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Thread: Remote GUI

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Beans
    55

    Remote GUI

    Hi,

    Is it possible to install a GUI-less Ubuntu server but then remotely connect using a gui from another Ubuntu machine?

    Basically I want the best of both, the security and lower footprint of not running a GUI, but still being able to configure it using a GUI as I'm a linux newbie.

    I'm aware of things like Webmin, but I would really like the full gui if possible.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Belgrade, Serbia
    Beans
    1,325
    Distro
    Ubuntu

    Re: Remote GUI

    By "full" gui you mean something like a gnome, but without having gnome installed on the server?
    I don't think you use a "full" graphical user interface (GUI) if your destination (remote machine) has no GUI installed, unless you make a GUI like webmin, which would end up using commands from ssh or run as a daemon at your server

    You can always build your own, you have lots of programming languages out there, such as python, perl or php.

    File manipulation on the other hand is much easier, using SFTP or FTP and Places > Connect to Server

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Belgrade, Serbia
    Beans
    1,325
    Distro
    Ubuntu

    Re: Remote GUI

    Being a linux newbie, you might want to install the xubuntu-desktop or if you want to make it lighter, some of its dependencies.

    I wouldn't suggest to host a server without knowing the security risks, a linux newbie should first play around with the desktop

    $ apt-cache depends xubuntu-desktop
    xubuntu-desktop
    Depends: acpi
    Depends: acpi-support
    Depends: acpid
    Depends: alsa-base
    Depends: alsa-utils
    Depends: anacron
    Depends: avahi-daemon
    Depends: bc
    Depends: ca-certificates
    Depends: cupsys
    Depends: cupsys-bsd
    Depends: cupsys-client
    Depends: cupsys-driver-gutenprint
    Depends: dbus
    Depends: dc
    Depends: doc-base
    Depends: foomatic-db
    Depends: foomatic-db-engine
    Depends: foomatic-filters
    Depends: gdebi
    Depends: gdm
    Depends: genisoimage
    Depends: ghostscript-x
    Depends: gnome-app-install
    Depends: gnome-mount
    Depends: gnome-system-tools
    Depends: gtk2-engines
    Depends: gtk2-engines-murrine
    Depends: gtk2-engines-pixbuf
    Depends: gtk2-engines-ubuntulooks
    Depends: gtk2-engines-xfce
    Depends: hal
    Depends: hotkey-setup
    Depends: language-selector
    Depends: lftp
    Depends: libgl1-mesa-glx
    Depends: libglib2.0-data
    Depends: libglut3
    freeglut3
    Depends: libsasl2-modules
    Depends: libxp6
    Depends: openprinting-ppds
    Depends: pnm2ppa
    Depends: powermanagement-interface
    Depends: readahead
    Depends: screen
    Depends: scrollkeeper
    rarian-compat
    Depends: smbclient
    Depends: software-properties-gtk
    Depends: synaptic
    Depends: tango-icon-theme
    Depends: tango-icon-theme-common
    Depends: thunar
    Depends: thunar-archive-plugin
    Depends: thunar-media-tags-plugin
    Depends: thunar-thumbnailers
    Depends: thunar-volman
    Depends: ttf-bitstream-vera
    Depends: ttf-dejavu-core
    Depends: ttf-freefont
    Depends: ubuntu-artwork
    Depends: unzip
    Depends: update-manager
    Depends: usplash
    Depends: vim-runtime
    Depends: x-ttcidfont-conf
    Depends: xfce4-mcs-plugins
    Depends: xfce4-mcs-plugins-extra
    Depends: xfce4-mixer
    Depends: xfce4-panel
    Depends: xfce4-session
    Depends: xfce4-terminal
    Depends: xfce4-utils
    Depends: xfdesktop4
    Depends: xfwm4
    Depends: xfwm4-themes
    Depends: xkb-data
    Depends: xorg
    Depends: xterm
    Depends: xubuntu-artwork-usplash
    Depends: xubuntu-default-settings
    Depends: zenity
    Depends: zip
    Recommends: abiword
    Recommends: abiword-plugins
    Recommends: app-install-data-commercial
    Recommends: apport-gtk
    Recommends: avahi-autoipd
    Recommends: bluez-cups
    Recommends: bluez-utils
    Recommends: bogofilter
    Recommends: brasero
    Recommends: cdparanoia
    Recommends: cups-pdf
    Recommends: displayconfig-gtk
    Recommends: dvd+rw-tools
    |Recommends: evince-gtk
    Recommends: evince
    Recommends: file-roller
    Recommends: firefox
    Recommends: foo2zjs
    Recommends: foomatic-db-hpijs
    Recommends: fortune-mod
    Recommends: gcalctool
    Recommends: gcc
    Recommends: gimp
    Recommends: gnome-accessibility-themes
    Recommends: gnome-games
    Recommends: gnome-power-manager
    Recommends: gnome-screensaver
    Recommends: gnome-system-monitor
    |Recommends: gnumeric-gtk
    Recommends: gnumeric
    Recommends: gucharmap
    Recommends: hal-cups-utils
    Recommends: hplip
    Recommends: jockey-gtk
    Recommends: landscape-client
    Recommends: laptop-detect
    Recommends: libgl1-mesa-dri
    Recommends: libgnome2-perl
    Recommends: libgoffice-gtk-0-6
    libgoffice-0-6
    Recommends: libnss-mdns
    Recommends: linux-headers-generic
    Recommends: make
    Recommends: min12xxw
    Recommends: mousepad
    Recommends: mozilla-thunderbird
    Recommends: network-manager-gnome
    Recommends: notification-daemon
    Recommends: onboard
    Recommends: orage
    Recommends: pidgin
    Recommends: pidgin-otr
    Recommends: powernowd
    powersaved
    Recommends: pxljr
    Recommends: python-exo
    Recommends: ristretto
    Recommends: scim
    Recommends: scim-gtk2-immodule
    Recommends: screensaver-default-images
    Recommends: splix
    Recommends: system-config-printer-gnome
    Recommends: totem
    Recommends: totem-gstreamer
    Recommends: transmission-gtk
    Recommends: ttf-arabeyes
    Recommends: ttf-arphic-uming
    Recommends: ttf-indic-fonts-core
    Recommends: ttf-kochi-gothic
    ttf-kochi-gothic-naga10
    Recommends: ttf-kochi-mincho
    ttf-kochi-mincho-naga10
    Recommends: ttf-lao
    Recommends: ttf-malayalam-fonts
    Recommends: ttf-thai-tlwg
    Recommends: ttf-unfonts-core
    Recommends: ubufox
    Recommends: update-notifier
    Recommends: vinagre
    Recommends: wodim
    Recommends: wvdial
    Recommends: xcursor-themes
    Recommends: xdg-utils
    Recommends: xfce4-appfinder
    Recommends: xfce4-battery-plugin
    Recommends: xfce4-clipman-plugin
    Recommends: xfce4-cpugraph-plugin
    Recommends: xfce4-dict-plugin
    Recommends: xfce4-fsguard-plugin
    Recommends: xfce4-governor-plugin
    Recommends: xfce4-mailwatch-plugin
    Recommends: xfce4-mount-plugin
    Recommends: xfce4-netload-plugin
    Recommends: xfce4-notes-plugin
    Recommends: xfce4-places-plugin
    Recommends: xfce4-quicklauncher-plugin
    Recommends: xfce4-screenshooter-plugin
    Recommends: xfce4-smartbookmark-plugin
    Recommends: xfce4-systemload-plugin
    Recommends: xfce4-verve-plugin
    Recommends: xfce4-weather-plugin
    Recommends: xfce4-xkb-plugin
    Recommends: xfprint4
    Recommends: xscreensaver-data
    Recommends: xscreensaver-gl
    Recommends: xubuntu-docs

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Beans
    160
    Distro
    Gutsy Gibbon Testing

    Re: Remote GUI

    If you want to run it without a gui, you can have X installed with gnome, xcfe, or kde, and leave them turned off on the server. Then make sure EnableX11Forwarding in /etc/ssh/sshd_config is set to true. That way when you connect, you can do so as
    Code:
    ssh -X server
    Doing this, you can run programs that depend on the xfce, gnome, etc libraries without having the overhead of having them run constantly on the server.
    Dell XPS M1530
    Core 2 Duo T8100 @ 2.10GHz | 4GB RAM
    320GB HDD | 256MB nVidia GeForce Go 8600M GT
    Registered Linux User: #441660 | Registered Ubuntu User: #11700

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Beans
    55

    Re: Remote GUI

    Quote Originally Posted by mrpeenut24 View Post
    If you want to run it without a gui, you can have X installed with gnome, xcfe, or kde, and leave them turned off on the server. Then make sure EnableX11Forwarding in /etc/ssh/sshd_config is set to true. That way when you connect, you can do so as
    Code:
    ssh -X server
    Doing this, you can run programs that depend on the xfce, gnome, etc libraries without having the overhead of having them run constantly on the server.
    Excellent. Thanks for the advice.

    A follow up question would be, do you think it's 'safe' to use Ubuntu as a web-facing LAMP server? I know several linux people who sneer at the idea of using anything other than Centos or similar.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Beans
    160
    Distro
    Gutsy Gibbon Testing

    Re: Remote GUI

    Well, it's fairly new to the dedicated server distribution, but I've been using Ubuntu desktop as a server for a few years and never had a problem with it. I don't feel I'm reliably able to answer this, but in my personal opinion, I think it's ready for server use. As for safe, that depends on how you configure it. Make sure to use difficult-to-guess passwords, don't leave ports open that you're not using, and check on logs every so often. If you stay smart about it, then yes, it is safe to use as a web-facing server.
    Dell XPS M1530
    Core 2 Duo T8100 @ 2.10GHz | 4GB RAM
    320GB HDD | 256MB nVidia GeForce Go 8600M GT
    Registered Linux User: #441660 | Registered Ubuntu User: #11700

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Beans
    55

    Re: Remote GUI

    If I were to setup the server using the GUI and then disable the GUI, would this be as secure as not installing the gui at all?

    If it is, how do I disable the GUI?

    Thanks.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Beans
    160
    Distro
    Gutsy Gibbon Testing

    Re: Remote GUI

    The gui doesn't really make it any less secure, even if it's enabled. It just hogs resources all the time. Disabling it will stop it from hogging those resources until it's needed.

    To disable it, do the following:

    Code:
    sudo /etc/init.d/gdm stop
    then install sysv-rc-conf

    Code:
    sudo apt-get install sysv-rc-conf
    and run it

    Code:
    sudo sysv-rc-conf
    then scroll down with the keyboard until you see 'gdm'.

    It should look something like:

    Code:
    service    1    2    3    4    5    0    6    S
    ------------------------------------------------
    gdm       [ ]  [X]  [X]  [X]  [X]  [ ]  [ ]  [ ]
    go to each of those selected boxes and press the spacebar to unselect them. This will stop it from running at startup.

    If you're ever at the server and need the gui again you can type:
    Code:
    sudo /etc/init.d/gdm start
    then stop it whenever you're done.



    EDIT: This info was for Gnome. If you're using Xfce, replace every instance of 'gdm' with 'xdm'. And if you're using KDE, replace it with 'kdm'.
    Last edited by mrpeenut24; July 2nd, 2008 at 07:46 AM.
    Dell XPS M1530
    Core 2 Duo T8100 @ 2.10GHz | 4GB RAM
    320GB HDD | 256MB nVidia GeForce Go 8600M GT
    Registered Linux User: #441660 | Registered Ubuntu User: #11700

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Beans
    9

    Re: Remote GUI

    I realize this is a bit late and you probably already have a solution, but maybe this will be helpful to someone else who browses this way.


    I set up Ubuntu servers all the time for people who are completely unfamiliar with linux, but want the stability/safety. There are many web interfaces that you can use which allow you the 'best of both worlds'. We use Plesk control panel... seems to get the job done pretty well. If you only have 1 domain, it is free to use... more domains will cost you.

    1. Install the base OS onto the server hardware (DON"T RUN ANY UPDATES).
    2. download plesk for the operating system you're using (lynx plesk.com ... and then browse to the ~3.5MB web installer)
    3. You'll need to change the permissions to get it to run on your computer: sudo chmod 755 plesk_installer_name

    4. Run the plesk installer: ./plesk_installer_name
    5. During the plesk install, you'll need to read up on the various options... I'll leave that up to you.
    6. Turn off your firewall
    7. Configure web interface (just follow through the screens) by turning your browser to http://ip.address:8443

    Voila! You have your Ubuntu/linux box... and a virtually fool proof way to run it!


    That said... I would *HIGHLY* recommend using this as a temporary fix, and actually spending the time to learn linux. For this type of application, there really is nothing better than digging in and learning it!

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