[sf-lug] /smxi

jim jim at systemateka.com
Fri Oct 11 07:43:11 PDT 2013

    Coincidentally, the Linux study group, 
which meets at Noisebridge on Tuesday 
afternoons, has just turned its ADD attention 
to Nagios. 
    I'm in favor of that choice because it 
presents system administration issues as a 
package, all bundled up in menu choices. 
    From a learning point of view, this (I 
hope) may increase awareness of the various 
resources and other aspects in the domain 
of system administration. 

    Personally, I'm with Rick. In addition 
to his points, I like staying with the 
individual, olde tyme tools because they 
tend to be universal across all *nix hosts. 

On Thu, 2013-10-10 at 15:55 -0700, Rick Moen wrote:
> [I'll post this separately to svlug at lists.svlug.org.]
> Quoting maestro (maestro415 at gmail.com):
> > We attended the last SV-LUG General Meeting and I had asked Rick (Moen) if
> > he used or knew of smxi. He replied no and had never heard of it with
> > interest in what it is/does.
> > 
> > Here you go...
> > 
> > Disclaimer:
> > I include the link to an entire page of helpful things people may want to
> > do after an install which has the smxi.
> > If you'd ONLY like to check out the smxi simply scroll down the page after
> > pointing your browser to it and have fun...
> > 
> > 
> > <
> > https://debianhelp.wordpress.com/2012/10/02/crunchbang-11-waldorf-debian-wheezy-os/
> > >
> smxi is an interesting interactive script that mediates between the
> administrative user and the regular administrative tools of any of
> numerous Debian-family distributions (Aptosid formerly Sidux, Mepis,
> Ubuntu, Crunchbang, etc.) -- to perform tasks like managing packages,
> managing kernels, managing proprietary video drivers, etc.).  It is
> maintained independently from the various distros it aims to support,
> i.e., it is third-party software that is not part of any distro package
> and is not distro-maintained software.
> So:  On the one hand, we have both Maestro and quite a number of other
> people expressing satisfaction with smxi as a primary administrative
> tool.   http://forums.debian.net/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=51089
> On the other manual extremity, we have -- I think, and I'll presume to
> speak for them -- many people with broad experience administering and
> running Linux distros, who have an (admittedly) knee-jerk reaction:
> o  Key adminstrative tools that are neither maintained by me nor 
>    provided as distro-maintained software?  No thanks.
> o  This doesn't appear to do anything I cannot do as well or better
>    using the primary admin tools of my distro itself, to which smxi
>    is an abstraction layer that front-ends them.
> o  And I will be much better able to fully administer both my own
>    and other systems (that probably won't offer smxi) if I learn
>    to use those primary tool properly.
> o  Thus, this seems like a solution in search of a problem.
> As this is a knee-jerk reaction -- I've heard of smxi before, I now 
> remember, but haven't used it -- you might consider the above prejudice,
> and that is a defensible view.  I would reply that the idea of key 
> administrative tools as third-party add-ons to a distro is a generally
> bad idea with some bad history, making this to a degree postjudice
> rather than prejudice.
> But whatever works for you is of course good.  Just bear in mind the
> possiblity that it's a tactical error.

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