How to Disable SELinux on CentOS 7

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  • SELinux (Security Enhanced Linux) is a Linux kernel security module that allows administrators and users more control over access controls. It allows access based on SELinux policy rules.

    SELinux policy rules specify how processes and users interact with each other as well as how processes and users interact with files.

    If there is no SELinux policy rule that specifically allows access, such as for a process opening a file, access is denied.

    SELinux has three modes:

    • Enforcing: SELinux allows access based on SELinux policy rules.
    • Permissive: SELinux only logs actions that would have been denied if running in enforcing mode.
    • Disabled: No SELinux policy is loaded.

    By default in CentOS 7, SELinux is enabled and in enforcing mode.

    It is recommended to keep SELinux in enforcing mode, but in some cases, you may need to set it to permissive mode or disable it completely.

    In this tutorial, we will show you how to disable SELinux on CentOS 7 systems.

    Before starting with the tutorial, make sure you are logged in as a user with sudo privileges.
    [h]Check the SELinux Status[/h]

    To view the current SELinux status and the SELinux policy that is being used on your system you can use the sestatus command:

    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:  31

    You can see from the output above that SELinux is enabled and set to enforcing mode.
    [h]Disable SELinux[/h]

    You can temporarily change the SELinux mode from targeted to permissive with the following command:

    sudo setenforce 0

    However, this change will be valid for the current runtime session only.

    To permanently disable SELinux on your CentOS 7 system, follow the steps below:

    01. Open the /etc/selinux/config file and set the SELINUX mod to disabled:

    # This file controls the state of SELinux on the system.
    # SELINUX= can take one of these three values:
    #   enforcing - SELinux security policy is enforced.
    #   permissive - SELinux prints warnings instead of enforcing.
    #   disabled - No SELinux policy is loaded.
    # SELINUXTYPE= can take one of these two values:
    #   targeted - Targeted processes are protected,
    #   mls - Multi Level Security protection.

    02. Save the file and reboot your CentOS system with:

    sudo shutdown -r now

    03. Once the system boots up, verify the change with the sestatus command:


    The output should look like this:

    SELinux status: disabled


    In this tutorial, you learned how to permanently disable SELinux on a CentOS 7 machine.

    You may wish to visit the CentOS SELinux guide and learn more about the powerful features of SELinux.

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