SELinux, Fedora, and ASSP

I’m setting up a new Linux server at work to run ASSP, a spam-filtering SMTP proxy. This’ll be my third ASSP server. On the first, I used Fedora 1 (or maybe 2). On the second, the one that’s currently live, I’m using Fedora 4. The new server will be running Fedora Core 6. The reason I keep building new servers for ASSP is largely that I don’t have any budget to go out and actually buy a server for this, so I just keep recycling old workstations into servers, and, eventually, they fall apart. Or our mail volume increases to the point where the old server can’t handle it. Either way, it forces me to keep somewhat up-to-date with Linux.

The new wrinkle in Fedora 6 is SELinux. I hit one SELinux-related snag today that got me browsing around a bit for SELinux info. I stumbled upon Dan Walsh’s LiveJournal page, which turns out to be pretty helpful.

I’m wondering if I should keep using Fedora for this. On the one hand, it’s free and I’m pretty familiar with the basics of the distribution, since a lot of stuff in there goes back to the old Red Hat distributions, which I’ve been using on and off since, I think, Red Hat 5.2, in 1998. On the other hand, it’s not terribly stable. It’s on something like a six-month release cycle, and the legacy support for old releases is a bit questionable at this point. See “Why Fedora Matters” for some thoughts on the subject.

Something like CentOS might be better for a production server like this. It’s based off RHEL, and as such, ought to be a lot more stable that Fedora. I did download CentOS 4.4, and tried to get it working in a virtual machine to try it out, but I had some problems, and just gave up for now.

ASSP, by the way, is a wonderful spam-filtering solution that doesn’t seem to get nearly enough recognition. I’ve followed it through a few releases, and watched as it has changed hands from one developer to another. It’s a pretty good example of an open source project that works well. The original developer stopped working on it a while ago, but other folks have picked it up and added stuff to it where it’s been needed. At this point, it’s a fairly stable, and very configurable, spam filter, probably comparable with serious commercial software.

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