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5.10.2. Moving Files and Directories

File and directories keep their current SELinux context when they are moved. In many cases, this is incorrect for the location they are being moved to. The following example demonstrates moving a file from a user's home directory to /var/www/html/, which is used by the Apache HTTP Server. Since the file is moved, it does not inherit the correct SELinux context:
  1. Run the cd command without any arguments to change into your home directory. Once in your home directory, run the touch file1 command to create a file. This file is labeled with the user_home_t type:
    $ ls -Z file1
    -rw-rw-r--  user1 group1 unconfined_u:object_r:user_home_t:s0 file1
  2. Run the ls -dZ /var/www/html/ command to view the SELinux context of the /var/www/html/ directory:
    $ ls -dZ /var/www/html/
    drwxr-xr-x  root root system_u:object_r:httpd_sys_content_t:s0 /var/www/html/
    By default, the /var/www/html/ directory is labeled with the httpd_sys_content_t type. Files and directories created under the /var/www/html/ directory inherit this type, and as such, they are labeled with this type.
  3. As the Linux root user, run the mv file1 /var/www/html/ command to move file1 to the /var/www/html/ directory. Since this file is moved, it keeps its current user_home_t type:
    # mv file1 /var/www/html/
    # ls -Z /var/www/html/file1
    -rw-rw-r--  user1 group1 unconfined_u:object_r:user_home_t:s0 /var/www/html/file1
By default, the Apache HTTP Server can not read files that are labeled with the user_home_t type. If all files comprising a web page are labeled with the user_home_t type, or another type that the Apache HTTP Server can not read, permission is denied when attempting to access them via Firefox or text-based Web browsers.


Moving files and directories with the mv command may result in the wrong SELinux context, preventing processes, such as the Apache HTTP Server and Samba, from accessing such files and directories.