Kind of a general and network question:

Is anyone running Gnome or KDE on their Linode and VNC-ing in?

I am a bit security paranoid and moved my SSH port to a high port and then set the firewall to only allow my IP to connect. Would such a thing be reasonable with VNC as well?

I ask because I have a person willing to help me do some manual maintanence stuff on my box but he is not very command line oriented. Also I wanted to run something that requires a graphic browser, even though its localhost.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

6 Replies

I've ran VNC and FreeNX in the past, in combination with Gnome and just TWM.. since I liked having Firefox for those JavaScript secured download sites. Not that I download much on my Linode but sometimes things go way faster then home. Or just content not available in Europe.

FreeNX was faster than VNC in my experience, almost native.

I'm on a Linode 360, I ran these two on CentOS and Fedora. Haven't tried on my new Arch Linux install yet, but when the need arises I will.

In any case, I don't think it's a bad idea? (I even allowed all IPs, but had a secure password =p)

Hey, I'm also interested in setting up KDE on my Linode (Fedora 9) and was wondering if someone could point me to some How-to? I tried myself a while back and wasn't successful.

KDE/GNome are too heavy for the purpose IMO.

I'd suggest trying LXDE. That's light cute desktop, which nevertheless provides typical GUI elements (panel, context menu, basic freedesktop compliance, …)


KDE/GNome are too heavy for the purpose IMO.

This is more than likely true. I think that's true of any GUI on a server. I'm having trouble thinking of "manual maintenance stuff" that would require a GUI at all. What kinds of things are we talking about?


I'm having trouble thinking of "manual maintenance stuff" that would require a GUI at all.

Synaptic Package Manager? :D

Running a GUI will have a noticeably negative effect on the performance of your server, though it somewhat depends on what kind of GUI you run.

Most server programs don't even have a GUI in the first place, let alone require one. You'll most likely find yourself opening the terminal anyway if you were to do any real "maintenance stuff".

If you want to browse the web from your server, install a proxy server (such as tinyproxy) and set your home browser to connect through the proxy. I think it will work with localhost as well if you configure it correctly.

Well turns out my friend is pretty adept and can learn command line well enough. I also wrote some scripts to help him along.

So I will help him learn more linux and I get to avoid the GUI.

I tend to agree the GUI does bog down things unless you have a really fast system. At work we use VMWare hosts but they have 2 GB ram, 8 processors per host and nearly unlimited storage, so we put the GUI on for the backup guy since he is a windows person.

I wanted to stay lean and clean on my linode, so thanks for info.


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