Feeds

back to article Do the Webminimum

Asking a Windows administrator to give Linux a chance as a server operating system is doubly difficult. To a Windows admin, the Linux world is a hostile place, a collection of dozens of different operating systems sharing the same basic kernel. So then a junior sysadmin will often turn to the internet for help. Posting on forums …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Page:

Anonymous Coward

Fixed that for you

"To a Linux admin, the Window's world is a hostile place, a collection of dozens of different operating systems sharing the same basic kernel."

15
8
FAIL

And out of the woodwork they come

You can wipe that smug grin off your face, because Linux market share has the same percentages as the survey rounding errors.

I don't care about how hard it is to learn a new OS. I just don't want to have to deal with people like you.

And there is no apostrophe in Windows.

10
11
Happy

re: And out of the woodwork they come

Peter, have you been working on your people skills again ?

4
0

re: people skills

I just dislike the attitude of the Linux zealots who see any mention of their beloved OS as an excuse to start banging on about how much better it is than Windows.

The psychological price they force people to pay is just one reason amongst many that people stick with Windows, however good, bad, ugly or indifferent it is.

If they put their time to better use, such as making Linux friendly and easy for new users, they might actually gain a measurable increase in their userbase. But as long as they continue to act as they do, Windows will dominate. Not because of marketing, not because of legacy systems issues, not because people are too stupid to try anything else, not because of familiarity. Because of these zealots.

6
8
Day

Not remotely true

"You can wipe that smug grin off your face, because Linux market share has the same percentages as the survey rounding errors."

This certainly is not true for the server market.

13
0

75% is a pretty big rounding error

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usage_share_of_operating_systems#Servers

If you're going to troll, at least try and check your claims a bit first. Desktop linux might be in the 4-5% range, but you wouldn't normally use Webmin on anything but a server.

8
0

Ummm

Not in the server world it doesn't...

0
0

Well...

Someone is annoyed that they can't work out how to burn an iso to a CD...

1
0
Silver badge

@Peter Jones 2

Do I detect a bit of an inferiority complex?

Linux is quite friendly ... it's just particular about its friends. And like all tools used by professionals, it has a learning curve. Windows? Not so much.

2
4

@people skills

"Not because of marketing, not because of legacy systems issues, not because people are too stupid to try anything else, not because of familiarity. Because of these zealots."

None of these are mutually-exclusive.

Windows gets a really bad rap as a network OS, when in fact later incarnations of the Windows OS itself aren't really all that bad. It's just that many Windows sysadmins are disgracefully under-qualified as *sysadmins*; no amount of learning to clickety-click does a sysadmin make - learning systems administration does. That's a long, hard road and there's nothing that gets in the way of that like a shiny GUI.

4
0

Going by desktop and server

Since the first place most admins learn their job is on the desktop (remember the days of the helldesk?) most will be entering the world of Windows and MS apps. So they proceed on to third-line and Admin as Windows people. And until there is a user-friendly linux desktop for the business, Linux is going to continue to creep in via the backdoor.

Linux is usually installed because there is one specific application the business is looking to use. And so they end up with say, RHEL. Then a second app is bought, because we already have some linux. Only this will only run on Suse. The difference between the command lines can mean someone unfamiliar with Linux can make mistakes.

The way I can see for Linux to progress is for it to have a single GUI that works for all distro's. A desktop user doesn't care if they have Suse or Ubuntu. They want to just do their job. The admin doesn't want to have to know thirteen different commands to delete a folder. They just want to do their job.

"Oh but the command line is so powerful." But power that sits unused is wasted.

2
1
Silver badge
Thumb Up

The world is not just your desktop

Linux market share poor you say ? Does that include all the BT Home Hubs out there, nas devices, smart phones (got an Android?)

...mainframes, cisco switches ... most of the world's web servers.

... radios, TVs, TIVO, set top boxes, toys, DVRs, media servers...

4
0
FAIL

except...

Except amusingly for Web servers, which is what this article is dealing with..

0
1

Zelots.

Now there i have to say i agree with you.

Zelots of all kinds tend to be obnoxious and pointless, whether they are for Linux, Mac or Windows.

Lots of people forget that the idea of an operating system is to provide a common interface between programs and the hardware. I really dont give a damn what way round i have to put my folder slashes, or wether drive letters or mount points are better.

For me, Linux on the server and a combinatation of Ubuntu and Windows XP on the desktop. Nuff said.

3
0
Linux

thirteen different commands to delete a folder?

Mate, sorry to nit pick, but most UN*X variants & clones tend to use the same commands.

In my experience the only one of the bunch that’s "different" is AIX, even then it's not too hard to find your way around. I've worked on various flavors of linux, Irix, Solaris, Tru64 even a few from the dark ages running on REALLY old HP's & DEC's, the situation is not nearly as bad as you make out :)

As for desktop environments there are quite a few but you will find KDE & Gnome on most if not all Even Solaris these days.

You're quite right that end users don't really give a damn about which distro they use, but these days the differences between them will probably go noticed by the vast majority of the unwashed masses.

Don't judge Linux SA's by the few teenage fanbois you meet online. Remember Fanbois of any stripe tend to be a little shall we say "Enthusiastic"

0
0

what this sounds like to me

houses get a really bad rap as a dwelling, when in fact later incarnations of the house itself aren't really all that bad. It's just that many House dwellers are disgracefully under-qualified as *men*; no amount of learning to sleep warmly at night does a man make - living in caves do. That's a long, hard road and there's nothing that gets in the way of that like a comfortable, safe, house.

0
0
Linux

If you think that's bad...

...try administering Linux servers for five years & then trying to set up IIS. Now that's painful.

14
1
Stop

Never mind IIS

Never mind that - just spent 2+ hours trying to persuade a 2003 install to load the bloody raid drivers from floppy - Linux goes onto those machines with no problems at all.

5
1
WTF?

What, no 2008?

Why still using 2003?

0
2
WTF?

Why still using 2003?

Because unlike real operating systems, mickey$oft want more money for recycled crap.

Only half joking!

0
0
Gold badge

Why still 2003?

WinSXS

0
0
Bronze badge
WTF?

RE: ..trying to set up IIS

NO, that is CRUEL AND UNUSUAL PUNISHMENT.

0
1
FAIL

CRUEL AND UNUSUAL PUNISHMENT

I thought that cruel and unusual punishment was reserved for Team Foundation Server.

0
0
Troll

Unleash the "mom's basement" brigade...

Surely we don't want Linux to actually be used? Then the Linux admins won't be able to feel superior and might realise that their job is no different, they just opted for the less used OS.

Totally agree with you about webmin or such tools. MS did well to take the same GUI from their desktop product and apply it to the server OS, that way ensuring that newbie Windows folks aren't intimidated by a command line.

6
9

Er, what?

If you're a sysadmin who's intimidated by the command line then you're in the wrong job!

12
3

Er, reality check

Sometimes, for example in a small business, you have no choice but to multi-task and be a sysadmin even if you don't want to do that as a day job. For example, you may be a great software engineer so people just dump all of the sysadmin jobs on you because "you're good with computers" and there's no cash for getting someone else in.

I've been around all the same loops with understanding, installing and configuring OSS - poor quality or obsolete documentation, incompatible updates, every feature you never wanted, useless forums all with the same questions and no answers, infinite references to Yet More Stuff You Need To Know First, etc. Still I plough on... I'm actually in the pro-Linux and OSS camp but I have first-hand experience of how bloody annoying and hard work it can be.

And sure, we all love to use the CLI as much as we can, and learn as we're going, but Webmin is a great help and a useful weapon in the arsenal - especially when you haven't got time to spend two weeks reading up on iptables just to open a port on the firewall...

5
0

command line has its place

note that, especially with the enhanced ability to do thing from the command-line (remember there's a version of server 08 that doesn't have a GUI), microsoft are increasingly giving instructions out in the form of "run these commands"... not because it's more intuitive, but because IT'S EASIER TO COMMUNICATE OVER THE INTERNET. All the other person has to do is copy and paste the commands.

In a similar vein, if I were on a linux server and needed to install apache*, I might fire up my GUI package manager, search for it, and click "install". but were someone to ask me how to install apache, i'd say "apt-get install apache" - not because this is the most intuitive way to install server software on linux, but because it's the easiest instructions for the other person to follow. the downside is that the other person hasn't learned anything about installing software in general.

*bad example since in that case I _DO_ know the exact package name and would probably just do it from command-line, but this isn't always the case

1
0

If you can't come to terms with reading a man page

Then you probably have no business being a sysadmin.

6
2
Gates Halo

RTFManpage...

...Is not a helpful or friendly response to those taking their first steps towards trying a Linux OS.

I don't care if Linux sneezes double rainbows and craps gold, as long as this attitude prevails amongst it's users, I won't be among them.

Bill, because a GUI's learning curve is less steep, making it easier to just get on with my job instead of memorising "rm /usr/src/linux ; ln -s /usr/src/linux-*.*.* ; cd /usr/src/linux". I have actual work to do, thanks.

3
3
Gates Horns

Windows doesn't need manuals?

You must know intuitively where each setting in windows is then, cos the GUI is only helpful to a point, and that point is usually quite basic. I would say that administering Exchange and IIS via a gui is no more or less complicated than configuring exim or apache via configuration files. You still have to know what you are doing, and you don't get that without reading and experimenting. I also find hostile admins on all sides, certainly not just *nix. HornyBill - to bring balance to the thread

4
0

Well

If you can't be bothered to read a man page, and expect everyone to spoon feed you answers, then it's probably best that you don't engage the GNU/Linux community.

It's probably not for you.

1
0

I agree with this part

but the "know where each setting is" is not quite right. For example, in IE if I want to increase the text size in a page, but not the pictures, how can I do it? Is it even possible?

A quick poke around in the menu bar, under View, says yes it is. And I don't risk changing anything else unless I am a bit heavy-handed with the mouse. A simplified example, but true. You can do the same in Exchange (although some stuff is in the Powershell), OCS, SCOM.

And whilst there are some GUIs for linux, that is the minority. Most of the work is done in the command line (don't think I am solely GUI. I am having great fun with Powershell) whilst in MS products the reverse is true: the command line and Powershell are for rare tasks that need them.

Command line linux is a place where mistakes can cause great damage. I wouldn't want to experiment in there without a hazmat suit and a box of rabbits feet.

0
2

Whens the last time you checked?

I cant remember the last time i had to go to the command line to administer a linux setup. Probably got to be a few years.

0
0

If you can't come to terms with reading a man page?

Speaking at a linux administrator myself, this is not helpful or even correct.

Fortunately, people who live outside the basement have been working on making these things work. The latest versions of Ubuntu, Redhat and Suse are in many ways a lot easier to administer than Windows Server. Even Solaris has been getting a lot easier to set up.

I cant remember the last time i read a man page.

2
0

Wut?

>whilst there are some GUIs for linux, that is the minority.

The minority of what?

>I wouldn't want to experiment in there without a hazmat suit and a box of rabbits feet.

Yeah, we have these things called 'Certs'...

0
0
Silver badge

One of the problems with Linux...

...is that there are dozens of different configuration tools all clamouring to be heard. Here we are, adding another to the mix. This is all fair and well if it gains widespread adoption, but what I suspect will happen is that you'll have a bunch of admins who know how to use this particular configuration tool, but when they go to a new job, where it's not in use, they'll just have to start all over again with something else...

Disclaimer: Of course I'd love to be proven wrong!

2
0

It isn't new, it's 2002

Webmin has been around forever.

3
0
Happy

Natural selection

Yup, there are lots of people writing variants of the same thing. Everyone can write tools to do a job, but eventually the ones that are the most useful/popular/some other metric continue to grow whilst others fall behind. This applies to the distributions and the applications. I don't think choice is a bad thing.

2
0

Let me try doing that...

Webmin's been around for over 13 years, and is far and away the best GUI config tool for Linux servers. Possibly the only one worthy of the name. It's not hard to use - at all - if you can use a web browser and you have some clue of how what you're administering works (eg: it's no use trying to configure a mail server if you don't know a bit about what variables you need to plug in!), it's a breeze. As of 2007 (most recent stats I could easily find,) Webmin has racked up 8 million downloads with an extra 2 million added every year. It has modules for just about everything you might want to do with a server, including EC2 hosting, virtual machine management and more.

I've been administering linux systems for only slightly longer than Webmin's been around, and I don't know of another tool that even comes close. Why would anyone bother, when Webmin's so good and you can just make a module for it if it doesn't admin the thing you need it to? Of course, I'd love to be proven wrong too. :)

4
0

Centralised management

I reckon if someone wrote a Microsoft Management Console snapin for Webmin, they'd make a killing.

2
0

Other people's milage may vary

But personally I never found that the Linux community was hostile to newcomers, back when I was a wet-behind-the-ears wannabe BOFH. Provided I was doing a bit more than asking a forum to parse a man page for me, people were nothing but helpful. Posts like "How does I X?" don't get quite the response that "I've googled and RTFM'd and tried A, B and C; but X is still doing Y, how can I make it Z?" do - but then I'd expect the same thing on any forum for any subject. Search, RTFM, then ask is pretty normal protocol, especially on busy fora.

In return for the help I got, I try to be as helpful as I can when noobs ask me "stupid" questions.

9
0
Anonymous Coward

Linux Community Very Helpful

Coming from the OpenBSD community I have to agree with johnnytruant. Linux folks are downright friendly. There's unspoken rules in every community of endeavor, systems administration is no different. With Linux, you get expert help--after you've demonstrated effort on your part, and there's the rub. Nobody wants to help someone who could care less.

2
0

Agreed

So long as you're not asking dumb questions and you've already done all the research you can reasonably be expected to do without asking the question, people are often very willing to help.

Very often, though, it's not even necessary to ask the question, because someone's already asked it before, and the result of that will come up when you google. I find that's the great thing about popular open source software - there's just so much information and support out there for you on the Web.

2
0
Linux

Cue Unix machismo,....

"If it was tough for me to learn, it should be tough for you too!"

Frankly I struggle with Linux after using a vendor-specific Unix for 14 years, but the knowledge earned is able to be Understood as well as Used (which are two very distinct levels of ability).

3
0
Silver badge
Thumb Up

Webmin

Webmin sounds attractive, even to me as an experienced unix admin. On the subject of "The Linux community is hostile to newcomers", it would be more accurately stated as "a lot of jerks have internet access", the jerks being those "experienced" admins who dump on the newbies. Today I read an HP-UX forum where a newby asked for help. Responder 3 provided a link that looked helpful but just lead to a weighty manual download. I am sure the Windows world has jerks too, probably loads more of them.

Most unhelpful jerks have between 4 and 8 years experience in the subject.

2
0
Linux

So which OS do you prefer then? :-)

>The Linux community is hostile to newcomers.

Veterans frequently respond to questions by pointing rookies at a dense and difficult to understand man page or responding to any requests with a snarky “let me Google that for you.” <

And this so doesn't happen on Windows forums (fora?)...

If you're used to Windows admin then of course you need a GUI rather than a (shudder) command line or maybe you know something about the technology and use commands at the "DOS" prompt like IPCONFIG and NSLOOKUP?

In Linux you always have a multiplicity of choices (e.g. WEBMIN) choose the one that suits your style/needs but that doesn't remove understanding what you are messing with (Think chimp playing with hand grenade. Predicted result is a rain of monkey bits, the variable is time taken for the result).

1
0
Gold badge
Joke

Re: so which OS do you prefer?

Etch-a-sketch. ;p

1
0
Thumb Up

Tried it, liked it.

I used webmin a few years back for admin'ing a redhat and an ubuntu server boxes making everything a lot easier for a windows simpleton like me.

Unfortuntatly no one else in the company could understand it, IT deemed it therefore unsupportable (can't rely on one bloke) and we went windows. :(

1
0
Thumb Up

Awwww ... c'mon now

Linux servers are a doddle to administer. To anyone who doesn't think a command line is totally opaque, its a walk in the park, efficient and usually trouble free. There's also quite effective GUI and web interfaces that do this without resorting to the command line at all and have been for years. Its just down to personal preference

Setting up web servers that are ready to go inside twenty minutes is easy with any bog-standard LAMP stack. This can be expanded with mirroring and clustering as needs dictate and its no harder (probably easier) than its is with Windows.

Windows *does* certainly have some very pretty and well-designed tools for administrators -- its just a pity the whole OS is such a pile of shit.

7
0

Page:

This topic is closed for new posts.