Webmin – Add File Manager

By default, Webmin comes with an impressive array of tools for managing your server. One notable exception though is a graphical file manager, for managing files and directories on your server. While you can indeed do this via the command line, it is a great deal easier and more user friendly when looking at icons for files and folders on your drive.

A file manager module can be easily added to Webmin via its Webmin Modules panel. On the left hand menu, click Webmin > Webmin Configuration. In the main screen, click Webmin Modules.

Modules allow you to add or remove features and capabilities to Webmin. A simple Google search brings back many results with links to Github repositories. My favourite file manager is https://github.com/Real-Gecko/filemin.

This opens in a new tab and allows you to navigate the entire folder structure of your server. This is especially useful when you have many files or folders to move, delete or clean up.

On the github page, search for a link to a wbm.gz file. This is the Webmin module installer file. To install this, or any file manager, under the Install tab in Webmin Modules, click the option for ‘Third party module from’, and enter the link to this wbm.gz file into the text box. Then click Install Module.

Alternatively you can download a zip copy of the file to your computer, and use the second option on the page, ‘Install from uploaded file’, to upload and install the module.

Running the File Manager

Once installed, the new file manage appears under Options > Filemin File Manager on the left of the screen. It will open in a new tab.

On the left of the new tab is a tree view of your folder structure. The main screen shows the directory you are currently in, and clicking on any folders brings you into them. There are also a number of options if you right click on a file/folder, including the option to Rename, Delete or change ownership or permission details. If you signed into Webmin with a superuser account, you are able to make these changes. If your Webmin user account is not a superuser, then you will be more limited in what you can do, or what directories you can navigate into.

There is also a Download option, which allows you to download a zip or tar.gz file containing the files or folders which you have selected.

In general I find this tool has a very nice look and feel about it. It looks modern and has a nice selection of options and tools within it. There is a nice option to use multiple tabs within the tool, Pressing the + button on the left of the screen opens a new tab, so you can navigate to and compare two or more folders at the same time.

I also particularly like the tool which allows you to see the size of a folder (Tools > Get folder sizes). If you have spent any time on the Linux command line, you will know that folder sizes are always shown as being about 4K. This is because the link to the folder on the hard drive is itself 4K, and this does not represent the amount of data stored within that folder.

To get that info from the command line you have to use other tools, such as du.

All in all a nice additional module for getting greater use out of Webmin.