After upgrading my webserver I received a free license for plesk and decided to give it a try. While it did seem to be useful, I was moderately disappointed with how little it actually could do and how cluttered the user interface was - and that you had absolutely no control over how it worked its magic. Needless to say, I uninstalled it again and tried out ebox again. However, this too did not suit my purpose, mostly due to a couple of bugs that rendered it unusable.
I had tried out the webmin live demo before but quickly decided that it seemed to be some halfassed solution - I couldn’t figure out how to use it all. However, having run out of option, I decided to give it another shot. I installed webmin on my server, and soon enough I actually became quite comfortable with it. Slowly I discovered the rather daunting menu system, and I ended up quite liking it. It is far more usable to an experienced use than plesk ever could be, I dare say.
Then I figured out how to install a complete virtualmin solution, and I have been completely blown away ever since. This software absolutely rocks - two days later I am still absolutely thrilled with the way it works. It works its magic completely on its own to be useful even for noobs, while still giving me 100% control over every little detail - it seems I can edit pretty much all config files directly from within virtualmin/webmin. I absolutely love it.
I must admit that I did run into a few configuration problems with my email setup and the vhosts where things should have worked completely on their own, but given the sheer amount of control I have this never became too big of an issue. In the end I learned some new things through reading manuals in order to solve my problems, and while I wish I didn’t have to spend that much time to get it working, overall I’d say it was absolutely worth it.
My conclusion is that virtualmin is very useful even for newbies, though it still isn’t entirely foolproof, and it is even more useful for experienced admin who can use it to quickly configure their system as they want it to be.
PS: is it possible to have a vhost/domain be shared by several vhost/domain users? I.e. each user has their own vhost and domain, but they can also modify the shared vhost/domain. I’d like to be make the shared vhost editable by its admin group, and then add other vhost users to that admin group, is something like that possible at all?