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General Cpanel questions

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by mabu, Jun 13, 2006.

  1. mabu

    mabu Member

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    Hello everyone, I'm looking into Cpanel but I want to find out if it is the best product for my sitaution. I run a small hosting company and my servers are FreeBSD-based. I traditionally don't allow ssh access for users or much control. I pretty much set everything up manually from DNS to e-mail accounts and any user-supplied CGI scripts. It's a tight ship.

    However, I do want to be able to give some users the ability to manage their own pop3 accounts and a more robust web-based e-mail system. I have been using Sendmail in the past but I'm thinking of moving to Postfix+Squirrellmail. Since users don't have shell access, I use the standard /var/mail/xxx mailbox scheme. How compatible is a setup like this with cpanel? Would you recommend a different mail setup? Does something different come with cpanel?

    Is it overkill to implement cpanel when I just want to give some users the ability to manage x number of pop accounts?

    Any advice or suggestions would be appreciated.
     
  2. AndyReed

    AndyReed Well-Known Member
    PartnerNOC

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    The cPanel/WHM uses Exim MTA. Since you need basic interface to manage email, why not using one of the FREE control panels such as:

    DTC: www.freshmeat.net/projects/dtc
    Webmin: www.webmin.com
    ASM: www.acctmgr.com
    Web.CP: http://webcp.can-host.com
    Ababa: www.yupapa.com
    NxPanel: www.nxpanel.net -- This is Windows cp.

    Just in case you want a "paid" control panel, you can get any of these:

    Cpanel: www.cpanel.net
    Plesk: www.plesk.com
    Ensim: www.ensim.com
    H-Sphere: www.psoft.net -- FreeBSD, Linux, Windows
    Helm: www.webhostautomation.com -- Windows
    DirectPhp: www.directphp.com -- RaQ
    DSM: www.zervex.com
    Command Matrix: www.etrinix.com -- Windows
    Hosting Controller: www.hostingcontroller.com -- Windows (30 Day Demo License)
    Hosting Accelerator: www.hostingaccelerator.com -- Windows
    Internet Acceleration and Management Server: www.guardiandigital.com
    DirectAdmin: www.directadmin.com
    Ikonware: www.ikonware.com
    InterWorx Server Management Suite: http://interworx.info
    InsPanel: http://www.inspanel.com -- Windows (Free and Paid available)
     
  3. mabu

    mabu Member

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    Thanks for the info. I don't mind paying if the product is solid and popular. I'd rather not "experiment" if you know what I mean. I want to deploy something that is mature and well-supported. If that's a free program, that's great too.

    You've listed a bunch of cpanel alternatives, but what do you think is best, especially for my application?

    I've heard about Exim. Would you agree it's a better alternative to sendmail than Postfix?

    What does cpanel support as far as web-based e-mail? Or is that outside of cpanel?

    Is there a list of the software bundled with cpanel? Obviously apache is involved... I wonder what version and modules? I'm used to home-brewing my own versions of everything from bind to apache, php and mysql. Does cpanel need a lot of these programs set up in specific configurations?
     
  4. abubin

    abubin Well-Known Member

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    I can only say from my experience with certain control panels,

    If you are looking for stable product, I would say that cpanel is very good and stable. It does have some flaws such as still using apache 1.x and php4 and mysql 4. But in terms of stability, it's very stable. Support is also quite good because there are tons of users created scripts and howtos floating around.

    My other experience for control panel is Ensim which I must stress that you STAY AWAY from. It is very bad product. Not worth the money paying for it. It has some good points here and there but overall, there are a lot of other much better products.

    If you want simple and easy to use panels, you can try directadmin. I had not used this before but I almost got this when I was switching from Ensim. I read that it have very simple and easy to use features. Very stable and up to date. The only problem is that it's not as powerful as cpanel. In the end I went for cpanel and is happy with cpanel so far.

    The rest I don't know cause I never used them before.
     
  5. mabu

    mabu Member

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    Thanks... this is exactly the kind of advice I'm looking for. I'd definitely prefer to not have to repeat mistakes made by fellow admins in the past if I don't have to, so all comments are much appreciated!

    I have been using Apache 1.x and earlier verions... but I've traditionally maintained all the software individually. Once you install Cpanel, do you have to update all these programs in harmony with cpanel itself?
     
  6. nickp666

    nickp666 Well-Known Member

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    cpanel itself handles the building of software and initial configuration, doesnt really offer you a great deal of control over what you use.

    I personally have found it quite stable, and have recommended to others, it has its pitfuls but then what software doesnt, most of the issues that crop up with it are easily fixed and others have documented.

    this place is always good for answers too, a lot of knowledgable individuals!

    Probably a bit overkill for just mail management mind.
     
    #6 nickp666, Jun 14, 2006
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2006
  7. activelobby4u

    activelobby4u Registered

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    The cpanel provides many scripts like easyapache so it is very easy to modify and recompile the apche and php in a cpanel server. You can also do your custome configuration in the apache and php. Also the cpanel forum is really informative there you can find soultions for almost all issues
     
  8. mabu

    mabu Member

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    Anyone have any experience with smaller systems that might be better suited for just managing pop3 accounts?
     
  9. bmcgrail

    bmcgrail Well-Known Member

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    I have been in the ISP business for a long time. From manually doing everything and having email, dns, and web services on different boxes to using control panels to manage shared hosting and giving some control to users. Once you start using a control panel you get kind of spoiled.

    Cpanel has the nicest user interface and you can customize it.
    DirectAdmin is very good and can't be beat for the price.

    One thing you should realize is you don't just install cpanel or directadmin over the top of your existing box. You install it fresh and add your accounts to it. You would have to migrate all of your existing accounts.

    The control panels have scripts to keep all of your server software, exim, apache, mysql, etc up to date (as up to date as they have tested for their releases anyways) and it needs to be in their directory structure. You can customize the backend configurations but you need to make sure you add it in a way that they won't get overwritten with the next update. About the only thing a control panel wont do is patch your OS.

    You don't have to give ssh to anyone, and you can turn on and off functionality based on different packages or per account.
     
  10. jackie46

    jackie46 BANNED

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    Freebsd on cpanel? As we all know, if you are running Freebsd you'd be better off installing a control panel that is MORE compatable than cPanel on a Freebsd box. On the other hand, if you want to use cPanel i would highly recommend a server that runs Redhat instead of Freebsd as there are far too many issues with Cpanel + Freebsd that we have experienced. You will be fixing and tweaking many things to work properly with CP + Freebsd. If your into being stuck at Freebsd 5.4 and logging tickets to support to fix this and fix that then by all means go for it.
     
  11. mabu

    mabu Member

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    Hmmm, compatibility problems with FreeBSD? How bad are these issues?
     
  12. jackie46

    jackie46 BANNED

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    Since installing a new Dual Opeteron server with Freebsd 5.4 since early March we have logged over 20 tickets with support and backups are still not working properly. Also, you will only be able to use Cpanel on a Freebsd 5.4 OS only
     
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