Free VPS Hosting Control Panel - CloudPanel vs. Virtualmin

Free VPS Hosting Control Panel - CloudPanel vs. Virtualmin

A server control panel takes away the complexity of managing a fast VPS.

The GUI-based panels are designed to simplify admin tasks. You can manage all functions from a single interface.

For VPS hosting, you get to choose a preferred server control panel. Both CloudPanel & Virtualmin will help you manage your VPS efficiently.

However, which option is suited for your specific requirements?

In this article, we compare CloudPanel vs. Virtualmin for free VPS hosting control panels.

CloudPanel Overview

What is CloudPanel? - Free VPS Hosting Control Panels

CloudPanel is a free server control panel for PHP applications. It is built on lightweight components such as NGINX and PHP-FPM. You get MySQL and Redis 5 for maximum performance.

CloudPanel is easy to use and up and running within 60 seconds. It works well with system admins as well as end-users. You get complete control over your Cloud or VPS hosting services.

Some of the top feature highlights include:

  • High Performance
  • Supports all PHP Apps
  • Secure (free SSL/TLS certificates)
  • Let’s Encrypt! support
  • Multiple PHP Versions
  • NGINX Support
  • Support for all big clouds
  • Cloud Functions

Virtualmin Overview

Virtualmin Overview - Free VPS Hosting Control Panels

Virtualmin is a web hosting control panel. It is made for Linux servers and BSD systems. It is built on top of Webmin and created by the same team.

The panel is fully integrated with Webmin features. You get domains and monitoring. You also get software updates and security.

It offers a comprehensive system management UI. That means the Webmin & Virtualmin features are combined. As a result, you get a feature-rich server control panel.

However, too many features in the panel can make it complicated to use. It is created for senior system admins that can handle many settings. You require time to understand the panel.

Virtualmin is available in two versions:

  • Virtualmin GPL: Open-source community version. It is the free version of Virtualmin.

  • Virtualmin Professional: It is the paid version & requires a monthly or annual fee. It has more advanced features & offers premium support.

Some of the top feature highlights include:

  • Free and Open Source control panel
  • Linux knowledge not required
  • Domain & server admin are seperate
  • Apache support
  • Basic NGINX support
  • Advanced backup scripts
  • Mobile friendly
  • Ruby on Rails support
  • File manager
  • Command-line API
  • Let's Encrypt!

CloudPanel vs Virtualmin - Free VPS Hosting Control Panels

1. Performance

Virtualmin vs. CloudPanel Performance - Free VPS Hosting Control Panels

CloudPanel Performance

CloudPanel is lightweight and offers the fastest performance. It is highly responsive with one-click functions for admin tasks.

You get the latest tech stack:

  • Debian 10
  • NGINX 1.18 with PageSpeed Module
  • MySQL 5.7 -Percona
  • PHP 7.x - 8.0
  • Redis 5
  • ProFTPD 1.3
  • Node.js 14
  • Yarn 1.22

NGINX is a high performance edge web server. It can perform 10x faster than Apache.

CloudPanel is designed to be clean & light. That way, you get high speed while managing the server.

Virtualmin Performance

Virtualmin performance is generally fast & responsive. Despite its many features and settings, the panel offers high speed.

Any overheads that occur can happen due to errors in configuring. It's essential to install the server control panel on a clean server. You should add a newly installed OS on your VPS.

Some performance features include:

  • Basic NGINX
  • Debian 10
  • CentOS/RHEL 7 OS
  • Software upgrades
  • PHP support
  • Modular framework

2. Security

Virtualmin vs. CloudPanel Security - Free VPS Hosting Control Panels

CloudPanel Security

CloudPanel offers 2FA for secure login. You can manage user permissions and add access levels.

An SSH/SFTP User is added easily for secure remote login. You can add a Public Key to a user.

The IP Blocker feature lets you block traffic from unwanted ipv4 or ipv6 addresses.

Use the Bot Blocker security feature to enter Bot names. It denies access to bots from all your websites.

Some of the primary security features include:

  • 2FA
  • SSL Certificates
  • Manage Firewall Rules
  • Let's Encrypt!
  • IP Blocking
  • Bot Blocker
  • Scheduled Backups

Virtualmin Security

Virtualmin offers security tools to keep systems & data secure. The server control panel allows Webmin’s 2FA. You also get some brute force protection.

Some of its primary security features include:

  • 2FA from Webmin
  • SpamAssassin and ClamAV
  • SSL/TLS Certificates
  • Fail2Ban Management
  • Firewall Management
  • SuExec application execution.

3. Installation Requirements

Virtualmin vs. CloudPanel Installation - Free VPS Hosting Control Panel

CloudPanel Installation

The only requirement for running CloudPanel is Debian 10 (Buster). It is quite simple & easy to install CloudPanel. You can get it running within 60 seconds.

The minimum system requirements of CloudPanel are:

  • OS: Debian 10 (Buster)
  • Cores: >= 1 Core
  • Memory: >= 2 GB of RAM
  • Disk: >= 15 GB

CloudPanel also offers quick launches for common clouds such as:

  • Amazon Web Services
  • Digital Ocean
  • Google Cloud
  • Microsoft Azure
  • Vultr

Virtualmin Installation

The Virtualmin team offers an automated install script for the software. It makes the installation process faster.

Virtualmin can be installed in two primary ways include:

  • Automated Installation: Recommended Installation.
    Install Virtualmin stack using the automated install script.

  • Manual Installation: Not a recommended option. It requires high technical experience.
    You install Virtualmin and related packages manually. It is only used when automated installation is not possible.

The primary steps for installing include:

  • Install the OS on the VPS
  • Download the Install Script
  • Run the Install Script
  • Configure Virtualmin
  • Scripts to install different configurations

Installing Virtualmin comes with more steps than CloudPanel. It is not as easy to install and requires technical expertise.

If you have any issues, Virtualmin provides Docs for installing. You also get troubleshooting resources.

4. Ease of Use - Interface

CloudPanel Interface

CloudPanel Dashboard - Free VPS Hosting Control Panels

CloudPanel interface is clean and user-friendly. Admins will experience a modern & sleek interface.

The menu covers all the functions with an icon menu on the left sidebar. On the dashboard, you can quickly access metrics such as:

  • Disk usage
  • Memory
  • CPU usage
  • Current load average

You can see general information such as server information and region. You can check the IP address, hostname, and so on.

The menu offers quick access to the Access log and Error log. If you are looking for a clean yet powerful UI, CloudPanel has it covered.

It is essential to pick a UI design you like since you will be using it every day.

CloudPanel’s UI has a sophisticated look & feel. It makes daily server managing tasks more seamless.

Virtualmin Interface

Virtualmin Dashboard - Free VPS Hosting Control Panels

Virtualmin UI is not easy to use for beginners. It is designed for experienced system admins. It has turned most command-line tasks into a clickable function.

You get a lot of options & settings displayed on the interface. It may look stuffed with features that are a bit hard to navigate.

The dashboard shows the system information in circular graphs. It includes server metrics such as:

  • CPU
  • Memory
  • Disk space
  • System hostname

The interface has the main menu on the left. It displays functions that include:

  • System settings
  • Email accounts settings
  • System customizing
  • Backup & restore

The Virtualmin interface offers an inclusive UI to manage your systems. You also get a responsive, mobile friendly UI.

It is integrated with Webmin, so you see all the Webmin settings.

5. Features

Virtualmin vs. CloudPanel Features - Free VPS Hosting Control Panels

CloudPanel features

CloudPanel has powerful features to run & manage PHP applications. You can add domains, users, databases, and much more in no time.

Some of the primary CloudPanel features include:

  • Domain Management: NGINX Vhost Editor. PHP Settings. Basic Auth. Log Viewer. SSL/TLS Certificates

  • User Management: Add and manage SSH/SFTP Users with different user roles.

  • Security: Block block IPs and Bots from the website with IP Blocker and Bot Blocker.

  • Databases: Auto-login into phpMyAdmin. Add Database Users with different access permissions. Database Backups.

  • Cron Jobs: Schedule cron jobs for specific tasks. Cron Jobs can be created by using templates. Run a script on a specific schedule.

  • Cloud Functionalities: Manage cloud functions such as Instance Information, Security Groups, Route 53, Automatic Backups, and more.

  • Action Log: Analyze user action for security analysis. You can track resource changes.

  • CloudPanel CLI: Get commands for backing up and restoring databases. You can reset passwords & permissions. Enable & disable 2FA and much more.

Virtualmin features

Virtualmin features are combined with Webmin. That way you get advanced web hosting functions. The top features include:

  • User and Group Integration: Get features for user permissions based on the Webmin system.

  • Monitoring: Get metrics on disk space and CPU load. Also, network availability and mail queue. You are notified by email or SMS of the metrics.

  • Software Updates: Software package updates capabilities for yum or apt.

  • Security Features: Action logging and 2FA. Get SSL encryption and manage firewalls. Also manage the IP access controls.

  • Linux Firewall: Manage firewall rules in iptables and FirewallD. Or Shorewall, ipfw, and ipfilter.

  • File Manager: HTML5/JavaScript File Manager with code editor.

  • Mobile Access: Get responsive UI for mobile.

  • Support: Premium support for paid users.

6. Domain Management

Virtualmin vs. CloudPanel Domain Management - Free VPS Hosting Control Panels

CloudPanel Domain

CloudPanel offers many Domain functions for admins. You can create new domains, subdomains with a click.

Some of the primary Domain functions include:

  • NGINX Vhost Editor
  • PHP Settings
  • Basic Auth
  • Log Viewer
  • Free SSL/TLS Certificates

Virtualmin Domain

You can manage domains across all systems with Virtualmin. It offers both the web based interface and command line to manage domains.

Some of the top Domain managing features:

  • Create & delete domains
  • Disable domains on managed systems
  • List the domains
  • Move domains from one system to another
  • Add user permissions

7. Databases

Virtualmin vs. CloudPanel Databases - Free VPS Hosting Control Panels

CloudPanel Database

CloudPanel integrates phpMyAdmin with auto login. You can add and manage MySQL Databases with phpMyAdmin.

Manage Database Users with permissions such as Read and Write or Read-Only.

The Databases are backuped once per night. You can easily restore and download backups. It also lets you schedule backups.

Virtualmin Database

Virtualmin includes Database support from Webmin.

Webmin offers MySQL and PostgreSQL modules. You can use that to easily manage the database. It also integrates phpMyAdmin as well as phpPgAdmin.

8. Pricing

Virtualmin vs. CloudPanel Cost - Free VPS Hosting Control Panels

CloudPanel Pricing

CloudPanel is entirely free to use. It is one of the best advantages of using the server control panel.

You get powerful features for free without any hidden costs. It makes server management more cost effective.

Virtualmin Pricing

Virtualmin GPL is a free version that offers core features.

The Virtualmin Pro is a paid version with monthly & annual fee. You get pricing from $75-$200/server per year. It is tiered pricing based on the number of domains & multiple servers.

9. Support

Virtualmin vs. CloudPanel Support - Free VPS Hosting Control Panels

CloudPanel Support

CloudPanel offers support via Community, Docs & Discussion pages. The primary support sources include:

  • Contact Page
  • Official Docs
  • Github
  • CloudPanel Discord
  • Social media channels -LinkedIn and Twitter

Virtualmin Support

Virtualmin offers free support via Official Docs and Forums. The technical support is available for premium paid customers. The usual response time is under 24 hours.

Conclusion

Both CloudPanel and Virtualmin are good choices for VPS server control panels. Admins & website owners can also use them for your dedicated servers.

For resellers and advanced system admins, Virtualmin works well. If you have experience with Webmin, it is easier to learn Virtualmin.

However, with too many features & a complex UI, the panel is not made for everyone.

CloudPanel is suitable for beginners & experienced system admins. It is a free control panel for VPS & installs within one minute.

CloudPanel has powerful features & offers a sleek UI to manage your VPS. It offers maximum performance & security for managing a server.

Learn more about CloudPanel & its functions in the CloudPanel blog.

Nikita S.
Nikita S.
Technical Writer

As a professional content writer, Nikita S. is experienced in crafting well-researched articles that simplify complex information and promote technical communication. She is enthusiastic about cloud computing and holds a specialization in digital marketing.


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