Build/Manage In-House Linux Server Using Virtual/Webmin

Not sure this is the right forum but here goes:

Backstory: We used to back up our California hosted websites (all managed with VirtualMin and Web Min) on our in house Hawaii Mac OS X server. I had an FTP client running as a daemon on the OSX server here that would run on a schedule and back up changed files every night for each of the site… rsync would have be much more efficient, but Vicom’s FTP client has an easy GUI so I used that… periodically our server here goes to tape and then gets sent off to planet Crypton as a disaster recovery program. We also ran Apache on the OS X server here, but it was a huge pain and OSX implementation of httpd was horrific, half the time if failed and every upgrade cause the web services to die… Anyway, we switched to Synology devices for the local server and they had no standard httpd options and now all our sites are not mirrored here. and I haved no local Web Sites inside the LAN. Sys/Net admin here told me “We can get you your own PC and then you can do whatever you want…” So the plan is to purchase a Lenovo PC, wipe the drive, install Ubuntu plug it into the LAN and away we go… it would have SSH out to the servers in California, just like any other machine on the network, but no outside access would be allowed. So far, sounds good. I could actually have live Ubuntu sites here in House that would function exactly like the Ubuntu instances in California… much better than using OS X…So now to my questions.

  1. if I wipe a new little box, if I install VirtualMin, will it do the work of installing ubuntu for me or should I install Ubuntu first and then install VirtualMin

  2. Since sys admin here is very tough on security and does not want to allow any outside access… will it suffice if webmin and virtualmin can reach out via SSH? I’m assuming that should suffice and that they never need to have access the other way? Not sure how that works. But I can SSH from my own MacBook Pro and have interactive ssh sessions… so the new server will have that same access where the session is initiated from the IP here and not from outside.

  3. Can I use VirtualMin to manage 6 sites internally that are not see on the internet outside? Do I need another license? It would be so “cool” if the internatl server set exactly matching the live servers, not only the sites themselves, but the management wrapper as well…

  4. Assuming 1-3 above is all working… I think I can just tell VirtualMin to mirror the remote site to the local box and it will do that job, and probably do a better job than me trying to just Fetch all the content manually (the OS X server was taken out almost a year ago and we are reallly, really behind now…though we do have snapshots at Linode… I don’t have a “real” back up anywhere right now… not good!"

Not sure this is the place for this kind of query, but perhaps a thread here on “building an in House server with VirtualMin/WebMin” could be useful for the knowledge base here.


  1. Install Ubuntu first. Go for a bare bones minimal server install of a long term support edition like 14.04. Then install Virtualmin. The Virtualmin script always works best for me as it installs everything you need automatically.

  2. You can always set up firewall rules on your router or Virtualmin iptables to only allow SSH access from the static IP addresses of the servers that you need to mirror.

  3. Can’t see a problem with that. An extra license I’d imagine yes.

  4. You say you don’t have a real backup anywhere. Have you tried using Virtualmin’s Scheduled Backups? You could set up automated backups for all your sites to your new internal server via SSH. Granted that’s not a complete backup of the entire server, but for disaster recovery it’s a very viable option.

@emotler: Thanks for the reply… long delay… for me to get back here… I never did get any notification from this new system. So I’m think “hmmm perhaps their new site is not sending me updates to forum threads?” indeed that appears to be the case. There used to be a “subscribe to this topic/issue” check box, but I don’t see it here.

OK, new box was ordered… will arrive next week… then the fun begins.