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Open Wide, This Won't Hurt a Bit

A case in point: Recently I attempted to install the network version of American Power Conversion's PowerChute (software that communicates with APC's intelligent UPSs and tracks the status of power to the equipment) on three headless production Solaris boxes that I'd plugged into a brand new APC Symmetra UPS, only to find that installing PowerChute on a Unix box requires an X11 environment. APC doesn't publicize this requirement, and it took several hours looking for a work-around before I finally threw my hands up and called the company's tech support line.

I explained the situation and asked the support person why you'd need a graphical environment to perform an installation so simple that it requires only one piece of information. He responded that he didn't understand why that requirement should present a problem, so I had to spell it out for him: Many Solaris boxes run headless, and text-based installs via telnet are the rule in such situations.

Nothing but the faint sound of a dental drill in the background.

"OK, just send me the work-around and I'll go away happy," I told the guy.

Silence again, except for the now deafening sound of the drill.