I'm very comfortable using the command line and I run Ubuntu Server on my own home server. Though I feel that Ubuntu Server really lacks the ease of use and friendliness that the Windows Server 2008 provide. Don't take me wrong, I do understand the reasons to why there is no default GUI for Ubuntu Server and I don't think it needs one either. But for users who simply want to put up a home server it might be helpful to manage it all from a simple interface. It's also much easier to get a complete overview from a graphical shell.

Wouldn't it be great for unexperienced users to just get a "server manager" (with no extra setup to get a web server and a web interface up and running) where he/she can install/remove, start/stop services by just enabling a switch? There is a lot of web interfaces available but no native interface. What is the reasoning behind that this has never been implemented? Has it been proposed before?

I've just played around with the idea in my head for a while, how the GUI should look and if you could implement "Charms" to install services locally and stuff like that.

Please be kind and try to enlighten me and not just flame this idea :)

  • answer deleted as your ? updated ...
    – One Zero
    Feb 1, 2012 at 15:43

2 Answers 2


In the Unix world if you want to do something, the fastest way is via command line. The programs and services are created for only one purpose, to do the job. The servers are usually far away. If someone has a slow connection, the GUI might kill the whole connection, but using command line or web pages can overcome this problem.

Also if a GUI is developed, it can introduce more bugs, and the software gets immediately larger. Plus it has more dependencies (Qt, GTK, mono, vala, ...) and when these dependencies change, it might introduce even more problems.

A Web based management is better, because the web page can be rendered in any web browser. The code is nearly twice as small as for a GUI. If you want to manage your local server, you just open a browser on the desktop and open localhost.

If you want to try a very good home/small buisness server manager, try ebox (zentyal). It is in the official ubuntu repository. It sets up everything, and it is very nice.


I suggest to give "Webmin" a try. I already used it quite often, especially if non-experienced people need access to one of my servers. It comes with its own small webserver installing itself usually on port 10000. It is as far as I know not part of the official ubuntu ppas but you can download a deb-package. However, I experienced it works best when it is compiled from source.


  • +1 , the web based tools are IMO superior to the various desktops. See also phpmyadmin. There are also web interfaces for virtualization.
    – Panther
    Feb 1, 2012 at 14:14
  • I rephrased the title so that it's easier to understand my question.
    – Niklas
    Feb 1, 2012 at 15:32

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