If you’d prefer to administer your Ubuntu servers via a web-based GUI, Jack Wallen thinks Cockpit is a great option, and he’s ready to show you how to install it.

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Image: sharafmaksumov/Adobe Stock

Cockpit is a web-based GUI for management servers that typically ships with RHEL-based distributions such as Red Hat Enterprise Linux, CentOS Stream, Rocky Linux and AlmaLinux. It’s a great way to keep tabs on your servers, manage users/groups/storage/services, update software, view logs and so much more.

Although Cockpit does come pre-installed with some of the RHEL-based Linux distributions, it is not found on Ubuntu Server out of the box. Fortunately, the process for installing Cockpit on Ubuntu Server isn’t all that challenging.

Let’s do just that.

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What you’ll need

The only things you’ll need are a running instance of Ubuntu Server (I’ll be demonstrating on Ubuntu Server 22.04) and a user with sudo privileges. That’s it: Let’s get to work.

How to install Cockpit

Log into your Ubuntu Server instance and issue the command:

sudo apt-get install cockpit -y

Once the installation completes, start and enable Cockpit with:

sudo systemctl enable --now cockpit.socket

Now that Cockpit is installed and running, you can log in. However, depending on how your system is set up, you’ll want to make sure the user you log into Cockpit with has sudo privileges. For that, you would issue the command:

sudo usermod -aG sudo USER

Where USER is the name of the user in question.

Just for fun, we’ll add container support to our instance just to show how easy it is. From the terminal window, issue the command:

sudo apt-get install podman cockpit-podman -y

Start and enable Podman with:

sudo systemctl enable --now podman

How to log into Cockpit

Open a web browser and point it to https://SERVER:9090. You should be greeted by the login screen (Figure A).

Figure A

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Image: Jack Wallen/TechRepublic. Logging into our newly-installed instance of Cockpit.

If you find that the firewall isn’t allowing you through, but you can enable the correct port with the following:

sudo ufw allow 9090

Upon logging in, you will see that the web console is running in limited access mode (Figure B).

Figure B

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Image: Jack Wallen/TechRepublic. We need to grant heightened access to our user.

We need to grant heightened access to our user.

Click Turn On Administrative Access. Then, when prompted (Figure C), type your user’s password to grant administrative access.

Figure C

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Image: Jack Wallen/TechRepublic. Granting full access to our user in Cockpit.

At this point, your user should be able to use all of the features found in Cockpit to better administer your server. And that’s all there is to installing Cockpit on Ubuntu Jammy Jellyfish server; enjoy that added ease and power.

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