Virtualmin on a Debian Linode


See also my comments of installation of Virtualmin on a Centos linode... these are just the additional issues.

GD under PHP not installed by default

Wordpress and other PHP systems were reporting errors about "imagecreatefromjpeg not defined" ... that's a PHP built-in function... what gives? Somehow I didn't have the GD image manipulation module loaded into PHP. Here's how to do that.

# sudo apt-get install php5-gd
# /etc/init.d/apache2 restart

Locales not installed by default

(reported solved in Debian 5.0.2)

Apt-get was reporting huge batches of errors like:

perl: warning: Falling back to the standard locale ("C").
/usr/bin/mandb: can't set the locale; make sure $LC_* and $LANG are correct
manconv: can't set the locale; make sure $LC_* and $LANG are correct

The solution is to:

apt-get install locales
dpkg-reconfigure locales

and I added the locale: en_US.UTF-8 UTF-8

dpkg-reconfigure locales

Setting up Virtualmin on Centos with a Linode


Once you know these few steps, setting up a LAMP (Linux/Apache/MySQL/Perl-PHP) server on a Linode (please use that link, as it includes my referral code) is insanely simple:

First, starting with a freshly provisioned CentOS install, ssh into the root account. First, update the base system --


yum update


I find it convenient to also install the console version of emacs:


yum install emacs-nox


Next, edit /etc/sysconfig/network and change the hostname. That file is read at boot, so you might also want to set the hostname for the current session:




Download the script from into /usr/src ... and then execute it:


cd /usr/src # wget



Then login, as root, to your new virtualmin configuration at your linode's address: where the 99-999 is replace with your linode's address (see the linode control panel).

Install problem: awstats

Ran into this error message after install, when clicking the "Check Your System" button --

The AWstats command /usr/share/awstats/wwwroot/cgi-bin/ was not found on your system.

Complicated by the fact that "yum install awstats" said it was already installed. But where? "rpm -ql awstats" gives the answer... and then I just copied it as follows:

# mkdir -p /usr/share/awstats/wwwroot/cgi-bin
# cp -a /var/www/awstats/ /usr/share/awstats/wwwroot/cgi-bin

Install problem: clamd (after update)

NOTE: After installing Virtualmin updates, I got an error:

ERROR: Command rejected by clamd (wrong clamd version?)

which I resolved with:

# /etc/rc.d/init.d/clamd-virtualmin restart

Default settings when you configure

Under System Settings / Server Templates and then Default Settings --

Upgrading PHP and MySQL

This is one place where Centos 5.3 lags behind the times. If you need PHP 5.2 or above, you will have to enable an alternate repository. As of this writing, the "Centos Testing" repository contains a pre-release version that does not include the mcrypt and memache modules -- a real problem. NOTE: Although I was able to upgrade a running server, I'd recommend doing this before loading any production domains. Follow the instructions at

Double-Check Postfix Relaying

Postfix was accepting email for ... to solve this, open the aliased sub domain in Virtualmin, and under:

Server Configuration
  Email Settings


Virtual server email-related settings
  Mail aliases mode

from Catchall forwarding to Copy aliases from target. You probably want to change this on the System Settings / Server Templates / Default Settings for Sub-Servers page as well. If you have already created several domains, you can adjust this all at once:

# virtualmin modify-mail --alias-copy --all-domains

NOTE: Is there a bug in Virtualmin 3.68.gpl? I had to manually:

# cd /etc/postfix
# postmap virtual
# postfix reload

to force that to refresh.

Tuning clamd

Rather than spend too much time tuning the memory, I simply killed clamd as it is a huge memory pig and leads to Out Of Memory webserver freezes.

Tuning Apache

With the default settings, Apache can veer out of control and eat all available memory. In /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf, change as follows in the section shown:

# prefork MPM
# StartServers: number of server processes to start
# MinSpareServers: minimum number of server processes which are kept spare
# MaxSpareServers: maximum number of server processes which are kept spare
# ServerLimit: maximum value for MaxClients for the lifetime of the server
# MaxClients: maximum number of server processes allowed to start
# MaxRequestsPerChild: maximum number of requests a server process serves
# was: MaxSpareServers 20 ServerLimit 256 MaxClients 256 MaxRequestsPerChild 400
<IfModule prefork.c>
StartServers       8
MinSpareServers    5
MaxSpareServers   10
ServerLimit      64
MaxClients       64
MaxRequestsPerChild  400

Tuning Spamassassin

Dramatically reduce memory footprint by changing the number of threads that spamassassin will execute at once from 5 down to 1. In /etc/sysconfig/spamassassin (your location may vary) --


SPAMDOPTIONS="-d -c -m<strong>5</strong> -H"


SPAMDOPTIONS="-d -c -m<strong>1</strong> -H"

-- William Lindley Automatically delete old spam?


Yes, if older than

daAutomatically delete old spam? No

Yes, if older than days


Installing Horde with Virtualmin on Centos 5.x


CentOS specific instructions found here; Also see the general Horde install document. Tested on CentOS 5.1, 5.2, 5.3.

CentOS + Virtualmin Walk-through Tutorial

With Centos 5.x and a Webmin/Virtualmin installation you'll do things this way:

# yum install horde imp

to install both the Horde general module and the Imp email IMAP gateway. Next, run the database generation script, usually like this:

# cd /usr/share/horde/scripts/sql/
# mysql -u root -p < create.mysql.sql

You'll need to use the MySQL root password. Then, in your database administration screen for MySQL, set the password for the new MySQL user "horde" to something nicely random and hard to guess; keep a momentary record as you'll need it below.

Make a copy of the default configuration, which is set to log everyone in as Horde Administrator without a password. You'll need this if you box yourself in, in the configuration later.

# cd /usr/share/horde/config
cp -a conf.php conf.php.everyone-as-admin

Later on you can always blitz a broken configuration by recopying the "everyone-as-admin" script right over the conf.php.

Redirection of domain URLs to the horde system is set in Apache's /etc/httpd/conf.d/horde.conf

# Horde is a web application framework written in PHP.

Alias /horde /usr/share/horde

which means that [the first argument] is mapped to the default page [index.php] in the actual filesystem's /usr/share/horde directory. (You may have to refresh the Apache configuration if that file changes.)

Then you can direct your web browser to: and fill in the Administration screens. Choose MySQL as the database. The user is "horde" and the password is the one you set above.

For authentication method, choose "Let a Horde application handle" and then select Imp as that application. You could pick IMAP authentication but then your users will have to login twice (they will see "Log in to mail" before they can get to their email).

When you click the Generate Horde Configuration button, you'll get the text of your new conf.php ... Unless you've set the 'apache' group to have write permission on the conf.php file, you'll have to select the new configuration text displayed, and paste it into the conf.php ... or use the command:

# cd /usr/share/horde/config
# cat > conf.php

and then paste (possibly with Shift+Insert) the copied text, pressing Ctrl+D (end-of-file) to return to a prompt.

You should then be able to logout of the Horde administration page and log back in normally as a user.

If things aren't working, check the logs. A few places to look:

/home/username/logs/error_log   (for Virtualmin setup with "username")

If you get messages about "can't include" then check permissions on the file noted; most of the php scripts should belong to group 'apache' and have group read permissions.

Another useful step is to add yourself as an administrator. If you didn't do that on the initial setup screens, you can edit conf.php and modify the appropriate line to look like:

 $conf['auth']['admins'] = array('Administrator'<strong>,'myusername'</strong>);

Note that you will have to manually edit the Imp mail-server configuration file:


by adding, for example, the localhost with IMAP protocol:

'server' => 'localhost'
'protocol' => 'imap/notls'
'port' => '143'

The Turba Contact Manager

You might also want to install the Turba contact manager. You can install a version found on the Turba download page or, to be sure you have a version matching your Horde install, just do:

# yum install turba

and then following the remainder of the "Configuration" instructions in the Turba documentation ... note that in our configuration the package is in /usr/share/horde/turba ... you will probably want to use the 'horde' SQL database and the SQL username 'horde' as above, keeping all the Horde data together. Consult /usr/share/horde/config/conf.php and look for the lines like these for the values you set above:

$conf['sql']['username'] = 'horde';
$conf['sql']['database'] = 'horde';

And then you'll run the configuration script as:

$ mysql -u root -p horde < turba_objects.mysql.sql

and then go thru the Horde admin screens, setup the Turba parameters, and write the configuration file which in our example will be at /usr/share/horde/turba/config/conf.php.

If you don't see Turba (shown as main heading: Organizing) in the Horde menus, edit the main Horde configuration file (/usr/share/horde/config/conf.php in our case) and update the appropriate line to be:

$conf['menu']['apps'] = array('horde', 'imp', 'turba');