Ubuntu server GUI
Matthew D Barley
matt.barley at duke.edu
Fri Jun 27 14:50:37 UTC 2008
I really like the idea. I am one of those individuals that you refer to
who are somewhat new to the Ubuntu/Linux environment and a GUI interface
on the server-end sounds like a fantastic idea.
> 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
>> 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
>> 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
>> 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".
>> - JAWUD
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