major.io words of wisdom from a systems engineer

SELinux and .forward files

If you want to forward e-mail from root to another user, you can usually place a .forward file in root’s home directory and your mail server will take care of the rest:

 /root/.forward

With SELinux, you’ll end up getting an AVC denial each time your mail server tries to read the contents of the .forward file:

type=AVC msg=audit(1325543823.787:7416): avc:  denied  { open } for  pid=9850
  comm="local" name=".forward" dev=md0 ino=17694734
  scontext=system_u:system_r:postfix_local_t:s0
  tcontext=unconfined_u:object_r:admin_home_t:s0 tclass=file

The reason is that your .forward file doesn’t have the right SELinux contexts. You can set the correct contest quickly with restorecon:

# ls -Z /root/.forward
-rw-r--r--. root root unconfined_u:object_r:admin_home_t:s0 /root/.forward
# restorecon -v /root/.forward
restorecon reset /root/.forward context unconfined_u:object_r:admin_home_t:s0->system_u:object_r:mail_forward_t:s0
# ls -Z /root/.forward
-rw-r--r--. root root system_u:object_r:mail_home_t:s0 /root/.forward

Try to send another e-mail to root and you should see the mail server forward the e-mail properly without any additional AVC denials.