Jump to contentJump to page navigation: previous page [access key p]/next page [access key n]
documentation.suse.com / SUSE Linux Enterprise Server Documentation / Security and Hardening Guide / Confining Privileges with AppArmor / Support
Applies to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 15 SP2

40 Support

This chapter outlines maintenance-related tasks. Learn how to update AppArmor® and get a list of available man pages providing basic help for using the command line tools provided by AppArmor. Use the troubleshooting section to learn about some common problems encountered with AppArmor and their solutions. Report defects or enhancement requests for AppArmor following the instructions in this chapter.

40.1 Updating AppArmor Online

Updates for AppArmor packages are provided in the same way as any other update for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. Retrieve and apply them exactly like for any other package that ships as part of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server.

40.2 Using the Man Pages

There are man pages available for your use. In a terminal, enter man apparmor to open the AppArmor man page. Man pages are distributed in sections numbered 1 through 8. Each section is specific to a category of documentation:

Table 40.1: Man Pages: Sections and Categories




User commands


System calls


Library functions


Device driver information


Configuration file formats




High level concepts


Administrator commands

The section numbers are used to distinguish man pages from each other. For example, exit(2) describes the exit system call, while exit(3) describes the exit C library function.

The AppArmor man pages are:

  • aa-audit(8)

  • aa-autodep(8)

  • aa-complain(8)

  • aa-decode(8)

  • aa-disable(8)

  • aa-easyprof(8)

  • aa-enforce(8)

  • aa-enxec(8)

  • aa-genprof(8)

  • aa-logprof(8)

  • aa-notify(8)

  • aa-status(8)

  • aa-unconfined(8)

  • aa_change_hat(8)

  • logprof.conf(5)

  • apparmor.d(5)

  • apparmor.vim(5)

  • apparmor(7)

  • apparmor_parser(8)

  • apparmor_status(8)

40.3 For More Information

Find more information about the AppArmor product at: http://wiki.apparmor.net. Find the product documentation for AppArmor in the installed system at /usr/share/doc/manual.

There is a mailing list for AppArmor that users can post to or join to communicate with developers. See https://lists.ubuntu.com/mailman/listinfo/apparmor for details.

40.4 Troubleshooting

This section lists the most common problems and error messages that may occur using AppArmor.

40.4.1 How to React to odd Application Behavior?

If you notice odd application behavior or any other type of application problem, you should first check the reject messages in the log files to see if AppArmor is too closely constricting your application. If you detect reject messages that indicate that your application or service is too closely restricted by AppArmor, update your profile to properly handle your use case of the application. Do this with aa-logprof (Section, “aa-logprof—Scanning the System Log”).

If you decide to run your application or service without AppArmor protection, remove the application's profile from /etc/apparmor.d or move it to another location.

40.4.2 My Profiles Do not Seem to Work Anymore …

If you have been using previous versions of AppArmor and have updated your system (but kept your old set of profiles) you might notice some applications which seemed to work perfectly before you updated behaving strangely, or not working.

This version of AppArmor introduces a set of new features to the profile syntax and the AppArmor tools that might cause trouble with older versions of the AppArmor profiles. Those features are:

  • File Locking

  • Network Access Control

  • The SYS_PTRACE Capability

  • Directory Path Access

The current version of AppArmor mediates file locking and introduces a new permission mode (k) for this. Applications requesting file locking permission might misbehave or fail altogether if confined by older profiles which do not explicitly contain permissions to lock files. If you suspect this being the case, check the log file under /var/log/audit/audit.log for entries like the following:

type=AVC msg=audit(1389862802.727:13939): apparmor="DENIED" \
operation="file_lock" parent=2692 profile="/usr/bin/opera" \
name="/home/tux/.qt/.qtrc.lock" pid=28730 comm="httpd2-prefork" \
requested_mask="::k" denied_mask="::k" fsuid=30 ouid=0

Update the profile using the aa-logprof command as outlined below.

The new network access control syntax based on the network family and type specification, described in Section 33.5, “Network Access Control”, might cause application misbehavior or even stop applications from working. If you notice a network-related application behaving strangely, check the log file under /var/log/audit/audit.log for entries like the following:

type=AVC msg=audit(1389864332.233:13947): apparmor="DENIED" \
operation="socket_create" family="inet" parent=29985 profile="/bin/ping" \
sock_type="raw" pid=30251 comm="ping"

This log entry means that our example application, /bin/ping in this case, failed to get AppArmor's permission to open a network connection. This permission needs to be explicitly stated to make sure that an application has network access. To update the profile to the new syntax, use the aa-logprof command as outlined below.

The current kernel requires the SYS_PTRACE capability, if a process tries to access files in /proc/PID/fd/*. New profiles need an entry for the file and the capability, where old profiles only needed the file entry. For example:

/proc/*/fd/**  rw,

in the old syntax would translate to the following rules in the new syntax:

capability SYS_PTRACE,
/proc/*/fd/**  rw,

To update the profile to the new syntax, use the YaST Update Profile Wizard or the aa-logprof command as outlined below.

With this version of AppArmor, a few changes have been made to the profile rule syntax to better distinguish directory from file access. Therefore, some rules matching both file and directory paths in the previous version might now match a file path only. This could lead to AppArmor not being able to access a crucial directory, and thus trigger misbehavior of your application and various log messages. The following examples highlight the most important changes to the path syntax.

Using the old syntax, the following rule would allow access to files and directories in /proc/net. It would allow directory access only to read the entries in the directory, but not give access to files or directories under the directory, for example /proc/net/dir/foo would be matched by the asterisk (*), but as foo is a file or directory under dir, it cannot be accessed.

/proc/net/*  r,

To get the same behavior using the new syntax, you need two rules instead of one. The first allows access to the file under /proc/net and the second allows access to directories under /proc/net. Directory access can only be used for listing the contents, not actually accessing files or directories underneath the directory.

/proc/net/*  r,
/proc/net/*/  r,

The following rule works similarly both under the old and the new syntax, and allows access to both files and directories under /proc/net (but does not allow a directory listing of /proc/net/ itself):

/proc/net/**  r,

To distinguish file access from directory access using the above expression in the new syntax, use the following two rules. The first one only allows to recursively access directories under /proc/net while the second one explicitly allows for recursive file access only.

/proc/net/**/  r,
/proc/net/**[^/]  r,

The following rule works similarly both under the old and the new syntax and allows access to both files and directories beginning with foo under /proc/net:

/proc/net/foo**  r,

To distinguish file access from directory access in the new syntax and use the ** globbing pattern, use the following two rules. The first one would have matched both files and directories in the old syntax, but only matches files in the new syntax because of the missing trailing slash. The second rule matched neither file nor directory in the old syntax, but matches directories only in the new syntax:

/proc/net/**foo  r,
/proc/net/**foo/  r,

The following rules illustrate how the use of the ? globbing pattern has changed. In the old syntax, the first rule would have matched both files and directories (four characters, last character could be any but a slash). In the new syntax, it matches only files (trailing slash is missing). The second rule would match nothing in the old profile syntax, but matches directories only in the new syntax. The last rule matches explicitly matches a file called bar under /proc/net/foo?. Using the old syntax, this rule would have applied to both files and directories:

/proc/net/foo?  r,
/proc/net/foo?/  r,
/proc/net/foo?/bar  r,

To find and resolve issues related to syntax changes, take some time after the update to check the profiles you want to keep and proceed as follows for each application you kept the profile for:

  1. Put the application's profile into complain mode:

    > sudo aa-complain /path/to/application

    Log entries are made for any actions violating the current profile, but the profile is not enforced and the application's behavior not restricted.

  2. Run the application covering all the tasks you need this application to be able to perform.

  3. Update the profile according to the log entries made while running the application:

    > sudo aa-logprof /path/to/application
  4. Put the resulting profile back into enforce mode:

    > sudo aa-enforce /path/to/application

40.4.3 Resolving Issues with Apache

After installing additional Apache modules (like apache2-mod_apparmor) or making configuration changes to Apache, profile Apache again to find out if additional rules need to be added to the profile. If you do not profile Apache again, it could be unable to start properly or be unable to serve Web pages.

40.4.4 How to Exclude Certain Profiles from the List of Profiles Used?

Run aa-disable PROGRAMNAME to disable the profile for PROGRAMNAME. This command creates a symbolic link to the profile in /etc/apparmor.d/disable/. To reactivate the profile, delete the link, and run systemctl reload apparmor.

40.4.5 Can I Manage Profiles for Applications not Installed on my System?

Managing profiles with AppArmor requires you to have access to the log of the system on which the application is running. So you do not need to run the application on your profile build host as long as you have access to the machine that runs the application. You can run the application on one system, transfer the logs (/var/log/audit.log or, if audit is not installed, journalctl | grep -i apparmor > path_to_logfile) to your profile build host and run aa-logprof -f PATH_TO_LOGFILE.

40.4.6 How to Spot and Fix AppArmor Syntax Errors

Manually editing AppArmor profiles can introduce syntax errors. If you attempt to start or restart AppArmor with syntax errors in your profiles, error results are shown. This example shows the syntax of the entire parser error.

#  systemctl start apparmor.service
Loading AppArmor profiles AppArmor parser error in /etc/apparmor.d/usr.sbin.squid \
 at line 410: syntax error, unexpected TOK_ID, expecting TOK_MODE
Profile /etc/apparmor.d/usr.sbin.squid failed to load

Using the AppArmor YaST tools, a graphical error message indicates which profile contained the error and requests you to fix it.

Syntax check

To fix a syntax error, log in to a terminal window as root, open the profile, and correct the syntax. Reload the profile set with systemctl reload apparmor.

Tip: AppArmor Syntax Highlighting in vi

The editor vi on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server supports syntax highlighting for AppArmor profiles. Lines containing syntax errors will be displayed with a red background.

40.5 Reporting Bugs for AppArmor

The developers of AppArmor are eager to deliver products of the highest quality. Your feedback and your bug reports help us keep the quality high. Whenever you encounter a bug in AppArmor, file a bug report against this product:

  1. Use your Web browser to go to http://bugzilla.suse.com/ and click Log In.

  2. Enter the account data of your SUSE account and click Login. If you do not have a SUSE account, click Create Account and provide the required data.

  3. If your problem has already been reported, check this bug report and add extra information to it, if necessary.

  4. If your problem has not been reported yet, select New from the top navigation bar and proceed to the Enter Bug page.

  5. Select the product against which to file the bug. In your case, this would be your product's release. Click Submit.

  6. Select the product version, component (AppArmor in this case), hardware platform, and severity.

  7. Enter a brief headline describing your problem and add a more elaborate description including log files. You may create attachments to your bug report for screenshots, log files, or test cases.

  8. Click Submit after you have entered all the details to send your report to the developers.