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Android setools


This repo contains a bundled Debian package (deb) with the patched SELinux libaries (libsepol, libselinux) and supporting headers (libbz2) that allow SE for Android ("SEAndroid") v30 binary policy files to be parsed. In addition, it includes a Makefile that will build a patched version of setools version 4 that exposes the following SELinux utilities:

  • sesearch
  • sediff
  • sedta

All other setools binaries (such as any GUI components) are not tested.

This project is based largely on StackOverflow user WhiteWinterWolf's verbose and extremely helpful write-up regarding parsing v30 Android policy files. Big thanks to WhiteWinterWolf; I simply bundled the code together!

Warning: Google made non-backwards compatible changes after API 23 ("M") which affects the underlying SELinux libraries. What this means is you'll need to make sure you build the correct version depending on which API you plan on analyzing. More on this can be found in the "Installing" section.

Supported Platforms

Building has been testing on:

  • Ubuntu 14.04.5 LTS (the recommended distro/version for build AOSP)
  • Ubuntu 18.04.1 LTS

You'll also need the following core components:

  • make
  • git
  • python2.7 (python3 is untested)
  • gcc (versions 4.8.4 - 7.3.0 have been tested)


First, install dependences:

sudo apt update
sudo apt install make git swig flex bison python-dev python-setuptools python-networkx python-enum34

Next, clone this repo and cd to the directory:

git clone --recursive
cd android-setools

Building for Modern APIs (7.0.0 - 9.0.0)

make build
sudo make install

Building for Older APIs (Pre-7.0.0)

make build-pre7
sudo make install


If for some reason your build fails or you need to switch versions, you can use the clean task to revert to a clean slate:

make clean


After installing, you can use seinfo or sesearch to perform queries against a device's sepolicy file:

adb pull /sepolicy
sesearch -A -s shell -c file -p write sepolicy

Known Limitations

Only 1 version (either pre7 or post7) of setools can be installed a given time. I don't see an easy way around this, so the best way to handle this situation is to remove the old and rebuild the new version. For example, if you had the "new" API version installed, but wanted to analyze an old sepolicy, you can run the following commands:

cd android-setools
make clean build-pre7
sudo make install


Helper package to use setools 4+ against SEAndroid policy files



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