Server issues

Soren Hansen soren at
Wed Nov 21 18:01:34 UTC 2007

On Wed, Nov 21, 2007 at 10:41:42AM -0600, Loye Young wrote:
> > > AVAHI I absolutely hate avahi.
> >Then why did you install it in the first place?
> I didn't! That's the whole problem! Avahi gets dragged in as a
> dependency to all the *buntu desktop GUIs, the CUPS server, and
> various client applications as well.

Yes, a certain part of avahi gets brought in by cupsys, but not
libnss-mdns which is the package that alters your nsswitch.conf and is
probably your main problem?

> The only method I see to avoid having avahi on a system is to use only a
> command line interface and not use the CUPS server, or else spend a few days
> trying to figure out how to roll-your-own desktop. That's a difficult pill
> to swallow for customers who are making the switch from MS Server and other
> GUI-based server products.

Although I find this discussion (vaguely) interesting, I hardly think
roll-your-own desktop discussions are on-topic for this mailing list?
ubuntu-desktop at is available if you want to pursue this.

> Ubuntu Server Edition, by contrast, appeals to the small and medium
> sized company, which typically has a very small IT department, if it
> have one at all. The poor soul managing the IT "department" of a small
> business has to administer client systems, the network, and the
> servers, plus provide tech support for user applications. Basically,
> everything connected to a keyboard or a monitor. That IT manager wants
> a GUI because he or she can't remember every geek-speak command
> necessary to run everything.

Do you believe that the intersection between the set of people who find
avahi hugely annoying and the set of people you just described is very
large? I don't.

> When the GUI desktop gets installed, the desktop dependencies drag in
> avahi and network-manager, which both hijack the network configuration
> in thinly documented ways.

Yes. It's a desktop OS. It's designed to do so. Please don't assume it's
a mistake we've not yet managed to correct.

> Avahi, on the other hand, lurks behind the scenes looking for and
> responding to other machines. It doesn't tell you what it's up to,
> what it's found, or what has found it. 

What information is it exactly that you feel is missing? Examples,

> To add insult to injury, getting avahi off the system (or even
> disabling it), requires an a priori understanding of zeroconf 

No. I've addressed this already elsewhere in this thread. Please don't
consider avahi and zeroconf one and the same thing. Just like you don't
need to know HTTP to uninstall apache, you don't need to know anything
about zeroconf to remove libnss-mdns (or any other package for that

Soren Hansen
Ubuntu Server Team
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