How to Install and Configure Webmin on Debian 9 and Ubuntu Server

Overview

Webmin is web based interface for managing UNIX systems. It provides simple yet powerful web interface and allows you to manage entire system via this interface. It is supported on wide ranges of UNIX variants like Linux, Solaris, FreeBSD and so on.

One of the good thing about webmin is that it is released under BSD 3-clause license, which is very liberal. You are free to use it for personal as well as commercial purpose.

Installation of Webmin

Installation of Webmin is as simple as other software installation on Linux. In this section we’ll discuss steps to perform installation Debian based Linux.

  • Add Webmin repository

Webmin is not part of Debian/Ubuntu’s official repository hence first we have to add Webmin repository URL to APT package manager. To do this, append below line to /etc/apt/sources.list file.

deb https://download.webmin.com/download/repository sarge contrib

In above command:

  1. deb – represents installation of binary package
  2. URL – represents repository URL
  3. sarge – represents name/version of distribution
  4. contrib – represents component name
  • Install GPG key

Webmin repository is signed with GPG key. Perform following steps to install GPG key:

[email protected]:~$ wget http://www.webmin.com/jcameron-key.asc
[email protected]:~$ sudo apt-key add jcameron-key.asc
OK
[email protected]:~$
  • Install Webmin

Perform following steps to install binary package of Webmin:

[email protected]:~$ sudo apt-get install apt-transport-https
[email protected]:~$ sudo apt-get update
[email protected]:~$ sudo apt-get install webmin -y

Configuration of Webmin

By default, Webmin runs on port 10000. In case OS firewall is enable on your debian server, then use the following commands to allow 443 & 10000 port,

[email protected]:~$ sudo ufw allow 443/tcp
Rule added
Rule added (v6)
[email protected]:~$ sudo ufw allow 10000/tcp
Rule added
Rule added (v6)
[email protected]:~$

To access Webmin, enter following text in browser:

https://<IP-address>:10000

If everything goes fine, then you should see web interface like this:

Login-Webmin-Debian-Ubuntu-Server

Once you provide Username and Password, it will show you Dashboard on which current system’s information is displayed.

Webmin-Debian-Ubuntu-Server-Dashboard

This interface gives you insights about your system like – CPU, memory and disk usage, information about running process and so on.

Webmin is highly configurable. We can configure its language, theme, network port and so on.

  • Configure language and theme

To change Webmin UI language and theme:

  1. Go to Webmin –> Change Language and Theme
  2. Select language of your choice from drop-down menu
  3. Select theme of your choice from drop-down menu
  4. Click on Make Changes button

Change-Language-Theme-Webmin

  • Advanced configuration

To perform advanced configuration like – access control, network port, authentication and many more:

  1. Go to Webmin –> Webmin Configuration
  2. Click on appropriate icon to perform further configuration

Webmin-Configuration-Debian-Ubuntu-Server

Manage Linux using Webmin

We have installed and configured Webmin. Now, let us get our hands dirty with practical. In this section we’ll manage user accounts, processes, disk and packages.

  • Manage user accounts

To manage user accounts:

  1. Go to System –> Users and Groups
  2. In this window, there are options to manage local users and groups
  3. This window also provides option to create/delete user accounts

Users-Groups-Webmin-Debian

  • Manage processes

To manage processes:

  1. Go to System -> Running Processes
  2. This window shows all running processes of system
  3. On top there are various tabs like PID, USER, MEMORY, CPU. To get more insights about process go to these tabs

Running Processes-Webmin-Dashboard

  • Disk management

To manage disk drive:

  1. Go to Hardware –> Partitions on Local Disks
  2. This window provides detailed information about installed disk drives, like – number of drives, partition type, size, cylinder information and so on
  3. It also provides various disk management options like – add partition, remove partition, edit partition parameters

Create-Edit-Disk-Partitions-Webmin-Dashboard

  • Package management

To manage packages:

  1. Go to System -> Software Packages
  2. This window provides various options to search package, install new package as well as upgrade all packages

Install-Upgrade-Software-Packages-Webmin-Dashboard

  • Command shell

Command shell is one of the important part of Linux. You cannot imagine Linux without it. Though Webmin is UI centric tool, it provides option to access terminal.

To access command shell:

  1. Go to Others –> Command Shell
  2. In this window you can type all supported commands
  3. Press Escape key or click on close button to exit from shell

Command-Shell-Webmin-Dashboard

Conclusion

Many times newbies get overwhelmed by commands. Because of command line fear most of them lose interest in Linux. Webmin provides intuitive UI, using that we can manage entire Linux. This article can be good start for newbies.

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