Red Hat Bugzilla – Bug 122849
SELinux FAQ - what is the meaning of the numbered policy files, how are they generated?
Last modified: 2007-04-18 13:07:19 EDT
Separated from 122794.
Version-Release of FAQ
Additional Comment #1 From Bob Gustafson (firstname.lastname@example.org) on
2004-05-08 15:52 -------
I wonder if there is a configuration problem with the policy files.
In the /etc/security/selinux/src/policy/Makefile (mine at least),
there is no mention of policy.17 as an output file, but I do have a
policy.17 file in that directory and in the /etc/security/selinux
directories (see below).
Where are all of these things dropping from, and what is the source
used in generating policy.15, policy.16, policy.17.
Also, what is the meaning of 'load' when applied to a policy file. And
how can one determine what policy file is 'active'?
[root@hoho2 policy]# more /home/user1/policy.bug
[root@hoho2 policy]# pwd
[root@hoho2 policy]# grep 15 Makefile
$(CHECKPOLICY) -c 15 -o $(INSTALLDIR)/policy.15 policy.conf
[root@hoho2 policy]# grep 16 Makefile
$(CHECKPOLICY) -c 16 -o $(INSTALLDIR)/policy.16 policy.conf
[root@hoho2 policy]# grep 17 Makefile
[root@hoho2 policy]# ls -l ../..
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 86912 May 5 23:30 file_contexts
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 7369029 May 5 23:30 policy.15
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 7370766 May 5 23:30 policy.16
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 7371078 May 5 23:29 policy.17
drwx------ 3 root root 4096 Apr 28 21:04 src
[root@hoho2 policy]# ls -l ../../policy.17
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 7371078 May 5 23:29 ../../policy.17
[root@hoho2 policy]# ls -l policy.17
-rw------- 1 root root 7346892 Apr 28 21:04 policy.17
These are not the same files, both size and date differ.
[root@hoho2 policy]# file policy.17
policy.17: SE Linux policy v17 6 symbols 7 ocons
That is pretty nifty. Maybe having some sort of 'source stamp' would
be a useful addition somewhere, not necessarily in the file text
though. (But maybe)
[root@hoho2 policy]# checkpolicy -h
checkpolicy: invalid option -- h
usage: checkpolicy [-b] [-d] [-c policyvers (15-17)] [-o
[root@hoho2 policy]# checkpolicy -b policy.17
checkpolicy: loading policy configuration from policy.17
security: 5 users, 7 roles, 1244 types, 1 bools
security: 30 classes, 301755 rules
checkpolicy: policy configuration loaded
Loaded? What does that mean? Have I accidently changed my whole
No indication of what policy.conf or other files were used to make up
this (binary) file.
Update - agree with the explanation in this email; new question will
come out in version 1.2 of the FAQ:
to expand upon this topic in the FAQ.
Q:. Why do the files /etc/security/selinux/policy.<version> and
/etc/security/selinux/src/policy/policy.<version> have different
(sizes, md5sums, dates)?
A:. When you install the policy package, a pre-compiled binary policy
file is put directly at /etc/security/selinux. When the policy-source
package is installed or updated, binary policy files are built in
/etc/security/selinux/src/policy, then moved to /etc/security/selinux.
The different build environments will make target files have different
sizes, md5sums, and dates.