June’s LUG meeting last week was on SELinux, presented by Bruce Locke. The subject is amazingly complex, and hence the talk ran the full 2 hours, with lots of great meaty information throughout. The SELinux transition model has always been something that I found interesting, but didn’t fully grok, and this talk helped quite a lot in that regard. Bruce used php in apache as the canonical example of a security issue you need to contain. While my opinion is largely don’t install php on any public facing machine, when you need to support real users, like Bruce does at SUNY New Paltz, that isn’t much of an option. At least with SELinux when, not if, your php app gets hacked, it can be contained pretty well, with a much smaller chance of getting a root shell. The explanation of the targeted policy in Fedora and RHEL was also useful, as it makes SELinux a lot less scary to run. SELinux has a long way to go on usability, but with the Fedora targeted policy, at least it is vaguely usable today.
I’m quite excited for the July meeting coming up, as James Vasille of the Software Freedom Law Center is coming up to talk. A full abstract will be up soon, but for those who have questions around the legal aspects of Open Source, here is one of the experts on the subject. SFLC worked with the Gaim community to get them through their suit with AOL over AIM trademark infringement (god I hate Time Warner). I’ll let James explain a lot more on what they do once he is here. It will be great to have him.
We’ve got September lined up, as Ed previously offered to do a dog and pony show on his Linux CNC machine. Perhaps we’ll add other show and tell Linux devices for that meeting.
August, and months after are still up for grabs, with a few folks giving me some tenative commitments at this point. As always, we are looking for speakers. If you can find someone that is interested in speaking, we’ll appreciate it. Finding and filling the speaker schedule of MHVLUG is always the biggest challenge, and help on that task is welcomed.