ISPConfig 3 setup on Ubuntu

There are number of Hosting Control Panel Softwares. The cPanel is best but it cost 10$ per month. Plesk also need licensing cost. Webmin is free but it interface is not user friendly. THe ISPConfig – Hosting Control Panel Software has user friendly interface with a lot of functions and it is totally free. They charge simple fee to download documentation pdf but They have very good documentation on line Here. Before you set up ISPConfig 3 you need to prepare you server. In this tutorial i will show how to set it up.

Update Repositories

We need to update the aptitude repository indexes.

 apt-get update

Installing Prerequisites

Next we need to install the prerequisite packages for ISPConfig. The following packages will be needed:

  • PostFix (postfix, postfix-mysql, postfix-doc)
  • MySQL (mysql-client, mysql-server)
  • Courier (courier-authdaemon, courier-authlib-mysql, courier-pop, courier-pop-ssl, courier-imap, courier-imap-ssl)
  • System Libraries (libsasl2-2, libsasl2-modules, libsasl2-modules-sql, sasl2-bin, libpam-mysql, binutils)
  • SSL (openssl)
  • Mail Programs (maildrop, getmail4)
  • Rootkit Hunter (rkhunter)
 apt-get install postfix postfix-mysql postfix-doc mysql-client 
mysql-server courier-authdaemon courier-authlib-mysql 
courier-pop courier-pop-ssl courier-imap courier-imap-ssl 
libsasl2-2 libsasl2-modules libsasl2-modules-sql sasl2-bin 
libpam-mysql openssl maildrop getmail4 rkhunter binutils

During the setup you will be presented the following screens:

– Enter a password you would like to use for the root user in MySQL.

– You will be required to enter the password again.

– Select No as we do not want to create the directories.

– Select Internet Site as the configuration type.

– Enter your server’s hostname here. Keep in mind that it MUST resolve in DNS.

– Select OK on this screen.

Customizing MySQL

Once the installation has completed we will need to modify the MySQL configuration to allow connections from all interfaces instead of localhost only. To open the MySQL configuration file type the following:

nano /etc/mysql/my.cnf

Find the line that starts with bind-address and comment it out by putting a # in front of it. Save the file and quit.

Now we need to restart MySQL:

service mysql restart

Next we will need to make sure that MySQL is answering properly:

netstat -tap | grep mysql

You should see something that looks like the following:

ttcp 0 0 *:mysql *:* LISTEN 10296/mysqld

Configuring Courier

During the installation, the SSL certificates for IMAP-SSL and POP3-SSL were created with the hostname localhost. To change this to the correct hostname ( in this tutorial), delete the certificates.

cd /etc/courier
rm -f imapd.pem
rm -f pop3d.pem

Next modify the following two files replacing CN=localhost with You may modify the other values as necessary. Replace with your real domain.

nano /etc/courier/imapd.cnf



Next we need to recreate the certificates.


Restart the Courier-IMAP-SSL and Courier-POP3-SSL services.

/etc/init.d/courier-imap-ssl restart
/etc/init.d/courier-pop-ssl restart

Install Amavisd-new, SpamAssassin, ClamAV

To install amavisd-new, SpamAssassin, and ClamAV type the following:

apt-get install amavisd-new spamassassin clamav clamav-daemon zoo unzip bzip2 arj nomarch lzop cabextract apt-listchanges libnet-ldap-perl libauthen-sasl-perl clamav-docs daemon libio-string-perl libio-socket-ssl-perl libnet-ident-perl zip libnet-dns-perl

Install Apache, PHP5, phpMyAdmin, FastCGI, suExec, Pear, and mcrypt

We need to install the following components:

  • Apache Web Server
  • PHP5
  • phpMyAdmin MySQL Admin Tool
  • FastCGI extensions for Apache
  • suExec
  • Pear
  • mcrypt extensions for PHP
apt-get install apache2 apache2.2-common apache2-doc apache2-mpm-prefork apache2-utils libexpat1 ssl-cert libapache2-mod-php5 php5 php5-common php5-gd php5-mysql php5-imap phpmyadmin php5-cli php5-cgi libapache2-mod-fcgid apache2-suexec php-pear php-auth php5-mcrypt mcrypt php5-imagick imagemagick libapache2-mod-suphp

You will be prompted with the following screen:

– Select apache2 by pressing the space-bar and select OK.

-Enter MySql root server and select OK.

-Enter password for phpMyAdmin and select OK.

-Enter same password for phpMyAdmin and select OK.

Activate Apache Modules

Next we will need to activate the following Apache modules: suexec, rewrite, ssl, actions, and include.

a2enmod suexec rewrite ssl actions include

Installing PureFTPd with Quotas

We need to allow FTP access with quota support. To accomplish this we will install PureFTPd. Use the following command:

apt-get install pure-ftpd-common pure-ftpd-mysql quota quotatool

Next we need to make a few changes to the configuration of PureFTPd. Edit /etc/default/pure-ftpd-common:

nano /etc/default/pure-ftpd-common

Make sure that STANDALONE_OR_INETD is set to standalone and VIRTUALCHROOT is set to true.

Save the file if you made any changes.

Restart PureFTPd:

/etc/init.d/pure-ftpd-mysql restart

Next we will enable quotas on our file system. First we need to modify our filesystem structure to support quotas. Let’s modify /etc/fstab to add support.

nano /etc/fstab

On the line that starts with either /dev/sda1 or /dev/xvda1 we need to add ,usrquota,grpquota right after noatime in the arguments. For example, it should look like the following when you’re done if the device is /dev/sda1:

/dev/sda1       /           ext3    defaults,errors=remount-ro,noatime,usrquota,grpquota    0 1

Next we need to enable quotas:

touch /quota.user /
chmod 600 /quota.*
mount -o remount /

We’ll run a few utilities to make sure quotas are setup correctly:

quotacheck -avugm
quotaon -avug

Installing MyDNS

Before we can install MyDNS we need to install a few prequisites:

# sudo aptitude install g++ libc6 gcc gawk make texinfo libmysqlclient15-dev

MyDNS is not available in the Ubuntu 8.10 repository so we will have to install it ourselves. It is assumed you have the URL to the current version from the MyDNS website.

cd /tmp
tar xvfz mydns-
cd mydns-1.2.8
make install

Now we need to create a start/stop script for MyDNS:

To create the file:

nano /etc/init.d/mydns

Copy the following text into this file:

#! /bin/sh
# mydns         Start the MyDNS server
# Author:       Philipp Kern <>.
#               Based upon skeleton 1.9.4 by Miquel van Smoorenburg
#               <> and Ian Murdock <>.

set -e

DESC="DNS server"


# Gracefully exit if the package has been removed.
test -x $DAEMON || exit 0

case "$1" in
        echo -n "Starting $DESC: $NAME"

        start-stop-daemon --start --quiet \
                --exec $DAEMON -- -b
        echo "."
        echo -n "Stopping $DESC: $NAME"
        start-stop-daemon --stop --oknodo --quiet \
                --exec $DAEMON
        echo "."
        echo -n "Reloading $DESC configuration..."
        start-stop-daemon --stop --signal HUP --quiet \
                --exec $DAEMON
        echo "done."

        echo -n "Restarting $DESC: $NAME"
        start-stop-daemon --stop --quiet --oknodo \
                --exec $DAEMON
        sleep 1
        start-stop-daemon --start --quiet \
                --exec $DAEMON -- -b
        echo "."
        echo "Usage: $SCRIPTNAME {start|stop|restart|reload|force-reload}" >&2
        exit 1

exit 0

Next we need to make the file executable and add startup links for it.

chmod +x /etc/init.d/mydns
update-rc.d mydns defaults

Installing Vlogger and Webalizer

Use the following commands to install:

apt-get  install vlogger webalizer

Installing fail2ban

This is optional but recommended. ISPConfig monitor will attempt to show the fail2ban log.

apt-get install fail2ban

Installing SquirrelMail

To install the SquirrelMail webmail client use the following:

apt-get install squirrelmail

You should see a screen that looks like the following:

-select OK.

-select OK.
Now we need to create a symbolic link…

ln -s /usr/share/squirrelmail/ /var/www/webmail

Use the following to configure SquirrelMail:


You should see a screen that looks like the following:

– We need to tell SquirrelMail that we are using Courier-IMAP/POP3. At the prompt enter D and press Enter.

– Enter courier here to tell it to use Courier.

– Press any key at the screen to continue.

– Press S here to save the configuration. Press Q here to quit.

Now we need to test our Squirrel Mail configuration to make sure it loads. You can verify by sending your web browser to http://your_domain/webmail. Replace your_domain with your fully qualified domain name.

Installing ISPConfig 3

ISPConfig 3 is not available in the Ubuntu 8.10 repositories so we will have to install it manually. You must download the current version from the ISPConfig download page.

cd /tmp
tar zxvf ISPConfig-
cd ispconfig3_install/install/
php -q install.php

– Press enter to accept en.
– Press enter to accept the standard installation.
– Enter your fully qualified host name. The default value pulled from your server will be the default. Press enter if you would like to accept.
– Press enter because MySQL is installed on the same server.
– Press enter to use the default username of root for the MySQL connection.
– Press enter to use the default password for MySQL. It has not been configured yet.
– Press enter to accept the default MySQL database name.
– Press enter to accept the default MySQL character set.

– Type US for the country code.
– Enter your state name.
– Enter your city name.
– Enter your organization’s name.
– Enter your department, if applicable
– Enter a representative name for your company.
– Enter a primary contact e-mail for the certificate.

– Select the default port of 8080.

– Enter to use https for web interface
Use the same step for ssl set up previously.

– Upon successful completion you should have a screen that looks similar to the screen above.


You may now log into ISPConfig for the first time. Point your web browser to http://your_domain:8080 replacing your_domain with your domain name. You should see a window that looks similar to the one below.

About Zakir Hyder

This entry was written by .

10. February 2012 by Zakir Hyder
Categories: Linux, Server Management, Ubuntu | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments


  1. […] ISPConfig 3 setup on Ubuntu There are number of Hosting Control Panel Softwares. The cPanel is best but it cost 10$ per month. Plesk also need licensing cost. Webmin is free but it interface is not user friendly. THe ISPConfig – Hosting Control Panel Software has user friendly interface with a lot of functions and it totally free. They charge […] […]

  2. D'jems Markenzy Mortimer says:

    Yes, but squirrelmail login doesn’t working after installing ispconfig3.

    Any advice? it worked before installing ispconfig. After that it says unknown username and password.