Server issues

Karl Goetz kamping_kaiser at
Thu Nov 22 00:35:05 UTC 2007

On Wed, 2007-11-21 at 15:00 -0600, Loye Young wrote:

> > 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

some users? one problem is the lack of a 'standard user' to easily

>  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.


> 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. 

Our ideas of intuitive seem to differ :) (i hardly use MS servers at

> > 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. 

i require ssh to admin my servers. i have to install it specially. i
also dont act supprised when i can no longer ssh in after the sshd stops
running :)

whatever you use to admin the server, if it will be done remotely, you
will risk having the service die on you.

> 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

This isnt a desktop. it doesnt need to operate like one.

>  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. 

Then get ahead of the curve and write them some horrible ajax thing ;)

> 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. 

i was thinking about this, and it occured to me if something like
lighttp was used for the web ui, then even a breaking of apache (the
"real" web server) wouldnt be the end of the world.


> Loye Young
> Isaac & Young Computer Company
> Laredo, Texas
> (956) 857-1172
> loye.young at
Karl Goetz <kamping_kaiser at>
Debian / Ubuntu / gNewSense

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