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From Chad Leigh -- Shire.Net LLC <c...@shire.net>
Subject Re: [users@httpd] Favorite Linux Distribution
Date Wed, 09 Feb 2005 17:28:50 GMT

On Feb 9, 2005, at 10:15 AM, Anthony G. Atkielski wrote:

> Chad Leigh -- Shire.Net LLC writes:
>
>> The GUI is another userland program.  It is no different than apache 
>> in
>> that regard.
>
> Not true. GUIs have to have special access to the video hardware on the
> vast majority of operating systems (including UNIX), either because 
> they
> can't run at all any other way or because performance is so poor 
> without
> such access that they cannot be practically used

It may be desirable, but is not required.  On a server, a simple frame 
buffer or VGA X Server may be all that is required to get real time 
data displays.  Such thigs do not require your intrusive kernel level 
stuff.


> . This direct access is
> a security breach on most modern operating systems and has a
> destabilizing influence on the OS.

Prove it.  Show me the stats.  You are wrong.

>
>> It is possible to have specialized drivers that run at
>> the kernel level but is not necessary for a GUI.  Typical X servers 
>> may
>> have these special drivers but they are not required.
>
> A GUI isn't necessary for a server, period.  Many servers run in dark
> rooms mounted in racks.  They don't need GUIs because they aren't even
> driving displays most of the time.  And when they are switched to a
> display, simple CGA or EGA compatibility will do.

You make claims, but many people find the GUI attractive on the server. 
  I agree that it is not required, but it is not the problem you state 
either.

>
>> Having X11 installed does not make your machine less reliable.
>
> All GUIs destabilize the operating systems on which they run, just as
> games do ... and for similar reasons, which I've already explained.

No they don't.  Prove it. Show me studies or test cases or data.

>
>> And unless you are on it all the time, which I mentioned, it does not
>> slow it down. An idling X Server puts no drain on your machine.
>
> It requires more disk, more memory, more system resources, all of which
> could be better used in running the other daemons on the machine.

disk space is cheap, idling X or GUI takes almost no RAM, or other 
system resources.   Show me data to back up your assertions.

>
>> And installing X does not mean you have to run it.
>
> If you aren't going to run it, you don't need to install it.

It gives you the option if you need it.

>
>> The fact that setting up X is difficult has no bearing on the
>> reliability of the machine for server use.  User problems are not the
>> same as the system being less reliable.
>
> A GUI isn't just a user program; it inevitably puts hooks into the OS.

You claimed that people having troubles setting up X to do fancy things 
made it unsuitable for a server, making it less reliable.  You have 
conveniently snipped out your part I was replying to.    Setting up X, 
and difficulties in doing so, have no bearing on the reliability of a 
server.  Your back answer is irrelevant as it is not what we were 
talking about in this section.

>
>> I have X installed on my servers.  In general I do not have an X 
>> server
>> running as I have no need.
>
> Then why have X installed?

I explained that.  You conveniently snipped that.  So I will explain it 
again.  It allows me to link certain applications that require it (java 
on FreeBSD for example, which I use to run server stuff).  It also 
allows me to have client applications that I can display on remote 
displays, not on the server.  I can run stuff that requires X and 
display it on my OS X workstation (running Apples X11 server).

There are lots of advantages to installing X even if you are not 
running an X server.  Ability to run apps for remote display is one, 
and ability to build certain SW packages that require X is another.

>
>> Windows is a different matter.  There the GUI is inter-threaded in the
>> rest of the system code and there it does have a destabilizing
>> influence.
>
> It's no different than UNIX.  All GUIs work that way, for reasons of
> performance and flexibility.

No they don't.  You ought to learn about how these things work.  
Windows has put extensive GUI stuff in the kernel for performance 
reasons.  Things that OS X, and other Unix systems, do not do.  This is 
why Windows systems typically have better graphics performance for 
games, web  browsers, etc than comparable unix and OS X machines.

>
>> Windows is a bad example.
>
> Windows is a classic example, not a bad example.

It is a bad example as MS has made some bad design decisions.

>
>> It depends.  Lots of interesting system metrics apps are GUI based as
>> it is a lot more interesting to look at pretty graphics and graphical
>> representations of system metrics data than a list of numbers.
>
> It depends on one's objectives.  And you can always move the numbers to
> a different machine and generate the graphics there, away from your
> mission-critical production server.

Not real time data feeds you can't

>
>
>
>
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