TurnKey Linux Virtual Appliance Library

Request: Add wget to TurnKey Core

John Carver's picture

I find wget to be an indispensable tool when working with any Linux application, so I would like to see it added to TurnKey Core. Searching the forums shows that others are also using wget or looking for the functions it provides.

Is there a preferred method for making requests/suggestions? I'm following the example set by others in posting here in the General forum, but it might be nice to have a separate section in the forum for this type of discussion along with a voting mechanism to gauge the level of interest.

BTW: Thanks for doing a great job and keeping TurnKey Linux open source.

apt-get

Installing wget is very easy.  Login to the shell and type this command:

apt-get install wget

Regarding your suggestion to add wget to the core appliance, I believe core should be as small an installation as possible.  Anything not absolutely required should be left out.  NOTE: I am not speaking on behalf of the TKL project, merely expressing my opinion.

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John Carver's picture

wget in TurnKey Core

I agree that installing wget is easy.  I made the suggestion to add it to core because I was surprised to find it was not installed by default.  I can't recall having to install wget on any of the Linux distributions I've ever used, RedHat, Fedora, CentOS, and now Ubuntu.

I also agree that TurnKey Core should be kept as small as possible containing only applications and tools used by most if not all appliances.  It is possible that wget was considered redundent with capability included in Webmin so it was not included.  I think Webmin is a great tool for clients/customers to do local administration, but I would not want to use it as the primary remote administration tool.  I still prefer ssh and the command line.  I've also seen the need for custom scripts (every client has special needs) and wget is a handy tool for many cases.  If you search the forums for 'wget' you'll see I'm not the only one using wget with TKL appliances.

Sorry for being long winded, but I'm just trying to express my opinion that wget belongs in the same class as rsync.  It would be nice if there was a voting system so everyone could agree/disagree.

Information is free, knowledge is acquired, but wisdom is earned.

No problem

Sorry for being long winded, but I'm just trying to express my opinion that 
wget belongs in the same class as rsync.  It would be nice if there was a 
voting system so everyone could agree/disagree.

I dont see your response as being long-winded.  You are expressing your opinion and stating why you believe your suggestion has merit.  I am glad you are interested enough in TKL to spend the time trying to make it more usable. 

Just because I have a counter opinion does not mean your suggestion will not be implemented.  That is up to the project leadership.

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Jeremy's picture

I'm with Neil on this one

+1 no wget in TKL core.

Whilst I agree that wget is an invaluable tool, I don't think it needs to be included with appliances (unless the individual appliance needs it for some reason).

For many users it would never be used, for those that do want/need it, then its easy to install.

My 2c worth

PS John, you could always do a poll if you were interested in getting other's opinions on it.

Liraz Siri's picture

Including wget will only add 270KB to TurnKey Core

The original motto behind TurnKey is that: anything that can be easy should be easy.

If we could magically include everything into TurnKey without increasing the footprint, adding security problems or adding complexity we would!

But in the real world you have to balance making things easy with other considerations. Installing additional packages is pretty easy, but obviously having wget already installed if you need it is even easier.

In this particular case since this isn't the first request to include wget I checked how much it would add Core's footprint and since the increase in footprint is negligible we decided to add it. As a client-side tool it also doesn't add any complexity or create security issues.

John Carver's picture

Adding wget

Thanks Liraz,

I see a lot of potential in the future of TurnKey.  I only became aware of your effort a couple of weeks ago by following the link from drupal.org.  I'm already making plans to use TKL in my future work and spreading the word to other Linux admins.

In my opinion, there are two types of admins, those who prefer a GUI and those who prefer the command line.  When I first got started with Linux, I was coming from a Windows world, so Webmin was my preference.  After several years of working with Linux and learning the power of using the command line and scripting, I now find Webmin constraining and don't even bother to install it anymore.  It seems to me that TurnKey can appeal to a wider range of admins by balancing the two interfaces.  Any commonly performed task should be easy to do through either interface.  Adding wget to TurnKey core will make this cli user happier.

Information is free, knowledge is acquired, but wisdom is earned.

Liraz Siri's picture

Agreed. We need to support both GUI and command line interfaces

From the beginning we've sort of developed TurnKey as what we would ideally like to use ourselves. I remember after I had first mastered the cli years back I would sort of sneer at GUI users. Didn't they get the memo? In the beginning there was the command line!

But today I understand it's not quite as simple as that. Cli is endlessly versatile and powerful but you pay for that with a steeper learning curve and also need to keep more details in your head (or reread manual pages over and over).

GUIs like Webmin are easy to explore and fiddle with casually. Often when I'm tweaking the configuration of some sub-system I find it easier to just browse through the webmin interface than open up the reference manual. This is especially true for sub-system I only mess around with every few months, such as Samba.

Also, today there is a much greater breadth of open source software and it's difficult for even a career admin to fully master it all...

Jeremy's picture

Fair call on wget

I guess my take was that anyone who is a GUI user doesn't need it and those that are CLI users can install it themselves in about 15 seconds. But as you say Liraz 270kb is a very small price to pay.

I must admit that although I wasn't a supporter of it being included, I'm sure I will find it handy at times.

As for the CLI vs GUI I agree that both are important. IMO that is one of the strengths of TKL; that it caters to a range of users, from Linux noobs to ubergeeks!

Other options

You know wget is not the only option for this. TKL does have curl installed by default even on core. curl also has some additional advantages. http://daniel.haxx.se/docs/curl-vs-wget.html

Liraz Siri's picture

wget is higher-level than curl

For the common use case of downloading an URL, wget is easier to use:
wget URL

You can download a file with curl as well but the syntax is more involved. By default curl doesn't save the URL to a file, it doesn't follow redirects, etc. For grabbing a file quickly I usually use wget myself.

I think of curl as a lower-level swiss army knife for all http related queries. I've used it more in in development, either by wrapping around the cli or using libcurl...

Alon Swartz's picture

wget now included in all appliances

Due to the multiple requests and the small footprint of wget, we have included it in all appliances in the latest release (2009.10-2).

Thanks to everyone who voiced their opinion!

Glad to see the direction this went

Keeping the Core to core things is sensible. But I'm glad that wget has a small footprint. JedMeister's point is well taken: it's easy to install. For my purposes, I'm anticipating having wget to use in the patch environment is going to be a boon - mostly for mentoring and pedagogy. The patch will involve sftp, so that will be part of the experience. However, in my case an opportunity to remind someone new to Linux -- new to TKL and the patch process for that matter -- that wget is an available option, a powerful option, makes for a good teachable moment. That's no compelling reason to include it. But it is a reason to be thankful that it's included.


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