selinux config - no warning during upgrades

Bruno Wolff III bruno at
Wed May 7 18:47:58 UTC 2008

On Wed, May 07, 2008 at 13:31:38 -0400,
  Stephen Smalley <sds at> wrote:
> On Wed, 2008-05-07 at 10:55 -0500, Bruno Wolff III wrote:
> > I recently did a yum upgrade from Fedora Core 5 to Rawhide and afterwards
> > I eventually noticed that I was getting warnings about a NULL security
> > context. I then tracked this down to not having a proper selinux user
> > configuration.
> > 
> > Since I was using the default, I expected things would work or at least that
> > there would be *.rpmnew files that acted as a hint that something needed
> > to be looked at. Also, in order to find out what the default was I ended up
> > looking at some other machines that had more recent installs, because there
> > didn't seem to be any obvious place to look on the affected machine for
> > what reasonable default values were.
> Can you provide more details, please?

Here is a sample log messages:
May  4 05:00:01 wolff crond[16709]: (bruno) NULL security context for user, but SELinux in permissive mode, continuing ()

I didn't save the original selinux attached to __default__. It might have been
user_u; it definitely wasn't unconfined_u which is what I got with a fresh
install on another machine. Besides fixing up the login user mapping, I also
fixed up the user mapping to prefix, mls level, range and roles. There were
several new selinux users that weren't in the list I got after the upgrade.
Once I have everything matching that of the fresh install, I stopped seeing
the NULL security context messages.

I can't say I expected that the upgrade would work without manual intervention
when going from FC5 to F9. But I would have liked to have gotten some hint
that I should look at things. And if I hadn't had another machine with a fresh
install to compare against, having some way to do that on a machine would be
nice. Normally things stick *.rpmnew files in /etc, but I suspect that would
encourange people to copy it over rather than using semanage to update things,
so that may not be a good solution for selinux.

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