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Old 05-03-2008, 10:31 PM
Martin Hess
 
Default Ubuntu Server graphical interface?

I find people who think in terms of a few servers will at times find a desktop GUI*compelling, but once you move to*hundreds*or thousands of servers the idea of connecting into a desktop GUI on each machine to administer is beyond*ridiculous.
I think GUIs are fine but only if they can be used control whole swaths of machines at once i.e. :
* upgrade some package on some set of machines
* revert to prior package on some set of machines
* compare machines for installed package differences
* change netfilter policies on some set of machines to refuse or allow a certain type of traffic
* start/stop service on some set of machines
* change config file on some set of machines
* ect...
The list of course is pretty much endless but you get the idea. When you have many machines it is pretty much out of the question to connect to each one and administer it individually by hand, either buy GUI or shell.
I think any server GUI that is consider should be scalable. It should be able to move beyond the needs of one or 2 servers and be able to handle many servers.*
Proposal:
I propose creating requirements for a server GUI and then see if we can find anything that meets it. So far I think I've seen the following:
1) Optional - must not be required for Ubuntu Server2) Secure - must not have known security issues, must have good known security architecture3) Scalable - must be able to administer sets of machines (I know there is not*necessarily*any*consensus*on this one and people might reject it as a requirement)4) ?
Shameless plug for #3:
* gets xwindows off the servers which is a know security risk and resource hog* potentially can require nothing more than sshd and preshared keys on all the servers
*On May 3, 2008, at 9:34 AM, Leandro Pereira de Lima e Silva wrote:I'm talking about virt-install, which will open a VNC connection to the machine and only allow connections from localhost.

Cheers, Leandro.

2008/5/3 Ante Karamatic <ivoks@grad.hr>:
On Sat, 3 May 2008 12:15:07 -0300
"Leandro Pereira de Lima e Silva" <leandro@limaesilva.com.br> wrote:

> I think that is necessary for creating virtual machines following
> Ubuntu Server guide, isn't it?

If you are talking about virt-manager, then no. virt-manager is a tool
you'll use on you workstation and manage virtual machines on a pool of
ubuntu servers.

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Old 05-03-2008, 10:45 PM
Leandro Pereira de Lima e Silva
 
Default Ubuntu Server graphical interface?

Agreed with you. But... isn't that Canonical Landscape?

Cheers, Leandro.

Em Sáb, 2008-05-03 às 15:31 -0700, Martin Hess escreveu:
> I find people who think in terms of a few servers will at times find a
> desktop GUI compelling, but once you move to hundreds or thousands of
> servers the idea of connecting into a desktop GUI on each machine to
> administer is beyond ridiculous.
>
>
> I think GUIs are fine but only if they can be used control whole
> swaths of machines at once i.e. :
>
>
> * upgrade some package on some set of machines
>
> * revert to prior package on some set of machines
>
> * compare machines for installed package differences
>
> * change netfilter policies on some set of machines to refuse or allow
> a certain type of traffic
>
> * start/stop service on some set of machines
>
> * change config file on some set of machines
>
> * ect...
>
>
> The list of course is pretty much endless but you get the idea. When
> you have many machines it is pretty much out of the question to
> connect to each one and administer it individually by hand, either buy
> GUI or shell.
>
>
> I think any server GUI that is consider should be scalable. It should
> be able to move beyond the needs of one or 2 servers and be able to
> handle many servers.
>
>
> Proposal:
>
>
> I propose creating requirements for a server GUI and then see if we
> can find anything that meets it. So far I think I've seen the
> following:
>
>
> 1) Optional - must not be required for Ubuntu Server
> 2) Secure - must not have known security issues, must have good known
> security architecture
> 3) Scalable - must be able to administer sets of machines (I know
> there is not necessarily any consensus on this one and people might
> reject it as a requirement)
> 4) ?
>
>
> Shameless plug for #3:
>
>
> * gets xwindows off the servers which is a know security risk and
> resource hog
> * potentially can require nothing more than sshd and preshared keys on
> all the servers
>
>
>
> On May 3, 2008, at 9:34 AM, Leandro Pereira de Lima e Silva wrote:
>
> > I'm talking about virt-install, which will open a VNC connection to
> > the machine and only allow connections from localhost.
> >
> > Cheers, Leandro.
> >
> > 2008/5/3 Ante Karamatic <ivoks@grad.hr>:
> > On Sat, 3 May 2008 12:15:07 -0300
> > "Leandro Pereira de Lima e Silva"
> > <leandro@limaesilva.com.br> wrote:
> >
> > > I think that is necessary for creating virtual machines
> > following
> > > Ubuntu Server guide, isn't it?
> >
> >
> > If you are talking about virt-manager, then no. virt-manager
> > is a tool
> > you'll use on you workstation and manage virtual machines on
> > a pool of
> > ubuntu servers.
> >
> > --
> >
> > ubuntu-server mailing list
> > ubuntu-server@lists.ubuntu.com
> > https://lists.ubuntu.com/mailman/listinfo/ubuntu-server
> > More info: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/ServerTeam
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > --
> > Leandro Pereira de Lima e Silva --
> > ubuntu-server mailing list
> > ubuntu-server@lists.ubuntu.com
> > https://lists.ubuntu.com/mailman/listinfo/ubuntu-server
> > More info: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/ServerTeam
>
>
> --
> 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 05-03-2008, 11:09 PM
Martin Hess
 
Default Ubuntu Server graphical interface?

It looks like Landscape (http://www.canonical.com/projects/landscape)
does some things, but it is missing an important requirement:

* Open source

It appears from the way that it is described that you need a support
contract with Canonical to use it.

I've never used Landscape but it appears that it covers the following
areas:
1) Package management
2) User management
3) Security updates
4) Repository management
5) System monitoring
6) Integrates with Canonical support system

Obvious major things missing:
7) Service management (starting/stopping/monitoring)
8) Service configuring
- router
- dhcp
- web
- dns
- firewall
- ids - snort
- ect...
9) Change management
- track changes
- control changes
- rollback changes
10) ?


On May 3, 2008, at 3:45 PM, Leandro Pereira de Lima e Silva wrote:

> Agreed with you. But... isn't that Canonical Landscape?
>
> Cheers, Leandro.
>
> Em Sáb, 2008-05-03 às 15:31 -0700, Martin Hess escreveu:
>> I find people who think in terms of a few servers will at times
>> find a
>> desktop GUI compelling, but once you move to hundreds or thousands of
>> servers the idea of connecting into a desktop GUI on each machine to
>> administer is beyond ridiculous.
>>
>>
>> I think GUIs are fine but only if they can be used control whole
>> swaths of machines at once i.e. :
>>
>>
>> * upgrade some package on some set of machines
>>
>> * revert to prior package on some set of machines
>>
>> * compare machines for installed package differences
>>
>> * change netfilter policies on some set of machines to refuse or
>> allow
>> a certain type of traffic
>>
>> * start/stop service on some set of machines
>>
>> * change config file on some set of machines
>>
>> * ect...
>>
>>
>> The list of course is pretty much endless but you get the idea. When
>> you have many machines it is pretty much out of the question to
>> connect to each one and administer it individually by hand, either
>> buy
>> GUI or shell.
>>
>>
>> I think any server GUI that is consider should be scalable. It should
>> be able to move beyond the needs of one or 2 servers and be able to
>> handle many servers.
>>
>>
>> Proposal:
>>
>>
>> I propose creating requirements for a server GUI and then see if we
>> can find anything that meets it. So far I think I've seen the
>> following:
>>
>>
>> 1) Optional - must not be required for Ubuntu Server
>> 2) Secure - must not have known security issues, must have good known
>> security architecture
>> 3) Scalable - must be able to administer sets of machines (I know
>> there is not necessarily any consensus on this one and people might
>> reject it as a requirement)
>> 4) ?
>>
>>
>> Shameless plug for #3:
>>
>>
>> * gets xwindows off the servers which is a know security risk and
>> resource hog
>> * potentially can require nothing more than sshd and preshared keys
>> on
>> all the servers
>>
>>
>>
>> On May 3, 2008, at 9:34 AM, Leandro Pereira de Lima e Silva wrote:
>>
>>> I'm talking about virt-install, which will open a VNC connection to
>>> the machine and only allow connections from localhost.
>>>
>>> Cheers, Leandro.
>>>
>>> 2008/5/3 Ante Karamatic <ivoks@grad.hr>:
>>> On Sat, 3 May 2008 12:15:07 -0300
>>> "Leandro Pereira de Lima e Silva"
>>> <leandro@limaesilva.com.br> wrote:
>>>
>>>> I think that is necessary for creating virtual machines
>>> following
>>>> Ubuntu Server guide, isn't it?
>>>
>>>
>>> If you are talking about virt-manager, then no. virt-manager
>>> is a tool
>>> you'll use on you workstation and manage virtual machines on
>>> a pool of
>>> ubuntu servers.
>>>
>>> --
>>>
>>> ubuntu-server mailing list
>>> ubuntu-server@lists.ubuntu.com
>>> https://lists.ubuntu.com/mailman/listinfo/ubuntu-server
>>> More info: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/ServerTeam
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> --
>>> Leandro Pereira de Lima e Silva --
>>> ubuntu-server mailing list
>>> ubuntu-server@lists.ubuntu.com
>>> https://lists.ubuntu.com/mailman/listinfo/ubuntu-server
>>> More info: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/ServerTeam
>>
>>
>> --
>> 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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> 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 05-04-2008, 01:41 AM
MJang
 
Default Ubuntu Server graphical interface?

On Sat, 2008-05-03 at 15:31 -0700, Martin Hess wrote:
> I find people who think in terms of a few servers will at times find a
> desktop GUI compelling, but once you move to hundreds or thousands of
> servers the idea of connecting into a desktop GUI on each machine to
> administer is beyond ridiculous.
>
>
> I think GUIs are fine but only if they can be used control whole
> swaths of machines at once i.e.
>
> * upgrade some package on some set of machines
>
> * revert to prior package on some set of machines
>
> * compare machines for installed package differences
>
> * change netfilter policies on some set of machines to refuse or allow
> a certain type of traffic
>
> * start/stop service on some set of machines
>
> * change config file on some set of machines
>
> * ect...

Dear Martin,

I think that's the reason behind Landscape - and alternatives such as
the Red Hat Network and SUSE's Zenworks. (and I'm guessing Microsoft's
SMS, but I've never tried that one.)

I'm pretty sure all three allows automated remote actions as you suggest
- on groups of machines at a time. But they're all primarily Web-based
tools.

While I remember working with some command line options for Zenworks a
while back which accomplished some of what you suggest, I'm not aware of
any such command line tools for RHN or Landscape, at least beyond
registering individual systems.

However, they do allow cron-style implementation of command line tools
and scripts on single or groups of systems.

Thanks,
Mike



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Old 05-04-2008, 02:14 PM
Martin Hess
 
Default Ubuntu Server graphical interface?

Serge has pointed out what should probably be a 5th requirement.

* Easy to use

No point in having a GUI that is difficult to use. Windows is full of
examples of such GUIs and gave GUIs a bad name. Additionally, if the
tool makes it possible to manage a set of machines at the expense of
managing 1 machine easily then it has failed the ease of use test.

> Yes. But haveing some enterprise management tool installed, to
> manage just a bunch of servers might also be if not rificulous, a
> little overkill.
>
> Lots of businesses are small companies who need to only manage a
> small number of servers. Small companies on low budget where one has
> to put up stuff in a short time frame, as one server won't serve a
> workgroup 200 users, but maybe 15.
>
> A per server management tool is what often is needed there.
>
>
> Serge

Here is the requirements list so far:

1) Optional - must not be required for Ubuntu Server
2) Secure - must not have known security issues, must have good known
security architecture
3) Scalable - must be able to administer sets of machines
4) Open Source
5) Easy to use - for 1 or more machines

Are there any packages that can meet such requirements?

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Old 05-04-2008, 02:46 PM
Leandro Pereira de Lima e Silva
 
Default Ubuntu Server graphical interface?

Wouldn't it be great if there was a standard protocol for that?

Cheers, Leandro.

Em Dom, 2008-05-04 às 07:14 -0700, Martin Hess escreveu:
> Serge has pointed out what should probably be a 5th requirement.
>
> * Easy to use
>
> No point in having a GUI that is difficult to use. Windows is full of
> examples of such GUIs and gave GUIs a bad name. Additionally, if the
> tool makes it possible to manage a set of machines at the expense of
> managing 1 machine easily then it has failed the ease of use test.
>
> > Yes. But haveing some enterprise management tool installed, to
> > manage just a bunch of servers might also be if not rificulous, a
> > little overkill.
> >
> > Lots of businesses are small companies who need to only manage a
> > small number of servers. Small companies on low budget where one has
> > to put up stuff in a short time frame, as one server won't serve a
> > workgroup 200 users, but maybe 15.
> >
> > A per server management tool is what often is needed there.
> >
> >
> > Serge
>
> Here is the requirements list so far:
>
> 1) Optional - must not be required for Ubuntu Server
> 2) Secure - must not have known security issues, must have good known
> security architecture
> 3) Scalable - must be able to administer sets of machines
> 4) Open Source
> 5) Easy to use - for 1 or more machines
>
> Are there any packages that can meet such requirements?
>


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Old 05-04-2008, 05:01 PM
Martin Hess
 
Default Ubuntu Server graphical interface?

Jonathan points out that it needs good configuration reporting capabilities:


The other requirement that needs to be there is reporting ablity.* One of things that Landscape is currently lacking from what I have heard.* The ability to manage a large group of computers, report back on the inventory of the machine (hardware, software, users) and create custom reports for the entire enterprise.* An example:* Give me all of my servers that have X amount of RAM, plus available slots to put more memory in.* * Also once this tool is created, expand it more importanlty to my clients.* So now I can have one piece of management software that I can manage my entire infrastructre across and deploy patches, install software, setup, create and deploy confirautions and report across the entire enterprise.* You get that piece of software that is open source and you will find on of the critical holes. * Jonathan

So here are the general requirements so far:
1) Optional - must not be required for Ubuntu Server
2) Secure - must not have known security issues, must have good known security architecture
3) Scalable - must be able to administer sets of machines
4) Open Source
5) Easy to use (and setup*) - for 1 or more machines
* I just added the the "setup" part. It seems like that is pretty important for a single machine use case. If people have to spend a lot of time just getting it working for a single machine then it isn't going to get much acceptance.
And these are the major feature categories:
1) Package management
2) User management
3) Security updates
4) Repository management
5) System monitoring
7) Service management (starting/stopping/monitoring)
8) Service configuring
- router
- dhcp
- web
- dns
- firewall
- ids - snort
- ect...
9) Change management
- track changes
- control changes
- rollback changes
10) Configuration reporting - HW
- SW
- Users
- Global custom reports


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Old 05-04-2008, 06:40 PM
Ante Karamatic
 
Default Ubuntu Server graphical interface?

On Sat, 3 May 2008 16:09:26 -0700
Martin Hess <martinhess@mac.com> wrote:

> It looks like Landscape
> (http://www.canonical.com/projects/landscape) does some things, but
> it is missing an important requirement:
>
> * Open source

IIRC, program you install on your server is open source. Landscape web
site... Well, can web site be open source? This is 'software as
service' and as such is a grey area of open source.

> It appears from the way that it is described that you need a support
> contract with Canonical to use it.

That's true.

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Old 05-04-2008, 06:58 PM
"Jim Tarvid"
 
Default Ubuntu Server graphical interface?

Those with thousands of servers can justify the cost of commercial
services. Those of us at the margins have more modest aspirations.

Now that Ebox has displaced Webmin in the Debian world, I am more
interested in working in that sphere. Once Ebox is competent at the
most common tasks, perhaps I will be more interested in grander
schemes.

Management of Apache virtual servers and modules is high on my list.

Jim



On Sun, May 4, 2008 at 2:40 PM, Ante Karamatic <ivoks@grad.hr> wrote:
> On Sat, 3 May 2008 16:09:26 -0700
> Martin Hess <martinhess@mac.com> wrote:
>
> > It looks like Landscape
> > (http://www.canonical.com/projects/landscape) does some things, but
> > it is missing an important requirement:
> >
> > * Open source
>
> IIRC, program you install on your server is open source. Landscape web
> site... Well, can web site be open source? This is 'software as
> service' and as such is a grey area of open source.
>
>
> > It appears from the way that it is described that you need a support
> > contract with Canonical to use it.
>
> That's true.
>
> --
>
>
> 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 05-04-2008, 07:44 PM
Serge van Ginderachter
 
Default Ubuntu Server graphical interface?

Hi folks,


My 2 cents along the line.


I'm picking into this discussion, and spit out some different thought on the matter, to broaden the subject.
Some of these thought might be off-topic for this thread, but I'm pretty confident they are very on topic on this list.

I'm looking at this, as a former 100% MS shop engineer, having worked for different small businesses, and with the needs to quickly setup an environment for small workgroups. And with 'small' I mean lots of workgroups strating from a coouple of users up to somewhere between 15 or 30 users. The needs are comparable to what one needs for say 75 users, but the budget is very different. That's where a product like Microsoft Small Business Server rules most networks. Technically, it sucks, but for basic stuff, it hgets the job done.


----- "Martin Hess" <martinhess@mac.com> wrote:

> Serge has pointed out what should probably be a 5th requirement.
> * Easy to use
> No point in having a GUI that is difficult to use. Windows is full of
> examples of such GUIs and gave GUIs a bad name. Additionally, if the
> tool makes it possible to manage a set of machines at the expense of
> managing 1 machine easily then it has failed the ease of use test.

When I'm making an assessment of what is needed, I distinct two big things:

1. some gui for *basic* day to day configuration, the kind of stuff a power user @customer needs to manage himself
- first en foremost, user management, including central and single authentication, and ideally linked to other things that are important to a user:
* email address and mailbox management
* managing access to network resources, and managing the desktop environment so the user easily connects to them (eg. shared network drives)
- managing updates
- managing ip addresses, dns, dhcp, ...
- managing shared printers
2. easy setup and management for all hosts belonging to a network
I can't hold myself to compare to the Microsoft "domain" model, where lots of basic stuff is easily centrally managed

> Here is the requirements list so far:
>
> 1) Optional - must not be required for Ubuntu Server
> 2) Secure - must not have known security issues, must have good known
> security architecture
> 3) Scalable - must be able to administer sets of machines
> 4) Open Source
> 5) Easy to use - for 1 or more machines
>
> Are there any packages that can meet such requirements?

Not AFAIK.

- ebox is a starter, but only manages a local pc, not a network domain
- landscape does some basic stuff, also, but is way to basic imho. and it doesnt handle central authentication. and it's not free software
read up on http://www.vanginderachter.be/2008/canonical-landscape-for-ubuntu/ for more of my thoughts on this;

Some other thoughts:

* What we really need is a framework for this. Make a good framework, and GUI stuff will follow. Making some GUIS to solve all problems without being able to operate by CLI is not the way to go.
* one of the lead projects to take into acount, imho, is Samba 4, which would be the Active Directory tool on open SOurce. Samba is becoming more and more the de facto standard for a lot of stuff, and might be the project to pick to further standardize on.
* eg. LDAP is a standard, but there is no standard address book scheme, which all mail clients adhere to.
* there ain't something as a standard Samba implementation

As Martin noted, it's about ease of use. All of this stuff already exists. But there just isn't a standardized way to implement it. It's pretty stupid for having to reinvent the wheel for each small customer.

I'm looking forward on other people's thoughts on all of this and more.



Serge

Serge van Ginderachter http://www.vanginderachter.be/

Kreeg u een "odt" bestand en kan u deze niet openen? Zie http://ginsys.be/odf

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