GNUPanel 2.0 - The FREE alternative for CPanel

A Universal and reliable solution from the GNU/Linux community for the Web Hosting industry.
Ricardo Marcelo Alvarez
4 Facebook Friends
Buenos Aires
3 Team Members

Quick Summary of the Project

We are ready to share a brand new code for GNUPanel, the upcoming most flexible web hosting solution available as free open source software (FLOSS). We just need your help to succeed!

Our goal is to raise $ 25.000 to fund four months of team work consisting of writing, testing and packing the new code. We would love to finally get the chance to work exclusively for 12 to 16 consecutive weeks on many ideas that just live on paper today.

Entrepreneurs, small and big companies, educational projects, everyone will have the opportunity to get the most flexible, easy to use, simple and secure Web Hosting Control Panel.

Our Team

GNUPanel team consists of three people: Ricardo M. Alvarez, Jorge Vaquero and Mariano Nowotny.

Ricardo is the original author of GNUPanel and leader of this project. He has been working on GNU/Linux system administration since mid-90s and wrote the first working version of GNUPanel back in 2006. A section below describes many details about the history of GNUPanel, why development was postponed and how we got back here.

He is also the author of VPScontrol, a web control panel for Xen servers and has a new blog dedicated to Debian systems, the software he writes and other freelance services he provides.

Jorge is the original coauthor of GNUPanel. He works as a Physics Teaching Assistant since mid-90s and in 2006 he decided to start a company that provides GNU/Linux Web Hosting services. He is also a website developer and a very talented entrepreneur. As a Free Software supporter he is very determined to provide a universal GPL solution to the web hosting industry.

Mariano is a Network Security Consultant and CCNA Cisco specialist. He promotes free software and GNU/Linux usage and has joined the team to share his experience and skills as a network designer.

As you can see we are all Free Software supporters, we all have experience working with GNU/Linux systems and we are all passionate on finally providing the community a true free open source alternative to CPanel.

  # Basic Theme Prototype

What We Need & What You Get

We need a chance to be focused on just one thing during the next months: Writing software.

Choosing a fixed funding model leads to a win-win scenario. Your contribution will become effective only if the goal is reached.
In exchange, all of us will have a FREE Open Source and flexible web hosting control panel with remarkable features: 

  • 100% NEW code published under the GPL license
  • Available as a DEB package
  • New plug-in system to increase functionality
  • New editable GUI
  • Multiserver & IPv6 support: Host domains across multiple servers
  • Available in a public repository to develop different packages for other popular GNU/Linux distributions

We like to think of GNUPanel as a Universal Solution for the Web Hosting Industry. No matter the size of your business or project you will have a powerful tool available to host domain names on GNU/Linux servers. 

You will be able to adapt this software to you special needs, contribute new plugins to the community, sell them, write them just for you or pay someone to do that. The code will be right there!

Let's face it: The original code of GNUPanel is too rigid, not written to be shared and was designed with almost zero graphic flexibility. There were reasons for this as you can read below in the Brief History section but we want the new code to be based on other principles. For example you will be able to make the interface fixed or flexible, choose your color scheme, create your own themes, etc.

Software Details

The package released will include the following features:

  • The new code will be written in PHP using a PostgreSQL database.
  • All common features included in the previous version will be available: Support for Subdomains, FTP and email accounts, databases, mailing lists, redirections, tickets, directories protection, stats, payments and tickets management.
  • The chance to write plugins and extend functions will be one BIG addition. 
  • A guide to use the plugins system will be provided with the documentation.
  • English & Spanish language support
  • Wiki documentation covering installation, plugin system and translations.
  • The interface will be fully editable. CSS styles, colors, the ability to load the background and logo images directly from the admin account. Also skin customizations will not be overriden whenever there is a version upgrade.
  • The admin interface includes an email editor template to save automatic email content, initially with english and spanish support. These messages will also survive software upgrades.
  • There will be two international payment methods included by default: Paypal and Bitcoin. Many others will be added later as plugins. For Argentina GNUPanel 2.0 will include support for Cuentadigital and Dineromail.
  • Sensible data passed through different forms (id_users, id_domains) will be encrypted.

We are convinced that a huge community will quickly contribute lots of improvements: Other packages, more translations, interesting plugins. Possibilities are endless. We want to make GNUPanel an excellent choice for companies and sysadmins.


We have selected some of the most common questions we receive:

1) What is this project for?
Our intent is to write a complete new code from scratch for this web application and make it public.

2) What are the differences between the old package and this new code?
Everything is different. The first code works very well, is a reliable and simple tool that we have been using for many years but has nothing to do with the new one. The version 2.0 is a complete new design, a more ambitious project and the result of a greater experience.

3) What are the plans for the public release?
We imagine the code will be taken by hundreds of programmers and developers to improve it. We imagine teams creating and taking care of alternative packages. Or users providing translations or new plugins. Others working on a Nginx package. Possibilities are many.

4) What are the main benefits of the new code?
Main benefits are: The freedom to use and adapt a GPL web hosting solution. Costs reduction for companies of any size. Extreme flexibility adding features as plugins. Simplicity and lightness.

5) Let's say I'm interested. What about the support?
This is something that will evolve with the software. GNUPanel is meant to be simple, many providers will get support from their own staff. Others will get support from the official forums to be started. We will certainly provide support but there will be many jobs opportunities. For instance those working on a RPM package could provide support. Others will provide support in a specific language or for large companies.

6) What is the difference with CPanel, Plesk, ISPconfig, Webmin and many others?
Every development is valuable and carries solutions to its public. GNUPanel is focused on adaptability, simplicity and freedom.

Basic architecture diagram

There is a first phase in version 2.0 development which is important because it has to do with a brand new code, designed to be flexible and adaptable. 

There will be a group of installable packages to cover different needs. The most basic setup of GNUPanel 2.0 will require at least of two packages: gnupanel-master and gnupanel-slave (these names are an example and could be modified).

Impact and Possibilities

We want our campaign to be a huge success for everybody. That's why GNUPanel will be released as free open source software and that's why we chose an all or nothing model. We want everyone to be sure that funding this campaign will result in GNUPanel 2.0 coming true. 

Each dollar will be returned to you if we don't reach our goal.

Hundreds of supporters helping us to reach our goal will allow us to finally have the software we imagined five years ago. But the best part is that you will be able to use it too!
For companies of any size but especially the small ones, the impact can be huge. They could save lots of money, no matter how many domains or how many servers. There will be no licenses to pay, no discounts to obtain..., GNUPanel will be yours!

What are the Funds for?

The money collected will support us to get together during almost 4 months, rewrite the entire code, create the DEB package and release it under the GPL license.

New documentation will be provided and the code will be available in a public repository.

If we largely exceed our goals, we might even be able to enhance the project's features spending more time on GNUPanel. As we have a long list of possible features, we would like to start a poll to allow your participation and help us setting our priorities.

Other Ways To Help Us

Although we need to raise funds and encourage you to help us with that, not everything is about money :-)

You can help us a lot visiting this page on a daily basis, linking to the campaign, spreading the word on forums, blogs, mailing lists, twitter, facebook, linkedin, everywhere!

Receiving visits during the campaign will help us to get a better "GoGo factor", a system  used by Indiegogo to rate a campaign and select popular projects that will be showed in Indiegogo's frontpage.

Going Back in Time: Brief History of GNUPanel

GNUPanel was born as a FREE Open Source Web Hosting Control Panel for Debian GNU/Linux. It was written and maintained by Ricardo M. Alvarez in collaboration with Jorge Vaquero.

It's first version was ready by the end of 2005. Ricardo was happy to get a simple, powerful and efficient control panel to run on Debian systems.

GNUPanel allowed us to replace the use of programs like CPanel or Plesk, two of the most popular options by then. There were a few free alternatives at that time but none of them developed in South America.

During 2007 we contacted Richard Stallman thanks to our friend, Tim. They thought GNUPanel could become a true GNU package and we were extremely excited about that chance! There was a lot of work to do because the code was written just for ourselves and it was completely in spanish.

Despite its name, this program is NOT part at this moment of the GNU ecosystem. We really wanted to achieve this but unfortunately Ricardo had to face some health issues during 2007-2009. This was a big drawback and since then we couldn’t find the right time to go back properly to the coding.

Early in 2012 the idea to completely rewrite GNUPanel’s code re-emerged. This time we would like to focus our efforts on creating a community of users and fans that can help us with a crowdfunding project to finally release the best FREE Open Source web hosting control panel !!

Friends and Companies Supporting Us

These companies and GNU/Linux communities would love GNUPanel to become a strong option as a GPL web hosting control panel:

Find This Campaign On
raised in 1 month
3% funded
No time left
$25,000 USD goal
Fixed Funding This campaign did not meet its $25,000USD funding goal by the deadline.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on December 9, 2013
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