Virtualmin Review: A Free Web Server Control Panel

How would you like to be able to manage multiple Linux virtual servers (or even one server for that matter) from one simple web-based GUI? Look no further than Virtualmin, a web hosting control panel for Linux and Unix systems. You can manage, modify, and control virtual domains, mail servers, databases, file servers, applications and more from one simple to use dashboard. Plus, you have four options for using virtualmin: web, mobile, command line, and remote API.

Virtualmin has two versions, VirtualMin GPL which is open source and free to use, as well as Virtualmin Professional with added features and support. All prices are for one server hosting a max number of domains:

  • 10 annual license: $139.00
  • 50 Annual License: $199.00
  • 100 Annual license: $299.00
  • 250 annual license: $399.00
  • Unlimited: $499.00
  • Unlimited Lifetime: $999.00

The Virtualmin download page list the steps to install Virtualmin on your server.

Note that Virtualmin has a setup script that makes installation easier, but it will only work with certain operating systems (Virtualmin calls them grade A):

  • CentOS 5 and 6 on i386 or x86_64
  • RHEL 5 and 6 on i386 and x86_64
  • Scientific Linux 6 on i386 and x86_64
  • Debian 6 on i386 or amd64
  • Ubuntu 8.04 LTS and 10.04 LTS on i386 or amd64

You can use Virtualmin with other server OS’s, but the script will probably not work, which makes installing a bit more of a hassle. There is a way to “fake” the install script to thinking it’s installing on a grade A OS. For example, if you want to install Virtualmin on Ubuntu 11.10, a simple change will make the install.sh script think it’s being installed on versions 10.04 LTS. (no guarantees that this will work with every system)

nano /etc/issue

replace “Ubuntu 11.10 \n \l” with “Ubuntu 10.04.02 LTS

Save the file (Ctrl + o) and exit (Ctrl + x)

Note: The Ubuntu LTS (long term support ) releases are considered grade A by VirtualMin, but as of this writing Ubuntu’s 12.04 LTS is not listed.

Download the script:

wget http://software.virtualmin.com/gpl/scripts/install.sh

or

curl http://software.virtualmin.com/gpl/scripts/install.sh

Make the script executable:

chmod u+x install.sh

Run the install script:

/bin/sh install.sh

As long as you have a grade A system (or at least fake that you have one), the script will handle the entire install process. When it’s finished, all you need to do is open a browser and go to port 10000 on that server:

https://yourdomain.com:10000

What can you do with Virtualmin? Pretty much everything. There is a dashboard where you can see all the running processes and services. You can customize it to show you the data you want to see. An administrator can easily use Virtualmin’s interface to do almost every task imaginable: Modify DNS settings, configure email settings, schedule backups for all of your virtual servers, manage plugins and applications, manage services, and much more.

Try Virtualmin yourself by using the free online demo.