Software

Review: Froxlor Server Management Panel

Any business can take advantage of Froxlor when they need to quickly roll out new domains or sub-domains for departments, remotes, branches, etc.

If you are an ISP you know the task of creating sites and tools for your users is vital to your success. Naturally you do not want to have to roll all of these servers out manually. For each user, you could be rolling out servers for Web, Mail, FTP, SSH, and more. Imagine, however, if that load grew exponentially. You don't want to have to be doing this incredibly tedious job over and over ad infinitum.

For this job you need a tool that can roll out client services with the help of drop-downs, menus, panels, and choices - not commands, configuration file editing, and patch work. One tool that can help is Froxlor, a Web-based server administrator. Froxlor was created by former SysCP developers to make the rollout of various services as simple as it can be. And Froxlor does just that.

Requirements

Who's it for?

Froxlor is an application that has many uses; primarily the tool is geared toward ISPs who need to roll out customer installations of Web and Email servers. But Froxlor doesn't have to be limited to ISPs. Any business could easily take advantage of this tool when they need to quickly roll out new domains or sub-domains for departments, remotes, branches, etc. And since Froxlor is open source (and simple to install) a task that normally would take hours, can take minutes and be done without cost.

What problem does it solve?

The creation of Web/Email domains has never been easier with a tool like Froxlor. Froxlor allow the administrator to quickly create a new customer and then create an entire domain for said customer in a matter of minutes.

Standout features

  • Simple installation
  • Easy to use web-based interface
  • Creation of email addresses, ftp services, and more
  • Integrated Help Ticket system
  • Resource usage calculation
  • Choice of Apache2 or Lighttpd
  • Multiple language translations
  • Email and file template system
  • Customer messaging system
  • Customer login for domain management

What's wrong?

There is one, huge glaring issue with Froxlor - documentation. For such a powerful tool I am shocked at how little time the developers have put into documentation. And since this tool is open source, users don't have a support number to call when there is an issue. Those same users will depend upon solid documentation to help them use this tool.

Another issue some admins will run into is that of permissions. If an admin is not accustomed to UNIX-based permissions, the installation can become quite frustrating. And since the documentation is non-existent, those admins will only wind up turning to the competition. Until the developers of Froxler bring on a team to work up some legitimate documentation they are going to lose plenty of opportunities to bring aboard new users.

Competitive products

Bottom line for business

For those who fall under the category of DIYers, tinkierers, and open source fanatics, Froxlor is the perfect tool to enable you to roll out domains for Web, Email, and FTP services to customers. For those who rely upon documentation and support, avert your eyes as Froxlor is most certainly not for you. Even with a piece-o-cake installation, there are tasks that will elude some administrators.

This is one of those tools I would love to recommend to anyone who has a need for rolling out Web/Email domains in large numbers. However, because of the lack of documentation and support, I can only recommend this to those who are true believers in the open source spirit and who would scoff at the idea of reading directions.

User rating

Have you encountered or used Froxlor? If so, what do you think? Rate your experience and compare the results to what other TechRepublic members think. Give your own personal review in the TechRepublic Community Forums or let us know if you think we left anything out in our review.

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About

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.

5 comments
AltruHost
AltruHost

You forgot to mention that Froxlor has support for the apache alternative webserver, nginx. nginx is a high-performance web server and reverse proxy. It has been adopted by many large websites and is gaining popularity. Combined with php-fpm it can effectively replace apache + mod_php which is the standard web server that many webhosts use currently. The fact that Froxlor supports this type of webserver opens the door for an entirely new platform for webhosting. Not only that but Froxlor also integrates with Application Packaging Standard (APS) which is basically a free replacement for Fantastico. When you put this entire system together you end up with a web hosting platform that's tough to beat and entirely open-source. www.froxlor.org www.apsstandard.org

ablaze1
ablaze1

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d00p
d00p

Hey there, I'm d00p from the Froxlor-project. Just read you review, thanks a lot for that ;-) But I wanted to clear out that there indeed is support, via e-mail, irc, forum and soon with a telephone-support hotline. We know the lack of documentation is huge but we're currently working on a complete rewrite which will be perfectly documented with phpDocs and handbook

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

What tools do you use to management server deployment?

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

Thank you for providing us with additional information.