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I'm looking for:

  • a safe/secure web admin control panel for a web server
  • preferably free and open source
  • in official repositories or at least with regular updates and an easy way to update to newer versions
  • allows email and username creation (preferably if it allows to choose sftp-only/ssh+sftp access)
  • supports configuring email aliases and forwarding

For example, I saw that DTC (Domain technologie control) is (or better said, was) included in debian, but not in Debian stable/testing and Ubuntu 12.04 because of recent security issues.

What's the recommended admin control panel for Ubuntu servers?

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I still believe that echp is better, just take a look at its features. But that's my personal opinion. –  Mitch Aug 8 '12 at 20:57
    
@Mitch I agree, if I could I would split the points half. I loved zpanel: zpanelcp.com/page/features -- But I had to choose so I chose webmin because I prefer the .deb package format. –  medigeek Aug 9 '12 at 6:21

5 Answers 5

up vote 3 down vote accepted
+300

Sounds like you are looking for something like Webmin or usermin.

It will make tasks easier for you but it can make things too easy and if you don't know what you are doing on the back end, you may never know. Security wise as will most of these type of control panels there will be bugs so you'll have to restrict access and stay up on patches

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Thank you, I'll have a look at webmin again, looks like the way to go, although I'd prefer a package that exists in the official repositories -- really odd that such a tool doesn't exist in the repos. –  medigeek Jul 31 '12 at 15:51

ServerPilot, my company, can fulfill most of these needs for you.

Here's a high-level overview of what we have right now:

  • a central web interface for all of your servers,
  • a secure web interface,
  • uses a small Python agent to avoid hogging resources,
  • avoids clobbering popular default packages (nginx, php),
  • creation and management of PHP 5.4 and 5.5 apps,
  • creation and management of MySQL databases,
  • creation and management of system users
  • standard hosting control panel functionality is free (we charge for advanced functionality such as monitoring)

Overview of running apps on two servers managed by ServerPilot

We exclusively support Ubuntu servers.

The way this works is that you (1) have a pre-existing Ubuntu server, (2) sign up for ServerPilot, (3) get an api key for your server, and (4) install our agent.

Once installed, our agent keeps a low profile and waits for management work to do. (You create work by creating/updating/deleting sysusers, apps, databases in our web interface.)

After having to deal with many control panels ourselves, here are a few reasons I'm very-enthusiastic of our agent-based system.

  • No resources on your server are used except for management tasks and basic communication (e.g. "let's see if there's any work for me to do.").
  • Our agent connects to us so we can help you manage Ubuntu servers whether they're on EC2, your home network, in a VM or colocated. (If you're a developer, this can help you achieve dev/prod parity.)
  • Our agent doesn't expose any public services/ports for ServerPilot.

To be clear, we do not have the following:

  • management for email,
  • an open source product (though the Python agent is unobfuscated), or
  • an installer that's available in the official repos (all other packages we install are signed and managed by apt).

We're new, but we're just getting started :)

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Try this:

Domain Technologie Control (DTC) is a control panel aiming at commercial hosting. Using a web GUI for the administration and accounting all hosting services, DTC can delegate the task of creating subdomains, email, ssh, database, mailing lists, and FTP accounts to users for the domain names they own.

DTC manages a MySQL database containing all the hosting information, and configure your server's services and apllication for doing virtual hosting (DTC is compabible with a huge list of applications). It also connects to dtc-xen to manage and monitor the usage of Virtual Private Servers (VPS), it does the billing in general (including billing of dedicated servers), has integrated support tickets and more.1

To download, click the image below

1Source:Ubuntu Applications

ehcp for Ubuntu is a hosting control panel, for multiple domains on single machine. easily installable,easy usage, non-complex,functional. Easy Hosting Control Panel for Ubuntu Web Site automatically installs and works: dns, apache, mysql, ftp, email, domains,auto update

Features

  1. manage domains
  2. manage ftp users
  3. manage mysql, email users
  4. manage dns
  5. automatically updates all with system update command
  6. subdomains, subdomains with separate ftp,
  7. ftp under your ftp, subdirectory with ftp,
  8. apply for domain and admin approves those2

2Source:Sourceforge

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Hi Mitch, that's not available for 12.04 (precise) unfortunately: packages.ubuntu.com/search?keywords=dtc -- sorry I didn't make that clear –  medigeek Jul 31 '12 at 15:46
    
I would still try it. Most likely it will work. –  Mitch Jul 31 '12 at 15:51
    
Your suggestion seems to work, +1 for that. But after careful consideration, I'm dropping the dtc suggestion, there were serious security concerns in recent past: cve.mitre.org/cgi-bin/cvekey.cgi?keyword=dtc -- and a removal request: bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=637509 -- and numerous bugs that are probably fixed in more recent versions. –  medigeek Aug 1 '12 at 5:25

Up till now, I've had a pretty succesful year long experience with Froxlor (www.froxlor.com). This is a fork from the now (more or less) dead SysCP (www.syscp.org).

Setting it up was really quick and its template system is quite easy to understand and customize, so you can also customize it exactly the way you want to.

It meets the criteria you require. The developers run their own repository, it's actively maintained, it does user and email account creation and aliases. The only drawback is that it doesn't really offer an option to give users ssh access.

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You can use Core-Admin (http://www.core-admin.com). It is not open-source but it's got a Free WebEdition that will let you manage many aspects of your servers like:

  • Support to manage hosting services (web hosting)
  • Support to manage mail services
  • Support to manage DNS server (domains)

Along with these features, the panel allows to handle several servers from a single console (which helps a lot during administration). It also includes many security/administration features like:

  • Integrated checking system to ensure all services are working.
  • Real-time file system watching (so you can detect hacked .php as it happens)
  • Real-time log watching (which allows to detect many common errors or problems like a compromised mail account used to send spam).

Currently it support various distributions and especifically Ubuntu Precise LTS 12.04.3.

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