Console Configuration for Virtual appliances

Registered by Chuck Short on 2009-04-26

We need a simple interface to configure virtual appliances when they are first started. Including a text console and a basic webconsole for a particular virtual application.

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Not started
Rick Clark
Soren Hansen
Needs approval
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confconsole is an python curses app, developed by turnkeylinux to do basic configuration of their virtual appliances. We could possibly extend it.

If someone could sketch out a spec of what is desired, we will see what we can do make the confconsole a little more generic and modular which would make it easier to extend for inclusion in karmic.
 -- Alon Swartz

In my opinion the "smit" utility on IBM AIX [1] is the best command line configuration utility of its kind on any UNIX system. In an ideal world, we would have something very much like that for Ubuntu servers. A utility that:
 a) has a browsable, curses interface, with menus, sub-menus, etc.
 b) has a command line interface, usable by other programs and system system automation
 c) the curses interface prints the command line (hints) that it is executing (or can dump to file)
 d) features a modular/plugin architecture, where new utilities can be configured by this tool
I believe that such a tool would compliment the byobu/screen window manager.
 -- Dustin Kirkland

Hi Alon,

I would be glad to work with you guys, This spec and session at UDS is designed what needs to be happened in order it to be useful for us. The discussion topics probably would resolve around something like:

- What needs to be extended
- How do we want the interface to look like
- Can we mix it with debconf


Hey Chuck/Dustin,

Unfortunately I don't think I will be able to make it to UDS this year, but we could definately have an IRC session prior to UDS to discuss the issues. Just let me know when a good time would be and I'll juggle my schedule to attend.

With regards to Dustins comment regarding "smit", it looks really interesting at first glance, but needs more research.
It reminded me of a design sketch I did a while back when researching a web adminstration interface for TurnKey Linux appliances. I just dumped my notes into the wiki:

Feedback, thoughts, comments?
 -- Alon Swartz

Ebox (or whatever web management tool is used) with elinks-lite (0.8mb text-mode web browser with mouse support & color; Can add javascript & ssl) could work in place of a curses interface. This simplifies the focus to high-compatibility (or css-differentiating) web pages. "Script this" links could have examples that use wget (returning simple ajax responses). Thus only the inetd web server runs.
-- Andy Jackson


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