SELinux support in Ubuntu 8.04 (“Hardy Heron”)

Christer Edwards has announced support for SELinux in Ubuntu 8.04, and documented the installation procedure:

  $ sudo aptitude install selinux

It’s great to see other distributions adopting SELinux. I’m anticipating that the Ubuntu community will bring in fresh ideas and perspectives based on their overall focus on usability.

SELinux has always been an entirely open project and it was never intended to be specific to any particular distribution or company (a perception which unfortunately has emerged in recent times). Hopefully, adoption by Ubuntu (and others) will help to dispel such myths, including the myth that SELinux is difficult to use. It would be unrealistic not to expect a few teething problems in Ubuntu, but experience with Fedora has shown that they can be fixed, and that stronger security can be made highly usable in the general case.

Something interesting to consider is that with SELinux support, Ubuntu is now a potentially LSPP/EAL4+ certifiable distribution. As many will know, such certifications are important requirements for significant classes of government and military procurement, and we are also seeing some such users moving exclusively to open systems.

Side note: it seems that there’ll be some SELinux talks and events at OLS: nothing official quite yet, but keep your calendars open!