Bob Mitchell

bob-o-rama: The Art of Slack.

SGD 4.4 first looks

Sun Secure Global Desktop 4.4 - first looks

26th November 2007 - 10:12 - bob

I have just found a few minutes to try out Sun SGD 4.4 - I performed the quickest install that I could just to see how it all looks.

Platform :

  • Xen DomU - single processor - 768 Mb memory.
  • CentOS 4.4 - fairly minimal install

Install :

(MD5 for reference)

1213cb27be8437375914b2d63b8d3c8e tta-4.40-907.i386.rpm

The package now weighs just over 200Mb, still not bad considering that a full apache/tomcat and a couple of JRE's are packaged inside. The install is more-or-less unchanged - we still default to HTTP on port 80/tcp for the browser interface.

Packages that I found myself installing (SGD is not dependent on them, but some are needed for some features to work) :

  • firefox (for testing)
  • xauth (to make stuff work)
  • xterm (kinda useful)
  • blackbox (minimal window manager for full-screen session)
  • ghostscript (Needed for SGD printing - also installs some font packages for dependencies that are useful for firefox/blackbox)

Initial observations :

Post install we are now greeted with slightly new screen :

sunsgd 4.4 home - Click to enlarge.
Click to enlarge.

Note that we now have PDF versions of the documentation and, most importantly we have a link to the "Sun Secure Global Desktop Administration Console". Ooooooo.

There is nothing that an end-user will immediately notice as different from either 4.3 or 4.31, but an administrator gets the new browser-based console to play with.

As an introduction the new interface gives you the opportunity to familiarize yourself with the new terminology - although I wouldn't expect for there to be too much confusion.

sunsgd 4.4 admin home - Click to enlarge.
Click to enlarge.

After dismissing the 'help' the first view is of the SGD servers - here you can see that I have just one - with a basic status report.

sunsgd 4.4 admin servers - Click to enlarge.
Click to enlarge.

The new browser-based interface consolidates both Object Manager and Array Manager, so the new interface presents controls for everything that would have been tuned in Array Manager including all the Protocol Engine settings.

sunsgd 4.4 admin xpeconfig - Click to enlarge.
Click to enlarge.

While most of the screens are clean, I get the feeling that some were created in a hurry, for example the log-filter interface could do with a bit of an update - perhaps some graphical control instead of a giant textbox?

Applications (and users and other stuff) is still presented in a treeview, although I think that there will be a tendency to leave applications in the 'root' of the tree, rather than sorting them away nicely. The other small glitch, related to the above, is that in order to move a person (User Profile) from one place to another, you have to use a rather clunky cut-paste operation.

sunsgd 4.4 admin apptree - Click to enlarge.
Click to enlarge.

Finally (for now) lets take a look at the config screen for an application. You can see that all the settings that you would expect are there - although they have been re-arranged onto new/different screens.

sunsgd 4.4 admin appconfig - Click to enlarge.
Click to enlarge.

Overall I would say that the new interface shows great promise. It should make it easier for the developers to introduce new functionality to the product and to the admin UI.

If you are familiar with the Object Manager / Array Manager applications then it will take a little while to get used to the new interface, some things aren't where you'll expect them to be and some terminology has changed, but the effort will reward you in the long term.


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