Virtualmin PRO vs GPL


I am trying to find on the website a page that lists the differences between the PRO and the GPL version as I am planning to offer hosting and need to choose.

If you were a startup company with no particular need of “mission critical” customers (expect backup!) what would you reccomend?



You can read about the differences between the two versions here:

If you have any questions regarding that, feel free to ask!


The link pretty much says it all.

What about a backup server?
It’s highly probable that I will be requrested by a few people to provide 99% uptime guarantee, by having a secondary backup server on standby that will be able to take over in case the primary goes down.
How can this be implemented with a server running Webmin/Virtualmin?



First off, the licensing of Virtualmin Pro allows you to have a hot spare – so you would only need to purchase one license if you were interested in the Pro version.

As for how to implement it – you could generate backups from your primary server, copy them to the backup, and restore them. That can all be scripted using the Virtualmin command line tools (run “virtualmin” as root from the command line to see the options).

So once a day, you could send all your data to the backup server.


By the way, the comparison above is far from complete. The comparison is very “high level”. There are many small features not listed (that are not in GPL). For example only Pro allows to encrypt backups.

Encrypted backups were just added to Pro yesterday, so it’s not too surprising it’s not included in the chart. But, you’re quite right, the chart is definitely a high level overview; because we’re constantly moving things into GPL from Pro, it’s hard to keep up with what hasn’t made it into GPL.

Sometime soon, I’ll spend some time making sure it’s up to date with the current state of things; the chart is actually missing quite a few cool features that have been added since the chart was made (many that are unavailable in our competitor’s products, as well).

To be honest, one of the only reasons I buy the pro license is to support the great work that goes into Webmin, Virtualmin and to some extent Cloudmin.
The extra’s like encrypted backups, script installers are just gravy.

Good to read that you are allowed a hot spare… I’ve been keeping a GPL as a hotspare, but it’s not really the best way to go.
Can customers just raise a ticket to have a hotspare “license”?


Can customers just raise a ticket to have a hotspare “license”?

You don’t even need to do that. The license manager allows two installations per license without complaining.

Can you please elaborate a bit more on how the hotspare works?

FYI I have never implemented a hotspare backup setup so I am not familiar.
It’s easy for me to assume that automated backup jobs will run and will transfer the data over to another server. This is OK as far as as the backup instance is concerned. But this is not what I mean by hotspare SERVER. I want to have a server setup that will automatically direct the incoming traffic from the dead-primary to the live secondary that has the latest possible data automatically installed and present to be served. This means no admin intervention whatsoever.
Is this what the hotspare facility will offer I go with Pro?

This is what I would like to setup:

Virtualmin does not do this for you if I recall correctly; Basically what you need is to have DNS “off-servers” and point the records over to the new location in case of an outage.
You can simplify this by pointing all the sub domains to a cname (such as which will point to either or
Unfortunately the DNS spec forbids use of CNAMES for everything (for example the @ record) so what I do is use a DNS provider that lets me setup templates and use variables to switch servers.

I’ve done this manually as well and it works like a charm

“so what I do is use a DNS provider that lets me setup templates and use variables to switch servers.”

But isn’t this something you can do if you maintain your own DNS servers? (Excuse the ignorance, I have never done it so I am only assuming here).

@joe I agree, you should probably do that. Making the list complete could convince quite a few more users to convert from gpl to pro :slight_smile: