ftp client

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#1 Thu, 07/14/2011 - 04:38

ftp client

Hi guys In Webmin> Others> is a feature Upload and Download> which allows you to move files to and form the server which is quite useful. However when you try to upload a complete file and folder structure you are unable to using the webmin/virtualmin interface unless you zip/tar the files and folders first. I can not for the life of me understand why an Upload and Download feature will not allow you to upload folders but it won’t.

The problem with uploading a zip/tar file and folder structure is that when you unzip/untar the files, the user and group are the same as before you zip/tar the files. In a complex file structure this can cause problems. For example if your virtual servers is running in FCGId mode and you unzip/untar wordpress to your virtual server you will find the files and folders are user “www-data” and group “www-data” where as the user and group should be your virtual servers user. To further the complexity, some of the files and folders have different permissions so you would have to change the user and group one folder at a time. A labourious task at best.

So I have thought about this for a while now and I think if you can not make the upload and download feature handle folders then it would be extremely useful to add an “ftp to server” tab to the Upload and Download and include an ftp client. An ftp client would make the webmin/virtualmin user interface far more useful to all.

Thanks Allan

Thu, 07/14/2011 - 10:00

Forgive me for possibly being ignorant, but why don't you simply use an actual FTP client on your local machine, and connect to the FTP server that Virtualmin alread includes and configures (ProFTPD)? :) That'll surely be way more comfortable to use than any Java-based uploading mechanism that Webmin could offer.

Thu, 07/14/2011 - 22:25

Hi Locutus Please always feel free to ask that is how we both learn more. What you suggest is what I already do for my self. and that works file for me because I have the knowledge to be able to down load and install the extra software. However I have several people using my setup and several others who I have setup and configures their own virtualmin server running at their home or office. Without question the comments I get are. Virtualmin/webmin is a steep learning curve. Virtualmin/webmin is a fantastic rich featured control panel. Why do I have to use another program to upload my web pages to my Virtualmin/webmin virtual server. Why isn’t there a way from with in the control panel to upload files. And wouldn’t having a way to actually upload files from with in the control plane make the control plane more rounded and sense?

Most of the people who I configure and setup Virtualmin/webmin for are first time users and are after an all in one package to handle there needs. Adding an ftp client and/or fixing the current upload feature to handle a complete file and folder structure would mean these people would be able to do every thing to do with there web site in one place. Many of the people I setup Virtualmin/webmin don’t want to learn lots of different software and how to configure them, let alone keep it up to date. That is why they love Virtualmin/webmin, all in one, configured, and ready to go. Virtualmin/webmin even tells them when to update and does it for them with the click of a few buttons.

So the question I get more than any other is why can’t I ftp to my site from within Virtualmin/webmin. As people who can use computers we have to make is as easy as possible for those who are challenged and in this case that is giving them one place to administer all aspects of there web site and web space.

Thanks Allan

Thu, 07/14/2011 - 23:35
Joe's picture

This is a limitation of the browser and web standards, which Webmin/Virtualmin has no control over.

There are some flash based multi-uploaders out there (flickr uses one, as does Google Docs), but we've been pretty strict about not allowing Flash into Webmin core (having it work on all browsers is more important than having it be the most featureful).

I seem to recall there is a multi-upload feature as part of HTML 5, so it will be possible eventually, when the standard is official and browsers support it widely.

Until then, the best option is to use an SCP or FTP client that can handle full directory uploads.

Also note that there are some negatives to using the browser for uploads and downloads aside from this. Timeouts can occur at many points along the path, and any timeout can cause the file to be corrupted and the up/download to fail. It is slower because of the additional overhead of the protocol.


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Fri, 07/15/2011 - 03:52

Aside from complete agreement with Joe here (yes please, no Flash cr*p in Virtualmin, it's sufficient that we get overloaded with this on nearly all other web sites out there nowadays ;) ), allow me to add one thought:

Many of the people I setup Virtualmin/webmin don’t want to learn lots of different software and how to configure them, let alone keep it up to date.

Uh-oh. This is a rather "dangerous" attitude.

When you (talking about those "people" now, not you personally), host websites, when you operate a server, you have a responsibility to keep it working -- and safe. No control panel is going to take that responsibility away from you, ever.

Virtualmin, like all control panels, is a great help to perform day-to-day operations in your web hosting, and a help also I greatly appreciate (in fact, discovering Virtualmin was what made me switch from Windows to Linux for my web hosting needs), but they will never liberate you from the task to acquire at least a basic understanding of the underlying operating system and software, and a basic understanding how to configure it.

No control panel can help you in any conceivable situation. So, sooner or later there will be a point where a web hosting operator will have to check out "low-level" stuffs himself. And if they refused to "learn lots of different software" until this point, they'll be in trouble. Potentially big trouble, for themselves and others.

After all, they're operating a server, with lots of complex software installed, and usually connected at high bandwidth to the Internet. In days of viruses and botnets galore you can sure see where this leads.

Just a thought, and one you might pass on to those people you install Virtualmin for. :)

Sat, 07/16/2011 - 22:37

Thanks joe for your response I would agree whole heartedly with keeping flash out of Webmin/Virtualmin. My experance with flash is it is all looks and no substance. Flash has to many limitations and causes more problems and complaints than it is worth. But what about a java ftp client along the lines of the file manager included in webmin. Every one I deal with loves the java file manager. Just a thaught. :)


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