BlueOnyx 5211R: New GUI: Officialy released!

Posted by: mstauber Category: General

BlueOnyx 5211R with the new GUI has been officially released.

The modernized BlueOnyx 5211R has been officially released

After roughly 100 days of development the modernized BlueOnyx 5211R on AlmaLinux 9.3 (works on RHEL9 and RockyLinux 9, too!) has been officially released.

The new features include:

New default GUI theme:

The new standard GUI theme of BlueOnyx is called "Elmer" and is a much more responsive and more modern theme than "Adminica", which we had been using since 2014. "Elmer" uses the whole available screen width and scales its GUI elements accordingly. Means: It works very well from tiny phone screens up to large wide screen displays.

The old "Adminica" theme is still present and can be switched to under "Personal Profile" on an individual user basis. If desired, a server admin can prohibit this under "Server Management" / "Maintenance" / "Server Desktop". The server admin can also configure which theme is the default theme and which themes are available to end users.

Two-factor-auth (2FA) for GUI logins:

For a while BlueOnyx already had 2FA protection for SSH logins. The logical next step was to add (optional) 2FA protection to GUI logins:

The details of this works and also more screenshots of how it looks can be found in the documentation of the 2FA integration.

Dynamic server graphs:

This has already been showcased in previous news articles, but these new statistics give you a great insight into your servers health the moment you log into it.

Integrated searchable real time logfiles:

This was also mentioned in an earlier news article, but we now have proper searchable real time logfile access in the GUI.

"Usage Information" / "Email" works again:

The Email usage statistics on BlueOnyx 5211R had always been in a somewhat semi-broken state due to limitations of the "Adminica" theme. Which was unable to display as many DataTables as we had lined up in that particular page. This was due to the age of the used DataTable and jQuery versions. As "Elmer" uses newer components this was no longer an issue and we could sort out the remaining kinks. Likewise: We also backported some of these features to the "Adminica" theme. Still: This page works best if "Elmer" is used.

Vacation Messages and Email Forwarding:

This now looks much cleaner and less cluttered in "Elmer", as the subordinate options are only shown when the respective feature itself is active.

Other UI related changes and improvements:

All GUI menus have been moved to the left-hand side and the previous horizontal top menu of "Adminica" is gone in "Elmer". The menu folds in automatically if not enough screen width is present to display both the menu and the content. GUI content has a square icon in the upper right corner with which you can display the active content of that page in fullscreen mode. A proper Date/Time picker has been added for all input fields that require date and time (or both). Pulldowns are now searchable. Error messages are now consistently passed between causing and displaying GUI page.

Several menu items have been renamed because the old designation was too long for the new theme in the given GUI language. Or to reflect new usage and features that have been added. For example "Shell & FTP" has been renamed to "Server Access", as it also has the switch for Two-Factor-Auth, which may affect GUI logins if that feature is enabled.

Two-factor-login details for end users are now accessible for siteAdmins and server-admins as well, but will no longer be shown by default. A separate "eye" icon has to be clicked for that information to be shown to prevent inadvertent information disclosure.

Changes "under the hood":

In principle a lot of code has been changed, streamlined, modernized or refactored. With both security and efficiency in mind. Several changes were made to how BlueOnyx handles things internally and one such change to our i18n language module (displays GUI texts in your chosen language) has caused a drastic speed increase. Additionally the "Elmer" theme is much leaner than "Adminica" and needs to load fewer scripts, nor are the scripts themselves as bloated as they are in "Adminica". Overall this makes "Elmer" feel much more dynamic and responsive.

Potential issues during initial YUM/DNF update:

Be sure to log out of the GUI interface when you run the YUM update to upgrade your BlueOnyx. Otherwise you might get "500 Server Error" messages due to a new authentication scheme and session data storage formats. If you forgot and now can't log out of the GUI? Just delete your cookies and that will fix it.

Other than that: The upgrade should be smooth and has been well tested.

BlueOnyx Shop Packages:

ALL BlueOnyx 5211R GUI pages have received changes that are no longer entirely compatible with the older 5211R GUI.

If one were to run older 5211R Shop packages on a BlueOnyx 5211R with the new GUI, then some GUI elements (mostly buttons) will not be visible. Not all buttons, but typically buttons such as those to modify/delete Users, Vsites, DNS Records and such. Category buttons or those for "Save" or "Cancel" would still work.

These "invisible" buttons would even happen if the GUI were switched back from "Elmer" to the older "Adminica". Because even "Adminica" got overhauled during this update to be more in line with "Elmer" as far as instantiating and using GUI features go.

In order to prepare for the release of BlueOnyx 5211R with the new GUI we will therefore be publishing updated Shop PKGs for all PKGs that have affected GUI elements:

  • NewLinQ
  • WebApp Installer
  • Easy-Backup
  • Fail2ban
  • Firewall
  • OpenVPN

All these PKGs now have GUI pages that work with old style (pre-update) "Adminica", new style "Adminica" and new style "Elmer" GUI.

These PKGs have been released eight days ago to NewLinQ and can be installed before or after you upgrade your BlueOnyx 5211R to the latest version.

Update ISO Image:

An updated ISO image and Virtual Disk Images for BlueOnyx 5211R with the new GUI have also been released and can be found on our download page.

In closing:

We hope you enjoy the all new BlueOnyx 5211R and hope that it will serve you well. We had a lot of fun creating it and will be happy to hear your comments and suggestions. Work has already started to port the new GUI to BlueOnyx 5210R as well.

Feb 25, 2024 Category: General Posted by: mstauber
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