Linuxconf / Webmin / redhat-config-*

Brian Fahrlander Brian at
Sat Nov 15 05:01:07 UTC 2003

On Fri, 2003-11-14 at 21:44, Keith G. Robertson-Turner wrote:
> Kreg Steppe wrote:
> > Linuxconf was included in RH a while back, and was deprec'd.
> And what a relief when it was. Linuxconf was the only tool, in the
> history of computer software, to be officially listed as a weapon of
> mass destruction :)

    Man, I made a lot of unintentional mistakes with was
a piece of crap.  When webmin came in, I was looking closely at it for
holes for over a year, but I never found even ONE.  Now I've used it for
about 3-4 years and still haven't.  Webmin is solid and it doesn't taint
your config files.

    Now, I understand the desire to wield vi as a master system-tool,
but I would be unable to sleep if I didn't offer this tuition:

    Vi needs two things you can't always get:

    1. Knowledge/memory:  Sure, I've set up DNS several times.  But
could I recite a zone definition from scratch, without any typos? No. 
I'm 40 this year, and learning new things has become harder, and the
retention of old things has, too.

    2. Using Vi to edit system files requires the same auths as needed
to reboot the system, format drives, and all that: there's no control
over it.

    Consider this situation.  There's a lumberyard in Chicago where I've
worked twice before. I created the network design and kept it running
for a long time.  But I see the job (for me) as a server-only job...I
don't want to ever maintain another Windows box until I'm doing it for
St. Peter. But the Windows guy knows a little about DNS, but I don't
want him to touch the DHCP or any other services on the main Linux

    Enter Webmin: you can set up a login for him that only allows him
use of DNS, and it will help him because it will catch a lot of typos
and misunderstandings. Not all, of course, but it helps a lot.

    So yeah, just like I've been doing since 1989, using vi on all the
system's files is great...but sometimes you need more.  Just a word to
the wise.

Brian Fahrländer                     Researcher, Conservative, and Technomad
Evansville, IN                          
ICQ  5119262
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