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Old 11-21-2007, 04:51 PM
"Sebastien Estienne"
 
Default Server issues

On Nov 21, 2007 6:42 PM, Loye Young <loye.young@iycc.net> wrote:
> > I really don't understand why you want to install desktop applications
> > on your server and refuse to disable avahi?
>
> [Loye banging head against desk]
>
> I don't know what more I can say that will enable you to see the world
> through the eyes of small business owners, who are my customers for server
> products.
>
> I personally know how to set up a minimalistic, command-line, server
> environment. I also know how to roll my own desktop that doesn't drag in
> avahi, so I never have to disable it. (BTW, your simplistic solution to
> "disable" avahi doesn't work over the long haul. Yes, it stops it from
> starting on the next reboot. But experience has taught me that it doesn't
> stay disabled over any reasonable number of software updates. The real
> solution is never to install it in the first place.)
If /etc/default/avahi-daemon get modified automatically, this is a bug
that must be fixed

>
> The small businesses who are the best candidates for Ubuntu SE find a
> desktop environment on a server to be irresistible, even required. The
> learning curve to administer a server is too steep without a GUI to assist
> the admin. Besides, why should the customer be put to the choice between (a)
> an insecure, unstable, but intuitive server OS (MS Server) and (b) a secure,
> stable, but inscrutable server OS (Ubuntu SE)? There is no reason NOT to
> give the administrator the security, stability, and standards-compliance of
> Linux with an intuitive, documented GUI in the spirit of Ubuntu.
>
>
> > MO instead of using gtk apps to setup a server, ebox
> > (http://ebox-platform.com/index ) would be a better alternative.
>
> Again, you are looking at the world through the eyes of one who already
> knows.
>
> eBox is great if you already know how to set up a webserver using the
> command line and a text editor. But if the webserver itself gets messed up
> (e.g., the admin forgot to put "/Directory" at the end of the site
> configuration block and apache won't start), the admin is SOL.
>
> Instead, we need a desktop GUI to administer Apache, too. There is a project
> to port YaST to Ubuntu (https://wiki.ubuntu.com/YaST), which is a step in
> the right direction. See also
> http://content.techrepublic.com.com/2346-22_11-93051.html. I'd prefer a gtk
> tool in order to minimize the number of dependencies, but the concept is the
> right one.
>

Ebox is a web gui, i can't see why a gtk ui is easier to use, almost
all appliance on the market ships with a web gui.
IMO a gtk ui, means that your server needs a keyboard/mouse/display
and that you can't easily administer it remotely without things like
vnc or nx.
With a web gui, you only need a browser, and you don't even have to
know that it's linux behind it.

>
> --
>
>
> Loye Young
> Isaac & Young Computer Company
> Laredo, Texas
>
>



--
Sebastien Estienne

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Old 11-21-2007, 05:01 PM
Soren Hansen
 
Default Server issues

On Wed, Nov 21, 2007 at 10:41:42AM -0600, Loye Young wrote:
> > > AVAHI I absolutely hate avahi.
> >Then why did you install it in the first place?
> I didn't! That's the whole problem! Avahi gets dragged in as a
> dependency to all the *buntu desktop GUIs, the CUPS server, and
> various client applications as well.

Yes, a certain part of avahi gets brought in by cupsys, but not
libnss-mdns which is the package that alters your nsswitch.conf and is
probably your main problem?

> The only method I see to avoid having avahi on a system is to use only a
> command line interface and not use the CUPS server, or else spend a few days
> trying to figure out how to roll-your-own desktop. That's a difficult pill
> to swallow for customers who are making the switch from MS Server and other
> GUI-based server products.

Although I find this discussion (vaguely) interesting, I hardly think
roll-your-own desktop discussions are on-topic for this mailing list?
ubuntu-desktop@lists.ubuntu.com is available if you want to pursue this.

> Ubuntu Server Edition, by contrast, appeals to the small and medium
> sized company, which typically has a very small IT department, if it
> have one at all. The poor soul managing the IT "department" of a small
> business has to administer client systems, the network, and the
> servers, plus provide tech support for user applications. Basically,
> everything connected to a keyboard or a monitor. That IT manager wants
> a GUI because he or she can't remember every geek-speak command
> necessary to run everything.

Do you believe that the intersection between the set of people who find
avahi hugely annoying and the set of people you just described is very
large? I don't.

> When the GUI desktop gets installed, the desktop dependencies drag in
> avahi and network-manager, which both hijack the network configuration
> in thinly documented ways.

Yes. It's a desktop OS. It's designed to do so. Please don't assume it's
a mistake we've not yet managed to correct.

> Avahi, on the other hand, lurks behind the scenes looking for and
> responding to other machines. It doesn't tell you what it's up to,
> what it's found, or what has found it.

What information is it exactly that you feel is missing? Examples,
please.

> To add insult to injury, getting avahi off the system (or even
> disabling it), requires an a priori understanding of zeroconf

No. I've addressed this already elsewhere in this thread. Please don't
consider avahi and zeroconf one and the same thing. Just like you don't
need to know HTTP to uninstall apache, you don't need to know anything
about zeroconf to remove libnss-mdns (or any other package for that
matter).

--
Soren Hansen
Ubuntu Server Team
http://www.ubuntu.com/
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Old 11-21-2007, 05:08 PM
Thilo Six
 
Default Server issues

Sebastien Estienne wrote the following on 21.11.2007 18:36

<<-snip->>

> if you use dhcp, issue this command : "sudo netstat -upna | grep dhclient"
> You'll see that dhclient, is listening on udp port 68, if it listens on a port

ok now i see what you mean:

$ sudo nmap -sU -p 68 --version-all 192.168.1.100 | grep dhcp
68/udp open|filtered dhcpc




--
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Old 11-21-2007, 05:08 PM
"Loye Young"
 
Default Server issues

> i can't see why

I see that.

I've said on this topic. I stand behind my original thesis: avahi should not be installed by default on any system, much less a server.

Loye



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Old 11-21-2007, 05:10 PM
Soren Hansen
 
Default Server issues

On Wed, Nov 21, 2007 at 11:43:50AM -0600, Loye Young wrote:
> > I really don't understand why you want to install desktop applications
> > on your server and refuse to disable avahi?
> I don't know what more I can say that will enable you to see the world
> through the eyes of small business owners, who are my customers for
> server products.

Look, you're really and truly barking up the wrong tree here. Please
take a few steps back and consider what your problem actually is. 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. 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.

> > MO instead of using gtk apps to setup a server, ebox
> > (http://ebox-platform.com/index ) would be a better alternative.
> Again, you are looking at the world through the eyes of one who
> already knows.

> eBox is great if you already know how to set up a webserver using the
> command line and a text editor.

Again: Wrong question. Wrong problem. Actual problem: Getting from a
plain server install to one with eBox ready to go is too difficult. See?

> Instead, we need a desktop GUI to administer Apache, too.

No. If you want to hammer in a nail, but you find that your hammer is
upside down, you don't go out and buy a new one, and you don't start
hammering it in with a rolled up newspaper. You turn your hammer around
and get to work. Right tool for the right job.

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.

--
Soren Hansen
Ubuntu Server Team
http://www.ubuntu.com/
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Old 11-21-2007, 05:47 PM
"David L. Willson"
 
Default Server issues

I'll bet Soren is rather more in touch with the corporate direction for
Ubuntu Server than either of us. Let's speak only on our own part.

Here's my opinion: I'll be sad to see "Ubuntu Server" become jeOS. I
liked the fact that Ubuntu had both poles, the best (most featureful)
Linux Desktop, and the best (smallest group of core components) Linux
Server. Now, jeOS will be the best Linux Server by my definition, and
Ubuntu Server will really be Ubuntu Server for Beginners.

Questions about this avahi dependency thing:

Is the main problem the added risk from the unneeded service or
something else?

<mode tone="ranting,raving">

Why is the small business owner putting his Ubuntu SBS in the cloud,
instead of running it behind a firewall? Or, is the Ubuntu server the
firewall? In either case, how is avahi available to users outside the
company? Or is this not a security thing?

Last I checked, small biz owners don't give a fuzzy futz about security,
they care about ease of use. That's avahi, and any number of similar
things in Windows.

Documentation. Small biz owners don't give a fuzzy futz about
documentation, either. They're not going to read it, they're going to
hire someone to read it, or they're going to click madly around until it
works or breaks entirely. They almost never read the documentation,
unless it's two sentences at the top of a dialog box, and only then if
it's really needed to differentiate between the buttons on the dialog.

GUI. Run the Desktop, then, and drop the things you don't want, and add
the things you want. Or wait until next version when, as I understand
it, Ubuntu Server will have a GUI. One more thing, you're not out of
luck when the server's GUI hammers, you're out of luck when the ssh
daemon hammers, because until then you can (and arguably should) do your
GUI stuph with "ssh -X" from an administrative desktop. I do exactly
this in small businesses and it works great. In medium-sized
businesses, I run "real" Linux servers, no monitor, no keyboard, no
mouse, and gdm is disabled.

My main point? There is no default, secure server. You have a secure
server that you customized, or you have a default server that has
services you don't really need. There is no other way as far as I know.

</mode>

On Wed, 2007-11-21 at 11:43 -0600, Loye Young wrote:
> > I really don't understand why you want to install desktop
> applications
> > on your server and refuse to disable avahi?
>
>
> [Loye banging head against desk]
>
> I don't know what more I can say that will enable you to see the world
> through the eyes of small business owners, who are my customers for
> server products.
>
> I personally know how to set up a minimalistic, command-line, server
> environment. I also know how to roll my own desktop that doesn't drag
> in avahi, so I never have to disable it. (BTW, your simplistic
> solution to "disable" avahi doesn't work over the long haul. Yes, it
> stops it from starting on the next reboot. But experience has taught
> me that it doesn't stay disabled over any reasonable number of
> software updates. The real solution is never to install it in the
> first place.)
>
> The small businesses who are the best candidates for Ubuntu SE find a
> desktop environment on a server to be irresistible, even required. The
> learning curve to administer a server is too steep without a GUI to
> assist the admin. Besides, why should the customer be put to the
> choice between (a) an insecure, unstable, but intuitive server OS (MS
> Server) and (b) a secure, stable, but inscrutable server OS (Ubuntu
> SE)? There is no reason NOT to give the administrator the security,
> stability, and standards-compliance of Linux with an intuitive,
> documented GUI in the spirit of Ubuntu.
>
>
> > MO instead of using gtk apps to setup a server, ebox
> > (http://ebox-platform.com/index ) would be a better alternative.
>
>
> Again, you are looking at the world through the eyes of one who
> already knows.
>
> eBox is great if you already know how to set up a webserver using the
> command line and a text editor. But if the webserver itself gets
> messed up (e.g., the admin forgot to put "/Directory" at the end of
> the site configuration block and apache won't start), the admin is
> SOL.
>
> Instead, we need a desktop GUI to administer Apache, too. There is a
> project to port YaST to Ubuntu (https://wiki.ubuntu.com/YaST), which
> is a step in the right direction. See also
> http://content.techrepublic.com.com/2346-22_11-93051.html. I'd prefer
> a gtk tool in order to minimize the number of dependencies, but the
> concept is the right one.
>
>
> Loye Young
> --
> ubuntu-server mailing list
> ubuntu-server@lists.ubuntu.com
> https://lists.ubuntu.com/mailman/listinfo/ubuntu-server
> More info: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/ServerTeam


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Old 11-21-2007, 08:00 PM
"Loye Young"
 
Default Server issues

> 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@iycc.net
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Old 11-21-2007, 08:41 PM
"Aaron Kincer"
 
Default Server issues

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
MHO.



On Nov 21, 2007 4:00 PM, Loye Young <loye.young@iycc.net> 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@iycc.net
> --
> ubuntu-server mailing list
> ubuntu-server@lists.ubuntu.com
> https://lists.ubuntu.com/mailman/listinfo/ubuntu-server
> More info: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/ServerTeam
>

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Old 11-21-2007, 11:35 PM
Karl Goetz
 
Default Server issues

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
target.

> 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.

agree.

> 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
all)

>
> > 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.

kk

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


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Old 11-21-2007, 11:38 PM
Karl Goetz
 
Default Server issues

On Wed, 2007-11-21 at 16:41 -0500, Aaron Kincer wrote:
> 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.

In its current form at any rate. (does the cd offer minimal/lamp/other
type options? iirc it does)

>
> Perhaps Webmin would be sufficient? If not and someone absolutely

webmin is... not liked. it breaks stuff. (probably worse then avahi
*giggle*)

> 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.

This method has nasty quirks (esp. if you try and setup dhcpd on the
desktop without thinking to manually kill and remove dhclient)

> 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.

absolutely agreed.

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

again, absolutely agree.
kk

> >
>
--
Karl Goetz <kamping_kaiser@internode.on.net>
Debian / Ubuntu / gNewSense


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