VHFFS supports hosting for Websites, MySQL and PostgreSQL databases, CVS, Subversion, Git, Mercurial, Bazaar, DNS, Mail, Mailing-list, Cron, SSH and Download repositories (static files).
The web-based application to ask for a service is the panel. The panel is the main web-application for users to subscribe, create groups(i.e. projects) or services requests. When the service is confirmed, VHFFS needs to create it on the host. Typically, for a new website request, we need to create a directory to get the website's file. Or, for a new MySQL database, VHFFS needs to create a new MySQL user and database. All those systems operation are made by robots.
Robots are programs that fetch the steps to do from the database and create services or modify them if needed. They can do maintenance operations too. In fact, users and administrators of the platform can change the database and the robots update services on your machine according to the databases data. For example, when a user subscribe, a new user is created in the database, and is flagged as Waiting for creation. When robots are called, they look at the user's data and see that a user must be created. Then, they create its directory, change permissions on it and send a mail to the user to give him its password.
Robots must be called very often. Often, they are called every 10 minutes, to have a good reactivity.
In fact, all unix systems can run VHFFS. However, VHFFS depends of some software which is not available on some Unixes. To resume, it works on all Linux systems, have great chances to work on BSD and work partially on Mac OS X.
For Linux systems, VHFFS was developed on Debian and work perfectly on this distribution. However, it works on Fedora or Mandriva too.
No, and VHFFS will not be WindowsXP compliant. In fact, Windows XP was not designed to run hosting software, it's just a client, to run games or internet applications. You can wonder if VHFFS will run on Windows 2003, which is one server-version of Windows. VHFFS could work on Windows 2003 Server, but we think it's not its philosophy. In fact, VHFFS needs known free-softwares like
Apache2, but the webserver designed for Windows 2003 is IIS and it's impossible to modify it to get a functionnal webserver for VHFFS.
We think it's better to support a sort of systems. So, VHFFS only work on *NIX systems. And works as good as it can.
The panel is the web-interface of VHFFS. It is a shared-interface for users and administrators to manage services and accounts. This panel is fully customizable, you can change colors, images, etc …
Of course ! In fact, VHFFS have a common API which can be used for other programs. Users and services can be managed by the vhffs-tools (command-line programs). But you can easily make your own programs to manage exactly what you want. For information, some people made an IRC bot to manage requests from users.
Of course, VHFFS was designed for it ! You can use several machines and use VHFFS. Only one constraint : the VHFFS database (PostgreSQL server) must be available to all hosts. But VHFFS can be used on a single host too, it is not a problem.
It depends on the number of users and the websites traffic. Generally, a little P-III 1Ghz with 512 MiB of memory can run VHFFS with Apache2, MySQL, PostgreSQL, DNS, Mail and Mailing-lists.
The best solution consists in using KVM or Xen. You can create several virtual-computers on your real one. So, you can create one virtual-computer for the VHFFS-database and the panel, and another virtual-computer for the services.
Listengine is the mailing-list system for VHFFS. In fact, commons mailing-list program are not easy to configure lists with multi-domains. Listengine can be used for several lists and domains. It allows your users to have a list on its own domain and not only on lists.myhost.com.
In fact, existing list-managers does not handle virtualhost. For example, I have 1000 users, and each users have a domain name. With most of list managers, I couldn't propose hosted-list on each domain, I could only use one domain. Most of the time, hosting services propose a domain like
Listengine works with the domain of hosted people. If the user
foo have the domain
foo.com, he will be able to create
email@example.com and user
bar will be able to create
Actually, listengine matches the VHFFS needs. More, this software is internationalized.