Re: Nautilus integration with SELinux

Am Mittwoch, den 01.03.2006, 10:23 -0500 schrieb Ivan Gyurdiev:
> >> Putting something like selinux, that even many developers think is
> >> overcomplicated black magic, in the main easy-to-use permissions UI
> >> seems like a very poor choice.
> >>   
> > I hear this assertion made repeatedly in places like fedora-devel, 
> > without any specific suggestions to back it up.
> >
> > There are many people working to make this technology better - it 
> > would be nice if we could be told why this is "overcomplicated black 
> > magic," so we can correct the problem. We certainly aim to make 
> > SELinux easier to work, and integration with nautilus is a step in 
> > that direction.
> Also, I think "black voodoo magic" is a self-fulfilling prophecy. If 
> developers treat SELinux that way, then how are the users supposed to 
> understand it? It's up to us to expose SELinux to the user in a way that 
> is easy to understand and work with. I'll keep that in mind when 
> submitting patches to this list. It would be nice if SELinux could gain 
> more acceptance into mainstream. Hiding it under an "Advanced" tab will 
> not help accomplish that - it's just another way of saying that we 
> couldn't figure out a way to organize and present the information.

We're already facing the problem of complexity with the standard UNIX
permissions. Very few people actually know what the r and x flag means
for directories. You can't expect people to be aware of complex issues,
and that's the whole problem with security. Innovative concepts are
appreciated, but when designing some proposals for the new UI, I
immediately faced the problem that there are people who know exactly
what they're doing and people who don't have a glimpse about the details
but just want to be able to read something/write to some location, or be
able to prevent others from reading from/writing to a location, a
document, a share or whatever.

I'd appreciate an integration of a sophisticated technologies like
SElinux, but the limits of GUI simplification begin where admin issues
are involved. It is probably very hard to expose the full MAC power in a
button/list-driven GUI rather than a shell (wrapper?), although MCS
seems to be more intuitive to the user than MLS. According to Wikipedia,
RH is mainly interested in using SElinux for server services, so why
should the ordinary user care? Maybe you could come up with concrete
use-cases, apart from intelligence/government applications, where the
user actually wants to apply/modify the categories for a particular

Christian Neumair <chris gnome-de org>

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