Musings on Ubuntu
Warning: Geek talk ahead. (Normal people: Read some disturbing comics courtesy of Danes Wulff and Morgenthaler.) Anyway, to the point...
I finally got around to setting up a file server at home, not the least because of the fact that having around twenty thousand photographs (mostly of the kids and parties etc.) on my Windows desktop made me feel a bit queasy. While I was at it I decided to set up the server with the Ubuntu distribution of (GNU/) Linux. I've used Debian a lot in the past, and I wanted a no-frills installation, so Ubuntu felt like a natural choice.
I must say I'm impressed so far. I set up the server to share files over Samba, which did require a few manual configuration settings to get permission set up. Ubuntu also decided that since I installed without an Internet connection present I wasn't going to use one at all, and no package sources except for the CD-ROM were selected. But other than those two things it's been point and click, and everything has just worked.
Even setting up a VNC connection to the desktop (I like graphical user interfaces for a lot of stuff, OK?) was trivial: All you had to do was enable "Remote Desktop" in the Ubuntu settings, and after that The Gnome Vino VNC server runs automatically when the user logs in. I set the machine for auto-login, otherwise it's not accessible through VNC unless I do more manual configuration. In this case it's a non-issue, as there's no keyboard and mouse connected to that computer anyway. And don't get any big ideas, I VPN in though an SSH tunnel in my gateway.