Extending Virtualmin with pluginsMarch 3rd, 2008
Not many people know that Virtualmin’s already extensive list of built-in features can be extended by writing plugins, which are basically Webmin modules that export a special API. Why would you want to do this, you may ask? Let’s say their is a mailing list application, log analyzer, database or source code control system that you want to make available on a per-domain basis .. if so, a plugin is the way to do it.
A plugin is typically used to a new feature to Virtualmin. In it’s parlance, a feature is something that is enabled on a per-domain basis, such as a website, DNS domain or MySQL database. Let’s say you have discovered an awesome new log analysis program that you want run on each domain’s log files – a plugin would be the way to implement it.
A plugin can also add options to mailbox users. The most common use of this is to grant access on a per-user basis to some resource, such as statistics, an application or database. Plugins can also create new database types, add links to the left menu in the Virtualmin framed theme, and add sections to it’s system information page.
Some of the existing plugins give you an idea of what’s possible :
- The DAV plugin adds a feature which makes a virtual server’s web pages editable from applications that support the protocol, such as Windows and OSX. It also lets you enable DAV logins for each mailbox in the domain.
- The Bootup Actions plugin allows domain owners to have their long-running server processes started when the system boots.
- The Mail Relay plugin lets you forward email for a domain to another server, which can be configured by the domain owner.
- The Admin Notes feature adds a new section to the right-hand frame for entering comments about the system, for sharing status between master admins.
To see a full list of plugins that exist, check out the third-party modules database.
If you know Perl, have written a regular Webmin module, and want to write your own plugin, check out the extensive documentation on the API.