SELinux Configuration

Security-Enhanced Linux, or SELinux, is a kernel module for improving security of Linux operating systems. It integrates support for access control security policies, including mandatory access control (MAC), that limit user applications and system daemons access to files and network resources. Some Linux distributions, such as Red Hat Enterprise Linux or CentOS, ship with SELinux enabled by default.

In the context of Galera Cluster, systems with SELinux may block the database server, keeping it from starting or preventing the node from establishing connections with other nodes in the cluster. To prevent this, you need to configure SELinux policies to allow the node to operate.

Generating an SELinux Policy

In order to create an SELinux policy for Galera Cluster, you need to first open ports and set SELinux to permissive mode. Then, after generating various replication events, state transfers and notifications, create a policy from the logs of this activity and reset SELinux from to enforcing mode.

Setting SELinux to Permissive Mode

When SELinux registers a system event, there are three modes that define its response: enforcing, permissive and disabled. While you can set it to permit all activity on the system, this is not a good security practice. Instead, set SELinux to permit activity on the relevant ports and to ignore the database server.

To set SELinux to permissive mode, complete the following steps:

  1. Using semanage, open the relevant ports:

    semanage port -a -t mysqld_port_t -p tcp 4567
    semanage port -a -t mysqld_port_t -p tcp 4568
    semanage port -a -t mysqld_port_t -p tcp 4444

    SELinux already opens the standard MySQL port 3306. In the event that you use UDP in your cluster, you also need to open 4567 to those connections.

    semanage port -a -t mysqld_port_t -p udp 4567
  2. Set SELinux to permissive mode for the database server.

    semanage permissive -a mysqld_t

SELinux now permits the database server to function on the server and no longer blocks the node from network connectivity with the cluster.

Defining the SELinux Policy

While SELinux remains in permissive mode, it continues to log activity from the database server. In order for it to understand normal operation for the database, you need to start the database and generate routine events for SELinux to see.

For servers that use init, start the database with the following command:

service mysql start

For servers that use systemd, instead run this command:

systemctl mysql start

You can now begin to create events for SELinux to log. There are many ways to go about this, including:

  • Stop the node, then make changes on another node before starting it again. Not being that far behind, the node updates itself using an Incremental State Transfer.
  • Stop the node, delete the grastate.dat file in the data directory, then restart the node. This forces a State Snapshot Transfer.
  • Restart the node, to trigger the notification command as defined by wsrep_notify_cmd.

When you feel you have generated sufficient events for the log, you can begin work creating the policy and turning SELinux back on.


In order to for your policy to work you must generate both State Snapshot and Incremental State transfers.

Enabling an SELinux Policy

Generating an SELinux policy requires that you search log events for the relevant information and pipe it to the audit2allow utility, creating a galera.te file to load into SELinux.

To generate and load an SELinux policy for Galera Cluster, complete the following steps:

  1. Using fgrep and audit2allow, create a textease file with the policy information.

    fgrep "mysqld" /var/log/audit/audit.log | audit2allow -m MySQL_galera -o galera.te

    This creates a galera.te file in your working directory.

  2. Compile the audit logs into an SELinux policy module.

    checkmodule -M -m galera.te -o galera.mod

    This creates a galera.mod file in your working directory.

  3. Package the compiled policy module.

    semodule_package -m galera.mod -o galera.pp

    This creates a galera.pp file in your working directory.

  4. Load the package into SELinux.

    semodule -i galera.pp
  5. Disable permissive mode for the database server.

    semanage permissive -d mysql_t

SELinux returns to enforcement mode, now using new policies that work with Galera Cluster.