Top 10 Linux GUI tools that can make life much easier for a Linux administrator
Linux has become a know how, if you are a system administrator working in a larger environment. Security teams have been deployed by large organizations to keep an eye on vulnerabilities in their systems and take corrective or preventive action as suitable.
In the recent times, many organizations have migrated from Windows, where everything is regulated with a point-and-click GUI. Thankfully, Linux has plenty of GUI tools that can help you keep away from the command line. Linux-based security tools and distributions can be used for penetration testing, reverse engineering, forensics and so on.
Here’s a look at some of the good 10 GUI tools that can make your Linux sysadmin tasks simpler.
MySQL Workbench is a visual database design tool that integrates SQLdevelopment, administration, database design, creation and maintenance into a single integrated development environment for the MySQL database system. MySQL Workbench is one of the best tools for working with MySQL databases. Besides managing databases, it also helps you design, develop, and administer MySQL databases. There is a new addition to the MySQL Workbench set of tools, which is the ability to easily migrate Microsoft Access, Microsoft SQL Server, PostgreSQL, Sybase ASE, and other RDBMS tables, objects, and data to MySQL, that alone makes MySQL Workbench worth using.
cPanel is a Linux based web hosting control panel that provides a GUI and automation tools designed to simplify the process of hosting a web site. It allows you to configure sites, customers’ sites and services, and a lot more. You can also use this tool to configure/manage mail, apps, security, files, domains, apps, databases, logs and many more. However, the only flipside is that cPanel is not available for free. You need to pay to use cPanel.
Shorewall is an open source firewall tool for Linux that builds upon the Netfilter (iptables/ipchains) system built into the Linux kernel, making it easier to manage more complex configuration schemes by providing a higher level of abstraction for describing rules using text files. Shorewall is one of the best tops for the server. This security GUI allows you to configure gateways, traffic controlling, VPNs, blacklisting, and much more.
Webmin is a web-based configuration tool for administering Linux servers. The recent versions can also be installed and run on Windows. Using this tool, you can configure operating system internals, such as users, disk quotas, services or configuration files, as well as modify and control open source apps, such as the Apache HTTP Server, PHP or MySQL. If the default installation does not include what you need, then a large number of third-party modules are available to take up the slack.
Apache Directory is an open source project of the Apache Software Foundation. Though it is designed particularly for Apache Directory Server, it is the only solid GUI tool for managing any LDAP server. It is an Eclipse RCP application and can serve as your LDAP browser, ApacheDS configuration editor, schema editor, ACI editor, LDIF editor and more. The app also contains the latest ApacheDS, which means you can use it to create a DS server in no time.
YaST (Yet another Setup Tool) is a Linux operating system setup and configuration tool for enterprise-grade SUSE and openSUSE. With this all easy-to-use, attractive GUI, you can configure network, hardware, services and tune system security. By default, YaST is installed in all SUSE and openSUSE platforms.
Red Hat created Cockpit to make server administration easier. You can handle tasks like journal inspection, storage administration, multiple server monitoring, and starting/stopping services with this web-based GUI. Cockpit will run on Arch Linux, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Fedora Server, Fedora Atomic, and CentOS Atomic.
CUPS (an acronym for Common Unix Printing System) is a modular printing system for Unix-like computer operating systems which allows a computer to act as a print server. A computer running CUPS is a host that can accept print jobs from client computers, process them, and send them to the appropriate printer. It is also possible to enable remote administration and Kerberos authentication. The good part about the GUI is its built-in help system using which you can learn almost everything that you need to manage your print server.
Zenmap is the official Nmap Security Scanner GUI. It is a multi-platform (Linux, Windows, Mac OS X, BSD, etc.) free and open source application which aims to make Nmap easy for beginners to use while providing advanced features for experienced Nmap users. Frequently used scans can be saved as profiles to make them easy to run repeatedly. Scan results can be saved and viewed later. Even though you may not use this tool to directly administer your system, it will become invaluable in the quest for discovering network-related issues.
phpMyAdmin is a free and open source tool written in PHP intended to handle the administration of MySQL with the use of a web browser. It can perform various tasks such as creating, modifying or deleting databases, tables, fields or rows; executing SQL statements; or managing users and permissions. You can create and manage MySQL databases with phpMyAdmin via a standard web browser. It means you can install phpMyAdmin on a headless Linux server and connect to it through any browser that has access to the machine.
The above GUI tools are taken in a random manner. If you are a SysAdmin working on Linux workstations, kindly put your favourite GUI in the comments section below.
The author Kavita Iyer
An individual, optimist, homemaker, foodie, a die hard cricket fan and most importantly one who believes in Being Human