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Windows-to-Linux roadmap: Part 3. Introduction to Webmin
By Chris Walden - 2004-05-24 Page:  1 2 3 4

Installing Webmin

The first step to working with Webmin is to install it. Webmin is included with a few distributions, but it will be just as easy to download it from the Webmin site (see Resources for a link).

At the time of this writing, the current version is 1.90. The correct method for installation will vary depending in your distribution. If you are using Red Hat Linux or one of the UnitedLinux distributions (SuSE, Turbo, Connectiva, or Caldera), then the RPM will be the simplest method of installation. If you are using a different distribution, you will need to check the documentation for your distribution and the Webmin installation instructions to determine the best method for you. RPM installation will be assumed.

First check to see if Webmin is installed on your system. From a text terminal, enter the following:

rpm -q webmin

If Webmin is installed on your system, you will receive a version number:


or an indication that Webmin is not installed:

package webmin is not installed

Installing software packages
Most packages on Linux install just as easily as the Webmin example in this article. For more on installing and deleting packages -- and even on compiling programs from source code -- see Part 9 of this series.

Even if Webmin is already installed, it will probably be a version lower than the current one available for download. In this case, you can do an upgrade or a fresh install with the following command:

rpm -Uvh webmin-1.090-1.noarch.rpm

A verbose upgrade is done with a progress bar printed with # marks.

RPM noarch
You will notice that Webmin is listed as a "noarch" package. Since RPMs are binary files, they are typically compiled for a particular architecture such as i386 or ppc. Installing the package on the wrong architecture can have bad results. Since Webmin is written in Perl, which is architecture independent, the "noarch" designation is used.

When Webmin is installed, it activates by default. But Webmin does not install with SSL activated. SSL requires the installation of a Perl module called Net::SSLeay. Until this is installed, Webmin will only be secure to run from the local console. Securing Webmin will be briefly covered at the end of this article.

Practical Extraction and Reporting Language (Perl)
Perl is a multi-platform interpreted programming language that has been around since 1987. It is available on a wide variety of platforms, including Windows, and provides sophisticated scripting capabilities. Perl excels at text-processing and became very popular for Web CGI programming. Perl is extensible by adding modules, which are function libraries, also written in Perl. Most modules, and indeed Perl itself, are available under a generous free license called The Artistic License (see Resources for a link).

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First published by IBM developerWorks

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