Best Server OS for Someone That Does not Want to Touch a Shell on a Regular Basis?

Outback Dingo outbackdingo at
Mon Sep 5 16:16:08 UTC 2011


On Mon, Sep 5, 2011 at 8:31 AM, Polytropon <freebsd at> wrote:
> On Sun, 04 Sep 2011 23:47:03 -0400, Pierre-Luc Drouin wrote:
>> Hi,
>> so I have a friend who is looking for the best OS for a web server, that
>> allows to configure services (I guess HTTP, PHP, MySQL and web content)
>> and do the OS maintenance (OS & package updates, firewall configuration)
>> without having to touch a shell. I was wondering if something like
>> PC-BSD + CPanel would be the way to go. Would there be other BSD-based
>> alternatives? I always do upgrades and configure services through the
>> shell and I am not aware too much about the GUI alternatives...

FreeBSD and ISPCP do wonders and its not bloated like cpanel, source
available and it just works, webmin is junk, and cpanel is resource

> There are webbased configuration tools that run on common
> service combinations (like Apache + MySQL + PHP) that can
> be installed. However _installing_ them requires a skilled
> person who is able to administrate a server, which in turn
> traditionally implies the ability to use the command line,
> even if it's just for that "abstraction job".
> FreeBSD can be the OS running such a combination.
> PC-BSD primarily aims at desktop usage, so for example it
> defaults to KDE, office applications, multimedia stuff and
> all the things you traditionally won't want on a server.
> Software solutions that come to mind are CPanel or WebMin.
> Maybe there are others? I'm not sure as I void those mostly
> inflexible, error-prone, overcomplicated and dangerous
> piles of bloat whenever possible. :-)
> For managing installed applications (ports), there are
> KDE tools for that (at least _have been_ in the past,
> not sure if they are still being maintained). The system
> cannot be updated by a GUI tool (why should it?), but
> it should be a job of max. 30 minutes to create a Tcl/Tk
> GUI wrapper for those things. And firewall configuration:
> I'm quite sure PC-BSD has something for that, except that
> it probably won't give you the flexibility to automatically
> change firewall rules depending on different kinds of
> attacks the server will encounter.
> Please keep in mind: If you're running a web server, you're
> part of the target group of thousands of "villains" across
> the Internet who will happily exploit any weakness you are
> presenting to them, depending on the services and software
> you run.
> What's possible to run will also depend on what kind of
> server you have. For example if you run a server without
> any GPU, but PC-BSD depends on hardware-accellerated 3D
> graphics for managing the firewall, then... you know. :-)
> There still is a question that your friend should give an
> answer to himself: Wouldn't it be worth investing in basic
> UNIX skills and command line operations to gain knowledge
> and experience to professionally administer a server instead
> of relying on abstracted layers of abstracted abstractions
> that GUIs provide here, maybe paying with speed and security
> loss?
> It's like driving a car; you _can_ pay a driver to drive
> your car all the time, but maybe you should consider to learn
> how to drive yourself. :-)
> --
> Polytropon
> Magdeburg, Germany
> Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
> Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...
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