Aanyone reading this has heard of, or even used, Cpanel. While it is a wonderful tool that simplifies many tasks, what happens when your website’s growth demands a Virtual Private Server (VPS) for hosting? Although it is technically possible to install Cpanel on your VPS server, it inevitably leads to extra costs.
VPS servers themselves can be expensive, and the added expense of Cpanel could inflate your hosting bill considerably. But what if there was a sleek, user-friendly alternative to Cpanel, and better yet, what if it was free? Enter aaPanel.
So, what exactly is aaPanel?
It is a cost-free, open-source control panel that comes loaded with all the essential features of a typical control panel, and you don’t even need to pay for a license or subscription. aaPanel was developed with a focus on minimalism and efficiency, ensuring you get all the tools you need without the requirement of installing a multitude of plugins. Expect to find features such as comprehensive resource expansion, complimentary security extensions, and an intuitive online editor that allows you to code directly within the control panel. Plus, with weekly updates, aaPanel ensures the features are up-to-date and your environment is secure.
Wondering how to install aaPanel?
The process is straightforward. aaPanel provides a simple script that you can run on a newly established server. This script will install all necessary tools and dependencies, and even set up a user account for you to log in. It is strongly advised to run this script on a clean system. However, if you want to run it on a server that already has a few user-installed programs running, use the `–force` option when executing the script. Now, let’s stop talking and start doing.
Before we proceed, let’s review the server requirements for running aaPanel:
– A minimum of 512M (though 768M or more is recommended)
– At least 100M of available hard disk space
– A clean server (No server environment such as Apache or Nginx should be installed)
– Operating System: Debian, Ubuntu, Deepin, or CentOS (CentOS is recommended)
With these essentials in place, you’re all set to get started with aaPanel.
Installing aaPanel on a Linux server
Currently, aaPanel supports Debian, Ubuntu, and CentOS. If you have no server, go with Linode. They provide solid servers for a great price.
For Debian –
wget -O install.sh http://www.aapanel.com/script/install-ubuntu_6.0_en.sh && bash install.sh
For Ubuntu –
wget -O install.sh http://www.aapanel.com/script/install-ubuntu_6.0_en.sh && sudo bash install.sh
For CentOS –
yum install -y wget && wget -O install.sh http://www.aapanel.com/script/install_6.0_en.sh && bash install.sh
Run the script –
sudo bash install.sh
The script requires a few user inputs. It’ll ask for the aaPanel installation directory; by default, it’s installed in
/www. Type ‘n’ for changing the directory.
Provide your email id and hostname.
Now Netflix and chill. The installation may take a little while.
After the installation is over, it will give you the login URL, username, and password. Notice the 8 digit code in the URL. Without this 8 digit code, the login panel will not open.
For the first time you log in, it will ask to install LAMP or LNMP. LAMP includes Apache, MySQL, PHP, Pure-Ftpd, and phpMyAdmin. LNMP installs Nginx, MySQL, PHP, Pure-Ftpd, and phpMyAdmin.
The installation takes too much time. On my server (i7 Hexacore, 16GB memory), the LAMP installation took around an hour to complete.
Until LAMP installation completes, you can also fix a security issue. The default port for aaPanel is 8888. The team recommends changing the default port for security purposes.
To change the server port, go to settings and enter the port that is not already in use. Do not use ports 80, 443, 22, and 21, as popular services use these ports on almost all servers.
Add a new website
It is time to involve in some real business. Create a new website. Click the Website link from the sidebar, click ‘Add site’.
Now enter the domain name for your site, a brief description of your site, select the directory where the website should be stored, select if you want to create an FTP account. An FTP account is useful to manage website files using Filezilla.
If you want to create a WordPress site, then choose to create a database. Select a PHP version and site category. Click ‘Submit’.
Now you can point your domain name to the server’s IP address. aaPanel will redirect all the requests made from that domain to this website.
If you forgot to create an FTP account while creating the website, you could create one now. From the website list, click add FTP user.
There is a separate section for managing FTP accounts. Make sure not to leave any unnecessary FTP account. Set a strong password and change account passwords regularly.
The panel also allows us to change the FTP port. I recommend changing the default FTP and ssh port.
It’s easy to manage websites’ databases with aaPanel. Go to Menu >> Databases.
Change MySQL root password.
If LAMP or LNMP is installed successfully, you can also manage databases with phpMyAdmin. Click phpMyAdmin, and it will open phpMyAdmin.
The server monitoring is important, so the system monitoring is built-in to the panel. It provides real-time CPU, memory, storage usage.
To improve system security, it is important to block all unused ports. Open or block the server port from the security tab, easily change SSH port, block ICMP, and clean server logs.
From the Security tab, you can also monitor panel execution logs to check any suspicious activity.
Besides these useful features, aaPanel also has a file browser, cron jobs management support, and an app store.
You can install or upgrade PHP from the apps store, install Apache/Nginx server, or install a website speed package to improve websites’ loading time. There are many more packages available in the app store.
aaPanel is very easy, if not the easiest, to use a control panel for web servers. It makes it really simple to perform day-to-day server management tasks with GUI.