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10.2.2. How are Confined Services Running?

Services can be run in a variety of ways. To cater for this, you need to specify how you run your services. This can be achieved via Booleans that allow parts of SELinux policy to be changed at runtime, without any knowledge of SELinux policy writing. This allows changes, such as allowing services access to NFS volumes, without reloading or recompiling SELinux policy. Also, running services on non-default port numbers requires policy configuration to be updated via the semanage command.
For example, to allow the Apache HTTP Server to communicate with MariaDB, enable the httpd_can_network_connect_db Boolean:
~]# setsebool -P httpd_can_network_connect_db on
If access is denied for a particular service, use the getsebool and grep utilities to see if any Booleans are available to allow access. For example, use the getsebool -a | grep ftp command to search for FTP related Booleans:
~]$ getsebool -a | grep ftp
ftpd_anon_write --> off
ftpd_full_access --> off
ftpd_use_cifs --> off
ftpd_use_nfs --> off
ftp_home_dir --> off
ftpd_connect_db --> off
httpd_enable_ftp_server --> off
tftp_anon_write --> off
For a list of Booleans and whether they are on or off, run the getsebool -a command. For a list of Booleans, an explanation of what each one is, and whether they are on or off, run the semanage boolean -l command as root. See Section 4.6, “Booleans” for information about listing and configuring Booleans.

Port Numbers

Depending on policy configuration, services may only be allowed to run on certain port numbers. Attempting to change the port a service runs on without changing policy may result in the service failing to start. For example, run the semanage port -l | grep http command as root to list http related ports:
~]# semanage port -l | grep http
http_cache_port_t              tcp      3128, 8080, 8118
http_cache_port_t              udp      3130
http_port_t                    tcp      80, 443, 488, 8008, 8009, 8443
pegasus_http_port_t            tcp      5988
pegasus_https_port_t           tcp      5989
The http_port_t port type defines the ports Apache HTTP Server can listen on, which in this case, are TCP ports 80, 443, 488, 8008, 8009, and 8443. If an administrator configures httpd.conf so that httpd listens on port 9876 (Listen 9876), but policy is not updated to reflect this, the following command fails:
~]# systemctl start httpd.service
Job for httpd.service failed. See 'systemctl status httpd.service' and 'journalctl -xn' for details.
~]# systemctl status httpd.service
httpd.service - The Apache HTTP Server
   Loaded: loaded (/usr/lib/systemd/system/httpd.service; disabled)
   Active: failed (Result: exit-code) since Thu 2013-08-15 09:57:05 CEST; 59s ago
  Process: 16874 ExecStop=/usr/sbin/httpd $OPTIONS -k graceful-stop (code=exited, status=0/SUCCESS)
  Process: 16870 ExecStart=/usr/sbin/httpd $OPTIONS -DFOREGROUND (code=exited, status=1/FAILURE)
An SELinux denial message similar to the following is logged to /var/log/audit/audit.log:
type=AVC msg=audit(1225948455.061:294): avc:  denied  { name_bind } for  pid=4997 comm="httpd" src=9876 scontext=unconfined_u:system_r:httpd_t:s0 tcontext=system_u:object_r:port_t:s0 tclass=tcp_socket
To allow httpd to listen on a port that is not listed for the http_port_t port type, run the semanage port command to add a port to policy configuration[11]:
~]# semanage port -a -t http_port_t -p tcp 9876
The -a option adds a new record; the -t option defines a type; and the -p option defines a protocol. The last argument is the port number to add.


[11] The semanage port -a command adds an entry to the /etc/selinux/targeted/modules/active/ports.local file. Note that by default, this file can only be viewed by root.