Surfing randomly the other day, I happened upon webmin
, a collection of Perl scripts that are designed to help manage a UNIX system via a web-based front end. Webmin includes a mini web-server which serves up browser pages designed to help you visually manage a number of basic UNIX tasks, such as process management; scheduling tasks (including a visual scheduler, quite cool!); viewing system logs in real time, managing servers such as apache, dns, sendmail, and mysql; installing custom commands; and a numer of other key tasks.
You can get a flavor for the front-end from this screenshot
of the Apache management panel. As you can see, it can customize nearly every piece of the Apache configuration file.
I downloaded and installed webmin just to see if it would work. It supports a huge number of UNIX variants, including freeBSD and Mac OS X Server. I told it I had OS X Server, and found that some modules worked, and some did not. The important ones (the scheduler, Apache configuration, system log browsing) all seemed to work fine. I had to edit a couple paths in the webmin settings, but this was easily done via the web browser.
One note of caution - this is a large
package, consisting of over 4,000 files and 17+mb of disk space. It comes with a very nice installer and
uninstaller, both of which worked as advertised ... with one exception. Make sure you install it on a volume with no spaces in the volume name, otherwise the installer will complain and fail.
Read the rest if you'd like to see how to install it.