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An Introduction to Webmin
Pages: 1, 2

Building the port

Let's take a look at building the Webmin port. Become the superuser, make sure you're connected to the Internet, and type:

cd /usr/ports/sysutils/webmin make && make install

Depending upon the speed of your Internet connection, you should be able to go make yourself a pot of coffee. The make install command will run an interactive script, so at some point you should see something on your screen like this



A couple of things to note about the script. If you have a permanent Internet connection on the computer running the Webmin server, you may prefer to not have Webmin start at boot time. Instead, you can manually stop and start the Webmin server yourself so it is only available when you wish to use it. To do so, at the computer running the Webmin server, become the superuser and type:

/usr/local/etc/webmin/start

This will start the Webmin server and force it to listen for requests on your port number. To stop the Webmin server from listening for requests, type:

/usr/local/etc/webmin/stop

If the Webmin server has been stopped, users will see the following error message when they attempt to connect to the Webmin server from their web browsers:

The server may not be accepting connections or may be busy. Try connecting again later.

Also note that the very end of the install script gave you the URL for accessing the Webmin server. It should contain the hostname and port number you gave during the install. If you chose to use SSL, the URL will start with "https" instead of "http." If a user types "http" instead of "https," they will be authenticated but will receive this error message in their browser:

"Document contains no data"

If you are using SSL, the first time you make a connection to your Webmin server, your browser will prompt you to create a certificate. In subsequent connections, you can choose to trust this certificate until it expires (which will prevent further promptings) or for just this session. You'll also notice that your browser will show an icon for either a key or a closed lock, depending upon which web browser you are using; this indicates that the data is secure as it is being encrypted.

Next time: connecting to Webmin

We've now successfully installed the Webmin server. In next week's article, we'll connect to our Webmin server with a web browser and change some of the default configurations to increase the security of our connection. We'll then take a look at the powerful configuration modules that were installed with this utility.

Dru Lavigne is a network and systems administrator, IT instructor, author and international speaker. She has over a decade of experience administering and teaching Netware, Microsoft, Cisco, Checkpoint, SCO, Solaris, Linux, and BSD systems. A prolific author, she pens the popular FreeBSD Basics column for O'Reilly and is author of BSD Hacks and The Best of FreeBSD Basics.


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