Web Hosting Control Panels

I run a small Supermicro Atom powered 1U server as a dedicated web server. I use Webmin on other systems, but I was looking for a control panel to run it. As Cpanel is the web hosting standard, it comes with a monthly bill for the software enough I could just get a VPS from a provider and have Cpanel included cheaper.

So I went on a quest to try out some free, open source control panels.

While there are more which I will list, let me start with the ones I actually installed and used to host sites.

My favorite was Kloxo

Pros:

1. 1 user for all of Your domains (ssh,ftp)

2. Simple directory structure. Your files are all in /home/user like Cpanel.

3. Installation is quick and easy.

4. The most similar to Cpanel.

Cons:

1. Development has stopped, or just slowed way down. Last update was over a year ago.

2. Several small bugs that can be worked out via their support forums.

3. As development has stopped, slowed, all packages are outdated.(PHP and Apache)

As I gave up on Kloxo and moved onto Zpanel.

Pros:

1. Easy install on Cent-OS 6

2. Easy to use web interface.

3. Can be installed on a Winblows machine.

4. Themes are available to install.

Cons:

1. SSH is not possible. (As a user, You can still ssh in as root)

2. No cron jobs.

I could do both as root, but thats not the point of this project. I wanted to do everything through the control panel.

As of now, I’m on ISPConfig 3.

Pros:

1. Active development.

2. Easy install on many linux distributions.

3. Themes are becoming avalible.

4. User created modules.

Cons:

1. User web space confusing. (/var/www/clients/client*/web*)

2. Must create a ftp and ssh user for each domain. Would be much easier with one ftp and ssh user for each user account.

3. DNS setup can be tricky. (See below)

4. Must create a user for each database. Which is fine except when it comes to phpmyadmin, lots of databases with different users.

4. Current theme is clunky and bland.

If You decide to try ISPConfig and run into any problems with DNS, try this as a DNS templete. It got me all passing results on www.intodns.com.

[ZONE]
origin={DOMAIN}.
ns=ns1.{DOMAIN}.
mbox={EMAIL}.
refresh=28800
retry=7200
expire=1209600
minimum=86400
ttl=86400

[DNS_RECORDS]
A||{IP}|0|86400
A|.|{IP}|0|86400
A|*|{IP}|0|86400
A|{DOMAIN}.|{IP}|0|86400
A|ns1|{NS1}.|{IP}|0|86400
A|ns2|{NS2}.|{IP}|0|86400
CNAME|www|{DOMAIN}.|0|86400]
CNAME|ftp|{DOMAIN}.|0|86400]
CNAME|webmail|{DOMAIN}.|0|86400]
NS|{DOMAIN}.|ns1.{DOMAIN}.|0|86400
NS|{DOMAIN}.|ns2.{DOMAIN}.|0|86400
MX|{DOMAIN}.|mail.{DOMAIN}.|10|86400

Here are some others I have not gotten around to trying out yet, but may interest You.
In no particular order.

1. OpenPanel

2. Virtualmin

3. Ajenti

4. EHCP

5. CWP