Will editing configuration files manually break webmin/virtualmin?


I’m used to modifying the configuration files (e.g. named.conf, master.cf, httpd.conf) manually, but would like to make use of Virtualmin to automatically do most of the hard work of setting configuration for new domains.

If I edit these files manually (by hand), assuming I don’t make mistakes, will these changes affect Virtualmin (i.e. does it break virtualmin)? Does Virtualmin maintain a separate database (of config/meta-data) in parallel with the actual Linux configs, or does it use the Linux configs as its primary source of config data?



Those are fine questions! As a bit of a command line fellow myself, that was one of my issues in using a control panel.

However, where ever possible – Virtualmin plays nicely with folks manually editing config files.

If you’d like to tweak some Apache settings, add a DNS record, or maybe make some tweaks to Postfix – that’s no problem. There’s very little metadata Virtualmin keeps – it typically tries to directly edit config files.

There’s a handful of things you can’t do that would confuse Virtualmin. Whenever you create a new domain in Virtualmin, it’ll add that domain to Apache, create a database, setup DNS zone records, and the like.

If you were to go manually change your database name – Virtualmin would have no idea where the database went. Or if you edit your Apache config and change the name of your domain in there – Virtualmin wouldn’t know where that went.

However, most of the things you can’t do make sense… most people wouldn’t try to do those things. And if you need to change things like those two examples, they’re easy enough to do from within Virtualmin.

In the majority of cases, I continue to admin my server from the command line, outside of adding new domains via Virtualmin.

Does that answer your question?


Yes that makes sense. Thanks.