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I think there is a gap in my understanding of how to change one file's context permantently. After reading through https://access.redhat.com/documentation/en-us/red_hat_enterprise_linux/7/html-single/selinux_users_and_administrators_guide/index#sect-Security-Enhanced_Linux-SELinux_Contexts_Labeling_Files-Persistent_Changes_semanage_fcontext, I think I should be able to set a context for a file and restorecon will then use that instead of any selinux policy for that file.

However, I'm seeing a restorecon set this file (which is in my home directory), restore the type to the default type (inheriting from its parent directory), as follows:

 ~> sudo semanage fcontext -C -l
SELinux fcontext                                   type               Context

pretenddir/pretendfile                             all files          system_u:object_r:samba_share_t:s0 
~> sudo restorecon pretenddir/
~> ls -Z pretenddir/
unconfined_u:object_r:user_home_t:s0 pretendfile
~> sudo chcon -v --type=samba_share_t pretenddir/pretendfile 
changing security context of 'pretenddir/pretendfile'
~> ls -Z pretenddir/
unconfined_u:object_r:samba_share_t:s0 pretendfile
~> sudo restorecon pretenddir/pretendfile
~> ls -Z pretenddir/
unconfined_u:object_r:user_home_t:s0 pretendfile

What am I missing?

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I didn't use the full path when running the semanage command.

I should have done:
# semanage fcontext -a -t samba_share_t /home/christy/pretenddir/pretendfile

instead of:
# semanage fcontext -a -t samba_share_t pretenddir/pretendfile

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