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Re: Suggestions for solution - command shell web interface ??

__/ [Dave] on Monday 21 November 2005 14:03 \__

> Roy Schestowitz wrote:
>> Have a look at PHP Shell:
>> http://mgeisler.net/php-shell/
>> I installed it on my domain a few weeks ago. You can restrict it
>> accordingly by tweaking the source code, I guess.
> Unless I have misread the documentation, is is *very* restrictive.
> Under limitations it says "All programs have to be strictly command-line
> programs, and they will have no chance of getting user input after they
> have been launched."
> If so, that would be difficult for me to use, as I do need to give it
> input after starting the program. (I could pipe to stdin I admit, but
> that would be difficult without some work. It would make using the
> results of previous calculations difficult).

I guess I misunderstood your needs. PHP Shell allows me to get a 'peephole'
into my Web host's servers. It also gives greater flexibility, but not much
beyond it.

>>>It has a shell escape,, but I suspect with a bit of effort I can run it
>>>in the restricted shell (/usr/lib/rsh) which would stop someone changing
>>>directories or redirecting output.
>> Yes, if it is made public, also make sure that the CPU cannot be misused
>> (e.g. automated requests in the name of vandalism).
> See next point.
>> How about making it password-protected and available only to trusted
>> people?
> I would protect a PHP based telnet client via a password and SSL, but
> your SSH suggestion seems much better.

Excellent. So it was at least worth getting involved in this thread.

>>>I can see several ways of doing this
>>>3) A web based ssh client - any suggestions?
>> MindTerm, e.g. the free access via Duke university:
>> http://www.oit.duke.edu/sa/security/ssh.html
> Cheers, that looks *very* good. Thank you very much.
> The site does say for the use of Duke university only, so I would like
> to run my own copy, rather than have a program that prints that message,
> but it looks good. But it is GPL'ed so that should be OK.

It has been on-line for at least 2 years and has never changed (unless my
visual memory betrays me). You can probably rely on it. It perpetuates.

> I looked at VNC again last night, but could not get it to accept my
> password. But I have had problems with that program before. I don't like
> their interpretation of the GPL either. Unless I am mistaken, they are
> in breach of that - something I am not the only one to think as a quick
> search of the web showed.

I must use VNC for particular aspects of my job. Many Linux distributions
support it out-of-the-box, yet I dislike it in general. Fortunately, all is
moving Webwards, to an on-line front-end with full access to the database,
so I have not VNC'd for months.

>>>4) Run the ssh client putty from the Putty site on a Windoze box. (I
>>>think the chacces of me wanting to run this from a Mac are pretty small
>>>and from a UNIX box I would just use SSH).
>> Only yesterday I wrote about SSH access from just about any device
>> including mobiles:
>> http://schestowitz.com/Weblog/archives/2005/11/19/terminal-platform/
> I left you a comment (although I can't see it anywhere) about solutions
> for the HP iPaq PDA. The only client I have seen is pretty poor, but I
> have not looked for ages.

Thanks for the comment! It reached the moderation queue and has just been
approved. My filter has become sensitive to far too many words because of a
daily flood of ~100 spam comments.

>> Be very, very careful. These things /will/ get misused if it is made
>> possible.
> I'm aware of that. I don't want to make it public.
>>>Any general thoughts on how *best* to tackle this.
>> I hope my advice and pointers are generally helpful...
> Yes, the Duke university / Mindterm client is very attractive. SSH is
> secure and my program works well under it.

Bear in mind that it requires Java Runtime Environment (if I recall
correctly). All modern O/S's appear to come with JRE pre-packaged, so no

>> Roy
> Cheers Roy. The problem is solved !! If I could find a decent X version
> which would allow a GUI so I could plot sensible graphs from the program
> it would be even better, but that will do what I need.

Which operating system? If Mac, you could use X. If Windows, you could either
use CygWin as somebody else pointed out or Labtam's X-Win Pro, which I used
heavily as an undergraduate. I believe it is commercial though. Nonetheless,
it is an admirable piece of software that is easy to set up and use.


Roy S. Schestowitz      |    "Double your drive space - delete Windows"
http://Schestowitz.com  |    SuSE Linux     |     PGP-Key: 0x74572E8E
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