What's the best Linux web hosting control panel?
May 26, 2010 7:13 PM   Subscribe

What's the best Linux web hosting control panel? I have a client who's hosting a few hundred websites on a homebrew Apache virtual hosting setup. It's a mess. I'm looking at migrating them to proper control panel software.

Almost all of these websites are PHP/MySQL, mostly custom-written. There are fewer then ten physical servers which host these sites. They're having capacity issues and security problems. I've used cPanel in the past, but I've been largely unimpressed. I've been looking at ISPConfig, Virtualmin and a few others. I'm leaning towards an open-source solution, since I'd like to be able to make modifications to the source if necessary. Anyone have experience with this sort of thing?
posted by signalnine to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
For standard php/mysql sites I like MediaTemple's implementation of the plesk virtual host and control panels. If you a lot of control to install custom software beyond the standard php/mysql it might not be for you. But their web based tools for managing a cluster of php/mysql sites are pretty awesome.

MT has good prices and cloud based hosting options should help with meeting the demand if you have capacity issues. Security is also going to be pretty solid, altho that could be a problem with your apps themselves.

** I do not work for MediaTemple. I do not currently have an account with MediaTemple, only because the apps I work on are a bit more intense that just php/mysql.
posted by cbecker333 at 7:37 PM on May 26, 2010

I've tried many of them - my favorite is DirectAdmin.
posted by spilon at 9:08 PM on May 26, 2010

Honestly? There isn't one. CPanel is kind of the default go to, but to call it's "best" would be insulting to anyone who cares about UI. And that fact that you're unimpressed doesn't surprise me.

I have it on *very* good authority that there is a new player entering the market. If you have a bit of time to wait consider going to HostingCon in July. It's in Austin and I would expect all the major players to be there as well as any new entries.
posted by FlamingBore at 10:30 PM on May 26, 2010

I often use Webmin but I don't think it would be ideal for managing a whole lot of vhosts. However, there is a module called Virtualmin that has a GPL version and seems like it might be more what you're looking for.
posted by camcgee at 10:45 PM on May 26, 2010

And now I see that you tried Virtualmin already...sorry.
posted by camcgee at 10:46 PM on May 26, 2010

I'm not a sysadmin, but I've had good luck with InterWorx as a web hosting reseller control panel. I like it better than cPanel and Plesk, at least from a usability perspective.
posted by amb at 11:28 PM on May 26, 2010

Of the control panels I've tried, cPanel is my favourite. Its simple, easy to use, looks good and doesn't let clients break anything too badly. So long as you don't care what's going on under the hood or want to edit anything directly, its great.
If you're the only one who will have access to it and you're at least somewhat experienced as a sysadmin Webmin/Virtualmin is more powerful in terms of the access and control you have over what's going on but I wouldn't want a client to have access to it - too much they could break.
IMO Plesk is just awful, its slow and takes way too many clicks to get where you want to go.
posted by missmagenta at 12:58 AM on May 27, 2010

I can't stand any of them. I write bash scripts to automate my tasks. I can modify them as I see fit and don't have to worry about certain parts of the server being off limits because it's been taken over by plesk/cpanel/whatever.
posted by Brian Puccio at 4:33 AM on May 27, 2010

I've had to deal w/ plesk and cpanel and all of them for a long time.

Cpanel is the only one I can stand. Who gives half a flip if it's not gorgeous? If you use the WHM, you can customize each cpanel to look how you want it, themed or w/e.

If you ever have to mess with cname's and MX's and ftp's and files and all that crap, cpanel is so the way to go.

Cpanel w/ fantastico, phpmyadmin, and the basic set of features is more than 99% of people will ever need.
posted by TomMelee at 7:39 AM on May 27, 2010

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