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Role: Documentation
Content type: text/markdown
Description: ReadMe
Class: PHP Small Server Administrator
Web panel for small Debian and Ubuntu servers
Author: By
Last change: Preparing to release v1.0.57
Date: 3 years ago
Size: 8,476 bytes



Class file image Download

?# SmallServerAdmin (SSA)

This control panel for small Debian and Ubuntu servers.

The interaction with a server is performed via SSH.

The panel has a modular structure. One can easily create new modules or enhance existing ones.


  • User Management: * viewing, creating, editing and deleting users.
  • Sites Management: * supports Nginx, Nginx + Apache; * list of sites; * config files editor; * enabling and disabling sites; * creating a configuration-based templates; * deleting sites.
  • File Management: * list of files and folders; * creation of new folders and text files; * viewing and editing files; * moving, copying and deleting files and folders; * permissions management.
  • Subversion Management: * users and groups; * repositories.
  • Server Monitoring: * list of processes; * CPU, RAM and HDD usage.
  • Service Management: start, stop and reload;
  • SSH client: unilateral execution of commands.


SmallServerAdmin is licensed under the Apache License Version 2.0.

See also Third-Party License.


Server requirements to manage (administrable server):

  • Debian 7 or Debian 8, or Ubuntu Server 16;
  • OpenSSH >= 6.7;
  • sudo >= 1.8.10;
  • sysstat >= 11.0.1;
  • Nginx >= 1.6 and/or Apache >= 2.4 (for web server);
  • htan-runner for ASP.NET FastCGI;
  • See also README files for individual modules.

The panel can be located on any server.

Server requirements for the control panel:

  • Linux, Windows, Mac OS/OS X;
  • Apache and/or Nginx, or IIS, or another web server with PHP support;
  • PHP5 >= 5.5 or PHP7 with ssh2 extension;

_NOTE: Earlier versions have not been tested._

_NOTE: For Windows required PHP v5.5._

Installation & Configuration

Server Configuration (administrable server)

If SmallServerAdmin will be located on the managed (administrable) server, it is recommended to use HTAN to automatic install SmallServerAdmin:


# root access is required
su -l root

# update packages
apt-get update && apt-get upgrade

# prerequisites
apt-get install -y less libpcre3 git

# clone htan to /usr/lib/htan
git clone /usr/lib/htan

# create symbolic links to htan
[[ -f /sbin/htan ]] || ln -s /usr/lib/htan/run /sbin/htan
[[ -f /usr/sbin/htan ]] || ln -s /usr/lib/htan/run /usr/sbin/htan

# set permissions
chmod u=rwx /usr/lib/htan/run

# run
htan --yes --install=ssa

Ubuntu Server

# update packages
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade

# prerequisites
sudo apt-get install -y less libpcre3 git

# clone htan to /usr/lib/htan
sudo git clone /usr/lib/htan

# create symbolic links to htan
[[ -f /sbin/htan ]] || sudo ln -s /usr/lib/htan/run /sbin/htan
[[ -f /usr/sbin/htan ]] || sudo ln -s /usr/lib/htan/run /usr/sbin/htan

# set permissions
sudo chmod u=rwx /usr/lib/htan/run

# run
sudo htan --yes --install=ssa

Manually installation

To manually install and configure the server, use the following instructions below.

All commands to the server are performed through sudo. On the server, you must install and configure sudo.

For Debian only, istall sudo:

su -l root
apt-get -y sudo

The interaction with the server will be carried out via SSH. Usually on a server must already be installed OpenSSH package, but if it is not, you need to install OpenSSH.

To obtain information about the system used sysstat, which is also necessary to install.

sudo apt-get -y install openssh-server sysstat

And also recommended etckeeper to install:

sudo apt-get -y install etckeeper
[[ ! -d "/etc/.git" ]] && cd /etc && sudo etckeeper init

The best practice is to create a single user on whose behalf will be server management.

For example, add ssa user:

sudo adduser ssa --shell /bin/bash --no-create-home --gecos 'SmallServerAdmin'

_NOTE: You can use any name instead of ssa._

_ATTENTION: Remember user password. It is required for the Panel Configuration._

Add the user to the sudo group:

sudo usermod -a -G sudo ssa

And restart sudo:

sudo service sudo restart

If the connection via SSH is limited to narrow the list of users, add the created user in the list of allowed.

Open /etc/ssh/sshd_config:

sudo nano /etc/ssh/sshd_config

Add user name to the AllowUsers and save changes:

AllowUsers ssa

_NOTE: List of users separated by spaces. For example: user1 user2 ssa userN._

This is the minimum configuration that must be done.

If you have connection problems, try restarting the server.

Panel Configuration

General (default) panel settings contained in the ssh.config.php file. The parameters are stored in the global variable $config as an associative array.

In addition, each server can have its own settings, which are located in the /servers folder.

The panel has a modular design. Each module has its own set of parameters. For details see the README file of a specific module.


_NOTE: If you use automatic installation with HTAN, then change the settings of SSH is not need._

To operate the panel, you must configure the SSH connection settings.

By first opening the panel in a browser, you will be redirected to the servers management page where you can add and configure a new server. If it does not, open or create the /servers/default.php file and specify the connection settings to the server.

// ssh server address
$config['ssh_host'] = '';
// connection port (default: 22)
$config['ssh_port'] = '22';
// username (for example: ssa)
$config['ssh_user'] = 'username';
// user password
$config['ssh_password'] = 'password';
// required password for sudo user
$config['ssh_required_password'] = TRUE;

If the connection settings are incorrect, the panel can not connect to the server.

All commands are executed via sudo. If the value ssh_required_password is TRUE, for each command will use the user password (ssh_password).

If you are the only one user on the server, you can disable the password. For this set the FALSE to the ssh_required_password.

And also allow the execution of commands without entering a password:

sudo bash -c 'echo "ssa ALL=(ALL) NOPASSWD:ALL" | (EDITOR="tee -a" visudo)'

_NOTE: At the same time, the password will still be used to connect to the server._

_WARNING: If the server has other users, then for security reasons it is not recommended to disable the requirement of password._


In the parameter modules you can specify a list of required modules, separated by commas. These modules will be displayed in the menu in this order.

$config['modules'] = 'users,svn,sites,files,monitoring,services,ssh';

The absence of modules in the list does not restrict access to them.

Modules in the menu will be displayed in the order in which they are specified in the list.

In the file ssa.config.php specified the default list of modules that will be used for all servers, who have not their own list of modules.


Some modules have widgets that can be displayed on the main page.

Widget settings are located in the root element - widgets, the child elements that contain settings for specific module: $config['widgets']['moduleName'].

Each widget must contain the required parameter Enabled, which indicates the need to display the widget panel on the main page.

In the optional parameter Format, you can specify a custom format to display widget on the page.

In addition, the widget may comprise any other individual parameters. For more information, see the README file of a specific module.

$config['widgets']['monitoring'] = ['Enabled' => TRUE];
$config['widgets']['services'] = [
  'Enabled' => TRUE, 
  'Format' => '<div>%s</div>', 
  'NgInit' => 'SearchString = \'nginx,apache\'; Load()' 
$config['widgets']['sites'] = [
  'Enabled' => TRUE, 
  'Format' => '<div>%s</div>'

See Also