Virtualmin Pro Non Profit Edition

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#1 Wed, 02/02/2011 - 08:18

Virtualmin Pro Non Profit Edition


how about a Virtualmin Pro non Profit edition for all those people that only like to host their own domains, like them pro features but cant afford the current cost?

I dont know if that sound reasonable - i know the gpl version is there - but i see a couple people that like to pay for virtualmin but - as they dont genereate money from their website(s) - they cant afford the full pro cost?

Thanks for considering.

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 11:33


Well, I'll pass your thoughts along to Joe and Jamie :-)

However, I don't believe any significant changes to pricing are planned for the Pro version. The compromise for making Virtualmin's features available to folks who can't afford the Pro version was to provide the GPL version, which is a capable control panel, missing just a few features that are largely intended for making money or, in some cases, saving time.

Reseller accounts, for example, are typically used to generate money. Install Scripts are perhaps more a time saving device (which, when added to the feature list of a web hosting provider, would help generate revenue... but you know what I meant :-) -- but everything the install scripts do could be performed manually.

They also migrate features from the Pro version to the GPL version pretty regularly.

But, I imagine you wouldn't be asking if there wasn't a feature in the Pro version that you had an interest in seeing :-)

Is there a particular feature or set of features you're after?


Fri, 04/01/2011 - 12:51


I appreciate your predicament and that folks are short on money these days.

The trouble is that it costs a lot to build and support a web hosting control panel :-)

Even so, Virtualmin has a wide variety of offerings that compete on the lower end of the cost scale, where most other control panel providers don't even bother with, it's too difficult to cover one's costs.

We try to help folks out who can't afford the Pro features by providing a GPL version that you're welcome to use for free. The new version that just came out supports a few common install scripts (such as phpmyadmin and roundcube).

Alternatively, there is different pricing for 501c non-profits. It's not going to be the $20 a year you mentioned, but if your organization is registered as a non-profit, you can get a discount. You can get 50% off the cost -- to go that route, you can either email, or open a support request using the Support link above, and they can give you a hand there.


Fri, 04/01/2011 - 16:30 (Reply to #5)
Joe's picture

The problem is that our lower-end licenses cost us more to support. We already pretty much just about break even on the Virtualmin 10 license (while we make money on all the other licenses). If we offered a license for $20, we would lose (a lot of) money on every single license we sell. We simply can't afford to support a $20 license, and the more we sold, the more in the hole we'd be. The number of domains is merely a proxy for "how much value does someone get from Virtualmin Professional"; it is not a unit cost in any traditional sense. Sure, 1 banana ought to cost 1/10 the cost of 10 bananas. But Virtualmin is not bananas. We're just trying to have people pay us a reasonable percentage of how much value they're getting from the software, so that we can keep making it better and supporting it really well.

This may seem like an odd and unintuitive situation, but our most expensive licenses tend to be our cheapest to support (and support is our biggest cost, by far). The people who need a couple hundred domains often know a lot about web hosting and Linux (sometimes as much as we do). They probably could do everything manually or write scripts to do a lot of it, and so their questions are very rare, and they rarely need more than a nudge in the right direction. On the other hand, people buying a Virtualmin 10 license tend to be hobbyists or part-time web developers, rather than people who do this for a living. Thus, the people who buy Virtualmin 10 are many times more likely to need help, and the help they need is drastically more time-consuming. (Note that we're OK with that, which is why we offer unlimited support for all of our commercial products, even the cheap ones.)

Even though the incremental cost of software distribution approaches zero the more copies we sell, the cost of supporting said software ends up being inversely proportional to how much people spend on it. So, if we sold a $20 license, based on our current curve of support costs (where there is currently a large spike in support costs for the Virtualmin 10 license, which I'm pretty sure would be even more pronounced for a $20 license), it would cost us about $210/year to support it (Virtualmin 10 costs us very nearly what we sell it for, while Virtualmin Unlimited costs less, even though it may be hosting hundreds of domains). That's why the per-domain cost of larger licenses is so much lower; we know that 500 domains costs us about the same as 50 domains to support, because of the level of expertise of the people running the 500 domain server.

We're trying extremely hard to provide a Virtualmin solution that fits every budget, but we have to work with reality, as well. We also know that a Virtualmin 10 customer today may become a Virtualmin Unlimited customer eventually; and Virtualmin 10 customers get cheaper to support after they've been with us for a while, even if they never become professional hosting providers, which is why renewing Virtualmin 10 costs much less than the initial purchase. But, we are not a major corporation with money to burn to earn the "goodwill" of people who only value our software $20.

As Eric mentioned, several of the Install Scripts have become available in Virtualmin GPL, which is one of the major features of Virtualmin Professional. We want people to use Virtualmin, even if they have zero dollars to spend on their control panel.

But, realistically, there's just no way we can provide a supported commercial product for $20. I can imagine a future where we sell enough licenses to amortize it out to a $99 license, assuming our userbase continues to grow and users helping users fills in some of the gaps in support that would be necessary to offer a price that low. If cost is your primary determining factor, Virtualmin GPL is the right product for you (or, if there is some competitor out there that I don't know of that only charges $20, maybe they're for you). Virtualmin Professional will never cost $20.

In short, a Virtualmin 1 license would not cost $20. It would cost the same as what a Virtualmin 10 license costs, because that's what it would cost to support it. Think of it as getting 9 bonus domains for free, because there is a lower bound on how cheap Virtualmin Professional can go, given our current support costs. If Virtualmin Professional is only worth $20 to you, I'm afraid we can't afford to have you as a customer.


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Sat, 04/02/2011 - 09:35

The only viable way to go here that I see would be to offer a "cheap" (as in the suggested $20) Pro license which does not get any official support - aside from the forum and voluntary help from Eric.

Like Joe outlined so extensively, it is completely illusory to expect full-fledged support for a $20 license.

Though if you decide to go with that policy, you'd need a way to strictly apply it. As in, only users with a support license are allowed to post in the "Issues" section of the web site. Posts like the regularly occurring "this section actually is for paying customers only, but I'll help you anyway" do not work then anymore. :)

Thu, 04/21/2011 - 11:27

what about non-support developer package? I am virtualmin gpl user and i will "never" have a client host in my server. I like forum support ( btw i am asking too much question, i hope you wont ban me xD ). Its enough for me. But i would like to pay 20$/year for example without support and 0 client (only root login). I just dont feel right with using that good virtualmin system without paying anything and i would like to use virtualmin pro but i cant afford.

So only root login, only forum support, 20-40$/year virtualmin pro developer package. I think this sounds pretty good ^^ (oh btw not need domain login too. so developers/root will be "only" person that will reach virtualmin)

Wed, 11/14/2012 - 20:53
tpnsolutions's picture


*** Sorry to intrude into this conversation. ***

As a long time user of Virtualmin, I've always had the deepest respect for Jamie, Joe, and Eric. They've offered a superior amount of support, and always take every idea into consideration when possible.

It seems, if all you desire is a single domain license, then you'd be best using the GPL version which frankly is in most cases all a person will ever need.

As a company who uses Virtualmin GPL across over a dozen servers, I can speak from experience that the GPL version is quite powerful, and is not simply a crippled version but merely lacks a few extras a single domain owner probably doesn't even need.

To add to all this, regardless of your license, whether it be GPL or Pro, Jamie, Joe, and Eric are always amazingly fast at responding and respecting everyone in the community and from my experience treat each request with professionalism.

I remember about a year ago, I was considering upgrading to the the Pro version, and after a short discussion on the topic, I believe it was Joe (perhaps Jamie) who told me that for what I was using the program for, it was recommended that I stay with my GPL version. Honestly, it shocked me a bit, because most companies are money hungry and will happily take your cash if given the opportunity.

That's not to say that Joe, Jamie, and Eric don't like your money, it's just that they're honest down to earth business guys who are more interested in ensuring your satisfaction long term.

Just thought I'd share my two cents on the topic.


Best Regards,
Peter Knowles | TPN Solutions
Email: | Skype: tpnassist
Thu, 11/15/2012 - 16:42
tpnsolutions's picture


In a perfect world, things would be FREE and there'd be no greed, kaos or other silly stuff. But the reality is, we live in a world where things DO cost money, and compared to other panels Virtualmin Pro is priced appropriately if you desired the extra "fluff" (forgive the use of this term Jamie/Joe/Eric).

Most (especially single domain) uses of Virtualmin are satisfied with the GPL version, and when you consider the GPL version DOES come with community support, for which Jamie, Joe, and Eric participate within, you really can't complain for them making a few bucks on the Pro version, afterall we're talking about hundreds of thousand perhaps more lines of code and as a developer myself I can appreciate what goes into this type of project.

Keep in mind, support at its very core is more than answering FAQ questions, or troubleshooting a particular user's issues, it's about ensuring that bugs are fixed, features are maintained, and code is optimized for the wide variety of operating systems supported (amongst other things).

If anything Virtualmin Pro is worth far more than the price tag assigned to it, and GPL if people get too greedy could eventually become extinct. So all in all, you should appreciate what's being offered, and pardon the following comment, "stop wasting valuable time" on silly groaning over something that isn't likely going to be changed anytime soon.

As with all version of Virtualmin, many of the popular features that first start off in Pro, often go into GPL later, and if you need support with the GPL version, I'd personally be happy to offer you per incident support, though you'd likely be paying more like $40 - $60 per incident depending on what is needed.

To backtrack a little bit, and clarify something that may have been taken out of context. It IS OK to ask for a feature, price consideration, etc... Just don't spend all day and all night groaning about the answer you get if it's not what you'd hoped for.

*** Another 5 minutes of donated time ***


Best Regards,
Peter Knowles | TPN Solutions
Email: | Skype: tpnassist
Fri, 11/16/2012 - 22:14

Thank you all for your comments.

We're not looking to make changes to the products/pricing at this time.

We do appreciate your feedback though, and if any changes are made, we'll certainly announce them here on the site.


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