SELinux – when installed – can take on one of three modes:
To check which mode SELinux is running on, we can use either sestatus for a more detailed output, or simply getenforce for a one liner:
sestatus SELinux status: enabled SELinuxfs mount: /sys/fs/selinux SELinux root directory: /etc/selinux Loaded policy name: targeted Current mode: enforcing Mode from config file: enforcing Policy MLS status: enabled Policy deny_unknown status: allowed Max kernel policy version: 28
getenforce on the other hand will literally just say a single word, like “Enforcing”.
To change this mode, edit /etc/selinux/config:
vi /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 - No SELinux policy is loaded. SELINUX=enforcing # SELINUXTYPE= can take one of these two values: # targeted - Targeted processes are protected, # minimum - Modification of targeted policy. Only selected processes are protected. # mls - Multi Level Security protection. SELINUXTYPE=targeted
Change the file according to the comments and restart the system for the changes to take effect.
If SELinux is running and either set to Enforcing or Permissive, you can change its mode on the fly without restarting the server using the setenforce command like so:
// switch to permissive setenforce permissive // switch to enforcing setenforce enforcing // disable SELinux setenforce 0
You won’t get any feedback if all goes well. Note that if SELinux is disabled, the setenforce command won’t work.
setenforce is practical if you’d like to change the SELinux policy only temporary and your settings will not be retained. So the next time you restart the server, SELinux will come back with whatever is set in /etc/selinux/config.
Find out more about SELinux and what it’s good for here: