Section: AppArmor (8)
apparmor_parser - loads AppArmor profiles into the kernel
apparmor_parser [options] <command> [profiles]...
apparmor_parser [options] <command>
apparmor_parser [-hv] [--help] [--version]
is used as a general tool to compile, and manage AppArmor
policy, including loading new apparmor.d
(5) profiles into the Linux kernel.
AppArmor profiles restrict the operations available to processes.
The profiles are loaded into the Linux kernel by the apparmor_parser
program. The profiles may be specified by file name or a directory
name containing a set of profiles. If a directory is specified then the
apparmor_parser will try to do a profile load for each file in the
directory that is not a dot file, or explicitly black listed (*.dpkg-new,
*.dpkg-old, *.dpkg-dist, *.dpkg-bak, *.dpkg-remove, *.pacsave, *.pacnew,
*.rpmnew, *.rpmsave, *.orig, *.rej, *~).
The apparmor_parser will fall back to taking input from standard input if
a profile or directory is not supplied.
The input supplied to apparmor_parser should be in the format described in
The command set is broken into four subcategories.
- unprivileged commands
Commands that don't require any privilege and don't operate on profiles.
- unprivileged profile commands
Commands that operate on a profile either specified on the command line or
read from stdin if no profile was specified.
- privileged commands
Commands that require the MAC_ADMIN capability within the affected AppArmor
namespace to load policy into the kernel or filesystem write permissions to
update the affected privileged files (cache etc).
- privileged profile commands
Commands that require privilege and operate on profiles.
- -V, --version
Print the version number and exit.
- -h, --help
Give a quick reference guide.
Unprivileged profile commands
- -N, --names
Produce a list of policies from a given set of profiles (implies -K).
- -p, --preprocess
Apply preprocessing to the input profile(s) by flattening includes into
the output profile and dump to stdout.
- -S, --stdout
Writes a binary (cached) profile to stdout (implies -K and -T).
- -o file, --ofile file
Writes a binary (cached) profile to the specified file (implies -K and -T)
Unconditionally clear out cached profiles.
Privileged profile commands
- -a, --add
Insert the AppArmor definitions given into the kernel. This is the default
action. This gives an error message if a AppArmor definition by the same
name already exists in the kernel, or if the parser doesn't understand
its input. It reports when an addition succeeded.
- -r, --replace
This flag is required if an AppArmor definition by the same name already
exists in the kernel; used to replace the definition already
in the kernel with the definition given on standard input.
- -R, --remove
This flag is used to remove an AppArmor definition already in the kernel.
Note that it still requires a complete AppArmor definition as described
in apparmor.d(5) even though the contents of the definition aren't
- -B, --binary
Treat the profile files specified on the command line (or stdin if none
specified) as binary cache files, produced with the -S or -o options,
and load to the kernel as specified by -a, -r, and -R (implies -K
- -C, --Complain
Force the profile to load in complain mode.
- -b n, --base n
Set the base directory for resolving #include directives
defined as relative paths.
- -I n, --Include n
Add element n to the search path when resolving #include directives
defined as an absolute paths.
- -f n, --apparmorfs n
Set the location of the apparmor security filesystem (default is
- -M n, --features-file n
Use the features file located at path ``n'' (default is
/etc/apparmor.d/cache/.features). If the --cache-loc option is present, the
``.features'' file in the specified cache directory is used.
- -m n, --match-string n
Only use match features ``n''.
- -n n, --namespace-string n
Force a profile to load in the namespace ``n''.
- -X, --readimpliesX
In the case of profiles that are loading on systems were READ_IMPLIES_EXEC
is set in the kernel for a given process, load the profile so that any ``r''
flags are processed as ``mr''.
- -k, --show-cache
Report the cache processing (hit/miss details) when loading or saving
- -K, --skip-cache
Perform no caching at all: disables -W, implies -T.
- -T, --skip-read-cache
By default, if a profile's cache is found in the location specified by
--cache-loc and the timestamp is newer than the profile, it will be loaded
from the cache. This option disables this cache loading behavior.
- -W, --write-cache
Write out cached profiles to the location specified in --cache-loc. Off
by default. In cases where abstractions have been changed, and the parser
is running with ``--replace'', it may make sense to also use
``--skip-read-cache'' with the ``--write-cache'' option.
Skip updating the cache if it contains cached profiles in a bad or
- -L, --cache-loc
Set the location(s) of the cache directory. This option can accept a
comma separated list of directories, which will be searched in order
to find a matching cache. The first matching cache file found is used
even if a directory later in the search order may contain a newer cache
If multiple directories are specified and --write-cache has been specified
then cache writes will be made to the first directory in the list, all
other directories will be treated as read only.
If a cache directory name needs to have a comma as part of the name, it
can be specified by using a backslash to escape the comma character in
the directory name.
If not specified the cache location defaults to /var/cache/apparmor
Print the cache directory location. This path will be a subdirectory of the
directory specified by --cache-loc. The subdirectory used will be influenced by
the features available in the currently running kernel or by the features
specified with the --match-string or --features-file options.
- -Q, --skip-kernel-load
Perform all actions except the actual loading of a profile into the kernel.
This is useful for testing profile generation, caching, etc, without making
changes to the running kernel profiles.
This also removes the need for privilege to execute the commands that
manage policy in the kernel
- -q, --quiet
Do not report on the profiles as they are loaded, and not show warnings.
- -v, --verbose
Report on the profiles as they are loaded, and show warnings.
Enable various warnings during policy compilation. A single dump flag
can be specified per --warn option, but the --warn flag can be passed
apparmor_parser --warn=rules-not-enforced ...
Use --help=warn to see a full list of which warn flags are supported.
- -d, --debug
Given once, only checks the profiles to ensure syntactic correctness.
Given twice, dumps its interpretation of the profile for checking.
- -D n, --dump=n
Debug flag for dumping various structures and passes of policy compilation.
A single dump flag can be specified per --dump option, but the dump flag
can be passed multiple times. Note progress flags tend to also imply
the matching stats flag.
apparmor_parser --dump=dfa-stats --dump=trans-stats <file>
Use --help=dump to see a full list of which dump flags are supported
- -j n, --jobs=n
Set the number of jobs used to compile the specified policy. Where n can
# - a specific number of jobs
auto - the # of cpus in the in the system
x# - # * number of cpus
-j8 OR --jobs=8 allows for 8 parallel jobs
-jauto OR --jobs=auto sets the jobs to the # of cpus
-jx4 OR --jobs=x4 sets the jobs to # of cpus * 4
-jx1 is equivalent to -jauto
The default value is the number of cpus in the system.
- --max-jobs n
Set a hard cap on the value that can be specified by the --jobs flag.
It takes the same set of options available to the --jobs option, and
defaults to 8*cpus
- -O n, --optimize=n
Set the optimization flags used by policy compilation. A single optimization
flag can be toggled per -O option, but the optimize flag can be passed
multiple times. Turning off some phases of the optimization can make
it so that policy can't complete compilation due to size constraints
(it is entirely possible to create a dfa with millions of states that will
take days or longer to compile).
Note: The parser is set to use a balanced default set of flags, that
will result in reasonable compression but not take excessive amounts
of time to complete.
Use --help=optimize to see a full list of which optimization flags are
- --abort-on-error Abort processing of profiles on the first error encountered, otherwise the parser will continue to try to compile other profiles if specified.
Note: If an error is encountered while processing profiles the last error
encountered will be used to set the exit code.
- --skip-bad-cache-rebuild The default behavior of the parser is to check if a cached version of a profile exists and if it does it attempt to load it into the kernel. If that load is rejected, then the parser will attempt to rebuild the cache file, and load again.
This option tells the parser to not attempt to rebuild the cache on
failure, instead the parser continues on with processing the remaining
Specify the config file to use instead of
/etc/apparmor/parser.conf. This option will be processed early before
regular options regardless of the order it is specified in.
Print the config file location that will be used.
An optional config file /etc/apparmor/parser.conf can be used to specify the
default options for the parser, which then can be overridden using the command
The config file ignores leading whitespace and treats lines that begin with #
as comments. Config options are specified one per line using the same format
as the longform command line options (without the preceding --).
As with the command line some options accumulate and others override, ie. when
there are conflicting versions of switch the last option is the one chosen.
would result in Optimize=minimize being set.
The Include, Dump, and Optimize options accululate except for the inversion
option (no-X vs. X), and a couple options that work by setting/clearing
multiple options (compress-small). In that case the option will override
the flags it sets but will may accumulate with others.
All other options override previously set values.
If you find any bugs, please report them at