One of the big problems for server administrators moving from either a Mac OS or Windows platform to any Linux platform is coping with the multitude of different commands & daemons (processes) that Linux runs in comparison to other platforms. As a Linux platform, Yellow Dog Linux is no exception, but a fantastic free little utility called Webmin is available from the YDL 2.1 Tasty Morsels CD or www.webmin.com/webmin/ that can be installed & ease the pain of just about any facet of Linux you can think of, including software installation, adding & deleting users & much more. This of course makes it a server administrator's dream.
Webmin is particularly easy to install & for the purposes of this guide, I've chosen to install Webmin from the source 'tarball' You can choose to install Webmin to run under SSL (Secure Socket Layer), which if you're going to administer your linux machine from a remote location, I would suggest, so this is the first part I have covered. To avoid any problems with permissions, make sure you're logged in as the 'root' user & I've also used terminal windows to
Step 1: Installing SSL Support
- Download the OpenSSL library - you can get this from www.openssl.org/source/ - at the time I wrote this, the latest version was 0.9.6b
- To expand the tar archive, open up a terminal window & navigate to the directory you downloaded the tarball into & from the shell prompt, type:
tar zxvf openssl-0.9.6b.tar.gzNow you need to enter the directory which has just been created during the decompressing by Tar, so type at the prompt:
cd openssl-0.9.6bNow you need to type at the prompt:
./configApparently this may not work on all versions, so you instead may need to type:
./ConfigureAfter this, you need to compile the source, so type at the prompt:
makeWhen this process has finished & you get another prompt, type:
tar zxvf Net_SSLea.pm-1.05.tar.gzWhen that's expanded, at the next prompt which arrives type:
cd Net_SSLea.pm-1.05Now this is what's called a Perl module. Perl should aready be installed on your system & to get this module going, you need to use Perl, so at the prompt, type:
perl Makefile.PLThen at the next prompt, type:
make installYou may get a message which indicates that there is the possibility of a compatibility problem with the newer version of OpenSSL you installed, but that it should work, just hit enter, as mine worked without any problem. To test that the installation went okay, at the prompt, type:
perl -e 'use Net::SSLeay'If you get no error messages & just a prompt, you're all set to install Webmin.
Step 2: Installing Webmin
Okay, installin Webmin folows the path of installing the SSL support, so you'll be getting the hang of it by now. You need to download the Webmin tarball, for which the latest version can be found on a link at the top of the Webmin homepage at www.webmin.com/webmin/
Once you have downloaded it, you should have a file that looks something like:
webmin-0.91.tar.gzYou will need to transfer it to the directory you want to install it into, so at the prompt, type:
cp webmin-0.91.tar.gz /usr/localNow you need to go into the directory you've just copied the Webmin tarball into, so at the pompt, type:
tar zxvf webmin-0.91.tar.gzTar will then expand the archive, which will take a short while. When the prompt returns, type:
cd webmin-0.91Now you're in the directory, at the prompt, type:
./setup.shThis launches the Webmin installer & you'll be asked some questions, most of which you can safely just hit enter to accept the default. The exceptions to these of course are the Operating System, which you'll need to choose from the list. The other major question is whether you want to use SSL with Webmin - having gone to the trouble of installing SSL support, the answer is obviously yes! The other question I think you need to know about is which port Webmin will listen on - the default is 10000, so I'd stick with that.
During the setup, you'll be asked to enter a username & password - for security purposes, I'd suggest something other than the root password, but that's obviously up to you. Lastly, you'll aso be asked if you want Webmin started at boot time, which I reckon is a good idea, as you'll be able to administer your machine remotely whenever your server is up & running. Once finished, Webmin will be up & running, so now you'll want to test your installation, so fire up a web browser from a remote machine (or using your favourite browser from your linux machine). To log in to your Webmin, you need to enter the following URL in the location bar of the browser:
https://yourdomain.com:10000Note the 's' after http which reads https. If you don't use the 's', you'll just get a blank page & won't be able to log in. Once you hit enter, you'll get a message about a 'non-authoritative certificate' or similar which you just need to go through the procedure & accept the certificate - when you have accepted the certificate, you'll be presented with the Webmin login screen:
Now you'll see the front page of Webmin with a few 'tabs' which you can click to explore the various areas of Webmin. There is one slight error I've noticed in Webmin, which the author tells me he will fix with the next version & that's with the BIND DNS module. Now, you need to go & edit the module configuration to suit Yellow Dog Linux (assuming you're running DNS on your server)
Go & click on the 'Servers' tab to get a screen which looks like:
... then on the 'BIND 8' icon that pops up with a screen like:
Clicking on the 'Module Config', you'll get a screen which looks like:
few lines down, you'll see a section which mentions 'Path to PID' Click the default, which reads /var/run/named.pid & scroll to the bottom of the page & click the 'save' button:
Congratulations, you've now got your Webmin installed & running! I haven't gotten around to checking out all the modules for correct configuration, so you may find errors in addition to the BIND 8 problem mentioned above. I hope the above guide helps you out in your installation & administration. Good luck with your further linux adventures.
"I'd like to thank Webmin author Jamie Cameron for some assistance & also numerous Linux users who have assisted me in getting to where I have so far on the Linux learning curve, as well as the Terra Soft Team for Yellow Dog Linux." --Terry Allen.