Possibly a bug: cannot add sub-domain in virtualmin 3.40

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#1 Thu, 05/10/2007 - 04:34
Lucian

Possibly a bug: cannot add sub-domain in virtualmin 3.40

I've upgraded to virtualmin 3.40 and now i cant any longer add sub-domains. The option for adding sub-domain simply isnt there anymore. Now i can only add new server or alias of existing server. I fell back to version 3.39 and all is fine.

OS: mandriva linux 2007.1

Thu, 05/10/2007 - 05:00
Joe
Joe's picture

Hey Lucian,

Sub-domains have been deprecated. They are still available, if you enable them in the module configuration, but they were a kind of dumb idea to start with (added to make folks coming over from a competitors product more comfortable). Sub-servers are capable of doing everything Sub-domains can, and more, and don't do silly things like share data directories and such.

So, in short, use Sub-servers instead. If there's something about the way Sub-domains were implemented that you really liked, let us know. They just confused more people than they helped. We got a lot of "what's the difference between sub-domains and sub-servers?" queries...and when we really thought about it, the answer was "nothing...except that sub-domains are severely limited in how you can use them, and have a weird directory structure that confuses people".

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Mon, 08/13/2007 - 19:09 (Reply to #2)
thetitan

I don't understand why sharing data is vied in a negative way. I have been using webmin and virtualmin for about a year now, and from what I've read on the forums, you really dislike the concept/conventional way of using sub-domains. How come? I am saying conventional way of using sub-domains, in regards to the general shared web hosting population, i.e. the people who are not server administrators.

In actuality, <u>being able to choose between</u> adding a sub-server or sub-domain is a very good thing.

For example: I would use <b>sub-domain</b> for myself, and be able to share data between different sub-domain' directories, without having to have the same data multiple times, or do anything extra to be able access the data. I also like being able to access data through both sub.domain.tld or domain.tld/directory.

I would use <b>sub-servers</b> when I want to host a site for someone other than myself. Here is when not being able to data-share comes handy.

1.<u>In addition, if data sharing is a concern, it makes sense to have the ability to create a new username and password in addition to the separate DNS zone and independent directory.</u>
2.Why do you use a separate DNS zone for sub-servers?

============

1. Please bring back sub-domains.
OR
2. Make it an enable/disable option in the module config. Thus avoiding the need to edit files.

Meanwhile, how do we go about enabling the sub-domain option? Thank you.&lt;br&gt;&lt;br&gt;Post edited by: thetitan, at: 2007/08/13 19:10

Mon, 08/13/2007 - 21:51 (Reply to #3)
Joe
Joe's picture

Howdy titan,

Shared data is easier than sub-domains or sub-servers. That's what aliases are for. But maybe you're after something else? I'm not sure how the old sub-domain model give you any useful data sharing...I guess the parent could look in subdomain/ for stuff within its public_html. I'm having a hard time imagining why that would be useful. I'm willing to be convinced. But I can't think of anything. Maybe you could give an example?

We're not opposed to any data sharing...we just had a lot of confused users (folks who'd never user cPanel, which sets up sub-domains this way, as well as users who though that they had to create a sub-domain account if they want a virtual server to have a sub-domain name). So, for us and a big bunch of users there were two problems with the sub-domain account type:

1. Confusing file locations. Only cPanel users understood that sub-domains lived in the public_html directory of their parent. We could probably come up with a way to deal with this problem, but it generated a lot of support queries.

2. Confusing use of terms. &quot;Sub-domain&quot; is merely a name, and should connote nothing about ownership, but the &quot;Sub-domain&quot; account type had both ownership meaning (owned by parent.tld virtual server user) and name meaning (named sub.parent.tld). This is a big problem, and generated even more support queries than the above--folks who really wanted a whole new server owned by someone else (e.g. jamie.parent.tld vs. joe.parent.tld) but had created a bunch of sub-domain accounts instead.

You can already bring sub-domains back. Browse to Module Configuration and in the &quot;Defaults for new domains&quot; section, find the option labeled &quot;Allow creation of sub-domains?&quot; Set it to &quot;Yes&quot;.

Anyway, while we're getting less confusion now, there's still some folks who really like the cPanel way of doing sub-domains. I'm willing to be wrong about it being a useless subset of sub-servers. But we'll need to come up with some other way to designate this type of account--we can't keep using &quot;sub-domain&quot; in such a confusing way. Maybe &quot;Shared home Sub-server&quot; or something like that? I dunno. Maybe you can guide me a bit on why this sharing of data is useful? I'm not at all opposed to sharing data among virtual servers owned by the same account, and that's certainly not why we removed this feature by default. It was removed because it was confusing on multiple levels and made customers unhappy and feel like they couldn't do things with Virtualmin that are possible and easy as long as you're going down the right path (like creating sub-domain accounts owned by different users).

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Mon, 08/13/2007 - 21:52 (Reply to #4)
thetitan

You don't have to answer this:
<b>thetitan wrote:</b>
<div class='quote'>I don't understand why sharing data is vied in a negative way. I have been using webmin and virtualmin for about a year now, and from what I've read on the forums, you really dislike the concept/conventional way of using sub-domains. How come? I am saying conventional way of using sub-domains, in regards to the general shared web hosting population, i.e. the people who are not server administrators.</div>

I figured it out for myself. And it makes complete sense.

But I still would like to read your thoughts and response to the rest.

Mon, 08/13/2007 - 21:53 (Reply to #5)
thetitan

LOL, were were posting at the same time :)

Thu, 05/10/2007 - 10:16
Lucian

Aha! So it's not a bug, it's a feature. Good to know :-)

So far I have 2 points against the removal of sub-domain option:
1. for each sub-domain(subserver) is created a new dns zone.
2. contrary to what you've said, i think the user (especially those coming from other web platforms) expects to see a specific option to add a subdomain.

Thu, 05/10/2007 - 18:23
Lucian

&quot;They are still available, if you enable them in the module configuration...&quot;[- skimmed virtualmin 3.40 module configuration several times. I have found nothing regarding sub-domains. Where do i have to look to enable it?

Fri, 05/11/2007 - 08:32
Lucian

Joe?

Sun, 06/07/2009 - 07:14
thetitan

I see your point about sub-survers/sub-dmains and Aliases. Looks like cPanle is responsible for this misunderstanding.

In 2001, when I bought my first domain, with my first ever web host, I was exposed to a great CP, and I really liked it because of all the things I could do. Unfortunately, few months latter the web host went down, and could not find anyone else, who was offering the same CP. That CP was Webmin. For the next 3 and a half, 4 years I was on cPanel. Then, last year, after I finally got more into web hosting, after I acquired more domains, I decided to make the switch to a server under my control. Thus I finally returned to Webmin and its wonderful functionality.

cPanle makes things really easy, but it does not help people learn administration and configuration.

=============================

Because of cPanel, the way I became used to navigating and calling files was through absolute path, i.e. ../../directory/file. Dew to my DOS days, I preferred this way of navigation. Also being able to access data through sub.domain.tld and domain.tld/sub was a very nice convenience. Although it did not work for some php aps, like forums for example, and it NEVER made sense to me why, if it is a sub-domain, am I able to access the data by just browsing to /sub. Even though I saw that it is simply a sub-folder, I thought that the DNS and web server would be set to directly navigate to the sub-domain. I never thought about looking more into it. I just did not have the need to do so. I was on a shared server, with a CP that made everything very easy.

Some reason why I find the shared sub-folders easier and more appealing is access privileges. For example, there might be files in one &acirc;

Sun, 06/07/2009 - 07:14
thetitan

I see your point about sub-survers/sub-dmains and Aliases. Looks like cPanle is responsible for this misunderstanding.

In 2001, when I bought my first domain, with my first ever web host, I was exposed to a great CP, and I really liked it because of all the things I could do. Unfortunately, few months latter the web host went down, and could not find anyone else, who was offering the same CP. That CP was Webmin. For the next 3 and a half, 4 years I was on cPanel. Then, last year, after I finally got more into web hosting, after I acquired more domains, I decided to make the switch to a server under my control. Thus I finally returned to Webmin and its wonderful functionality.

cPanle makes things really easy, but it does not help people learn administration and configuration.

=============================

Because of cPanel, the way I became used to navigating and calling files was through absolute path, i.e. ../../directory/file. Dew to my DOS days, I preferred this way of navigation. Also being able to access data through sub.domain.tld and domain.tld/sub was a very nice convenience. Although it did not work for some php aps, like forums for example, and it NEVER made sense to me why, if it is a sub-domain, am I able to access the data by just browsing to /sub. Even though I saw that it is simply a sub-folder, I thought that the DNS and web server would be set to directly navigate to the sub-domain. I never thought about looking more into it. I just did not have the need to do so. I was on a shared server, with a CP that made everything very easy.

Some reason why I find the shared sub-folders easier and more appealing is access privileges. For example, there might be files in one &acirc;

Sun, 06/07/2009 - 07:14
Joe
Joe's picture

<div class='quote'>1. Why do you create a separate DNS zone for the sub-server?</div>

For flexibility. Among other things, it makes it trivial to move the sub-server to a new machine later if load becomes a problem (of course, moving to a new server introduces new complexities in ownership and accounts, but still...). Anyway, it's not particularly important where the records reside, for most users.

But, it is also configurable. Actually, everything in Virtualmin is configurable! You just have to know where to look (and therein lies the rub...with everything being configurable, finding any one thing is really quite a challenge...we're working on solutions to this problem). In this case:

Edit the Server Template(s) that you use for &quot;Sub-servers&quot;

Select the BIND DNS Domain section

Set the option labeled &quot;Add sub-domain DNS records to parent domain?&quot; to Yes.

Save it.

All future sub-servers that use this template will have their records added to the parent.tld zone, rather than creating a new sub.parent.tld zone.

This one is a toss-up for me. We've had users ask for both (which is why it's configurable, and even configurable on a per-Template basis). I dunno if our default is right, but it gets few complaints, so it's probably fine. Most people don't dig down that deep.

<div class='quote'>2. Seeing that the sub-server is created in an independent directory, and the creation form is pretty mush the same as creating a top level server. Why not allow the administrator to create a new user with privileges to access only that sub-server&acirc;

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Sun, 06/07/2009 - 07:14
thetitan

I see your point about sub-survers/sub-dmains and Aliases. Looks like cPanle is responsible for this misunderstanding.

In 2001, when I bought my first domain, with my first ever web host, I was exposed to a great CP, and I really liked it because of all the things I could do. Unfortunately, few months latter the web host went down, and could not find anyone else, who was offering the same CP. That CP was Webmin. For the next 3 and a half, 4 years I was on cPanel. Then, last year, after I finally got more into web hosting, after I acquired more domains, I decided to make the switch to a server under my control. Thus I finally returned to Webmin and its wonderful functionality.

cPanle makes things really easy, but it does not help people learn administration and configuration.

=============================

Because of cPanel, the way I became used to navigating and calling files was through absolute path, i.e. ../../directory/file. Dew to my DOS days, I preferred this way of navigation. Also being able to access data through sub.domain.tld and domain.tld/sub was a very nice convenience. Although it did not work for some php aps, like forums for example, and it NEVER made sense to me why, if it is a sub-domain, am I able to access the data by just browsing to /sub. Even though I saw that it is simply a sub-folder, I thought that the DNS and web server would be set to directly navigate to the sub-domain. I never thought about looking more into it. I just did not have the need to do so. I was on a shared server, with a CP that made everything very easy.

Some reason why I find the shared sub-folders easier and more appealing is access privileges. For example, there might be files in one &acirc;

Wed, 08/15/2007 - 01:26
MarkThomas

For the sake of conversation only, and not because I absolutely have to have them: I, too, could use subdomains.

In the past, I've always pointed them at a subdirectory within the main website. Lately, I've been playing with Drupal. It will allow people to set up multiple sites (with or without unique permissions), all running the same software. In this case it would be nice to have an option to point the subdomain at public_html.

I have not done aliases. I will try to take a look at them and see if I can accomplish the same thing that way.

Wed, 08/15/2007 - 09:33 (Reply to #14)
Joe
Joe's picture

I would assume that aliases would be the right solution (not a &quot;also works for&quot; solution, but in fact, the exact and only really clean way), but I don't actually know how Drupal multi-site works. I'll be spending some time with it soon (I'm writing up little articles for all of our install scripts, one or two per week, and Drupal is near the top of the list of scheduled articles), so I'll try to poke around.

I'd be curious to know what Drupal needs other than a different hostname? (Then again, maybe alias doesn't provide the different hostname down at the PHP level, and you actually need rewriting...which wouldn't be better solved by the old sub-domain account type either). Maybe each site gets its own index.php, which then sets up the environment for the site being called. That could use the old sub-domain style. Maybe.

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Wed, 08/15/2007 - 03:19
thetitan

The only reason I found this topic is because I am migrating my sites to a new server, and I have to st up everything. After I got done configuring majority of the server I noticed that the sub-domain option was gone.

Anyways, I am in the process migrating the data now. I have recreated all my sub-domain as sub-server, and I am having some permission issues with creating the aliases. There are domains associated with sub-domains, which I use as a form of direct access, i.e. less typing and navigation. I think, it is a issue with the server template configuration. I have &quot;Allow sub-servers not under this domain?&quot; set to Yes. And I have been able to create aliases under the old server, before. I will have to go over the config again. I might be missing something.

I didn't even think about sites like drupal, as Mark mentioned, where miltisite setup is used. I am planing on turning one of my sites into a multi site. From what I remember reading in the drupal manual, i think that miltisite with independent servers/independent location is possible. I will have to look at it again.

Sun, 06/07/2009 - 07:14
thetitan

I see your point about sub-survers/sub-dmains and Aliases. Looks like cPanle is responsible for this misunderstanding.

In 2001, when I bought my first domain, with my first ever web host, I was exposed to a great CP, and I really liked it because of all the things I could do. Unfortunately, few months latter the web host went down, and could not find anyone else, who was offering the same CP. That CP was Webmin. For the next 3 and a half, 4 years I was on cPanel. Then, last year, after I finally got more into web hosting, after I acquired more domains, I decided to make the switch to a server under my control. Thus I finally returned to Webmin and its wonderful functionality.

cPanle makes things really easy, but it does not help people learn administration and configuration.

=============================

Because of cPanel, the way I became used to navigating and calling files was through absolute path, i.e. ../../directory/file. Dew to my DOS days, I preferred this way of navigation. Also being able to access data through sub.domain.tld and domain.tld/sub was a very nice convenience. Although it did not work for some php aps, like forums for example, and it NEVER made sense to me why, if it is a sub-domain, am I able to access the data by just browsing to /sub. Even though I saw that it is simply a sub-folder, I thought that the DNS and web server would be set to directly navigate to the sub-domain. I never thought about looking more into it. I just did not have the need to do so. I was on a shared server, with a CP that made everything very easy.

Some reason why I find the shared sub-folders easier and more appealing is access privileges. For example, there might be files in one &acirc;

Wed, 08/22/2007 - 13:21
MarkThomas

I'm still learning Drupal, myself. From what I can see, the package uses only one index.php and one set of script files for normal processing. It's got a sites folder in which the operator can place multiple settings directories ... configurations. The settings directories are each named after the domain or subdomain.

So far, I've not gotten this to work, and I've been running the default single-site setup. It would appear, however, that someone with a bit more experience than I have would be able to get this going in a snap. I like to play. ;-)

Thu, 08/23/2007 - 01:45 (Reply to #18)
Joe
Joe's picture

<div class='quote'>From what I can see, the package uses only one index.php and one set of script files for normal processing.</div>

Sounds like Alias is almost certainly the right account type, then. Anything else would just complicate things (a lot). If Drupal is hostname aware, then an alias would be all you'd need to allow users to connect to different hostnames on the same instance. Which is awesome. The more I play with Joomla, the more I wish I'd selected Drupal for Virtualmin.com!

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