Feeds

Do the Webminimum

Newbie Linux management shortcut joy

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

Sysadmin blog Asking a Windows administrator to give Linux a chance as a server operating system is doubly difficult. To a Windows admin, the Linux world is a hostile place, a collection of dozens of different operating systems sharing the same basic kernel.

So then a junior sysadmin will often turn to the internet for help. Posting on forums, in IRC channels or simply doing a Google search for your Linux problems can be the most disheartening experience in systems administration.

The Linux community is hostile to newcomers.

Veterans frequently respond to questions by pointing rookies at a dense and difficult to understand man page or responding to any requests with a snarky “let me Google that for you.”

Learning to administer a new operating system is intimidating. We are expected to combine home experimentation, job experience and vendor certifications to get any real understanding of how operating systems, applications and devices work. With a few exceptions, education programs provide little more than a cursory overview of operating system admin. Major strains of Linux place files in different locations, use different configurations for fundamental tools and are based on different package managers. Many of the skills learned in one major strain will port to another; but coming to grips with the differences is not easy.

How can we take greenhorn Windows admins and get them comfortable enough with Linux to see production deployment in their environments? My answer to the shock of Linux fragmentation is Webmin.

Webmin is a web-based configuration tool for Linux. You install it using whatever package manager is appropriate for your strain of Linux. Drop the firewall for just long enough to go here. Go to Network, Linux Firewall, create a firewall rule allowing port 10000 to communicate with your administration computer and turn the firewall back on.

Once set up, all of the critical elements required to administer any Linux system are available to you. You can adjust the network or firewall configuration, manage partitions or run updates using the native package manager of your distribution. There are modules for most major applications. You can load third-party modules for any project that chooses to code one.

Webmin abstracts the differences of the distributions from one another. You can have virtual appliances or file servers running Debian, RedHat or SuSE and, as long as they have Webmin installed, it doesn’t matter: Webmin provides a common administrative interface to all of them. No need to ask yourself which distribution, package, text editor or what-have-you is better suited to the task. Thanks to Webmin, Linux is Linux is Linux; leave the differentiation and infighting to someone else.

To enjoy the bountiful harvest of functionality that Linux provides, you must overcome the fear of its differences. Webmin is an excellent solution to this problem. And once you’ve become familiar with it on Linux, Webmin supports Solaris and Windows as well. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Seagate brings out 6TB HDD, did not need NO STEENKIN' SHINGLES
Or helium filling either, according to reports
European Court of Justice rips up Data Retention Directive
Rules 'interfering' measure to be 'invalid'
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Cisco reps flog Whiptail's Invicta arrays against EMC and Pure
Storage reseller report reveals who's selling what
Just what could be inside Dropbox's new 'Home For Life'?
Biz apps, messaging, photos, email, more storage – sorry, did you think there would be cake?
IT bods: How long does it take YOU to train up on new tech?
I'll leave my arrays to do the hard work, if you don't mind
Amazon reveals its Google-killing 'R3' server instances
A mega-memory instance that never forgets
USA opposes 'Schengen cloud' Eurocentric routing plan
All routes should transit America, apparently
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.