There are 4 different methods of disabling selinux in Linux.

Method 1: Disable SELinux Temporarily

To disable SELinux temporarily you have to modify the /selinux/enforce file as shown below. Please note that this setting will be gone after the reboot of the system.

# cat /selinux/enforce


# echo 0 > /selinux/enforce

# cat /selinux/enforce


You can also use setenforce command to disable SELinux. Possible parameters to setenforce commands are: Enforcing, Permissive, 1 (enable) or 0 (disable).

# setenforce 0

Method 2: Disable SELinux Permanently

To disable the SELinux permanently, you have to modify the /etc/selinux/config and set the SELINUX=disabled. One you make any changes to the /etc/selinux/config, reboot the server for the changes to reflect.

# cat /etc/selinux/config




Following are the possible values for the SELINUX variable in the /etc/selinux/config file

  • enforcing – The Security Policy is always Enforced
  • permissive – This just simulates the enforcing policy by only printing warning messages and not really enforcing the SELinux. This is good to first see how SELinux works and later figure out what policies should be enforced.
  • disabled – Completely disable SELinux

Following are the possible values for SELINUXTYPE variable in the /etc/selinux/config file. This indicates the type of policies that can be used for the SELinux.

  • targeted – This policy will protected only specific targeted network daemons.
  • strict – This is for maximum SELinux protection.

Method 3: Disable SELinux from the Grub Boot Loader

If you can’t locate /etc/selinux/config file on your system, you can pass disable SELinux by passing it as parameter to the Grub Boot Loader as shown below.

# cat /boot/grub/grub.conf





title Enterprise Linux Enterprise Linux Server (2.6.18-92.el5PAE)

root (hd0,0)

kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.18-92.el5PAE ro root=LABEL=/ rhgb quiet selinux=0

initrd /boot/initrd-2.6.18-92.el5PAE.img

title Enterprise Linux Enterprise Linux Server (2.6.18-92.el5)

root (hd0,0)

kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.18-92.el5 ro root=LABEL=/ rhgb quiet selinux=0

initrd /boot/initrd-2.6.18-92.el5.img

Method 4: Disable Only a Specific Service in SELinux – For e.g. HTTP/Apache

If you are not interested in disability the whole SELinux, you can also disable SELinux only for a specific service. For example, do disable SELinux for HTTP/Apache service, modify the httpd_disable_trans variable in the /etc/selinux/targeted/booleans file.
Set the httpd_disable_trans variable to 1 as shown below.

# grep httpd /etc/selinux/targeted/booleans








 Set SELinux boolean value using setsebool command as shown below. Make sure to restart the HTTP service after this change.

# setsebool httpd_disable_trans 1

# service httpd restart

Posted in: Linux.
Last Modified: October 22, 2013

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