23. SELinux

23.1. Introduction

SELinux is a mandatory access control (MAC) system on Linux which adds a fine granular permission system for access to all resources on the system such as files, devices, networks and inter-process communication.

The most important questions are answered briefly in the FAQ of the SELinux Project. For more details on SELinux and how to actually use and administrate it on your system have a look at Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 - SELinux User's and Administrator's Guide. For a simplified (and funny) introduction download the SELinux Coloring Book.

This documentation will use a similar format like the SELinux User's and Administrator's Guide.

23.1.1. Policy

Icinga 2 is providing its own SELinux Policy. At the moment it is not upstreamed to the reference policy because it is under development. Target of the development is a policy package for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 and its derivates running the targeted policy which confines Icinga2 with all features and all checks executed. All other distributions will require some tweaks.

23.1.2. Installation

There are two ways to install the SELinux Policy for Icinga 2 on Enterprise Linux 7. Installing it from the provided package which is the preferred option and manual installation if you need some fixes not released yet or for development.

The policy package will run the daemon in a permissive domain so nothing will be denied also if the system runs in enforcing mode, so please make sure to run the system in this mode.

# sestatus
SELinux status:                 enabled
SELinuxfs mount:                /sys/fs/selinux
SELinux root directory:         /etc/selinux
Loaded policy name:             targeted
Current mode:                   enforcing
Mode from config file:          enforcing
Policy MLS status:              enabled
Policy deny_unknown status:     allowed
Max kernel policy version:      28

You can change the configured mode by editing /etc/selinux/config and the current mode by executing setenforce 0. Package installation

The packages are provided with release version 2.4 onwards.

Simply add the selinux subpackage to your installation.

# yum install icinga2-selinux

After that restart Icinga 2 and verify it running in its own domain icinga2_t.

# systemctl restart icinga2.service
# ps -eZ | grep icinga2
system_u:system_r:icinga2_t:s0   2825 ?        00:00:00 icinga2 Manual installation

This section describes the installation to support development and testing. It assumes that Icinga 2 is already installed from packages and running on the system.

As a prerequisite install the git, selinux-policy-devel and audit package. Enable and start the audit daemon afterwards.

# yum install git selinux-policy-devel audit
# systemctl enable auditd.service
# systemctl start auditd.service

After that clone the icinga2 git repository.

# git clone https://github.com/icinga/icinga2

To create and install the policy package run the installation script which also labels the resources. (The script assumes Icinga 2 was started once after system startup, the labeling of the port will only happen once and fail later on.)

# cd tools/selinux/
# ./icinga.sh

After that restart Icinga 2 and verify it running in its own domain icinga2_t.

# systemctl restart icinga2.service
# ps -eZ | grep icinga2
system_u:system_r:icinga2_t:s0   2825 ?        00:00:00 icinga2

23.1.3. General

When the SELinux policy package for Icinga 2 is installed, the Icinga 2 daemon (icinga2) runs in its own domain icinga2_t and is separated from other confined services.

Files have to be labeled correctly for allowing icinga2 access to it. For example it writes to its own log files labeled icinga2_log_t. Also the API port is labeled icinga_port_t and icinga2 is allowed to manage it. Furthermore icinga2 can open high ports and unix sockets to connect to databases and features like graphite. It executes the nagios plugins and transitions to their context if those are labeled for example nagios_services_plugin_exec_t or nagios_system_plugin_exec_t.

Additional the Apache webserver is allowed to connect to the Command pipe of Icinga 2 to allow web interfaces sending commands to icinga2. This will perhaps change later on while investigating Icinga Web 2 for SELinux!

23.1.4. Types

The command pipe is labeled icinga2_command_t and other services can request access to it by using the interface icinga2_send_commands.

The nagios plugins use their own contexts and icinga2 will transition to it. This means plugins have to be labeled correctly for their required permissions. The plugins installed from package should have set their permissions by the corresponding policy module and you can restore them using restorecon -R -v /usr/lib64/nagios/plugins/. To label your own plugins use chcon -t type /path/to/plugin, for the type have a look at table below.

Type Domain Use case Provided by policy package
nagios_admin_plugin_exec_t nagios_admin_plugin_t Plugins which require require read access on all file attributes nagios
nagios_checkdisk_plugin_exec_t nagios_checkdisk_plugin_t Plugins which require read access to all filesystem attributes nagios
nagios_mail_plugin_exec_t nagios_mail_plugin_t Plugins which access the local mail service nagios
nagios_services_plugin_exec_t nagios_services_plugin_t Plugins monitoring network services nagios
nagios_system_plugin_exec_t nagios_system_plugin_t Plugins checking local system state nagios
nagios_unconfined_plugin_exec_t nagios_unconfined_plugin_t Plugins running without confinement nagios
nagios_eventhandler_plugin_exec_t nagios_eventhandler_plugin_t Eventhandler (actually running unconfined) nagios
nagios_openshift_plugin_exec_t nagios_openshift_plugin_t Plugins monitoring openshift nagios
nagios_notification_plugin_exec_t nagios_notification_plugin_t Notification commands icinga (will be moved later)

If one of those plugin domains causes problems you can set it to permissive by executing semanage permissive -a domain.

The policy provides a role icinga2adm_r for confining an user which enables an administrative user managing only Icinga 2 on the system. This user will also execute the plugins in their domain instead of the users one, so you can verify their execution with the same restrictions like they have when executed by icinga2.

23.1.5. Booleans

SELinux is based on the least level of access required for a service to run. Using booleans you can grant more access in a defined way. The Icinga 2 policy package provides the following booleans.


Having this boolean enabled allows icinga2 to connect to all ports. This can be neccesary if you use features which connect to unconfined services.

23.1.6. Configuration Examples Confining a plugin

Download and install a plugin, for example check_mysql_health.

# wget https://labs.consol.de/download/shinken-nagios-plugins/check_mysql_health-
# tar xvzf check_mysql_health-
# cd check_mysql_health-
# ./configure --libexecdir /usr/lib64/nagios/plugins
# make
# make install

It is labeled nagios_unconfined_plugins_exec_t by default, so it runs without restrictions.

# ls -lZ /usr/lib64/nagios/plugins/check_mysql_health
-rwxr-xr-x. root root system_u:object_r:nagios_unconfined_plugin_exec_t:s0 /usr/lib64/nagios/plugins/check_mysql_health

In this case the plugin is monitoring a service, so it should be labeled nagios_services_plugin_exec_t to restrict its permissions.

# chcon -t nagios_services_plugin_exec_t /usr/lib64/nagios/plugins/check_mysql_health
# ls -lZ /usr/lib64/nagios/plugins/check_mysql_health
-rwxr-xr-x. root root system_u:object_r:nagios_services_plugin_exec_t:s0 /usr/lib64/nagios/plugins/check_mysql_health

The plugin still runs fine but if someone changes the script to do weird stuff it will fail to do so. Allow icinga to connect to all ports.

You are running graphite on a different port than 2003 and want icinga2 to connect to it.

Change the port value for the graphite feature according to your graphite installation before enabling it.

# cat /etc/icinga2/features-enabled/graphite.conf 
 * The GraphiteWriter type writes check result metrics and
 * performance data to a graphite tcp socket.

library "perfdata"

object GraphiteWriter "graphite" {
  //host = ""
  //port = 2003
  port = 2004
# icinga2 feature enable graphite

Before you restart the icinga2 service allow it to connect to all ports by enabling the boolean ┬┤icinga2_can_connect_all` (now and permanent).

# setsebool icinga2_can_connect_all true
# setsebool -P icinga2_can_connect_all true

If you restart the daemon now it will successfully connect to graphite. Confining a user

If you want to have an administrative account capable of only managing icinga2 and not the complete system, you can restrict the privileges by confining this user. This is completly optional!

Start by adding the Icinga 2 administrator role icinga2adm_r to the administrative SELinux user staff_u.

# semanage user -m -R "staff_r sysadm_r system_r unconfined_r icinga2adm_r" staff_u

Confine your user login and create a sudo rule.

# semanage login -a dirk -s staff_u
# echo "dirk ALL=(ALL) NOPASSWD: ALL" > /etc/sudoers.d/dirk

Login to the system using ssh and verify your id.

$ id -Z

Try to execute some commands as root using sudo.

$ sudo id -Z
$ sudo vi /etc/icinga2/icinga2.conf
"/etc/icinga2/icinga2.conf" [Permission Denied]
$ sudo cat /var/log/icinga2/icinga2.log
cat: /var/log/icinga2/icinga2.log: Keine Berechtigung
$ sudo systemctl reload icinga2.service
Failed to get D-Bus connection: No connection to service manager.

Those commands fail because you only switch to root but do not change your SELinux role. Try again but tell sudo also to switch the SELinux role and type.

$ sudo -r icinga2adm_r -t icinga2adm_t id -Z
$ sudo -r icinga2adm_r -t icinga2adm_t vi /etc/icinga2/icinga2.conf
$ sudo -r icinga2adm_r -t icinga2adm_t cat /var/log/icinga2/icinga2.log
[2015-03-26 20:48:14 +0000] information/DynamicObject: Dumping program state to file '/var/lib/icinga2/icinga2.state'
$ sudo -r icinga2adm_r -t icinga2adm_t systemctl reload icinga2.service

Now the commands will work, but you have always to remember to add the arguments, so change the sudo rule to set it by default.

# echo "dirk ALL=(ALL) ROLE=icinga2adm_r TYPE=icinga2adm_t NOPASSWD: ALL" > /etc/sudoers.d/dirk

Now try the commands again without providing the role and type and they will work, but if you try to read apache logs or restart apache for example it will still fail.

$ sudo cat /var/log/httpd/error_log
/bin/cat: /var/log/httpd/error_log: Keine Berechtigung
$ sudo systemctl reload httpd.service
Failed to issue method call: Access denied

23.2. Bugreports

If you experience any problems while running in enforcing mode try to reproduce it in permissive mode. If the problem persists it is not related to SELinux because in permissive mode SELinux will not deny anything.

For now Icinga 2 is running in a permissive domain and adds also some rules for other necessary services so no problems should occure at all. But you can help to enhance the policy by testing Icinga 2 running confined by SELinux.

Please add the following information to bug reports:

  • Versions, configuration snippets, etc.
  • Output of semodule -l | grep -e icinga2 -e nagios -e apache
  • Output of ps -eZ | grep icinga2
  • Output of semanage port -l | grep icinga2
  • Output of audit2allow -li /var/log/audit/audit.log

If access to a file is blocked and you can tell which one please provided the output of ls -lZ /path/to/file (and perhaps the directory above).

If asked for full audit.log add -w /etc/shadow -p w to /etc/audit/rules.d/audit.rules, restart the audit daemon, reproduce the problem and add /var/log/audit/audit.log to the bug report. With the added audit rule it will include the path of files access was denied to.

If asked to provide full audit log with dontaudit rules disabled executed semodule -DB before reproducing the problem. After that enable the rules again to prevent auditd spamming your logfile by executing semodule -B.