SELinux/Tutorials/Creating a daemon domain

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A domain skeleton

In order to create a SELinux domain (a set of types that helps confine a daemon or service) we start off with a simple skeleton policy. In the example, we're going to create a domain for an application called test, so the domain will be called test_t and the policy file test.te.

FILE test.teA sample skeleton
policy_module(test, 1.0)

type test_t;
type test_exec_t;
init_daemon_domain(test_t, test_exec_t)

That's it. If we would now label the daemon binary with test_exec_t and have it started through an init script, you'll notice that the daemon would start running (and presumably immediately fail because the test_t domain has very few privileges) as the test_t domain.

Enhancing the policy with additional types

The next step is to enhance the policy with types used for the various resources that the daemon would handle.

For instance, it probably is going to write to log files, so:

FILE test.teAdding log types
type test_log_t;

# Be able to go to and search through /var/log
# Make sure that, if test_t writes a log file, it gets the proper context
logging_log_filetrans(test_t, test_log_t, file)
# Be able to create and append to its own log files
allow test_t test_log_t:file { append_file_perms create_file_perms };

It probably also creates a PID file, so:

FILE test.teAdding PID file support
type test_var_run_t;

# Be able to go to and search through /run or /var/run
# Make sure that, if test_t writes a pid file, it gets the proper context
files_pid_filetrans(test_t, test_var_run_t, file)
# Be able to manage its own pid file
allow test_t test_var_run_t:file manage_file_perms;

And you can go on with this using lock files (test_lock_t), configuration files (test_etc_t), variable files (test_var_lib_t) and so on. Make sure to look for example domains in publicly accessible repositories (such as gentoo's hardened-refpolicy repository) for good examples on how to do this.

Test and enhance

Next, try to test out the daemon by marking its binary as test_exec_t and launching it through an init script:

root #chcon -t test_exec_t /path/to/testDaemonBinary
root #run_init rc-service test start

You will probably start getting denials in the audit logs. Take a good look at those and start enhancing the policy. With every addition, retake the test.

Some pointers:

  1. Try testing with enforcing on. Many resources use permissive to develop a policy, but this might yield unnecessary privileges to be assigned to the domain
  2. Try only "allowing" the first denial you get (and if possible, one that is related with an error message displayed by the daemon) and not all denials that follow. The denials that follow the first one might be caused by not being able to do what it is supposed to do, and therefore shouldn't be in the policy.

Asking for peer review

If you properly document the policy (with comments) then it might be a good idea to request for peer review.

You can try asking on the #selinux IRC channel, or on #gentoo-hardened, but there are also mailinglists that you can consult such as the reference policy mailinglist.

Next steps

Right now we have a (hopefully) working policy, but none of the user domains (unless you have unconfined users) will be able to handle the daemon. Our next tutorial will therefore be about creating proper interfaces that you can assign to user domains in order to interact with the daemon domain.