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Installing webmin on CentOs 5 November 28, 2010

Posted by Tournas Dimitrios in Linux.

Webmin is a program that simplifies the process of managing a Linux or UNIX system. Traditionally, you have needed to manually edit configuration files and run commands to create accounts, set up web servers, or manage email forwarding. Webmin now lets you perform these tasks through an easy-to-use web interface, and automatically updates all of the required configuration files for you. This makes the job of administering your system much easier. Because Webmin supports the concept of modules (like PhotoShop plugins), anyone can develop and distribute their own Webmin modules for any purpose, and distribute them under any licence (such as GPL, commercial or shareware). More information about the Webmin API and writing your own modules is available.

Some of the things that you can do with Webmin include:

  • Creating, editing, and deleting *NIX login accounts on your system
  • Exporting files and directories to other systems with the NFS protocol
  • Setting up disk quotas to control how much space users can take up with their files
  • Installing, viewing, and removing software packages in RPM and other formats
  • Changing your system’s IP address, DNS settings, and routing configuration
  • Setting up a firewall to protect your computer or give hosts on an internal LAN access to the Internet
  • Creating and configuring virtual web sites for the Apache Web server
  • Managing databases, tables, and fields in a MySQL or PostgreSQL database server
  • Sharing files with Windows systems by configuring Samba

Webmin works on top of a stand-alone server , on port 10000 , so there is no need to enable httpd (Apache ) . It must be accessed with the https protocol via your browser ( OpenSSl must be supported ) , run  ” rpm -qa | grep -i perl-Net-SSLeay, and if not already installed  let yum do the work for you ” yum   -y  install  perl-Net-SSLeay

Webmin is a Perl-based (not Apache-based) administration interface which, unlike cPanel, allows you to control every aspect of your server, either visually or manually, through the use of web forms. It also features a cool java file manager which allows you to get a visual idea of what’s on your HDDs and it can perform basic file operations on them. In terms of security, you can restrict access to its interface by specifying a list of IPs or classes of IPs.

If you intend to handle multiple domains then Virtualmin (it’s a module for Webmin) is the best choice as it allows you to manage a domain in a centralized way, that is, it automatically takes care of DNS zones, email aliases and Apache vhosts. Of course, you can fine tune BIND, Apache and the mail server by using the visual configuration of/or the manual configuration.

If you intend to give others access to the server then Usermin is a good choice as it allows normal users to access the SQL server, email server plus more but be careful what modules you activate, that is, don’t enable modules unless you intend to use them.

Support: Webmin offers good support for Ubuntu and it can give you good information about outdated packages plus the possibility to update them. It also has a couple of modules which were specially designed for Ubuntu administration tasks.

Installing webmin via yum :

  1. yum search webmin
  2. yum install webmin
  3. # vi  /etc/webmin/miniserv.conf
    # at the bottom: IP address you allow

Installing with rpm :

# wget  http://downloads.sourceforge.net/project/webadmin/webmin/1.490/webmin-1.490-1.noarch.rpm
# rpm  -Uvh webmin-1.490-1.noarch.rpm
# vi  /etc/webmin/miniserv.conf
# at the bottom: IP address you allow
# /etc/rc.d/init.d/webmin restart  or  service webmin restart

When installing from RPM by “rpm -U webmin-1.490-1.noarch.rpm” you will not be able to upgrade Webmin by simple yum upgrade. To upgrade such installation you will need to redownload and reinstall RPM manually. E.g. no automatic upgrades are done.

When Webmin is installed from a repository, bug fixes and security patches can be automated as are other system updates, and managed using yum.. Also, yum_updatesd daemon will warn you about updates and/or install them depending on it’s settings.

Webmin install complete. You can now login to https://localhost:10000/
as root with your root password. Or access your webmin panel from a LAN computer as I demonstrate below ( caution your firewall must be configured to allow port 10000) .

  • To see Webmin in action, check out the demo server at :

http://webmin-demo.virtualmin.com/ The login is demo , and the password is demo.

  • There is also a demo of Virtualmin Pro (which is built on top of Webmin) available at :

http://virtualmin-demo.virtualmin.com/ The master administrator’s login is root , and the login for a domain owner is demodomain. For both, the password is demo.

  • The best place to see Usermin in action is on the Virtualmin demo server, at :

http://usermin-demo.virtualmin.com/ The login is mailbox.demodomain , and the password is demo.





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