Can I switch from DirectAdmin to Virtualmin for my commercial web hosting company?

OS type and version REQUIRED
Virtualmin version REQUIRED

I’m currently operating a small hosting company that just provides basic shared webhosting for small websites mostly running Wordpress. I provide Installatron. I run FreeBSD and DirectAdmin and it’s worked very well over the past 10-15 years… but FreeBSD is no longer supported and I’ve been told that couldlinux is more secure than regular linux because it has measures to prevent users from jumping (pivoting) into other user’s areas and such…

I looked at virtualmin about 15 years ago when I set up my company and it wasn’t as good as DirectAdmin… seems to have progressed since then.

I’ve been doing this for a long time but I am not some kind of *nix expert, although I can just tell that freebsd is more stable than linux. I run linux on my desktop and freebsd on my server.

Can I use Virtualmin without any headaches out of the box with freebsd and achieve the same kind of security and ease of use as directadmin+cloudlinux?

I am about to install DirectAdmin and CloudLinux but one of my consultants mentioned that CloudLinux updates every week or every day and that sounds like a recipe for disaster in a commercial hosting company.

I achieved legendary uptime by updating as seldom as possible over the past 20 years…

So can I switch from DirectAdmin to Virtualmin? yes/no/maybe? Thanks in advance.

We don’t support FreeBSD in the installer, and we don’t actively test on FreeBSD. But, Virtualmin GPL is in ports, and there are people who are running Virtualmin on FreeBSD.

We accept bug reports about FreeBSD, but it is not really a recommended OS. There used to be some issues with the default FreeBSD kernel that either required rebuilding or dealing with a lot of ugly compromises (secondary groups limit being the biggest one, which I seem to recall was bumped up in the defaults maybe 10 years ago, but worth checking), but I kinda suspect that’s no longer true. I’d recommend you do your homework before embarking on the project. This is our old doc about FreeBSD (which has not been updated in well over a decade due to lack of interest…it still talks like our install script supports FreeBSD which has not been the case in many years): FreeBSD Username and Group Limits – Virtualmin

Because our time is extremely limited, we have no plans to bring back FreeBSD as a Grade A supported OS. So, you really need to be an expert with your OS and all of the services Virtualmin manages in order to use it there. It will not be super easy to setup (but it sounds like you’re going to want to heavily customize it anyway), and we won’t be able to help with OS questions. None of us have used FreeBSD regularly in many years.

Your clients would loose their minds if they saw the Virtualmin panel in place of their regular DirectAdmin panel. They’d be opening support tickets wondering how to do things that they previously knew how to do. For the shared hosting you’re talking about - stick to Plesk, DirectAdmin, or cPanel.

CloudLinux is turn-key solution for shared hosting servers. Why not go onto one of the hosting forums and ask others about their experience with it? I think it’s safe to assume though that CL does “silent updates” that do not require a hard restart/downtime - as for the software itself that’s managed by the control panel anyway so it’s DirectAdmin that provides you with all the non-CL updates and that’s generally more “stale” than if you were using Virtualmin with its repos. That’s because DirectAdmin knows stability is more important to their clients running large shared servers compared with other types of servers.

Based on your information I’d say DirectAdmin + CloudLinux sounds like the right choice for you/your clients.

Thanks for the quick reply. The answer is no based on this.

I’m quite well informed on the topics since I actively work in this and have active servers running DirectAdmin on both FreeBSD and Linux. A personal contact is a contributor to CloudLinux and was the CTO of one of the top 3 the biggest hosting companies in the world. He tells me the truth without much fuss. One of my system admins just told me the CloudLinux and DirectAdmin that they run on MANY servers breaks frequently and requires fixing… he said they (his large team) have to monitor the Linux servers daily to fix the breaking due to excessive updates and just being a kiddie operating system. I never have to look at my FreeBSD server because it’s a real OS that isn’t playing kiddie games like Linux does. I have used Linux as my desktop for over 10 years now… but would never use is it for a server unless forced to like I am now by a industry being taken over by the younger generation that doesn’t know left from right. FreeBSD is by far more stable than any linux.

I was just checking here to see if there was any chance I could keep FreeBSD.

My few cents.
Yes and no most is in base Uh Sorry a UNIX, Unix-like in flavours.
And taste is something personal to.
So not only some facts could be reason that one is better to use or other one is better.

Some one’s own experience is most important if you know one seemly good then unless very important other reason better stay at that one, is more important then yes no good documentation, whil is you know and have experience you don’t need teh doc that much.
But yes DOCS are very hard for me problems with texts and grammar, then missing or very old stuff in docs makes me … :frowning:

Problem with some with good docs’ they are behind with other things and therefore less users.
If you are quick on the market, even with some broken or not ready parts people prefer , and then less market is for the other doing thing probably better in quality but to late live on the market.

So in short everyone should where possible stay if they have knowledge and experience with that one or two, but keep reading about stuff if not another better suits your case and you have to switch and learn.

You can however find that new stuff is often with bugs and broken before it suits real produktion, hardware and software, all know how bad is (was :wink: ) Tesla. as example if used to German, Japan or Swedisch cars.

For in Production area Control panels stay at grade A supported OS, or only do grade B or other if you yourself or sysadmins have enough knowledge to handle things!

I was there at DOS 2x, Netware 2x, Windows NT, OS2, Windows 3x, and some Unix / Linux things, and very little Apple. For me if command line i have to dive in my own memory because of the “little” diferences and make fault like forward backward slash using the wrong way as example because of experience with more OS’s
So do Programmers do if the use C++ or Phython or PHP and so on confusing by own experience and knowlegde.

Utopia is however: that you could stay at only one and then makes less mistakes by being confused because of differences.

Same thing where much problems is timezone’s and default char sets, different Languages and so on, you know BABYLON :wink:

Other example to explain your less or more secure / stable could be wrong to:
Some say for example Apple OS’s are more secure, which isn’t in real, yes it looks like while less supported hard and software so also drivers.
If you then look at the CVE’s in total numbers on supported code then no Apple isn’t , if you compare how much time at Apple is between a known BUG and the solution from Apple comparing to others then NO.

So here only trying to explain also security is a thing that a way less secure base system could be much more secure system for your use case, while it depend on what you are doing with it und wherefore used.

I would say yes. And so would most here who are using Virtualmin with an operating system that Virtualmin supports. See Virtualmin OS Support – Virtualmin

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