Thanks, and to Matt also.

On 8/3/12 11:18 AM, "Eric Shubert" <> wrote:

>> * I think Windows sucks bad, and I like UNIX only without a UI.  I'm very
>> good in vi.  But for running my server this time I'd like to try a UI for a
>> for vanilla file management and such, and I don't think I want it to be
>> either Gnome or KDE, because I've never liked them enough to try to learn
>> them.  I won't mention X-Windows.  Apple Remote Desktop has some problems
>> but they seem not bad for a server without its own display, and I can always
>> use a different remote desktop if needed.
> If you're only looking for file management in a UI, I'd try a text based
> one such as Vifm or Midnight Commander, as opposed to a GUI.

What I want from file management is essentially "GUI".  I can tolerate text
interfaces in the terminal, but it is harder to swallow as a cheap gui
imitation.  It is still a gui in essence even if it is text-based, if it
provides a view of the filesystem that does not require typing a command to
get a directory listing.

So I just prefer a GUI, and among GUI's I don't really even like to look at
Windows Explorer, much less Midnight Commander.  I can adjust to anything,
and maybe it is worth that adjustment if a GUI is just too expensive in
terms of connection bandwidth, but it is not the experiment I had in mind to
try next.

Basically, the whole point is to use the Mac Finder, which in spite of being
broken to hell by Apple, is still better than any Windows or unix file
management GUI I have seen so far.  (It worked really well in OS 9 and
actually Apple has never fixed it since, so it is crippled in 10 or so ways
that are regularly annoying.)

Sometimes I am "visual" and in a visual environment I basically relax.
Using a terminal I am not relaxed, even if I am somewhat efficient.
>> * I expected it might likely work well enough for me, and therefore will
>> expand use of my familiar desktop into at least a portion of my
>> server-related work, creating a smoother overall workflow.
> I think this is an unrealistic expectation, in some senses. It doesn't
> matter much which desktop platform you use to manage servers.

It depends on what is to be done.  When doing canned configuration stuff I
use a web interface.  The rest of the time I'm in the shell and some
fraction of that time I could be in a file browser instead, and in that case
I'd rather it be familiar and at least not ugly, therefore (for me) Mac.

> You only 
> really need a web browser and ssh. Unfortunately for some, a good bit of
> server admin work is CLI. Since you know vi though, you should be pretty
> much home free.

Yup, if I had more time I'd develop my own Finder replacement that was more
expressive in relation to CLI-available functionality.  Lacking that I'll
stick with the Finder for moving things around, and seeing what I did.
(Unforch the Finder can't create symlinks.)
> So I don't get credit for guessing you have a Mac Mini? ;)

Yeah, I appreciated that, and glossed over it.

>> * Curiously the first point you mention "some sort of raid" is one reason I
>> want to use OSX, because I really like SoftRAID, which runs only on the Mac.
>> It is installed at home on all my Macs, and I'm quite fond of it and use it
>> at levels that most customers don't touch.  And there are some features
>> planned for the future that I'm quite excited about.  I've had terrible
>> experiences with Apple RAID in the past and also would not want to use
>> Apple's own drivers for data I care about.
> That should be fine. I'm partial to software raid myself, but I do it
> all with the mdadm CLI utility. I'm sure that SoftRAID is slicker.

I can't speak to mdadm.  I use SoftRAID purely via its GUI, although it has
CLI support.

>> I would consider running QMT in a VM, but would rather avoid a VM.  I've
>> never touched CentOS.
> Not a big deal. It's much like the CLI in OSX. Things are in different
> places is all. You really don't need to concern yourself with most of
> that though. Much less than if you try to roll your own on OSX.

Ok, I'll take that advice.

>> My "distro" of choice still would be Mac-native.
> Obviously BSD would be closest. With QMT you really don't need to know
> much about the OS though. Everything's scripted.

Then I might as well stick with FreeBSD since it already compiles.

>> and also really don't want multiple IP's, and suspect sharing a
>> single IP with host and mail VM would be problematic.
> There's no problem with this. Virtualization software can provide NAT
> for the VM's nic(s).

Ok, I had Parallels NAT break host functionality on the LAN once, which made
me nervous.  (I could not print over the LAND as long as Parallels NAT was
enabled on that Mac.)  I have also never put a real server behind a NAT
before, so wasn't sure about it.
> It should be 
> no surprise that the server industry (if there is such a thing) has made
> big moves toward virtualization for nearly a decade now.

Yes.  I would love it if I could just download a working qmail+vpopmail VM
appliance.  Maybe you could work on that?  :)
>> But if the whole idea doesn't work maybe I will just install some linux on
>> my Mac mini.  But in that case I suppose I could put the whole thing in a
>> linux VM under MacOSX and run SoftRAID in the Mac host.
> That's what I'd do. You could use Fusion or Parallels.

I have the impression Fusion is more lightweight, but that's vague since I
never used it.  Parallels is what I've been using "at home" and I have to
say it seem a bit heavy, maybe overkill for a mail server that only needs a
disk and a nic.

Here's the other thing:  Bernstein I think used to say not to ever use qmail
over NFS, and I'm not sure of the implications of that, or whether it is
true.  But I'd rather not dedicate a disk for the qmail VM, and in fact
would like the web sever (or at least sqwebmail) to have access to the qmail
directory hierarchy.  So I'd want to use the host file sharing provided by
Parallels or Fusion, and perhaps that does not raise the problems that NFS
would raise.
> How much time do you want to spend on it? (At our age, that's a serious
> question.)

Hah!  You're right.  Zero would be a nice answer.



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