Server GUI Configuration Tools

Carlos Ribeiro carribeiro at
Tue Oct 24 01:28:51 BST 2006

On 10/23/06, Ivan Krstić <krstic at> wrote:
> Carlos Ribeiro wrote:
> > before implementing a GUI tool, we should talk about whether
> > to have X installed on a server or not.
> This isn't much of a discussion topic; we absolutely won't enable X by
> default in Ubuntu Server.

Agreed :-) I was trying to say that it doesn't make much sense to talk about
a GTK based GUI for a server that does not have X libraries installed -
unless one is willing to write his own client-server protocol to make it
work (which is not a good idea IMHO).

That said, Adam and I tossed around the idea of a "small business
> server"-type edition that would install X, and a semi-decent GUI for
> configuring the server and daemons. The problem is, no such GUI exists;
> what's out there now is just egregious.
> Getting server GUI configuration right is a hard problem. I'd be happy
> to see a group of people come together to spec this out in detail, and
> then get something implemented. The server team can review specs and
> answer any questions, and for those looking to get involved in
> development, this would be a great project that would -- if done right
> -- almost certainly get adopted in other distributions. There's a need
> for this tool.

I've read the comments about webmin and I agree. Most of these tools are way
too generic. What is needed, IMHO, is something that does the basic stuff,
and does it in a very simple way. If it works for the basic LAMP, it's
already a good enough start (as it can always be improved & extended later).

For a first shot, I think a Web interface is the way to go - no need for X,
and the limitations of the Web interface are a bonus as they force the
designer to keep the UI simple. Going to the GUI route implies that either X
libraries have to be installed (which may be a good idea or not), or that
the application implement some "protocol" of its own (even if only to copy
config files from & to the server during the configuration session).

Also, a simple Web interface will work over a regular SSH connection using
elinks or lynx (which support curses). It's not pretty, but it works. And
elinks supports HTTPS also, which is a plus.

Carlos Ribeiro
Consultoria em Projetos
mail: carribeiro at
mail: carribeiro at
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...

More information about the ubuntu-devel mailing list