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Need a good web hosting control panel that can run Tomcat

TokimoTokimo Registered User regular
edited June 2010 in Help / Advice Forum
Edit2: I've given up on Tomcat from a CP. Now I just want a good mail server that a noob like me can set up.

I'm looking for a web hosting control panel (for my dedicated server) that can run Tomcat. It needs to support MySQL/PHP/E-Mail/HTTP of course, but those are normal features. I haven't found any that explicitly claim to support Tomcat.

I'd prefer a free/open source one that I can donate too after 2-3 months of satisfaction. I have a price cap of $30/month and it'd better be awesome for that.

I've been looking at a bunch so far, but none have had an idiot proof label for Tomcat.

Edit1: As long as I go through this learning process I'm going to share what I've learned.

The ones I've looked at include:
DTC: http://www.gplhost.com/software-dtc.html - Very slick looking, well made. I got trapped trying to get a self-signed SSL cert in place for the control panel to load. If you are at a copy and paste level for linux, this might be too advanced for you. Verdict: Too hard
EHCP: http://ehcp.net/ - Easy to get running. Security seemed to be a tertiary thought so I decided to try something else for now. Verdict: Security?
ISPConfig: http://www.ispconfig.org/ - Installation of this is many pages long. This is the very reason I'm trying to get a CP. I'm comfortable with command line, but I'm not comfortable setting up a mail server. Verdict: Too hard
OpenPanel: http://www.openpanel.com/ - Nice looking UI, I couldn't get the apt-get to run (using their instructions). Verdict: Too hard
VHCS: http://www.vhcs.net/ - Couldn't figure out how to install it with apt-get. Verdict: How do I install this?
web-cp: http://www.web-cp.net/ - Couldn't figure out how to install it with apt-get. Verdict: How do I install this?
Webmin: http://www.webmin.com/ - Couldn't figure out how to install it with apt-get. Verdict: How do I install this?
SysCP: http://www.syscp.de/ - A simple security error on the main site that didn't seem to be recognized as such by these guys has me staying away. Verdict: Security?
ZPanel: http://www.zpanel.co.uk/ - Couldn't figure out how to install it with apt-get. Verdict: How do I install this?

Final verdict: Don't use free control panels. They're as difficult to set up as doing it the normal way OR they don't care about security at all.

Thanks for reading :)

We're building Mahoujo! The magical girl CCG! Come check out at www.mahoujo.com.
Tokimo on

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    Jimmy KingJimmy King Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    I believe Tomcat has its own web based management UI built in. Do some digging on the Apache website and there should be some info. I'll do some quick looking to see if I can pull something up for you, too. It's been quite awhile since I had the urge to fight with Tomcat. I'm not sure anything involving Tomcat is ever idiot proof.

    update: no idea if this is relevant to the version of Tomcat you are running or not but it has instructions for setting up the management ui stuff for tomcat. http://oreilly.com/java/archive/tomcat-tips.html

    Jimmy King on
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    TokimoTokimo Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    If I can't find a CP that supports Tomcat, I'll try one that doesn't and then put Tomcat on top of it (last time I tried to set up a Tomcat I gave up though...)

    Tokimo on
    We're building Mahoujo! The magical girl CCG! Come check out at www.mahoujo.com.
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    Jimmy KingJimmy King Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Ah, trying to have something more or less auto set it up, too, not just manage it after it's set up? Yeah, Tomcat is a nightmare to get working when you're just learning your way around it.

    Any particular reason you're using Java rather than some other language so that you can just avoid Tomcat? I'm assuming this is some sort of personal project or small business (the game in your sig link?) and based on my (admittedly limited) experience with Tomcat and j2ee stuff, it's way too complicated and bulky for most personal and small business situations.

    Jimmy King on
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    TokimoTokimo Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Yes, this is for my card game. I want to get a no-install, online play card game running for Mahoujo.

    No-install means flash or Java. Java is so squirrely to get to run (too bad, it's hands down a better language than Flash). So I'm then trying to do a Flex (compiles to Flash) app with a Java backend. To make that work I need to use LCDS/BlazeDS, which requires Tomcat.

    If I could eschew the Tomcat I would, but the current options that skip it are just really painful (desktop app gross, or a Java applet which often won't load).

    Tokimo on
    We're building Mahoujo! The magical girl CCG! Come check out at www.mahoujo.com.
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    Jimmy KingJimmy King Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Ah, ok. Makes sense if you want something that has a very desktop app-like feel and way of working and fancy animations and stuff.

    I was initially thinking standard servlet/jsp stuff, which you could easily replace with any other language on the back end that you want. Couldn't figure out for the life of me why you'd fight with Tomcat for something like that.

    If you do find something that lets you install and manage Tomcat easily, keep me updated. I've been wanting to ditch Perl for my web back end stuff for awhile and just can't make up my mind what I'd like to move to. Ideally Java from the position of looking at future job perspectives and I work with Java for Android dev, but I can't bring myself to fight with Tomcat for all of my personal projects going forward.

    Jimmy King on
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    theSquidtheSquid Sydney, AustraliaRegistered User regular
    edited June 2010
    All I can say is having a bit of experience with commercial Java work the odds of you having an easy apt-getting experience with more technical things approaches zero. Learn to install manually. Once you get a handle on configuring Tomcat, /etc/init.d and permissions iun Linux its not too bad.

    theSquid on
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    LewishamLewisham Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    I manage a Tomcat server. The best way of doing it is as theSquid said: you need access to the box to install packages and alter various XML files. I've never seen a tutorial for managing Tomcat that assumed you had a GUI program on top; it's always been "edit X and Y XML files"

    If you don't want to go through this hassle, maybe Google AppEngine is a useful deployment vector for now?
    Jimmy King wrote:
    I've been wanting to ditch Perl for my web back end stuff for awhile and just can't make up my mind what I'd like to move to. Ideally Java from the position of looking at future job perspectives and I work with Java for Android dev, but I can't bring myself to fight with Tomcat for all of my personal projects going forward.

    It's horses for courses. I worked as a Perl hacker for a CompSci university programming team, and used it for their web site. They'd never use anything else. Results are quick, but often felt dirty. Other scripting languages that promote less hacky approaches, like Python or Ruby, are better.

    I would use Java if I was making a real web app. Not just a fancy overlay for communicating to a database, but a real application that does a lot of back-end processing before something comes out to the user.

    But I wouldn't use Java personally, I'd use Scala :)

    Lewisham on
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    Jimmy KingJimmy King Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Lewisham wrote: »
    I manage a Tomcat server. The best way of doing it is as theSquid said: you need access to the box to install packages and alter various XML files. I've never seen a tutorial for managing Tomcat that assumed you had a GUI program on top; it's always been "edit X and Y XML files"

    If you don't want to go through this hassle, maybe Google AppEngine is a useful deployment vector for now?
    That's a really good idea for the OP (and maybe for my own stuff). I always forget about Google AppEngine.
    Lewisham wrote: »
    Jimmy King wrote:
    I've been wanting to ditch Perl for my web back end stuff for awhile and just can't make up my mind what I'd like to move to. Ideally Java from the position of looking at future job perspectives and I work with Java for Android dev, but I can't bring myself to fight with Tomcat for all of my personal projects going forward.

    It's horses for courses. I worked as a Perl hacker for a CompSci university programming team, and used it for their web site. They'd never use anything else. Results are quick, but often felt dirty. Other scripting languages that promote less hacky approaches, like Python or Ruby, are better.

    I would use Java if I was making a real web app. Not just a fancy overlay for communicating to a database, but a real application that does a lot of back-end processing before something comes out to the user.

    But I wouldn't use Java personally, I'd use Scala :)
    For me, the only reason to ditch Perl really is job marketability. I'm the primary developer on a large Perl CMS that is the core of our business where I work. I know Perl inside and out (well.. more or less) , can develop anything I need in it and do it relatively quickly, can write it as clean as any other language, and like the language. It's not marketable, though. In the corporate world, at least around here, it's mostly Java on the Unix/Linux side of things, so that's ideal, but j2ee is just a hassle for small to mid sized personal projects (I've got one website running on Tomcat to experiment with it). Anyway, enough about that. I don't want to hijack the thread here.

    Jimmy King on
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    TokimoTokimo Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Tomcat is something that I think I can probably struggle though. I've done it before, and I've given up before. It's difficult but on the fringe of my administration abilities. The reason I'm trying to get a CP is because I couldn't figure out how to do an e-mail server. As long as I was looking for a CP I was hoping I could find one that supported Tomcat. It looks like that's a bust now so I'm just going for a good CP and then I'll try to put Tomcat on top.

    I'm looking into Google App Engine right now. I found a promising lead on flex projects using a google app engine.

    Tokimo on
    We're building Mahoujo! The magical girl CCG! Come check out at www.mahoujo.com.
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    TokimoTokimo Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    I now know how to set up a Tomcat pretty comfortable. However, the real reason I was looking for a CP was E-Mail and the only one I could install didn't care a bean about security.

    So... Recommendations for E-Mail servers?

    I do thank everyone for their patience with my noobishness.

    Tokimo on
    We're building Mahoujo! The magical girl CCG! Come check out at www.mahoujo.com.
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    Jimmy KingJimmy King Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    I always use Postfix for e-mail. You can have it up and running with SASL auth and SSL/TLS so that you have to auth as a valid user to send mail through it and it will use SSL/TSL for connections both between clients and between other servers when possible in 5-10 minutes.

    After you get it up and running, check your antivirus. A lot of antivirus setup. A lot of av software sets up a little proxy running locally for your mail clients to connect to (which you likely already know). I've found that a lot of those don't deal with SSL or TLS properly, so your client won't work until you turn that off.

    Jimmy King on
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    TokimoTokimo Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Jimmy King wrote: »
    I always use Postfix for e-mail. You can have it up and running with SASL auth and SSL/TLS so that you have to auth as a valid user to send mail through it and it will use SSL/TSL for connections both between clients and between other servers when possible in 5-10 minutes.

    I'm playing with postfix right now. I think I'm up to 45 minutes or so and I still don't have it running (need multiple domains). Looks promising though.

    Tokimo on
    We're building Mahoujo! The magical girl CCG! Come check out at www.mahoujo.com.
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    Jimmy KingJimmy King Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Tokimo wrote: »
    Jimmy King wrote: »
    I always use Postfix for e-mail. You can have it up and running with SASL auth and SSL/TLS so that you have to auth as a valid user to send mail through it and it will use SSL/TSL for connections both between clients and between other servers when possible in 5-10 minutes.

    I'm playing with postfix right now. I think I'm up to 45 minutes or so and I still don't have it running (need multiple domains). Looks promising though.
    I'll try to dig up some docs for you. It's been several years since I had to have it manage multiple domains (I tried to run a small web/shell hosting business at one point... way more hassle than it's worth). I did it both by hand and with webmin. Webmin worked well for it, but that was an old Slackware box where I could easily set stuff up to work exactly how I wanted. I would assume that Debian probably comes with the two well integrated out of the box.

    You've probably already found this, but http://www.postfix.org/VIRTUAL_README.html is the official docs for getting virtual hosts set up with postfix. I'd probably get it working how you want with a single domain, any auth config, ssl/tls, etc. first and then do this (mostly due to personal preference, no idea how much it'll really affect any potential difficulties).

    This looks about right for getting sasl and ssl/tls and Maildir delivery working with postfix and courier imap. http://www.howtoforge.com/perfect_setup_debian_etch_p5. There may be 1 or 2 things you need to tweak in there, a lot of these guides to setting that stuff up seem to have 1 or 2 config options in them that have changed in Postfix since they were written and people just copied and pasted.

    Jimmy King on
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