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Re: [tlug] Networking two Linux computers harder than Linux toWindows?

On Sun, 15 Apr 2007 23:48:42 +0900, "Stephen J. Turnbull"
<> wrote:

> My point is that in today's environment Dave's expectation that when
> he installs software it will "just work" is quite understandable.

There is, I think, a big difference between desktop software like a
media player, graphics package or mail client, and server software like
a webserver or a DB server. That the former category "just works" seems
perfectly normal to me. Not the latter, which caters to a totally
different user base because it has a totally different function.
Desktop software, if net-aware, initiates network connections to the
outside in order to pull down or send data to a remote host. Server
software sits there listening for connections from the outside world,
meaning that some services need to be exposed. As you know full well,
it's a zoo out there. Whoever is managing the server has to be mindful
of that and do whatever s/he can to protect the server from attack. That
takes knowledge, experience and information channels that the average
desktop user probably doesn't have or even know about in the first

So, desktop software like gkrellm, for example, that starts as soon as
installed? No problem, no harm done if the configuration isn't how I
like it.

Stuff like MySQL and Apache starting by itself - even if they're behind
a firewall, they're still *meant* to be exposed to the 'Net, although
that's debatable for MySQL, which should only be accessible to the
machine running the front-end - is, I agree 110% with you, a serious

> You have enough work to do to demonstrate that it's reasonable for a
> non-BOFH-geek to go through the effort of setting up and starting
> daemons and learning about their configuration.

The non-BOFH-geek ought to go at least part of the way towards becoming
a BOFH-geek if s/he wants to start mucking about with server software,
and learning how to start daemons manually and configure them is a
necessary part of that process. Using package managers and glitzy
point'n'drool wizards while you're learning is fine as long as the
server you're administrating that way is nowhere near a public network
(you're never going to learn to ride a bike properly until you take
those stabilizers off, right?) but cannot replace getting your hands
dirty, delving into those config files and generally trying to
understand at least the basics of what's under the hood.

Maybe I'm just part of a nearly-extinct species: I don't *want* to run
software blindly.

G. Stewart -

Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes.
That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have
their shoes.

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