Installing cPanel on Ubuntu? How to not break your server.


Ok, today you have ordered yourself a first Virtual Private Server (VPS) or decided to start up your own hosting company but do not know where to start. Apparently, and of course you were not aware of it, all VPS and Dedicated servers do not have any preinstalled interface, there is only a general control panel on some servers that allows you to reboot/shutdown/start up your server and set the basic things related to machine itself but have nothing to do with the hosting you want to provide. To tell more the machine is NAKED, no apache, no PHP, no MySQL etc etc. Well, most of us have some previous experience with cPanel bundle, and first reaction after getting access to your very own server – is to install everything that you most familiar with, right, you are installing Ubuntu Server and try to figure how to set cPanel/WHM on your server. Finding Ubuntu is easy and installing it usually is a business of a few minutes. There are plenty of tutorials written on that topic. Now the step two – cPanel and WHM. First you go to official site http://cpanel.net, browse the site, see the prices, compare the features and after all your decisions and positive/negative thoughts you may finally find the forum on that site where you can insert search “debian” or “ubuntu” That search will give you a lot of threads and unfortunately all of them are have one key phrase: “NO WAY” (http://forums.cpanel.net/f145/debian-support-ubuntu-server-lts-support-153517.html) The cPanel bundle is not designed for anything but centos and red hat – like linux servers. This application is designed as enterprise application. Simply speaking – if you are not willing to deal with bunch of errors on your debian/ubuntu server, do not try to install cPanel there.

Now the question is what to do? Here comes tested, open source, user friendly application bundle called webmin, and if we are talking about fully functional hosting server, then it’s Virtualmin Webmin helps you deal with your server internal settings, while Virtualmin automates settings of your virtual hosts.

In my personal experience the Virtualmin installation is the easiest way to install fully functioning web server with all needed applications and plugins. Later on, when you learn more about settings in server applications, you will be able to tweak those for your need and capacity of your machine. For now, we are going to look at the easiest way to install Virtualmin with Webmin to your new server. I would recommend to do installation of Virtualmin before doing any other installations on your server, start from scratch. Of course you will need to install such basic applications as wget and nano (unless you are fluent in vi) but I’m talking about server apps like apache php or some others. Leave server as new and fresh as possible to avoid conflicts. The recommended process of installation is so easy that it’s even difficult to write how to about it, but I try step-by-step:

  1. Check requiremnets for installation at http://www.virtualmin.com/download.html and get into sudo interface sudo -s
  1. download installer script from official site with the command wget http://software.virtualmin.com/gpl/scripts/install.sh
  2. make downloaded script executable chmod +x install.sh
  3. run the installer script sh /root/install.sh unless you downloaded install.sh script to different location

After all this manipulations and waiting for about 5 minutes, you will get yourself a fully functional Virtualmin webhosting system! You can see administration interface at the address https://yourhostname.com where “yourhostname.com” should be replaced with your fully qualified system hostname. Then you just click “Create Virtual Server” to create a new website and add it’s own admin account to it. Every new virtual host will automatically get it’s own /home/… directory that works exactly like the one with cPanel.

After a few days of working with Virtualmin I think it’s one of the most sufficient replacements for WHM/cPanel.

Enjoy your own internet server!

Articled By: brack11 (Thanks)

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