- 1 A comparison of hosting control panels
- 2 features in common
- 3 Ravencore
- 4 SysCP
- 5 web://cp
- 6 VHCS
- 7 DTC
- 8 Alternc
- 9 Others
A comparison of hosting control panels¶
Until recently, there was no good free software projects to compete with commercial products like Plesk and CPanel. Now, there are several high quality and free Hosting Control Panels (HCP). This page attempts to survey the offerings.
Our conclusion is that Ravencore, SysCP, Alternc, and VHCS are all great programs. If you speak German, go with SysCP. If you speak French, go with Alternc. We don’t speak German, but we chose SysCP: it very easy to install on debian, has worked well and bug free, and is flexible about how your system is set up (we have a super funky vserver setup). If we were to choose now, we would probably pick Ravencore, but it was not released at the time we were initially deciding which to use.
features in common¶
The goal a Hosting Control Panel is this: automate the tasks associated with hosting common services and allow end users to control many of their own settings. The services typically include webhosting, DNS, mail accounts/forwards, and databases.
All of the control panels included in this survey share these features:
- Free Software.
- admins can create users.
- admins can create domains, assign them to a user, and the user can manage their dns (to a limited degree).
- admins can limit resources (bandwidth, quota, etc).
- admins and users can monitor usage and create pretty graphs.
- when a domain is created, apache and the MTA are also automatically configured.
- users can add subdomains.
- users can create and manage their own databases
- users can mail aliases/forwards
- users can create and manage ftp users
- everything originates in mysql, most stuff is then written to conf files.
- interface supports localization.
- a front end gui writes data to the database, and a back end daemon reads the database and makes changes to the system.
They all have these flaws:
- none have cms install. this is understandable, because this is actually hopelessly complex to do well.
- bad documentation
- none support multiple servers. probably all could be hacked to support
some kind of clustering (ie mysql server, fileserver, dns server, etc).
- except for ravencore, none support fine control over a domain (ie you cannot add arbitrary records). You can often do this by manually editing some files, but it is clumsy.
programs used: bind, dovecot, postfix, spamassassin, vsftpd, apache
user types: admin and user
A very good interface and has many features.
Actually has great support for custom DNS. You can start and stop daemons.
still new and unproven, while the others have been around a while.
apache, courier, postfix, proftp, bind9, webalizer, mysql.
language: php for gui and daemons.
very easy, great debian package.
admin, domain owner, and a user within a domain.
very active development, developed for debian, 100% virtual users stored in mysql. flexible as to how you configure it with your system. very easy to install in debian. doesn’t crap all over your system.
seems like all the community support is in german. The interface can be a little odd at times.
forum: 11189 articles / 825 users. 99% in German! Almost no english, although the code is in english.
apache, mydns, powerdns, sendmail, mysql, webalizer, proftpd.
both gui and daemon in php.
admin, domain user.
runs in two apaches, one for control panel and one for hosting.
doesn’t use bind. good community support, flexible as to how it is used and
integrated, developers seem very open to accepting patches.
redhat focused. difficult to install (i never got it working). doesn’t do imap/pop. confusing interface.
forum: 3283 articles / 299 registered users
apache, bind9, courier, postfix, awstat, proftpd, mysql.
license: mozilla public license
gui in php, daemon in perl
admin, reseller, user.
big staff behind company developing it. full featured. pretty. large community.
seems inflexible about how it is integrates with a system.
forum: 11849 posts
Domain Technologie Control (DTC)->http://www.gplhost.com/?rub=softwares&sousrub=dtc]
apache, bind9, dovecot, qmail, postfix, webalizer, proftpd, mysql.
php for gui and daemons.
integrates somehow with tucows gTDL domain reseller api.
admin, reseller, user.
developed for debian.
community seems small.
forum: 54 users/ 321 articles.
very interesting, not much english, all french. built for debian (exclusively). been around for a long long time, very advanced, many features. includes webinstall modules.
These have slightly different functions goals: