How to install Webmin with SSL on Ubuntu 14.04

Introduction

Webmin is a web-based system administration tool for Unix-like systems. It provides an easy alternative to command line system administration and can be used to manage various aspects of a system, such as users and services, through the use of the provided Webmin modules.

To install Webmin, you will need to have access to a user with root privileges.

Note that you are required to use password-based authentication enabled to login to your server via Webmin.

Log in via SSH

# ssh root@server_IP_address

Install Webmin

To install Webmin via apt-get, you must first add the Webmin repository to your sources.list file.

# nano /etc/apt/sources.list

Now press Ctrl-W then Ctrl-V to navigate to the end of the file, then add the following lines to the file:

deb http://download.webmin.com/download/repository sarge contrib
deb http://webmin.mirror.somersettechsolutions.co.uk/repository sarge contrib

When you are finished editing, save the file by pressing Ctrl-X, then y, RETURN.

Now add the Webmin GPG key to apt, so the source repository you added will be trusted. This command will do that:

# wget -q http://www.webmin.com/jcameron-key.asc -O- | sudo apt-key add –

Before installing Webmin, you must update apt-get’s package lists:

# sudo apt-get update

Now to install Webmin:

# sudo apt-get install webmin -y

After the installation is complete, the Webmin service will start automatically.

Log in to Webmin

In a web browser, access your server’s Webmin login page via its public IP address (the same IP address you used to login via SSH) on port 10000. By default, Webmin will start with SSL/TLS enabled, so you will need to use HTTPS to connect to it.

Open this URL in your web browser (your IP address):

https://server_IP_address:10000

You will be prompted with a warning that says your server’s SSL certificate is not trusted. This is because Webmin automatically generates and installs an SSL certificate upon installation, and this SSL certificate was not issued by a certificate authority that is trusted by your computer. Although your computer cannot verify the validity of the certificate, you know that you are, in fact, accessing your own server. It is fine to proceed.

Instruct your web browser to trust the certificate. If you are using Chrome, for example, click the Advanced link, then click the Proceed to server_IP_address (unsafe) link. If you are using Firefox, click I Understand the Risks, then the Add Exception… button, then the Confirm Security Exception button.

At this point, you will see the Webmin login screen:

Enter the same login credentials that you used to log in to your server via SSH. This user must have root privileges via sudo.

That’s Webmin successfully installed, and it is ready to be used.

Using Webmin

When you first log into Webmin, you will be taken to the System Information page, which will show you an overview of your system’s resources and other miscellaneous information. This view also shows you any Webmin updates that are available.

On the left side, you will see the navigation menu, which you can use to access the various Webmin modules and manage your server. The navigation menu is organized into categories, and each category has its own set of modules. The Webmin category is special because contains modules that are used to configure the Webmin application, while the other categories are used to perform various system administration tasks.

Example: Create a New User

A basic system administration task that you can perform with Webmin is user management. We will show you how to create a new user with the Users and Groups module.

Expand the System category in the navigation menu, then click on Users and Groups.

Then click the Create a new user. link.

Enter the Username and any other settings you want to assign to the new user, then click the Create button.

The user will be created on the server, with the specified settings.

The Users and Groups module can also be used to perform other user management tasks, such as deleting and disabling users and groups.

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