An open source control panel is a software program developed under an open source license that can be used to monitor and control other programs or system resources. This type of software is often used to regulate the behavior of major programs, such as an operating system (OS) on a computer. Some control panels are developed and designed for use in running and monitoring servers and similar computer systems, providing a server manager with tools to control how a server is running. An open source control panel is often used by people who wish to have more control over their software, especially those who want to add to or change the programs they use.
Much like other types of open source software, an open source control panel is developed under an open source or public license. Most software is developed under copyright protection, in which software is considered an original creative work much like a written novel. When software is developed as open source, however, it is typically distributed with a public license that allows others to alter and use the software in any way they see fit.
An open source control panel is typically used to monitor the resources and programs utilized on a computer, especially those that are being operated by the OS on that computer. Many OS programs include a control panel that can be accessed through the program itself, allowing the user to see how resources are being used by the OS and view any programs and processes that are running on the computer. Some computer users may want a control panel with more features or different controls over the system being used, in which case an open source control panel may work quite well.
There are also open source control panel programs that are developed for use in server management and maintenance. These programs typically allow the server administrator to view the resources of a server, including users connected to that server and any uploads or downloads involving the server. Such tools can be used to watch for attacks against a server, as well as control traffic spikes that may occur and adjust bandwidth or access to the server as needed. While there are commercial control panel programs that can be used for this purpose, an open source control panel may provide an administrator with greater flexibility or functionality.
One of the main reasons a server manager might use an open source control panel is to have greater control over the program itself. Since this type of program is released under an open source license, the manager can alter the code of the program to add or remove features as needed. This allows someone to create tools that are tailored to his or her needs, without creating the entire program from scratch.