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Everyone that reads linux-help knows that I am involved in an ISP
venture. I wanted to get some peoples input on the concept of shell
servers. One of the common questions that is asked about an ISP,
especially from people on a list such as this, is: do they offer shell
First of all, I understand the value of a shell based computing
environment. I am all over that. I wouldn't compute without it (or I
wouldn't want to anyway). But with Linux, and other assorted free Unix
like OS's, I don't need my ISP in order to have a shell based
So, my question is, why do people want their ISP to offer shells? What
do you want in the shell service? In other words, what would you use
the shell for, that you can't do yourself?
It is somewhat difficult to build an ISP model that scales well, is
secure, etc. and support shell access. Most of the security issues
that come up are "local user" issues, so if you support shells, you
have to keep on top of the updates more religiously. A shell gives a
customer the ability to do things that you might not want them doing,
such as running processes and the like that can be a denial of service
to other customers.
Any comments would be welcome.
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