Installing SELinux from Binary or Source Packages

Unless you choose a Linux distribution that includes built-in support for SELinux, you’ll have to install and configure SELinux yourself. It’s generally easier to do so using binary or source packages than using the source code tarballs released by the NSA. This section explains how to install and initially configure SELinux on:

  • Debian GNU/Linux

  • Gentoo Linux

  • SUSE Linux 8.2

In addition, the section gives advice on installing and configuring SELinux to work with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3. As explained earlier, the forthcoming Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 is planned to integrally support SELinux.

Debian GNU/Linux

At the time of writing, two releases of Debian GNU/Linux are currently in use, and a third is under development. The two commonly used releases are:

  • Debian GNU/Linux 3.0 stable, known as Woody

  • Debian GNU/Linux 3.0 unstable, known as Sid

As the release names indicate, Woody is considered the more reliable release; its component packages have been subject to more extensive, and more thorough, testing and use than those of Sid. However, the C compiler and libraries and other components of Woody are too old to work well with SELinux. Consequently, this section presents an SELinux installation procedure appropriate for Sid.

If you’re interested in using SELinux with Woody, you can use special packages created by Brian May, available at You can find brief instructions for using them at ...

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