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What is Selinux and How to Disable on Centos

In this blog post, we will explore the concept of SELinux and guide you step-by-step on how to disable it on CentOS. SELinux, short for Security-Enhanced Linux, is a powerful security feature that adds an additional layer of protection to your CentOS system. However, there might be scenarios where you need to disable SELinux temporarily or permanently to accommodate specific requirements or troubleshooting needs. So, let’s dive in and learn about disabling SELinux on CentOS.

*Note: Remember it’s always safer to try disabling SELinux on a virtual private server. So I recommend you to buy a Linux VPS and then proceed.

What is SELinux?

SELinux is a security feature integrated into the Linux kernel, aimed at providing granular access controls and mandatory access controls (MAC). It acts as a security policy mechanism that determines which processes can access specific files, directories, and resources on the system.

SELinux enforces a set of rules, known as SELinux policies, which are used to label and govern access permissions. This enhances the security of your CentOS system by limiting potential vulnerabilities and preventing unauthorized access.

what is selinux and Disabled Selinux

How to Disable SELinux on CentOS?

To disable SELinux on CentOS, follow these clear instructions:

  • Open the Terminal:

Launch the Terminal on your CentOS system. You can do this by searching for “Terminal” in the applications menu or using the shortcut Ctrl + Alt + T.

  • Access SELinux Configuration File:

In the Terminal, type the following command to open the SELinux configuration file using a text editor:

   sudo nano /etc/selinux/config
  • Edit the Configuration File:

You will see a line in the file that starts with “SELINUX=”. Change the value of this line to “disabled to disable SELinux permanently. The line should look like this:

  • Save and Exit the File:

Press Ctrl + X, then Y, and finally hit Enter to save the changes.

  • Reboot Your System:

Reboot your CentOS system using this command for the changes to take effect:

sudo shutdown -r now

After rebooting the system, you can check if the change has been applied using this code:


If you see the message SELinux status: disabled on your screen, it means the change has been applied.

If not, the next section will answer some of the frequently asked questions about the issue. Follow along to see if you can find your answers there.

Note: Remember it’s always safer to try disabling SELinux on a virtual private server. So I recommend you to buy a Linux VPS and then proceed.

FAQ: Common Questions on How to Disable Selinux

Here’s 4 of the frequently asked questions on this topic:

  1. Can you disable SELinux temporarily without modifying the configuration file?

Yes, you can temporarily disable SELinux without modifying the configuration file by using the following command in the Terminal:

   sudo setenforce 0
  1. How can I check the current status of SELinux on my CentOS system?

To check the current status of SELinux, use the following command in the Terminal:

  1. Is it recommended to disable SELinux permanently?

If you want to Disable SELinux permanently, you should do it cautiously, as it removes an additional layer of security. Only disable SELinux if you have a compelling reason and have alternative security measures in place.

  1. How can I re-enable SELinux after disabling it?

To re-enable SELinux, follow the same instructions mentioned above, but change the “SELINUX=” line to “enforcing” instead of “disabled.” Save the file and reboot your system.

how to disable Selinux

Wrapping Up

SELinux is a robust security feature built into CentOS, providing enhanced access control and enhancing system security. However, there are scenarios where disabling SELinux becomes necessary. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can easily disable SELinux on CentOS, ensuring your system aligns with specific requirements or troubleshooting needs. Remember, you should exercise caution when disabling SELinux permanently and you should also consider alternative security measures.

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