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REVIEW: Webmin

by Gavin Henry


"Webmin is a web-based interface for system administration for Unix. Using any browser that supports tables and forms (and Java for the File Manager module), you can setup user accounts, Apache, DNS, file sharing and so on.

Webmin consists of a simple web server, and a number of CGI programs which directly update system files like /etc/inetd.conf and /etc/passwd. The web server and all CGI programs are written in Perl version 5, and use no non-standard Perl modules."

I have been using Webmin now for a few years, and I must say that it comes in very handy for remote system administration and also creates a good impression with clients/managers that have never seen a Fedora Core Linux server before and want an easy web interface to use. Not only is it straight forward to install, but is themeable, which means you can make it compatible with your company theme or own system theme - Screenshots.

A few Standard Modules:

  • ADSL Client
  • Apache Webserver
  • BIND DNS Server
  • DHCP Server
  • Heartbeat Monitor
  • Internet Services and Protocols
  • LDAP Users and Groups
  • Linux Firewall
  • PPP Dialin Server
  • Partitions on Local Disks
  • Postfix Configuration
  • Printer Administration
  • SpamAssassin Mail Filter
  • Samba Windows File Sharing


Webmin weighs in a around 8mb, so if you are on dial-up please be patient as it is worth it. You can download the latest version, or do the usual (if you followed my apt HOWTO:)

apt-get install webmin
This will install version 1.121-1, when the latest is 1.130-1. Not many differences, but I would always try to get the latest version.

Once installed, you can log in with the root user via or via your systems external IP address. By default Webmin listens on port 10000, but as always with Linux, this is configurable.

The first thing to do is enable SSl encryption, as you don't want to be transmitting your password in plain text. So once logged in, on the front page go to Webmin Configuration > SSL Encryption and select "Yes", then "Save". You should then be able to log in via

In order for this to work you need the Net::SSLeay Perl module installed. Net::SSLeay is a module that allows Perl scripts to call the functions in the OpenSSL library. This can be installed via apt-get:

apt-get install perl-Net-SSLeay
Or via Perl CPAN. Instructions on how to install the module by hand can be found on Webmin SSL's page or on CPAN's FAQ page or below (as root type):
perl -MCPAN -e 'install Net::SSLeay'
and say yes to all the questions.

Webmin is almost entirely the work of Jamie Cameron


If you have ever been scared of Linux administration or want to create a great impression for a client/Manager, then download Webmin for your server/desktop and show off Fedora Linux. Again I have found this to be a very useful tool and would recommend it to anyone.

Check out the FAQ and Documentation for more info.

UPDATE 2004-02-12:
There is another excellent online free book resource &mdash "Managing Linux Systems With Webmin", written by Jamie Cameron himself. This is available for download from here and is part of "Bruce Perens' Open Source Series". It was pointed out to me by Thiers Botelho. Thanks.

UPDATE 2004-02-04:
This excellent online resource &mdash "The Book of Webmin", was pointed out to me by fellow staff member Hoyt. Thanks Hoyt.

Well, that's it for now. For any comments or corrections, please e-mail me.