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How to Set Up SELinux Right, the First Time


When you need to run Linux in an especially secure environment, SELinux is the answer. But it takes some know-how to get the hypersecure Linux version up and running.

Twenty years ago, when it became apparent how important Linux would become, the U.S. National Security Agency created a mandatory access control (MAC) architecture for Linux. As in other realms, security is always important, but sometimes it’s especially important. From its creation and extending to today, Security-Enhanced Linux (SELinux) has blocked tampering threats and prevented attempts to bypass application security.

I hasten to stress that you should not adopt SELinux just because the extra-robust security functionality exists. Yes, I know how much security matters to your business, but SELinux isn’t for everyone. Running SELinux takes extra time, requires far more hands-on involvement than other Linux distributions, and demands deep knowledge about Linux architecture.

In fact, if you set it up haphazardly, you are asking for trouble. 

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