Up your game with Webmin for easy Linux administration from a web browser.
Administering a server can be a daunting task. The good news is, there are plenty of tools available to make the job easier. One of these tools is Webmin. This tutorial shows how to install Webmin on an Ubuntu Linux server.
Webmin is a web-based interface for system administration in Unix. It is similar to cPanel and Plesk but is free and open source. Use it to set up user accounts, Apache, DNS, file sharing and much more.
Webmin removes the need to manually edit Unix configuration files and lets you easily manage a system. This can save you a lot of time, especially if you are not familiar with the command line or need to provide web-based access to server administration for multiple users.
Webmin can also be used to monitor multiple servers from a single location. This is very handy if you are responsible for managing a large number of servers.
Before we start, it is good to first update and upgrade the system.
Next, install the dependencies for Webmin:
Add the Webmin repository to the system:
Finally, install Webmin with the command:
Once the installation completes, run the
systemctl commands to start and enable the Webmin service.
Check the status of the Webmin service to ensure that it is up and running.
You will see an output similar to the following, which indicates that the service is up and running.
The Webmin service listens on port 10000 by default. Run the
ss command to check whether it is listening.
You will see an output similar to the following that indicates that the service is listening on port 10000.
To access the Webmin web interface, navigate to your server’s IP address followed by :10000 in your web browser:
The first time you access the Webmin interface you will see a warning as shown below, as the SSL certificate used by Webmin is self-signed.
We will fix that later. For now, you can safely ignore this message and click on the “Advanced” button.
Click “Accept the Risk and Continue” on the next page to access the Webmin login page.
You will see the login page as shown. Use the credentials for your root user and click “Sign in” to log in to Webmin.
Remember, you must use the credentials for your root user. If you want to log in as a non-root user, you will have to edit the “/etc/webmin/config” file.
After logging in, you will see the Webmin dashboard, as shown below, where you can configure various aspects of your Ubuntu system from the Webmin web interface.
Start and enable the apache service.
Check the status of the apache service.
The best way to check whether the apache service is up and running is to request a web page from the server by visiting the server’s IP address in your web browser.
You will see the Apache2 Ubuntu Default Page, as shown below, signifying that the apache2 service is up and running successfully.
Tip: you can also learn how to configure Apache and PHP for a high traffic site.
Next up is configuring a hostname for our Webmin server. A hostname is a human-readable name used to identify a device on a network.
Keep other settings as is and click “Request Certificate” to generate the SSL certificate from Let’s Encrypt.
You will see a message that says the certificate has been successfully generated as shown.
You can also check the secure connection of the SSL certificate by clicking on the lock icon next to the URL as shown.
One of the most basic tasks that an admin needs to do is create new user accounts. With Webmin, this can be easily accomplished from the web interface.
By default, only the root user has administrative privileges on Ubuntu, so only the root user can install new software, create new users, and modify system settings.
It is considered best practice to avoid using the root user for daily tasks. Instead, create a new user with sudo privileges and use that account for your daily tasks.
Once the user has been created, you will see your newly-created user in the list of users, as shown below.
Another important task performed using Webmin is installing a new software package on your system. The web UI helps you find, install, and remove software packages on your system with ease.
Once the package is installed, you will see an output similar to the one below.
You can easily reset your root password with the command:
/usr/libexec/webmin/changepass.pl /etc/webmin admin password123
This command changes the password for the admin user to “password123.” Replace “admin” with your actual root username.
Ensure that you go to https://your_domain:10000 in your browser and not http://your_domain:10000. The extra “s” in https is important, as it tells the browser to use a secure connection.
To uninstall Webmin, run the command
/etc/webmin/uninstall.sh to remove all traces of Webmin from your server.
Image credit: Webmin. All screenshots by Nicholas Xuan Nguyen.
I am a big fan of Linux and open source software. I have been using Linux for over a decade and I absolutely love it. I am also a big fan of writing. In my spare time, I enjoy reading, playing video games.
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