Ubuntu server GUI

Nicolas Valcarcel nvalcarcel at ubuntu-pe.org
Fri Jun 27 14:17:11 UTC 2008

I'm not packaging augeas to have augeas on ubuntu, i have such a
project: http://wiki.ubuntu.com/UbuntuCentralizedServiceAdministrator

On Fri, 2008-06-27 at 15:08 +0200, JAWUD wrote:
> Just  my thoughts on ubuntu server GUI.
> English is not my native language so I apologize for grammar mistakes.
> Windows server system is very popular and I think it is because of the GUI it
> has. In my opinion a user should be able to configure a server without the cli.
> GUIs have some big advantage over the cli, it’s easier to learn, more users are
> comfortable with it and it just looks better. There is also a huge demand for a
> good gui, see all the brainstorm ideas.
> But a server without CLI is also not nice. A lot of Linux sysadmins are used to
> it and some things are very hard to do with GUIs. So the perfect server os
> should provide the user with a nice clean GUI but without disrupting the usual
> cli.
> Building a GUI doesn’t automatically mean that the problem is solved. Developing
> a bad GUI isn’t that difficult. The GUI needs a lot of usability testing. I also
> believe that the GUI shouldn’t be developed with the current situation in mind.
> Systems like webmin provide a GUI for a lot of server software, but it isn’t
> easy.
> The target group of a GUI are people with less Linux experience and who wants a
> stable and secure server. People who knows the cli are probable not interested
> in the GUI. People with large deployments are also not interested in a GUI. They
> want control over all the details.
> Server GUI options:
> There are several options for a GUI. First one is to run X/gnome and make a GUI
> for the server. Remote server management can be done with VNC. This is the
> windows way of server management. Running X/gnome takes a lot of resources and
> VNC is not so fast.  So this is not a nice option.
> Another option is to run a web server and make a web interface. As far as I know
> this is the current vision of the ubuntu server team (ebox). Running a web
> server also takes some resources. Another disadvantage is that web interfaces
> are not as nice and rich as QT/GTK apps. The real time graphs like system
> monitor are not possible with html/css etc.
> The third option is to create a curses GUI. The advantages are that it doesn’t
> take a lot of resources, doesn’t need some external services like a web server
> and it is accessible via SSH. Some huge disadvantage is that it looks horrible.
> How things looks are also important on the server.  Server admin are also humans
> just like desktop users.
> The last option is to make a remote GUI system. Here’s a example: a user
> installs the “Ubuntu Server Console” program on his desktop. It’s a GTK or QT
> app which can be used to connect to a supported ubuntu server via ssh so it can
> be configured. In my opinion this is the best option. It has a nice and rich GUI
> and there is no web server or X/gnome. It’s comparable with Rapache.
> Maybe I can do a small usability test to figure out what people think of cli,
> curses or remote gtk.  I can also create a ubuntuforum poll to get peoples
> preference.
> All the interfaces are just different front ends. So I think ubuntu needs a
> configuration abstraction layer. Something like Augeas. Augeas can become the
> back end and then it’s easier to build different GUIs. Augeas intend to cover
> all commonly used configuration files and it is still possible to edit the
> config files manual.
> Work together?
> There are several people working on some gui option. Why not create one big
> project, define some goals, create a roadmap and start working. These people
> might be interested in working together..
> Nxvl – packaging augeas for ubuntu and want to build a cursus gui
> Rapache – working on a remote apacke gui tool
> Satega – working on ubuntu home server
> Someone else??
> As far as I know all these people are on this mailing list. Together we can do
> nice things and I'm interested in your opinion about this. Especially in
> creating a "Ubuntu Server Console".
aka nxvl
Peruvian LoCo Team
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