Ubuntu Domain Server

Ryan Dwyer ryandwyer1 at gmail.com
Wed Oct 21 07:54:44 UTC 2009

It's not about running server software with a GUI. It's about giving the
customers what they want: an easy, out-of-the-box solution for getting their
network up and running.

Consider a business with Windows Server, 100 Windows workstations and one
system administrator. One day, at home, the system administrator tries this
thing called Ubuntu. He notices it comes in desktop and server editions. He
tries the desktop edition first and is impressed at how usable it is. Next,
he tries the server edition and is immediately disliking it when it finds
out it's CLI only. He doesn't know how to do anything. His conclusion is
that Ubuntu is great for desktops but not feasible for servers as it
requires too much knowledge. He goes on his merry way, continuing to use
Windows Server at work. No one told him individual server tools can be
installed on the desktop edition, and even if someone did, he wouldn't care
because it's too much work to set it up.

Now consider the same scenario, but this time he notices three editions:
desktop, server and domain server. He tries desktop first and is impressed.
He tries domain server next because that sounds... like a domain server.
During the install, it boasts features such as automatic auditing and
centralised software management. After logging in, he's presented with tools
to manage users and install services such as a web and email server. He's
blown away by the simplicity of it all and notes it's much more usable than
Windows Server. It would make his job so much easier. The next day he tells
his boss and soon afterwards he's deploying it in his workplace.

I don't think the missing link is discoverability, as you said in your
article. The fact is your typical Windows admin isn't going to use a CLI
environment no matter what. No matter how intuitive your CLI program is with
menus and whatnot, he's still not going to use it because it's a CLI.

The vast majority of system administrators are Windows admins. Windows
admins won't use anything without a GUI, so making it CLI only would be
shooting yourself in the foot.


On Wed, Oct 21, 2009 at 5:17 PM, Thierry Carrez
<thierry.carrez at ubuntu.com>wrote:

> Ryan Dwyer wrote:
> > Please reply with your thoughts.
> I posted that a while ago:
> http://fnords.wordpress.com/2009/03/27/the-server-gui-dilemma/
> "Something which has a GUI, is very easy to manage and works best with
> Ubuntu workstations."
> Isn't our product with a GUI on which you can deploy server packages
> called "Ubuntu Desktop Edition" ?
> This discussion should rather occur on the ubuntu-server ML :)
> --
> Thierry Carrez
> Ubuntu server team
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