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Changing default port of memcache on Centos 6

November 12 2012 : posted under sysadmin centos rhel selinux

One of those things that just took me a lot longer than I expected…

Changing memcache port seems simple enough - just edit /etc/sysconfig/memcached and change the PORT value

BUT on a new centOS install memcache failed to start on any non-standard port.

To see any error message I had to edit the file /etc/init.d/memcached

and change the start line to

daemon --pidfile ${pidfile} memcached -d -v -p $PORT -u $USER \
-m $CACHESIZE -c $MAXCONN -P ${pidfile} $OPTIONS

Just adding the -v makes output verbose and I could see an error like

memcache failed to listen on TCP port 11311 : Permission denied

At this point I realised selinux was enabled by default, I tend to forget about this as it is so common for it to be disabled.

In order to add a new allowed port I added the following packages to edit selinux rules


To check the name of the memcache port

semanage port -l | grep memcache

Then to allow the new port

sudo semanage port -a -t memcache_port_t -p tcp 11311

And now memcache works on the port I need for this project.

Sadly I don’t see any good puppet modules to help with this, and it still seems selinux is very commonly disabled as it is tricky to work with.