We have an Intel NUC in my university's language department that will soon host a web application used by faculty and students in the department. The NUC runs Ubuntu (14.10).
I'm comfortable with the terminal and SSH-ing into the server, however I find that a lot of tasks that I need to do are just so much easier through screen-sharing (VNC).
I suggested to our new technical director that we install VNC on this server to make my life a lot easier (in fact it had VNC installed before he was hired, and then he uninstalled it). However, he replied with the following comment:
I would much prefer not to run X or VNC on the server if we can get away with it. It is a server after all.
I really don't understand this logic. It isn't hooked up to a monitor; the only access into it through SSH. Is there some miraculous downside to having VNC access to a server that I am unaware of?
Obviously you're opening up another port for an attacker; rebuttal: we're behind two university firewalls (the main university network firewall as well as our subnet's own special firewall). VNC would only be able to be accomplished inside our subnet, so I'm at a loss as to why this would be an issue other than "it's another package to maintain", and with Ubuntu's
apt package manager that becomes a non-issue.
What are the downsides of installing VNC on a server?
Edit: this isn't just a web server. It's hosting a number of other applications. Not sure if that makes a difference.