Remote administration of Linux
The glory of Windows, Gates and the fences surrounding them ...
Ever wondered why you pay so much for those closed source products that
help you manage your system remotely on Windows. I guess it comes with the
territory. Realistically speaking there aren't many tools available out
there in the market that make remote administering of Windows a real easy
task. One of the most slick pieces of software that I know of comes from
the stables of Symantec called PC Anywhere.
In sharp contrast, the open source movement has several options for
remotely administering your PC. One of them is a nifty utility called
Webmin. Its home page is located at http://www.webmin.com.
Webmin as the name suggests is a Web Based tool for configuring and
tweaking your Linux box remotely. By remote I mean via a LAN/WAN or even
accessing a server hosted at some server farm or data center on a
broadband network with your service provider. Where your Linux box is
located doesn't really matter. All that you need to remotely maintain
your Linux box is a browser and a connection to the network. Preferably
you should be using a browser which supports JAVA and SSL.
Seasoned Linux users will claim that remote administration can be more
safely accomplished via a simple TELNET or SSH connection to the Linux
box. I do not dispute this point. However, there are a large section of
Linux users who are not comfortable typing cryptic commands at the Unix
shell prompt. A graphical and easy to use web based interface is no doubt
better from their point of view. And even for seasoned Linux users,
web-based administration does give you a certain level of flexibility. For
instance if you are traveling, you could walk up to a cybercafe and
configure your Linux box back home through a Windows based web browser.
As I mentioned earlier, you can download Webmin from it's home page
located at http://www.webmin.com or any of the mirrors mentioned out
there. The download size is a manageable 3 MB or so in the RPM format (Red
Hat Package Manager). I would suggest that you download the Webmin RPM's
from the site as they are comparatively easier to install. At present
Webmin is at version 0.82. Before you install Webmin you must make sure
you have Perl, version 5.005 or above, installed on your system. Every