A solid control panel is strongly desired for many Hostwinds clients. In many cases, it may come up that you might need to run a web hosting control panel to manage your accounts and your server configurations. One of the more robust options you have available for your Hostwinds server is CentOS 7 Web Panel. This guide is a general overview of the many options and features that CentOS 7 Web Panel can provide and aims to illustrate whether or not CensOS 7 Web P7 a good fit for your specific needs.
CentOS 7 Web Panel Overview
What CentOS 7 Web Panel Is:
CentOS 7 Web Panel (CWP7 from here on) is an open-source, web-based control panel that enables a Graphical User Interface (GUI) to help manage administrative, webserver, user, plugins and many, many more settings without ever having to use the command line directly after it is configured and setup. Let’s take a look at the various sections of the dashboard of a CWP7 installation, once logged in with your admin account.
As you can see, there is a LOT of info to see on this page. Let’s break it down, one section at a time.
This is a very simple section of the website. It shows that you’re currently looking at the dashboard and gives you one-click access to launch a terminal command prompt (launched in a new window) or a File Manager instance (also launched in a new window or tab).
Top 5 Processes
This area displays the top 5 running processes (default view shows ALL users, can be modified to show a specific user only) in regard to current resource consumption. The settings cog toggles the visibility of the listed processes.
User Navigation Bar
This area displays a link to the CWP7 support services page , an icon that links to active notifications, the currently active server user , and a “logout” button . You can click on notifications to be taken to the Notifications Page.
This area displays 3 buttons in total. The first button is a quick-toggle that can be used to enable or disable the firewall. The second button is a quick-toggle that can be used to enable or disable any active backup schedules. The final button is a button that takes you to the Support page for CWP7 on the official CWP7 website.
This is the main navigation panel that helps you navigate to all the locations within CWP7 that allow you to control the server functionality, any addons, PHP functions, web server functions including Apache and Nginx, backup schedules, email accounts, DNS settings, and so much more. Here’s an overall breakdown of each section from top to bottom:
|Dashboard||Launches the above page||One-click access from anywhere within CWP7|
|CWP Settings||Settings for CWP itself||This area pertains to various settings that directly pertain to CPW7 itself. Things like IP Address for the server, backup configurations, Add-ons for CWP7, themes, and API management. Much more can be manipulated within these settings, but these are the most pertinent ones.|
|Server Settings||Settings for the server||This area is where you would adjust settings for the server that CPW7 is physically running. This may be a Dedicated Server or a Cloud VPS. Hostname settings, Cronjob management, Server Password, time and date settings, SSH key pair management, and more. Be careful in this area, as changing things you aren’t 100% sure of can often break things on your server.|
|Apache Settings||Settings for the Apache web server||The settings within this section are all related to the Apache Web Server (which is running by default, otherwise the web panel itself wouldn’t function). This selection of settings is where you would edit, manage and configure any number of settings related to the Apache Web Server framework.|
|PHP Settings||Settings for the PHP framework||The settings within this section are all related to PHP, both the framework itself and configurations for it. Within these settings you can change between PHP Versions, manipulate php configuration files, add or remove PHP Modules and more. Certain aspects of this section do require the CWP7 Pro license to be enabled to function.|
|Service SSH||Displays various server status pages||This is where you can see the current status of many aspects of the server your system is running on, including network traffic, open and active ports, CPU and RAM load and allocations, and more. You’re also able to explicitly issue commands via SSH here, as well as trigger a Java-Based ssh console.|
|Services Config||Settings for services running||This section is where you would adjust SSH settings and what services are setup to automatically run at launch time when your server first boots. It’s also where you can setup service monitors to be alerted if a service stops, fails or otherwise does not function as intended.|
|User Accounts||Settings for user accounts||This area is where you are able to create, manage, edit and delete user accounts for the server. Typically, it is not recommended to perform routine tasks as the root user, and this is where you would navigate to create a non-root user for every-day purposes. It’s also where you can manage permissions, import and export backups, and work with cPanel backups.|
|Domains||Settings for domain control||This is the section where you would add, manage and control domains added to your CWP7. You can also create and manage subdomains here. Keep in mind that you must create a user in order to add domains, as the root user cannot be used to associate with a domain name.|
|Packages||Package Management for Domain Accounts||This is where you can add, remove and manage packages that are assigned to domain accounts inside of CPW7. By default, there is a “default” package setup, but it is generic and probably not well-suited for your typical use case, especially if you will only be hosting one or two domains worth of websites on this server. It is highly recommended to modify the default package and create additional packages if needed.|
|SQL Services||Settings for MySQL||This is where you would manage your MySQL users, instances, modules, databases and versions. Also provides access to settings related to PostgreSQL and MongoDB database utilities.|
|Settings related to email||This is where you would control email accounts, including creation, management and deletion. There is a lot of information in this area that can be modified, all pertaining how to Manage Email Addresses|
|DNS Functions||Settings related to DNS||These settings can be used to create, modify and delete DNS Records, DNS Nameservers, DNS Zones and more. This is also where you would go to modify what nameservers your DNS Server should be providing to domains that you host here.|
|Security||Settings related to Security||Within this section, many different settings related to various types of security can be managed. These include Firewall, IP Tables, SSL management, Malware scanning, HOSTS file management, User monitoring and much, much more. This section will be covered in detail in the Managing Security on CWP7 article.|
|File Management||Settings related to local file management||The settings within this section all pertain to managing files on the server. This includes a simple and advanced file manager application that let’s you browse files, as well as FTP account settings and configurations and other file-related utilities.|
|Plugins||Settings for managing plugins||This section includes settings for managing the settings related to currently-installed plugins for CWP7.|
|Developer Menu||Settings for developer modules||This area includes options for managing settings for any developer modules, or modules that are in development. For the most part, this section is not used.|
|Script Installers||Settings for managing scripted installers||This is where you would manipulate settings for apps that manage scripts that help install various tools and applications as web-apps on hosted domains hosted on the server.|
|Billing||Settings for billing options||WHMCS tools are found here, if you have a license for it and it is installed.|
This section shows current usage statistics on all your currently utilized and available disk space on the server.
This section details the current utilization of available resources on your server. This includes RAM usage with and without the cache included, as well as the current count of processes among all users and any mail items held by the postfix queue.
This section shows you all available services that are able to run, their current run status (active, disabled, error, failed, etc) and gives you options to view or change those status’ with one-click button options. This is useful for troubleshooting website and server errors.
This section displays all current versions of the most relevant services running on your system, including Apache, MySQL, PHP and FTP.
This section shows you details about the physical hardware that the server is running on, including the CPU name, number of cores available, CPU Speed, Linux kernel version, CPU architecture and more.