Install Virtualmin Locally on Unsupported OS

I’m ready to start playing around with alternatives to CentOS on a local testing server, probably starting with Oracle Linux.

I want to install Virtualmin to simulate my planned target server as best as possible. Ultimately I’ll most likely be doing a cPanel > Virtualmin migration, but for now I’ll probably plant the files and databases manually to work out any OS-specific bugs. So my plan is:

  1. Install and update the OS
  2. Install Virtualmin to duplicate the customizations
  3. Create an empty Virtual Server, like domain.local
  4. Manually plant the files and create the databases
  5. In the future, wipe the testing server, reinstall the OS and Virtualmin, and test again using the cPanel > Virtualmin import.

First question: Is there any way to force Virtualmin to install on an unsupported OS? It’s a local testing server, so I don’t care if it’s buggy. That’s kind of the point of testing it.

Second question: Is it possible to install Virtualmin Pro on a local testing server with a dynamic IP? That would be for the next stage. At this stage GPL should be good enough for my purposes.

This is preliminary. I’ll probably wind up going with Rocky or Lenix in the end. But Oracle should give me a chance to work out any problems specifically related to RHEL 8.

Thanks,

Richard

**Operating system:Probably Oracle to Start With
**OS version:8

Oracle Linux looks like a really strong contender and good option for a CentOS replacement…healing, patching, 100% RH Binary compliant.

Unfortunately:

Phase 2 of 3: Installation
Enabling Red Hat CodeReady package repository [ERROR] Failed with error: 1
[ ✘ ]

[ERROR] Something went wrong. Exiting.

My guess is that Virtualmin thinks Oracle Linux is a licensed RHEL and tries to access a subscription-only service.

Also, Oracle doesn’t recognize Virtualmin’s certificate, which stalled the first installation before it started. That was easy enough to fix by running

openssl s_client -showcerts -connect software.virtualmin.com:443

and copying the certificate to /etc/pki/ca-trust/source/anchors, then running update-ca-trust. But that just got me a few more lines along before the installation failed.

Richard

Convince the installer it is CentOS 8. So, modify /etc/redhat-release to claim to be CentOS 8. I don’t know exactly what that looks like, but you can check here to see what the os_detect function is looking for: slib/slib.sh at a25e9590322aa6dfe3d8866695ac5310d6a6a0d9 · virtualmin/slib · GitHub

From there…see what packages can’t be found. It’ll maybe also fail when trying to enable EPEL and SCL. You may need to fix that, somehow. Assuming the new OS is actually compatible, those repos should work, once enabled.

That’s actually the plan. I wiped the drive and installed CentOS 8 to get that information, as well as provide a baseline experience for my own comparison. Installation on CentOS 8 was uneventful.

EPEL worked. I didn’t try SCL.

Richard

Okay, I did get Virtualmin GPL installed on Oracle Linux. But it was kind of a nightmare, and there’s still one problem I had to workaround rather than fix (had to disable the GPG check for the PowerTools repo, which was in itself a chore to install).

The other problem is that impersonating CentOS 8 causes reliance on CentOS 8 repos that presumably will disappear (or at least no longer be updated) when EOL rolls around. Oracle has some of them on their service, but not all of them. They also recommend against using them in production.

I’m not done farting around with this, but I’m not optimistic that it’s viable right now, as-is. But if you want to try it, fixing every error as they pop up, it is doable. I do in fact have a working Virtualmin on Oracle Linux 8. But it required a bunch of hacks that will probably stop working when CentOS 8 EOL’s, and also one security compromise (that probably can be fixed, but subject to the same EOL problem).

If Oracle wants to make their distro a direct drop-in replacement for CentOS 8, they’re going to have to find replacements for the CentOS repos. I kind of doubt that they will for something they give away for free. I’m more optimistic that Greg or Igor will than that Oracle will.

Richard

But on the other hand…

I did start with a minimal Oracle Linux install. Maybe some of the additional options that I didn’t select contain replacements for the missing items. I need to find out exactly what’s behind those check boxes. That will probably be my next project.

Richard