Linux System administration is no walk in the park. With all the commands and configuration files you need to know about, managing a Linux system is everything but an easy task. Making things a little easier is “Webmin”. While you would still need some knowledge about a Linux system and what you want to achieve, Webmin provides an easier interface and a centralised place from where you can configure and monitor your system.
Use your distribution’s package manager to install Webmin. Or else you can visit the Webmin downloads page and get the binaries or source-code according to your requirements.
One installed, you access Webmin via a web-based interface. Just point your browser to Webmin on your machine (https://127.0.0.1:10000), you will be asked for authentication where in you must provide user name and password. If successful, you will see something like:
Webmin is made up of modules, with each module performing a select task. There are modules for viewing system stats, configuring grub, managing firewalls and protocols, configuring servers and a whole lot more (complete list). In addition you can add other modules depending upon your requirements. You can also create your own modules for a particular service or application using the Webmin API and some programming knowledge of course
Let’s say you want to manage cron-jobs on your system via webmin. Just log in and click on “Scheduled Cron Jobs” under “System” from the sidebar. You will see a list of all the cron-jobs on your system. You can choose to enable/disable selected jobs, or delete/add jobs or perform other listed functions.
To create a new job click on “Create a new scheduled cron job.” and you will be taken to Create Schediled job screen, where you can specify the commands and options to use as well as specify the time when you want the job to run without have to edit crontab files manually!
Similarly you can perform a whole variety of such tasks, just choose what you want to do from the sidebar and get going. You can configure firewall rules, monitor bandwidth, configure Apache, DNS, mail servers and countless other things.
While it is easy to use Webmin, you might want to check out some resources to help you get a better understanding of how webmin works and how to use it to perform various tasks. Check out the following resources for the same:
Webmin really makes it easy to perform system administration from the cozy confines of your Web Browser. Webmin edits the configuration files as it is and doesn’t store the changes in a centralised database. What does this mean? That making a change with Webmin is as good and as crude (if I may say so) as doing it with vi editor.
Do you know of some other tools you use for configuring your system? Let hear about them in comments!