Using Webmin

Webmin is a web-based administration interface for Linux and other Unix systems. Using Webmin you can configure DNS, Samba, NFS, local/remote filesystems, Apache, Sendmail/Postfix, and much more using your web browser.

WHY USE WEBMIN?
Many popular Linux distributions provides excellent distro-specific configuration tools. But knowing them isn’t much help on the day you decide to try a new distro. Nor will distro-specific tools help you when a friend asks you to help him fix his box (running a different distro, naturally). By learning commonly available, distro-agnostic tools, you become a better rounded and more empowered Linux user.

INSTALLATION
Webmin is available in many distribution’s package managers.

For Red Hat-based distributions that do not include Webmin in their package managers, see “Using the Webmin YUM repository” in Webmin’s RPM installation instructions. Add the signer’s GPG key as root before adding the YUM repository to avoid error messages about unsigned repositories.

For Debian-based distributions that do not include Webmin in their package managers (I’m looking at you, Ubuntu), see “Using the Webmin APT repository” in Webmin’s Debian installation instructions. Add the signer’s GPG key before adding the APT repository to avoid error messages about unsigned repositories. Upon adding the repository, I had not one but two new repositories: Webmin and Webmin sources. The latter is apparently broken and generated an error message upon attempting to update sources; the solution was to delete it.

A LAMP stack is not needed to use Webmin; it has its own self-contained server.

CONFIGURATION
Once installed, confirm that the Webmin service is configured to run on boot and is running now.

In your favorite browser, go to Webmin’s URL, https://localhost:10000/. You will probably want to bookmark this. Your browser should warn you about an insecure certificate: unless you have unusual security needs, you may safely train your browser to ignore this in the future. Set your browser to accept JavaScript and cookies from localhost.

To enter Webmin for the first time, log in as root with your root password. Depending upon your security needs, you might consider modifying the list of Webmin users and their passwords (Webmin – Webmin Users).

Go to Webmin – Webmin Configuration and insure that “start at boot time” is set to yes.

HOW DO I…
Set up a cron job

TIPS AND TRICKS
As a security measure, Webmin checks referral headers by default. But as another security measure, I disable the sending of referral headers in my browsers. To work around this, I add a per-site rule to my browser to enable referral headers for localhost only.

REFERENCES
Use Webmin for Linux Administration

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About Warren Post

So far: Customer support guy, jungle guide, IT consultant, beach bum, entrepreneur, teacher, diplomat, over-enthusiastic cyclist. Tomorrow: who knows?
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One Response to Using Webmin

  1. Pingback: Software I commonly install and remove | A maze of twisty little passages

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