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1 What is ISPConfig?

ISPConfig is a software package that permits the easy management of servers, webspace, resellers and single virtual hosts.

ISPConfig consists of 3 levels:

2 Terms and structure of the manual

According to the 3 levels the manual is split into 3 sections:

Please note: This structure does not mean that each section is independent from each other. Level I contains levels II and III and level II contains level III.
For a better overview the manuals I and II include links to the applications that are available in the respective sub-levels and that are described there.

3 Installation/Upgrade/Deinstallation

3.1 Installation

In order to install ISPConfig please read the installation manual.

The installation manual is available in the following formats: HTML.

3.2 Upgrade

You can update the ISPConfig system from one version to another if these versions belong to the same main version (e.g. 1.x; i.e., you can update from version 1.1.12 to version 1.2.0). Please download your wanted ISPConfig version to your server and proceed as if it was a new installation, not an update. The installation routine will notice that there is already a ISPConfig system on the server and will execute the necessary steps for the upgrade.

3.3 Deinstallation

If you want to deinstall the ISPConfig system please login to the server as root on the command line and execute the following command:


The uninstaller gives you the following options to select from:

4 Login and Logout

Logging into the ISPConfig system is described in the respective manuals (chapter 1.1 in the manuals I - III).

To log out, click on "Logout"in the menu.


I Administrator Manual

1 General

1.1 Login and Password

Please go to the URL of your ISPConfig system (e.g. https://www.domain.tld:81 or http://www.domain.tld:81; replace "www.domain.tld" appropriately) with your Browser and enter your user name and your password into the form "Login". Confirm by clicking on "Login".

1.2 ISPConfig Interface for Server Administrators

The administrator's interface consists of the following sections:

1.3 ISPConfig Privileges for Server Administrators

The privileges of a ISPConfig administrator include those of a reseller and a customer, i.e. as administrator you can execute actions belonging to a reseller or customer without having to login again.

Privileges of a ISPConfig administrator
  • Change server properties
  • Create and administrate resellers, read their statistics
  • Create backups of the ISPConfig database
  • Edit DNS entries

Privileges of a reseller

  • Create and administrate customers, read their statistics
  • Create and administrate webs
  • Create DNS entries

Privileges of a customer

  • Read a web's basic data and statistics
  • Create and administrate users and email boxes
  • Create and administrate (sub)domains
  • Apply for SSL certificates (optional)
  • Administrate MySQL access data

Privileges of a user

  • Change the settings of his mailbox (password, spamfilter and antivirus settings)

1.4 Saving

The ISPConfig system offers you two possibilities to save data you enter into a form:

1.5 Changing the ISPConfig Password

You can edit your ISPConfig password under "Tools" -> "Change Password".

Please enter your current and your new password (2x) into the form "Change Password" and click on "Save".

1.6 Language Settings

You can set the language of your ISPConfig system under "Tools" -> "Change Language" .

In the form "Change Language" select the language the system should use for you and click on "Save".

Please note: The language setting only affects your own account. Other users of the ISPConfig system (such as resellers or customers) can select their language individually.

1.7 Display of Passwords in the ISPConfig System

Passwords that you entered in the ISPConfig system (e.g. reseller or customer passwords for accessing the ISPConfig system; passwords for customers' MySQL databases) will not be displayed in the ISPConfig system for security reasons after they were saved! Thus, an empty password field in a ISPConfig form does not mean that no password was entered before.

An existing password does not get displayed after the reload of the respective form.

1.8 Help

Click onto the menu item "Help".

Here you will find the administrator-, reseller- and customer-manual in English and German in PDF format as well as links to the knowledgebase on the Projektfarm website.

In addition to that you can find a question mark next to many input fields in the ISPConfig system:

If you click on the question mark a small pop-up window with context-sensitive help will open.


2 General Settings

2.1 Server Settings (Software)

Depending on your server some settings are done automatically at installation time of ISPConfig. Further settings have to be done manually:

To view the general settings or make changes, click on the menu "Management", open the folder "Server" and click on the document "Settings".

2.2 Server Status (Hardware and Statistics)

The hardware data of your server is loaded into the ISPConfig system at installation time. In addition to the hardware data the ISPConfig system gives some information about the status and usage of the server. This information is visible in 2 places:

In the information field "Server Status" that appears upon login or by clicking on "ISP Manager". It is also visible under "Management" in the folder "Server". There you need to click on "Status".

The following information is available:

2.3 Database Backup

The data of all resellers, customers, sites, domains, users and email addresses is saved in the ISPConfig database. Thus it is highly recommended to make a database backup at regular intervals, to check, to optimize and - if necessary - to repair the database.

This is how you can access the database functions:

Click on the menu "Management".

In the structure tree click on "ISPConfig database".

2.4 Services (Monitoring and Firewall)

The ISPConfig system allows you to start/stop/restart services, to monitor services (if a monitored service fails a warning email will be sent to the administrator; see chapter I-2.1, "Admin Email") and to setup a firewall (in case either iptables or ipchains is available on your system).

Click on "Management" -> "Server" -> "Services". The form "ISP Services" will be opened with the tabs "Services", "Monitoring" and "Firewall".

2.4.1 Start/Stop/Restart Services

In the tab "Services" you can see the status of some important services on the server (online/offline), and you have the possibility to start/stop/restart services. Please confirm your changes by clicking on the "Save" button or by going to another tab (see chapter I-1.4 "Saving").

2.4.2 Monitor Services

Under "Monitoring" you can specify services that are to be monitored by the ISPConfig system. The default setting is to monitor the services "Web Server", "FTP Server" and "MySQL Server". The monitoring takes place once every 30 minutes. If a service fails, an email will be sent to the administrator (see chapter I-2.1, "Admin Email").

Please note: If your mail server fails, no warning email can be sent to the administrator!

This is how you setup the monitoring of further services:

Click on the button "Add".

The form "ISP Monitor" is loaded.

Please enter the following information:

Then click on "Save", or change the tab.

In the tab "Actions" you can enter a shell command which will be executed if the respective service is offline (e.g. a command to restart the service):

After the information has been saved the services which are to be monitored are listed in the form "ISP Services" in the tab "Monitoring" and can be edited there.

2.4.3 Firewall

In the tab "Firewall" you can add new firewall rules or edit existing ones. The firewall can only be active if you have started it in the tab "Services". By default the firewall is inactive.

There are some firewall rules implemented in the ISPConfig system by default:

There are two possible conditions:

  1. A port (and thus the service running on it) can be reached from the outside and is not blocked by the firewall: "yes" is shown in the column "Active".
  2. A port cannot be reached from the outside because it is blocked by the firewall: This is the case for all ports where "no" is in the column "Active" and also for all ports not listed here at all!

Existing rules can be edited by clicking on the name of the rule; the button "Add" lets you add new rules.

The following information is necessary:

Please note: In order to prevent that the server cannot be reached from the outside at all (not even by the administrator) the ISPConfig system lets you block all ports except port 22 (SSH) and port 81 (the ISPConfig system)! If you try to block these ports, this will be ignored by the ISPConfig system!

2.5 Update Manager

You can reach the Update Manager under "Management" -> "Update Manager" -> "Update". It is a comfortable interface to install ISPConfig updates or tools provided by Projektfarm GmbH such as webmail, phpMyAdmin or a portscanner.

There are two ways to install updates:

  1. You download the update from the Projektfarm website to your local hard disk. Then you mark "Upload", insert the update with the "Browse" button into the field "File" and click on "Start Installation". The field "URL" will then be ignored.
  2. You install the update directly from the Projektfarm website. In order to do so mark "URL" and insert the URL of the update in the field "URL". Then click on "Start Installation".

If Projektfarm GmbH provides an MD5 for the update you can copy it into the field "MD5". The ISPConfig system will then compare the "real" MD5 (which the system calculates from the update) with the MD5 you have inserted and thus check the integrity of the update. If the MD5s differ the update will not be installed.

3 Resellers

You can manage resellers via the structure tree. Each reseller is shown twice in the structure tree:

3.1 Adding a Reseller

Adding a reseller is done in 5 steps.

1. Step: Open the form "ISP Reseller"

Click on the button "New reseller".

The form "ISP Reseller" appears with the opened tab "Master Data".

2. Step: Assign title, folder and master data

3. Step: Limit webspace, sites, users and domains

Click on the tab "Limits".

4. Step: Enter access information for the reseller (username and password)

Click on the tab"Login Data ".

5. Step: Save

Click on "Save".

3.2 Edit Reseller Data

Open the folder "Reseller" in the ISPConfig structure tree and click on the reseller you want to edit so that the "ISP Reseller" form appears. Make the desired changes and click on "Save".

4 Service Actions for Resellers

4.1 Customers

You can get an overview of the resellers and your own customers by viewing the structure tree:

The applications affecting customers can be carried out by resellers in the ISPConfig reseller level. Thus they get touched only briefly in here. Learn more about them in the Reseller Manual.

The following customer related actions can be taken:

4.2 Manage Sites

The management of the administrator's sites is done via the folder "Sites". Resellers' sites can be managed via the subfolder "Sites" in the reseller's folder.

Applications related to sites can also be carried out by resellers and to some extent by customers. Here is only a brief list.

Reseller Level:

Customer Level:

4.3 DNS Entries

4.3.1 Create DNS Entries (see Reseller Manual)

A DNS entry for a site or co-domain is created as follows:

1. Step: Open Site Form.

In the structure tree click on the corresponding client, go into the register "Webs" and click on the IP address of the corresponding web.


Open the corresponding site in the structure tree.

2. Step: Open a co-domain and activate it (optional).

Go to the tab "Co-Domains" and click on the IP address of the co-domain.

3. Step: Activate DNS.

Check "Create DNS" and "Create DNS MX".

4. Step: Save.

Click on "Save".

Now the site is visible as a new entry in the "DNS Manager".

4.3.2 Secondary-DNS Entries (Slave Zone)

This is how you create a Secondary-DNS entry (Slave Zone):

1. Step: Open Slave Zone Form

Click on "New Slave".

2. Step: Create Slave Zone

3. Step: Save

Click on "Save".

4.3.3 Edit DNS Entries.

You can edit DNS entries as follows:

Click on the menu "DNS Manager".

In the structure tree click on the DNS entry to be edited.

5 Statistics

The ISPConfig statistics contain information about the usage of webspace and traffic.

5.1 Reseller Statistics

By selecting the respective reseller in the structure tree you (as ISPConfig administrator) can view statistics about the traffic caused by the reseller.

In the form "ISP Reseller" (in the tab "Statistics") you can find information about the web-, email- and FTP-traffic of the reseller, subdivided into the customers of the reseller.

5.2 Customer Statistics

Customer statistics can also be seen by the corresponding reseller and are described in chapter II-5.1.

5.3 Site Statistics

Site statistics can also be seen by the corresponding reseller and are described in chapter II-5.2.

5.4 Webalizer Statistics

Webalizer statistics can also be seen by the corresponding reseller and are described in chapter II-5.3.

6 Web-FTP/Password Protection of Directories (.htaccess/.htpasswd)

Web-FTP is treated in chapter III-4.

7 Additional Software

The following additional software is available for the ISPConfig system:

The software is available for free on the ISPConfig website and can be installed via the "Update Manager" (see chapter I-2.5). After the installation you can find links for both applications under "Tools".

7.1 Webmail

The application used as email interface is called "Uebimiau". Further information can be found on the website of the Uebimiau project: .

The application can be accessed via the link under "Tools" or via the folder "webmail" which is located in the web of the ISPConfig system, thus https://www.domain.tld:81/webmail/ where www.domain.tld has to be replaced appropriately.

7.2 phpMyAdmin

Further information about phpMyAdmin can be found under .

The application can be accessed via the link under "Tools" or via the folder "phpmyadmin" which is located in the web of the ISPConfig system, thus https://www.domain.tld:81/phpmyadmin/ where www.domain.tld has to be replaced appropriately.


1 Start/Stop the ISPConfig System

The ISPConfig system can be started/stopped manually from the command line. Login to your command line as root and execute the following command:

/etc/rc.d/init.d/ispconfig_server start|stop|restart (RedHat and Mandrake)


/etc/init.d/ispconfig_server start|stop|restart (SuSE and Debian).

2 Start/Stop vsftpd

If you use vsftpd as FTP server on your system this service will not be run by inetd/xinetd after the installation of the ISPConfig system but by the ispconfig_tcpserver which comes with the ISPConfig system. This happens in order to make sure that vsftpd can handle one Anonymous-FTP account per IP address. Under inetd/xinetd vsftpd can only handle one Anonymous-FTP account per server even if the server has multiple IP addresses. In order to avoid this disadvantage compared to the proftpd server the ISPConfig system uses the ispconfig_tcpserver.

vsftp can be started/stopped via the following command:

/etc/rc.d/init.d/ispconfig_tcpserver start|stop|restart (RedHat and Mandrake)


/etc/init.d/ispconfig_tcpserver start|stop|restart (SuSE and Debian).

If you use proftpd as FTP server nothing changes.

3 Cron Jobs

The following Cron Jobs are run by the ISPConfig system:

Command Description Time
/root/ispconfig/php/php /root/ispconfig/scripts/shell/logs.php &> /dev/null Analysis of the Apache log files for the ISPConfig traffic statistics 23:59h
/root/ispconfig/php/php /root/ispconfig/scripts/shell/ftp_logs.php &> /dev/null Analysis of the FTP log files for the ISPConfig traffic statistics 23:59h
/root/ispconfig/php/php /root/ispconfig/scripts/shell/mail_logs.php &> /dev/null Analysis of the mail log files for the ISPConfig traffic statistics 23:59h
/root/ispconfig/php/php /root/ispconfig/scripts/shell/cleanup.php &> /dev/null Deletion of the backups of webs that were deleted from the recycle bin 23:59h
/root/ispconfig/php/php /root/ispconfig/scripts/shell/webalizer.php &> /dev/null Creation of Webalizer Statistics 04:00h
/root/ispconfig/php/php /root/ispconfig/scripts/shell/check_services.php &> /dev/null Monitoring (see chapter I-2.4.2) once every 30 min.

4 Permissions of Folders in a Web created by ISPConfig

In a newly created web you find the following folders with the following permissions:

If there is no administrator for the site (see chapter III-2.2.1), the folders belong to the user the Apache web server is running under by default (here "nobody"); otherwise they belong to the administrator of the site (in this case "web5_admin").

The group of the folders is always the group of the respective site, in this case "web5".

5 Manual Additions in Configuration Files

Starting from version 1.2.0 of ISPConfig you can write manual additions to the following configuration files (the additions will not be overwritten by the ISPConfig system):

You will find one of the following two lines in each of these files:

After this line you can write additional information in these files.

Additions for the virtual host container of a site can be written to the field "Apache Directives (Optional)" in the "Basis" tab of the corresponding site (see chapter II-3.1).

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