Server issues

Aaron Kincer kincera at
Wed Nov 21 21:41:03 UTC 2007

I think I understand where you are going with your argument and I'll
offer you a few of my own ideas.

If someone wants a shiny GUI, Ubuntu Server as it is out of the box
isn't for them and never was meant to be for them.

Perhaps Webmin would be sufficient? If not and someone absolutely
wants a shiny honking maybe even 3d GUI so they can edit some text
files in a graphical text editor (insanity of that aside), there is no
particular reason why you couldn't add your own. Heck, you could, if
you really wanted, make a standard desktop installation a server.
Apache will run on a Linux desktop just as happily as it will a
server. Of course you don't get security updates for as long a period
of time as you do a server.

I would like to point out that as far as servers go, a full-time GUI
is an absolute waste of resources. With the exception of installing
security updates, I rarely ever even touch my servers.

Even in small business settings, if someone is frequently getting on
the server to do something intensive locally, something is wrong. Just

On Nov 21, 2007 4:00 PM, Loye Young <loye.young at> wrote:
> > I realise that this says something of my way of communicating, but I
> > feel it necessary to point out that I'm by no means trying to be
> > offensive, I'm just trying to get a point across. If you feel offended,
> > I apologise in advance.
> You aren't being offensive; you are returning to a constructive discussion
> and I appreciate that.
> >  The
> > problem isn't that our desktop system provides avahi out of the box. Far
> > from it. The problem isn't that small business owners won't know how to
> > disable avahi.
> I believe that avahi is inherently problematic in any environment and
> doesn't provide concomitant benefit, but I do agree that's better taken up
> with the desktop team.
> > The problem might be that using the Ubuntu Server edition
> > is too difficult for these users. Does that sound about right? If so,
> > please let's work on solving that, rather than worrying about whether
> > our desktop edition does something you disagree with.
> For those "in the know," the server edition is fine as it is. However, many
> (perhaps most?) users will need or want a gui desktop to administer the
> server. At first blush, one of the already existing desktops seem to work
> and have the added advantage of familiarity, so users have a strong desire
> to install one. However, the existing desktops aren't ideal because they
> include applications that are either unnecessary or affirmatively dangerous
> in the server context. Avahi in particular is fundamentally inconsistent
> with a server install, for the reasons I've been harping on for two days.
> (If you are beginning to think I'm obsessive, tedious, or anything like
> that, you aren't alone. My own wife agrees.)
> I've used the MS Server desktop tools in the past. They are intuitive and a
> big part of the reason people keep paying Microsoft exorbitant fees for an
> otherwise shoddy product.
> > Again: Wrong question. Wrong problem. Actual problem: Getting from a
> > plain server install to one with eBox ready to go is too difficult. See?
> No, installing eBox isn't the "actual problem." The actual installing of
> eBox and apache isn't difficult, thanks to our beloved APT system and
> related tools. The actual problem is that the users still need a comfortable
> interface to administer the server, including the http server, whether or
> not the http server is running or even installed.
> Besides, even if everyone in this conversation agreed that eBox is the
> "best" administrative solution, users still want a desktop environment,
> because that's what they know how to use. If we don't give them one tuned
> for server administration, they'll install one on their own and applications
> like avahi will shoot them in the foot. They won't know otherwise. Of
> course, the IT guy will report to the boss "All I know is that I installed
> Ubuntu and it left me vulnerable."
> > Right tool for the right job.
> Can't disagree with you in principle, and you have put your finger on the
> central question: What's the right tool? The vast majority of server
> administrators in small businesses would answer that a desktop gui is what a
> modern OS should provide. It's what they're accustomed to now, it's what
> they are willing to pay for, and there's no reason not to give it to them,
> at least as an option.
> I've tested many of the available open-source desktop GUI server
> administration tools. While they could use some polish, they are extremely
> helpful and have the added advantage of being already built.
>  That said, there's no reason that web-based and desktop tools couldn't be
> independent choices for the administration of the server. Perhaps a
> check-the-box approach would provide the flexibility needed.
>  Loye Young
> Isaac & Young Computer Company
> Laredo, Texas
> (956) 857-1172
> loye.young at
> --
> ubuntu-server mailing list
> ubuntu-server at
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