cPanel is a web hosting control panel (software that facilitates the management of a web hosting server) developed by cPanel, L.L.C., an American corporation. The software provides a graphical interface (GUI) and automation tools designed to simplify the process of hosting a web site to the website owner or the "end user".
cPanel is part of a software suite called cPanel & WHM which provides capabilities for administrators, resellers, and end-user website owners to control the various aspects of website and server administration through a standard web browser using a three-tier structure. While cPanel is limited to managing a single hosting account, cPanel & WHM allows the administration of the entire server.
In addition to the GUI, cPanel also has command line and API-based access that allows third-party software vendors, web hosting organizations, and developers to automate standard system administration processes.
cPanel & WHM is designed to function either as a dedicated server or virtual private server. The latest cPanel & WHM version supports installation on CentOS, Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), and CloudLinux OS. cPanel 11.30 is the last major version to support FreeBSD.
Application-based support includes Apache, PHP, MySQL, PostgreSQL, Perl, and BIND (DNS). Email-based support includes POP3, IMAP, and SMTP services. cPanel is accessed via HTTPS on port 2083, while WHM is accessed via HTTPS on port 2087.
Once installed, cPanel & WHM cannot be easily removed. cPanel & WHM FAQ states that the best way to uninstall cPanel & WHM is by reformatting the server. However, uninstall guides are available online for expert server administrators who do not wish to reformat their server. Similarly, it should only be installed on a freshly installed operating system with minimal prior configuration.