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Non-standard database set up with SELinux

What is SELinux?

The Security-Enhanced Linux is an extension to the Linux Kernel, made by the NSA (National Security Agency). It implements Mandatory Access Controls (MAC), which allow an administrator to define, how applications and users can access resources on a system.

There is more detail in the SELinux Wki:
... and the CentOS documentation:

Some distributions have it installed by default, but not active, some have it installed and active and some don't have it installed.

How do I know if SELinux is active?

SELinux comes with some new commands. To see the current status of SELinux, use "getenforce" or "sestatus":
[root@localhost ~]# getenforce

- OR -

[root@localhost ~]# 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

There are three modes available:

  • Enforcing: SELinux is active and enforcing restrictions.
  • Permissive: Restrictions are not enforced, but policy violations are reported.
  • Disabled: SELinux is turned off.

Changing modes

If you want to change the mode of SELinux, use "setenforce":

setenforce [ Enforcing | Permissive | 1 | 0 ]

Or edit the configuration file under "/etc/selinux/config".

Install semanage

If you want to change SELinux policies in an easy way, you will need the tool "semanage" it can be installed with the following command:

yum install policycoreutils-python

Create a directory MySQL/MariaDB can access

NOTE: I am going to work with MariaDB for this blog, as it can be installed from repository in CentOS.

The easy way to create a new policy, which allows to MySQL or MariaDB to use a directory, is to install "semanage". It is provided with the following package:

yum install policycoreutils-python

Then proceed to create the new directory, where MySQL/MariaDB could store the binary logs, if they should not be in the datadir.

mkdir /var/lib/mysql_binlog/
chown -R mysql:mysql mysql*
semanage fcontext -a -t mysqld_db_t "/var/lib/mysql_binlog(/.*)?"
restorecon -Rv /var/lib/mysql_binlog

NOTE: You have to give the absolute path to the file or the directory!

If you want to use MySQL/MariaDB on a non-standard port, you also have to allow usage of that port:

semanage port -a -t mysqld_port_t -p tcp 3307

Once you have created the new directory for the binary logs and made sure it is owned by mysql, you need to change the type of the directory you created to the one that allows MySQL/MariDB to use this directory. If you do not do this, you will get a "Permission denied (13)" error.

"semanage" is used to make this change persistent, even when the entire file system relabelled.

I was although unable to change the socket. I am yet unsure what the problem was, as MariaDB did not start or return any error.

Enable MySQL to write to this directory

vi /etc/my.cnf


systemctl restart mariadb
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