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SELinux System Administration

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  • Enable and disable features selectively or even enforce them to a granular level
  • Interpret SELinux logging to make security-conscious decisions
  • Assign new contexts and sensitivity labels to files and other resources
  • Work with mod_selinux to secure web applications
  • Use tools like sudo, runcon, and newrole to switch roles and run privileged commands in a safe environment
  • Use iptables to assign labels to network packets
  • Configure IPSec and NetLabel to transport SELinux contexts over the wire
  • Build your own SELinux policies using reference policy interfaces

NSA Security-Enhanced Linux (SELinux) is a set of patches and added utilities to the Linux kernel to incorporate a strong, flexible, mandatory access control architecture into the major subsystems of the kernel. With its fine-grained yet flexible approach, it is no wonder Linux distributions are firing up SELinux as a default security measure.

SELinux System Administration covers the majority of SELinux features through a mix of real-life scenarios, descriptions, and examples. Everything an administrator needs to further tune SELinux to suit their needs are present in this book.

This book touches on various SELinux topics, guiding you through the configuration of SELinux contexts, definitions, and the assignment of SELinux roles, and finishes up with policy enhancements. All of SELinux's configuration handles, be they conditional policies, constraints, policy types, or audit capabilities, are covered in this book with genuine examples that administrators might come across.

By the end, SELinux System Administration will have taught you how to configure your Linux system to be more secure, powered by a formidable mandatory access control.

  • Use SELinux to further control network communications
  • Enhance your system's security through SELinux access controls
  • Set up SELinux roles, users and their sensitivity levels
Page Count 120
Course Length 3 hours 36 minutes
Date Of Publication 23 Sep 2013


Sven Vermeulen

Sven Vermeulen is a long-term contributor to various free software projects and the author of various online guides and resources. He got his first taste of free software in 1997 and never looked back. In 2003, he joined the ranks of the Gentoo Linux project as a documentation developer and has since worked in several roles, including Gentoo Foundation trustee, council member, project lead for various documentation initiatives, and (his current role) project lead for Gentoo Hardened SELinux integration and the system integrity project.

During this time, Sven gained expertise in several technologies, ranging from OS-level knowledge to application servers. He used his interest in security to guide his projects further in the areas of security guides using SCAP languages, mandatory access controls through SELinux, authentication with PAM, (application) firewalling, and more.

Within SELinux, Sven contributed several policies to the Reference Policy project, and he is an active participant in policy development and user space development projects.

In his daily job, Sven is an IT architect in a European financial institution as well as a self-employed solution engineer and consultant. The secure implementation of infrastructures (and the surrounding architectural integration) is, of course, an important part of this. Prior to this, he graduated with an MSc in computer engineering from Ghent University and MSc in ICT enterprise architecture from http://inno.com/, and he worked as a web application infrastructure engineer.

Sven is the main author of the Gentoo Handbook, which covers the installation and configuration of Gentoo Linux on several architectures. He also authored the Linux Sea online publication (a basic introduction to Linux for novice system administrators) and SELinux System Administration and SELinux Cookbook for Packt Publishing.