Free and Open Source cPanel Alternatives – aaPanel, HestiaCP

Now that cPanel & WHM Price are on the rise after they got acquired by Oakley Capital, everyone is looking for free alternatives. Today I’m going to share my experience with two of the best free cPanel alternatives I’ve used for quite some time. I’m going to talk about aaPanel which is the global version of the Chinese control panel BTPanel and HestiaCP which is a stable, secure fork of very popular free control panel VestaCP.

Without any further a due let’s go into details of my experience with these free cPanel alternatives.


aaPanel is a very lightweight yet feature-rich control panel that is available for free. aaPanel supports Debian, Ubuntu, Deepin, and CentOS operating systems which is a lot more than we can ask for, and also having very basic system administration knowledge is enough to install, manage and run aaPanel.

aaPanel Features: Apps like NGINX, Apache, Openlitespeed, PHP, MySQL, MongoDB, Redis, PM2 Manager, Docker Manager, Supervisor, and a lot of other apps can be installed and managed from a very intuitive graphical user interface. They’ve got 44 free apps as of now and there’s also a command-line interface for managing the control panel system. They offer a great file manager with a pretty good code editor, Let’s Encrypt SSL Certificates, and GUI for managing reverse proxy, system firewalls (iptables / firewalld / ufw). You can install Mail Server too but that’s supported on Ubuntu and CentOS operating systems only for now.

aaPanel Updates, Documentation, and Support: aaPanel is updated weekly which brings bug fixes and new features. They’ve got an official documentation library that covers almost all of the features they’ve to offer. Community-based support is available through their forum.

aaPanel Brief Review: I’ve used aaPanel on a lot of virtual and dedicated servers for more than a year and I must say this free panel has been serving me real good. I’ve hosted a lot of high-traffic and resource-hungry websites built with Laravel, WordPress and everything ran super smooth. I’ve heard about some shady practices here and there like most Chinese products but I haven’t seen any such thing. I will recommend this free control as a cPanel alternative any day.

aaPanel Installation Guide
aaPanel Documentation
aaPanel Community / Forum


HestiaCP has been out there for less than a year and is already known for stability and security. HestiaCP is built based on VestaCP which used to be very popular before their major security issues. HestiaCP offers a cool web interface with dark mode and also a very easy-to-use command-line interface. Only Debian and Ubuntu operating systems are supported but I believe this limited OS support helps them to offer a very secure control panel. Installation and management of the panel are very simple and hassle-free.

HestiaCP Features: Apps like NGINX, Apache, PHP, MySQL, PostgreSQL, and a lot of other apps can be installed from the command line interface only and can be managed from the web interface. They offer Let’s Encrypt SSL Certificates and GUI for managing system firewalls (iptables / firewalld / ipset). You can also install Mail Server and manage your emails from the web interface.

HestiaCP Updates, Documentation, and Support: HestiaCP is updated monthly which mainly brings bug fixes and new features. They’ve got an official documentation library that covers everything from getting started to becoming a pro on HestiaCP. Community-based support is available through their forum.

HestiaCP Brief Review: I’ve used HestiaCP on a few virtual and dedicated servers and I’ve liked how stable and fast this control panel is. HestiaCP performed great for the websites I did manage to host. I will recommend HestiaCP as a cPanel alternative.

HestiaCP Installation Guide
HestiaCP Documentation
HestiaCP Community / Forum

Feel free to post comments if you have any questions and I would be happy to answer. Also, check out these articles –
How to get NGINX on cPanel and WHM
Install Brotli Apache Module and PHP Extension in cPanel EA

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About Author

Tonmoy Ajize

Hey There! I am Tonmoy Ajize from Dhaka, Bangladesh. I am a Linux System Administrator and Customer Success Specialist.