config: The SELinux Configuration File

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The /etc/selinux/config file, which has a link at /etc/sysconfig/selinux, controls the state of SELinux on the local system. Although you can modify this file, it may be more straightforward to work with system-config-selinux. In the following example, the policy is set to targeted, but that setting is of no consequence because SELinux is disabled:

$ cat /etc/selinux/config
# 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 - SELinux is fully disabled.
SELINUX=disabled
# SELINUXTYPE= type of policy in use. Possible values are:
# targeted - Only targeted network daemons are protected.
# strict - Full SELinux protection.
SELINUXTYPE=targeted

To put SELinux in enforcing mode, change the line containing the SELINUX assignment to SELINUX=enforcing. Similarly, you can change the policy by setting SELINUXTYPE.

If you will use SELinux in the future
If you will use SELinux in the future but not now, turn it on when you install Linux, and run it inpermissive state with the policy set to the policy you will eventually use. Permissive state writes the required extended information to inodes, but it does not stop you from doing anything on the system.

If you turn on SELinux after it has been disabled, when you reboot the system SELinux has to add extended attributes to the files in the filesystem. This process can take a long time on a large filesystem. If you are never going to use SELinux, disable it.

Source of Information : Prentice Hall A Practical Guide to Fedora and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5th Edition

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