How to Disable SELinux on CentOS 7

SELinux (Security Enhanced Linux) is a Linux kernel security module that allows administrators and users more control over access controls. It allows access based on SELinux policy rules.
If there is no SELinux policy rule that specifically allows access, such as for a process opening a file, access is denied.
SELinux has three modes:

  • Enforcing: SELinux allows access based on SELinux policy rules.
  • Permissive: SELinux only logs actions that would have been denied if running in enforcing mode.
  • Disabled: No SELinux policy is loaded.

By default in CentOS 7, SELinux is enabled and in enforcing mode.
SELinux is a good security feature. But it is hard to understand and maintain. That is why small companies and startups often don’t bother with SELinux. CentOS 7 and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 (RHEL 7) comes with SELinux pre-installed.
In this article, I will show you how to disable SELinux on CentOS 7.


Before you start to Disable SELinux on CentOS 7. You must have a non-root user account on your server with sudo privileges.

Checking the SELinux Status

First, you should check the status of SELinux is enabled or disabled in your CentOS system. To check the status of SELinux run below command:


The output should be:

SELinux status:                 enabled
SELinuxfs mount:                /sys/fs/selinux
SELinux root directory:         /etc/selinux
Loaded policy name:             targeted
Current mode:                   enforcing
Mode from config file:          enforcing
Policy MLS status:              enabled
Policy deny_unknown status:     allowed
Max kernel policy version:      31

You can see from the output above that SELinux is enabled and set to enforcing mode.

Temporarily Disable SELinux

To disable SELinux temporarily, issue the command below as root:

echo 0 > /selinux/enforce

Alternatively, you can use the setenforce tool as follows:

setenforce 0

Else, use the Permissive option instead of 0 as below:

setenforce Permissive

These methods above will only work until the next reboot, therefore to disable SELinux permanently, move to the next section.

Permanently Disable SELinux

To permanently disable SELinux, use your favorite text editor to open the file /etc/sysconfig/selinux as follows:

sudo vi /etc/sysconfig/selinux
SELinux Enforcing Mode
SELinux Enforcing Mode

Then change the directive SELinux=enforcing to SELinux=disabled as shown in the below image.

Disable SELinux Permanently
Disable SELinux Permanently

Save the file and reboot your CentOS system with:

sudo shutdown -r now

Once the system boots up, verify the change with the sestatus command:


The output should look like this:

SELinux status:                 disabled


You have successfully learned how to disable SELinux on CentOS 7. If you have any queries please don’t forget to comment out.

See also: How to disable SELinux on CentOS 8

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