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HestiaCP on Amazon Lightsail

Hestia Control Panel, better known as HestiaCP is an open source web hosting panel to manage your web sites, your email server and more. Its source code is based on VestaCP and comes bundled with many fixes and security updates that the former panel lacks.

If you have ever tried VestaCP before, you already know what I’m talking about. HestiaCP is a fork that keeps all the advantages of running Vesta: a neat user interface plus automation tools designed to simplify the process of hosting a web site. HestiaCP is not only simple and intuitive, it also runs super fast, even with low resources.

Since this fork is relatively new and, even though the official documentation is very comprehensive, third-party docs and video tutorials are not as broad as they can be for its older brother VestaCP.

Given its price point, specs and convenience, Amazon Lightsail is a quick and easy way to launch a VPS that is able to handle HestiaCP smoothly at a fixed price point.

Amazon Lightsail

Amazon Lightsail is a platform that lets you launch virtual private servers in a breeze. The platform competes against other popular solutions like DigitalOcean and Linode. All of them come packed with storage, RAM memory, processing power and data transfer into a fixed-price. Hestia can run on either Debian 9/10 and Ubuntu 16/18 /20.

HestiaCP will run fine even on the lowest Lightsail configuration, which consists of 512 MB of RAM, 20 GB of SSD storage, 1 virtual CPU and 1 TB of data transfer. We are going to choose an OS-only setup with Debian 10.5. Currently, VestaCP does not support this latest version. If you want a juicer configuration you can always choose a higher plan.

Amazon Lightsail pricing plans

Installing HestiaCP

Step 1: open ports on Lightsail panel
Once you choose the OS (Debian or Ubuntu) and the pricing plan, the next step is to open the Ports on the virtual machine that are required from HestiaCP to run.

This is done from the Networking tab on top. There, you’ll need to open the following for HestiaCP to work properly.

Port or rangeProtocolApplication
20 – 22TCPDefault for SSH and FTP
25TCPSMTP
53TCPDNS (TCP)
80TCPHTTP (Open by default)
110TCPPOP3
143TCPIMAP
443TCPHTTPS
465TCPSMTP
587TCPSMTP
993TCPIMAP
3306TCPMySQL/Aurora
8083TCPDefault for HestiaCP
53UDPDNS (UDP)
Default list of ports that need to be open in order to run HestiaCP

After opening the ports, all you need is to write the magic command from the console with root privilegies. You can choose Lightsail’s integrated terminal or login through SSH using a software like PuTTY.

Step 2: log in as root and download the installer

$ sudo su
$ wget https://raw.githubusercontent.com/hestiacp/hestiacp/release/install/hst-install.sh

Step 3: run the installer following the prompts:
$ bash hst-install.sh
Once the installation is complete, take note of your credentials info in order to log in to the panel for the first time.

SSL for the Control Panel

Adding SSL to the Control Panel on a Lightsail instance differs to the standard method that is explained in the official documentation. Thanks to Jaap Marcus from Hestia’s Discord group, I was able to execute this command to secure the connection with the Control Panel Interface.

$ sudo su
$ /usr/local/hestia/bin/v-add-letsencrypt-host

On other Virtual Private Servers it would be as easy as running only v-add-letsencrypt-host.

Conclusion

HestiaCP is super intuitive. If you ever been exposed to a shared hosting Web Control panel it is pretty easy to set up domains, emails and edit the DNS information of your server.

The official documentation is also very comprehensive in case you don’t know where to start from. Additionally, the community is very active and supportive, either on their Facebook Page or Discord group.

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