Building a Tor Hidden Service From Scratch - SELinux

On a system with SELinux, upon attempting to start Tor, you may see errors similar to the following

    [root@localhost tor]# service tor start
    Raising maximum number of filedescriptors (ulimit -n) to 16384.
    Starting tor: Apr 02 15:53:14.041 [notice] Tor v0.2.5.11 (git-83abe94c0ad5e92b) running on Linux with Libevent 1.4.13-stable, OpenSSL 1.0.1e-fips and Zlib 1.2.3.
    Apr 02 15:53:14.042 [notice] Tor can't help you if you use it wrong! Learn how to be safe at
    Apr 02 15:53:14.042 [notice] Read configuration file "/etc/tor/tor-rpm-defaults-torrc".
    Apr 02 15:53:14.042 [notice] Read configuration file "/etc/tor/torrc".
    Apr 02 15:53:14.056 [notice] Opening Socks listener on
    Apr 02 15:53:14.057 [warn] Could not bind to Permission denied
    Apr 02 15:53:14.058 [notice] Opening DNS listener on
    Apr 02 15:53:14.060 [warn] Could not bind to Permission denied
    Apr 02 15:53:14.060 [notice] Opening Transparent pf/netfilter listener on
    Apr 02 15:53:14.062 [warn] Could not bind to Permission denied
    Apr 02 15:53:14.062 [warn] Failed to parse/validate config: Failed to bind one of the listener ports.
    Apr 02 15:53:14.062 [err] Reading config failed--see warnings above.
    /usr/bin/torctl start: tor could not be started

Which is almost certainly the result of a selinux policy

    [root@localhost tor]# sestatus 
    SELinux status:                 enabled
    SELinuxfs mount:                /selinux
    Current mode:                   enforcing
    Mode from config file:          enforcing
    Policy version:                 24
    Policy from config file:        targeted

There should be a Tor type within selinux, so rather than disabling completely, we'll just tell selinux to be permissive

    [root@localhost tor]# yum install policycoreutils-python
    [root@localhost tor]# semanage permissive -a tor_t

Alternatively, to make selinux enforce, but to instead allow tor to bind to non-reserved ports

    [root@localhost tor]# semanage permissive -d tor_t # Undo the change we made above
    [root@localhost tor]# setsebool -P tor_bind_all_unreserved_ports 1

The latter approach will not help if you've told Tor to bind to a reserved port (for example if DNS is set to bind to port 53). In the example output above, Tor had been configured to bind it's DNS services to port 54, so simply allowing tor to bind to unreserved ports would be insufficient.

Note: The ports you configure for hidden services do not need to be taken into account, as Tor does not actually bind to these ports, it simply interprets traffic received via the Tor connection and acts appropriately. Followed by starting Tor

    [root@localhost tor]# service tor start