Preview web site before DNS propagation !?

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#1 Tue, 11/04/2008 - 09:08

Preview web site before DNS propagation !?

Hi guys!

I'm trying to preview my web site before changing DNS.

Ideally, I would like something like: http://ip/user or http://ip/ or or or

Something similar to what Plesk do for previewing web site...

I already read that document:

It proposes 3 solutions: a) enabling apache automatic virtual hosts b) allow access through webmin as proxy c) subdomain

solution c) is not possible for me cause DNS are hosted at, so difficult to create a subdomain each time

solution b) not sure I understand exactly where to enable what? could you give detailed instructions please. Plus, will it work with GPL version of virtualmin ?

solution a) don't seem to work, if it takes %0, it will takes the complete servername which is not good.

Thanks, Maxime

Tue, 11/04/2008 - 11:13

Ok, really simple.

*** Thanks to gwarf and jangell on irc channel apache on freenode.

The solution is UserDir.

Ok, 1st go to Webmin Apache Module Configuration.
Global Configuration tab
Configure Apache Modules

Enable userdir then click "enable selected modules"
Sometimes webmin failed to restart apache
So when you come back to Module Index, click Start Apache on top right corner.

After, go to Global configuration again.
Then "Edit Config Files"

Choose the following file:

** Don't confuse with /etc/apache2/mods-available/userdir.load

Add these 2 lines:
UserDir disabled root
UserDir public_html

Click Save
Then Apply Changes in top right corner of module index.

You may know access a web site by typing:

And Apache will serve /home/user/public_html as document root.



Tue, 11/25/2008 - 19:20 (Reply to #2)

For anyone who runs into this in the future, there's some info regarding this in the Virtualmin FAQ as well:

Sat, 08/08/2009 - 10:08 (Reply to #3)

Broken link

Sat, 12/27/2008 - 08:51 (Reply to #4)

And for sub-domains?? How do I preview a sub-domain?

Sat, 12/27/2008 - 12:05 (Reply to #5)

Check out the FAQ, it has some suggestions that will handle sub-domains. You can do that with either the DNS alias, or using the View Website Via Webmin option:

Sat, 12/27/2008 - 12:10 (Reply to #6)
Joe's picture

<div class='quote'>And for sub-domains?? How do I preview a sub-domain?</div>

A &quot;sub-domain&quot; is the same as a &quot;domain&quot; to Virtualmin. Names simply don't mean anything to Virtualmin--they are merely labels. So, this question is nonsensical. ;-)

Or, did you mean &quot;sub-server&quot;? In which case, it's pretty much the same.

What specific problem are you having that leads you to ask?


Check out the forum guidelines!

Sat, 12/27/2008 - 12:56 (Reply to #7)


Yes, sorry, I mean sub-server.

I can access the &quot;Top-level server&quot; like this: http://myIP/~user

But I want to access a preview a &quot;sub-server&quot; inside that main &quot;Top-level&quot; server.

This &quot;sub-server&quot; is from the same owner of the &quot;top-level&quot;.

So, I can access in top-level server like this http://myIP/~user, but don't know how to access the sub-domain like


Mon, 04/06/2009 - 02:53 (Reply to #8)

The option Joe recommends in that FAQ is under the Virtual server creation tab in the Server Template.

Tue, 04/07/2009 - 10:54 (Reply to #9)

Does anyone know the security settings to allow this to work? I'm getting a &quot;Forbidden&quot; error whenever I try to access I've tried many variations of the &lt;Directory &quot;homes/*/public_html&quot;&gt; but haven't hit the right combo yet that allows access to the user webspace.


Tue, 04/07/2009 - 16:23

Clue: There is a link to a FAQ which has an integer number between 43 and 45 hidden somewhere in this thread.

Tue, 06/23/2009 - 14:36 (Reply to #11)

So where is this FAQ now on the new site?

Tue, 06/23/2009 - 16:56 (Reply to #12)

Never mind, I found it at,frequently_asked_questions under the heading "How do I make domains available before the DNS changes are made at the registrar? How do I make a users website available at "http://www.mydomain.tld/customerdomain"?"

Wed, 08/05/2009 - 22:27

I usually do it via the HOSTS file method

But I also recently come across a site where you can preview it directly online, can be a big hassle and time saver when you want to preview your site. The neat thing is that you can preview it on any server it's on, so you could essentially preview it on different servers (if for some reason you needed to lol) while having no need to modify anything on those servers to do so or having to modify anything on your PC.

Sat, 08/08/2009 - 10:34

This wasn't obvious to me at first: If you already have the domain set up and need to add the alias after the fact, you can just Create Virtual Server, and make it an alias of the (new, real, not yet resolving) server, with a name like newdomainname.HostingComany.TLD

Thanks, K

Sat, 08/08/2009 - 11:15 (Reply to #15)

I'm glad you got it figured out! That's exactly it though, an alias would have been what I'd have suggested as well.

The one other option for viewing a site before the DNS exists would be to log into Virtualmin, choose the domain in question, then pick "Preview Website".

Have a good one!


Mon, 10/05/2009 - 04:14

The standard is maintained by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council, which maintains both the PCI DSS and a number of other standards, such as the Payment Card Industry PIN Entry Device security requirements (PCI PED) and the Payment Application Data Security Standard (PA-DSS).


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