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Old 03-06-2018, 01:51 AM   #1
GSPS
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Gentoo


Is there a GUI for Gentoo Linux? We have our firewall on a Gentoo platform and it is also our mail server. I am a newbie to Linux and I need to be able to administer the firewall.
 
Old 03-06-2018, 07:51 AM   #2
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You can install Gnome, or KDE, or anything else you like they're all (big ...) packages.

But, "bah!" Real sysadmins use the command line!

...
 
Old 03-06-2018, 07:54 AM   #3
JWJones
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It is likely set up as a server, so there is probably no GUI for it. Gentoo is what is considered a "meta-distribution," and is generally purpose-built for each usage application, so no two Gentoo installations are going to be alike. You will probably need to secure-shell into the Gentoo box to administer it.
 
Old 03-06-2018, 11:52 AM   #4
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In Linux, you can use any desktop (gui) that you like in any distro. They aren't integrated in any way with the underlying system as is the case with Windows. But most distros have a default desktop and that's the one you see on a fresh install. For a server edition, by default there would be no graphical desktop.

Gentoo is different in that it doesn't use defaults. The Gentoo development team believe that defaults limit choice, because it's always easier to stick with the default than to change it. You install Gentoo as a bare bones system and flesh it out to look like you want.

You can look at the LQ Desktop of the Year poll to see what desktops are popular.
 
Old 03-08-2018, 06:54 AM   #5
sundialsvcs
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It's also worth pointing out that Linux's "GUI" system – any distro – actually has a client-server architecture, unlike Microsoft Windows. This means that you can successfully run a GUI session against a remote machine that doesn't even have a graphics card. (The "server" portion is sending drawing commands to the "client." When you are running graphic sessions on the same machine, both the client and the server portions are running there side-by-side.)

So, while the use of GUIs on "headless" machines is fairly uncommon, it can be done, and done much more efficiently than is the case with Microsoft.

Last edited by sundialsvcs; 03-08-2018 at 06:56 AM.
 
Old 03-08-2018, 08:13 AM   #6
Emerson
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I wouldn't install any GUI into a machine that faces the internet directly. People who set this box up probably also used Gentoo hardened profile, meaning you will spend more time making the GUI work than it takes to manage the box from command line. Pointless, too.
 
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Old 03-08-2018, 12:01 PM   #7
JWJones
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emerson View Post
I wouldn't install any GUI into a machine that faces the internet directly. People who set this box up probably also used Gentoo hardened profile, meaning you will spend more time making the GUI work than it takes to manage the box from command line. Pointless, too.
This should be your take-away from this thread. Anyone pointing you toward installing a GUI on what would appear to be a headless Gentoo server is barking up the wrong tree. Period.
 
Old 03-08-2018, 12:57 PM   #8
scasey
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Look into Webmin -- installed on a headless system, it provides a web-based GUI for administration of most aspects of the server with minimal impact on the server itself.
That said, I would concur with others in recommending learning how to use the command line to administer the system as the best course.
 
Old 03-08-2018, 01:31 PM   #9
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We haven't heard back, but I wouldn't bet Webmin works on Hardened Gentoo.
 
Old 03-08-2018, 02:05 PM   #10
scasey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emerson View Post
We haven't heard back, but I wouldn't bet Webmin works on Hardened Gentoo.
Perhaps not, although it's just a stand-alone (perl-based, I think) web server with a built-in security running several perl scripts to managing most aspects of a server.

Normally listens on port 10000, although that's configurable....Obviously, firewalls and selinux have to be configured to allow that.

But, you may be right. I don't see anything specific to Gentoo on their site...which only means one would have to download the source tar file and install that. If one has enough knowledge to do that, one probably doesn't need it
 
Old 03-08-2018, 02:56 PM   #11
Emerson
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It is in portage, FWIW.
Code:
~ $ eix webmin
* app-admin/webmin
     Available versions:  (~)1.791 {ldap minimal mysql postgres (+)ssl}
     Homepage:            http://www.webmin.com/
     Description:         A web-based Unix systems administration interface
 
Old 03-09-2018, 07:39 AM   #12
Soadyheid
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You don't say which architecture your server has, I'd assume AMD-64 (includes X86-64). Last time I used Gentoo was 2006 on a Sparc based Sun Ultra 2 workstation so no doubt things have changed quite a lot since then. If I remember correctly, not only did I have to install a desktop environment but I had to install the X-Server as well.

The Gentoo Handbook is an invaluable reference to how to install and configure your system. It takes quite a bit of reading but follows a step by step approach. You'll need to search the documentation for X11 and whatever desktop environment you want.

There's a lot of reading and learning with Gentoo, I'd advise installing it on some sort of test machine and, by the end of it, you'll find that you've learned a huge amount about Linux and have moved on from Newbie status!

Play Bonny!

 
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Old 03-09-2018, 08:03 AM   #13
sundialsvcs
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emerson View Post
I wouldn't install any GUI into a machine that faces the internet directly. People who set this box up probably also used Gentoo hardened profile, meaning you will spend more time making the GUI work than it takes to manage the box from command line. Pointless, too.
Well, in general, "never allow your system to "face the Internet directly." I have several articles on my blog here which talk about how to use OpenVPN and tls-auth to create a portal, secured by one-of-a-kind individually revocable certificates, which not only can't be entered but can't even be detected. You should only expose ssh and XWindows/XOrg through that secure, invisible tunnel. But, if you do that, it actually works quite well.
 
  


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