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I've read around that installing an Ubuntu desktop on top of an Ubuntu Server provides security holes and performance issues. But I can't find anywhere as to describe what security holes would develop from doing this? I am thinking of installing a light weight desktop such as Xubuntu. Can anyone explain further? What type of security holes? Do I need to be concerned?

All help is much appreciated!

marked as duplicate by karel, user25656, belacqua, Braiam, Mitch Jan 14 '14 at 7:47

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  • I marked this a duplicate because the major difference between desktop and server is the inclusion of X11. That said, I think the biggest security issues in a desktop come from the ability to open a web-browser, especially if it can run flash, and other web-tools, like email clients. +1 for being a useful synonymous question. – virtualxtc Jan 14 '14 at 1:28
  • Thank you for your response. I'm new to the Linux world so forgive me if this is a dumb question, but is there any way to disable X11? Or is the best way to have it secure is to just not use web-browser etc.? This will not be in a production server, this server is for learning purposes only...and I guess I will delete this post. I don't know how i missed that linked post. – DBroncos1558 Jan 14 '14 at 1:38
  • X11 / Xorg is the display manager, nothing graphical, and thus no desktop is possible without it. Linux is quite secure even with X11, thus, if you are running this just for educational purposes, running a desktop should be fine. No need to delete the post, as I said, it's actually a good duplicate. – virtualxtc Jan 14 '14 at 1:52
  • Okay - thank you again for your help! Another question, this server I installed is being dual booted with Windows 7. IF someone did manage to find a hole in my Ubuntu Server with Xubuntu, would that person then have access to my Windows 7 data? – DBroncos1558 Jan 14 '14 at 2:02
  • That depends if the hole is a root vulnerability (then yes) or if not, if the user / group that has been compromised has read or write access to the Win7 data. That said, it's much more likely that running windows will be what compromises your system. – virtualxtc Jan 14 '14 at 2:05

It sounds to me that what you're looking for is an easier way to manage Ubuntu Server than strictly through the terminal. An intermediate step, in terms of security, is a web based administration package:
ISP Config

Credits: Is there a tool for web based system administration?

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