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2. Prerequisites for This Guide

The technical skills required for this guide are not very extensive. The most important skill to have is an ability to learn technical theories and put them into practice. It helps if you come into this guide with an idea of what you want to do, such as administrating a set of common services, making user content from /home/ served via Apache HTTP, manipulating policy to get a custom PHP Web application running, or writing a policy from to enable a custom application to be protected by SELinux. The following is helpful to have as you read through this guide:

  • Strong working understanding of Linux, especially Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

  • If you are going to be administrating services, manipulating or analyzing policy, junior- to mid-level system administration skills and experience is necessary, such as being a Red Hat Certified Technician (RHCT) or Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE)..

    To work with SELinux at that level, you must have the following:

    • An understanding of traditional Linux/UNIX security.

    • An understanding of how a Linux/UNIX system operates on a lower-level, such as how the kernel has system calls for various operations (open, close, read, write, ioctl, poll, etc.) An understanding of programming and system theory is useful in writing policy.

    • A familiarity with the m4 macro language, which is helpful in understanding some parts of the SELinux policy.

    • Read many of the NSA papers, listed in Chapter 9 References.

    • Administrator privileges on the system you have Red Hat Enterprise Linux installed on is necessary to perform many of the operations in this guide. However, there is plenty of useful information for end-users.

  • Somewhere you can examine and work with the policy sources. This can be a test or development machine, or possibly a workstation. Many of the examples and explanations in this book assume that you have the system in front of you to explore while you read.

  • Some additional patience. SELinux is a different way of handling access control than many administrators and users are familiar with.

Information about Red Hat training can be obtained via

  Published under the terms of the GNU General Public License Design by Interspire