Webmin/Virtualmin vs ISP Config 3

Over the past week or so I have been transferring all domains I hosted for myself and for my friends to a new server I setup. I would like to share my experience here and briefly compare 2 systems - ISP Config 3 and Webmin/Virtualmin.

I have been using ISP Config 3 on my 2 hosting servers for over 3 years as well as on others before that. I loved it - it was simple to use, provided me with enough tools to administer domains, dns, emails and websites through simple and effective interface. My second server was always configured as slave DNS only. This setup worked very well, with some small drawbacks.

Webmin was always something I installed on all the Linux servers I looked after. I loved the complexity. Of course, I could manage the servers without it, but I always like to use a tool, which speeds up certain management tasks. So for the 2 new servers I deployed I used Webmin/Virtualmin combo as I read just too much rave about this free to use control panel.

And I am glad I moved over. The interface is not as simple and straightforward as ISP Config 3, it’s much more complex, but that’s the hidden beauty. You virtually have all the tools at your disposal. It’s easy to get lost, if you don’t have the necessary skills and knowledge. It’s certainly not a control panel for a beginner. But if you know what you are doing, if you have more advanced skills in Linux, this environment can provide you with the necessary tools and make your admin work easier and faster.

I can go really into the depths of both systems as I know both of them very well and used them professionally for years.

To sum it up, I would recommend each control panel to the following audience:

ISP Config 3

Pros:

  • easy to use for the beginner
  • simple setup and configuration
  • clean administrative interface

Cons:

  • if something breaks, you need to get your hands dirty in Linux terminal

Webmin / Virtualmin

Pros:

  • extremely powerfull control panel
  • all the tools at your disposal
  • no need to touch the command line, all aspects configurable from within the interface
  • ideal for the administrator wanting full control

Cons:

  • requies good knowledge about Linux server/system
  • if you don’t know what you are doing, you will get lost
  • not for beginners