setfiles(8)                  SELinux User Command                  setfiles(8)

       setfiles - set SELinux file security contexts.

       setfiles [-c policy] [-d] [-l] [-m] [-n] [-e directory] [-p] [-s] [-v]
       [-W] [-F] [-I|-D] spec_file pathname ...

       This manual page describes the setfiles program.

       This program is primarily used to initialize the security context
       fields (extended attributes) on one or more filesystems (or parts of
       them).  Usually it is initially run as part of the SELinux installation
       process (a step commonly known as labeling).

       It can also be run at any other time to correct inconsistent labels, to
       add support for newly-installed policy or, by using the -n option, to
       passively check whether the file contexts are all set as specified by
       the active policy (default behavior) or by some other policy (see the
       -c option).

       If a file object does not have a context, setfiles will write the
       default context to the file object's extended attributes. If a file
       object has a context, setfiles will only modify the type portion of the
       security context.  The -F option will force a replacement of the entire

       -c     check the validity of the contexts against the specified binary

       -d     show what specification matched each file (do not abort
              validation after 10 errors). Not affected by "-q"

       -e directory
              directory to exclude (repeat option for more than one

       -f infilename
              infilename contains a list of files to be processed. Use “-” for

       -F     Force reset of context to match file_context for customizable
              files, and the default file context, changing the user, role,
              range portion as well as the type.

       -h, -? display usage information and exit.

       -i     ignore files that do not exist.

       -I     ignore digest to force checking of labels even if the stored
              SHA1 digest matches the specfiles SHA1 digest. The digest will
              then be updated provided there are no errors. See the NOTES
              section for further details.

       -D     Set or update any directory SHA1 digests. Use this option to
              enable usage of the security.restorecon_last extended attribute.

       -l     log changes in file labels to syslog.

       -m     do not read /proc/mounts to obtain a list of non-seclabel mounts
              to be excluded from relabeling checks.  Setting this option is
              useful where there is a non-seclabel fs mounted with a seclabel
              fs mounted on a directory below this.

       -n     don't change any file labels (passive check).

       -o outfilename
              Deprecated - This option is no longer supported.

       -p     show progress by printing the number of files in 1k blocks
              unless relabeling the entire OS, that will then show the
              approximate percentage complete. Note that the -p and -v options
              are mutually exclusive.

       -q     Deprecated, was only used to stop printing inode association

       -r rootpath
              use an alternate root path. Used in meta-selinux for
              OpenEmbedded/Yocto builds to label files under rootpath as if
              they were at /

       -s     take a list of files from standard input instead of using a
              pathname from the command line (equivalent to “-f -” ).

       -v     show changes in file labels and output any inode association
              parameters.  Note that the -v and -p options are mutually

       -W     display warnings about entries that had no matching files by
              outputting the selabel_stats(3) results.

       -0     the separator for the input items is assumed to be the null
              character (instead of the white space).  The quotes and the
              backslash characters are also treated as normal characters that
              can form valid input.  This option finally also disables the end
              of file string, which is treated like any other argument.
              Useful when input items might contain white space, quote marks
              or backslashes.  The -print0 option of GNU find produces input
              suitable for this mode.

              The specification file which contains lines of the following

              regexp [type] context | <<none>>
                     The regular expression is anchored at both ends.  The
                     optional type field specifies the file type as shown in
                     the mode field by the ls(1) program, e.g.  -- to match
                     only regular files or -d to match only directories.  The
                     context can be an ordinary security context or the string
                     <<none>> to specify that the file is not to have its
                     context changed.
                     The last matching specification is used. If there are
                     multiple hard links to a file that match different
                     specifications and those specifications indicate
                     different security contexts, then a warning is displayed
                     but the file is still labeled based on the last matching
                     specification other than <<none>>.

       pathname ...
              The pathname for the root directory of each file system to be
              relabeled or a specific directory within a filesystem that
              should be recursively descended and relabeled or the pathname of
              a file that should be relabeled.  Not used if the -f or the -s
              option is used.

       1.  setfiles follows symbolic links and operates recursively on

       2.  If the pathname specifies the root directory and the -v option is
           set and the audit system is running, then an audit event is
           automatically logged stating that a "mass relabel" took place using
           the message label FS_RELABEL.

       3.  To improve performance when relabeling file systems recursively the
           -D option to setfiles will cause it to store a SHA1 digest of the
           spec_file set in an extended attribute named
           security.restorecon_last on the directory specified in each
           pathname ...  once the relabeling has been completed successfully.
           This digest will be checked should setfiles -D be rerun with the
           same spec_file and pathname parameters. See selinux_restorecon(3)
           for further details.

           The -I option will ignore the SHA1 digest from each directory
           specified in pathname ...  and provided the -n option is NOT set,
           files will be relabeled as required with the digest then being
           updated provided there are no errors.

       This man page was written by Russell Coker <>.  The
       program was written by Stephen Smalley <>

       restorecon(8), load_policy(8), checkpolicy(8)

                                 10 June 2016                      setfiles(8)