Why I use graphical applications on a server

Samuel Sieb samuel at sieb.net
Fri Dec 5 01:24:23 UTC 2014

I'm not subscribed to this list, but Stephen thought this might be 
useful information.  This is just my use case as an admin for a remote 
site that runs Fedora all around.  (It's a school.)

I find it very helpful to run some graphical applications on a server at 
a remote site.  A full desktop environment is excessive for my purposes, 
so I just run vncserver with openbox.  This way I can run graphical 
tools remotely from systems at the site (e.g. system-config-printer).  I 
can view them on the vnc server without running the full X protocol over 
the internet as well as being able to resume the session if I get 
disconnected.  I also run Firefox on the server to access local 
web-based admin tools such as switches and FreeIPA.  I could (and do) 
use an ssh http proxy as well, but it's handy to keep the Firefox state 
on the server and it's significantly more difficult to setup kerberos on 
my laptop to be able to talk to the FreeIPA web interface remotely.

I originally started the server as a minimal install and that would be 
sufficient for an isolated server.  But I ended up going this way 
because it makes managing the remote network much easier.

For future reference for anyone attempting this, after installing 
tigervnc-server and openbox, the only package missing to make it useable 
is xorg-x11-fonts-Type1.  If you don't install that, you get some very 
interesting but unreadable text.  I wonder if that should be added as a 
dependency to one of the base X packages.

More information about the server mailing list