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Running X on servers

Hello list,

I was recently installing RedHat 8.0 in my office PC and noticed that it now
comes with a package group labeled "Server Configuration Tools".  Clicking
on Details show that the set contain RPMs that RH put together to provide
GUI front ends to configuration tools (others are config tools in
themselves) - they are named redhat-config-<something>.rpm.  It seems to me
that RH is now leaning towards using a GUI-based system.  Brings me memories
of when I had access to a Sun Netra-I running Solaris/SunOS, and x86
machines running WinNT/2K.

Anyway, I think this goes against keeping server installations as lean as
possible.  Personally, I install and run servers using text mode only (most
are headless machines with VERY low end video cards - most of my linux
routers/firewalls/VPN gateways are even using ISA cards!!!).  To me, running
X on a server is not only illogical but a waste of precious resources and
introducing a potential security risk.  I also think that using text mode
forces one to actually see/learn what is being done instead of hiding it
behind GUI front-ends.  Then again, I know RH is just trying to make it easy
for new hostmasters (I'll refrain from calling them sysads) to use/configure
these machines.  In the end though, IMHO, it'll only introduce more
incompetent hostmasters who call themselves sysadmins as soon as they learn
the intricacies of the concept of point-and-click.  And when the proverbial
sh*t hits the fan, i.e. X wouldn't load, they're stuck there staring at the
screen feverishly typing in MS-DOS commands like HELP and wondering why
typing a command followed by "/?" doesn't show a syntax/help screen (ok a
bit harsh, but you get the point).

So, what about you guys, where do you stand?  Do think running X on servers
is the way to go?

Informed opinions only, please cat flames/rants > /dev/null   :-)

Marlon Yu

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