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What security tools are added to the kernel by distro manufacturers?

What security tools and commands are added to the Linux kernel by Red Hat or SuSE distros, and is one more secure than the other?

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As to what gets added by distro manufacturers: It greatly depends. Both Red Hat and SuSE provide a modified kernel that is customised to work with their particular distros. Often this involves adding customised code that provides performance, stability and sometimes security enhancements to the vanilla kernel. I recommend reading both manufacturers' documentation on their kernel and the release notes for the distro you have to determine exactly what features they provide above and beyond the vanilla kernel. This may be a factor in influencing your decision to buy a particular product. Personally I don't think one is more secure than the other. From a purely subjective point-of-view I generally use Red Hat Enterprise Linux (most recently version 4) because I have found it to be a secure and stable platform. Your choice may be influenced by a number of factors around price, performance, hardware and software choices and operability and supportability.

This was first published in September 2005

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