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I currently use hostgator but want to move to hosting on site, not through a third party. Can someone who's familiar with HostGator or hosting in general help me wrap my head around what needs to be done.

  • I have a new box, *nux not even installed yet
  • I know they use cpanel, email, etc. all of which are features I use.
  • What would be the list of steps I'd need to follow to get a system up and running that's similar to theirs.
  • Are there packages that could install several of their features at once?
  • Would I need to install FTP, mail, etc. each package individually
  • No features to sell hosting to others would be needed.
  • Would I need WHM (web hosting manager) or not since I'm not selling hosting?

Any information to help me understand what I'm trying to do would be appreciated.

Edit: Since the cPanel license costs $500/year, I'm considering an open source alternative for now, something like ISPconfig, though I know very little about it and haven't tried it so can't compare it to cPanel.

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closed as not constructive by Zypher Jan 20 '12 at 17:52

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

up vote 2 down vote accepted

This depends a lot on exactly what you're planning to do with your server. Since it's only for your own uses, are there any other features other than web hosting and e-mail that you need? For the web hosting, what languages do you need to be able to use (PHP, Ruby, just static HTML, etc.)? For the e-mail, do you have any specific requirements as far as how you access it (what clients)?

I'll edit this question more after some more specifics, but I run my own server for my website and e-mail, so here's my suggestions for just that. On your server, you can install whatever distribution you're most comfortable with. I'd probably suggest Ubuntu if you don't have much sysadmin experience because it's fairly easy to use, and built on Debian (I like Debian-based distros :)). After that, you can install Apache (PHP and MySQL if necessary) and e-mail services. For e-mail, I use postfix and Courier. I also installed Roundcube for webmail, although I can use any client with IMAP, too. For administrating it, you could use Webmin to give yourself a web-based interface, which is probably similar to what you're used to, but it won't be too difficult to get used to running commands on the server. These packages are easy to install, so it could be as easy as typing in something like "sudo apt-get install apache2 php mysql postfix courier" (Note: Not the actual command, but similar to that depending on what you want).

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Buy a copy of cpanel at, follow their installation instructions for the few distributions that they support.

If I recall the installation process, you start with a somewhat minimal install, and they actually have packaged most of their own binaries in their package.

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