List of issues ranging over various projects I noticed over the last year

It was suggested that I pile these into one posting and let techs decide if they required disintegration. I didn't know how to classify these because they aren't really bugs.

  1. I feel like this is almost a bug. I find it weird that when I make a fresh Virtualmin virtual server after finishing an unmodified new Virtualmin script based install, then log into Usermin as the admin of the new virtual server bearing a different domain than the Webmin base, theirs a “Sent Mail” (.sentmail) folder and a “Sent” (.sent) folder in the user’s account. That’s just bad manners. eMails go into the .sentmail folder normally, not the .sent folder, so I just delete that folder with the Usermin interface for Manage folders. Why are both getting created? Is it a bad setting in Webmin's usermin defaults for mail?

  2. This complaint had baffled me for a while and I see it confound other users via comments on social media. Newly added Modules don’t appear in their respective list until the browser tab refreshes. Can't you have the install procedure to force or at least suggest a browser tab refresh at the end?

  3. The Webmin or Virtualmin install procedures could mitigate some Ubuntu Postfix mistakes with some additional shell commands. The Postfix install from Ubuntu has two problems, (which I hear is a bad package build that nobody fixes?).
    One is the “compatibility_level = 2” statement isn’t in the file by default. This causes unhelpful error messages in the mail log.
    The other is postfix will not tolerate symbolic links at all and there are a series of links in the /usr/lib/postfix folder and one in the /usr/lib/postfix/sbin folder which are symbolic links to files in the same folder. They cause persistent error messages in the mail log file. The solution is to delete the symbolic links and replace each deleted link with a copy of the file under the different name represented by the deleted symbolic link.
    and in the sbin subfolder delete lmtp.
    Copy to, to, to, to, to,
    and in the sbin subfolder copy smtp to lmtp.

  4. I'm speaking slightly out of ignorance here. Every recent Webmin install I've done has the PHP Configuration set to look for version 5 despite PHP 7 being installed. Webmin still points the PHP Configuration ( at /php5/ folders instead of /php/7.0/ folders. If I manually edit the path in the module's configuration, it works right.
    When I do a Virtualmin install it seems better, but it said it was building a LAMP stack yet the folder for /php/7.0/apache2/ doesn’t exist, but a folder for php/7.0/fpm/ does; isn’t that an NGINX type thing?

  5. This is a bit of a personal gripe because I think I'm good at English, but maybe it's just me. In Virtualmin, the creation process for a virtual server has a confusing but important field called “Description”. Because I didn't think to click the pop-up help bubble for such a common word, I thought I was describing the nameserver variable that the description field was immediately below. I found out while testing email that the new account’s primary admin was named by that field. Replace "Description" with “Name or Job Title for Admin user”. Also, I'll suggest altering the pop-up help content from
    “In this field, enter a description for the domain such as the real name its owner (the person responsible for the domain).”
    to become
    “In this field, enter the description for the domain’s admin (its owner or the person responsible for the domain) such as their real name or official title to display on outbound emails.”

  6. On this page...
    ... you suggest a minimal version of a supported OS. I think it is a bad suggestion because for me on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS the default package selection doesn't include OpenSSH Server. Seems like that should be a recommended item. Am I really supposed to sit at the server hand typing commands? Also, a minor suggestion would be to add Postgresql to the minimal package list if a person planned on using that because your Virtualmin Post Installation Wizard fails if you pick the radio button for Postgresql when the MySQL and PG questions are being asked. Not a big deal, but its' a hiccup in the flow for me.

  7. This is mostly a typo, but maybe it's important because theirs implied "best choice" either way. In the Virtualmin System Settings for Server Templates, ...
    ... on the page for "BIND DNS domain", the option "DNSSEC cryptographic algorithm" has the pop-up help stating that users should leave the default setting of “DSA”, but the actual default setting is "RSASHA1". Based on cursory reading on the topic, I think RSASHA1 is my best choice since I have no specific reason to select any other one, but the help bubble made me not know at all.

  8. This is a buggy type thing related to help pop-up's. The Virtualmin System Settings for Virtualmin Configuration, ...
    ... the pop-up help links for all the descriptive labels for that page opens as if the link’s target settings are “_TOP”.



Assigned: Unassigned »

Thanks for your thoughts! I'm going to pass this along to Joe for further comment.

WNYmathGuy's picture
Submitted by WNYmathGuy on Fri, 12/15/2017 - 17:42 Pro Licensee

Shit, I forgot to mention the Perl stuff that bug's me. On any fresh install of Webmin on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS Server, the suggested Perl modules can't be installed with the interface. After some tinkering around I think this is a minimal command line statement needed to fix the problem.

sudo apt-get install -y -f build-essential

However, I tend to do these too just to go the easier route.

sudo apt-get install -y -f libtest-exception-perl libmodule-build-perl libwrap0 libwrap0-dev
sudo apt-get install -y -f libdbi-perl libdbd-pg-perl libdbd-mysql-perl mcrypt libmcrypt-dev

The only recommended Perl module after that is Authen::Libwrap which installs fine using the Webmin module interface.

Joe's picture
Submitted by Joe on Fri, 12/15/2017 - 21:24 Pro Licensee

Thanks for the great feedback.

I'll cover the simple ones first:

  1. PHP-FPM is for both Apache and nginx. It is one of several execution modes Virtualmin can configure, and it's probably the recommended one (or mod_fcgid, depending on what your workload and configuration flexibility options are).


  1. This is a known bug in the version of the theme that shipped with Webmin 1.870 (and no earlier version and is fixed for the next version). The theme changed in a dramatic architectural way in this version of Webmin (going from a multi-framed design to a single page app design), and this was one of several bugs that slipped through.

For your follow up, I'm not sure I follow...did these packages not get installed alongside Virtualmin or are you talking about a Webmin installation? Webmin intentionally is very minimal and depends on as little as possible...whereas Virtualmin should Just Work; if you have to install those packages in a Virtualmin install, it's a bug in our metapackage for your distro...if you had to install them for some Webmin modules, that's Works As Designed. Webmin is an administrators tool where you bring your own system...Virtualmin makes sure the system fits what it expects (while staying as close to the defaults as possible).

I'm gonna end this comment and start a new one for the hard stuff, as I'm gonna get confused trying to read over all of this later. (For future reference, one-ticket per distinct problem is often a better way to get them fixed quickly.)

Joe's picture
Submitted by Joe on Fri, 12/15/2017 - 21:41 Pro Licensee

OK, let's go through the rest:

  1. Huh. I never noticed that. I'm not even sure which part of the system is generating an extra folder. Usually mail clients have their own conventions, and it isn't set by any standard I'm aware of (though there are some commonly used folder names). OK, i see that it is Usermin using .sentmail, but the comments seem to indicate that was The Right Thing at some point in history (commonly used by at least some other major mail client, I dunno). It may be time to re-think that. What mail clients do you use other than Usermin? I'll see if we can figure out what the most common path is for sent mail and switch Usermin to default to that.
  2. Adding Webmin modules, you mean? I think the new version of the theme has a mechanism to reload the menu, but I guess it isn't being called in the module install page. Are you using the Webmin Modules page to install a new module or the system package manager? If the latter, it'll always require a page reload, but if the former, I think we can modify Webmin to trigger a reload of the menu.
  3. Can you post the exact error messages? This isn't something I'm aware of. We have a pretty firmly held policy of not mucking about with system packages if we can possibly find a way to avoid it. Changing a bunch of links around is extremely very mucky. Has anyone reported the problem to Ubuntu? Does this problem effect Debian?
  4. Already covered above, I think.
  5. You're right. That is a mildly goofy label. I'll ask Jamie if we can change it. It's kind of weird to change after a dozen years, though. I'm not sure it's confusing enough to justify confusing everyone who is already used to it, but it probably ought to be a little more clear.
  6. A minimal Ubuntu install doesn't have sshd? WTF? That's crazy as heck. What are they thinking? OK...I guess I need to explicitly suggest having sshd installed, too. I really thought that would go without saying on a server. Most of our customers are installing on remote servers in colo/hosting providers/cloud providers, and so they obviously definitely have sshd.
  7. I'll have to ask Jamie about this one.
  8. Already covered.
WNYmathGuy's picture
Submitted by WNYmathGuy on Fri, 12/15/2017 - 22:11 Pro Licensee

Regarding the followup. If I have a freshly installed OS and I add Webmin without modifying it at all (a caveat at the end) and I try to install the 3 suggested Perl modules: {Test::Exception, Module::Build, Authen::Libwrap} with the Webmin interface, they don't install. The system hangs for what may be the start of an infinite amount of time. Every attempt to install the suggested modules fails. I searched for solutions and saw a suggestion to try installing at the cpan prompt. That failed too (so blame Ubuntu) but there were error messages to sift through at that point. That got me to an error message that led to this page, and that's where I got the idea that I needed to run that build-essential install command. After that, the Webmin Perl module worked fine for me, but I do a few of the things I always seem to personally need with the command line to speed up the process; libtest-exception-perl, libmodule-build-perl, libwrap0, libwrap0-dev, libdbi-perl, libdbd-pg-perl, libdbd-mysql-perl, mcrypt libmcrypt-dev.

My caveat, which I don't think is relevant, is that I put on an APC-UPS software for server protection prior to installing Webmin. If you want those details I'll give them.

The only thing I think should be part of the Webmin base script on Ubuntu is the build-essential. That will prevent the non-working Perl module which doesn't work cause the OS is lacking.

WNYmathGuy's picture
Submitted by WNYmathGuy on Tue, 12/19/2017 - 03:34 Pro Licensee

Answering Post #4 Bullet 1. Typically I only use the Usermin interface. I was going to try Roundcube in the past but couldn't get my shit together on sending from behind DHCP till a week ago. I think I may have found it in the Virtualmin Settings. I'm attaching a few screenshots related to this one. One pic (VM-Webmin-Usermin-ModConfig-Mail) is where the Usermin Configuration for UM Module Config Defaults for Read Mail; https://localhost:10000/usermin/edit_configs.cgi?mod=mailbox It shows the "Mail storage format for Inbox" is set to Maildir, but the "Sendmail mail file in home directory" is set to mbox. That looks like a mismatch to my untrained eye.

The other two photos (VM-Config-sentFolderProblemSource, VM-Config-sentFolderFix) depict the Virtualmin setting that I changed before making a Virtual Server that didn't have the extra ".sent" folder.

WNYmathGuy's picture
Submitted by WNYmathGuy on Tue, 12/19/2017 - 03:48 Pro Licensee

Answering Post #4 Bullet 2. It is using the Webmin install module interface. I have added that APC-UPS module using the “From ftp or http URL” which definitely requires a browser refresh, but I also installed other modules I found in the Webmin list with that “Standard module from” browser button. I guess when activating an unused module it doesn’t require a browser refresh; I remembered that wrong.

Answering Post #4 Bullet 3.

  • Dec 19 02:42:39 srv1 postfix[10225]: Postfix is running with backwards-compatible default settings
  • Dec 19 02:42:39 srv1 postfix[10225]: See for details
  • Dec 19 02:42:39 srv1 postfix[10225]: To disable backwards compatibility use "postconf compatibility_level=2" and "postfix reload"
  • Dec 19 02:42:39 srv1 postfix/postfix-script[10281]: warning: group or other writable: /usr/lib/postfix/./
  • Dec 19 02:42:39 srv1 postfix/postfix-script[10282]: warning: group or other writable: /usr/lib/postfix/./
  • Dec 19 02:42:39 srv1 postfix/postfix-script[10283]: warning: group or other writable: /usr/lib/postfix/./
  • Dec 19 02:42:39 srv1 postfix/postfix-script[10284]: warning: group or other writable: /usr/lib/postfix/./
  • Dec 19 02:42:39 srv1 postfix/postfix-script[10285]: warning: group or other writable: /usr/lib/postfix/./
  • Dec 19 02:42:39 srv1 postfix/postfix-script[10286]: warning: group or other writable: /usr/lib/postfix/./sbin/lmtp
  • Dec 19 02:42:39 srv1 postfix/postfix-script[10287]: warning: group or other writable: /usr/lib/postfix/sbin/./lmtp

I don’t know about any reporting to Ubuntu, and I got this far in life without knowing what Debian means. I saw reliable looking posts that claimed it was a bad build of postfix that nobody fixes.

WNYmathGuy's picture
Submitted by WNYmathGuy on Tue, 12/19/2017 - 03:59 Pro Licensee

Following up on Post #3 Bullet 4. These attached screenshots depict the part I described that doesn't have to do with the uninstalled php 7 apache2 folder. One depicts the Webmin PHP module before tampering with the configuration, another shows the default module config, and another shows an edit I did, and the final shows how that changes the Webmin PHP module.

It just seems to me that their's bad text in the PHP Configuration configuration.

WNYmathGuy's picture
Submitted by WNYmathGuy on Tue, 12/19/2017 - 12:36 Pro Licensee

Following up on Post #4 Bullet 6.

Just attaching a photos so you could see the current package selection defaults in Ubuntu 16.04. Also, I saw as I was using this recent version that the first screen had new choices for the install type.