webmin, zentyal, conf file policy, etc

Tyler J. Wagner tyler at tolaris.com
Wed Oct 3 11:08:45 UTC 2012

On 2012-10-03 03:45, Scott Kitterman wrote:
> On Tuesday, October 02, 2012 04:58:37 PM Neal McBurnett wrote:
>>  If a package upgrade includes a change to a conffile (a configuration file
>> managed by dpkg) compared to the version installed by the old version of
>> the package, and you have made changes to said conffile, you will be
>> prompted about these changes. If, however, something else (e.g.  webmin)
>> has made these changes on your behalf, you will be prompted about changes
>> you have not made to a conffile you likely have never heard of. I'm just
>> saying that this is not acceptable, which is a major reason why webmin is
>> not supported in Debian and Ubuntu, because this is /exactly/ what webmin
>> does /all the time/.
> This is a violation of Debian and (Ubuntu) policy.  See 
> http://www.debian.org/doc/debian-policy/ch-files.html#s-config-files

I'm not sure that's entirely fair. One could view Webmin as an attempt to
replicate CLI configuration of your system with web-based GUI
configuration. In that regard, the fact that it edits your config files in
/etc/ is fine with me. I suppose Debian policy wants some kind of
separation such that config files in /etc/ all have hooks into /var/, where
webmin is allowed to make edits?

That is silly. Debian policy in this regard is that software isn't allowed
to edit files in /etc/ for you. Since that is webmin's entire raison
d'être, it is software non grata.

Anyway, installing webmin on Debian or Ubuntu is easy. Deb files are on the
website, or you can use Virtualmin's repo (which has webmin in it):

deb http://software.virtualmin.com/gpl/ubuntu/ virtualmin-lucid main
deb http://software.virtualmin.com/gpl/ubuntu/ virtualmin-universal main


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