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selinux (58) Versions 3.1.0

Manages SELinux policy state and rules.

cookbook 'selinux', '= 3.1.0', :supermarket
cookbook 'selinux', '= 3.1.0'
knife supermarket install selinux
knife supermarket download selinux
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SELinux Cookbook

Build Status Cookbook Version

The SELinux (Security Enhanced Linux) cookbook provides recipes for manipulating SELinux policy enforcement state.

SELinux can have one of three settings:


  • Watches all system access checks, stops all 'Denied access'
  • Default mode on RHEL systems


  • Allows access but reports violations


  • Disables SELinux from the system but is only read at boot time. If you set this flag, you must reboot.

Disable SELinux only if you plan to not use it. Use Permissive mode if you just need to debug your system.


  • Chef 13 or higher


  • RHEL 6/7


  • node['selinux']['state'] - The SELinux policy enforcement state. The state to set by default, to match the default SELinux state on RHEL. Can be "enforcing", "permissive", "disabled"
  • node['selinux']['booleans'] - A hash of SELinux boolean names and the values they should be set to. Values can be off, false, or 0 to disable; or on, true, or 1 to enable.
  • node['selinux']['install_mcstrans_package'] - Install mcstrans package, Default is true. If don't want to install mcstrans package, sets as a false

Resources Overview


The selinux_state resource is used to manage the SELinux state on the system. It does this by using the setenforce command and rendering the /etc/selinux/config file from a template.


This provider is intended to be part of the SELinux analysis workflow using tools like audit2allow.


  • :create: install the module;
  • :remove: remove the module;


  • source: SELinux .te file, to be parsed, compiled and deployed as module. If simple basename informed, the provider will first look into files/default/selinux directory;
  • base_dir: Base directory to create and manage SELinux files, by default is /etc/selinux/local;
  • force: Boolean. Indicates if provider should re-install the same version of SELinux module already installed, in case the source .te file changes;


LWRP interface, recipe attributes are not applicable here.


The selinux_state resource is used to manage the SELinux state on the system. It does this by using the setenforce command and rendering the /etc/selinux/config file from a template.


  • :nothing: default action, does nothing
  • :enforcing: Sets SELinux to enforcing.
  • :disabled: Sets SELinux to disabled.
  • :permissive: Sets SELinux to permissive.


  • temporary - true, false, default false. Allows the temporary change between permissive and enabled states which don't require a reboot.
  • selinuxtype - targeted, mls, default targeted. Determines the policy that will be configured in the /etc/selinux/config file. The default value is targeted which enables selinux in a mode where only selected processes are protected. mls is multilevel security which enables selinux in a mode where all processes are protected.


Managing SELinux State (selinux_state)

Simply set SELinux to enforcing or permissive:

selinux_state "SELinux Enforcing" do
  action :enforcing

selinux_state "SELinux Permissive" do
  action :permissive

The action here is based on the value of the node['selinux']['state'] attribute, which we convert to lower-case and make a symbol to pass to the action.

selinux_state "SELinux #{node['selinux']['state'].capitalize}" do
  action node['selinux']['state'].downcase.to_sym

The action here is based on the value of the node['selinux']['status'] attribute, which we convert to lower-case and make a symbol to pass to the action.

selinux_state "SELinux #{node['selinux']['status'].capitalize}" do
  action node['selinux']['status'].downcase.to_sym

Managing SELinux Modules (selinux_module)

Consider the following steps to obtain a .te file, the rule description format employed on SELinux

  1. Add selinux to your metadata.rb, as for instance: depends 'selinux', '>= 0.10.0';
  2. Run your SELinux workflow, and add .te files on your cookbook files, preferably under files/default/selinux directory;
  3. Write recipes using selinux_module provider;

SELinux audit2allow Workflow

This provider was written with the intention of matching the workflow of audit2allow (provided by package policycoreutils), which basically will be:

  1. Test application and inspect /var/log/audit/audit.log log-file with a command like this basic example: grep AVC /var/log/audit/audit.log |audit2allow -M my_application;
  2. Save my_application.te SELinux module source, copy into your cookbook under files/default/selinux/my_application.te;
  3. Make use of selinux provider on a recipe, after adding it as a dependency;

For example, add the following on the recipe level:

selinux_module 'MyApplication SELinux Module' do
  source 'my_application.te'
  action :create

Module name is defined on my_application.te file contents, please note this input, is used during :remove action. For instance:

selinux_module 'my_application' do
  action :remove


The selinux_install resource is used to encapsulate the set of selinux packages to install in order to manage selinux. It also ensures the directory /etc/selinux is created.


All recipes will deprecate in the near future as they are just using the selinux_state resource.


The default recipe will use the attribute node['selinux']['status'] in the selinux_state resource's action. By default, this will be :enforcing.


This recipe will use :enforcing as the selinux_state action.


This recipe will use :permissive as the selinux_state action.


This recipe will use :disabled as the selinux_state action.


By default, this cookbook will have SELinux enforcing by default, as the default recipe uses the node['selinux']['status'] attribute, which is "enforcing." This is in line with the policy of enforcing by default on RHEL family distributions.

You can simply set the attribute in a role applied to the node:

name "base"
description "Base role applied to all nodes."
  "selinux" => {
    "status" => "permissive"

Or, you can apply the recipe to the run list (e.g., in a role):

name "base"
description "Base role applied to all nodes."

License & Authors

Copyright: 2008-2018, Chef Software, Inc.

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License");
you may not use this file except in compliance with the License.
You may obtain a copy of the License at

Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software
distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS,
See the License for the specific language governing permissions and
limitations under the License.

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This cookbook has no specified dependencies.

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selinux Cookbook CHANGELOG

This file is used to list changes made in each version of the selinux cookbook.

3.1.0 (2020-09-29)

  • Cookstyle Bot Auto Corrections with Cookstyle 6.16.8 - @cookstyle
  • Add a new node['selinux']['install_mcstrans_package'] attribute to control installation of the mcdtrans package. This default to true to maintain existing functionality. - @kapilchouhan99

3.0.2 (2020-08-25)

  • Fix failures in CI- @shoekstra
  • Specify platform to SoloRunner - @shoekstra
  • Remove unnecessary Foodcritic comments - @tas50
  • Notify :immediately not :immediate - @tas50
  • Add Github actions testing of style/unit - @tas50
  • [GH-67] - Do not try to modify frozen checksum - @vzDevelopment
  • Standardise files with files in chef-cookbooks/repo-management - @xorimabot

3.0.1 (2019-11-14)

  • Remove the deprecated ChefSpec report - @tas50
  • Allow "-" and "_" for module names - @ramereth
  • Update Fedora versions we test on - @tas50

3.0.0 (2019-06-06)

  • Support for SELinux Modules, via new resource selinux_module, able to compile .te files, install and remove modules;
  • Improving test coverage for all resources
  • Remove support for Ubuntu/Debian
  • Require Chef 13+

2.1.1 (2018-06-07)

  • Do not execute setenforce 1 always
  • Remove chefspec matchers that are autogenerated now
  • Chef 13 Fixes

2.1.0 (2017-09-15)

  • Simplify Travis config and fix ChefDK 2.0 failures
  • Use bento slugs in Kitchen
  • Remove maintainer files
  • More cleanup of the maintainer files
  • Speed up install with multi-package install

2.0.3 (2017-06-13)

  • Fix boolean check within default recipe

2.0.2 (2017-06-05)

  • Permissive guard should grep for permissive not just disabled

2.0.1 (2017-05-30)

  • Remove class_eval usage

2.0.0 (2017-05-15)

  • Deprecate debian family support
  • Make default for rhel family use setenforce regardless of whether a temporary change or not. Eliminates the requirement for a required reboot to effect change in the running system.

1.0.4 (2017-04-17)

  • Switch to local delivery for testing
  • Use the standard apache license string
  • Updates for early Chef 12 and Chef 13 compatibility
  • Update and add copyright blocks to the various files

1.0.3 (2017-03-14)

  • Fix requirement in metadata to reflect need for Chef 12.7 as using action_class in state resource.

1.0.2 (2017-03-01)

  • Remove setools* packages from install resource (utility to analyze and query policies, monitor and report audit logs, and manage file context). Future versions of this cookbook that might use this need to handle package install on Oracle Linux as not available in default repo.

1.0.1 (2017-02-26)

  • Fix logic error in the permissive state change

1.0.0 (2017-02-26)

  • BREAKING CHANGE node['selinux']['state'] is now node['selinux']['status'] to meet Chef 13 requirements.
  • Update to current cookbook engineering standards
  • Rewrite LWRP to 12.5 resources
  • Resolved cookstyle errors
  • Update package information for debian based on

    • selinux-activate looks like it's required to ACTUALLY activate selinux on non-RHEL systems. This seems like it could be destructive if unexpected.
  • Add property temporary to allow for switching between permissive and enabled

  • Add install resource

v0.9.0 (2015-02-22)

  • Initial Debian / Ubuntu support
  • Various bug fixes

v0.8.0 (2014-04-23)

  • [COOK-4528] - Fix selinux directory permissions
  • [COOK-4562] - Basic support for Ubuntu/Debian

v0.7.2 (2014-03-24)

handling minimal installs

v0.7.0 (2014-02-27)

[COOK-4218] Support setting SELinux boolean values


  • Fixing bug introduced in 0.6.0
  • adding basic test-kitchen coverage


  • [COOK-760] - selinux enforce/permit/disable based on attribute


  • [COOK-2124] - enforcing recipe fails if selinux is disabled


  • [COOK-1277] - disabled recipe fails on systems w/o selinux installed


  • [COOK-789] - fix dangling commas causing syntax error on some rubies


  • [COOK-678] - add the selinux cookbook to the repository
  • Use main selinux config file (/etc/selinux/config)
  • Use getenforce instead of selinuxenabled for enforcing and permissive

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