Exploratory questions

Discussion in 'Installation/Configuration' started by Marc Chamberlin, Jun 15, 2018.

  1. Marc Chamberlin

    Marc Chamberlin New Member

    Hi - I am exploring the possibility of using ISPConfig on my server since it might save me a lot of grief when migrating from one release of OpenSuSE to the next! ;-) I am currently already running many of the servers supported by ISPConfig and have them configured to meet the needs of myself and my users. So my first opening question is this, how well is ISPConfig going to preserve and honor my current configuration? I don't mind the idea of backing everything up before running the setup scripts for ISPConfig, but my question goes deeper than that. A lot of work has gone into configuring things already, (such as the support for integration of Apache with Tomcat and MySQL to run servlets) and I don't want to have to spend a lot of time reinventing and debugging config files if I don't have to. Does ISPConfig preserve the config files automatically before making changes to them? Is there a confirmation process made before changes are committed and is it easy to identify the changes ISPConfig wants to make? Is it easy to backup if things go wrong and regress to a previous state of the servers? I am hoping to be able to make changes incrementally so as to be able to isolate problems rather than doing a "big bang" and install everything all at once.

    Some other initial questions, Apache does not really have a standardized way of organizing directories for websites except in the simplest of scenarios. Does ISPConfig expect a particular directory structure, especially for sites hosting virtual domains? Can ISPConfig support domains split across multiple servers/filesystems? (Apache can but it does require some advance config settings.) Does ISPConfig have expectations about file system mounts? If so, are these features documented somewhere? I can work around a lot of these issues, if necessary, just want to know what to expect...

    Appreciate any thoughts and suggestions before jumping in, thanks in advance...

  2. Taleman

    Taleman Well-Known Member HowtoForge Supporter

    ISPConfig must be installed on an empty host. If you already have websites or databases, you should not try installing ISPConfig.
    Consult the Perfect Server guides for installing ISPConfig:
  3. ahrasis

    ahrasis Well-Known Member

    To me, you, as the owner and server manager, should keep a backup of your own server config whether in form of databases or files.

    Other than that, may be you should wait for ISPConfig developers and experts to answer.
  4. Marc Chamberlin

    Marc Chamberlin New Member

  5. Marc Chamberlin

    Marc Chamberlin New Member

    Ahrasis - Yes, I fully agree with you about keeping backup copies of my server systems. In fact I run automated backup services nightly. The reason I was asking about it in regards to changes made by the ISPConfig processes is that I often like to be able to do incremental changes, when working with a new tool, and then do A/B comparisons to see/understand what effect a particular change made on the configuration files. I am just hoping that ISPConfig will make this easy and has a reliable/easy way to regress if something unexpected happens. I can take snapshots manually of config files but that is just a more tedious way of doing what I want to accomplish.

    Hopefully my questions will draw the attention of the ISPConfig developers/experts soon! :)
  6. till

    till Super Moderator Staff Member ISPConfig Developer

    Your question has already been answered by @Taleman:

    "ISPConfig must be installed on an empty host. If you already have websites or databases, you should not try installing ISPConfig.".

    There is nothing to be added to this answer.
  7. Marc Chamberlin

    Marc Chamberlin New Member

    OK Thanks Till for your reply, I will take it as a definitive answer. It is disappointing and we will consider it in our planning. Please update your documentation and state this requirement explicitly so others will not wonder if upgrading existing installations to incorporate and use ISPConfig is easy or not. You should put this requirement on your website, up front, as well as in the manual, since it can be a showstopper.

    We will still consider using ISPConfig and I will play with it on a new installation, but the migration of existing websites, services, and users will be much more difficult, I fear. One of the main problems we are trying to solve is how to easily manage the migration of our servers, users, and websites to each new release of the OpenSuSE distro. We were hoping ISPConfig could help with that, but it now appears it won't much... Migration is something your team might consider, especially with the widespread use of XML configuration files, if you want more ISP's to adopt and use ISPConfig. IMHO..

  8. till

    till Super Moderator Staff Member ISPConfig Developer

    I guess you did not read our documentation yet, otherwise, you would have noticed that each install guide starts with an empty system.

    There are no issues with migrations, there is even an automated migration tool from other hosting solutions like Plesk and Confixx which use the ISPConfig remote API to import an existing setup, that's one of the reasons why ISPConfig is used on several hundred thousand servers worldwide. But migration means that you have one server with setup A and a new server with setup B as you can't mix setups.

    What you try to do simply can not work as you can not install a hosting control panel on top of an incompatible handcrafted setup. This does not work with ISPConfig and it will not work with any other major panel like Plesk, DirectAdmin etc. as each panel has it's fine-tuned setup and none of them will work when you put it on top of another panel or manual apache, postfix etc setup. The only software you might do that is Webmin, but Webmin is not a hosting control panel, it's more or less just a web-based config file editor.

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