Available Shell Servers

We have a variety of Linux Servers with a variety of Linux Distributions and Desktop Environments. Linux servers in use here are of three basic lines, those derived from RedHat, such as Fedora, Centos, and Scientific Linux, and those derived from Debian such as Debian, Ubuntu, and Mint. Ubuntu is the most current and feature rich. Then there is Manjaro, derived from Arch Linux. Arch is more often broken because it is a real “do it yourself” Linux, an excellent learning platform, a good development platform, not a good production platform.

All of these servers are available if you have a shell account here. You can use them to learn various versions, decide which to install, and as one place you can develop applications for all versions. We install a wide variety of development tools on all of our publicly available servers.

Our servers listen to port 443 in addition to the standard ssh port of 22 to provide a means to connect from behind a firewall that blocks non-web access. You can also utilize Guacamole on our website (login public, password public).

This server is running on Debian Bullseye. It has a rich assortment of software installed, including hundreds of Games, a huge variety of Office Productivity software, many Educational and Scientific applications, a variety of Integrated Development Environments, and many programming languages. All of the documentation available online these applications is also loaded.
This server runs Fedora Rawhide. It can be accessed graphically using x2go and the Mate desktop. It has the most applications of any of the Redhat derived servers. I install just about everything I can get to work on this machine so it has a huge variety of applications installed.
Manjaro is a good choice for a Linux user who wants to just install and go. There is a pleasant user interface and a good choice of software in the Manjaro repositories. It is a less technical Linux than Ubuntu, you can do most things through graphical interfaces and the default xfce interface is extremely light in terms of memory footprint. Like most modern distros, a variety of Windows systems are available and we have Gnome, Mate, KDE, Xfce, LXDE, and LXQT installed.
This is another recent addition to our shell servers. It is running Mint, although we have the Mate Desktop installed for graphical access. This is necessary because Unity and other compositing Desktops are incompatible with x2go and really work very roughly with VNC. If you like games, this is a good server to use and there are many installed. Mint is a derivative of Ubuntu which in turn is derived from Debian and this server thus follows the structure and layout of Debian and Ubuntu.
MxLinux is an excellent choice for a computer with limited resources. Before the overhead of a Desktop is considered, MxLinux uses 200MB less RAM out of the box than does Ubuntu. If you’re not a fan of Poettering and Systemd, you’ll like this OS as it still uses a System-V init with Systemd shims to allow packages requiring systemd to function. You can also run systemd and in fact I am doing so because it boots faster. The default Desktop is LXDE which is also small and efficient. But if you like eye candy you can install any Desktop you like and as with other servers I will install all that I can get to work on this OS.
PopOS is a modern appearing OS based upon Ubuntu, and not just indirectly, it actually utilizes Ubuntu’s repositories in addition to it’s own. The Desktops presently available on it are Gnome and Mate, though Gnome is a special edition known as Sparkle, and it does not operate properly with X2go. Presently X2go and ssh are the only two access methods. I am working on the others.
Rocky8 is a RedHat derived operating system very similar to Centos before Centos was absorbed, and ruined, by Redhat. While Centos support, with the exception of Centos9 is going away on June 30th, 2024, and CentOS9 is not usable because of the deletion of NIS by RedRat which is necessary to our organization, Rocky8 will be supported for security updates through May of 2029, thus provides us a means of continuing to offer a Redhat based environment for another five years.
This is the latest stable Ubuntu release. It can be accessed graphically using x2go and the Mate Desktop. The native Unity desktop is a compositing desktop which is incompatible with x2go. This machine is equipped with many applications including a huge number of games, a rich assortment of development tools and computer programming languages, a huge assortment of Office productivity software, many scientific, electronic, and educational tools.
Zorin is a Ubuntu derived operating system. It combines the eye candy of some other Ubuntu flavors such as Mint, with the security awareness and up to date nature of Ubuntu providing a really superb server environment. This machine is our best equipped server. It has the full Ubuntu Studio Suite, a very large assortment of development tools, language packs for all supported languages, many games, both Libre and Caligra Office Suites, and much more. X2go is supported on this machine.

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