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Old 04-03-2014, 04:28 PM   #1
Woodsman
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Slackware Graphical Admin Tools


I have an opportunity to get involved with updating customer computers from Windows XP to a Linux based system.

The customers will be home and small business users. We need graphical admin tools.

I want Slackware or a derivative in the preliminary discussion, but I admit to living a sheltered life the past several years with respect to Slackware derivatives and third-party tools. I do not know what graphical admin tools exist. Specifically, we need at least the following, which the stock Slackware does not provide:

* Graphical boot splash. (Command line output is fine when debugging but for everyday usage the customers need the command line output hidden.)

* A graphical package manager. (I am aware of only one such app: gslapt?)

* Automated dependency checking. (Overall I dislike dependency checking but the end-users need this. They need point-and-click package installations.)

* A graphical update notifier.

* Other graphical tools that eliminate using the terminal.

Are such graphical admin tools available for Slackware?

Thanks much.
 
Old 04-03-2014, 04:59 PM   #2
mrclisdue
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Webmin does a bunch of administrative stuff ... I don't have it installed atm, and I've only ever *toyed* with it (especially helpful, iirc, troubleshooting a cups issue), so I'm no expert....

I know it's available at sbopkg, and it certainly fits into your *other* category.

cheers,
 
Old 04-03-2014, 05:50 PM   #3
genss
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodsman View Post
* A graphical update notifier.
try typing

notify-send "thou hast an update" "at your disposal"
 
Old 04-03-2014, 06:50 PM   #4
ReaperX7
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I recommend webmin also. Outside of the console, webmin is fairly effective, and is nearly the same UI style that most home routers utilize. It requires a good web browser, but it's clean and thorough.
 
Old 04-03-2014, 07:48 PM   #5
metaschima
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I'm sorry to say that maybe Slackware is not what you are looking for here. Certainly you can find and install many of these, but would it still be Slackware when you're done ? I don't think so.
 
Old 04-03-2014, 07:59 PM   #6
cwizardone
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Perhaps, kikinovak's solution, http://www.microlinux.fr/mled.php

There is also, Salix, http://www.salixos.org/

If you have to move away from Slackware, I was looking at Linux Mint recently and was very impressed with what they have done, especially with the Xfce desktop.

PC-BSD, which is a GUI setting on top of FreeBSD, is also very nice and the entire system can be ran from the GUI, but it is a major resource hog.

Last edited by cwizardone; 04-03-2014 at 08:04 PM.
 
Old 04-03-2014, 08:56 PM   #7
tuubaaku
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I second the advice to take a look at Salix. It uses gslapt with dep tracking, and has graphical notification of updates. It also has graphical tools for admin tasks.

Salix is also compatible with slackbuilds and slackware packages.
 
Old 04-03-2014, 09:29 PM   #8
Woodsman
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Quote:
I recommend webmin also.
Looks like I did not make myself clear. Our focus is user-based admin tools. For example, a graphical package manager is part of the criteria. slackpkg will not suffice unless somebody has a nice graphical front-end to slackpkg.

By graphical I mean desktop graphical compliant, not ncurses. I have used Slackware for a long time, more than a decade. I don't think twice about using the command line, but this new opportunity requires me to look at things almost as though the terminal does not exist.

Quote:
Perhaps, kikinovak's solution
I am aware of MLED, but I don't believe whether MLED supports things like a boot splash, dependency checking, etc. And for right now, MLED is Xfce-only.

Quote:
I second the advice to take a look at Salix. It uses gslapt with dep tracking, and has graphical notification of updates. It also has graphical tools for admin tasks.
I forgot about Salix. I think Absolute had some graphical admin tools too.

On the other hand, Salix is advertised as a distro intended for lazy Slackers. Meaning, despite the additional graphical tools, Salix probably needs more work to create the type of environment we seek. For example, I don't think Salix supports a boot splash.

Quote:
If you have to move away from Slackware, I was looking at Linux Mint recently and was very impressed with what they have done, especially with the Xfce desktop.
I suspect in the end that is what will happen. The final distro has to be ultra user-centric, completely pointy-clicky. We also are leaning toward a semi-rolling release because most non technical users don't understand why an OS has to be updated or becomes "obsolete" every 6 to 12 months. From their perspective, they used XP for 12 years and never "updated" the OS. They only updated service packs. From that perspective the list grows rather short to distros like Linux Mint Debian Edition and PCLinuxOS. Arguably Slackware Current could be used as a semi rolling release, but I can see all of these non technical users getting in trouble with that.

This all has to be as turn-key as possible. $$. These customers definitely will not be Slackers. We'll be dealing with people who are not technical at all or, people who believe that learning to change the wallpaper qualifies them to call themselves a geek.

I am not enthused about using a different distro but I suppose I need to step out of my comnfort zone. I started this thread with the hope that I could cobble together a Slackware based system with sufficient graphical tools. I'm still looking.
 
Old 04-03-2014, 09:47 PM   #9
STDOUBT
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I don't think there is any Linux distribution at all that I would inflict on the kinds of users you describe, Woodsman. If I was unable to remain their 'paid tech support' in an ongoing capacity, I just wouldn't feel like they'd make it.
Caring for a discrete LAN in someone's office is one thing, but sending complete pointy-clickies out into the wild unsupervised on "Linucks", gives me the heeby-jeebies. Can't see that ending well, sir.
Not with any distro.
At some point, they're going to "need" Super-Poly-Pully Pro, and you're going to have to break the horrible news "that only runs on Windows and OSX".
 
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Old 04-03-2014, 10:34 PM   #10
hitest
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Quote:
Originally Posted by STDOUBT View Post
Caring for a discrete LAN in someone's office is one thing, but sending complete pointy-clickies out into the wild unsupervised on "Linucks", gives me the heeby-jeebies.
Bob protect us from unsupervised pointy-clickies in the wild. Heh-heh. Funny stuff.
 
1 members found this post helpful.
Old 04-03-2014, 10:41 PM   #11
fogpipe
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Check out vector linux. Graphical admin tools, slack based and all the multimedia libs already installed and ready to go. It uses xfce and the cairo dock as the gui. It does use gslapt iirc.
 
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Old 04-03-2014, 11:13 PM   #12
Woodsman
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Quote:
sending complete pointy-clickies out into the wild unsupervised on "Linucks", gives me the heeby-jeebies.
Points taken STDOUBT. Several times I have talked myself out of this kind of project.

At the moment I am approaching this with a 80/20 perspective. That is, about 80% of the customers will have no special Windows needs. Just surf, email, stream online videos. Our advice to Netflix junkies will be to buy a network enabled TV, set top box, or keep using Windows (yes, I know about Pipelight). Most of the Netflix junkies in this area are already using TVs or STBs.

The remaining 20% will have some kind of Windows dependency, Quicbooks/Quicken, Visio, vertical apps, etc. I don't know how we'll deal with that. I never have been a fan of WINE/PlayOnLinux, but VMs, dual booting, and dedicated Windows machines play a role. Some will be told to just update to Windows 7 or 8.1.

Service contracts will play some kind of role in this endeavor. Probably some level of fee-based training classes too, which will include cross platform apps, such as LibreOffice, Firefox, Thunderbird, etc.

I am well prepared that a year later we throw in the proverbial towel. We might not even get started after we evaluate distros with a cynical, er, critical eye.

If nothing else I pad the resume and make contacts. Who knows, there might be some server related projects waiting, which can not only be Linux based but Slackware based.

Quote:
Check out vector linux.
Okay, thanks.
 
Old 04-04-2014, 07:19 AM   #13
Darth Vader
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodsman View Post
I have an opportunity to get involved with updating customer computers from Windows XP to a Linux based system.

The customers will be home and small business users. We need graphical admin tools.

I want Slackware or a derivative in the preliminary discussion, but I admit to living a sheltered life the past several years with respect to Slackware derivatives and third-party tools. I do not know what graphical admin tools exist. Specifically, we need at least the following, which the stock Slackware does not provide:

* Graphical boot splash. (Command line output is fine when debugging but for everyday usage the customers need the command line output hidden.)

* A graphical package manager. (I am aware of only one such app: gslapt?)

* Automated dependency checking. (Overall I dislike dependency checking but the end-users need this. They need point-and-click package installations.)

* A graphical update notifier.

* Other graphical tools that eliminate using the terminal.

Are such graphical admin tools available for Slackware?

Thanks much.
I have a (possible) solution right for your needs, but we need to talk on PM or via email.

Last edited by Darth Vader; 04-04-2014 at 07:20 AM.
 
Old 04-04-2014, 12:43 PM   #14
lazardo
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Quote:
... about 80% of the customers will have no special Windows needs. Just surf, email, stream online videos. ...
and
Quote:
* A graphical package manager. (I am aware of only one such app: gslapt?)

* Automated dependency checking. (Overall I dislike dependency checking but the end-users need this. They need point-and-click package installations.)

* A graphical update notifier.

* Other graphical tools that eliminate using the terminal.
I migrated my father-in-law off winXP several years ago:

* App replacements (word/excel, slingbox, robust web browser and a Timex IronMan app) were put in place via xfce desktop launchers, most of which ran bash shell wrappers to keep things tidy and/or mimic windows behavior he was used to.

* replicated his existing "My Documents", etc directory structures

* integrated a 1/day + 1/week /home backup to a separate area via rsync

* IE -> firefox

Since windows updates and security patches were an "invisible" process, slack package management was modeled similarly:

* it was "invisible" to him

* slack security patches for existing apps checked once a week

* firefox, flash, java and icedtea every three days.

If something went wrong I got an email and fixed the problem over a remote vnc session.

Most users view the computer as a tool and have no desire to know how/why, just that things work. I'd avoid as much user decision making as possible.

Good luck.
 
Old 04-04-2014, 12:49 PM   #15
Smokey_justme
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Hmm, try and see http://salixos.org/

But really, I think you're looking for another distribution and Slackware (or close derivates) simply isn't what you need Maybe, if you reach the same conclusion try http://www.linuxmint.com/..
 
  


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