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From "Anthony G. Atkielski" <anth...@atkielski.com>
Subject Re: [users@httpd] Favorite Linux Distribution
Date Wed, 09 Feb 2005 06:10:15 GMT
Chad Leigh -- Shire.Net LLC writes:

> A GUI in and of itself does not reduce the relaibility and a
> performance of a unix-type system.

A GUI reduces the reliability and performance of _any_ operating system,
because it vastly increases the amount of code executed (slowing the
machine down), and it vastly increases the complexity of the interface
(reducing reliability).

Additionally, on most systems, including UNIX, security and stability
must be partially compromised in order to allow GUIs to run.  For
example, you cannot run FreeBSD at higher security levels if you wish to
use a GUI on the machine (one reason why I don't use one).  GUIs
generally require direct access to hardware, which bypasses system
security, opening doors to system compromise and greatly increasing the
chances of system failure.

> Loading the machine up with all sorts of stuff and using it as a
> workstation at the same time might, but the GUI itself has no effect
> on the server. I have X loaded on my servers, even though I don't run
> it. I can run vnc and run some server metric apps that require X if I
> need to. And Mac OS X, which has a GUI, works just fine as a server
> with no loss of performance or reliability due to the GUI.

A large percentage of the problems I see people asking and complaining
about on UNIX systems is related to the GUI. They waste a lot of time
trying to get pretty windows to work correctly on the screen.  It would
help if they ran the server segment on a different machine (because
that's the part that causes most of the problems), but it seems that
many casual users of UNIX today want to pretend that it's Windows.

OS X has a very large and complex GUI bolted onto UNIX, and while it is
much more coherent than most GUIs for UNIX, it still inevitably makes
the system more fragile and vulnerable--there is no way to avoid this
with a GUI.

> Sorry, but this is a bunch of BS.  The GUI has no effect on the server
> functions unless you run a ton of GUI programs at the same time.

See above.  For production systems, simple is good.  If you're not
running GUI programs at the same time, you don't need the GUI.  And if
you are making use of the GUI at the same time, you're destabilizing the
server.

Even in operating systems that depend on a GUI, such as recent versions
of NT-based Microsoft Windows, the presence of the GUI has a
destabilizing and slowing effect on the system.  A great deal of system
resources are dedicated to the pretty pictures, and a great many
vulnerabilities pass through the GUI.

GUIs are also slower to use for many system administration functions.
It's often much faster to type than it is to point and click.

-- 
Anthony



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