Ĉieloj is an open source project building a modern control panel for webhosts of all sizes.

It will be designed and put together using open source tools and with a focus on data privacy, ethics, and sustainability.

At the centre of it all is a desire to make a piece of software with a clear direction, that knows what it wants to be. What we don’t want to create is a bloated behemoth of a piece of software, but rather something light and agile, that is adaptable and extensible.

Right now, we are right at the start of a project in flux that currently exists purely as a series of discussions and thought processes.


Ĉieloj – meaning skies in Esperanto. This is something that can be contributed to and used by anyone around the world, so we picked a name in the most international language we could find, and the skies are where clouds live.

bullseyeThe overall aim

Ĉieloj aims to be a framework for hosting providers or system admins to be able to control their servers easily and efficiently.

The original idea for the project was to create two separate applications that would be designed to work perfectly together but also be usable individually, or able to integrate with other existing solutions. One of them would be a simple billing and client management app designed for web hosting, with invoicing and a customer support system, and the second and main part of the project would be a server/hosting control panel We've shelved the billing part, instead choosing to make the control panel integrate with the open source billing software project FOSSBilling, and we will make contributions to FOSSBilling along the way when they are needed.

That leaves us with the sole aim of the Ĉieloj project being to build a server/hosting control panel, consisting of a simple modern framework for multi-server control, with additional functions and features added by extension modules.

There are a few fundamental differences between Ĉieloj and the current open source control panel options out there.

  • A focus on lightness, agility, and speed.
  • A modern UI built with accessibility in mind.
  • A multi-server approach – one control panel install to run your entire infrastructure, web, mail, db, and backup servers.
  • Extensible by design.

The one big thing that really sets Ĉieloj apart from almost anything out there, commercial or open source, is that we are willing to tear up the 'industry standard' book. We are starting with a clean slate and nothing set in stone from the outset, every aspect of the tech stack is up for question and debate with decisions ultimately taken because they will work well for the project and not because they are the 'norm' or the 'standard'.

  • Ubuntu or Alma? Maybe, but perhaps there are lighter faster Linux distros, or maybe FreeBSD is actually a better OS to build from.
  • Apache, nginx? Open LiteSpeed even? Maybe, but maybe Caddy, H2O, or Lightppd actually does what we want better?

Phase one will be a basic web hosting control panel, with email and other functions following at a later date as phase two.

The logic here is simply that web hosting is the core and most important part of the project, and while there are a lot of pretty decent solutions out there none of them actually fits in with our aims entirely.

oil-lampFeature (wish)list

Where do you start with a project as big as designing and building a new hosting control panel?

With a list of things that you would like to see in the end product..

  • A truly multiserver compatible system with the ability to put everything on one server or to assign specific roles to individual servers: web, mail, db, backup, dns. and also the ability to easily move things between servers in the cluster.
  • The ability to serve websites using modern protocols, i.e. IPv6, HTTP/3, Brotli compression.
  • A simple, clear, and well documented API to allow for extension modules and third-party integrations.
  • A backup system that is easy to setup and schedule, can use storage within your hosting cluster or remotely using S3 / other popular protocols, and is easy to restore from.
  • A mail server that uses modern standards and protocols, including SMTP, DMARC, DANE, and MTA-STS, or the ability to offload mail to a third party service.

ruler-squareThoughts on architecture

Oh, so many thoughts...

As we've already covered above, one of the biggest things that we think sets Ĉieloj apart from most other control panels out there is the willingness to make decisions based on what we think are the best pieces of software for each task instead of trying to comply to all of the expected standards.

There aren't a lot of concrete decisions just yet, more philosophies, ideas, and discussions.

You can find a lot more about all of those on the Architecture page.


A lot of open source projects ultimately fail at some point because of a lack of governance, they rely entirely on one or two maintainers and developers, and when those people either no longer have time to commit to the project, or lose interest, it flounders.

We want to build clear governance and multiple maintainers from the start. The project team, maintainers, sponsors, etc. should be publicly visible.

Ultimately, we aim to create a non-profit software foundation or cooperative, which will have safeguards put in place to ensure that the project software will always stay free and open source, and that it can not die if any one participant leaves the project.

Until we reach that point we aim at the very least to be transparent and clear in governance and decision making.

We will also aim to clearly outline the future direction and roadmap and plan for commits to adhere to it, together with an explanation of the process behind major project decisions.

Although we haven't put together a full governance document or 'charter' yet, but there is one thing that we can already state publicly:

  • Ĉieloj is, and will always remain a FOSS project. An no point will it become anything else and it will never be for sale to a commercial entity, i.e. Webpros.


No open source project can survive without an active community. We all have different skills and we would like to coordinate and leverage those to create something amazing.

To do that we need to have clear channels of communication. We need to decide on and set up community communication channels. This might be through Slack, Discord, Gitter, or something else that is yet to be decided, there may also be a community forum if that would be useful. Perhaps we can explore an open source alternative to Slack.

Are we open to collaborations? Do we welcome contributions of code, documentation, thoughts and knowledge? Will we welcome project sponsorship, individual or corportate?

A big yes to all of the above (as long as they don't break any of our ethical guidelines).


We wrote the first words on this site quite a few months ago when the project was first dreamt up, with a roadmap that was clearly never going to happen.

It's now the start of 2023 and it is finally time to get the project moving forwards, with the following timeline:

  • Outline of project aims – Jan 2023 ✓
  • Setup of discussion forum and comms channels – Jan 2023 ✓
  • Broad decisions about tech stack - Feb 2023 ✓
  • Broad decisions about project structure - March 2023
  • First code commits – April 2023

bullhorn-variant-outlineGet involved

We’d love to hear from you if you want to be involved in the Ĉieloj project.

Whether you have coding skills, can write documentation, want to contribute financially, or just have ideas and thoughts about direction, then we would love to hear from you.

Feel free to jump into the discussions (coming soon) here at cieloj.com or get in touch by mail – hello@cieloj.com

webAbout this site

In keeping with the fast, light, open source ethos of the project, this website uses the super light AntCMS, images are in modern .webp and .svg formats, and the site is hosted sustainably in Helsinki using renewable energy.