Best User Installation method

Hi guys,

My installations originally were done using the root user. However, i am now starting to think there is a better way (perhaps what you guys may say is the proper way).

In the following options…

  1. Which is best?
  2. Are there any advantages one over the other, if so what are they are why?
  3. Is there an option 3 which is better?

Option 1

Install using the ubuntu root user (ie “sudo su” to root user)

  • In ubuntu shell, remove the password from root user so that it cannot log into webmin/virtualmin/cloudmin anymore (because it doesnt have a password and webmin needs a password to login)
  • login and administer with an ubuntu user who has sudo abilities

Option 2

Install and administer virtualmin using the ubuntu user with sudo abilities from the very begining


    • install should always be done by root (its admin account on linux eh)
    • Are there any advantages one over the other, if so what are they are why - I did not understand.
    • sure, install it on debian or centos = much stable and secure

It doesn’t matter. When you sudo, you become root for the purposes of the installation. Virtualmin/Webmin run as root, in any event (they have to, they’re managing the whole system).

Virtualmin/Webmin will allow any user with sudo ALL privileges (the first user you create in Ubuntu will have these privileges, usually) to login and act as root. So, you don’t have to login to Virtualmin as root to be a root-capable user. You can think of it like logging in as that user and then running every command under “sudo” (this analogy sorta works because Webmin logging will include the actual username, just as you can setup the system to log the user performing sudo actions).

When i install webmin as an ubuntu root user, it then automatically gives root:root ownership to programs i install such as wordpress and whmcs.

Im not sure these are supposed to run as root owner are they? I thought they are meant to be owned by apache… www-data?


Hmm, can you describe the process you’re using to install these programs?

It sounds like it may be due to how the programs are being installed.

It’s normal for Webmin/Virtualmin to be installed as the root user. However, you’d want to install any apps as the owner of the domain… let us know how you were going about installing those apps and we can help sort out how to correct the ownership issues.


Whmcs was installed manually by uploading it using the webmin filemanager (as there doesnt appear to be a virtualmin filemanager on my system). I put the files into a virtualmin virtual sub server called

I suspect its made the root owner because i used the webmin filemanager. Whats needed is tue virtualmin sub server filemanager yes?

I didnt use the install script because it was, at the time of install, experiencing an issue and would not work correctly (see my other thread about that).

Two question on the run here…i havent looked,

  1. does virtualmin virtual server have a filemanager or only the webmin one?

  2. As a workaround, would i need to log out and log back in as the whmcs user before installing? (I see in whmcs docs it should be run as the cpnael user)