Note: The article includes the all steps to install the Sentora server. It does not include the configuration of separate services as this can be different depending on your server specs. A basic knowledge in bash is required to complete the installation.

About Sentora

Sentora is a fully featured, free hosting control panel that can help you easily manage your server through its user friendly interface. It is easy to install and includes all the software you will need to manage multiple websites and clients on a single server. The latest version of Sentora is 1.0.0. The installer will help you automatically install the following software on your server:

  • MySql -5.5.29
  • Apache – 2.4.3
  • PHP -5.3.20
  • Bind – 9.9.2-P1
  • phpMyAdmin – 3.5.8.1
  • RoundCube – 0.9.2
  • Dovecot – 2.0.9
  • Postfix – 2.6.6
  • proFTPd – 1.3.3g

Why Sentora?

There a lot of hosting panels out there each of them with its unique features. Some of them are paid, others consume more resources or simply do not have enough tools to help you easily manage your server. Here is what makes Sentora a preferred option when it comes to choosing a control panel for your server:

  • Provides multi-client environment
  • Quota Management
  • API integration to connect your site or billing software
  • Modules can be installed on the go.
  • It’s Open Source
  • Develop your own modules
  • Create Resellers
  • Your own branding
  • Multi language
  • Low memory consumption
  • It’s free

Where to start from?

Before we start with the installation, you will need to make sure that none of the software mentioned earlier is installed on the server where you will be installing Sentora. Another thing that you will need is:

  • Static IP address
  • Registered domain (not a must, but good to have)
  • Minimum of 512 MB RAM
  • 10 GB of free space

Now connect to your server over SSH with your root user. Then issue the following commands:

# cd /root/
# wget http://sentora.org/install
# chmod +x install
# ./install

This will start up the installer. There will be few questions you will need to answer to customize your installation. The first one would be to select your geographic location:

Sentora-install-screen

 

Next you will be asked to select your Time Zone:

Sentora-city-select

Next you will need to configure the hostname and the static IP address that will be used to access the server. For the purpose of this tutorial I am using a server with hostname linuxveda.linux-things.com and IP address:104.236.238.93 as I am installing Sentora on a server of my own. Please make sure to use correct information here. It is not obligatory to setup a real hostname, even though it is recommended to use a real subdomain. The IP address must be correct as it can also be used to access the control panel later:

Sentora-Hostname-setup

The installation will now take place. You may want to a grab a cup of coffee and play a YouTube video while the installation completes. The process can take about 5-10 minutes.

IMPORTANT: In the end of the installation you will be provided with list of login details for your server. Make sure to keep those somewhere safe:

Sentora-install-final-screen

The information will be written in the following file:

/root/passwords.txt

To complete the installation you are required to perform a system reboot. If you want to perform the reboot simply press “y“, if you want to restart the server later, type “n” and manually reboot the server later with “reboot” command executed as root.

After the reboot is complete, you will be able to access your Sentora control panel by simply typing your server’s IP address in your browser. You will see the sentora login screen:

Sentora Login Page

The default username is “zadmin” and the password has been provided by the installer earlier. Once logged you will see the administrative control panel of your Sentora:

sentora-admin

As you may see by yourself the options are quite a lot. I will stop on the most important ones and provide brief description for it. I will describe each of the options by blocks displayed in the backend:

Account Information:

In this section you can edit your account Password and Account details such as name, email account address and others. The usage statistics provide information about the used disk space as well as the amount of domains/subdomains, FTP accounts, MySQL databases  hosted on the server.

Server Admin:

As the section suggest it provides some administrative tool through which you can administrate your server:

  • Module Admin – provides you with list of available modules in Sentora. You can enable/disable modules from there as well as upload new ones.
  • PHPInfo – displays the settings about the current PHP version.
  • PHPsysinfo – an online monitoring tool that provides brief description about your server.
  • Sentora Config – through this tool you can modify the general settings of Sentora. Here you can configure system mails, system logs, date, apache port.
  • Shadowing – this option allows you to login in your client’s control panel. This comes useful especially when you are providing support to your clients
  • Updates – here you can check for new releases or patches for your Sentora

Advanced Section:

This section provides information about available backups on the server, crons, protected directories, service status and webalizer stats. The important stuff here is:

  • Backups – lists all available backups for hosting accounts and databases
  • Crons – setup cronjobs to run a given period of time. Very useful if you want to frequently perform the same task
  • Webalizer Stats – you can use this information to monitor your clients resource usage. You can use that information to see if one of the clients uses more resources compared to others and suggest him an upgrade or another solution.

Database Management:

As the name suggests you can manager your database in here:

  • MySQL Databases – create MySQL databases from here
  • MySQL Users – create MySQL users and assign them with privileges to a database
  • phpMyAdmin – the famous database management tool

Domain Management:

You can add domains to the server as well as create web directories for them. Nothing special here.

Reseller:

This is probably one of the most important parts. Here is the place where you can manager your clients. Before you start adding clients, you should setup a “Package”. The package will include the features that your client can use. For example you can limit the amount of domains, subdomains, parked domains, disk space and databases single user can use. Using this features you can create different hosting plans for your clients. The package can later be assign for a user upon account creation.

I will demonstrate how to add a package and then assign it to a new client. Click on the “Package Manager” icon in the Sentora control panel. Then setup the “Package name” and features that you want it to have. Here is my example:

sample-package

Now head back to “Manage Clients” and fill the details for your new user. In the drop down menu you will see the package you just created:
sentora-add-client

Sentora will sent login details for your client so he can start creating his projects.