We’ve talked a lot over the past few months about various ways to tweak the settings in your Linux system. I’ve tried to stay focused on the command line tweaks, as they generally offer a more transparent and powerful process for making these fine adjustments. In other words, the power of the Linux commands isn’t hidden by a GUI or a pre-designed process over which you have no control.
Occasionally, though, even I have to step back from the command line and recognize when a GUI interface actually offers the power I’m looking for. Such is the case with linuxconf. Stock in most commercial distributions, linuxconf is a one-shot solution for many, many tasks. The current version is capable of configuring and managing such processes as:
- Time – system, time zone and CMOS
- Network configuration
- User accounts
- PPP client configuration
Did I imply that linuxconf is only a GUI-based tool? It’s actually even more diverse than that, offering command line, text based and web interfaces. I’ve used the program extensively over the past few years, though, and have never found a need to use any more than the GUI.
To use linuxconf, execute the linuxconf command from a shell window, as root. You can web-enable the program, if you choose, once the GUI is displayed. Simply select the Misc tab and enable network access. You’ll also need to enter the IP addresses of the hosts you’ll allow to administer the machine via linuxconf.
Once that’s done, you can browse through the settings throughout the program. Before exiting, you’re offered the option to commit the changes or to quit without committing. If you’re not sure of the accuracy of your changes, you can re-check each or quit without committing. If you quit without committing, your machine will remain in the state it was in prior to opening linuxconf. If you commit the changes, including the network administration option, you’ll be able to make future changes by opening a browser window and entering http://[your.IP.address]:98.
Sometimes a pretty interface really can do all the things you need done.