Webserver 3 : Introducing Webmin

Like I must have let you know before now, I”m not a masochist. Once you have your LAMP to light your path, its time to put the glass globe around it to enhance the shine. Webmin is the glass globe. Webmin does a whole lot for you. Unless you are really into masochism you can use Webmin to do a lot of the apache/mysql configuration with ease. You get to shift away briefly from command line. Ok enough of the preaching let’s get down to business. A word of advice though, Webmin can be risky ie provide an avenue for bad people (in IT terms) to do havoc on your system. The advice is to shut it off when not in use and turn it on via SSH when you need to use it.

To install webmin, again I like to go the less painful route ie using apt-get but to do that you have to do some painful stuff first. You have to edit a file called sources.list. This is how you do it.

sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list

You will see the file open in the terminal widow use the down arrow to get the cursor to the bottom of the file

copy and past the following lines at the bottom of all the rest you see there

deb http://download.webmin.com/download/repository sarge contrib
deb http://webmin.mirror.somersettechsolutions.co.uk/repository sarge contrib

Press ctrl O and press enter
Press ctrl X to exit

Exit to the root prompt by tying the command

cd /and press enter

Run the following commands one after the other
sudo wget http://www.webmin.com/jcameron-key.asc
sudo apt-key add jcameron-key.asc

Then the following

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install webmin

Just watch the terminal until it gets to the bottom. Where webmin gives you a secure url (ie https://bla blah blah:10000) for login. Note that you have to replace the ‘blah blah blah’ part with the IP (ElasticHost) or funny long name ( Amazon EC2) depending on what url you use to get to your web. You login with your username and password (remember the Ubuntu rule) and there you have your globe installed. You can do damage , shinning your light at everyone.

Note: It may not be a good idea to leave webmin running permanenlty for security reasons. To shut it down use the following command

/etc/init.d/webmin stop

and the opposite to start

/etc/init.d/webmin start

This is an important footnote. The power of wget should never be underestimated. If you work with applications like Joomla or Drupal, downloading them to your local system and then uploading the core files to the Cloud can be a pain if you have a slow connection. With wget all you need do is slam the url to the tar or zip and it will do the rest. It will pull it down unto your server (and this would take minutes because Clouds don’t worry about bandwidth). With nifty commands as I will list below you can move around things in the command line with as little pain as possible. You can get some useful commands from the link below

http://www.tuxfiles.org/linuxhelp/fileman.html/

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