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#1 2020-03-11 11:24:38

rbh
Member
From: Sweden/Vasterbotten/Rusfors
Registered: 2016-08-11
Posts: 326

Sysadmin with Webmin

Webmin is a web-based interface for system administration. Not all administration is accessible, but many.
It is very handy both on the server and the desktop.
All users with sudo rights can acess webmin.

For a linux newbie, it is not so easy to remember all CLI commands, which program to use how for what.
In Webmin, the most needed functions is easy accessed. Some of all functions:

Edit Boot up services
Manage raid
Schedule commands and cron jobs
Manage Users and groups
Manage logs
Manage servers; Apache, MySql, NFS, Samba, SSH...

To install Webmin, I recommend to add webmin repository.

Edit the /etc/apt/sources.list and add:
deb https://download.webmin.com/download/repository sarge contrib
   
Yes, Debian version "sarge", is quite old, but the repo is uptodate...
Import apt-key:

$ sudo wget https://download.webmin.com/jcameron-key.asc | apt-key add jcameron-key.asc

Install needed packages and webmin:

# sudo apt install apt-transport-https
# sudo apt update
# apt install webmin

If you are using a pc with very limited resources it might be unnessecary to allways run webmin. Also when using the laptop on public net, it can bee good not to broadcast the service.
You can easy disable start of webmin and start it only when you need it.

To disable start of webmin, in terminal type

$ sudo systemctl disable webmin.service 

To start Webmin, type:

$ sudo systemctl start webmin.service 

    or oldstyle,

service webmin start

To login in and configure webmin surf to https://localhost:10000.

Links
Webmin homepage: http://www.webmin.com
On http://www.webmin.com/books.html, there is soe outdated links to books available in PDF format. The link to Youtube Channel https://www.youtube.com/user/thededicatedserverha, is working.
jamies book "Managing Linux® Systems with Webmin", is available here

Edit:
According to text here: Jamies book is free to download !
Note though, he wrote the book 20034..

Lastly, some notes on securing Webmin: https://doxfer.webmin.com/Webmin/Securing_Webmin

Last edited by rbh (2020-03-12 12:07:50)


// Regards rbh

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#2 2020-03-11 12:47:59

iMBeCil
WAAAT?
From: Edrychwch o'ch cwmpas
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 760

Re: Sysadmin with Webmin

^Interesting ... thanks.

However, as much as I can appreciate effort in making and maintaining the WebMin, and I'm sure some people are using this (I hope beginners only), it seems a bit outdated as there doesn't seem to be support for systemd, which nowadays is really ubiquitous on linux.

I wouldn't recommend it to people, because:
- no systemd support
- this forces system admin to administer its setup in single particular way imagined by WebMin maintainer; this is bad IMHO because sometimes one wants to administer its server by - for example - a home-made scripts; and really powerfull config stuff is basically hidden
- simple ascii config files are once more hidden behind a GUI (personally, I ran away from MSWin because of this; or ran away from GNOME, too)

Frankly, to see systemadmin using this, I would ran away from both him and the setup he is administering big_smile

(Note: this is only my opinion, NHF.)


Postpone all your duties; if you die, you won't have to do them ..

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#3 2020-03-11 13:49:25

rbh
Member
From: Sweden/Vasterbotten/Rusfors
Registered: 2016-08-11
Posts: 326

Re: Sysadmin with Webmin

iMBeCil wrote:

it seems a bit outdated as there doesn't seem to be support for systemd, which nowadays is really ubiquitous on linux.

But webmin can manage systemd services! I can from webmin, manage apache2.service and all other systemd services. There is even a choce of creating a new systemd.service. I prefer using terminal to start, stop or disable systemd services. But i do not like to create new services on "free hand" in the termianl. When creating with webmin, there is less risk for errors.

- this forces system admin to administer its setup in single particular way imagined by WebMin maintainer;

? even many well skilled sysadmin, use Webmin... I dont realy see how Webmin "forces system admin to administer its setup in single particular way imagined by WebMin maintainer"...

- simple ascii config files are once more hidden behind a GUI (personally, I ran away from MSWin because of this; or ran away from GNOME, too)

Yes, that is a problem, but it is not entarely true. Systemd services is listed. When editing, you se how the service is configured.
But other config files, you do not see which the are. First time I had to change uid/guid for a user to get same same uid/guid as on the server, I used Webmin. I did not have time to make an internet search.
It would been nice if every function had an link to an explanatory webfile...


// Regards rbh

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#4 2020-03-11 14:37:39

iMBeCil
WAAAT?
From: Edrychwch o'ch cwmpas
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 760

Re: Sysadmin with Webmin

rbh wrote:
iMBeCil wrote:

it seems a bit outdated as there doesn't seem to be support for systemd, which nowadays is really ubiquitous on linux.

But webmin can manage systemd services! I can from webmin, manage apache2.service and all other systemd services. There is even a choce of creating a new systemd.service. I prefer using terminal to start, stop or disable systemd services. But i do not like to create new services on "free hand" in the termianl. When creating with webmin, there is less risk for errors.

Good point, I missed that.

Anyway, I have never used it and admit I don't know its full potential, so my opinion should not be used too seriously  wink


Postpone all your duties; if you die, you won't have to do them ..

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#5 2020-03-11 15:19:37

yoda
Member
From: Montreal
Registered: 2018-12-28
Posts: 102
Website

Re: Sysadmin with Webmin

not sure what I have missed....

root@bunsen-desktop:~# sudo apt install webmin
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
E: Unable to locate package webmin
root@bunsen-desktop:~#


I did all the steps...


According to Buddhism, we all met several times... This time, it's on this forum :-) May we meet again

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#6 2020-03-11 15:31:26

yoda
Member
From: Montreal
Registered: 2018-12-28
Posts: 102
Website

Re: Sysadmin with Webmin

OOOPs ok it's working... some dumb error on my side
Tks !


According to Buddhism, we all met several times... This time, it's on this forum :-) May we meet again

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#7 2020-03-11 15:36:49

yoda
Member
From: Montreal
Registered: 2018-12-28
Posts: 102
Website

Re: Sysadmin with Webmin

WOW tks @rbh !!!

For a guy like me, that tool is AWESOME !!!


According to Buddhism, we all met several times... This time, it's on this forum :-) May we meet again

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#8 2020-03-11 16:15:22

rbh
Member
From: Sweden/Vasterbotten/Rusfors
Registered: 2016-08-11
Posts: 326

Re: Sysadmin with Webmin

yoda wrote:

For a guy like me, that tool is AWESOME !!!

Do not miss to download his book


// Regards rbh

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#9 2020-03-11 16:32:06

rbh
Member
From: Sweden/Vasterbotten/Rusfors
Registered: 2016-08-11
Posts: 326

Re: Sysadmin with Webmin

iMBeCil wrote:

Anyway, I have never used it and admit I don't know its full potential, so my opinion should not be used too seriously  wink

If you know the ins and outs of all complex terminal commands, it is not for you, you do not need it.

I think it is handy to have syntax check and varning that "Do you realy wanna do this stupid thing..."
As years pass, I do more and more tasks solely in terminal. If I quick have to do something new or very seldom done, I use webmin.


// Regards rbh

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#10 2020-03-11 17:39:39

iMBeCil
WAAAT?
From: Edrychwch o'ch cwmpas
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 760

Re: Sysadmin with Webmin

rbh wrote:
iMBeCil wrote:

Anyway, I have never used it and admit I don't know its full potential, so my opinion should not be used too seriously  wink

If you know the ins and outs of all complex terminal commands, it is not for you, you do not need it.

"I know what 'tar zcf filename' means ... I'm something of a sysadmin myself"  big_smile

Seriously, when there are more than ten-ish possible settings for some software, I prefer editing ascii file, than clicking on some GUI interface ... Just how on the earth the Webmin organized apache config without writing anything (apart from obvious data)? It must be a hell to program the GUI ...


Postpone all your duties; if you die, you won't have to do them ..

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#11 2020-03-11 18:29:14

rbh
Member
From: Sweden/Vasterbotten/Rusfors
Registered: 2016-08-11
Posts: 326

Re: Sysadmin with Webmin

iMBeCil wrote:

Seriously, when there are more than ten-ish possible settings for some software, I prefer editing ascii file, than clicking on some GUI interface ... Just how on the earth the Webmin organized apache config without writing anything (apart from obvious data)? It must be a hell to program the GUI ...

Jamie started the program, as a means to give coworkers access to dns-config. Then more an more functions was added. Just like Suse Linux Yast, it is an frontend for configuring standard config files. Many modules have also the choice to directly configure configuration file.

I think it is a greater achivement that it wors on nearly all *nix flavors...

But, if you are dead certain on all configs, you do not need it...


// Regards rbh

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#12 2020-03-12 10:54:07

yoda
Member
From: Montreal
Registered: 2018-12-28
Posts: 102
Website

Re: Sysadmin with Webmin

To manage a simple workstation not available from the internet but with internet access, would you still trust Webdmin ?

Webmin : Security vulnerabilities

Last edited by yoda (2020-03-12 11:01:41)


According to Buddhism, we all met several times... This time, it's on this forum :-) May we meet again

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#13 2020-03-12 11:13:43

rbh
Member
From: Sweden/Vasterbotten/Rusfors
Registered: 2016-08-11
Posts: 326

Re: Sysadmin with Webmin

yoda wrote:

To manage a simple workstation not available from the internet but with internet access, would you still trust Webdmin ?

Webmin : Security vulnerabilities


On workstation with physical access, I restrict webmin to adress localhost. I wouldnot let it be accessible from everywhere!

(edit)
Just as I would not let vnc-server be accessible from everywhere.

I browsed the vulnerability-list. I could not on the first screen find any vulnerability for current version 1.941. http://www.webmin.com/security.html, does not list any known vulnerabilities in present version.

So, I thinkt that if you use usual precautions ("both waistband and the trouser hinges" as we say in sweden), it is quite ok.

Last edited by rbh (2020-03-12 11:43:05)


// Regards rbh

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#14 2020-03-12 12:08:25

rbh
Member
From: Sweden/Vasterbotten/Rusfors
Registered: 2016-08-11
Posts: 326

Re: Sysadmin with Webmin

Some notes on securing Webmin: https://doxfer.webmin.com/Webmin/Securing_Webmin


// Regards rbh

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#15 2020-03-12 12:10:43

yoda
Member
From: Montreal
Registered: 2018-12-28
Posts: 102
Website

Re: Sysadmin with Webmin

tks @rbh


According to Buddhism, we all met several times... This time, it's on this forum :-) May we meet again

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#16 2020-03-13 07:19:29

ohnonot
...again
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 4,410
Website

Re: Sysadmin with Webmin

rbh wrote:

a web-based interface for system administration

That statement in itself seems like some sort of contradiction.
I'm trying hard to imagine a graphical interface with a checkbox and/or dropdown for every configuration option available for, say, apache2.
Why not just ssh into the machine and admin it properly?

PS:
Is there also "WebminWebmin, a web-based interface for Webmin administration"? big_smile

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#17 2020-03-13 12:22:05

rbh
Member
From: Sweden/Vasterbotten/Rusfors
Registered: 2016-08-11
Posts: 326

Re: Sysadmin with Webmin

ohnonot wrote:

I'm trying hard to imagine a graphical interface with a checkbox and/or dropdown for every configuration option available for, say, apache2.

Just as "Yast" for Suse states that "YaST includes modules to configure almost every aspect of a Linux system"  (https://yast.opensuse.org/), Jamie says about Webmin "Webmin lets you configure almost all of the common services and popular servers on UNIX systems using a simple web interface.". So, not every aspect is configurable through "  checkbox and/or dropdown"..
But, for a not superskilled user, it is handy to have to the graphical ui. And good is that "It protects you from the syntax errors and other mistakes that are often made when editing configuration files directly, and warns you before potentially dangerous actions. (The qoutes taken from page 1-2 from Jamies book.)

Why not just ssh into the machine and admin it properly?

If you are dead certain on the syntax there is no need to use a gui. But often i can ave time. I also install it on new desktops/laptops. I install apt-mirror. I want uid and gid of user apt-mirror to be the same on the server and move $HOME from /var... to the NFS-share. It goes much faster in webmin.

But sometimes, things goes mych faster from the CLI. I haven't bothered to find out if webmin can enable CGI in apache2 or where, in what configfile to enable it. I simple copy from texfile and paste in terminal "# a2enmod cgi". If I have to do it not long after last time, I can remember and just type it...

PS: Is there also "WebminWebmin, a web-based interface for Webmin administration"? big_smile

Nope. You can configure webmin in webmin.

But, Linux is very much about freedom to choose. Webmin is noot a bad choise. About apache2, so are also every configfile accessible wia webmin for direct editing.

It is easier to take on totaly new projets with webmin. It is not bad for a newbie to browse webmin to se what is possible.

I do lack better helpfiles. Helpfiles telling which configfiles is affected. I also have not found out how to import webmins self signed certificate to midori.

Last edited by rbh (2020-03-13 12:22:56)


// Regards rbh

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