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I have set up a machine with Ubuntu Server. Some of the server software I want to run on it has web based user interfaces for setting it up et cetera. I know I could connect to it from a different machine which has a graphical user interface, but in this case I would rather do it on the box.

So, from a fresh Ubuntu Server installation, what is the minimum I need to install to be able to launch a web browser I can use for this? For example chromium, firefox or arora.

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This may depend on what the interfaces require. Are they straight html, or do they have AJAX, flash, etc.? I'm assuming elinks is not what you're looking for either. –  belacqua Feb 4 '11 at 8:49
    
They might have AJAX at least. Not sure about flash. –  Svish Feb 4 '11 at 9:47
    
Why the assumption that you need a "light" web browser? X will be the heavy portion of the installation so firefox/chrome/chromium will be just fine. Why is X not on servers? I think because of security reasons and the expectation that there will be no head. –  msw Feb 4 '11 at 11:01
    
@msw: Well, bad wording. I was thinking of firefox or chromium. What I am asking is what the minimum is I need to get one of those up and running. –  Svish Feb 4 '11 at 13:04
    
@msw -- It is nice to have fewer packages installed, fewer things to upgrade, and as you said, fewer pieces on the system with a need for security auditing. That and you don't want to suck resources away from whatever the server is 'really' supposed to be doing. –  belacqua Feb 4 '11 at 18:43
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1 Answer 1

The lightest (and least-functional) browser I can find is links2 .

You can run it in graphics mode with the -g flag, like this:

 links2 -g http://localhost:9090

One of the lighter browsers with modern features I've used is arora .

Here are the listed dependencies from sudo apt-cache show arora :

Depends: libc6 (>= 2.2.5), libgcc1 (>= 1:4.1.1), libqt4-dbus (>= 4:4.5.3), libqt4-network (>= 4:4.5.3), libqt4-script (>= 4:4.5.3), libqt4-sql (>= 4:4.5.3), libqtcore4 (>= 4:4.7.0~beta1), libqtgui4 (>= 4:4.6.1), libqtwebkit4 (>= 2.0~week26), libstdc++6 (>= 4.1.1)

It should work for what I expect would be normal browser-based control panel stuff.

Here's what actually would be installed (taken from my 10.04 server) :

sudo apt-get install --simulate arora

[...]

The following NEW packages will be installed:
  arora libaudio2 libmng1 libphonon4 libqt4-dbus libqt4-designer
  libqt4-network libqt4-script libqt4-sql libqt4-sql-mysql libqt4-webkit
  libqt4-xml libqt4-xmlpatterns libqtcore4 libqtgui4
0 upgraded, 15 newly installed, 0 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
Inst libaudio2 (1.9.2-3 Ubuntu:10.04/lucid)
Inst libmng1 (1.0.9-1ubuntu1 Ubuntu:10.04/lucid)
Inst libqtcore4 (4:4.6.2-0ubuntu5.1 Ubuntu:10.04/lucid-updates)
Inst libqt4-xml (4:4.6.2-0ubuntu5.1 Ubuntu:10.04/lucid-updates)
Inst libqt4-dbus (4:4.6.2-0ubuntu5.1 Ubuntu:10.04/lucid-updates)
Inst libqt4-script (4:4.6.2-0ubuntu5.1 Ubuntu:10.04/lucid-updates)
Inst libqtgui4 (4:4.6.2-0ubuntu5.1 Ubuntu:10.04/lucid-updates)
Inst libqt4-designer (4:4.6.2-0ubuntu5.1 Ubuntu:10.04/lucid-updates)
Inst libphonon4 (4:4.6.2-0ubuntu5.1 Ubuntu:10.04/lucid-updates)
Inst libqt4-network (4:4.6.2-0ubuntu5.1 Ubuntu:10.04/lucid-updates)
Inst libqt4-sql (4:4.6.2-0ubuntu5.1 Ubuntu:10.04/lucid-updates)
Inst libqt4-sql-mysql (4:4.6.2-0ubuntu5.1 Ubuntu:10.04/lucid-updates)
Inst libqt4-xmlpatterns (4:4.6.2-0ubuntu5.1 Ubuntu:10.04/lucid-updates)
Inst libqt4-webkit (4:4.6.2-0ubuntu5.1 Ubuntu:10.04/lucid-updates)
Inst arora (0.10.2-0ubuntu1 Ubuntu:10.04/lucid)

Other options

Although I have tried very few of these, a nice list (with brief descriptions) of light browsers is here: http://www.helgefjell.de/browser.php
The front page of the site also has this very nice admonition, in line with the idea of light web browsers:

Note: You have activated ECMA-Script (JavaScript). This web site does not use active contents and encourages you to deactivate ECMA-Script. Good web design does not require any active content [...]

Some of the ones I tried weren't happy with a 64-bit environment.

dillo used to be the way to go for a very light browser, but I had stopped using it do to lack of packaging and general rudimentary functionality.

Fennec is another slightly weirder possibility -- it's the mozilla mobile broswer. Very light, but it expects a tiny screen. It is in the repos.

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Would I still be able to run it without installing gnome or kde or something like that? –  Svish Feb 4 '11 at 9:48
    
As far as I tell, there are no gnome or kde dependencies. –  belacqua Feb 4 '11 at 10:30
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+1 for Arora - it's one of the lighter browsers available, and should have things like Javascript support that some admin sections will require. –  Windigo Feb 4 '11 at 12:57
1  
I tried to run arora after having done sudo apt-get install arora. I get the following error: "cannot connect to X server" –  Svish Feb 4 '11 at 13:05
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