senlinux configuration, are you sure it's the right way?

Daniel J Walsh dwalsh at
Thu Mar 31 16:02:04 UTC 2005

Farkas Levente wrote:

> hi,
> after i having played a few days with selinux, apache and other 
> daemons and programs the whole selinux configuration seems to me a bit 
> confusing. if i found any kind of problem with the "default" selinux 
> setup which is not big thing since most systems are different and 
> there are a lots of program which are not included in the core distro. 
> i have to report it and the next update will include it. my question 
> why selinux include the default policies? why selinux-policy-* 
> contains the right acces rights for all included deamons, programs? 
> wouldn't it be much better to all package include it's own policy and 
> in the rpm postinstall session reload/add/modify the new policies. 
> this is something similar to the libs. i only install only those lib 
> which needed for me and at the postinstall session run an ldconfig. i 
> wouldn't like to install all libs! why should i install policies for 
> eg. apache when i don't run apache? why should i update 
> selinux-policy-* just because there was a bug in the apache part of 
> the policy when i don't run apache? the current case is something one 
> big monolitic policy configuration which most of the time not suitable 
> for anyone (anyone who run anything else then the default need to 
> modify it or run any webscript or). of course my main problem not with 
> apache policies rather then the whole system and way of configuration 
> of selinux. wouldn't be any easier and modularized way to use selinux 
> and configure it for the needed thing. probably there is need for some 
> core policy but all others policy can be modularized. or do i missed 
> something?
> just my 2c.
> yours.
Yes this is something we are working on.  Currenly there are lots of 
interdendancies in policy that make separating them out difficult. 
Currently the only way to add or remove a policy, is via source code.  
So if I want to remove apache policy, I need to install the policy 
sources and mv apache.te file out of the programs directory.  Then 
recompile and reload the policy. 

Tresys corporation is working on loadable modules that may be able to 
solve this problem.  We are working towards the point where you
would have an apache policy file that would get loaded and unloaded 
depending on whether you are running apache, and then the policy file 
could be supplied with the binaries.

This is new technology and we are working to improve it. 



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