A browser-based administration tool
IBM e-business architect Chris Walden is your guide through a nine-part developerWorks series on moving your operational skills from a Windows to a Linux environment. In this part, we install and take a tour of Webmin, a browser-based administration tool for Linux and other platforms that provides a graphical interface to many administrative and operational tasks.
One of the challenges when moving from administering a Windows environment to administering Linux is learning the new tools at your disposal. As an administrator, you want to learn the details of the operating system so that you can get the most out of it. But while you are learning, you need to get real work done now.
To accelerate your productivity in Linux, we are going to install a
program called Webmin. According to the Webmin.com (see Resources
for a link): "Webmin is a Web-based interface for system administration
for Unix. Using
any browser that supports tables and forms (and Java for the File
module), you can set up user accounts, Apache, DNS, file sharing, and
so on. Webmin consists of a simple Web server, and a number of CGI
which directly update system files like
/etc/passwd. The Web server and all CGI programs are written in Perl version 5, and use
no non-standard Perl modules."
Webmin runs on virtually all Unix-like platforms including Linux, AIX, HPUX, Solaris, OS X, and others. It provides a Web front end to many administrative tasks in Linux. It can be run from any graphical browser either locally or remotely. Webmin can be secured with SSL, to prevent snooping. As you are learning Linux administration, Webmin is a great time saver. Webmin is also handy to help with the tedious tasks that you have not automated.
Webmin is extensible. The author provides a development guide, and there are several third-party modules available. You can also design your own modules, so Webmin can always be adapted to fit your needs.