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Do you allow the X protocol on your network?

Businesses run the gamut of policy extremes when it comes to graphical tools. Where are you on the graphical tools continuum?
Which graphical tools do you allow on your systems?

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Do you allow the X protocol on your network?

160 votes tallied
We allow X over-the-network with no restrictions
42 votes
We allow X over-the-network tunneled for security
70 votes
We only allow local graphical desktop tools
12 votes
We only allow secured web-based tools
8 votes
We don't allow X on our network at all
20 votes
We don't allow any over-the-network management tools
8 votes

For most of my Linux-oriented career, the X protocol (TCP port 6000-60nn) that runs over the network has not been allowed. Most security policies ban the X protocol and have it silently blocked on network equipment. I guess I'm OK with that. I've mildly argued the point a few times but I generally accept the walls in which I must operate.

That said, there are ways to make non-secure protocols secure by tunneling them over a secure protocol such as SSH. Often, that still doesn't satisfy the powers that be. And, you also have the "purists" who believe that anything graphical is evil and the command line is the only true way to manage systems.

The extremes of opinion often give me pause. It also makes me wonder how your companies handle graphical tools and protocols with the focus here on the X protocol. Here's your chance to inform me. Have I been hilariously led astray by radical security people or have I lived my sysadmin life in the accepted mainstream of reasonable reality? I'd like to know. I've devised this little poll to help me reconcile the question of X protocol over-the-network acceptance. To that end, I pose the question for this poll: Do you allow the X protocol on your network?

Topics:   Linux   Linux administration   Security  
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Ken Hess

Ken has used Red Hat Linux since 1996 and has written ebooks, whitepapers, actual books, thousands of exam review questions, and hundreds of articles on open source and other topics. Ken also has 20+ years of experience as an enterprise sysadmin with Unix, Linux, Windows, and Virtualization. More about me

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