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For the linux beginner this looks like a tool solving many many problems.
Any downfalls in using this?
I don't know of any downside - but then I don't fully understand all the features. I mostly use it for moving files about and setting up cron jobs. I like it.
There was a security update about 2 months ago, but my system chappie had that covered well before I went into panic mode:)
In fact administering all apache, database etc stuff is a snap with webmin, plus you can administer services, users, cronjobs etc etc.
The downside I'm seeing is, like with any other graphical interface, it prevents me from going into the nitty-gritty of things, thus keeping me from fully understanding what I'm doing...
Use it every month to check for Webmin updates and upgrades - latest is 0.99 I think.
I also use to upgrade all of apache, php, debian, everything.
The file manager is useful for browsing files and doing a quick check on log files.
Setting up things like timesync'ing is also cool.
Oh yes, dont forget apache admin. It's a breeze to add new virtual servers, configure cgi-bin stuff, etc.
That is pretty much the downside, if getting into the nitty gritty is something you want. Most *nix GUIs built are most useful if you already know how to accomplish something without the GUI (go figure). Webmin goes well beyond that, and is very useful as a remote sysadmin tool, easy access from anywhere you can get you hands on a browser.
How secure can it be ?
Will I have to spend as much time learning how to secure this new door-way to the OS as learning the actual config files ?
Webmin does run as a server process and has root privaliges so there are always concerns. Though security settings are easily changed and if you have a static IP can be set to ignore anthing but communication from your specific IP. It is a good idea to run Webmin on a obscure port and have a program like PortSentry running to keep port scanners at bay.
I feel safe with it.