Development repository for Opscode Cookbook selinux
Latest commit 1e4498f Mar 18, 2015 @skottler Merge pull request #24 from jujugrrr/chefspec_matchers
Added matchers for selinux_state


Provides recipes for manipulating SELinux policy enforcement state.


RHEL family distribution or other Linux system that uses SELinux.


Tested on RHEL 5.8, 6.3

Node Attributes

  • 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.



The selinux_state LWRP 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.


The LWRP has no user-settable resource attributes.


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


All the recipes now leverage the LWRP described above.


The default recipe will use the attribute node['selinux']['state'] in the selinux_state LWRP'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']['state'] attribute, which is "enforcing." This is in line with the policy of enforcing by default on RHEL family distributions.

This has complicated considerations when changing the default configuration of their systems, whether it is with automated configuration management or manually. Often, third party help forums and support sites recommend setting SELinux to "permissive." This cookbook can help with that, in two ways.

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

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


Add LWRP/Libraries for manipulating security contexts for files and services managed by Chef.

License and Author

Copyright:: 2011-2012, 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, WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied. See the License for the specific language governing permissions and limitations under the License.