Tablet for remote sysadmin

Levi Pearson levipearson at
Tue Aug 28 16:27:24 MDT 2012

On Tue, Aug 28, 2012 at 4:02 PM, Lloyd Brown <lloyd_brown at> wrote:

> Since we seem to have a pretty active list today, I'll ask a question
> that I've been saving up, and get people's opinions.
> At my work, we've been kicking around the idea of using tablets
> (probably Android) as remote sysadmin tools, rather than the linux
> netbooks we currently use.  Since I don't have a tablet myself, I don't
> really know whether or not this is viable or not.  I'm hoping someone on
> the list has tried it, and can say whether its a good idea or not, and why.
> Basically, what I need to be able to do is something like this:
> - Web browser
> - IM (XMPP)
> - VPN (either Cisco AnyConnect or OpenVPN)
> - Email
> - SSH
> - remote text editing (vim inside ssh session?)
> I'm not looking at routinely doing coding, etc.  For example I
> understand that without a full-size keyboard, I'm not going to get the
> typing speed or accuracy I'm used to, etc.  I'd just like to know if the
> solution lands on the continuum of difficulty; eg. a "works great, have
> fun", a "kinda works, but painful", or a "you really are a masochist,
> aren't you?"

I have an iPad and I really like it, and I have an Android phone that I
have mixed feelings about, but if I were to spec something as a remote
admin tool I'd probably pick a netbook over a tablet.  System
administration, unless you are fiddling with a web-based gui, really works
better with a physical keyboard.  If the netbooks seem a bit under-specced,
maybe a chromebook? For reading PDFs or browsing the web or youtube or
facebook or whatever, tablet wins hands down, though. :)


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