Your thoughts on DirectAdmin 2018?

Hi everyone,

I was thinking about spinning up a VPS and with VestaCP for a few clients, but after that security hole yesterday I think I will look somewhere else.

cPanel is a bit expensive for this usage (small VPS), but then I saw that DirectAdmin still sells their ”lifetime” licenses, but last time I used DirectAdmin was around 2008, so I though I should ask you guys:

Is there anyone here using DirectAdmin today, 10 years later? How does it compare to cPanel or Plesk when it comes to security/updates/usability?


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Isn’t the cPanel for VPS only 15$/month?

Yeah, but for a $5 VPS that $15 cPanel license is a bit too much.

I have a few reseller accounts with cPanel that works great, but I’m looking for something cheaper for this particular case.

Why not use Webuzo ?

Last I used DirectAdmin was in 2012 and its quite decent though I still do not understand why everyone loves cPanel and not the others.

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Our customers still use DirectAdmin on several of our servers and it still works well. They are still actively developing it. It’s great that it supports multiple operating systems, as that gives users a lot of flexibility.

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Tried Webmin+Virtualmin? That worked pretty well last time I tried it.

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you probably want to have a look into keyhelp - KeyHelp® – free Control Panel for Servers


If that is German, thats good.


as it’s free I suggest to simply try it :slight_smile:

it’s more complex than Vesta, offers more features/options and digs deeper into the system. as with all software the usability might depend on the personal use-case. I like it, because it brings everything you need to offer hosting to your clients. It also can be more confusing though, but cpanel and others are not lightweight either. also keyweb as business behind is in the market for more then ten years and this is there inhouse panel they developed and used from the beginning, so it’s very seasoned and regularly updated.

For hosting a single personal website where you might want only a slim panel to manage your domain/mail/db once in a while Vesta still has a good point though and I can’t think of much comparable.

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Ooh, that looks pretty nice.

I see the Let’s Encrypt option in admin panel for ‘server ssl settings’ - but does it show up for users as well? I can’t see it. Maybe it only shows if it detects the domain is pointed properly?

:slight_smile: yeah it’s pretty neat, depending on what you are looking for. also the underlying stack seems quite reliable.

for letsencrypt I can’t tell just out of my head, may have a look later on. But if I remember correctly there is some options in the admin-area to enable/disable this for the users/clients…

btw: where is that damn quote button instead of reply?

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Makes sense, ok, will take a look. Thanks for the link. Need some good Ubuntu/Debian panel options, me no likey CentOS.

Smack the reply button, then hit this thing right here:


Or you can select text and hit the quote button that pops up, and it’ll properly alert the user of a reply unlike Vanilla.

ah, thanks, must have missed that somehow :wink:

ssl handling options are in the settings per User, disabled per default, while creating one watch out for this:

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Yup yup. Also found the general LE settings in Admin → Panel Settings.

Might not see the per-user settings because they have it set to LE Test Environment in the demo.

Let’s see how this goes

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Keyhelp thoughts so far: looks solid, a bit resource hungry with the default install (1GB fully utilized out of a 2GB box, with 1 user/1 domain, just dicking around in control panel), some really really weird usability decisions (users can only add subdomains not root domains, only admins can… who then have to assign them to users).

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Hm, I’d never heard of Keyhelp before. Looks nice.

The part where only admins can add domains and then assign to users wouldn’t be a big issue for us since we currently manually assign everything anyway.

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It seems pretty robust (almost over-engineered), developed by an actual german hosting company to power their shared hosting:

Had to pop open the task scheduler to manually trigger the Let’s Encrypt cert for the main server domain, otherwise default is set to run just after midnight. When you add a domain for a user though, you can trigger Let’s Encrypt for it and it’ll run right away.

Honestly, not bad. Will have to put some applications on it and see how it does, but would recommend a good amount of resources assigned if you’re running more than a couple small sites on it.

yeah, that’s what I meant above with it not being the best choice for user that only want to manage few of their own pages/mails.
it simply isn’t lightweight as Vesta and also the more options you have the more confusing it might be for clients :wink:

probably a decision that has been made long time ago, while it was used only inhouse… after all that’s quite common around here, as the number of ‘external domains’ that can be added/used still is a point of sales amongst some providers that offer shared hosting (see netcup).

on the other hand you get a lot of features that Vesta doesn’t offer, like easy installable parallel php versions and more sophisticated backup options and stuff.

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