Ubuntu School – Get Rolling with Webmin on Ubuntu Server 11.10

Even if some Linux purists would have you believe the command-line is the only way to go, the pragmatist in me will always take an appropriate GUI over a complicated command-line any day. You can run a lot of powerful services for your home network using one or more Ubuntu server machines. With the right tools you don’t need to be a Linux expert to make that happen.

The tool of choice is [Webmin](http://webmin.com/ “Webmin”). This is a set of web-based tools which allow you to control virtually every piece of server-side software on you Ubuntu server. The GUI is intuitive and straight-forward, the documentation is excellent, and the project is under active development.

Because Webmin isn’t in the standard repositories you will have to do a couple of quick command-line changes to configure your system to be able to find and download the apt package.

“`
sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list
“`

Once the file is open, add these lines to the bottom of the file

“`
#########################

## Package Sources for Webmin

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

Those lines will add the necessary sources to apt for it to find the Webmin package. The Webmin package has also been digitally signed by its author. By default you will need to download the author’s key so that apt can use it to verify the Webmin package at install time. Fortunately, this is really easy to do.

“`
wget http://webmin.com/jcameron-key.asc
sudo apt-key add jcameron-key.asc
“`

Now that all the prep work is done, it’s time to install Webmin.

“`
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install webmin
“`

All done! Now you can access administrative functions of your server’s services from the Webmin console: *https://yourservername:10000/*. This URL is also shown in the last few lines of the apt install details that are output to the command-line.