Feeds

You don't have to be crazy to work here

Webmin saves sysadmins from the loony bin

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Sysadmin blog Webmin’s (see my last post if you don’t know what I’m talking about) strength flows from a plethora of modules which allow you to configure and control most elements of the underlying operating system. Common applications - for example, Apache - also have officially-supported modules that ship with the main Webmin installer.

In addition, there is an active community of developers who create Webmin modules for almost any server application you can imagine. Think of it as the Microsoft Management Console (MMC), except that it supports Linux and Solaris as well as Windows. Unlike the Microsoft MMC, Webmin does not require a Windows computer: all you need is a browser.

The range of system control modules is impressive. There is an excellent set of network configuration tools that I find easier to use than the native interfaces on many operating systems. User administration, scheduled task management and resource management deserve accolades too.

Log file management is a snap; there’s a module for that too. I use the log file viewer and its search utility daily, because I don’t enjoy hunting through /var/log/maillog to identify a single email amidst millions using a text editor.

File and disk management is nearly complete. There is an excellent Norton Commander-alike Java-based file manager for those who eschew SSH for basic file tasks. Volume and file system management is done well, as are the modules for mounting or sharing file systems. The frustrating exception to Webmin’s file and disk management completeness is the lack of a DRBD module.

Webmin has modules allowing you to configure and manage clustering. Clustering systems has traditionally been a special magic power reserved for those who type arcane things into a command line and mutter to themselves a lot. With Webmin, I can configure and manage most elements of a cluster with ease, but the lack of a DRBD module does throw a few roadblocks up when trying to create a “perfect” Linux cluster.

To Apache: while I consider the ability to edit httpd.conf by hand a critical skill of any webserver admin, Apache is far more than just httpd.conf. In most operating systems, elements of the configuration have spun off into ssl.conf, php.conf and many others. Webmin brings administration of those files into one place, and gives you an easy-to-use push-button interface as a bonus.

I rely on Linux-based spam servers to sanitise e-mail before it hits my Exchange servers. Webmin ships with mail management modules. Sendmail’s configuration files were designed to be modified by people who think in regular expressions, and so I find the Sendmail module to be a salvation. Without Webmin and its Sendmail module, creating and administering my spam servers would be arduous and maybe impossible.

If you area a systems administrator looking to deploy, or charged with maintaining, a Linux or Solaris system, see if a Webmin module exists for the services you use; it may be critical for your sanity. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Azure TITSUP caused by INFINITE LOOP
Fat fingered geo-block kept Aussies in the dark
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
You think the CLOUD's insecure? It's BETTER than UK.GOV's DATA CENTRES
We don't even know where some of them ARE – Maude
Cloud unicorns are extinct so DiData cloud mess was YOUR fault
Applications need to be built to handle TITSUP incidents
BOFH: WHERE did this 'fax-enabled' printer UPGRADE come from?
Don't worry about that cable, it's part of the config
Stop the IoT revolution! We need to figure out packet sizes first
Researchers test 802.15.4 and find we know nuh-think! about large scale sensor network ops
DEATH by COMMENTS: WordPress XSS vuln is BIGGEST for YEARS
Trio of XSS turns attackers into admins
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Go beyond APM with real-time IT operations analytics
How IT operations teams can harness the wealth of wire data already flowing through their environment for real-time operational intelligence.
The total economic impact of Druva inSync
Examining the ROI enterprises may realize by implementing inSync, as they look to improve backup and recovery of endpoint data in a cost-effective manner.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.