The Benefits of the Shell over Control Panel Administration

Using a web-based control panel is the ultimate convenience for dedicated server system administrators. Many of the tasks that once took multiple commands or even complex scripts to run can now be accomplished with a few clicks. Control panels also provide visual interfaces for those who have grown up in the era of graphical computing. Nevertheless, there are still times when the good old fashioned command line is better.

These days most web servers, even those privately owned, are accessed remotely through a secure shell (SSH). Having access to the console through SSH is still very important.  The following are some of the most significant benefits that SSH offers:

  • A more secure method of access than a web browser, especially if you are on a public terminal
  • advanced commands that may not be available in the control panel
  • the ability to string together multiple commands using command strings or scripts
  • more advanced trouble-shooting of applications and websites
  • the ability to log in as other users or even log on to another server (such as a backup server) all from within the same SSH session

In some cases, using SSH even has speed benefits over the control panel. Even a low-powered device, such as a mobile phone can access SSH quickly and easily, whereas the control panel will require more processing power. To put it plainly, if you are working in the world of dedicated servers, use of SSH is far from extinct.