Q and A with Jamie Cameron of Webmin

Blane Warrene

Webmin was originally on a path to be released as a commercial software product, and early versions were released as betas prior to 2000. It was then that Caldera sponsored development of Webmin and since it has been released under a free license.

In conjunction with my two-part series on using Webmin for Linux administration, I also exchanged an email with Jamie Cameron, the originator and lead developer on the Webmin project.

BW: Do you measure downloads from the Sourceforge site? What is your weekly download rate?

JC: Yes, Sourceforge has download statistics. In fact, they are linked from
http://www.sourceforge.net/projects/webadmin . Last time I checked, the average was about 5000 [downloads] per day.

BW: What is next for Webmin? Any roadmap information you want to share? Are there particular areas where you would like to see developers contributing?

JC: My biggest objectives at the moment are:

  • Adding new modules for servers or services not currently supported by
    Webmin, like vsftp and INN.
  • Keeping up with all the new Linux distributions that get released, so that Webmin remains compatible with them.
  • Re-factoring and re-writing some of the existing modules to use new common UI generation code, instead of printing HTML directly. This would provide a more consistent user interface, simplify the code, and all themes to have more control over how modules look.
  • Expanding my Virtualmin virtual hosting module to support new features like virtual Majordomo mailing list hosting, multiple domains per user, reseller access and so on.

BW: Can you explain a bit more in detail how managing several servers from one Webmin interface works?

JC: Webmin has it’s own RPC mechanism, which allows one server to call
functions and run commands on another server running Webmin. There are
several modules that make use of this feature to do things like creating
Unix users on multiple hosts at once, by calling the user creation
function on each of those servers.