This post is a part of my series on Server Management Panels.
Introduction: What is VPSNoobs?
A few weeks ago, user AK_KWH on LowEndSpirit reached out to me. He wanted to know if I would like to take a look at the server management tool. Khan Web Hosting developed it as a fork of Cipi, and they call it VPSNoobs.In my review, I was to look for any bugs, quirks, or any other quirks that I could find.
Typically, Sunday afternoons are my downtime. However, last weekend of August was the time some kids were doing high speed stunts. This was on the highway right across from my home. Ultimately, the cops did what cops should have done in the first place. But till then, I thought of giving a try to VPSNoobs.
Server Management Panel for Linux VPS
The idea of server management panel for a Linux VPS is not new or unique. But it is a much-needed space, and with the tools like grid pane, Server Aavatar, Runcloud, and many more. I had published a post previously. I had listed the different types of Server panels.
I set up a test account, and dove into it. VPSNoobs uses a similar philosophy as many other panels including Gridpane, ServerAvatar, Runcloud, and many more. In a nutshell, the steps I followed are as follows:First, added a server to may account. Next, installed the script that would connect the server to the graphical (web based) interface of VPSNoobs panel. Finally, ran some configurations including firewall, and installed WordPress.
Feedback to/ From Khan Web Hosting about VPSNoobs
I sent an initial set of questions to the developer(s), a summary of which is as follows. Responses from KWH is posted below my questions.
a. You mentioned that the service will be complimentary to clients. Will you offer this as a subscription, or paid service for others?
KWH: It will stay free for everyone:the owner of Cipi don’t charge a penny so its just my investment. I am just doing it for free but new version of it will be paid which is still in our house.
b. In the requirements, you should probably mention it clearly that the Server Panel will work on KVM . I actually thought it trying out on an OVZ because I guessed it would not work, then decided against it.
c. Most providers mentioned in (b) and Gridpane, etc. are all Ubuntu only- so does this script. At some point, do you see CentOs as an option? That would open up many interesting possibilities for you- differentiation, choice. For me personally, it would be Debian. But that is a completely different discussion.
KWH: Centos is in my list still i m cooking more stuff this is what I can offer in free
d. Installation went okay, so far without hitch. I tried on a 1 GB RAM/ a VCpu Hosthatch machine in Chicago – which brings to mind, what are the minimum recommended specs?
KWH: Recommended is 2gb : 300-400 MB ram is consumed by Nginx and Redis. Still trying to optimize it more as much as I can in free version.
e. As you develop the product- Documentation will be super useful and helpful. Gridpane is awesome on that front. So is to an extent, Runcloud.
KWH: Documents I will publish in a day or two still… Just fixing the UI issue trying to make it to load faster
f. FAQ: This section will also help. For e.g. you might have read in the forums that many people are not keen on giving root access to a third party provider. You may not be able to convince them, but how do you build your case?
KWH: We connect via API not with the root access.
g. What is the source/ code for your script from?
KWH: source code is still in public as Cipi is open source panel I just did my own tweaks and settings.
Do we need another Server Management Panel for Linux VPS ?
The short answer is Yes. There are over 30 different server management panels that I have documented so far. I personally use Gridpane, and use Server Avatar as a backup. Interestingly enough, the majority of these tools use a KVM with the Ubuntu 18.04 or 20.04.
In other words, almost every panel posts restrictions on the users. Ironically, using Free Software like Linux, they limit the flexibility. From that point of view, I do not support another panel that does something similar. Another way of looking at the situation is: the more the tools in the space, the more the choices for the users.
Back to VPSNoobs
Setting up an account was a pretty simple process. I also liked that it is a little lightweight compared to some panels. Gridpane, for example, bloats up the operating system significantly. On a clean installation of Ubuntu 18.04, the Gridpane script alone uses 7 or 8 gigabytes of space!
At seven gigabytes, the VPSNoobs install is lean. I would recommend at least a 15 gigabyte disk space, if you’re planning to install WordPress, or Laravel or any other applications. In terms of memory, the fully loaded system took about 315 MB of RAM.
I ran the VPSNoobs script on an Ubuntu 18.04 server, using template provided by Hosthatch. Configuring the server was easy as well. The script gives an alert that the installation will take 15 minutes to complete. In my case, it took about six or seven minutes. Of course, it depends on network speed, server configuration, and other criteria.The panel supports ipv4 address only, and there is no ipv6 support yet.
Wrapping it all up
I thought it would be quite interesting to try out one more tool in the space of server management panel for Linux VPS. You do need a KVM with Ubuntu 18.04, or 20.04, and a minimum one gigabyte of RAM is recommended. You can create applications like PHP based HTML application or Laravel, or WordPress. It was quite easy to connect a VPS to this particular service. Once the setup is complete, you can add your admin user and the non admin user. The panel also offers options to clone the server, and one click WordPress, add SSL, use FTP or SFTP in this case. It is equally easy to delete a server.
Not without Quirks
I noticed a couple of quirks on the dashboard. I could never see how much resources were getting consumed. This information of course can be obtained through the terminal.
VPSNoobs is based on the Open Source Cipi panel. The question is, why would you want a white label version and not Cipi itself.
The answer probably lies in ease of installation and configuration.
It is early times yet to comment on the panel’s pros and cons overall, wishing the developers all the best!