Chris Musty's picture

Has anyone tried setting up an ISP Config appliance?

Checking my backups I realised a few weeks ago I did this and it works well on the LAMP stack.

For those who are wondering what it is, basically a free version of control panel or cpanel which is a shared hosting solution. Better than me babaling on about it go to their website 

I have used it in the past with great success. Well worth a look and very professionally done.

I promised to get my head around TKLPatch to create another appliance but I still have not got there yet. So when I do get there I will supply a patch for this also, unless someone else wants to.

Jeremy Davis's picture

Looks like it's got plenty of documentation too (300+ page manual - wowsers!) Not sure how big an audience this would get but it definately looks like a polished and professional product that would be of good use to those that were interested. If you get in with a patch soonish it may be ableto make it into the v11 part 2 release.

As for TKLPatch, it's pretty simple really (especially for someone with your skillset). It's basically an archive (.tar.gz) which contains an install script (conf) and any required files (/overlay - generally only setup scripts and/or config files, actual installers etc are generally best downloaded with wget via the conf script). It can also include custom .deb packages (/debs). For more complex setups the conf install script can be broken into 2 (/conf/pre-overlay & /conf/post-overlay). Anyway, the TKLPatch documentation should get you going. As you've probably already worked out I'm no hardcore Linux sys admin (just a tinkerer really) but I'm more than happy to provide any assistance if I can.

Thanks for calling attention to ISP. I'd look forward to seeing it developed.

Chris Musty's picture

I will get into it soon enough but for now is it easy to produce a "patch" if I have a backup of a working ISP Config Appliance?

Chris Musty


Specialised Technologies

Jeremy Davis's picture

Some time ago someone suggested using TKLBAM for development work. It didn't ever get beyond that though. I think Alon and Liraz quite liked the idea but it never got taken any further. It certainly lowers the bar and makes it as easy as installing and configuring your desired software. For inhouse development it works well, just not easy to share as yet.

Chris Musty's picture

As a side note they are the guys that run howtoforge website. They make some revenue from selling the billing module and HTF subscriptions.

Chris Musty


Specialised Technologies

David's picture

Just wanted to put in a plug for ISPConfig. I use it regurarly! It was the fastest and most secure way for me to deploy new websites. ISPConfig can be a bit of a bear to get working but once you do... it is sold and well worth it.

I never second guess instaling a php web package of questionable content because ISPConfig jailboxes each client, account/webpage. Even if you have one faulty account it cannot affect the others. 

I have recently upgraded my system and am looking to move ISPConfig into a vm and would love to see TKL work their magic.

There is a nice out of the box setup using Ubuntu 10.4 for vmware. Chris, you mentioned an overlay would be easy with a working copy of ISPConfig. I would just deploy the vmware image but cannot get vmware working on Ubuntu 10.4.3.

And I love it. Would be nice to incorporate with observium somehow. I started a patch last night but got stuck when I realized that while the preconfiguration (pages and pages) is easily taken care of, the actual installation is an interactive PHP script. I don't know how to preseed answers to that.

Maybe I do know how to do it. Put in the most generic settings, and then see what they affect and where they're hidden away. Probably a matter of dumping and then importing an .sql and sticking some files in overlay.

My problem is that I don't know how to answer some of the questions for a generic or likely use case.

Jeremy Davis's picture

Hey Rik. In my experience PHP install scripts simply write entries to a DB and/or fill in entries in config files, etc. When I have done patches such as this I unzip/untar the installation files twice - one to install and one as a reference folder. Run the install to completetion. Then dump the DB (assuming that it wrote to a DB) and then run diff on the twin install dirs (the completely installed one against the original untouched reference version). 

I have found that generally this process works well. Where it does become a little problematic is the point at which the customisation that the installer does, then needs to be reproduced via a firstboot script. Some of the options are ok to be left as default, but others need to be configured depending on the usage scenario.

Kai's picture

When it is ready someone please feel free to drop me an e-mail, this is must needed. We want to build a new server for 8 people (1 4ghz core each) using ESXI as a base and 8 VM's on top of it. Just a small server, but a big project to us. This would really be of great use as we could partition each if the 8 4tb drives down the middle and use 4 of them for hosting and 4 of them for dedicated backup!!

Please email when there is progress on this

Jeremy Davis's picture

But if you subscribe to this thread then it probably will get a brief announcement if/when it gets released (and you will get an automated email notification).

Stan's picture

I would definitely like to see an ISPConfig VM!


Alon Swartz's picture

The best place to show your support for an appliance candidate (such as ISPConfig) is on the Candidates wiki by adding your github_username as a supporter (full details here).

Now that TKLDev has been released maybe someone wants to take a crack at it?

Additionally, or alternatively, it would also be useful if ISPConfig had a wiki page describing required use cases it should fulfill.

tristan mckee's picture

I found this thread by hoping i could take a short cut to an isntall I have performed about .......6 times now, i think.  However, after reading this thread carefully, and using some of the knowledge gained from my previous installs, there are a few things that should be considred if an ISPConfig turnkey will become available:


1. If you have never used ISPConfig please run through a couple of  intalls/builds on your own before using a prefabricated image.  There are several considerations that are environmentally unique to each install, that you should be aware of. (ie. do you want/need custom email/webmail options.  do you need SSL certs that are not self signed, do need hyper-secure spam protection...etc??)        

     a.) if you answered yes to any of this, then be sure that you understand how to configure these options, post install  (this is more for very talented nubes than those that are able to wiz through linux deployments with relative ease.  If you are new to linux, it might be good to run through the actual build a few times)

2.  Be sure you actually throw a few bucks toward the staff over at IPSConfig and purchase their owners/users manual.  Nothing can repalce an extremely detailed manual written by the same team that created a product.  (there just aren't to many resources available for the weekend warriors and having the manual in your arsenal will save you days of endless google searches)

Aside from that, I'd love to see a turnkey flavor of ISPConfig.  BTW, this is my first post on the turnkey site.  If there are things I could have done better, or suggestions on how I can be a better contributor, please feel free to let me know.



Tristan McKee


Jeremy Davis's picture

Your feedback is warmly welcome.

When or even if a TKL ISPConfig appliance gets created is anybodies guess though. Currently adding new appliances is not a huge focus for the dev team but your points are relevant and definitely worthy of consideration for if/when the devs do look to add this appliance. Also with the release of TKLDev development of new appliances is much more open that it was previously so if someone else wants to take a shot at it that too would be warmly welcomed.

So thanks again for taking the time to share your thoughts. :)

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