Roadmap for UbuntuServer

Liam Proven lproven at
Wed Feb 22 12:07:29 UTC 2006

On 2/22/06, Joao Inacio <jcinacio at> wrote:

> Yes, i think that this would be the ideal place to start.
> next thing IMHO would be put an administration interface on top of it,
> and that's were it gets trickier...

Yes, definitely.

It seems to me that there would be 3 stages to building such a
specialist distro:

[1] Assembling the components (probably, into metapackages) & offering
an installer to load them onto a PC.

[2] Doing some reasonable pre-configuration on them.

[3] Putting an admin web GUI on the front.

Part 1 is easy.
Part 2 is a little more complicated, but far from impossible. It is
comparable to the work that's been done tying the components of the
Ubuntu desktop together.
E.g. for a LAMP server, we'd need to:
- configure a default empty database in MySQL;
- install a default start page & a rudimentary public site as a
directory under Apache, with some very basic template files, for
people to get started  by modifying;
- an FTP server to allow stuff to be uploaded to the server;
- and some moderately-privileged site-admin accounts who can upload
stuff without having full root privileges.
(Disclaimer: I've never used LAMP and know little about it!)

Part 3 is the hard bit.

Webmin will do it but could do with a lot of simplification. Just
installing the relevant modules for each metapackage would be a good
start, so that, e.g., if the user installs a LAMP server, they get a
version of Webmin that only has AMP-related modules (plus system-wide
stuff), no modules for Samba/email/etc. This would make it a lot less

However, some people seem to have strong feelings against Webmin. I
would be interested to know why this is. Long ago - like 8-9y ago or
more - I saw it have some problems with configuring Samba, where it
failed to read the existing configuration directives in smb.conf and
added its own conflicting ones on the end, but it has gone through
many versions since then and I am sure it is better now.

Alternatively, we could look at adapting one of the other admin-GUI systems.

It seems to me that a good place to /start/ would be with perhaps just
a stage 1&2 system: just preinstallation & basic pre-configuration.
That's more than Debian does for the user!

If it was quickly taken up and proved successful, it might generate
interest in something more complete?

The risk is that if it /didn't/ take off, it might kill off interest
and support, of course.

> beeing this targeted at dapper +1 for obvious reasons, i would think
> that it's feasable to build something from scratch but of course that
> would be up to cannonical (in-house or bounty?)


> actually, even for dapper it wouldn't be any difficult just to create
> a meta-package that depends on apache2, perl, php and mysql:
> $ sudo apt-get install lamp-server

Exactly so! This would bring us back up to parity with what the
standard Debian installer does.

> To summarize, i just want to say that whatever the future plans for
> ubuntu server are, they will be good as long as something is done that
> guives the user a choice to install a "non-base" system.


Liam Proven ·
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