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Windows Admins Need To Prepare For GUI-Less Server

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the back-to-basics dept.

GUI 780

msmoriarty writes "We knew Windows Server 8 was going to be a departure for Microsoft, including an 'optional' GUI, but in a blog post made earlier this week, the Windows Server team said that working without the GUI will be the 'recommended' method, and is telling developers not to assume a GUI will be present. According to Windows consultant and author Don Jones, this is a big hint to Windows admins that they better get used to not having a GUI in future releases. From the article: 'I'm well aware that many Windows admins out there aren't looking forward to a GUI-less server operating system from Microsoft. ... I'm sure Microsoft has, too.They're proceeding anyway. We have two choices: adapt or die.'"

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It would be good to have optional GUI (5, Insightful)

antitithenai (2552442) | more than 2 years ago | (#38685914)

Often Windows servers are also used to run actual programs with GUI's, like you do on your home computer. Having them on server means you have access to much better bandwidth and your programs can run 24/7, and you can easily deploy more servers if you need to. If GUI's are completely removed then you would need to run desktop version of Windows on a server, which is far from ideal. Servers aren't just used for web servers and things like that, they are also used for supporting programs or having a remote location. Windows server with RDP works really well for that. Even Linux servers can have GUI, as it's easy to install X11 and some desktop environment.

Re:It would be good to have optional GUI (0, Troll)

somersault (912633) | more than 2 years ago | (#38685946)

You have no idea what you're talking about.

I'm just waiting to see the reactions from guys who are always saying how Windows is better than Linux because everything is GUI based. This is pretty hilarious..

Re:It would be good to have optional GUI (0, Troll)

antitithenai (2552442) | more than 2 years ago | (#38686000)

You have no idea what you're talking about.

Care to elaborate or are you just trolling? I have many Windows-based servers that only run GUI programs. I have a quite bad connection so I can't run those at home, and I also like to close my laptop when I'm not working. I also know hundreds of people with the same kind of setup.

Also, you haven't needed to use GUI for everything. PowerShell is really powerful shell for Windows, even more powerful than you have on Linux, as it passes objects between commands and programs, not just text.

Re:It would be good to have optional GUI (4, Insightful)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 2 years ago | (#38686136)

He's just trolling. Not every server application for Windows is made by MS, and therefore not all of them will go GUIless. One of the two I administrate cannot be administrated without the GUI, except possibly by some of it's developers. The other can be administrated without the GUI, but even if you run it on Linux, Solaris or HPUX, the creator highly recommends using the GUI and won't support some changes being made except within the GUI.

HOWEVER, as long as I've administrated Windows and *Nix server, and applications on them, I have very much missed the ability to have GUIless access to a server, when working with Windows. This change should mean that pretty much every server/os level task can be done without a GUI, which will be nice. I prefer to not have to pick one or the other, I'd rather have a server that allows both options well. Using the GUI for tools I don't use much, and CLI for tools I use frequently.

Re:It would be good to have optional GUI (1)

g0bshiTe (596213) | more than 2 years ago | (#38686198)

I think you proved his point by making the assertion that by running a Windows Server with a GUI you are somehow magically increasing your bandwidth. Care to explain how a GUI increases that?

Re:It would be good to have optional GUI (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38686232)

He's saying that just because the administrative tools are going CLI does not mean the server OS is incapable of running a GUI at all.

You will still be able to run your GUI programs. However if you want to administer your server, you'll need to learn some CLI-fu.

Re:It would be good to have optional GUI (1)

blowdart (31458) | more than 2 years ago | (#38686330)

Or you use remote administration tools. This isn't exactly new anyway, Windows 2008 has had "Server Core" installations which haven't installed a UI layer at all. Those tend to be used for AD boxes, or Hyper-V hosts or IIS servers.

Shows ignorance. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38686274)

And you don't seem to understand how much overhead and bloat is added to servers by a GUI. Fully 25% of a cpu is taken, and up to 30-50% of the memory (depending on what is running).

There is a reason the X window system is quite efficient - the overhead is on the X server, which is not running on the compute server. No need for the bloat, performance penalty, or memory penalty.

The next problem is that any GPU on a "server" is going to be dedicated to application computation, not graphics. That is very hard to do efficiently if a GUI is running on the server - the GPU doesn't have the resources to do process separation (that is one of the security issues that exists for all GPUs).

"objects" are nothing but references passed through a normal stream of data. See XML for an example. After it arrives at it's destination it has to be reassembeled into a memory resident structure.

So all it does is add yet another layer of bloat. Linux/UNIX has been able to do that for years. Most disregard it due to the extra processing overhead, and, after all, it doesn't add that much capability anyway.

Re:It would be good to have optional GUI (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38686054)

Curious how the same applies the other way around: "i'm just waiting to see the reactions from guys who are always saying how Linux is better than Widows because everything is CLI based. This is pretty hilarious"

Re:It would be good to have optional GUI (5, Insightful)

somersault (912633) | more than 2 years ago | (#38686350)

Any sane person recognises that both have their benefits and drawbacks.

Re:It would be good to have optional GUI (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38686062)

Maybe M$ finally found that the GUI was eating up more resources then it was worth. Think of the Space savings of no GUI. About time M$.

Re:It would be good to have optional GUI (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38685986)

Yes, it's easy to install X11 on a Linux server - but it's also generally a stupid thing to do, security-wise, if your server is internet-facing.

Just sent the link to this article to my girlfriend via IM, and I love her response: "Wow, that will clear the field".

Re:It would be good to have optional GUI (1)

antitithenai (2552442) | more than 2 years ago | (#38686026)

Yes, it's easy to install X11 on a Linux server - but it's also generally a stupid thing to do, security-wise, if your server is internet-facing.

And why is that? Your home linux desktop is internet-facing too. Just because it's housing in datacenter doesn't mean it's suddenly much more insecure. Servers aren't used just for hosting Apache, you know.

Re:It would be good to have optional GUI (0)

smcdow (114828) | more than 2 years ago | (#38686188)

If your home linux desktop isn't behind a NATing firewall, then your home setup is not correct.

Re:It would be good to have optional GUI (4, Insightful)

gazbo (517111) | more than 2 years ago | (#38686374)

Wait, you think that NAT is a good thing? Well I suppose there has to be one.

NAT solves ONE problem: more devices than public IPs. Any perceived security benefits are purely incidental and can be solved (better) by a firewall.

Re:It would be good to have optional GUI (1)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | more than 2 years ago | (#38686316)

Well, making yourself a bigger target coupled with hosting important information tends to ever-so-slightly nudge risk management behavior.

Re:It would be good to have optional GUI (2, Informative)

Sipper (462582) | more than 2 years ago | (#38686162)

Yes, it's easy to install X11 on a Linux server - but it's also generally a stupid thing to do, security-wise, if your server is internet-facing.

In general you're probably right, but it's not necessarily the case. You can install X11 without it actually running a GUI so that in a pinch you can run a GUI program via ssh X forwarding when you have to. This works even on headless machines. The question I (personally) have is how safe X forwarding over ssh is.

the gui will be optional (1)

benjymouse (756774) | more than 2 years ago | (#38686038)

it is not going away.

you're unclear on the concept (-1, Flamebait)

iggymanz (596061) | more than 2 years ago | (#38686094)

No! those programs need to be rewritten by their makers to run GUI-less, just like real OS which thus far Microsoft hasn't produced. There is no reason to have a GUI on a server.

Re:you're unclear on the concept (1)

antitithenai (2552442) | more than 2 years ago | (#38686146)

Please no, programs can actually be quite complicated. They aren't like web servers which you configure and leave running. Making them GUI-less will just complicate things and make it much harder to use. There's a reason we use GUI's now a days - it's better for some stuff.

Re:you're unclear on the concept (2)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 2 years ago | (#38686364)

The program can still have a configuration gui. You just need a remote client running on a client operating system or a web interface, which again you can access from a client platform.

Honestly most 'builtin' windows services can be remotely managed from a client platform machine already. This should be the preferred way. Generally if you as a matter of routine need to use a desktop session on your windows servers barring the ones specifically being used as terminal servers, you are doing it wrong.

Mistakes can happen more easily, and you are potentially exposing the system to attacks.

This is really a message to developers to make sure their server applications have remote management support, and that their main server processes can run on box where some the shell libraries, and some subsystems like GDI may not be present or otherwise not in a useable state.

Re:It would be good to have optional GUI (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38686106)

The summary says a GUI will be optional.

Often Windows servers are also used to run actual programs with GUI's, like you do on your home computer. Having them on server means you have access to much better bandwidth and your programs can run 24/7

I don't know that it's a good idea to run other programs on your server. Even for a small business it's not going to break the bank to buy a separate computer to keep your server and user applications apart.

Re:It would be good to have optional GUI (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38686204)

Well, the company I work for has server applications that require the gui for configuration. That said, they're VB6 based and last I heard 2008 Server is the last release to have VB6 runtimes, so it's probably a moot point

Re:It would be good to have optional GUI (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#38686210)

Think more of things like backup software with a GUI interface, or antivirus.

Re:It would be good to have optional GUI (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#38686372)

Neither of those need one.

Backup is config and forget. My bacula config has not been touched in ages. When the holiday freeze ends maybe then it will get touched to add new machines.

Re:It would be good to have optional GUI (5, Insightful)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 2 years ago | (#38686182)

Reading the actual quotes from Microsoft, what they are saying is that if you are developing a server application, you need to expect that there may not be a GUI and you should develop the application with that understanding. Microsoft never said that a GUI may not be available to install, but that applications should be able to handle the case of their not being a GUI. This is drastically different from what the headline is implying.

Re:It would be good to have optional GUI (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38686294)

I agree with somersault, that comment was right out of a Windows-only admin's memoir.
Servers themselves don't need GUIs to serve applications to clients, whether those apps are GUI or GUI-less.

"Progress"? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38685960)

The cloud......CLI.......

What's next? Vacuum tubes?

I thought innovation was supposed to be moving us forward, not backward!

don't call it a comeback, we've been here for year (5, Funny)

noh8rz2 (2538714) | more than 2 years ago | (#38686082)

I've been operating "without the GUI" for 2 decades now... never occurred to me that it was a problem...

Re:"Progress"? (1)

TWX (665546) | more than 2 years ago | (#38686102)

I thought innovation was supposed to be moving us forward, not backward!

But it is. The rest of the server/network operating system community, like Novell, UNIX, VMS, MVS, OS/400, and Linux are now welcoming Microsoft to the fold. They've matured enough to now acknowledge they don't need a GUI. Heck, Novell barely had an interface of any kind on the server, all of the administration was done through tools one one of the workstations authenticated against the server once the server and workstation were up and running...

My old servers had no GUI as there was no need for them. I had an eight inch tube monitor connected so I could use the console if needed on rare occasions. Only reason new my server at home will have a GUI is because it'll also be a MythTV frontend, since it'll hammer my network a lot less than running the frontend on a different box, and because it won't be providing any services on the public Internet.

So... I should dust off my trusty VT52? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38685966)

n/t

Re:So... I should dust off my trusty VT52? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38686196)

No, because the command prompt will be inside a GUI windows form. LOL. They're just letting everyone know they won't have fancy buttons and combo boxes to click on.

Not a problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38685972)

Any windows admin who is truly interested in what he does will have no problem adapting to a CLI environment. As we unix nerds have known for years, the CLI is where the really interesting stuff happens.

Re:Not a problem (3, Insightful)

Sir_Sri (199544) | more than 2 years ago | (#38686178)

Right, but when a huge chunk of your market is going to be businesses with 15-20 employees and no dedicated IT person, or if they have a dedicated IT person they're not actually a trained IT person, having a CLI only is utterly braindead. Part of the appeal of a windows server is that the poor dude who is asked to do all the IT stuff, but isn't actually an IT guy has a much lower barrier to entry in understanding 'Windows that happens to be a server' than trying to understand 'LAMP'.

Now admittedly, MS may be envisioning this is a 'off in the cloud' scenario, where even small businesses buy time on a professionally run server where that barrier to entry is immaterial. But that's a significant misread of a big blob of their market. All the attention this has been getting should have told them that.

I'm a professional CS guy. I'm getting a PhD in comp sci, and I used to be a dedicated IT guy. I consult and teach people how to do this stuff. When I consult, sometimes even at big outfits (think something like CBS or a hospital) their little offices or division that handle something in particular have a guy on staff who is the least technically incompetent person. They might have a degree in history, but be the youngest person on staff, or they're a gamer and know more about computers than say... anyone else. But they look at a CLI (correctly from their perspective) as something that died 20 years ago, and they have no desire to learn. Even kids in IT programmes are generally unprepared for this. And making them uninspired about your product before they've even started working doesn't seem like a great plan.

Windows server is less about technology and more about brand familiarity. Obviously Microsoft is completely unaware of this.

Re:Not a problem (2, Interesting)

Abalamahalamatandra (639919) | more than 2 years ago | (#38686358)

Part of the appeal of a windows server is that the poor dude who is asked to do all the IT stuff, but isn't actually an IT guy has a much lower barrier to entry in understanding 'Windows that happens to be a server' than trying to understand 'LAMP'.

No, that's part of the problem of a Windows server, in my experience.

Although I suppose I shouldn't bitch too much, as it's made me quite a bit of money over the years fixing the idiot braindead mistakes these "poor dudes" make.

You missed the $$$ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38686376)

Always follow the $$$...

Basically, MS will be able to sell a shit-load of "NEW" MSCE courses and other materials, as well as support tools to every one of those "little" businesses that are not directly contributing to MS's pocketbook (truthfully, most 10 person shops are mostly running illegal copies of software anyways (I've seen it way to much for people to argue, yes, there are exceptions, but truthfully, more illegal than not...)) so having the "guy" who knows computers enough to click some buttons to make things work just isn't going to cut it anymore.... Either send him to those training courses (via MS getting money -- and a quick intro to "pirating is bad, you'll go to jail") and/or force companies to hire already trained (more expensive) people who are already indoctrinated (and knowledgeable enough) to not use unlicensed software.

Either way, a huge win for MS; corporate and large customers won't care, may be even happier as I believe this will increase efficiency on the back-end, and little shops (who can't really hurt MS) now become paying customers.

Re:Not a problem (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38686260)

the CLI is where the really interesting stuff happens.

Not to mention the really productive stuff. It's amusing to watch people faffing around with GUIs trying to adminster systems when the same tasks can be done in a small fraction of the time from the command line, which provides a vastly broader spectrum of possibilities for automating tasks.

Computer solutions approach coming full circle (3, Funny)

Penmanpro (2547090) | more than 2 years ago | (#38685982)

So we are going back to command line and dumb terminals... how very retro

Re:Computer solutions approach coming full circle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38686018)

There's a long way from PowerShell to actual "dumb terminals"... In fact, I don't even remember last time I saw a DUMB terminal. Terminals are very advanced nowadays.

No, admin will still be GUI (3, Insightful)

iggymanz (596061) | more than 2 years ago | (#38686116)

Microsoft's intention is to just have GUI clients for admin, don't get your hopes up that they would actually raise the bar to have real computer sysadmins who can function from a command line

Re:Computer solutions approach coming full circle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38686180)

So we are going back to command line and dumb terminals... how very retro

Well, not for applications, just OS admin.

However on the application front HTTP and browser has a lot of similarities with the mainframe style terminals, where the screen is sent to the terminal in a more descriptive form (i.e. not like UNIX terminals with screen drawing but more like "place text field here, numeric field there"), the terminal allows the user to navigate the form/screen without interaction with the mainframe (including basic input validation I think), then the user submits the form and the only then is the data sent to the application on the mainframe.

As for server admin with Windows, I imagine more emphasis will be placed on remote admin tools with those tools providing a GUI option, so with headless server the main task would be establishing network and joining the domain, then all other work can be done with remote GUIs.

Re:Computer solutions approach coming full circle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38686272)

There is nothing "retro" in command line... the fact is, command line was so far ahead of her time, back when it was invented, that it is still more advanced than GUI even today.

Advanced lights out management ("ALOM") and GUI's do not mix well, because operations cannot be automated as easily or as simply with GUI's, as they can with command line tools.

Welcome MS Dos.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38685984)

While I like working in the command line, I don't see the need to go totally GUI-less. Sure it may free up some memory and bandwidth but can't they just trim out the crud?

Linux? (0, Flamebait)

stanlyb (1839382) | more than 2 years ago | (#38685990)

If it is going to be telnet session only, why not switch to the best GUI-less OS ever? Linux anyone?

Re:Linux? (1)

MetalliQaZ (539913) | more than 2 years ago | (#38686040)

If it is going to be telnet session only, why not switch to the best GUI-less OS ever? Linux anyone?

You think the only reason companies use a Microsoft platform for their servers is because it has a GUI? That's sad.

Re:Linux? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38686186)

But the rest of the reasons are easy to fix. I mean, I'm sure someone would write a Linux program that bogs down the CPU, randomly corrupts memory and adds a few vulnerabilities. They'd just need to sell it for a few thousand per license.

Re:Linux? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38686266)

Isn't the GUI and ease of use the primary driver of why MS is as popular as it is? People bought the line that windows was cheap, easy to use and setup. Obviously, MS servers take a lot more to run now. But, you could teach a kid to click a few buttons to get it installed and setup. You can certify them with that amount of knowledge.

So, yes they use it now primarily bacause it was gui only for so long. Now they have to adapt and it's tough shit.

Re:Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38686046)

That's the thing though, Linux isn't GUI-less. You have a choice of using the command line or a GUI. Sure, depending on what you're configuring you may not have a GUI or text config file available but Linux can do it.

This Windows thing is stupid, it's completely removing the option of a GUI at all. Dumb.

Re:Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38686050)

But Linux is not an OS.

Re:Linux? (4, Insightful)

TWX (665546) | more than 2 years ago | (#38686128)

If you want to talk about server administration, you'd do well to remember that Novell didn't even give you many options on the console on the server. Most of the tools were run on the workstation. The whole point was that there wasn't much reason to ever sit at the server itself.

Re:Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38686228)

Love how some dweebs can flat-facedly make an unambiguous claim that Linux is the best, a statement laughable on its face to anyone who knows what they're talking about.

Have you ever _used_ any of the free BSD derivatives (FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, DragonFly BSD, and one or two others)? Or do you just assume popular = technically superior? Enjoy your dumbshit reality shows -- they're clearly the best thing on TV!

You wanna claim UNIX (including clones and derivatives -- replace with "UNIX and UNIXlike systems" if you feel pedantic) is the best ever, go for it -- that's a legitimate position, though you'll still find some very smart people disagreeing with you. But the moment you declare Linux (which distro? All of them? One specific one? A different one for each application?) categorically superior to every other UNIX, commercial or free, you lose all credibility and reveal yourself to be nothing but an uneducated fanboy.

GTFO my /.

Core (3, Interesting)

Sir_Eptishous (873977) | more than 2 years ago | (#38686006)

We've been running out DC's as Core for a year now. It was a tricky setup/configure, and management also takes getting used to. However, it's not that bad. Just use your custom mmc for remote management, works great.

Re:Core (1)

TWX (665546) | more than 2 years ago | (#38686148)

So, Microsoft a'la 2012 = Novell 1993...

Sounds about right, considering Microsoft hired many, many Novell developers when it came time to write Active Directory...

Re:Core (1)

Sir_Eptishous (873977) | more than 2 years ago | (#38686230)

Yea, I used to administer a Netware 5.x network about 10 years ago, which was interesting. There were many things, even back then, that Netware did better than MS does now. Other things that annoyed the hell out of me too.

Re:Core (1)

Junta (36770) | more than 2 years ago | (#38686270)

Core still has a GUI. Just because all you get is a cmd prompt to start, notepad can still work, for example.

I presume in WIndows 8 the leap is an actual text mode. So various things like console logging become feasible. MS has had EMS for a long time, but I'm guessing this is a bit more 'full-fledged'. Additionally, some server vendors have been wanting to ship low cost systems and omit any VGA chip whatsoever.

So its going to have a web interface? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38686008)

Should be fun......

Obligatory quote (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38686028)

Those who do not understand UNIX are doomed to reinvent it, poorly.

Re:Obligatory quote (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38686344)

Ummm.... so does this mean that Microsoft is going to be sued because Windows now has a unix look/feel?

My my how the mighty have fallen... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38686056)

Damn I guess it freezes in hell after all.

So, why is it called Windows, then? (5, Funny)

ThinkDifferently (853608) | more than 2 years ago | (#38686060)

Maybe call it Prompts from now on?

Re:So, why is it called Windows, then? (5, Funny)

khr (708262) | more than 2 years ago | (#38686184)

Or how about MS-DOS 8?

Re:So, why is it called Windows, then? (3, Funny)

JoeCommodore (567479) | more than 2 years ago | (#38686254)

Microsoft Shell, has a good ring to it.

Re:So, why is it called Windows, then? (5, Funny)

emilper (826945) | more than 2 years ago | (#38686276)

you missed an " ' " and misplaced a space

Re:So, why is it called Windows, then? (1)

hcs_$reboot (1536101) | more than 2 years ago | (#38686324)

Seriously, how the server is intended to be handled? Via the command prompt, and its clumsy, counter intuitive, error prone and awkward commands / bat language?
This is not a flamebait: coming from the unix shells, this is the impression I got during my work with command prompt and .bat.

Re:So, why is it called Windows, then? (1)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 2 years ago | (#38686332)

That'll be "Windows 9": Xenix.

3D Pinball (5, Funny)

ch-chuck (9622) | more than 2 years ago | (#38686070)

How are we supposed to play 3D pinball in the server room now?

There's another choice: switch to a real OS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38686086)

One of the reasons windows servers are popular is that they are (relatively) easy to use, and aren't that different from desktop windows.

If MS is going to throw the interface away, then the learning curve costs of switching to linux are much less.

Not to mention that you no longer have to pay MS license fees, and have to pay someone to keep track of the many types of MS license (per device, per user, per server, etc).

Windows without Windows (1)

nirgle (554262) | more than 2 years ago | (#38686096)

How very....

Re:Windows without Windows (1)

Flipstylee (1932884) | more than 2 years ago | (#38686150)

How very....

Door-like?

Microsoft Developers Need to Prepare (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38686118)

...for a mass evacuation of Windows Admins.

I mean seriously. Are you fucking kidding me?

Why even bother with a Windows Server then?

Re:Microsoft Developers Need to Prepare (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38686206)

... because Group Policy is pretty much the only game in town?

PowerShell Baby! (1)

jader3rd (2222716) | more than 2 years ago | (#38686132)

Gotta love PowerShell!

Re:PowerShell Baby! (1)

Junta (36770) | more than 2 years ago | (#38686306)

I don't have to, I can love bash and a server ecosystem that has been CLI optimized for decades.

ceci n'est pas une fenêtre (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38686134)

I, for one, welcome our windowless windows overlords.

Start training now: learn linux (2)

scorp1us (235526) | more than 2 years ago | (#38686152)

Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery. But now, what's the point to windows if there's no GUI?

Re:Start training now: learn linux (1)

godefroi (52421) | more than 2 years ago | (#38686234)

Maybe you have an Exchange server, and it won't run on Linux?

Re:Start training now: learn linux (1)

scorp1us (235526) | more than 2 years ago | (#38686352)

Could anyone admin exchange server without a GUI?

Client GUI!= No GUI (3, Insightful)

bWareiWare.co.uk (660144) | more than 2 years ago | (#38686158)

What they actually recommended is running the GUI on the client.

Re:Client GUI!= No GUI (1)

dkf (304284) | more than 2 years ago | (#38686368)

What they actually recommended is running the GUI on the client.

That makes a whole bunch of sense, and is what you'd do on any (sane) Unix system too. What's more, this will make Windows work much better in a virtualized server environment (e.g., Azure) and that's of interest to a great many people. (Me, not so much. YMMV.) Having a GUI on a server is like having running shoes on a herring.

Obligatory question. (2)

Robert Zenz (1680268) | more than 2 years ago | (#38686160)

Who wants to run a GUI on a server anyway?

The customer is always right. (1)

Karmashock (2415832) | more than 2 years ago | (#38686176)

MS is frankly pissing their brand away on stuff like this...

All this just gives people an incentive to switch to linux.

Re:The customer is always right. (1)

Sir_Eptishous (873977) | more than 2 years ago | (#38686250)

How I wish you were right...

what will the prompt be? (1)

ThorGod (456163) | more than 2 years ago | (#38686224)

DOS? c:\> ?

Re:what will the prompt be? (1)

Sir_Eptishous (873977) | more than 2 years ago | (#38686356)

Seaworld

The Ancient Battle (5, Interesting)

Spinlock_1977 (777598) | more than 2 years ago | (#38686236)

GUI vs. Command Line. I lived through that argument in the 80's and 90's. With a GUI, syntax problems go away - IF you can figure out how to find/launch the GUI. On the command line, all commands are available in one spot, but the syntax can be challenging. We really just traded one problem for another.

But for those of us who run production shops, a GUI isn't scriptable and is therefore not testable. Command line scripts can be tested in an offline environment, emailed around, put under version control, and printed out for enjoyable bathroom reading. Who doesn't love command line scripts???

Re:The Ancient Battle (1)

Sir_Eptishous (873977) | more than 2 years ago | (#38686370)

Less Filling! Tastes Great!

Remote GUI Tools (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38686238)

Admins should just use the GUI tools remotely. That way they do not need remote desktop and GUI tools installed on the servers. This would provide the best of both worlds and make remote management for servers simpler. Most current admin tools can operate on remote servers. Microsoft could easily ensure all tools can operate remotely to make this transition easier for administrators.

GUI (2)

Spad (470073) | more than 2 years ago | (#38686246)

Most competent Windows server admins don't need a GUI on the actual server anyway; between the RSAT (Remote Server Admin Tools) and Powershell, there's very little that you need to be "on the box" to do.

Most good Windows server admins can do almost everything via Powershell anyway - of course it would be much easier if Microsoft would write decent Powershell modules for DNS and DHCP so you didn't have to do everything via COM objects and dnscmd.

GUI = insecure, bloated, stupid admins (1)

tvlinux (867035) | more than 2 years ago | (#38686248)

MS has finally realized that a GUI on a server is a bad idea. it consumes resources, it is insecure, and less then knowledgeable people administer system poorly. GUI is usually limited to a single system.

This change will radically change the MS landscape. Bosses will want the "new system", most admins will Install the GUI( they cant do it any other way), there will no longer be the local "expert" in small businesses. Higher wages because less admins can go GUIless.

The smart companies will just move to Linux.

Does this mean we can turn of RPC? (1)

Sipper (462582) | more than 2 years ago | (#38686282)

Years ago I was running a Windows Desktop and I made the mistake of turnning of the RPC service, after which the entire GUI in Windows broke (no new windows could be opened). I'm assuming that if no GUI is running and there's no services running that require RPC (like NFS) that the RPC service could be turned off. [And will Win8 require RPC to allow GUI functionality?]

As someone who's done Linux server admin for more than a decade, this decision on Microsoft's part somehow seems a bit obvious... but the correct path for the long-term.

Bad idea (3, Insightful)

onyxruby (118189) | more than 2 years ago | (#38686290)

I'm pretty comfortable with a CLI, it's what I grew up with and use on a routine basis for many things. That being said there is a lot out there in terms of server based applications that are wholly dependent upon having a GUI.

Were not talking about simply rearranging the desktop here, were talking about removing the very interface that is depended on by an entire ecosystem of software. That market is easily in the billions of dollars per year. If your going to force all those developers and legacy applications to run as CLI only than your giving those companies an opportunity to re-evaluate the platform they use for a CLI based tool.

If your giving companies the impetus to decide what platform to use for a CLI based tool than many of them are simply going to switch to *nix support since there is a strong legacy ecosystem to support it. In other words if Microsoft were to do this for all of the Window Server based platforms it would be suicidal. That's a pretty poor business case and it simply doesn't make sense.

I think the far more likely case is that certain versions of Windows server will be available as CLI only (web platform etc), which they already are. I really have to question if the source of the story got their facts right, it doesn't make sense unless they didn't.

'Attack service'? (1)

rhenley (1194451) | more than 2 years ago | (#38686296)

From TFA:
"It provides many of the benefits of Server Core (reduced footprint, attack service and serviceability)..."

Well, that would explain a lot.

Nothing new: "Headless Mode"'s been out there (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38686308)

For a GOOD long while now -> http://www.bing.com/search?q=%22Windows%22+and+%22headless%22&go=&qs=ns&form=QBRE [bing.com]

APK

P.S.=> Time to "brush up" on powershell's all (not a "huge leap" for anyone that's done VB/VBA programming really -> http://www.bing.com/search?q=%22powershell%22+and+%22VB%22&go=&qs=ns&form=QBLH [bing.com] and it may even appeal to *NIX people, because it's "pipelined" too)... apk

Legacy Applications? (2)

acoustix (123925) | more than 2 years ago | (#38686310)

I like the move, but it will be difficult or impossible to run older (poorly written) applications that need a GUI to run.

Sort the men out from the boys (4, Insightful)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 2 years ago | (#38686312)

Finally the manager in our IT dept will have to get a clue.
I'm guessing he will do everything he can to hold off upgrading as he knows he wont be able to cut it.
I'm actually hoping he will get moved out so we can finally move to Linux.

DOS? (1, Insightful)

egyas (1364223) | more than 2 years ago | (#38686314)

Maybe as a Linux guy I'm not getting this but.... Isn't "Windows" without a GUI simply .... DOS?

Job oppotunities! (1)

plopez (54068) | more than 2 years ago | (#38686336)

For the more seasoned, older, and more odoriferous (AKA "old farts") IT people. Those who cut their teeth on command lines. Suddenly we are the ones who "get it". I suggest MS admins rehearse this question "You want fries with that?" :)

Shoot yourself in the foot 101 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38686342)

When you think basic everyday work improvements made by the need they offered in an usability and deployment improvement, we go back to a command prompt. What's next? Punching physical cards? Switches or plugs? Seriously who's the "genius" at microsoft who though this would be a great welcomed idea.

From TFA: old boss = new boss (2)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | more than 2 years ago | (#38686360)

From TFA: "In addition to Server Core (the existing CLI from Server 2008) and Server Graphical Shell (the usual GUI), we are introducing a new experience in Windows Server 8 called the Minimal Server Interface."

Also from TFA: "Technically, the Minimal Server Interface is a full Windows Server install excluding Internet Explorer, Windows shell components such as the desktop, Windows Explorer, Metro-style application support, multimedia support, and the Desktop Experience."

In other words, you'll have a command-line only version, like you do today, a GUI version that behaves like the latest Windows desktop OS, and a GUI version that behaves like a locked down server is expected to behave (the "Minimal Server Interface"). Or at least that's how I read it.

Wait, why is this bad? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38686378)

Last I looked they were simply removing the GUI and popping it into an administration application that you can run from a client. All that does is remote connect and run powershell commands.

This to me is the best of both worlds, lighter server OS, command line access, full command line administration, simple and easy to use windows application which gives you the commands so you can script tasks you just performed if you dont happen to know the command off the top of your head...

The only situation I can see being annoying is when you need to work on a machine without a GUI that isn't online and cant be seen my your remote management tool

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