Disappointed with Ubuntu Server, could be used by such a wider audience

Anthony Watters tonyozwatters at yahoo.com
Thu Jul 31 23:15:17 UTC 2008


First an apology; when I said in the subject line of my post "Disappointed with Ubuntu Server..." I did not mean to imply at all that Ubuntu Server is an inferior product, far from it, merely that in its present offering it is simply not suitable for use by the masses (an untapped new market, although it won't remain untapped for very long). I am impressed with Ubuntu Desktop which naturally led me to look at Ubuntu Server and was surprised that there isn't a ClarkConnect type offering for Ubuntu Server when there really should be.

Home users/SOHO business and small businesses simply doen't have the time or necessarily the knowledge/skills to do the things necessary to configure Ubuntu Server to create a secure Web Server/WebMail Server/File Server in say either server only mode or a server + gateway mode. For one thing small businesses don't have access to the resources of big business.

Microsoft is surely trying to start tapping into this massive new market:


Also, Microsoft is up to its old tricks with things like PNRP (clearly it wants to make the Internet its own by making the existing Internet way obsolete over time - much like it did to Novell Netware), and as usual it is doing this quietly so that when people realise and try to do something about it it will be too late.

If Ubuntu Server doesn't offer a ClarkConnect type installation it will miss a massive opportunity. And the last thing I'd like to see is Microsoft win in this space.

To those seeking my involvement, sure, I would be happy to get involved and test such a system if you guys create it but I am not a developer. In the meantime it looks like ClarkConnect is probably all I have available to use.

By the way, SME Server is called SME Server because it is aimed at small to medium businesses. Small to medium businesses require a functioning Web Server/Webmail Server/File Server but they mostly won't be attempting to use multiple processors, multiple machines and all the other stuff that big enterprises are interested in. The Web site of a small business is likely to use maybe 20 or so html pages with some PHP forms and that's about it, and they probably won't get that many hits on their Web site, and maybe max of 40 or so users i.e. they don't need a sledge hammer to crack a nut, but they do need a big helping hand to hide them from the bowels of the server and the command line.



----- Original Message ----
From: Anthony Watters <tonyozwatters at yahoo.com>
To: ubuntu-devel-discuss at lists.ubuntu.com
Cc: mark at ubuntu.com
Sent: Thursday, July 31, 2008 9:14:06 AM
Subject: Disappointed with Ubuntu Server, could be used by such a wider audience


As a newbie to Ubuntu I have to say it is hard to believe that Ubuntu Desktop and Ubuntu Server come from the same stable.

The Ubuntu server should come in two offerings; i.e. the unfriendly existing Ubuntu server, and, more importantly to the masses, a friendly pre-configured Ubuntu server that uses SME Server (http://smeserver.com) and ClarkConnect (http://clarkconnect.com) as a starting point only not crippled, and much better.

It is only a matter of time before people start running servers from home (check out Windows Home Server and no doubt Apple will have something up its sleeves before very long too). Ubuntu server should be leading the way and definitely before Microsoft cooks up its next bit of mischief. The last thing people want is to have to mess around down in the bowels to configure the thing (should be easy).

The server section of the 2007 "The Official Ubuntu Book" is way too vague too and designed to scare people from using the server.

Preconfigure the thing, give it a GUI web admin, make it easy for someone to set up a Web server/Webmail/File server either in server only mode or server and gateway mode. All I should need to set up is a couple of users, provide the IP address and say whether I want RAID and maybe how I want the partitions configured (but with suggested recommendations along the way at every step).

I have my own registered domain currently hosted with an ISP. I want to move it into my home. How to do it? That's where the focus should be. There are many, many thousands like me.



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