Control panels provide an easy solution to Linux newbies to host multiple websites on VPS (Virtual Private Servers) and Dedicated Servers. Hosting panels offer easy to use management software to simplify the process of handling servers without the need of expert knowledge of sever administration.
We already have great premium control panels like cPanel, Directadmin, Plesk etc. But with the open source community getting increasingly huge support everyday, no doubt that we can get great new free open source control panels.
Now, Let us move further to take a quick look at some of the most popular and free actively supported open source options that are available.
Vesta Control Panel
This is my personal favorite. Its performance is just awesome. The performance gets even much better when using Nginx as a single webserver instead of Apache in the backend. It is not as heavy as other hosting control panels in terms of server’s resource usage. According to a test by servermom.org, it was noted that a server with 512 MB RAM can handle upto 10k visitors everyday. Another great feature of VestaCP is that it also has a module for WHMCS, which makes managing a web hosting business easier. It is perfect for web hosting providers and one of the best free alternative to cPanel.
It is also one of the best open source and free Control Panel. Unlike other control panels, it is updated regularly too. It even has a reseller level which allows reselling hosting. It allows administrators to manage multiple accounts on multiple physical or virtual servers. It is one of the most highly reliable free control panel you can ever get and rich in functionality too.
ISPConfig 3 can be slightly difficult to install for newbies as it does not have a single-command auto-install but unofficial auto installers are also available for it. It also has a 300 page documentation to help users.
Webmin unlike other control panels not only supports Linux but Windows too! It has a great number of modules for configuring server services. It allows for controlling many machines through a single interface. Webmin is not so easy to use. A beginner will be able to create a new user and host a new website with the default options, but soon enough he will find himself stuck even in small things that need manual configuration.
Sentora is another great free control panel but it is not updated regularly though. It is a popular open source web hosting control panel that lets you manage your web hosting with a simple, but featured control panel. This control panel also has a lot of add-ons to maximize the functionality and design of your web applications. It receives a lot of support from the community. Sentora is licensed under the GPL and is a separately maintained fork of the original ZPanel project.
Apart from just managing a website, It can be used for a large variety of server management tasks. An add-on package called Ajenti V allows you to manage multiple websites from the same control panel. Compared to other control panels, very few add-ons and modules are available for it.
CentOS Web Panel
It offers a huge number of options and features for server management in its control panel package. Already have a website hosted on a cPanel server? This control panel even has a restore feature with which you can easily migrate your cPanel websites to this panel. The panel receives regular security/features updates too.
Froxlor is another lightweight control panel which can be used for managing multiple websites. It has an in-built support system. Feature rich control panel and has almost everything which a customer requires like managing websites, email accounts, FTP accounts, etc. LAMP can also be installed in addition to it.It even has support for per domain php.ini, per domain SSL, Free SSL by Let’s Encrypt,, etc.
A modified version of Kloxo with features which were’t available in the original version. It is a feature rich control panel and useful for those who do not wish to install LAMP manually. It can be easily installed and is also easy to use. It also supports a variety of web servers including dual and multiple web servers.