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Does cpanel need to slim down?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by MichaelShanks, Jun 9, 2006.

  1. MichaelShanks

    MichaelShanks Well-Known Member
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    Hello Guys, this is a serious discussion about cpanel, I'm quite quiet here but I have been using cpanel for over 6 years on over 400 servers in that time, I have submitted bugs, helped nick with issues at 5am in the morning and seen the company evolve from its humble beginnings. I was also a moderator on this forum when it was first deployed.

    I am seeing a serious problem with cpanel, as an administrator I am constantly having to keep up to date with bug fixes and new features, it seems that a lot of new bugs are being introduced into the distributions and the this is probably due to the number of duplicated features.

    do we really need

    3 webmail clients (2 with maildir)
    2 mail formats
    2 forum tools
    2 ftp servers
    several log generation utilities.
    support over 20 different linux distributions?
    items listed as depriciated but still present in WHM

    it seems cpanel is spread very thing, there are several things that need to be resolved or dropped, I know as an admin we can remove these features from the control panel, but that is not the point, time is needed to keep these things up to date and concentrating on multiple items means a lot more bugs spread over a lot more utilities. The effort for legacy support and features has been valiant, but maybe for the sanity of the user base some sort of uniformity needs to take place.


    apache 2.0 support has been in the works for about 3 years
    windows release, 6 years in the making
    more RPM suport for php and apache



    the backend of cpanel hasn't changed in years, it works yes, but moving away from perl to a cleaner language may be of benifit. The major benifit of using cpanel is that it isn't tied deeply into the OS, this could be of great benifit to the developers in allowing a serious overhaul to take place.

    Michael Shanks
    Ultraspeed
     
  2. GordonH

    GordonH Well-Known Member

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    It has seemed to me for a long time that Cpanel is aimed at people who run one or two servers and demand more and more consumer level features.
    The whole multiserver issue has not been dealt with.

    e.g.

    Not possible to use external DNS servers and the internal system seems to bork at more than 4000 zones (I know because we tried it). This means that add on domains can not be used directly without running an intermediate script and maintaining it on all the servers.

    Exim config files regularly overwritten by updates even though cpanel actually has all the modifications stored in a seperate file and even has a script built in for rebuilding the file after a disaster.

    Ditto local/remotedomains.

    Insufficient communication from Cpanel re updates. e.g. which forum software is actually going to be used with Cpanel ? There has been nothing about this in WHM news.

    Inability to separate mail off onto seperate servers. There needs to be a clustered solution as running mail and web on the same boxes does not work reliably enough if there is a spam issue and it increases maintenance costs.

    Webmail and cpanel running on weird ports. Yes, I know why its like this and I agree with the principal but most home user firewalls block it by default.
    There needs to be an onboard proxy as an alternative address maybe on port 8080 ?

    mod_username allows any user to bypass the bandwidth limitations.
    Yes, it can be turned off but its hellish to have to manually turn on users individually for their first couple of days.
    The system should set up "username.servername" subdomains and count the bandwidth usage.

    Needs better onboard security for less advanced users so they can plug in centrally updated mod_security and firewall rules.
    This would not be difficult to implement.

    Better mail tracking of user nobody and possibly a log parsing tool of some sort.


    Thats really just the first things that come to mind as they have recently annoyed me, but overall I want cpanel to REDUCE the number of things it is trying to add as "advanced" features and concentrate on getting the core functions working correctly.
     
  3. -jdk-

    -jdk- Well-Known Member

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    With that many servers you should invest in a custom control panel solution. cPanel is made to give the user options. Instead of incorporating one mail feature, there is multiple ones. Some users like one and other users may like another. Giving variety is what I like about cPanel. I have noticed a lot of bigger companies creating their own control panels to create a customized solution for themselves. You may want to look into this.
     
  4. GordonH

    GordonH Well-Known Member

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    Interesting idea but:

    1. How would you migrate 33,000 cpanel accounts?
    2. Would you be prepared to risk the customers not liking the new system and swapping host?
    3. How to fund a complete set of new servers for the move, when profit margins are already very low.

    Larger cpanel customers have been loyal to cpanel.
    Now its time for cpanel to be loyal to us and address these issues.
    Its not like we are asking for something for free.
    I would expect to pay for any multi server/management server solution.
     
  5. damainman

    damainman Well-Known Member

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    I really dont think Cpanel should be slimmed down per say. I like having different options such as which ftp i want to use or what stats i want to use.

    However i do think that cpanel really should consider providing a feature to properly allow dns/mail/database servers to be on a completly different server so cpu intensive websites can run more efficiently.

    I love seeing new features in cpanel, but i dont mind them stopping work on new features for a bit to make the system more stable and clean. Theres cpanel add-ons that have been in beta for months, i dont think working on multiple is really a good idea. Why have multiple betas, when u can stable versions alot quicker if you just focused on 1 thing at a time.

    Atleast thats my two cents.
     
  6. netnameus

    netnameus Well-Known Member

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    what about plug-ins? this way the host can decided what ftp, or what webmail programs to use based on the plugins they woudl install/uninstall.

    cpanel can have official plugins, but there can also be user-submitted plugins.
     
  7. GordonH

    GordonH Well-Known Member

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    That would mean updating each server seperately and hoping that a cpanel update did not overwrite those setting changes.
    It is not viable without a single central management system for multiple servers.

    Separating off the mail onto seperate machines has got to be a #1 priority as spamd and exim loads can cause serious problems for delivery of web pages.

    The only reason I can run such a large number of Cpanel servers is that we have cobbled together a central interface using the API calls via WHM. This allows me to add an account to a server and set it up on our seperate DNS system at the same time plus send out a welcome email.
    It has other functions as well like password resetting and looking up the email address the customer has put in cpanel so we can compare it to the billing one we have on file.
    If I had not created this I would have had to switch from Cpanel when we were much smaller.
     
  8. MichaelShanks

    MichaelShanks Well-Known Member
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    hello the problem isn't having the features, the problem is having so many different options from open source platforms that it makes the task of the cpanel developers who are trying to fix bugs and update each utility 5x as difficult,


    cpanel defiently need to move mail off servers, or at least give us that option, I am having to look into prefiltering with a barracuda solution to save resources across the network.
     
  9. sketchynet

    sketchynet Member

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    Sorry to bump but i totaly agree...cPanel is dead...

    You have a layout that looks like it was made 15 years ago, features that are designed for 10 year old servers...what the heck is going on? Where are the developers? Sitting in hawaii with a pile of our cash?

    People pay good money for cPanel...its time you started respecting your members and LISTENING TO THEM
     
  10. sitekeeper

    sitekeeper Well-Known Member

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    And what fine control panel have you been using... I tried most of them and overall cPanel has them beat... As far a looks go, thats why there are themes.
    Get a grip man! :D
     
  11. sketchynet

    sketchynet Member

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    Its true though...cant they buy me a new laptop :p
     
  12. al-profisoor

    al-profisoor Registered

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  13. sitekeeper

    sitekeeper Well-Known Member

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    A lot of people have been using Apache 2 on cpanel for a while....

    If you want it that bad edit your /etc/cpupdate.conf file to look like this:
    CPANEL=manual-beta
    RPMUP=daily
    SYSUP=manual

    and run /scripts/upcp
    Then /scripts/easyapache and select one of the 3 versions of Apache along with the 100 other options you want.

    Please don't complain if you have problems and don't know how to fix them.
     
  14. NT

    NT Well-Known Member

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    I think cPanel should slim-down a bit in terms of the addon scripts and things not related to the running of the server - Fantastico etc are capable (and designed) to manage addon scripts, and I think cPanel should focus on the server administrator rather than trying to cover all the bases.

    It seems that they're making great progress with Apache and generally getting things up to date, but again, they should focus on the core rather than branching out in too many directions.
     
  15. dgbaker

    dgbaker Well-Known Member
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    I agree that cPanel needs to focus more on System Administration type tasks and forget about trying to be the "everything and anything under one roof". cPanel software would have a lot less issues and probably more stable if they stuck with the admin side of things.

    As was said, programs like Fantastico and others are the tools for addons, and as such cPanel needs to focus more on the core server services and such.

    I don't know about a lot of you, but I know we remove/disable all of the cPanel addon scripts as they are not stable enough nor friendly enough.
     
  16. NT

    NT Well-Known Member

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    Although I don't do public web-hosting, I still host a few friends'/personal websites on the machine.

    Even so, I disable all addon scripts inside cPanel, as like you, I don't feel they're stable or secure enough, or that cPanel keep them updated with the "proper" version. Plus, I like to think that my users are knowledgable enough to install them from source, so to speak.
     
  17. sketchynet

    sketchynet Member

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    Yup, i have them all disabled...they are too buggy and/or unfriendly and/or outdated.
     
  18. zigzam

    zigzam Well-Known Member

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    I believe cpanel needs to remove the addon scripts and the cgi-center. Both cause more troubles than good and require extra time to remove them. If anything they should be turned off by default and if a user wants them, then they can be installed as an addon.
     
  19. randomuser

    randomuser Well-Known Member

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    I'd like to see bugzilla cleaned up. It's disgusting. Something like 1,700+ OPEN bug reports, why? What happens when you submit a bug report? Unless it's ultra critical, it will rarely get acknowledgement (I realize there are many enhancement requests, as well as bogus bug reports). What I think everyone would like to see are bug fixes. A complete code review of cPanel and WHM. The last bug report I submitted was closed, and I was told it was a duplicate of some other bug report that had over 135 comments in it, and wasn't even opened for the same issue I mentioned. I was also blamed (as stated by a cPanel tech in the report) for causing the issue. The issue which I _very clearly_ outlined, which did not state that myself, nor any of our staff, had done anything to cause the issue. Thank you for shutting out your customers and pinning the fault of Yet Another cPanel Bug on the customer. I considered the issue important enough to open a report (cPanel killing apache by adding non existent group names to the httpd.conf), and that was the response that was given. Pathetic.

    I know the focus of this thread is about slimming down, and all I can say is that if that means less bugs, then my stance is a resounding hell yes, cPanel needs to slow down, slim down, start QAing code much more diligently (why are there so many bugs in STABLE??), and appreciate when users submit bug reports, since they are essentially beta testing their software for them anyway. Less features, more stability. If the software isn't stable, what good is it?
     
  20. sketchynet

    sketchynet Member

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    I think they need to do more than a code review...a recode sounds better, their coding is way out of date, and must be very poor...its being patched up to keep it going all the time...that cant be good.

    Its quite funny that cPanel developers have yet to post in this thread.
     
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