Cockpit (Server Administration)

Cockpit is a server manager that makes it easy to administer GNU/Linux servers via a web browser. On a FreedomBox, controls are available for many advanced functions that are not usually required. A web based terminal for console operations is also available.

It can be accessed by any user on your FreedomBox belonging to the admin group. Cockpit is only usable when you have proper domain name setup for your FreedomBox and you use that domain name to access Cockpit. See the Troubleshooting section for more information.

Use cockpit only if you are an administrator of GNU/Linux systems with advanced skills. FreedomBox tries to coexist with changes to system by system administrators and system administration tools like Cockpit. However, improper changes to the system might causes failures in FreedomBox functions.

Using Cockpit

Install Cockpit like any other application on FreedomBox. Make sure that Cockpit is enabled after that.

cockpit-enable.png

Ensure that the user account on FreedomBox that will used for Cockpit is part of the administrators group.

cockpit-admin-user.png

Launch the Cockpit web interface. Login using the configured user account.

cockpit-login.png

Start using cockpit.

cockpit-system.png

Cockpit is usable on mobile interfaces too.

cockpit-mobile.png

Features

The following features of Cockpit may be useful for advanced FreedomBox users.

System Dashboard

Cockpit has a system dashboard that

cockpit-system.png

Viewing System Logs

Cockpit allows querying system logs and examining them in full detail.

cockpit-logs.png

Managing Storage

Cockpit allows following advanced storage functions:

cockpit-storage1.png

cockpit-storage2.png

Networking

Cockpit and FreedomBox both rely on NetworkManager to configure the network. However, Cockpit offers some advanced configuration not available on FreedomBox:

cockpit-network1.png

cockpit-network2.png

cockpit-network3.png

Services

Cockpit allows management of services and periodic jobs (similar to cron).

cockpit-services1.png

cockpit-services2.png

Web Terminal

Cockpit offers a web based terminal that can be used perform manual system administration tasks.

cockpit-terminal.png

Troubleshooting

Cockpit requires a domain name to be properly setup on your FreedomBox and will only work when you access it using a URL with that domain name. Cockpit will not work when using IP address in the URL. Using freedombox.local as the domain name also does not work. For example, the following URLs will not work:

https://192.168.0.10/cockpit/
https://freedombox.local/cockpit/

To properly access Cockpit, use the domain name configured for your FreedomBox.Cockpit will also work well when using a Tor Hidden Service. The following URLs will work:

https://mybox.freedombox.rocks/cockpit/
https://exampletorhs.onion/cockpit/

The reason for this behaviour is that Cockpit uses WebSockets to connect to the backend server. Cross site requests for WebSockets must be prevented for security reasons. To implement this, Cockpit maintains a list of all domains from which requests are allowed. FreedomBox automatically configures this list whenever you add or remove a domain. However, since we can't rely on IP addresses, they are not added by FreedomBox to this domain list. You can see the current list of allowed domains, as managed by FreedomBox, in /etc/cockpit/cockpit.conf. You may edit this, but do so only if you understand web security consequences of this.

Back to Features introduction or manual pages.


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