Installing Joomla, from cPanel to Virtualmin

Hi, Just had WebAdmin installed on 3 servers, and Virtualmin Pro on 2 servers. Not being an IT guru, and used to cPanel, this humble designer/developer is clueless how to do very necessary things as the documentation seems to have alot of assumed knowledge. So far managed to find the file sytem doc tree. Firstly need to install Joomla onto the virtualmin servers (one in a different directory). The instructions begin with "select domain in left hand corner". There is no domain in left hand corner. Does that mean that I have to create a "virtual server" for virtualmin, on my virtual server managed by my uni's IT? And then assign the domain already assigned by them? All this doubling up is confusing. We bought Virtualmin so that we could install scripts, create subdomains for the various websites and the basic PHP, Flash and javascript applications we develop. There is a missing link between this and what people are talking about on the forums another level that cPanel used to take care of for duffers like us. Is there an idiot guide? The documentation is somewhat sketchy, and have put on these interfaces because our IT will only deal with the absolute back end, not the sites or applications etc. Please help before this computer gets thrown out the window. Thank you so much.



Howdy! It sounds like you may need to add a domain (or sub-domain) of some kind into Virtualmin. In Virtualmin-speak, that means you'd be adding a Virtual Server.

You'd need to have a domain (err, Virtual Server) setup in Virtualmin before you could begin tinkering with the website for that domain.

Once you've created a Virtual Server on your system, you'll see a drop-down list on the top-left corner of Virtualmin, displaying all the domains you control.

From there, handling things like Install Scripts is nice and easy. You just choose the domain you want to install Joomla into, click "Install Scripts", and then choose the one you wish to install.

There's some entry-level documentation available here in the Step by Step Tutorials:

As you've noted, there's certainly room for improvement in the documentation -- for example, we could certainly use some additional guides in the step by step tutorials, there's plenty of things those don't cover yet.

Joe's picture
Submitted by Joe on Mon, 03/29/2010 - 12:00 Pro Licensee

I'm getting a vague feeling that you already have domains setup somewhere on the server, and you're expecting Virtualmin to Just Know how they are setup, where they are, and how to manage them. Virtualmin can't really do that...though you can import virtual servers (domains) into Virtualmin using the "Import Virtual Server" item in the "Add Servers" menu.

That said, I think we should step back a minute and figure out exactly what we're talking about here.

Are there existing virtual servers (domains) on the server that Virtualmin had nothing to do with creating?

How were they created? If they were created with cPanel or another control panel, and that control panel is installed on the system, we'll seriously need to walk on eggshells. If they were created by hand-editing the configuration files, things are a little simpler, since you can Import them. But you may find it's worth backing them up, creating new virtual servers fresh and then copying the data back into just depends on how different your hand-created configuration is from what Virtualmin creates. There are some important differences in the way one manages a web server for one or two sites, and a web server for dozens or hundreds of sites owned and managed by many users, and so things like suexec, directory paths, user and group configuration, may be pretty different.

I do want to defend our ease of use by pointing out that cPanel also cannot take existing virtual servers (domains) and do things with them, without many additional steps. They're in the same boat we's a hard problem to solve, because there are nearly infinite possibilities for setting up websites.

Anyway, the point being, the normal process of "Install Virtualmin on a fresh system; create virtual servers (domains); manage them." is extremely easy, and pretty well documented. If I'm reading your query correctly, you've thrown yourself for a loop by introducing Virtualmin into an environment that already has stuff happening that Virtualmin does not know about. You'd be in the same situation if you'd installed cPanel into this kind of environment (though you'd probably be worse off, because I don't think cPanel is as flexible about such things as Virtualmin is, and I'm not sure it provides an Import feature, though I could be wrong on that...I don't use cPanel). ;-)

tpnsolutions's picture
Submitted by tpnsolutions on Mon, 03/29/2010 - 13:20


I can assist you in migrating your Joomla installs from cPanel to Virtualmin, and ensure all relevant settings are properly configured.

I've done this for numerous clients to date, and given my vast knowledge of both cPanel and Virtualmin, I'd be able to do this for you pretty quickly.

Drop me a line at: if you'd like to discuss this further.

*** A small fee will apply, but will be well worth it. (small as in, not expensive) ***


thanks all.

I think the question was answered with the "create virtual server" = add your domain.

The story goes like this, the uni is trying to force the whole uni to come under its umbrella, so has freshly given us all space (ie. what THEY call virtual servers all with different IPs, and they assign DNS and so on), set up LAMP systems and so on. They used to make us hard code in UNIX, but the collective creative people through their hands in the air and said no we need an interface. We are all familiar with cPanel, but on the uni systems they won't allow us that, because we disappear from Zenworks, and IT gets intensely agitated. So IT installed webadmin and occasionally virtualmin for those of us that need to add stuff like Joomla and wordpress when we are building sites etc on the fly.

Haven't even got to the migration part Peter (pknowles), there IS one site that needs migration, and I will let you know.

I think its the terminology that had me intensly confused. From what I hear above (read 'from what this dumpty understands') if the uni has given me a domain name blah, I create a virtual server called blah. From here its more or less business as usual?

If I get this right, I promise to write an idiots guide wiki, though from the sound of it, most of your users are pretty cluey.


Howdy -- it sounds like you're on the right track!

if the uni has given me a domain name blah, I create a virtual server called blah. From here its more or less business as usual

In general, this is correct. There's the whole issue of who is handling DNS and such. But if the University has assigned you a domain name or a sub-domain name, and they aren't asking you to manage the DNS for that domain, you should be in good shape!

As you move forward, feel free to let us know if you have further questions, or if things aren't working as you'd expect.

P3, You are in a perfect position to document exactly what you expected to see as far as documentation , where things should be more transparent, etc.

I have probably asked for at least a half dozen things to be better explained in the Virtualmin interface, and Jamie has made some changes, like making Redirects easier.

Generally, I believe that Virtualmin crushes cPanel, but it would be great if it were as easy to find things, maybe an icon mode, which would lay out like cPanel, or a Wizard of some kind which fires up for the first N launches.

It would be great if you could help push the documentation and/or the interface forward.

Best, K