I know how to set up a LAMP stack on Ubuntu pretty well for a single website / single user, but I'd like to allow multiple users to host multiple sites on a single server.

This is for different departments in an organization, so I don't think anyone using the server would be malicious, but I would like to try to separate out access anyway.

I like how most CPanel is set up so that:

  1. Users can't see each other's files
  2. Apache / PHP runs as the user and not www-data
  3. Scripts can't access things outside of the home directory (except for maybe /tmp/)
  4. Users can connect via FTP but are limited to their home directories
  5. Users can access the box via jailshell

I dont actually need a control panel like CPanel, I just want the behaviors / features mentioned above.

In doing research on how to accomplish those things I've found:

  1. Set file permissions correctly and also ftp access only (or maybe jailshell)?
  2. suPHP, suPHPexec, or Apache suEXEC ?
  3. Something like open_basedir?
  4. vsftp seems like the standard / most common thing for this
  5. I see that there is jailkit for Ubuntu - not sure how common it is.

I've been reading up on suPHP, suPHPexec, Apache suEXEC - but:

  • I am unclear about which one might work best with Ubuntu
  • I can't tell which ones might be most commonly used

I have also seen some discussion on mod_fcgid and PHP-FPM which I'm not sure are right for any of the requested features - I know they help with memory management for PHP.

  • Can those two tools be used to have a script "execute as the owner" ?
  • Are they commonly used with Ubuntu?
  • Are they stable enough to run with a production server? (I've seen some complaints especially regarding PHP-FPM)

Ideally I'd like to go with the the ones which are most commonly used.

closed as off-topic by HopelessN00b Jan 13 '15 at 20:18

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If you want a Control Panel have a look at:

Webmin/Virtualmin - looks most promising.
ispCP - looks really slick, but seems to still be in development (maybe stalled?)
vhcs - also looks slick, not sure about the licensing though.
Penguinator - looks to be very actively developed, the guys that run the project do seem a little disorganised: judging by their Web site.  You'll also need to get the source code from SVN as they don't appear to have an official release.
eBox - more of a general configuration tool, looks pretty though. You might be able to use it somewhere else. 

Do let us know how you get on, am interested to know what you choose and how well it goes. Good luck!

  • well, these look interesting but I don't think they do what I'm asking for - I did menton I dont actually need a control panel like CPanel, I just want the behaviors - like how to get apache/php to running as the user on ubuntu (the most common / popular way)? :\ – cwd May 19 '13 at 15:45

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