Making SELinux allow a nonstandard MySQL port number on Centos 5.1

SELinux is a recently added security system that’s installed by default with CentOS 5.1 (and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5, and others). Since it’s newer than the classic “Discretionary Access Control” Unix security model, it’s not nearly as well documented, and unfamiliar to many. I had never even heard of it until this week.

After a lot of reading about it, and debating disabling it entirely, I figured out how to do some minor SELinux customization to fit my needs for a MySQL database server. Hopefully this will help folks who are in a similar situation.

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CentOS 5.1 Minimal VPS Install Guide

I’m working on a project that is deploying on CentOS 5.1, and I found it not entirely obvious how to install a really stripped down server, as a starting point for a lean and mean, hardened production server. Since I’m doing work on this at home on VMWare, and it’s being deployed on a VPS initially (and probably will remain virtualized for ease of management as it scales up), this guide is specifically aimed at this kind of configuration.

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Document Databases – New Kids on an Old Block

There’s a new crop of databases that has appeared lately, under the rubric of “document databases”, and there’s quite a lot of enthusiasm for them given that they tend to be slow and very feature-poor compared to the SQL RDBMSs that are the typical persistence mechanism for web applications. What’s mainly appealing about them is that they are easy to use, and theoretically quite scalable, compared to the traditional “one big SQL database server” approach.
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Ubuntu Linux 7.10 “Gutsy Gibbon” Upgrade Report

A few weeks ago I updated to the latest version of Ubuntu Linux. This is the 7.10 (meaning October 2007) release, called “Gutsy Gibbon”. I encountered a couple of serious issues early on, but now that these are resolved things are running well. I’ll describe the issues and solutions so that anyone else encountering them can easily overcome them.
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