By default, Cobbler will not work properly on a CentOS / RHEL 6 machine with SElinux enabled. The easy way out is to disable SElinux entirely, but I prefer to write a custom policy instead – it is not that difficult.

The basic approach is this:

  1. Use Cobbler as you normally would (you will trigger several SElinux denials, so expect errors)
  2. Extract the relevant SElinux audit messages; convert them into a local policy
  3. Load your local policy
  4. Repeat steps 1..3 until everything works as expected

First attempt: the “cobbler import” command fails; rsync cannot access files on the mounted DVD ISO. Time to start writing a local policy!

The following command generates a basic SElinux policy from the SElinux audit messages:

  cat /var/log/audit/audit.log | audit2allow -l -v -m local > local.te

The resulting local.te file (ASCII, open it in your favorite editor) will list various items, some if which are not related to the Cobbler / Rsync operations. Edit the file to taste. Now, compile and load that policy:

  checkmodule -M -m -o local.mod local.te
  semodule_package -o local.pp -m local.mod
  semodule -v -i local.pp

Note: every invocation of “audit2allow -l” will overwrite your local.te policy file with new events since the last time a policy module was loaded. This is why you should keep backup copies of the previous versions so you can merge new events in with the existing ones.

In the end, you will end up with a policy in local.te like this:

module local 1.0;

require {
    type cobblerd_t;
    type cobbler_var_lib_t;
    type iso9660_t;
    type public_content_t;
    type rpm_var_lib_t;
    type rsync_etc_t;
    type security_t;
    type tmp_t;
    class capability { sys_module fsetid };
    class dir { add_name create getattr open read remove_name rmdir search write };
    class file { create getattr open read unlink write };
    class lnk_file create;
    class unix_dgram_socket create;

#============= cobblerd_t ==============
allow cobblerd_t cobbler_var_lib_t:lnk_file create;
allow cobblerd_t iso9660_t:dir { open read search getattr };
allow cobblerd_t iso9660_t:file { open read getattr };
allow cobblerd_t public_content_t:dir { write rmdir remove_name };
allow cobblerd_t rpm_var_lib_t:dir { open read search getattr write };
allow cobblerd_t rsync_etc_t:file create;
allow cobblerd_t security_t:dir read;
allow cobblerd_t self:capability fsetid;
allow cobblerd_t self:unix_dgram_socket create;
allow cobblerd_t tmp_t:dir { add_name create remove_name rmdir write };
allow cobblerd_t tmp_t:file { create getattr open read unlink write };