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Thread: Server vs. Desktop for Home server use?

  1. #1
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    Server vs. Desktop for Home server use?

    I prefer to use GUI admin tools instead of command line for most management function. I know that you can install the LAMP server stack on Ubuntu Desktop. I also know that Ubuntu Server doesn't enable X11 so everything is command line.

    So I'm wondering what are the advantages of running Ubuntu Server versus Ubuntu Desktop with the server packages installed?

    Sorry for the dumb question, but I figure I'm missing some key point that everyone else already knows about Server and ease of management.

    Jim A

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Ubuntu Development Release

    Re: Server vs. Desktop for Home server use?

    I'd say server. It's lighter than the Desktop and you can install a GUI that is much less heavier than GNOME anyway.

    It's also more secure for servers I believe. Less stuff altered for home use.

  3. #3
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    Re: Server vs. Desktop for Home server use?

    If you know how to work on the command line, you should go with the Server Edition. As mentioned it is lighter and will allow you to use your system resources more efficiently. If you need a gui tool, Webmin is the way to go. It has almost all the necessary modules and many more are available for custom integration.

    Desktop Edition is either not a bad choice but ultimately the choice is Server Edition if you decide between GUI and CLI.

  4. #4
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    Re: Server vs. Desktop for Home server use?

    This ServerGUI article kinda goes over the disadvantages of installing a GUI on a server.

    Honestly if you feel the rig is going to be used for any desktop purposes, I would install the desktop version - like looking at pictures, creating documents, listening to music... etc.

    If however you're going to setup the server and it's just going to chug along and provide these services - like LAMP, media/file serving, etc - then I would go for the server edition because it is optimized to do these tasks. I don't think it's inherently more secure, other than the lack of a GUI - it just runs better because there's less stuff like document creation software, picture viewing software - you get my point.

    +1 to Webmin as well. It won't solve all your problems, but it does help with pesky things like Samba configs

  5. #5
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    Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx

    Re: Server vs. Desktop for Home server use?

    You are correct, you can install anything that you would want on your server on a desktop version of ubuntu. It all breaks down to if you want to use the command line or not and if you need the extra resources somewhere else. If you don't need the resources and don't really want to get to know the command line then I would recommend going with the desktop and then installing the LAMP stack. Personally I prefer the server version of Ubuntu as I don't have physical access to many of my servers and therefore don't have use for the desktop GUI, but it's up to you.
    David Toronto
    Technology Initiatives
    Blog: blog.technologyinitiatives.com

  6. #6
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    Re: Server vs. Desktop for Home server use?

    Thanks, all for the great advice and opinions. I'm going to mark this one solved

  7. #7
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    Re: Server vs. Desktop for Home server use?

    +1 to Webmin

  8. #8
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    Re: Server vs. Desktop for Home server use?

    I just install Webmin and it works great. Seems to be some issue with libmd5-perl not being easily installable with apt-get, but plenty of searchable answers for that problem.

    Thanks all, again.

    Jim A

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Ubuntu 16.04 Xenial Xerus

    Re: Server vs. Desktop for Home server use?

    Quote Originally Posted by jfaberna View Post
    I just install Webmin and it works great. Seems to be some issue with libmd5-perl not being easily installable with apt-get, but plenty of searchable answers for that problem.

    Thanks all, again.

    Jim A
    Just FYI:

    libmd5-perl is used on webmin 1.500, not 1.510-2.

    1.510-2 has all the correct dependencies for Ubuntu 10.04.

    @OP: It all depends on what you want to do, I run the server edition since I run VMs and have already done most of the configuration as it is.
    Come to #ubuntuforums! We have cookies! | Basic Ubuntu Security Guide

    Tomorrow's an illusion and yesterday's a dream, today is a solution...

  10. #10
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    Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala

    Re: Server vs. Desktop for Home server use?

    Also take a look at this thread, it's loaded with good tips on what to use on your home server. Most are using Server with web based tools. Command line with Ebox was a good option and more recommended than Webmin, at least by the Ubuntu folks.
    Home Server: Oblivion . Ubuntu 13.04, Plex, ZFS on Linux, OpenVPN, Transmission, SABnzbd, Sick Beard, CouchPotato

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