Thursday, 5 June 2014

Should graphical enviroment(init 5 runlevel, X11 packaeges) be installed and running on Linux server? EXPLAINED!

Answer on this question is not simple. It all depends what is purpose of your server.

Usually graphical enviroment is need during installation and after that step is over, you want need it any more.

But less go back in time when resources very limited and when 4GB of RAM was big deal and 1 core CPU was all you had. Then every free byte of RAM was important and every free CPU % mattered that you system would not froze :( ! Only needed packages were installed! Less packages you install, meaned that you will have more free system resources for your system to run normally!

Now days, this is less important! With new advanced and cheaper hardware, faster CPU, multi-core CPU's, faster and bigger RAM, more disk  space there is no practical relevance if your server use 1GB or 1,1GB of RAM if you have 16 or 32 GB available. Same goes for CPU usage and file space.

But, only bad system administrator would install all packages on system (by this I mean all packages that are on DVD) so you have to make some limitation during installation. If you do not need FTP, do not install it! I hope you get my point about resource available!

For X11 packages and init 5 runlevel, here is practice that I think is good. During installation of OS, I always install X11 system. After installation is over, system is by default in init 5 runlevel. I change this in init 3 runlevel. Why? Resources, resources! In 99% of time, Linux admin connect on server trough ssh connection with putty or some other client. Using GUI in Linux system administration is well, not good and it is usally something newbie would do.
In my 5 years of experience as Linux admin, 99% that I used graphical environment on server was when I need to see something on Internet for some quick troubleshooting while I am in server room!
When you need to do this, just execute this


And graphical environment will appear!
After you are done with it, just log out and you will be back in console!

Of course depending of your server purpose, you maybe have to leave server in init 5 runlevel.

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