New Web Based Comprehensive Control Panel

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New Web Based Comprehensive Control Panel

Postby rahim » Thu Nov 22, 2007 5:08 pm

Hello all,

I'd like to dig up my first (rather controversial) post that I made on these forums....

Therein I mentioned some things I hate about Linux, as well as a wishlist of things that I would like to see improved. Since then Linux Mint has gone a long way toward improving many of these aspects. I am especially excited to see that Mint is going to be releasing a mini-LiveCD and an E17 version. I really want to see a lightweight Linux distro that can run well on old hardware and still have the package availability and "normality" of a regular Ubuntu-based system. But the most important thing that still needs to be addressed is a comprehensive Control Panel for Linux. Most Linux users are not very proficient with the command line or text config files, and many of them never will be. For them, a good GUI Control Panel is the only option. Mandriva Control Center and YaST are decent, but they are slow and poorly designed, and they only work on those respective systems. Currently in KDE and Gnome there are a few good GUI tools for *some* aspects of system administration. But they don't cover all the bases. And they are dreadfully slow or pull in huge numbers of dependancies when installed on a lightweight system that doesn't run Gnome or KDE. Additionally, many of the convenient tools that live in the system tray of KDE and Gnome, such as battery monitors and keyboard layout switchers do not work on the alternative desktops. Therefore, I would like to propose the following, copied from my previous post:

Comprehensive graphical control panel, written in a fast programming language and not written with Gnome or KDE dependencies. Most distros have a few limited config tools, but most of them are based on Gnome or KDE. That makes them unbearably slow to load on slow computers running a lightweight desktop. Maybe it would be good to write this in a web language and make it configurable via a web browser. Functions that should be configurable without the command line or a text editor include:
    Wired network devices
    Wireless network devices
    USB network devices
    56K Modems
    Internet Connection sharing
    Remote Samba Share mounts (so that programs without Gnome or KDE file dialogs and also command line can access remote Samba shares
    via /media/remote-system-name/folder-name
    Current samba shares on local machine.
    Common network Login with roaming profiles and Windows network login / authentication
    System language and keyboard language.
    Full system backup / incremental backups to tape, DVD, or network host.
    Time and Date and Internet Time sync
    Printers and Printer Sharing
    Scanners and Scanner sharing
    Fax send/receive (yes businesses still depend on fax)
    Offline network files, with Sync when user comes back online
    VPN config
    Disk partitions
    Packages / Programs
    Default Programs / protocol handlers
    System restore states
    Firewall settings
    Mouse speed and orientation
    Power control / speedstep / ACPI / APM / hibernate control
    Xorg configurator, allowing full control of monitor and resolution and switch between VESA / Xorg drivers or proprietary drivers, and
    also multiple monitor support
    Sound Card config / switcher
    Scheduled Tasks / Cron
    Services / daemons control

Write desktop-neutral systray applets that conform to the common standards (to work with XFCE or IceWM) to include common functionality when the user is using a lightweight desktop. These same applets would also work in Gnome and KDE, for consistency. These applets should also tie into the above mentioned GUI control panel. Functions would include
    keyboard language
    network / WiFI monitor
    volume control
    calendar / tasks
    resolution / monitor switching
    removable media
    power control / laptop battery indicator

I now think that the best approach would be web-based. It could even be accessed via a text browser from the console or over SSH, for those who prefer that. It might be best to use and existing web framework such as or . I am confident that such a web based control panel would add massive value to Linux Mint and any derivatives running any sort of desktop or window manager. Any ideas?

Thanks for considering this!

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Re: New Web Based Comprehensive Control Panel

Postby linuxviolin » Thu Nov 22, 2007 5:46 pm

In summary you want a GUI for everything? I would say definitely not!

You say:

Most Linux users are not very proficient with the command line or text config files, and many of them never will be.

Then let them learn! When someone learns a new language he is not asking that the language be amended to better suit him? Or when someone learns chess it is not asking to change the rules? One could multiply examples à volonté

Why ask all these GUIs à la Windows? We do not need a new Windows... :twisted:

Don't take my words badly, it's just an "epidermal" reaction to this type of speech :lol: I'm sorry
K.I.S.S. ===> "Keep It Simple, Stupid"
"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." (Leonardo da Vinci)
"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler." (Albert Einstein)

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Re: New Web Based Comprehensive Control Panel

Postby Ferdil » Sun Apr 27, 2008 6:28 am

+1 to the GUI tools, even if the command line is fast, i like to have many GUi tools to configure the system
-1 to the web interface. there should be the maximum integration with the system, use GTK and KDE libraries.
Don't blame me for my bad english. This is not my native language.

Are the decisions that you make, when you have no time to make them, that define who you are.


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