Centrally manage SELinux user mapping with (Free)IPA

SELinux LogoSELinux allows to confine users with SELinux user mappings. This article covers some basics about the confinement of users and shows how to manage them in central way with the help of (Free)IPA. It will greatly enhance your systems security.

SELinux is available and enabled on all Red Hat based distributions such as RHEL, CentOS and Fedora. for the basics please have a look at article. Before proceeding with the examples in this article:

  • ensure your system is running in enforcing mode otherwise you will experience strange results with the sysadm_r role when logging in.
  • temporary enable root login via SSH or have access to the systems console, used for debugging

Helpful packages

It is recommended to install a few packages to manage SELinux.

# yum -y install libselinux-python policycoreutils-python policycoreutils-devel policycoreutils-newrole setools-console

The basics

By default, every user is mapped to the SELinux user unconfined_u as you can proof with semanage login -l

rhel7:~# semanage login -l

Login Name           SELinux User         MLS/MCS Range        Service

__default__          unconfined_u         s0-s0:c0.c1023       *
root                 unconfined_u         s0-s0:c0.c1023       *
system_u             system_u             s0-s0:c0.c1023       *

Overview about standard SELinux users and roles

The following SELinux users are predefined with the standard policy:

User Role Domain su/sudo Exec * X11 Networking
sysadm_u sysadm_r sysadm_t sudo, su yes yes yes
staff_u staff_r staff_t sudo yes yes yes
user_u user_r user_t yes yes yes
guest_u guest_r guest_t no no no
xguest_u xguest_r xguest_t no yes yes, http(s) only

* Execution of scripts and binaries in /home and /tmp

Role transition

This is important to understand. Which users or which roles are allowed to switch the role?

seinfo is your friend…

seinfo -xu
[..some output ommited...]
   staff_u
      default level: s0
      range: s0 - s0:c0.c1023
      roles:
         object_r
         staff_r
         sysadm_r
         system_r
         unconfined_r
[..some output ommited...]

This means that a Linux user mapped to staff_u can switch the role to sysadm_r, but not to guest_r.

Allowed target types

How do I figure out what is allowed to do for a certain role? Again, seinfo is your friend:

root@server ~]# seinfo -rsysadm_r -x      
   sysadm_r
      Dominated Roles:
         sysadm_r
      Types:
         aide_t
         alsa_home_t
         amanda_recover_t
         antivirus_home_t
         httpd_helper_t
         auth_home_t
         chkpwd_t
         pam_timestamp_t
         updpwd_t
         utempter_t
         bacula_admin_t
         ndc_t
         bootloader_t
[.. lots of output ommited ..]

Note: There must be no space between r and sysadm_r, the parameter is really rsysadm_r.

There you can see every target type the role sysadm_r is allowed to access, it is a lot. Of course this looks different for each role, have a look at them.

Implementation with IPA

Change the default SELinux usermap order

In this example we will map the sysadmins group to the sysadm_r role. The SELinux user for this role, sysadm_u is not defined in the IPA configuration. Lets change that.

ipa config-mod --ipaselinuxusermaporder='guest_u:s0$xguest_u:s0$user_u:s0$staff_u:s0-s0:c0.c1023$sysadm_u:s0-s0:c0.c1023$unconfined_u:s0-s0:c0.c1023'

To ensure non-mapped users are confined, create a default mapping:

ipa config-mod --ipaselinuxusermapdefault='user_u:s0'

Create users, groups and add members

echo Welcome123|ipa user-add --first=Luc --last="de Louw" --password luc
echo Welcome123|ipa user-add --first=Luc --last="de Louw" --password ldelouw
echo Welcome123|ipa user-add --first=Joe --last=Doe --password jdoe
echo Welcome123|ipa user-add --first=Guest --last=User --password guest

ipa group-add sysadmins
ipa group-add-member sysadmins --users=luc

ipa group-add staff
ipa group-add-member staff --users=ldelouw

ipa group-add users
ipa group-add-member users --users=jdoe

ipa group-add guests
ipa group-add-member guests --users=guest

The password of the users will immediately expire and need to be changed on the first login. Please log in with every user and change the password before proceeding.

Adding some HBAC rules

In this example I’ll make user of a host group testservers. Please create that and add one or more of your hosts to that group first.

ipa hbacrule-add sysadmins-allhosts --hostcat=all --servicecat=all
ipa hbacrule-add-user --groups=sysadmins sysadmins-allhosts

ipa hbacrule-add staff-testservers --servicecat=all
ipa hbacrule-add-user --groups=staff staff-testservers
ipa hbacrule-add-host --hostgroup=testservers staff-testservers

ipa hbacrule-add users-testservers --servicecat=all
ipa hbacrule-add-user --groups=users users-testservers
ipa hbacrule-add-host --hostgroup=testservers users-testservers

ipa hbacrule-add guests-testservers --servicecat=all
ipa hbacrule-add-user --groups=guests guests-testservers
ipa hbacrule-add-host --hostgroup=testservers guests-testservers

This creates four HBAC rules. The first allows everyone in the sysadmins group to log in to all hosts, the others restrict its users to the hostgroup testservers.

Create SELinux maps

ipa selinuxusermap-add --selinuxuser='sysadm_u:s0-s0:c0.c1023' --hbacrule=sysadmins-allhosts sysadmins
ipa selinuxusermap-add --selinuxuser='staff_u:s0-s0:c0.c1023' --hbacrule=staff-testservers staff
ipa selinuxusermap-add --selinuxuser='user_u:s0' --hbacrule=users-testservers users
ipa selinuxusermap-add --selinuxuser='guest_u:s0' --hbacrule=guests-testservers guests

In this example, I use HBAC rules for the mapping. This is recommended practice because the HBAC rules are the central point to manage user access rules.

However, you also can assign users (and groups of them), hosts (and groups of them) to a SELinux map, i.e. with ipa selinuxusermap-add-host –hostgroups=testservers semapname and ipa selinuxusermap-add-user –groups=users semapname. For single user or hosts it is the parameter –hosts or –users.

Sudo

Note that roles like user_r and lower can not do sudo to other users (incl. root). guest_r does even not allow to use the network. Please have a look at the table above.

Lets create the sudoers rules for the groups staff and sysadmins.

ipa sudocmd-add "/bin/bash"
ipa sudorule-add --hostcat=all --runasusercat=all --runasgroupcat=all sysadmins-can-sudo-i
ipa sudorule-add-user --group=sysadmins sysadmins-can-sudo-i
ipa sudorule-add-allow-command --sudocmds=/bin/bash sysadmins-can-sudo-i
ipa sudorule-add-option --sudooption='!authenticate' sysadmins-can-sudo-i
ipa sudorule-add-option --sudooption='type=sysadm_t' sysadmins-can-sudo-i
ipa sudorule-add-option --sudooption='role=sysadm_r' sysadmins-can-sudo-i

ipa sudorule-add --runasusercat=all --runasgroupcat=all staff-can-sudo-i
ipa sudorule-add-user --group=staff staff-can-sudo-i
ipa sudorule-add-host --hostgroups=testservers staff-can-sudo-i
ipa sudorule-add-allow-command --sudocmds=/bin/bash staff-can-sudo-i
ipa sudorule-add-option --sudooption='!authenticate' staff-can-sudo-i
ipa sudorule-add-option --sudooption='type=sysadm_t' staff-can-sudo-i
ipa sudorule-add-option --sudooption='role=sysadm_r' staff-can-sudo-i

Switching roles

Switching roles can be done in three different ways:

  • Using the newrole command when already logged in with the default role
  • Provide the role when logging in with ssh
  • Using sudo, please see above

If you are already logged in, you can switch the role with the newrole command.

[ldelouw@server ~]$ newrole -r sysadm_r

The output if id -Z shows that you are now mapped to the same SELinux user staff_u but in the role of sysadm_r

staff_u:sysadm_r:sysadm_t:s0-s0:c0.c1023

Most of the time you will know what you gonna do on a target system. You can provide the role as a parameter to ssh:

[luc@client ~]$ ssh ldelouw/unconfined_r@server.example.com
ldelouw@server.example.com's password:
Last login: Sun Jun 24 11:29:54 2018 from client.example.com
Kickstarted on 2018-01-16
[ldelouw@server ~]$ id -Z
staff_u:unconfined_r:unconfined_t:s0-s0:c0.c1023
[ldelouw@server ~]$

This example allows you to use the unconfined_r role instead of the default defined in the SELinux user map (staff_r).

Be aware that this is by default not possible with the sysadm_r role, as logging in with that role is turned off.

Troubleshooting

sysadm_u can not log in

By default a user with the role of sysadm_r is not allowed to log in via ssh, only console logins are allowed.

To change this for testing, set the following boolean:

# setsebool ssh_sysadm_login on

Use the -P parameter to make the change persistent:

# setsebool -P ssh_sysadm_login on

User mapped to sysadm_u can login but is not supposed to do so

If you can log in into a host as a user mapped to sysadm_u, and id shows the following obviously wrong SELinux user role and domain:

[luc@server ~]$ id
uid=594600001(luc) gid=594600001(luc) groups=594600001(luc),594600005(sysadmins)  context=system_u:system_r:unconfined_t:s0-s0:c0.c1023

Then probably the ssh_sysadm_login boolean is set to false and your system runs in permissive mode.

Sudo to root fails with permission denied to .bash_profile

[ldelouw@server ~]$ sudo -i
-bash: /root/.bash_profile: Permission denied

You dont have the role sysadm_r, this is why access to files owned by root are denied. Please have a look at the sudo configuration as described in this article.

Sudo trows errors

[ldelouw@server ~]$ sudo -i
sudo: sudoRole sudo_root_admins: unknown defaults entry "TYPE"
sudo: sudoRole sudo_root_admins: unknown defaults entry "ROLE"
-bash: /root/.bash_profile: Permission denied

There is a difference between using traditional /etc/sudoers files and IPA. The man sudoers reads SELinux_Spec ::= (‘ROLE=role’ | ‘TYPE=type’) which is correct for file based configuration but wrong for IPA.

All sudoers options defined in IPA must be lowercase to get recognized in the correct way.

Changes in IPA are not working on the clients

This is can be a caching problem.

sss_cache -E

This wipes everything in the sssd cache. Sometimes sudoers will still not be working, it is safe to remove the whole SSSD database and restart sssd.

rm -rf /var/lib/sss/db/*
systemctl restart sssd

Read further

There are tons of documentation available. Lets list the most notable.

Getting help

If you run into problems, there are different sources for getting help