Webmin + Usermin, on Debian etch mini-HOWTO

Webmin and Usermin are handy administration interface for system administrator, which cover a lot of daily duty for system administration, e.g. apache, bind9, dhcpd, webalizer, cron jobs, logrotate, etc. some people don't suggest to use Webmin or Usermin due to security concern, but i seems it as a short cut for a newbie become professional.

BTW, Debian etch no longer coming with official support of webmin/usermin package according to many reason (http://wiki.debian.org/Webmin?highlight=%28webmin%29), but the most important point is lack of package maintainer (http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=343897). so you will not find webmin and usermin under both stable, testing and even unstable.

is the story end? not yet! official webmin/usermin website also provide debian package, which are most up-to-date! this mini-HOWTO will cover the required step for installing such 3rd party package into Debian etch.

install packages

1.       access wemin/usermin official website (http://www.webmin.com/) and get the latest debian packages, or simply run:

wget http://prdownloads.sourceforge.net/webadmin/webmin_1.350_all.deb
wget http://prdownloads.sourceforge.net/webadmin/usermin_1.280_all.deb

2.       first install their dependent packages:

apt-get install libnet-ssleay-perl libauthen-pam-perl libio-pty-perl libmd5-perl

3.       therefore you can install webmin/usermin package without error message:

dpkg -i webmin_1.350_all.deb usermin_1.280_all.deb

4.       also update your rc*.d and so webmin/usermin will startup correctly, and able to manage by using rcconf:

rm -rvf /etc/rc*d/S*webmin*
rm -rvf /etc/rc*d/K*webmin*
rm -rvf /etc/rc*d/S*usermin*
rm -rvf /etc/rc*d/K*usermin*
update-rc.d -f webmin defaults 99 01
update-rc.d -f usermin defaults 99 01

5.       you can now log into your webmin interface by https://www.example.com:10000 for webmin, and https://www.example.com:20000 for usermin

some follow up and tips

1.       remember to set auto-logout: the original debian's webmin package come with 15min auto-logout as default setting. this is a very good idea for increase the security level.

go to "Webmin -> Webmin Configuration -> Authentication", active "Auto-logout after..." and set to 15min (case of webmin), or "Webmin -> Usermin Configuration -> Authentication", active "Auto-logout after..." and set to 15min (case of usermin)

2.       remember to set IP access control: as like as the case of above, original debian's webmin package come with only 127.0.0.1 (localhost) restricted access to webmin as default setting.

go to "Webmin -> Webmin Configuration -> IP Access Control", click "Only allow from listed addresses", set to 127.0.0.1 and 192.168.0.0/16 (optional, you should fill in your LAN network) (case of webmin), or "Webmin -> Usermin Configuration -> IP Access Control", click "Only allow from listed addresses", set to 127.0.0.1 and 192.168.0.0/16 (case of usermin)