Ubuntu server GUI

Neil Wilson neil at brightbox.co.uk
Sun Jun 29 07:51:54 UTC 2008

On 28/06/2008, Scott Kitterman <ubuntu at kitterman.com> wrote:

> I think both of you have your points, but are rather missing what nxvl is
> trying to accomplish.  Personally I have about half a dozen servers that I
> manage related to my business.  I can, and do, ssh into each one and
> do "stuff" to administer them.  This is a good and right way to do
> Linux 'stuff'.  I encourage admins to know how to do this and not be
> dependent on a GUI even if one is available.  This is not the problem that
> (as I understand it) nxvl is trying to work on.

Any adminstration GUI should not be on the server. The best way to do
admin on a Linux machine is to issue commands to it.

However that is not to say that the commands have to be typed in by
hand at the # prompt.

The best way to do server admin via GUI is to use a management station
that has the GUI on it and then issues commands to the server via some
interface - libvirt style, HTTP REST style, or just good old ssh.

That way there is no guff on your server getting in the way of its
primary function - in complete contrast to Windows servers.

It is a myth that GUIs are productive for complex tasks. They are not.
What they provide is an aide-memoir, and potted tasks (good for
newbies). Where they really excel is providing an overview picture
(workflows and dashboards).

As for high level tools that manage lots of servers, I'm very fond of
Capistrano - a ruby tool that can parallel ssh into hundreds of
machines and run potted 'tasks'. With it I can security patch my
entire estate or hundreds of VMs as easily as I can patch one.

If you're looking for something to leg up on and wrap a menu interface
around then Capistrano tasks would be my first thought.

Neil Wilson

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