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Re: [EP-tech] Configuring Azure Web Application Firewall (WAF) for eprints

  • To: Francis Jayakanth <fjayakanth@gmail.com>
  • Subject: Re: [EP-tech] Configuring Azure Web Application Firewall (WAF) for eprints
  • From: David R Newman <drn@ecs.soton.ac.uk>
  • Date: Sun, 13 Sep 2020 17:27:29 +0100

Hi Francis,

I am a bit puzzled to why you are still having problems with SELinux following the instructions on the wiki page you linked to (which I wrote).  The following line should have done the trick. 

/opt/eprints3/archives/[^/]*/documents(/.*)? unconfined_u:object_r:httpd_sys_rw_content_t:s0

My best advice at this point is to have a look at the SELinux logs whilst uploading a file and see what it says:

tail -f /var/log/audit/audit.log

Usually it is fairly straightforward to work out what you need to add to eprints.fc. Then you will need to use the redo.sh script to update your server's SELinux configuration.  It might be worth checking directories permissions and ownership more generally.  However, I cannot how this would work when SELinux is disabled and not when it is enabled but if your permissions/ownership are a bit off to start with due to SELinux being enabled you may need to make some manual changes.  Make sure the owner and group of the documents directory and subdirectories are owned and have the same User and Group as set inside httpd.conf (i.e. apache) and that the directory and subdirectories have read, write and execute permissions for the user and group, with SetGID bit set for groups, i.e. something like:

drwxrwsr-x. 3 eprints eprints 4096 Aug  2  2018 disk0


David Newman

On 13/09/2020 17:05, Francis Jayakanth wrote:
Hi David, Thanks a lot for the prompt reply and for the possible
solution as well. The solution is bang-on. I created a file,
ingnore_login_ip.pl, and inserted the statement, $c->{ignore_login_ip}
= 1; in that file, and restarted the httpd server. The action solved
the issue of auto log out, but I was still unable to upload a file.
Apache error log file was complaining about the permission issue:

Failed to mkdir /documents/disk7/00/06/29/35/01: Permission denied

I was quite sure that the above issue was related SELinux
configuration. I disabled SELinux, and I am now able to upload files.

I followed the instructions related to changing directory permissions
and SELinux contexts available here,
https://eur03.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=""> , and enabled SELinux
by setting SELINUX=enforcing. Upon enabling SELinux, I'm again able to
upload file. The Apache error log reports, Unable to write to
Permission denied

Can you please let me know what else needs to be done.

Btw, everything was working fine before moving Eprints behind the WAF.

Thanks and regards, Francis

On Sat, Sep 12, 2020 at 11:10 PM David R Newman <drn@ecs.soton.ac.uk> wrote:
Hi Francis,

I don't have any significant knowledge about Azure WAF but EPrints
should only require TCP ports 80 and 443 to be open to be fully
functional.  (In some configurations only port 443 or 80 need be open).
You have tried turning off SELinux which rules out one potential issue.
My suspicion is that the Azure WAF might cause the apparent IP address
of the connecting user to change between requests.  This would be
supported by you saying that you seem to get logged out.  EPrints can be
configured to not enforce the IP address being maintained during a
session with the following configuration option in a configuration file
in your archive's cfg/cfg.d/ directory:

$c->{ignore_login_ip} = 1;

and then reloading the Apache webserver.  If this does not help it is
worth checking the error logs in /var/log/httpd/ to see if there is any
obvious problem.  You want to check both error_log and ssl_error_log.
It may also be worth checking access_log and ssl_access_log whilst you
are attempting to upload files to see if you can find any unexpected
HTTP codes in the responses to your requests.


David Newman

On 12/09/2020 15:23, Francis Jayakanth via Eprints-tech wrote:
Hi, I would like to know if any of you have configured Azure WAF to
run an eprints 3.4 instance? If so, please share your experience in
resolving the issue we are having in configuring WAF for eprints.

Our network support team has implemented WAF for eprints, After the
WAF implementation, we are unable to upload files of any format into
the repository, and eprints logs out automatically when the uploading

For the sake of testing, we even tried turning off SELinux, but it doesn' help.

We are running eprints version 3.4.1 eps on Centos 7

I would greatly appreciate it if someone guides me in resolving the issue.

Thanks and regards, Francis
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