In running the old iPlanet (and then, Sun) DS (389's ancestor) for around a decade I gradually moved towards doing almost everything on the command line both for efficiency and stability (early versions of the gui console sometimes crashed the server). Sun's last release, DSEE 7, came with the kind of command line utilities now being developed for 389, allowing you to do everything at the CLI you used to need the gui for (like setting up replication). About the only thing I missed was the console's graphical aci editor, which is still the best way for new admins to learn the aci system. In fact I used the console aci editor just this week to prototype access controls for an OpenDJ directory service (OpenDJ is an all-java server that grew out of Sun DS).
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