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Old 12-03-2006, 08:46 PM   #1
storpappa
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Question remote server administration


Are there any recommendations for new to LINUX remote GUI tools? I just set took over a remote server, and am looking for some remote desktop tools. Admining a Windows server, I would just fire up the RDP client with the -console command, username, password and be there in the data center without leaving my chair.

Any suggestions on how to do the same with a LINUX server today?

I have been walking through Google on this topic, but without much luck. Lots of information on running GUI desktops locally on client machines and sharing files between the two OS's, but nothing walking down the path of administering and getting into a GUI environment. But my clients are Windows XP and VISTA with this one LINUX remote server to start admining.

Any information is appreciated.

Thanks!
 
Old 12-03-2006, 09:12 PM   #2
JimBass
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GUI remote server apps are few and far between for good reasons. The only safe way to admin a remote computer is through SSH, which is a command line interface. That is all text and no pictures.

VNC does exist for linux as well, but running X windows on a server is a waste of resources, and opens up another avenue of attack to people looking for holes to poke fingers into. In particular, running X as root is super dangerous, and should NEVER be done. That would bring linux close to the windows mess, where people with admin rights can click on any executable file, and bingo, you've got spyware!

If you need a GUI to admin this server, no offense is intended, but you aren't ready to admin a linux box. Everything you could possibily need to have done can be done at the command line.

Some people run vnc server over a SSH encrypted tunnel, but they do that as a normal user, and not root.

Peace,
JimBass
 
Old 12-03-2006, 09:39 PM   #3
farslayer
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WHat particular services are on this Linux box that you need to admin ?

Is it a web server ?
Is it a database server ? mysql or postgresql ?
dns, ftp, dhcp, ldap, mail, etc., etc.. ?

Is there Direct internet access to this machine or is it behind a firewall, in other words how do you get to it ? direct ssh, through an ipsec vpn tunnel, ssl vpn, other ?

Is there a GUI installed on it ? If so which one ?
 
Old 12-03-2006, 09:43 PM   #4
anomie
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You can take advantage of X11 Forwarding (over ssh) if there is a gui admin app you're really partial to. Don't expect lightning-fast performance.

Bottom line, though: you're going to need to get very familiar with the command line to be an effective GNU/Linux admin.
 
Old 12-03-2006, 10:24 PM   #5
storpappa
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Nothing in particular - just a general start up question. I have not administered a UNIX server since AIX in 1987 and not played with LINUX in years. I see the at the keyboard GUI for local useage, so thats what got me looking for a LINUX RDP variation.
 
Old 12-03-2006, 10:30 PM   #6
btmiller
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You could also try out Webmin. It's not like having a remote desktop but it does give a GUI to do remote administration. The vast majority of admins, however, just use SSH andthe command line.
 
Old 12-03-2006, 10:38 PM   #7
jschiwal
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If the server has the x windows libraries installed, you can use "ssh -X <user@server>", su to root and then type in the name of the Fedora config program you want to use. The program displays locally but is running on the remote machine. You can even do this from a windows machine if you have an x server or Cygwin/X installed.

There is a program called Tightvnc that you could do as well, but running a full gui environment is inefficient.

Last edited by jschiwal; 12-03-2006 at 10:40 PM.
 
Old 12-04-2006, 09:34 AM   #8
TigerOC
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I have a web server that I have been running for a few years. My base tool is KBear from a KDE desktop. KBear is an (s)ftp client. I use a ssh connection. The reason I use it is that it is easy to move through directories, open and examine log files and edit any files. The second option is also kde based and that is using konqueror. With konqueror you can use the command fish://<ip_address> in the address bar and get a graphical view of the file manager the same way. Using either does not require X on the server.
 
Old 12-04-2006, 09:37 AM   #9
storpappa
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Do I get any benefits of ease of administration out of booting locally to a LINUX client to administer the remote server over above what I am getting out of Putty and WinSCP?
 
Old 12-04-2006, 10:11 AM   #10
anomie
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The main benefit I can think of is that you'll have a desktop (client) environment that is very similar to your server environment. It'll help soften the learning curve.
 
  


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