[CentOS-docs] Mail / Web server guides

Mon Mar 25 11:44:09 UTC 2013
Manuel Wolfshant <wolfy at nobugconsulting.ro>

On 03/25/2013 12:41 PM, Christian Salway wrote:
> Hi John,
> Thank you for your feedback.
> Firstly, "If such issues could possibly be resolved I feel these scripts
> would be very beneficial to many users.", who better to help out with that
> than you by the sounds of it.
> Anyway, although I would love a perfect system the way CentOS org intended
> it, there are many reasons why I have done the scripts the way I have.
> Mainly because there is not always the documentation out there to be able to
> achieve the centos perfect result, or the packages available in the
> 'preferred' repos are out-of-date, so people like me find the 'best'
> solution they can.
> selinux
> I'm all about security but there just isn't any good documentation for
> managing selinux!  If there was, SELINUX would still be enabled.
     I beg to differ. There is plenty of documentation but people still 
think and act as they did 10 years ago when selinux was introduced,
For those who really want to do things properly, there exist:
- http://wiki.centos.org/HowTos/SELinux
- http://wiki.centos.org/TipsAndTricks/SelinuxBooleans
     Not to mention the plethora of docs available from the selinux 
creators/maintainers themselves  such as the posts written by Dan Walsh 
( http://danwalsh.livejournal.com/ ) and Dominick Grift ( 
http://selinux-mac.blogspot.ro/ )
     Unfortunately real life has proven that quite often people prefer 
to blame selinux and lack of docs as a cover-up for not allocating the 
time to read and learn.

>    For
> instance, how to allow selinux to let pureftp and apache share the same
> files, show me a simple guide on that!
     There are several booleans related to ftp and httpd and properly 
turning the required bits on would make everybody happy. getsebool -a | 
grep "ftp\|httpd" will let most users figure things out easily. The 
tools described in the first 2 above mentioned links will teach those 
who want to learn.
     Incidentally pureftp is the ftp server that I use, too. But the 
reasoning is pure laziness from my part, it's running on a system that 
was first installed in the RH 7.2 era and I was ( I still am ) too lazy 
to transfer my custom settings to vsftpd. But I assure you, selinux is 
on and always has been. It's also true that I keep selinux on ever since 
I started using it , back in the Fedora 3 era, even if at times I had to 
spent 30 min to create custom policies ( and this still happens when I 
add packages from 3rd party repos... munin is my latest "friend" from 
this point of view).

> perl-File-Scan-ClamAV
> I used http://wiki.apache.org/spamassassin/ClamAVPlugin to interact ClamAV
> and spamassassin which mentions File::Scan::ClamAV but which wasn't
> available in the repositories I had chosen,
     Do you mean that you did not find 

>   so clicking on the link took me
> to cpan, which I then found a way to automate the install off.  I see no
> reason why it wasn't a good way of doing it as you get the latest version
> and it's only an add-on module to perl.

     For what it's worth, there are several applications - such as 
cpanspec, available as package from EPEL, too  - which allow almost 
automatic creation of rpm packages from CPAN modules and take almost no 
time for the process. For most modules it takes longer to download from 
CPAN than to create a rpm.

> phpmyadmin
> What is so wrong about downloading the latest html files direct from the
> developers website?  Nothing is 'installed' into the system and the
> repositories rarely have the latest version.
     Beside that fact the CentOS is a rpm-based distro and your 
suggestion administers it as if it was slackware ?
     Incidentally phpmyadmin is one of the best maintained packages , 
its Fedora maintainer is extremely active and responsive. Not to mention 
that he also offers help for his packages via IRC

>    You are basically asking the
> CentOS uses to stay in the dark from new and improved versions of software
> until you 'have the time' to add them to the repositories!
     It's quite the opposite. The repositories are places where the 
software lands after at least a bit of testing is done. What you suggest 
here is the gentoo approach, always hunt for the latest and shiniest. 
Which might or might not work, depending on the phase of the moon.

> UTC timezone
> The timezone script was for simplicity with my setup only and can obviously
> be removed.  Although I'm sure a half-witted donkey can figure out how to
> change it.
     And yet despite most monkeys are able to read the selinux 
instructions and rely on selinux to add an additional layer of security 
for the server, you recommend to turn it off instead of teaching how to 
adjust it to fit your bill.

> Remi over rpmforge
> I tried to install mysql from rpmforge but it just wasn't happening.  Their
> mysql_libs are still old and thus causes a warning in phpmyadmin.
     Most people can and should rely on the mysql packages provided by 
the distribution itself. Or they can go with IUS if a newer mysql 
version is needed. So far I have seen exactly 4 people who really needed 
and took advantage of the features brought in by the newer mysql 
versions. But hey, maybe you are number 5... In this case please try to 
use the packages from IUS and provide feedback so more users can benefit 
from your experience.

> Although CentOS may be a packaged managed system, most of the time the
> packages in the repositories are way behind,
was written exactly to explain the reasoning for this situation...
>   resulting in system
> administrators like myself having to install versions with security
> concerns, bugs
... and https://access.redhat.com/security/updates/backporting deals 
with this .

>   or unavailable useful features that is just simply
> ridiculous, all because you want users to follow suit.
     If you want( or need ) to compile the shiniest latest apps and use 
them, you are more than welcome to do that but you have chosen the 
incorrect distribution. Suggesting everyone to follow your way which is 
exactly against the policy of the distribution is a bit irresponsible 
and should by no means be endorsed in the centos wiki.

     manuel, happy selinux user since 2004