Webmin: Simple, Secure Linux Management - Page 2

Webmin provides a simple, secure interface to manage Linux services. Here's how to set it up and tighten it down.

 By Carla Schroder
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Lost Password
Webmin comes with a script for restoring a lost Webmin password. (Which once again illustrates the moldy old Unix dictum, "Those who have physical access to the box own it.") For example, suppose you created the "webminadmin" user and then lost the password. Change it with the changepass.plscript:

# /usr/share/webmin/changepass.pl /etc/webmin webminadmin newpassword

The location of this script may be somewhere else on your system; this example is from Debian.

Remote Administration
Webmin is great for administering headless boxes and servers that do not run X Window. You don't have to hassle with something like ncurses to get a nice GUI on an X-less box. Webmin needs to be installed only on the servers; all you need on your remote box is a Web browser. It doesn't even need to be a graphical browser, text browsers like Lynx, Links and Elinks work fine.

Connect to your server with the hostname or IP address:

$ https://stinkpad:10000

If you aren't using SSL, it's http. To connect across the Internet use the fully-qualified domain name:

$ https://stinkpad.carla.com:10000

You definitely don't want to do that on an unencrypted connection. It's a good idea to refine your IP access controls; ideally you'll be able to strictly limit access. This example shows how to allow local LAN access, specific outside IPs and domains:


Webmin gives you the best of both GUI and CLI worlds. Don't let stuffy command-line commandos deter you from giving it a try.


This article was originally published on Sep 21, 2005
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