Recommendations for Open Source Control Panel, Webmail and Mailserver

Discussion in 'Server Operation' started by need_a_linux_brain, May 4, 2009.

  1. need_a_linux_brain

    need_a_linux_brain New Member

    After struggling for a few months with using proprietary control panels like Plesk and DirectAdmin, I've grown tired of the constraints, restrictions and lack of control over my servers, data, logs and DNS. It's becoming like using my Windows box to use my Lenny servers. I'm not feelin' that at all. I mean, isn't using proprietary software on open-source Linux OS a counter-intuitive, oxymoron? I've also lost the freedom my VPS and dedi with multiple IP addresses for various uses were supposed to give me over shared hosting because of the licensing restrictions imposed by these proprietary programs.

    So, I want to install a secure, mature/stable, dependable non-beta open source control panel (or more than one, depending on function), webmail and mailserver on each my two Xen VPS and single dedicated server, all running CentOS 5.3 final and which I've only leased in the last month so contain no real data yet that will have to be transferred or risks damage, loss or destruction. Though I have a number domains for which I receive email and run blogs or websites, which will be spread across those servers, I'm not a webhost or reseller so I'll be the only one using these servers.

    I'm willing to install more than one CP using virtualization software/containers (as I intend to do with virtual desktops running different OSes) but everything has to be GUI or have a web interface. Please recommend those which you have used that allow me to meet one or more of the following needs to be able to do the following:

    • Make dedi will be master (DNS) to one of the VPS and that VPS will be a mirror to the master, and will provide backup to the dedi for email, websites, blogs and virtual instances.

    • Use the same VPS as DNS slave to the dedi but I already know I want to use PowerDNS with PowerAdmin for this since this DNS server has the features and robustness I want. I've done the research and know it runs on CentOS 5.3, which is what all my servers run.

    • Be able to install website dev/CM/blog software without major restrictions since I will run several websites and blogs.

    • Have my mailservers have their own IP addresses for SSL and I need SSL/TLS to my email client so whatever I install needs to support dovecot and postfix, sendmail, fetchmail, webmail servers, etc. I need a mailserver that supports this.

    • Still be able to run AsteriskNow on my dedi (in it's own virtual container) or something similar as well as virtual OSes on both my dedi and one VPS in VMware or something similar.

    • Have security software like firewall, antispam, antivirus either built in OR full support for that software.

    • Have SSL capabilities since security is critical to me. I want to install each CP or server with secure access built in.

    The bottom line and most important feature these packages must have (other than security and stability) is ability to run together without restricting the others OR ability to be run as separate VMware images, as a virtual instance on a virtual server or whatever makes it possible for them to run without causing the others not to run properly.

    I look forward to your on-topic, solutions-oriented responses about control panels you've used and have experience with. I appreciate the desire to contribute names of products you haven't used but responses most useful to me will be about software you have used, and, if you liked it, why.

    If I've excluded relevant technical information about my servers, feel free to ask.

    Thank you.

  2. emadfathy

    emadfathy New Member

    I recommend ISPConfig

    I think you are in the right place...

    From my point of view ISPConfig is excellent , i don't know if you gave it a try or not,but if not you should.

    I used ISPConfig 2.xx for years and it works fine and i plan to switch to next major version (3) in days.

    May be our requirements different,but when i searched for a the best open source control panel, ISPConfig deserve to be it. Every one from the others seems to be incomplete project, leaks some functions , not well-organized or has not enough support.

    At last i did't see any Open source CP has huge and active support website like ISPConfig which is supported by this webits.
  3. need_a_linux_brain

    need_a_linux_brain New Member

    Thank you. I appreciate your input; it's useful but I chose to go with Webmin. After installing it, I realize how robust it is, how many features it offers, including all those I need and many more. It's intuitive, easy to configure and works with my third party applications. It offers multiple modules at Admin and reseller level, allows install of other control panels and provides management options I've rarely seen with other, even proprietary products.

    It's easy to install using YUM and automatically configures itself to be immediately launched on your server. It's ready-to-use in under five minutes and the admin is in total control of the options installed. I could goon endlessly but I'm sure you don't have that kind of time.

    As to support, it's not as comprehensive as ISPconfig but, then, there doesn't seem to be the need because the CP is so easy to use and has good documentation for the CP. Since many of the attributes are based on other software, it's that software developer to whom I need to go for support and that's fine.

    Webmin is a control panel that keeps ME in control of my servers--it doesn't try to control or restrict me. So far, so good. And, since I'm not a hosting provider--I just want to easily manage my servers with a robust product--this one will work for me.

    Again, thanks.

    Last edited: May 12, 2009

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