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VPS' control panels that follow Internet best standards?


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While I was using HestiaCP on my VPS I found out it lacks support to IPv6.

In fact, this is on their "to do" since 2020 so it seems it will take a while.

Considering that IPv6 support is one of Internet's best practice, what are other free control panel options to use?

Some I found while researching were these:

Through a fast analysis from their websites CyberPanel, CloudPanel, KeyHelp, ISPConfig, Control-WebPanel (if you're into RHEL/CentOS based distros), Sentora (supporting Ubuntu 20.04 right now) and SPanel (despite it isn't really free) seems to be the most promising ones.

Does anyone have any experience with any of those? Right now I have access just to my HelioHost's VPS so I'm unable to destroy/create my machine and thus it wouldn't be easy to test them, that's why I'm looking for people who had already used and could vouch for one of them.

Edited by Kairion
Fix typo: was "Cloudrun" instead of "Cloudron".
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Yes I do. I currently pay a yearly subscription fee on one of them just to be able to use more than two apps. You can host stuff like Ghost, Bitwarden and even photo services. If you want something like a basic hosting provider, they do have an empty LAMP stack for you to use. I've tried it and my only complaint is that it takes forever to install/uninstall. I've recently installed a Mastodon server but realized quite quickly that it uses WAYYYYY too much space to the point where even uninstalling Mastodon would fail.

A small server with 2-4GB of RAM, 2 CPUs and 50GB of space should be enough for cloudron.

Only real issue anyone with any experience might have with it is it's very controlled and is really only limited to their app store unless you have your own repository.

I don't know if they support ipv6 but I would assume so, but I could be wrong

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Judging by that Cloudron seems more like a "software store" for servers than a specific control panel (with maybe YunoHost being its free/opensource counterpart in a certain way, except it requires Debian 11 instead of Ubuntu 22.04).

My goal is to look for something that fits even on HelioHost's VPS Mercury plans so everyone could use it with no extra costs and being easy to get support. I do am aware that usually people who gets a VPS are capable of running things by themselves on a clean Linux install, but I'm aiming on those who can't but still found themselves in need (or just want to) to get more resources than the ones provided on free Plesk and for whatever reason don't want or just can't learn to run everything from scratch (not my case btw, as embarrassing as it is I admit I'm just too lazy to bother to make a proper install and management of everything needed to run a server, so Cloudron or Yunohost would totally fit my personal needs as I found out after testing both). In summary, I'm looking here to find a replacement to HestiaCP users (which I guess are those who don't have the knowledge to keep a server by themselves) so HelioHost's staff could just install it and the user could get it running from there without too much trouble or support needs.

I did some tests on a VPS running with the same settings as a Mercury plan and the most promising candidates are:

  • KeyHelp: has everything a user with no server management knowledge could want (in fact, it can be used to actually run a webhosting service selling accounts if one so desires), runs on Ubuntu 22.04 and has a free version (saddly cloused source but we can't win all the time) and a paid one. Note: it doesn't come with NGINX for proxy (just the old and good Apache).
  • CyberPanel: it has two versions, one totally free running OpenLiteSpeed HTTP server and another running LiteSpeed Enterprise HTTP server (free for 1 domain with some restrains). Being specific, CyberPanel itself is free as in beer and free as in speech, what is paid is the LiteSpeed Enterprise HTTP server. One downside is that OpenLiteSpeed doesn't have full .htaccess support and needs to be restarted when changes are made with it (OpenLiteSpeed's service, not the OS). LiteSpeed Enterprise has full support and doesn't require a restart.
  • CloudPanel: I managed to run it with 1 GB but its official requirements states it needs 2 GB. It is a good alternative but its user interface is based on "sites" rather than "accounts" so there's a minimum learning curve to some users. In a sense, it's like it has been built to be used for a single person/company to host their multiple sites and could also create accounts for employees to manage all or some of them (in other words: it's a good choice if there is no wish to make a webhosting service). One note to take into account is its HTTP server is NGINX so forget about .htaccess.
  • Sentora: a fork of ZPanel that works just fine after installed and configured. Still, even if it has a stable version, there are some rough edges regarding its installation, OS supported (CentOS 8, Ubuntu 18.04 or Ubuntu 20.04) and security. I wouldn't recommend it for someone without prior knowledge about server maintenance.
  • aaPanel: it recommends running on CentOS but does support Ubuntu (saddly oficially just Ubuntu 20). It has a free and a paid version like KeyHelp. If we ignore its recommendation of running on CentOS and use Ubuntu 20 (or just go with CentOS) it's also a good option that runs Apache and has NGINX as proxy. Not personally relevant to me, but I also note some people don't like it because it is a chinese-made software (honestly I don't get it since it's opensource).
  • Froxlor: seems like a good alternative. Its user interface is clean and good looking but at the same time some pages present the user with too much options regarding its settings, which is good for someone who knows what is doing but a bit temerary for someone who doesn't.
  • Ajenti, Virtualmin/Webmin, ISPConfig, Control-WebPanel, OVIPanel and SPanel weren't considered due to one of these reasons: lack of Ubuntu support, lack of stability and/or security concerns, highly difficult to configure/maintain/debug problems (e.g.: requiring SSH access, manual changes etc.), issues regarding user interface or being only paid.
  • Cloudron and YunoHost weren't considered because they're not just control panels, but more like repositories or "app stores" for servers (they can totally be used for hosting since both have clean LAMP-like "apps" and even specific software like WordPress, Ghost, Grav, Vaultwarden etc.).

All things considered, I'd say the best options for someone who got a VPS and needs something simpler and easier like on HelioHost free hosting with Plesk control panel are (in order of recommendation):

  1. KeyHelp
  2. CyberPanel (only if OpenLiteSpeed and/or LiteSpeed Enterprise isn't an issue or is wanted)
  3. aaPanel (would be 2nd if it had support for Ubuntu 22.04 and hadn't recommendation of running with CentOS)
  4. CloudPanel (only if learning curve isn't an issue and it isn't mandatory to run Apache)
  5. Sentora (only if the user has some server management skills or doesn't have a problem with learning it if/when necessary)

Obviously everything above are just my personal opinions while taking into consideration pros/cons of installation/support and user's perspective.

Any thoughts, comments and opinions/experiences are highly appreciated.

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15 minutes ago, Krydos said:

Never even heard of KeyHelp before reading this post. I'll start suggesting that to people when they ask about free VPS control panels.

Me neither. Honestly the only ones that I already knew were Control-WebPanel (I did support for a client who used it but since I don't like RHEL-like systems it never got my interest), ISPConfig (I used it before on version 2, but its currently version, 3, has the same "problem": even the most basic errors/bugs force you to go to command line) and ZPanel (I'm counting it since Sentora is its fork). Honestly I'm surprised that KeyHelp even has a Brazilian Portuguese language pack (which means there are brazilians using it even though I've never heard of it before).

Since it's also a product (same base for the "Pro" version) it has a pretty good support and stability. And even if someone wants Pro features, it's considerably cheap (in comparison to other paid ones like cPanel, Plesk, SPanel etc.). I'd totally use it if only OpenLiteSpeed and its promise to be faster than NGINX and Apache hadn't gotten my interest (what led me to at least for now go with CyberPanel).

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  • 7 months later...

Newbie to heliohost, so apologies if this is discussed somewhere else. I tried installing KeyHelp on my VPS server, but ran into errors for Postfix, Dovecot, OpenDKIM and EmailProtection (and install is still going on). Is this something that sysadmin (i.e.Helio admin) is supposed to install and not a sudo user like me? I am trying to set up a ruby-on-rails webserver (have my domain name parked at domains.google.com)...is there a simple walkthru manual (the faqs are not really seeming to address this)?

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