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How to Install Cockpit on Debian 10

Hitesh Jethva
by Atlantic.Net (76posts) under VPS Hosting
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Cockpit is a free and open-source remote management software sponsored by Red Hat. It provides a web-based interface to manage and monitor a Linux-based server through a web browser. It runs on several operating systems, including Debian, Ubuntu, CentOS, Fedora, RHEL, and Arch Linux. With Cockpit, you can perform server management tasks remotely, such as manage services, create user accounts, monitor system, configure networks, inspect log, system update, manage firewall, domain management, setup OpenVPN, and many more. It also supports Kubernetes and Openshift cluster. Cockpit also provides graphs and easy-to-use forms to measure system performance and make changes to your systems.

In this tutorial, we will explain how to install Cockpit on Debian 10.

Prerequisites

  • A fresh Debian 10 64-bit VPS on the Atlantic.Net Cloud Platform
  • A root password configured on your server

Step 1 – Create an Atlantic.Net Cloud Server

First, log in to your Atlantic.Net Cloud Server.  Create a new server, choosing Debian 10 as the operating system with at least 2GB RAM. Connect to your Cloud Server via SSH and log in using the credentials highlighted at the top of the page.

Once you are logged in to your Debian 10 server, run the following command to update your base system with the latest available packages.

apt-get update -y

Step 2 – Install Cockpit

By default, Cockpit is available in the Debian 10 default repository. You can install it by simply running the following command:

apt-get install cockpit -y

Once Cockpit is installed, start the Cockpit service and enable it to start at system reboot with the following command:

systemctl start cockpit
systemctl enable cockpit
You can also verify the status of Cockpit with the following command:
systemctl status cockpit

You should get the following output:

● cockpit.service - Cockpit Web Service
   Loaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/cockpit.service; static; vendor preset: enabled)
   Active: active (running) since Tue 2020-07-28 05:57:44 UTC; 3s ago
     Docs: man:cockpit-ws(8)
  Process: 30466 ExecStartPre=/usr/sbin/remotectl certificate --ensure --user=root --group=cockpit-ws --selinux-type= (code=exited, status=0/SU
 Main PID: 30469 (cockpit-ws)
    Tasks: 2 (limit: 2359)
   Memory: 2.2M
   CGroup: /system.slice/cockpit.service
           └─30469 /usr/lib/cockpit/cockpit-ws
Jul 28 05:57:44 debian10 systemd[1]: Starting Cockpit Web Service...
Jul 28 05:57:44 debian10 remotectl[30466]: Generating temporary certificate using: sscg --quiet --lifetime 3650 --key-strength 2048 --cert-key-
Jul 28 05:57:44 debian10 remotectl[30466]: Error generating temporary dummy cert using sscg, falling back to openssl
Jul 28 05:57:44 debian10 remotectl[30466]: Generating temporary certificate using: openssl req -x509 -days 36500 -newkey rsa:2048 -keyout /etc/
Jul 28 05:57:44 debian10 systemd[1]: Started Cockpit Web Service.
Jul 28 05:57:44 debian10 cockpit-ws[30469]: Using certificate: /etc/cockpit/ws-certs.d/0-self-signed.cert

Step 3 – Access Cockpit Web Interface

At this point, Cockpit is installed and listening on port 9090. You can verify the listening port with the following command:

apt install net-tools -y
netstat -tunelp | grep  9090
You should see the following output:
tcp6       0      0 :::9090                 :::*                    LISTEN      0          192987     1/init

Now, open your web browser and access the Cockpit web UI using the URL https://your-server-ip:9090. You will be redirected to the Cockpit web interface as shown below:

Provide your system root username and password, and click on the Log in button. You should see the Cockpit dashboard in the following screen:

In the above screen, you should see the summary of your system information and performance graphs for CPU, Memory, Disk I/O, and network traffic.

Step 4 – How to Use Cockpit 

In this section, we will show you how to use Cockpit web interface.

In the left pane, you should see a lot of useful options.

In the left pane, click on the Logs menu. You should see the logs page which allows for logs inspection.

The Storage menu provides a summary of the system disk, partition, and file system as shown below:

The Networking menu provides network interface, IP address, and traffic information. You can also add Bond, Bridge, and VLAN using this menu.

With the Services menu, you can see Targets, System Services, Sockets, Timers, and Paths pages. You can also manage system services using this menu.

The Terminal menu provides a command-line interface to execute commands in your system.

Conclusion

In this guide, you learned how to install and use Cockpit on Debian 10. This tool is very useful for Linux beginners who don’t know the command-line and helps you to control a Linux server through a web interface. Get started with Cockpit on your Linux server on VPS Hosting from Atlantic.Net!

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