Build a Media Server - Background

How to administer Ubuntu Server remotely using Webmin

NOTE: If you're jumping into this guide here and have not been following from the start then it's worth mentioning that this guide has been tested on Trusty Tahr 14.04LTS, Precise Pangolin 12.04LTS, Maverick Meerkat 10.10, Lucid Lynx 10.04, Karmic Koala 9.10, 9.04 Jaunty, and 8.10 Intrepid.

Webmin is a fantastic application which makes the administration of Ubuntu Server a breeze. It's a web-based interface enabling you configure and maintain your server without having to go near any configuration files or learn any Linux commands.

To install Webmin via Putty you first need to go to http://www.webmin.com/download.html and look under the heading "Debian package suitable for Debian, Ubuntu or other derived Linux" to determine the latest version. At the time of writing this is webmin_1.730_all.deb

NOTE: As and when later versions of Webmin are released you do not have to re-install the application from scratch using these instructions. Each time you launch Webmin via your browser Webmin automatically checks to see whether a newer version has been released and offers to perform the upgrade for you.

TIP: If you're using Putty and are going to be following this guide step-by-step then you can save yourself some typing by simply highlighting each command, right-clicking on it and selecting Copy. Then toggle over to your Putty Session and right-click once more. The command you've just copied from here will be automatically pasted into your Putty Session.

So, once you've determined the latest Webmin version type/paste the following command into a Putty Session:

wget http://prdownloads.sourceforge.net/webadmin/webmin_1.730_all.deb

which will download the package into your current directory. Obviously you should replace webmin_1.730_all.deb with whatever the latest version is called. 

Now type the following commands to update the package lists from the repositories and to install Webmin itself:

sudo apt-get update

sudo dpkg -i webmin_1.730_all.deb

Obviously, as above, replace webmin_1.730_all.deb with whatever the latest version is called.

Errors were encountered while processing: webmin

If Webmin says that it encountered errors preventing it from installing properly then type the following command to fix. Webmin will then re-install itself automatically:

sudo apt-get install -f

Once it's completed it should report a message along the following lines:

Webmin install complete. You can now login to https://MyMediaServer:10000/ as root with your root password, or as any user who can use sudo to run commands as root.

I recommend changing the Webmin password by typing the following command:

sudo /usr/share/webmin/changepass.pl /etc/webmin root YourNewPassword

where YourNewPassword is the password you want to use. This will return a message along the lines of "Updated password of Webmin user root".

You can now delete the Webmin installation file by typing:

rm webmin_1.730_all.deb

Launching Webmin

To launch Webmin type the following string into the address bar of your browser:

https://mymediaserver:10000/

where mymediaserver is the name you gave your server when you installed Ubuntu. Instead of using the server name the IP address of the server will work just fine.

The first time you launch Webmin your browser will likely complain about the certificate for this site so just add the site as an exception, or choose "Continue to this website (not recommended)" to continue.

You should then be prompted for a username and password. Enter root for the username and use the password you just created above. You should then see the Webmin Home Screen similar to the one below:

Webmin Homepage

 

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