… From CPanel to …. what??

I am an old Unix dude, I have installed more different versions of Unix than most people – Everything from Sco Xenix/286 thru to Centos5.2 and I don’t usually have much problems – but as time wears on, my brainDisk is starting to squeal and it’s not as fast at random access as it used to be so I was really happy when I rented a server with Cpanel/WHM installed on it.
For those who don’t know, Cpanel is the web-based interface to everything you will never learn on a Unix server – plus, the WHM super system allows you to carve off a chunk and sell it or give it away to your pals, reasonably confident that they won’t/can’t screw it up.
Add in virtual web/mail/log server management and lots of useful pre-installed tools and you have a system where you rarely have to get your hands dirty under the #hood.

Well, I love Cpanel now and I have grown to rely on it (curses!) so when it comes to creating my own server, so I can save money on a dedicated one I find I need it to get things done (and my old stuff transferred.

The problem with CP is that it costs $$money. between $30 and $48/month. and. I. just. don’t. want. to. pay. that. any. more….. so….

Piracy is out – mainly because you need to register the license with CP and also because that’s bad!:'(

Perhaps I could install it, setup my system the way I want and then after a month or so, hand it back??

well, no apparently – most people (Including themselves) seem to be of the opinion that to uninstall CP, you should really re-install Linux…. kind of defeats my object here!

so…. alternatives, anyone?

There are a few – some other commercial (pay $$ for) such as DirectAdmin and some Public Domain ones (Web-CP, WebMin/VirtualMin). So I started evaluating these free Cpanel Alternatives ….

1. WebMin/VirtualMin

Looks like it will do the job – only one of the alts that I’ve heard of and actually used before. Installs easily enough and looks nice – has a fine range of functionality but what lets it down is it’s non-simplicity. Cpanel’s approach is to show you a bunch of things that you may want to do and asks sensible questions (with usually relevant tooltips close by) so help you accomplish your requirements.  WebMin takes the ‘I’ll help you to write the configuration files correctly’ approach – you really have to know what you’re doing and in a lot of cases, the input fields are just blank with no clue as to what to put there.

WebMin Configuring Backup Example Screenshot

WebMin Configuring Backup Example Screenshot

This probably highlights the major difference between CPanel/WHM and the rest of the Server Admin systems out there – CP/WHM does some pretty radical things to your server when you install it and this is why it’s so hard to uninstall. The other systems kind of leave things as they are and just act as configuration helpers. As an example, see the two screenshots of the ‘backup’ functions.

Cpanel Domain Owner Backup Page

Cpanel Domain Owner Backup Page

2. Web-CP

Much, much, harder to install and harder to find the installation instructions too. but seems pretty good so far.

I had problems with the PHP startup scripts being written with DOS line endings which confused the life out of me for a while until I found it.  Still not able to start the system up but suspect it’s something to do with the line that reads:

$args = trim(next($HTTP_SERVER_VARS[“argv”]));

# Shouldn’t that just be ARGV for shell scripts?)

… I’ll continue and let you know how I get on.

2 thoughts on “… From CPanel to …. what??

  1. Millie Wood says:

    if you are going to get a VPS server make sure that it has cPanel coz it makes server maintennance easier.~’-

  2. It is also easy to backup and transfer all your websites from one server to another server if you have cPanel installed’.:

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