cPanel is a fully featured web-based control panel that allows you to manage your domain through a graphical web interface. The idea is to transfer as much of the control and responsibility of managing your web site to you. You have the ability to manage all aspects of e-mail, files, backup, FTP, CGI scripts, and web site statistics.
In addition to the GUI interface cPanel also has command line and API based access that allows third party software vendors, web hosting organizations, and developers to automate standard system administration processes.
cPanel is designed to function either as a dedicated server or virtual private server and it supports CentOS, Red Hat Linux, and FreeBSD.
Application-based support includes Apache, PHP, MySQL, Postgres, Perl, Python, and BIND (DNS). Email based support includes POP3, IMAP, SMTP services. cPanel is commonly accessed on port 2082, with an SSL-secured server operating on port 2083.
To the client, cPanel provides front-ends for a number of common operations, including the management of PGP keys, crontab tasks, mail and FTP accounts, and mailing lists.
Several add-ons exist for an additional fee, the most notable being Fantastico, a bundle of scripts which automate the installation of, but not the update of (see article), web applications such as XOOPS, WordPress, SMF, phpBB, Drupal, Joomla!, TikiWiki CMS/Groupware, Moodle and over 50 others.
cPanel manages some software packages separately from the underlying operating system, applying upgrades to Apache, PHP, MySQL, and related software packages automatically. This ensures that these packages are kept up-to-date and compatible with cPanel.
For additional information and the cPanel User Guide, please visit the official cPanel website.