[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: SEUL: admin tools GUI

   jfm2@club-internet.fr wrote:
   >    On 29-May-97 Jeffrey S. Dutky wrote:
   > >I would like to add:
   > >
   > > 11) graphical administration apps
   > >
   > I think this is the most important point. What people fear most
   > in Linux is the administration. It's fairly easy to preconfigure
   > the WM so that it's easy to use, but IMHO we should make admini-
   > stration as easy as possible.

   I've been giving this a lot of thought ever since I began reading
   "Essential System Administration" by AEleen Frisch. I've gotten a
   few ideas from the NeXTSTEP admin tools. Here are some of thoughts:

   One of the big problems with graphical admin tools is that they
   might require a more restrictive format for the config files than
   a human would normally like. This can cause the admin tool to
   erase changes made by a hardy sysadmin when the changes are
   outside of the limited understanding written into the GUI tool.

Yes but we can at least cover the common cases with a GUI tool.
People with complicated needs tend to be hackers: I don't care about
mail and news for an ISP, I care about mail and news for the home

   In order to prevent this I think the first tools should only
   manage admin tasks that involve simple table structured files
   (passwd, groups, hosts, fstab, mtab). Table structured files
   just don't get so complicated that the tools should ever be
   baboozled by a syntactically correct file. (A syntactically
   incorrect file is asking to be erased, in my book)

   Working from this assumption we can make a preliminary list
   of the admin tools we will need:

   PROGRAM                     FILES
   Users&Groups                passwd, groups, shells
   Hosts&Network               hosts, host.conf
   Import&Export               fstab, exports, mtab
   Periodic Events             crontab
   Linux Loader                lilo.conf
   System Startup              inittab, fstab, mtab
   Remote Access               ftp*, securetty
   Network Services            services, hosts.allow, hosts.deny
   Network Config              inetd.conf, (running ifconfig)

With this assumption we only target the easy things not the most
needed: without mail and news people cannot ask for help.

   As far as putting a nicer face on the configuration scripts,
   I don't think that can be done so easily. So long as the system
   runs a bunch of shell scripts at startup, the only way to manage
   them effectively is to have someone who can understand the scripts
   and rewrite them: I don't think a graphical front end would be a
   good way to try to do this and I sure as hell wouldn't want to
   write the part that tries to interpret a script somone else wrote.

   I think we should consider creating a new initialization process
   that would replace the classic BSD style init or the newer SysV
   style init. I realize that there will be some resistance to this
   idea but I think that the SysV style, at least, is extremely
   confusing until you have had it explained several times. This is
   not good for the average user who doesn't have a guru on hand
   to explain things.

The less software we develop the better, otherwise suel will not be
issued before we have grandchilds.

There is nothing wrong with SystemV system.  Yes it is a bit hard to
understand, but it is hackers who need to understand not end users.
And with SystemV we can make easily a user friendly startup tool.

The reason is than the installation software simply adds or removes
files in /etc/rc.d/init.d (no automatic editing, a task both
difficult and dangerous specially in presence of manual
modifications).  And a tool for managing what is started by removing
or adding symbolic links is very easy to write.  In fact RedHat comes
with this tool and it is free.  The only thing wrong is than it needs
X and than RedHat does not provide a preconfigured X for VGA16 as
backup solution in case the user has problems with X.

			Jean Francois Martinez

==================== The Linux.  Use the Linux, Luke! =======================

Simple End User Linux Mailing list
To be removed from this mailing list send a message to majordomo@txcc.net
with the line
unsubscribe seul-project
in the body of the letter.