      [root@r72 ~]# rmdir /var/www/html/vhost1/rwstorage
      [root@r72 ~]# mkdir /var/www/html/vhost1/rwstorage
      [root@r72 ~]# stat -c %C /var/www/html/vhost1/rwstorage
    6. Optionally disable and then re-enable it

      [root@r72 ~]# semodule --disable my-filetrans-rwstorage
      [root@r72 ~]# mkdir -p /var/www/html/vhost2/rwstorage
      [root@r72 ~]# stat -c %C /var/www/html/vhost2/rwstorage
      [root@r72 ~]# semodule --enable my-filetrans-rwstorage

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