We have 3 web designers that are currently logging in to our server via root to configure apache and setup websites.

I have very basic linux knowledge (I'm a web designer) and have created users and groups via Webmin - but how do you give the group access to:

  • Apache (/etc/apache2/)
  • MySQL
  • PHP
  • SSH (rsync etc)
  • The webroot

They need to be able to transfer files via rsync, upload and dump databases and setup virtual hosts etc.

Incase it makes a difference, Virtualmin is also installed on this server - which is a Debain 7 server.

I'm obviously using the wrong search terms as I can't find easy, basic info so any pointers in the right direction would be much appreciated.

1 Answer 1


I would never use webmin, virtualmin or any so-called "control panel" for any serious task.

The majority of the tasks you enumerate do not need direct access to the managed host:

  • the contents under the webroot should be managed using any of the many version control managers out there, my choice would be git. Set up a hub and a live repositories as described here.
  • setup a chrooted vsftp server to provide access to directly upload content to an area outside the repository.
  • you can use the hub-live schema to manage the apache configuration. You could even configure hooks to test the correctness of the configuration files and gracefully restart the server. Another alternative is to provide limited access to the developers to run specific commands using sudo.
  • MySQL can be accessed remotely if configured securely, or you can use the method linked above to provide access via sudo.
  • No worries, your post is a bit out of our league sorry - hence trying to use webmin. It's a shame good security practices aren't easier to implement but I understand that it's probably a complex subject - thanks for your suggestions though. Cheers
    – CMSCSS
    Commented May 1, 2014 at 21:44

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