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For some quite years I have been managing WEB servers for hosting with the command line. It was driving me crazy, but I haven't found yet a friendly solution. Later, in one of my past jobs, I was introduced to cPanel. It was not a good experience. I can tell that cPanel, first it is not free, it has its easy installer but the way it is though it is not the best for a Linux guy. cPanel (when I tested) bundles its own Apache and other software, so security fixes rely on cPanel guys, not on your distro updates. cPanel web interface is awful, too many ports opened! To find a single option you need to go into many menus as possible.

After a while, I discovered ISPConfig and while testing I started liking it. It uses system RPM's, it can run on a VPS or bare metal box and configurations are very easy to follow. As any management software, installing is not a short or easy task. You can look and you will find long documents on how to configure ISPConfig, you may need to download some source tarballs and compile manually; in order to make this easier for everyone, I am developing those RPMs for Centos 6 and 7, and I am publishing them for your happiness in the OKay repository. Please read my short guide on how to configure it fast.

 Follow these steps:

  1. Install EPEL and OKay repositories.
  2. Disable the SELinux, edit the /etc/selinux/config file and edit or add this line
    SELINUX=disabled
  3. Reboot.
  4. Type yum install task-ispconfig3 and wait, this will install many dependencies. The RPM will try to do as many tasks for you, just be patient.
  5. Secure your MySQL/MariaDB installation, type mysql_secure_installation as root. Take note of the values you entered, you will need them later.
  6. Apply patches, they are in /usr/share/task-ispconfig3 directory. Use the command patch of it, or read them and do modifications manually. You can do something like cd /; patch -p0 < file.patch. I prefer to deliver this in a patch because you can read the changes.
  7. Edit /etc/php.ini and set the date.timezone parameter.
  8. Execute /usr/lib/mailman/bin/newlist mailman. Take note of values entered.
  9. Create a database to use by RoundCube
    CREATE DATABASE roundcubedb;
    CREATE USER roundcubeuser@localhost IDENTIFIED BY 'roundcubepassword';
    GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES on roundcubedb.* to roundcubeuser@localhost ;
    FLUSH PRIVILEGES;
  10. Go to http://YOUR_IP/roundcubemail/installer and finish the installation. Don't forget to disable the installer directory when you finish. In this specific case, this is optional as the config.inc.php file is not owned by apache user, there is no way someone could overwrite it.
  11. Remember to enable and start the following services:
    1. dovecot
    2. postfix
    3. mariadb or mysql
    4. php-fpm
    5. httpd
    6. named
    7. fail2ban
    8. mailman
    9. clamav
  12. Download ISPConfig3 from the official web page or you can try this direct link http://www.ispconfig.org/downloads/ISPConfig-3-stable.tar.gz. Untar it, and then go into the ispconfig3_install/install directory and execute php -q install.php. When you finish this step, you will have your ISPConfig3 working.

Enjoy!

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