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Old 01-06-2013, 08:11 PM   #1
nobuntu
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Disadvantages of administering a server with a WM as opposed to a pure TTY interface


I am running a simple LAMP server from home. My distribution of choice for doing so is CrunchBang 10 (Statler), which is based on Debian's stable branch.

CrunchBang is an Openbox-focused distribution, and as such comes with Openbox laid on top of standard Debian Squeeze. I am happy with this arrangement, as I don't yet feel quite comfortable enough with the Linux command-line/TTY interface to rely on it exclusively. Openbox is my graphical "security blanket" for server administration.

My choice to run a WM on a machine being used in a server context has been met with many quizzical expressions. It seems that most Linux sysadmins prefer a pure command-line/TTY interface for administering a server. I can understand this from the perspective of pure resource-efficiency, but I'm not sure if there are some other reasons as well.

What are the potential disadvantages of running a windowmanager on a server, aside from that of disk space usage?

Regards,

/post
 
Old 01-06-2013, 08:28 PM   #2
frankbell
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In my experience, none for what you are doing, unless you feel compelled to learn the command-line way.

Remember that most servers in data centers are headless, that is, they sit in racks and have no monitors or keyboards. Accordingly, sysadmins connect vis ssh and administer them through the terminal.

People have the notion that, because so-called "server" distros come with no GUI, that somehow a GUI on a server is inherently bad.

As far as I am concerned, that's just a notion. It's not inherently bad unless it soaks up resources the server otherwise needs. For a little home server, that's extremely unlikely. Use the tools that you feel comfortable using.
 
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Old 01-06-2013, 09:21 PM   #3
chrism01
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For a home server its no big deal.
As above, in a datacentre it makes sense.

There are 3 possible reasons not to use a GUI:

1. resource usage :
not a problem on a normal/modern box

2. security:
more sw = more attack surface

3. power:
a GUI will never have all the cmds and options that you can get at the cli.


Your choice, but a reasonable familiarity with the cli is recommended; sooner or later you'll need it.
 
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Old 01-12-2013, 03:06 PM   #4
nobuntu
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Thanks for the perspectives
 
  


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