Our best foot forward

Patrick optomatic at rogers.com
Wed Nov 14 17:51:37 UTC 2007

Hi Eoin and list

I agree that shell scripts are not for beginners. Really I think Ubuntu 
is already really good for the beginners, although a different bred of 
OS , I don't see what is more difficult then let's say windoze. However 
for a beginner administrator, let's say someone who is trying to set up 
a small business network, an FTP server etc, it is a different story.

Take me for example, I still would not call myself an expert but I have 
come a long way from last year. Last year I set up an FTP server(VSFTP) 
it took me 1-1.5 days. Now I can set one up in 15 minutes because I know 
what to do. I read through the online tutorials and I was instructed to 
type vi /etc/vsftpd.conf. I then had to learn how to use vi(which I 
hate). Then I had to figure out that the tutorial probably should have 
said sudo vi /etc/vsftpd.conf. To boot VSFTP was not my first choice 
there was another open source one that turned out to not be very good. 
I  was discouraged and then tried setting up Webmin which took more time 
to learn and in the end did not really do want I wanted it to do so I 
went back to manual editing.

I have a small business. Things are gong well enough this year but last 
year was a real struggle. 1.5 days really hurt. I can't stand close 
source software but the better business move would have been to pay 
$100-200 on a closed source one click install windoze App.

There is tons of great open source software out there but we have to 
lower the barrier to entry. We are fighting Billions of dollars and 
political influence, we can't just be as good as windoze we have to be a 
lot better to get noticed.

If someone had a script like this for me it would have really helped:


echo "we are going to install vsftpd"

sudo apt-get install vsftpd

echo "you will need to edit the following configuration file to get this 
please change the listen to address to your ip\
if you want more then anonymous access please add a user name and file 

sudo gedit /etc/vsftp.conf

echo "now we need to start the server"

sudo /etc/init.d/vsftpd start

echo "please check your your FTP server now by typing= ftp your-server ip"

I think a new administrator could get a server off the ground in an hour 
or so and at no cost. His/Her boss would say great this cost me $20 (or 
whatever the hourly wage is). If I was the new administrator last year 
and I made $20 an hour, my boss wold have said " this cost me $240. We 
should have paid for that Windows one click app.

Ubuntu is awesome but maybe it needs to be easier for administrators.

I would be happy to write a dozen of these scripts but I will need help 
to develop a big repository.


Eoin Rogers wrote:
> On 14/11/2007, *Patrick* <optomatic at rogers.com 
> <mailto:optomatic at rogers.com>> wrote:
>     So my suggestion is a
>     halfway point between the "hand-holding" of the GUI and the sometimes
>     confusing world of the CLI.
> IMO, beginners like the hand-holding. It's vital for Ubuntu not to get 
> confusing for the end-user. Getting them to run shell scripts may be 
> going a bit too far!
> - Eoin Rogers

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