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cPanel 54

Yesterday cPanel laid out the upcoming changes in cPanel 11.54, or just cPanel 54 as it’s now known (see http://blog.cpanel.com/whats-next-for-cpanel-whm). Whilst light on any details, there are at least some interesting tidbits.

The new versioning system
This makes very little real world difference, but I can’t help but feel like they’re following Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox in a race to have the largest possible version number!

X3 being retired
Finally! X3 is an absolutely horrible theme which provides a truly terrible experience for users and I’ll be glad to see the back of it at long last!

Paper Lantern becoming the only choice
Hopefully with Paper Lantern becoming the only cPanel user interface (and dropping the silly “Paper Lantern” name!), it will start to move away from just being a tarted up version of X3 with some nicer icons and towards a more friendly, usable interface which doesn’t just feel the need to dump everything on one page!

cPassword, OpenID Connect and 2FA
I’ve got mixed feelings about this – the new cPassword interface sounds like a great idea, but the OpenID Connect feature sounds like a security nightmare, particularly with the default service being hosted externally on cPanel.com. At least we’re going to have the option of replacing it with our own backend (as well as being able to disable it altogether, hopefully!).
That said, Two factor authentication is a great addition, although I suspect that we are going to see more support tickets as people lose their phones etc. and lock themselves out of their hosting!

IPv6 only
cPanel were massively behind the game when it came to adding full IPv6 support, so it’s good to see them adding the ability to run completely without IPv4 now, particularly given the recent IPv4 exhaustion at ARIN.

Nginx front end
Good to see cPanel finally starting to catch up with Odin Plesk on this one! Hopefully we’ll see support for more complex configurations in future versions.

Directory Syncing
This could be quite useful depending on how it’s implemented. I suspect that it will be some form of asynchronous rsync based system, possibly with FTP and/or inode based hooks. Hopefully it won’t just be a periodic cron job task!

EasyApache 4
Hopefully EasyApache 4 will move towards using the operating system package management (RPM and YUM) for Apache and PHP, instead of insisting on needlessly compiling everything from scratch. This is one of my biggest pet peeves with cPanel at the moment – it adds needlessly complexity to system administration, makes simple tasks like adding an Apache module or PHP extension slow and laborious and even makes installing cPanel pointlessly time consuming. If they have finally caught up with how the rest of the world has been working for the past decade (or more) then it will be great news!

Courier support finally being dropped
Dovecot beats Courier hands down, so it makes sense to stop supporting Courier and move everyone over to Dovecot. There really is little point in spending the extra development effort support two mail servers, so I’m a bit surprised that it has taken this long.
I wonder if we’ll continue to see support for both ProFTPD and Pure-FTPd as well as BIND/named, NSD and MyDNS in future or if they will also move those towards only supporting a single daemon.

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