Started in 1999, the VHFFS project was developped by the TuxFamily administrator team. A first version was released on 2000. There was no third version and the last version, the fourth, was started in 2004. This new version has a common API (written in Perl language) for all components. The main goal of VHFFS : managing users and all services simply, with a GUI or console-tools. Currently, VHFFS4 offers some console-tools and a web-based interface.
- Website hosting (users upload their files through FTP/FTPS/SFTP/SSH).
- Download repositories (repositories for large files).
- Statistics for each website.
- MySQL database support.
- PostgreSQL database support.
- CVS, Subversion, Git, Mercurial, Bazaar hosting.
- DNS hosting.
- Crons management.
- SSH access for users.
- FTP access for users.
- Quota support.
- Mail hosting. Users can host mail accounts on their own domains.
- Mailing-list hosting. Users can create a mailing-list on a default domain (i.e lists.yourhosting.com) or on their own domains.
- Antispam and antivirus support for mail accounts.
- Internationalization. No modules required, the platform is fully internationalized in the main package.
- All VHFFS data are stored in a database, which can be replicated for performance.
- Developed with scalability in mind, you can have several webservers and load-balance web traffic as well as several mails servers and so on…
- Avatar support : users can upload an avatar which is displayed on the public area.
Some hosting services use or used VHFFS, here is a (incomplete) list :
- Tuxfamily. Tuxfamily uses VHFFS4 for more than seven years, and is using VHFFS for more than ten years. This platform manage more than 3000 users and 2500 groups(i.e. projects). VHFFS4 runs on about 30 machines and works perfectly.
- Lost-Oasis. Lost-Oasis is a great hosting service in France. They use a highly modified version of VHFFS2 and manage many websites.
- Ouvaton. Ouvaton used in the previous decade a modified version of VHFFS2. This association manage more than 5000 users and is very famous in France.
- Africa Computing. Africa Computing used VHFFS since the first version. They upgraded on second version and next used a modified version of VHFFS4 with a home made web panel. They collapsed in 2010.
VHFFS advises some third-party softwares to provide services. Here is the list :
- Run websites : Apache2. If you needs PHP, VHFFS advises suphp
- Receive user's files : pure-ftpd and openssh
- Send and receive mails (for mail and mailing-list) : exim4 and courrier
- Hosting databases : mysql and postgresql
- Hosting CVS, Subversion, Git and Mercurial: cvs, subversion, git, mercurial programs
- Store VHFFS database (needed) : postgresql
- User and Group login : libnss-pgsql or libnss-sqlite
- Spam protection : spamassassin or dspam
- Statistics for websites : awstats
VHFFS uses third-party softwares, who are not under our control. When an exploit is discovered, software is patched and most of distributions are updated. So, the third-party software used for your hosting platform must be provided by your distribution, it's dangerous to compile the software yourself. On the other hand, the main VHFFS software is updated as soon as an exploit is discovered. A mail on mailing-lists is sent and a new archive is uploaded on this website.