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4.10.2. Moving Files and Directories

Files 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 the /var/www/html/ directory, which is used by the Apache HTTP Server. Since the file is moved, it does not inherit the correct SELinux context:
Procedure 4.15. Moving Files and Directories
  1. Change into your home directory and create file in it. The file is labeled with the user_home_t type:
    ~]$ touch file1
    ~]$ ls -Z file1
    -rw-rw-r--  user1 group1 unconfined_u:object_r:user_home_t:s0 file1
  2. Run the following 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, /var/www/html/ is labeled with the httpd_sys_content_t type. Files and directories created under /var/www/html/ inherit this type, and as such, they are labeled with this type.
  3. As root, move file1 to /var/www/html/. 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 cannot 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 cannot read, permission is denied when attempting to access them via web browsers, such as Mozilla Firefox.


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