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7. Change History
About this document
This document will give an overview of all SELinux documented changes made
on particular dates and that might be important for users to follow up through.
Changes that only affect ~arch users will be documented below and moved up when
they are stabilized. It is possible though that these changes will be "fixed"
automatically and as such removed from this page.
7.b. Overview of Changes for Stable Users
2013/04/19 - Introducing selocal command
With policycoreutils-2.1.13-r11 onwards, a new command called selocal is
available. This command allows users to easily add in additional SELinux policy
rules to the local policy without having go through the hassle of building and
maintaining their own .te files. Instead, this command does that
Rules that are added to the local policy (hence the name, selocal) can be
accompanied with a small comment to allow users to describe why a change was
added (or to refer to a bug id on Gentoo's bugzilla).
Code Listing 2.1: Adding a rule to the local policy
# selocal -a "rpcbind_stream_connect(sysadm_t)" -c "Be able to call exportfs (NFS)"
# selocal --build --load
With --list you can view the currently added local policy rules, and with
--delete they can be removed from the local policy. When you want to have
the changes take effect, run selocal --build --load to build the new
local policy and load it in memory.
2013/04/16 - Introduce selinux_gentoo init script
With policycoreutils-2.1.13-r8 and later, we now provide our own init script
selinux_gentoo, which includes the necessary support for the
initramfs users, but also resets the contexts of dynamically generated resources
(on pseudo file systems) which are different from the default setting.
The first user here is /sys/devices/system/cpu/online which gets
labeled cpu_online_t (from revision 13 of the SELinux policy, or when using live
ebuilds for the policy).
The init script will by default also restore the contexts of all
/dev devices (unless you boot with the norestorecon option)
and will switch to enforcing mode if /etc/selinux/config has
SELINUX=enforcing set but the user booted with enforcing=0 (unless
you boot with nosetenforce option).
This means that users are now encouraged to add this init script to the boot
Code Listing 2.2: Adding selinux_gentoo to the boot runlevel
# rc-update add selinux_gentoo boot
2012/12/04 - Introduce USE=unconfined
From selinux-base-2.20120725-r9 onwards, we will now also support
a USE=unconfined setting. When enabled, it will configure your SELinux
policy to support the unconfined domains. If your policy is targeted,
this behavior will be implied, whereas the strict policy will not
consider this USE flag at all (it will not activate unconfined domains on
Supporting this USE flag allows us to differentiate unconfined domains versus
regular ones when using the mls or mcs policy types. When set, the
selinux-unconfined package will be built as well, and the module
will be loaded, and the policy seusers file (which contains the
default domain mappings for users) will be updated to use the
unconfined_u SELinux user for root and other users.
2012/08/16 - Adding system_r role to admins
Since selinux-base-2.20120725-r3 and later, init scripts will now
support the upstream "labeled" init script approach. This means that those
services whose init script follows the <domain>_initrc_exec_t
naming convention can now be assigned to specific users (allowing those to
manage the services without the need to grant them system administration
The downside of this approach is that the system administrator itself (who uses
the sysadm_t domain) now also needs to be granted the right to manage
those services. And granting this right means that the SELinux user (be it
root or staff_u) needs to be granted the system_r role:
Code Listing 2.3: Granting system_r role
# semanage user -m -R "staff_r sysadm_r system_r" root
# semanage user -m -R "staff_r sysadm_r system_r" staff_u
2012/06/24 - Definition of /run in fstab
The /run location needs to be mounted with the var_run_t
context. To do so, /etc/fstab needs to be modified as per the
instructions in Setting the
2012/05/26 - Support of initramfs
Users who boot with an initramfs will need to boot in permissive mode first, and
later on switch to enforcing mode. This can be done automatically using an
init script, as documented at Initramfs
2012/05/26 - Support for graphical login managers
Users who boot into a graphical environment (such as through GDM) will need to
edit their PAM configuration files accordingly to support SELinux security
context settings. This is documented at Users
of a graphical environment.
2012/05/18 - No more sandbox configuration needed
The previously documented editing of /etc/sandbox.conf to open
write access to /sys/fs/selinux/context can be removed as the
SELinux profile does this now automatically.
2012/04/29 - Edit of lvm-start/stop scripts no longer needed
When users install the newly stabilized 2.20120215 policies, the documented
editing of /lib/rcscripts/addons/lvm-st*.sh is no longer needed.
2012/02/21 - /dev mount line in fstab no longer needed
The previously documented /dev mount line in /etc/fstab is no
longer needed as util-linux-2.20.1-r1 has been marked stable (which
contains the correct bug fix).
2011/12/10 - Deprecation of selinux/v2refpolicy/* profiles
The old SELinux profiles (starting with selinux/v2refpolicy) are not
supported anymore. Users are strongly encouraged to switch to the new profiles
(those ending with /selinux).
2011/07/22 - Introduction of MLS/MCS support
We now support MLS and MCS, right next to targeted and strict SELinux policy
types. When using MLS or MCS, you will need to update the /tmp
entry in your /etc/fstab to use
rootcontext=system_u:object_r:tmp_t:s0 (note the trailing :s0).
7.c. Overview of Changes for ~Arch Users
2013/07/07 - Introduced support for mcstrans
When the SELinux policy is MLS-enabled (so it is MCS or MLS), then we have the
option of managing categories. Categories allow us to "tag" resources and make
sure that only processes that have the right category set assigned to them can
read/manipulate the resources.
For SELinux, categories are numbers, starting from c0 (category zero) to
whatever maximum is used in the policy:
Code Listing 3.1: Checking the maximum number of categories
$ seinfo | grep Categories
Sensitivities: 1 Categories: 1024
For most administrators/humans though, this is not that efficient. To support
more human readable formats, SELinux supports category translations (and even
sensitivity translations). Inside a configuration file
(setrans.conf in the main configuration directory, like
/etc/selinux/mcs) administrators can enter common sensitivity sets
and ranges. The chcat tool can then be used to list those:
Code Listing 3.2: Listing translated sensitivity ranges
# chcat -L
To enable these translations, create the proper translation file (of which you
can find numerous examples in /usr/share/doc/policycoreutils-*/mcstrans)
and then start the mcstransd service.
Code Listing 3.3: Starting the mcstransd service
# rc-service mcstransd start
That's it - if we now look at contexts, we will see the translated ranges:
Code Listing 3.4: Listing contexts to see translated ranges
# ls -lZ seusers
-rw-r--r--. root root system_u:object_r:selinux_config_t:SystemLow seusers
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