Console or GUI OS ? Init level 3 or init level 5 ?

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Asterisk Users 2 Comments

I’m about to start building my asterisk server and I can’t seem to find
anything that discusses the pros and cons of installing the OS (Fedora 15)
as console only or GUI, ie install KDE as well.

So, other than a bit of disk space, is there any reason why I shouldn’t
install KDE when I set it up ?

Is there any great disadvantage to running the server in init level 5 (ie
KDE, xorg, etc) running in the background, but not being logged in, versus
init level 3 ? (Or whatever they call these things these days…, ie F15
uses systemd…)

FWIW, my server hardware will sit on a server rack in the utility room. I
might drag a display and keyboard down there once in a while to troubleshoot
and/or do maintenance, but mostly I’d ssh in and probably use a remote
desktop app to work on it.

FWIW, I’m OK doing things via the CLI, but sometimes its really nice to have
graphical tools.

I look forward to your input.


2 thoughts on - Console or GUI OS ? Init level 3 or init level 5 ?

  • Well you are correct – I did not include a discussion on performance impacts
    including disk I/O etc.

    It is true that by installing a GUI o/s additional init.d (startup) services
    will fire.. Additional libraries will be inclusive etc.

    This is why I say minimal is always better.

    Also take for example risk mitigation with security aspects. If you minimize
    the number of libraries (think windows DLL’s) you have installed you also
    thus minimize your potential exposure.

    Again – this is just my recommendation and experience. Firewalls are great
    at blocking things and in theory – sure you could nmap your box and look for
    open ports and conceal them.

    I remember a Solaris engineer we had once – he bragged and bragged about his
    qualifications on Sun Solaris. Just to find out that he installed a bunch of
    GUI tools just so that he could install Oracle drivers. Further he didn’t
    remove or lock down that exposure.

    Start minimal and work your way up. Now for my poke / razz – GUI’s in server
    grade operating systems have made people a little to reliant on them.

    [] On Behalf Of linux guy
    Sent: Monday, September 12, 2011 2:29 PM
    level 3 or init level 5 ?

    On Mon, Sep 12, 2011 at 12:24 PM, Robert Huddleston

    I personally would never install a GUI o/s. By doing so you always open
    yourself up to more security concerns.. Packages / ports / etc.

    Course one might argue – “it’s behind a firewall”..

    In my professional experience with running numerous ISP and VoITSPs the rule
    has always been install the minimum needed software to accomplish the goal.

    Thanks for the reply. I was worried the list would find it a trite and
    irritating question.

    I was expecting someone to tell me that even with the GUI component running
    in the background, the graphical processes have the potential to mess up the
    streams. I guess I should confess that I’m always a bit surprised to
    remember that asterisk doesn’t require a real time OS !

    Have you really exposed much more if you install the GUI components and
    normally run at init 3 ?

    Thanks again.