Docs/FAQ feedback - 2 items clarification

Question at FAQs | Webmin

may be improved by adding web UI/web interface or similar so it is clear what is the question about without the need of expanding and reading the answer. Layman may assume that you are talking about hiding whole server behind the proxy.

this question/answer is confusing to a newcomer who does not know the difference between Webmin and Virtualmin. The answer make it seems like Virtualmin runs better without Webmin.

I don’t read it that way, but I guess it could be confusing as Virtualmin is a Webmin module so you can not have Virtualmin without Webmin, so the Virtualmin installer installs Webmin anyway. I didn’t read anything about Virtualmin running better without Webmin in any of that page

I don’t read that as confusing. Perhaps just embolden the answer?

It is this:

“Should I install Webmin before I run virtualmin-install.sh script? … No. The install script runs best on a freshly installed … system.”

Layman assuming that he should not install Webmin, because installation of a Virtualmin works better on a system where is nothing (incl. Webmin) installed. That is a non native english speaker layman understanding.

That statement it very very very true.
But this is the Webmin docs

That does detract from the fact that virtualmin is a webmin module, and it may implied in the virtualmin docs somewhere and will require webmin to be installed. The installer installs webmin and it’s virtualmin module (along with others) and configures other services in the way virtualmin expects, hence a clean system is desirable but if you have some time on your hands you could install webmin and whatever modules you want and configure the underlying services the way virtualmin expects. I have setup the virtualmin and other modules by hand and everything works, the installer just saves you a bunch of time and head aches, it’s only requiement is a clean os with no services that virtualmin is going to manage are installed

Thanks for the heads up! Agreed! Fixed now!

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The Virtualmin automated installer should be run on a system where is nothing (including Webmin) installed

I suggest this be used as replacement.

The Virtualmin install script installs Webmin.

We’re telling you to start from a freshly installed OS as emphatically and as thoroughly as we can, because people keep trying to install and configure a bunch of random stuff, and then trying to install Virtualmin. That can’t work reliably. The Virtualmin installer needs a clean slate, or it may not be able to make the changes it needs to make (and any changes you made before installing may conflict with what the installer needs to do).

It has nothing to do with how Virtualmin “runs”, it has to do with how it installs.

That’s a correct understanding. You should not install Webmin. The Virtualmin install script will install it for you.

I am slightly off topic, can you not add blockers into the installer script so if virtualmin sees things installed it will just not continue the installation or even start it. check for things like mysql, mariadb, postfix etc… this might reduce support issues. I can add a GitHub issue if needed.

I’m not sure but in the past Joe indicated that if mysql was installed prior to virtualmin the installer would not try to install maria, so this may bare true for anything preinstalled however I would guess the installer would leave configuration as is rather than trying to configure the service(s) to suit webmin’s virtualmin module which in turn may lead to an unstable virtualmin instalation. Perhaps the installer needs to ask you what services to install rather than just installing what it see fit

We already warn about preinstalled stuff, when detected.

Yes, databases are a little different. If you must use MySQL instead of Mariadb, then it can be installed first. Likewise, if you want PostgreSQL, you can install that before you run the Virtualmin installation wizard and it’ll be detected and available in Virtualmin.

I don’t want the installer to ask a bunch of questions. There’s no reason you shouldn’t add software later. (And I don’t want to encourage an infinite variety of choices. It’s hard enough to support the standard stack, and it’s already hard enough to get folks to tell us what software and versions they’re asking about, I don’t want to add variables for every component, even though Virtualmin can work with a huge variety of services.)

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