The cPanel basics is a guide directed towards
users who already have cPanel currently installed, and configured on their dedicated
webservers. If you do not have cPanel installed, or do not have a cPanel dedicated
server please visit www.FindHosting.net to purchase cPanel &/Or a dedicated server.
Before you can do anything in cPanel or WHM you have to understand how to login
to them. WHM is the “administration” area for cPanel accounts. In WHM you will
add domains/accounts (cPanel accounts), and in the “root” WHM account you can
add reseller accounts as well. WHM stands for Web Host Manager.
Login to WHM
- Non-Secure http://yoursite.com/whm
- Secure https://yoursite.com:2087
Login to cPanel
- Non-Secure http://yoursite.com/cpanel
- Secure https://yoursite.com:2083
(User chooses from NeoMail / Horde / SquirrelMail
depending on what you have enabled in root WHM area)
- Non-Secure http://yoursite.com/webmail
- Secure https://yoursite.com:2096
Setup WHM / cPanel
When configuring WHM
if you selected
the x2 theme this is how it would look.
Click “Change Update
We select “Manual Updates Only (Stable tree)” because
cPanel.net releases important updates sometimes these
updates contain new
security holes. (Like what was recently found in the ‘request
module). cPanel.net will release security fixes apart
from cpanel/whm updates
so it’s a good idea to keep the security and package updates
If you are using the x2 theme you should see the following.
Click on “Tweak Settings”
I like checked & why:
- Allow Creation
Domains that are not registered
I like to be able to add domains that are not registered
yet so that I
can work on them either before I decide to buy the domain
or before the
domain has finished registering.
- Prevent users
on common internet domains. (ie hotmail.com, aol.com)
This just saves time, and hassle for the “not so smart”
- Number of days
log files and bandwidth usage (default 1, decimal values
are ok): .10
I like my statistics updated often, but if you have
a lot of popular
sites keep this at 1 or .5 because your load will increase
the statistics software runs.
- Keep log files
at the end of
the month (default is off as you can run out of disk
I like logs, and I like to know what’s going on. Keeping
the logs at the
end of the month does take up a lot more disk space,
but this allows me
to go back and find problems, and identify issues I
would otherwise not
be able to do. I can also just remove the logs myself
or back them up
when I feel I need more space. You need to keep an eye
on these though
so they don’t get out of control.
- Awstats Stats
I believe Awstats to be the #1 statistics program available.
I don’t check
Webalizer or Analog because I don’t like them, and don’t
use them at all.
If you are running a webhosting company some of your
users may require
Webalizer or Analog statistics so it is up to you if
you should run them
all or just one or two.
- Enable Reverse
I like statistics, and the more the better.
These statitics do not come without
a price however…
They will ‘connect to’ a bunch of DNS servers and may
slow your system
down for REALLY heavy use sites, and at times can fill
up a log with DNS
timeouts. So if you enable this, and have HEAVILY VISITED
sites be warned.
- Allow users
to update Awstats
I like to update my own stats if they aren’t up to date
when I am checking
them. I would not reccomend leaving this checked if
you run a webhosting
company as allowing your customers to update their stats
want could really cause a serious bottleneck in system
SquirrelMail is my favorite webmail application, so
instead of running
the other 2 I just run this one.
- I do not have
checked however I do run MailScanner & ClamAV
The more scanning that is taking place the more CPU
/ MEM usage there
is. So if you don’t get spam yet, don’t run it.. run
it when you start
to get spam.. This will save on system resources for
the time being.
- Attempt to prevent
I chose 60 because once every minute is as much
as anyone should check
However if you are running a webhosting company and
have host many customers
you may want to set this number betweeen 30-45 so that
your server is
- Use jailshell as
the default shell
for all new accounts (linux 2.4 or later only)
Safer, more secure.
Backups are important
to any dedicated
server, wether it be for private or for running a hosting
should always backup your data remotely or on a second
hard drive atleast.
Single cPanel Account Backup via SSH
cPanel Account Backup
Dedicated Server Backup
Your Service Status
You should always
keep an eye on your
server’s status. If you can’t keep an eye on it, or
atleast check it 2 times
a day you should setup some monitoring software so that
it will notify you
within minutes incase of a problem.
- Manual Check your
- In WHM as Root
- Green = Good
Red = Bad
If anything is in red you have a problem.
- Allow Creation
A firewall is a set of related
programs, located at a network gateway server, that protects
the resources of
a private network from users from other networks. Basically,
a firewall, working
closely with a router program, filters all network packets
to determine whether
to forward them toward their destination. A firewall is
often installed away
from the rest of the network so that no incoming request
can get directly at
private network resources. There are a number of firewall
A simple one is to screen requests to make sure they come
from acceptable (previously
identified) domain names and IP addresses. For mobile users,
remote access in to the private network by the use of secure
and authentication certificates.
The main advantage of a
is that it uses none of your dedicated
servers resources. During intense filtering
firewall may crash your dedicated server, a hardware firewall
Not everyone can afford a
so we are left with running a software
firewall. I reccomend, and personally
use APF Advanced Policy
Knowing where your server
logs are, and
how to monitor them is very important. If
someone attacks your server they most
likely left at trace,
and you are going to want to find out how they got in,
where they came from.
do I setup my own name servers?
This has to be the most
we get. You would think after years cPanel would have come
up wtih a better way to help you setup your name servers,
but no it’s still tricky, and requires
some manual work on your part.