Managing your VPS – Ajenti to the rescue
October 14, 2012 § 1 Comment
Finally, I found a pretty sweet and affordable deal for a VPS. I have no pressing need for a VPS at the moment, however, I have some un-hosted domains that have been lying around the web for quite some time now and thought it’s time to configure a home for them. In addition to that, I needed a place to host my web experiments, a server to use for HTTP tunneling (Anonymous web browsing), somewhere I can experiment a bit with different server configurations and web application usage simulations under different loads and regions, security and networking. Every developer needs a VPS at some point in his life
I’ve had quite some fun customizing and configuration the server for my needs (especially with the green and black terminal). Don’t ask why Ubuntu, I prefer Arch (one of the best distros ever made), but in this case the choice is not mine to make. Alright, so to be get back on track, The Problem: What admin panel should I use to manage this VPS?!
Don’t get me wrong, SSH and CLI are perfect and are more than enough, but the need for readable analytics, reports, and the handling of some maintenance tasks promptly and from different locations make it critical to find a suitable web based administration solution…
CPanel and VHM would have been perfect, but for this specific scenario, paying 250$+ annually as license fees is not an option. Ajenti comes to the rescue. This minimal, simple and nice looking free open source project is perfect for my personal use. It’s at version 0.6.1 (at the time of writing this post), and it provides all the basic features I would expect from a server management solution.
Ajenti comes with around 31 easily downloadable and configurable plugins that will help you control everything from power management to security. It also features some plugins which provide you with much needed performance numbers (Disk IO, Bandwidth usage, CPU usage, Memory usage, HDD usage, Daemons and Services management etc…). It’s built using python. The web interface is clean and easy to navigate. Trust me, it’s much better looking than the horrific 1990 style webmin, AlternC, ISPConfig 3, GNUPanel …
What’s more interesting is the active community behind it, continuously fixing bugs and adding more features to the project. I like it so much that I think I’m gonna be writing some plugins myself for this platform sometime soon. (Already have some ideas in mind of features I need myself).
If you are managing your personal VPS and you need an administration panel that does the job on a small scale, Ajenti is your best bet. There are some annoying cons such as bugs that make the web interface crash (nothing that can’t be fixed by a page reload, but still), the need for more information and better scenario handling (some use cases are not covered yet). It’s not fully robust yet, but it’s getting there and it does a great job in the meantime.
Developer docs: http://wiki.ajenti.org/dev:intro
Here are some screenshots of Ajenti operating on my server:
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