Which control panel, distro and MTA?

Paul Kelly :: Blacknight paul at blacknight.ie
Fri Jan 13 01:02:45 GMT 2006

Hi Paul,

On Fri, 2006-01-13 at 00:44 +0000, Paul Welsh wrote:
> It's new server time again.  I'm currently running RH9 with the 42go control
> panel and Sendmail.  I run SpamAssassin as well as MailScanner.  I'm happy
> enough with this configuration but Progeny have stopped supplying patches
> for RH9 and my server can't cope with the traffic (a faster server will cure
> this).
*cough* 42go Is probably the worst webhosting control panel available. I
say this because we used it for quite some time (still have 3 redhat 9
boxes running with it).

> I want to accomplish the move to a new server in the least possible length
> of time.  I want the server to last around 3 years before I have to upgrade
> the OS.  I'm therefore inclined to go for CentOS.  My second choice would be
> Debian.  In terms of MTA I'm happy with Sendmail and would really prefer to
> stick with it, rather than have to learn Postfix or Exim.  From what I can
> see, RHEL 4 (and therefore CentOS 4) uses Sendmail by default, which suits
> me well.  Debian, it seems, uses Exim4 by default.

We're currently in a migration cycle. Moving old DA boxes to newer
hardware and moving 42go boxes to DA.

As far as I know the MailScanner configs are mostly the same for both
types of boxes. Obviously Exim has a few gotchas .. but once you know
what they are, itis fine to work with.

CentOs is indeed a good choice. We've probably got 60 or so boxes
running it, maybe a few more. Its life cycle is perfect for web hosting
as it means you can get at least 2.5/3 years out of it while it is fully

> The 42go control panel is, apparently, very slow to write changes but I can
> live with this.  I'm familiar with it and it doesn't interfere with
> MailScanner or SpamAssassin.  So, I either stick with 42go or move to
> DirectAdmin or another control panel.  DirectAdmin uses Exim4 as its MTA
> and, from reading the DirectAdmin forum, it seems there's a fair bit of
> fiddling about to get MailScanner working on it.  On the other hand, if
> DirectAdmin will save me time in other ways then I'll consider it.

The guys on the forum are not known for their excellent skill sets.
Mostly they use DA because it allows "point and drool" administration.
Anything outside the box is a mammoth task for them. 

We've about 15-20 shared hosting boxes running Directadmin and all have
MailScanner/spamassasin/pyzor/rayzor etc installed.

Take a leap of faith, go with directadmin/centos/mailscanner. I assure
you once its all working you won't look back. You can always ask here
for tips etc ;)


Paul Kelly
Technical Director
Blacknight Internet Solutions ltd
Hosting, Colocation, Dedicated servers 
Tel: 059 9183072
DDI: 059 9183091
e-mail: paul at blacknight.ie

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