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Old 08-13-2007, 12:11 PM   #1
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Question Can one switch GUI on/off in Ubuntu Server 6.06? (Want to learn Server, but...)


This is my first post and I really hope I'm doing the right thing by posting it here and not under "Newbie", as I am a neophyte.

I would like to learn about Linux, servers, and LAMP.

I have an older computer: 800mhz Pentium 3, almost 10 gig hard drive, and 300-something mb RAM (384? a friend just added extra).

I read a recent article in Maximum PC and would now like to install Ubuntu: however, I would like to learn how the text-only Ubuntu Server works, but if possible, I would also like to be able to switch to and from the user-friendly GUI-enabled Ubuntu Server. (Even if that is not possible, please keep reading the rest of the post.)

I did read in a previous post on this website that it is possible to install a GUI on Ubuntu Server (although it isn't usually done, as it makes the server more vulnerable) but the crux of the question is whether one can switch back and forth between the GUI and the text-only original version. Can that be done?

If it can't be done, should I get a second hard drive and then boot from one or the other -- that is, put Ubuntu on one and Ubuntu Server on the other? (What is the minimum working size I should get? I don't have much $$.)


I know I'm pushing it, but I have a couple of questions more...

If I were to get two hard drives or partition my current one and install both Xubuntu and Ubuntu Server, does Xubuntu come with the open source MS Office-like software and Firefox browser like Ubuntu Desktop does? Does the GUI-enabled Ubuntu Server?

Again, I would like to be able to use both the regular text-only version (to learn) as well as the more user-friendly GUI-enabled Ubuntu; ideally, I could install just one OS and switch between text-only and a Graphic User Interface.

If it is possible to "have it all" with one OS only (Ubuntu Server), then I don't need to partition anything, right? It's just that I see the partitioning as an option when one installs Ubuntu Server. Is partitioning something that HAS to be done in order for Ubuntu Server to work correctly? All I want to do is learn under somewhat realistic conditions, but I don't plan to leave the computer on all the time or to host a website 24/7. And I'll certainly never host more than a couple of guinea pig websites.


Last question (probably deserving its own post): I want to learn LAMP and about Linux servers, but I don't have, and can't afford to give it, its own cable/DSL line. Can I use a router or a splitter to share the DSL line of my newer, "regular" computer (Win XP)?

Boy, I know I've asked SO MANY QUESTIONS! (I doubt anyone will be willing to take the time to answer them and to help me.) I'm sure I'm even more confused than I think I am! Again, so sorry if I should have posted this under Newbie instead of under Ubuntu.


P.S. What do Linux users mean when they say that in fact not only Ubuntu Server, but also Ubuntu Desktop and Xubuntu (and probably Kubuntu?) can all be used as servers? If that's the case, why is there a "Ubuntu - Server" edition? (because it's safer and leaner?)
Old 08-13-2007, 12:38 PM   #2
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sudo apt-get install sysv-rc-conf and you can disable X

this is a good tool and you can re-enable X when needed, since it is a console tool it can be run in either a terminal or in CLI shell...
Old 08-14-2007, 03:47 PM   #3
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i have heard people installing a gui on top of the server edition of ubuntu. if you wanted to try xubuntu its as simple as sudo apt-get install xubuntu-desktop. also, a router can split the internet connection between your two computers. you'd have to do research as to which router works best with your isp. most of the time any modern one will do fine. also if you would like to remove xubuntu at a later date its as simple as sudo apt-get remove xubuntu-desktop. to install any application just type something like sudo apt-get install openoffice. you need to learn about different packages available to you. to search the apt cache respository sudo apt-cache search <string>

you might also find to be a very valuable resource.
Old 08-16-2007, 01:27 AM   #4
Wim Sturkenboom
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Scenario 1:
Install the server edition and add the desktop as said in an earlier post; you can install any desktop (gnome, kde, xfce) also xfce might be the better option on your hardware.
Scenario 2:
Install XUbuntu and add the server packages afterwards.

Scenario 1 is probably the easiest to get the server part running.

XUbuntu comes with abiword and gnumeric as office applications (and maybe a few others, not sure). I'm not sure if they will be installed when you install the desktop afterwards but you can always add them. You can also add OpenOffice. It also comes with firefox.

You can learn the text-only mode from within the GUI (using a so-called terminal). It only requires a bit of discipline. Further there are 6 consoles (text-mode only) available that are accessible through the key combination <ctrl><alt><Fx> (x = 1..6); again, just some discipline.

Partitioning is (more or less) required. You need to create a small swap partition (2x size of memory with a max of 1GB) and a root partition.
It's advisable to create a seperate home partition as well so you don't loose your data when you want to do a re-install. Disadvantage however is that (in general) some disk space gets wasted (one partition full while there's still space on the other). With only 10GB I would not create a seperate home partition.

With 2 PCs, you have another option. You can create a dual-boot system on your WinXP box (e.g. WinXP and (X)Ubuntu) and use the other PC as a LAMP server. That call is yours.

Last edited by Wim Sturkenboom; 08-16-2007 at 01:28 AM.


dual, gui, hardware, help, install, linux, partition, requirements, server, ubuntu, xubuntu

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