From Fedora Project Wiki
(https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Changes/Remove_Support_For_SELinux_Runtime_Disable as of now)
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Note that motivation for the change should be in the Benefit to Fedora section below, and this part should answer the question "What?" rather than "Why?". -->
 
Note that motivation for the change should be in the Benefit to Fedora section below, and this part should answer the question "What?" rather than "Why?". -->
  
<!-- Build kernel without CONFIG_SECURITY_SELINUX_DISABLE, disable writing to a selinuxfs node 'disable' and disable SELinux to be disabled at runtime prior to the policy load. Kernel build without CONFIG_SECURITY_SELINUX_DISABLE can use the '__ro_after_init' kernel hardening feature for security hooks. -->
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Remove support for SELinux runtime disable so that the LSM hooks can be hardened via read-only-after-initialization protections.
  
Remove support for SELinux runtime disable so that the LSM hooks can be hardened via read-only-after-initialization protections.
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Migrate users to using ''selinux=0'' if they want to disable SELinux.  
  
Migrate users to using ''selinux=0'' if they want to disable SELinux.
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Build kernel without CONFIG_SECURITY_SELINUX_DISABLE, disable writing to a selinuxfs node ''disable'' and disable SELinux to be disabled at runtime prior to the policy load. Kernel build without CONFIG_SECURITY_SELINUX_DISABLE can use the ''__ro_after_init'' kernel hardening feature for security hooks.
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== Owner ==
 
== Owner ==
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== Current status ==
 
== Current status ==
[[Category:ChangePageIncomplete]]
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[[Category:ChangeAnnounced]]
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[[Category:SystemWideChange]]
 
[[Category:SystemWideChange]]
  
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Marking the kernel LSM hooks as read only provides some very nice security benefits, but it does mean that we can no longer disable SELinux at runtime.
 
Marking the kernel LSM hooks as read only provides some very nice security benefits, but it does mean that we can no longer disable SELinux at runtime.
Toggling between enforcing and permissive mode while booted will remain unaffected and it will still be possible to disable SELinux by adding '''selinux=0''' to the kernel command line via the boot loader (GRUB).
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Toggling between enforcing and permissive mode while booted will remain unaffected and it will still be possible to disable SELinux by adding ''selinux=0'' to the kernel command line via the boot loader (GRUB).
 
   
 
   
System with '''SELINUX=disabled''' in '''/etc/selinux/config''' will come up with selinuxfs unmounted,
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System with ''SELINUX=disabled'' in ''/etc/selinux/config'' will come up with ''/sys/fs/selinuxfs'' unmounted,
 
userspace will detect SELinux as disabled. Internally SELinux will be enabled but not initialized so that there will be no SELinux checks applied.
 
userspace will detect SELinux as disabled. Internally SELinux will be enabled but not initialized so that there will be no SELinux checks applied.
  
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* Proposal owners:
 
* Proposal owners:
 
<!-- What work do the feature owners have to accomplish to complete the feature in time for release?  Is it a large change affecting many parts of the distribution or is it a very isolated change? What are those changes?-->
 
<!-- What work do the feature owners have to accomplish to complete the feature in time for release?  Is it a large change affecting many parts of the distribution or is it a very isolated change? What are those changes?-->
** Make sure kernel is built without ''CONFIG_SECURITY_SELINUX_DISABLE''
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** Make sure the kernel is built with ''CONFIG_SECURITY_SELINUX_DISABLE'' disabled.
** Make sure relevant documentation is updated in a way that ''selinux=0'' on kernel command line is preferred way to disable SELinux
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** Make sure the relevant documentation is updated in a way that ''selinux=0'' on kernel command line is the preferred way to disable SELinux.
** Make sure the installer uses kernel command line instead of ''/etc/selinux/config'' to disable SELinux
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*** https://docs.fedoraproject.org/en-US/quick-docs/changing-selinux-states-and-modes/
** Optional: ''selinux'' Ansible module should warn that SELinux needs to be disabled using ''selinux=0''
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*** ''selinux(8)'' man page
** Optional: ''linux-system-roles.selinux'' should disable SELinux using ''selinux=0''
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** Make sure [https://github.com/rhinstaller/anaconda/ the installer] uses the kernel command line instead of ''/etc/selinux/config'' to disable SELinux.
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** Optional: [https://github.com/ansible/ansible/blob/devel/lib/ansible/module_utils/facts/system/selinux.py ''selinux'' Ansible module] should warn that SELinux needs to be disabled using ''selinux=0''.
* Other developers: N/A (not a System Wide Change) <!-- REQUIRED FOR SYSTEM WIDE CHANGES -->
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** Optional: [https://github.com/linux-system-roles/selinux linux-system-roles.selinux] should disable SELinux using ''selinux=0''.
 +
 
 +
* Other developers: N/A <!-- REQUIRED FOR SYSTEM WIDE CHANGES -->
 
<!-- What work do other developers have to accomplish to complete the feature in time for release?  Is it a large change affecting many parts of the distribution or is it a very isolated change? What are those changes?-->
 
<!-- What work do other developers have to accomplish to complete the feature in time for release?  Is it a large change affecting many parts of the distribution or is it a very isolated change? What are those changes?-->
  
* Release engineering: [https://pagure.io/releng/issues #Releng issue number] (a check of an impact with Release Engineering is needed) <!-- REQUIRED FOR SYSTEM WIDE CHANGES -->
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* Release engineering: [https://pagure.io/releng/issue/9742 #9742] (a check of an impact with Release Engineering is needed) <!-- REQUIRED FOR SYSTEM WIDE CHANGES -->
 
<!-- Does this feature require coordination with release engineering (e.g. changes to installer image generation or update package delivery)?  Is a mass rebuild required?  include a link to the releng issue.  
 
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The issue is required to be filed prior to feature submission, to ensure that someone is on board to do any process development work and testing and that all changes make it into the pipeline; a bullet point in a change is not sufficient communication -->
 
The issue is required to be filed prior to feature submission, to ensure that someone is on board to do any process development work and testing and that all changes make it into the pipeline; a bullet point in a change is not sufficient communication -->
  
* Policies and guidelines: N/A (not a System Wide Change) <!-- REQUIRED FOR SYSTEM WIDE CHANGES -->
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* Policies and guidelines: N/A <!-- REQUIRED FOR SYSTEM WIDE CHANGES -->
 
<!-- Do the packaging guidelines or other documents need to be updated for this feature?  If so, does it need to happen before or after the implementation is done?  If a FPC ticket exists, add a link here. -->
 
<!-- Do the packaging guidelines or other documents need to be updated for this feature?  If so, does it need to happen before or after the implementation is done?  If a FPC ticket exists, add a link here. -->
  
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== Upgrade/compatibility impact ==
 
== Upgrade/compatibility impact ==
 
<!-- What happens to systems that have had a previous versions of Fedora installed and are updated to the version containing this change? Will anything require manual configuration or data migration? Will any existing functionality be no longer supported? -->
 
<!-- What happens to systems that have had a previous versions of Fedora installed and are updated to the version containing this change? Will anything require manual configuration or data migration? Will any existing functionality be no longer supported? -->
 
<!-- REQUIRED FOR SYSTEM WIDE CHANGES -->
 
  
 
Users should not be directly affected by this change.
 
Users should not be directly affected by this change.
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<!-- REQUIRED FOR SYSTEM WIDE CHANGES -->
 
<!-- REQUIRED FOR SYSTEM WIDE CHANGES -->
N/A (not a System Wide Change)
 
  
# Confirm that is disabled when ''selinux=0'' is used on kernel command line
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# Install a kernel built with ''CONFIG_SECURITY_SELINUX_DISABLE'' disabled, e.g. from https://copr.fedorainfracloud.org/coprs/omos/drop-selinux-disable/.
# Confirm that userspace consider SELinux disabled when ''SELINUX=disabled'' is used in /etc/selinux/config
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# Confirm that SELinux is disabled when ''selinux=0'' is used on kernel command line.
# Confirm that userspace consider SELinux disabled when there's no ''/etc/selinux/config''
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# Confirm that userspace considers SELinux disabled when ''SELINUX=disabled'' is used in ''/etc/selinux/config''.
# Confirm that system works as expected in all previous cases
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# Confirm that userspace considers SELinux disabled when there is no ''/etc/selinux/config''.
 +
# Confirm that the system works as expected in all previous cases.
  
 
== User Experience ==
 
== User Experience ==
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There's no visible change for users with SELinux enabled.
 
There's no visible change for users with SELinux enabled.
  
Users with ''SELINUX=disabled'' in ''/etc/selinux/config'' and without selinux=0 on kernel command line might notice that `ps Z` command uses ''kernel'' domain for processes instead of '-'.
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Users with ''SELINUX=disabled'' in ''/etc/selinux/config'' and without ''selinux=0'' on kernel command line might notice that `ps Z` command uses ''kernel'' domain for processes, while with ''selinux=0'' `ps Z` prints '-'.
 
These users will also be able to load SELinux policy after boot.
 
These users will also be able to load SELinux policy after boot.
  
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<!-- REQUIRED FOR SYSTEM WIDE CHANGES -->
 
<!-- REQUIRED FOR SYSTEM WIDE CHANGES -->
N/A (not a System Wide Change)
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Upstream kernel SELinux subsystem waits for this change in order to remove CONFIG_SECURITY_SELINUX_DISABLE functionality - https://lore.kernel.org/selinux/157836784986.560897.13893922675143903084.stgit@chester/#t
  
 
== Contingency Plan ==
 
== Contingency Plan ==
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<!-- If you cannot complete your feature by the final development freeze, what is the backup plan?  This might be as simple as "Revert the shipped configuration".  Or it might not (e.g. rebuilding a number of dependent packages).  If you feature is not completed in time we want to assure others that other parts of Fedora will not be in jeopardy.  -->
 
<!-- If you cannot complete your feature by the final development freeze, what is the backup plan?  This might be as simple as "Revert the shipped configuration".  Or it might not (e.g. rebuilding a number of dependent packages).  If you feature is not completed in time we want to assure others that other parts of Fedora will not be in jeopardy.  -->
 
* Contingency mechanism:  Revert the kernel build option change and build kernel with ''CONFIG_SECURITY_SELINUX_DISABLE=y''
 
* Contingency mechanism:  Revert the kernel build option change and build kernel with ''CONFIG_SECURITY_SELINUX_DISABLE=y''
<!-- REQUIRED FOR SYSTEM WIDE CHANGES -->
 
 
<!-- When is the last time the contingency mechanism can be put in place?  This will typically be the beta freeze. -->
 
<!-- When is the last time the contingency mechanism can be put in place?  This will typically be the beta freeze. -->
* Contingency deadline: Beta freeze <!-- REQUIRED FOR SYSTEM WIDE CHANGES -->
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* Contingency deadline: Beta freeze
 
<!-- Does finishing this feature block the release, or can we ship with the feature in incomplete state? -->
 
<!-- Does finishing this feature block the release, or can we ship with the feature in incomplete state? -->
* Blocks release? No <!-- REQUIRED FOR SYSTEM WIDE CHANGES -->
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* Blocks release? No
* Blocks product? product <!-- Applicable for Changes that blocks specific product release/Fedora.next -->
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<!-- * Blocks product? product Applicable for Changes that blocks specific product release/Fedora.next -->
  
 
== Documentation ==
 
== Documentation ==

Revision as of 10:00, 10 September 2020


Remove support for SELinux runtime disable

Summary

Remove support for SELinux runtime disable so that the LSM hooks can be hardened via read-only-after-initialization protections.

Migrate users to using selinux=0 if they want to disable SELinux.


Owner


Current status

  • Targeted release: Fedora 34
  • Last updated: 2020-09-10
  • FESCo issue: <will be assigned by the Wrangler>
  • Tracker bug: <will be assigned by the Wrangler>
  • Release notes tracker: <will be assigned by the Wrangler>

Detailed Description

Support for SELinux runtime disable via /etc/selinux/config was originally developed to make it easier for Linux distributions to support architectures where adding parameters to the kernel command line was difficult. Unfortunately, supporting runtime disable meant we had to make some security trade-offs when it comes to the kernel LSM hooks.

Marking the kernel LSM hooks as read only provides some very nice security benefits, but it does mean that we can no longer disable SELinux at runtime. Toggling between enforcing and permissive mode while booted will remain unaffected and it will still be possible to disable SELinux by adding selinux=0 to the kernel command line via the boot loader (GRUB).

System with SELINUX=disabled in /etc/selinux/config will come up with /sys/fs/selinuxfs unmounted, userspace will detect SELinux as disabled. Internally SELinux will be enabled but not initialized so that there will be no SELinux checks applied.

NOTE: Runtime disable is considered deprecated by upstream, and using it will become increasingly painful (e.g. sleeping/blocking) through future kernel releases until eventually it is removed completely. Current kernel reports the following message during runtime disable: SELinux: Runtime disable is deprecated, use selinux=0 on the kernel cmdline

Additional info:

Feedback

Benefit to Fedora

Marking the LSM hooks as read-only provides extra security hardening against certain attacks, e.g. in case an attacker gains ability to write to random kernel memory locations, with support for disable SELinux runtime (CONFIG_SECURITY_SELINUX_DISABLE=y) they have a bigger chance to turn off (parts of) SELinux permission checking.

Scope

  • Other developers: N/A
  • Release engineering: #9742 (a check of an impact with Release Engineering is needed)
  • Policies and guidelines: N/A
  • Trademark approval: N/A (not needed for this Change)

Upgrade/compatibility impact

Users should not be directly affected by this change.

How To Test

  1. Install a kernel built with CONFIG_SECURITY_SELINUX_DISABLE disabled, e.g. from https://copr.fedorainfracloud.org/coprs/omos/drop-selinux-disable/.
  2. Confirm that SELinux is disabled when selinux=0 is used on kernel command line.
  3. Confirm that userspace considers SELinux disabled when SELINUX=disabled is used in /etc/selinux/config.
  4. Confirm that userspace considers SELinux disabled when there is no /etc/selinux/config.
  5. Confirm that the system works as expected in all previous cases.

User Experience

There's no visible change for users with SELinux enabled.

Users with SELINUX=disabled in /etc/selinux/config and without selinux=0 on kernel command line might notice that ps Z command uses kernel domain for processes, while with selinux=0 ps Z prints '-'. These users will also be able to load SELinux policy after boot.

Dependencies

Upstream kernel SELinux subsystem waits for this change in order to remove CONFIG_SECURITY_SELINUX_DISABLE functionality - https://lore.kernel.org/selinux/157836784986.560897.13893922675143903084.stgit@chester/#t

Contingency Plan

  • Contingency mechanism: Revert the kernel build option change and build kernel with CONFIG_SECURITY_SELINUX_DISABLE=y
  • Contingency deadline: Beta freeze
  • Blocks release? No

Documentation

TBD

Release Notes

TBD