There are four user interfaces for Linuxconf planned. Three are already done.
Linuxconf takes control pretty early at boot time when not much is enabled, especially not the X window system. A text based interface is required. Beside, this interface works everywhere, on the console, on a terminal, using a telnet session or logged in using a simple modem.
Linuxconf may be operate with your favorite Web browser. Features of a web browser such as bookmarks, multiple pages and hotlinks make remote management a dream. You don't have to install an httpd server to get this features. Linuxconf handles the http protocol itself and is started from the inetd server.
Linuxconf has two GUI front end. One is done in Java and is expected to operated either standalone of from a browser. The other is done with the wxXT toolkit and is already operationnal. Click here and here to learn more.
Linuxconf is expected to evolved with some monitoring and diagnostic facilities and the graphical user interface will be best suited to implement those new features.
All too often, command line interface is just forgotten. In some OS, it does not exist. When facing special tasks, nothing can beat a shell script. A good example of this is the DNS management available in Linuxconf.
Linuxconf has a nice dialog to add and edit one host definition in a DNS. This is fine for day to day maintenance. But what about converting a large /etc/hosts file to DNS format. Entering each host one by one using any user interface is not fun. The following command will add one host. Building a script around it to add a thousand is easy.
Linuxconf is both a configurator and an activator. It is the one which decide if ...
will give you a report of what has to be done to bring the system "current".
will do it for you!
Rebooting is simply not an option anymore. This is really its main goal. Every time you quit Linuxconf (Or use the option "Activate configuration" of the linuxconf's control panel), it will probe all configuration files and make sure your workstation is "current". If it is not, it will tell you what have to be done and do it (you are allowed not to do it).
The above paragraphs show that there is indeed a command line way of doing things and a menu driven user interface also.
One component of linuxconf is called "askrunlevel". It takes control very early. A call to /sbin/askrunlevel must be placed at the end of your /etc/rc.d/rc.S file (or equivalent such as /etc/rc.d/rc.sysinit on redhat systems). This utility allows you to select a proper runlevel (logical operation mode) or to completly reconfigured your system even before the boot sequence is finished. From this utility, you are allowed to ...
knows how to configure and managed the
Command line mode
Linuxconf provide a command line mode allowing better integration with shell scripts. Here is a sample
You can point your favorite web browser to any linuxconf's managed linux station and fully configure it. This is a major feature for remote administration.
Linuxconf is built with a sophisticated translation system allowing almost anyone to translate it for other language and track the the new releases without pain.
Click here to learn more about this.
If you want to contribute and jump into translation, read the two documents
Translating all the messages of the user interface should be done in few hours. Translating all the helps will take somewhat longer :-)
Linuxconf has online help (context) for most screen. (49 out of 69 help screen are done). This represent a lot of work. Comments and some help are welcome.