2019 was a very busy year for Sympl, with the project originally being forked from Symbiosis on March 15th, initial alpha tests were in April, beta testing and sponsorship from Mythic Beasts in June, a stable release for both Debian Stretch and Debian Buster released in July, and updated Let’s Encrypt support being added in October.

On top of this, throughout the year we also made a wide range of improvements and resolved a huge number of issues inherited from Symbiosis, including fixing a significant GDPR compliance issue from Symbiosis and adding IPv6-only and Raspberry Pi support.

We haven’t stopped there, however; development is progressing well on a full re-write of the core ‘sympl-ssl‘ functionality to modernise it and resolve a number of issues inherited from Symbiosis, along with making it easier to use and more consistent. This is a fairly major undertaking, as it’s one of the most complex parts of Sympl with a lot of edge cases to cover.

Once that is completed with the next release of Sympl, ‘sympl-dns‘ will be updated to use OctoDNS, which will allow you to automatically update your DNS records with Mythic Beasts DNS API, as well as a large number of DNS providers. Simply provide the relevant API details for the domain, and your DNS will be updated automatically – no more copying and pasting long strings of text or IP addresses, or relying on legacy platforms.

At the same time, this will also enable wildcard SSL certificate functionality from Let’s Encrypt, meaning the same SSL certificate can be used for any number of subdomains on the server, and will automatically cover things like email as well.

But, that’s not all; longer-term plans include revisiting and updating all of the Sympl functions, including (but not limited to):

  • Improved command-line support
  • Updates to the firewall functionality to integrate the popular fail2ban utility
  • Improvements to the watchdog systems which automatically monitor the server and restart services if needed.
  • A move toward SFTP from regular FTP
  • Support for PROXY protocol to improve IPv6-only support
  • Configurable PHP versions per site
  • The addition of fully isolated website users
  • An improved job scheduler which can make changes immediately when files are updated without any command-line input.

We’d be interested to hear what functionality you think Sympl would benefit from on our forum, so feel free to drop in and let us know!

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