Configuration without client domains

Discussion in 'Installation/Configuration' started by David Almeida, Sep 12, 2018.

  1. David Almeida

    David Almeida New Member


    I just registered here at howtoforge and I just installed ISPConfig 3.

    I work on a vocational school in Portugal and I want to provide a webserver for our students works.
    So, I want to create a client account to each of our students (and a reseller account to each teacher), but without the need of each student have a domain.
    This webserver have the subdomain "" and I need that each account (student) would access to his/her work through "" or "" or something like that. So, none of the students need a domain.

    And also each account have a FTP access but only to his/her directories/files. And only to his/her mysql databases, etc.

    I already read many of the topics and posts but I still can't find out how to implement this.

    Can someone guide me through this task or provide me a solution for my problem?


    P.S.: Sorry about my english
  2. Taleman

    Taleman Well-Known Member HowtoForge Supporter

  3. David Almeida

    David Almeida New Member

    I already read and I think that it is something on "Adding a site".
    But I have doubts about what to enter on textboxes "hostname" and "domain". Neither of the students will have his/her own domain.
    Following my example in previous post, should I put "" in textbox "domain"? And what to put in "hostname"?
    And how each of my students could view their sites?

    I confess that I'm not a network guru, so beside general knowledge, I have many doubts on configuration. Beside this, my school exists in some cities and I want that all students from all our schools could have an account on these webserver.
  4. till

    till Super Moderator Staff Member ISPConfig Developer

    The website form has no hostname field, so not sure to what you refer to here. May you please explain about which part of the setup you are talking?
  5. David Almeida

    David Almeida New Member

    Hi, till

    I'm refering the section 3.1 on the manual: "Adding a site", form "ISP Site".
  6. till

    till Super Moderator Staff Member ISPConfig Developer

    The website form has just a domain field and no hostname field. In the domain field, you enter the domain name (fqdn) of the website that you want to create. So when the website shall be reachable under the address '' then you enter '' into the domain field.
  7. David Almeida

    David Almeida New Member

    Ok, thanks
    I will try and after that I will return here to give feedback.
  8. David Almeida

    David Almeida New Member

    Hi again

    till, I tried to do what you said, but still can't this to work.

    I created a user named "a12345", then I log in with that user account and I tried to create a site ""
    But when I tried to access this website, it said that it can't find the ip address. I know that this has something to do with DNS, but I don't know how to solve it:

    Should say that "" it is not on the same server that "".
    "" is at a host provider and "" is at our school and accessed by

    I thank in advance any guidance that someone could give me.

    P.S.: Sorry that spaces on the links. I can't put links at my posts
  9. Taleman

    Taleman Well-Known Member HowtoForge Supporter

  10. Taleman

    Taleman Well-Known Member HowtoForge Supporter

    Have you written down a plan on what your goal is? What are the permissions a student should have and must not have? Same for teacher.
  11. David Almeida

    David Almeida New Member

    I have an idea what I want.
    I am not System Administrator, so I have few knowledge about configuring a system like this.
    I am a Programmer and I have made many sites and rented some hosts to put my sites. I know the rights I have in that hosts: I can create and manage Databases, I can upload my php files through FTP or Web File Manager, and I can view mysite after upload through a link like "" before even configure my DNSs and inserting my own domain.

    That is what I want to my students. If his/her username is "a12345", I want that he/she can create and manage databases, put php, jpg, html files on the server through FTP and view his/her site through "".

    Ok, probably I went to far when I wrote a sub-sub-domain ( So, I will be happy with a link to the folder where each student/client have their files: or or or something like this

    On my previous post, the first image that i put the link shows a document Root: /var/www/clients/client1/web1

    But I already tried

    And none of them show me the default home page.

    I know that probably these are very dummie questions, but i'm stuck.

  12. Taleman

    Taleman Well-Known Member HowtoForge Supporter

    I suggest the following:
    • read the ISPConfig Manual
    • I assume your server is setup correctly and works
    • I assume ISPConfig is setup correctly and works
    • create a client a12345. Put reasonable limits.
    • create DNS domain
    • on Sites tab do "add new website", add that a12345.web... . Remember to choose SUEXEC.
    • Test it works at If needed, use this:
    • either add database user yourself or let your clients do it themselves. The database user must be created before database. The database must be attached to the corresponding website.
    • add FTP user for the created website
    • if you want e-mail, add e-mail domain and e-mail accounts.
    There is tutorial:
    David Almeida likes this.
  13. Jesse Norell

    Jesse Norell ISPConfig Developer Staff Member ISPConfig Developer

    And one other piece from your initial post, the teachers being setup as resellers - may or may not be useful to you. A reseller (teacher) can have clients (students) under it, and the permissions might be close to what you need. You can enable the domain control module and let the teachers add domains to the students and take that load off the server admin (you), and you could setup DNS with a wildcard record (*

    In this setup, a student will end up with a different client account for each class they have (or at minimum, each teacher they have), as a client (student) can only belong to one reseller (teacher). If you want a student to only have a single client account, then there won't be any place/need for resellers.

    For teachers to be able to setup students then, short of giving every teacher a server admin user (maybe not a great idea security wise), you could probably write a little script/page that uses the ISPConfig remote api to add/update/remove a student, and add/update/remove domains (ie. for those students. If you like, you could even create that as an ISPConfig interface plugin (ie. so when a teacher logs into ISPConfig they have a new tab for doing basic student management).

    Just leave the default DocumentRoot, which will look like /var/www/clients/client#/web#/web.
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2018
    David Almeida likes this.
  14. David Almeida

    David Almeida New Member

    Hi again
    I already created a client "a12345".
    I didn't create DNS domain "" yet. I have some doubts about how to do it.
    Should I create a:
    1) DNS Zone at "DNS" tab on ISPConfig;
    2) subdomain at "Sites" tab.
    3) alias at "Sites" tab
    In my ignorance, I think that it is not DNS Zone, so I have some doubts about the fields at sobdomain and alias.
    If it is a subdomain , what should I put at "host" field and what type of redirection and the redirection folder?
    If it is an alias, what should I put at domain and at redirection folder?

  15. Jesse Norell

    Jesse Norell ISPConfig Developer Staff Member ISPConfig Developer

    Under Sites > Website you add a new website and assign to the corresponding client. In DNS you could add a zone for, then add an A record for a12345 under that zone, or simply create a wildcard A record so all names resolve (ie. create *
    David Almeida likes this.
  16. David Almeida

    David Almeida New Member

    Hi Jesse
    But when adding a zone, what about other fields?
    Template - I think that maintain "Default"
    Server - My server
    Client - Leave blank
    IP Adress - My first doubt. This IP is dynamic and that's the reason we use ddns. Should I put the address that I see when I ping from home? I think not, because has to be an "inside" adress. Should I put
    NS 1 (and NS2) - Second doubt. When my colleagues installed Ubuntu+ISPConfig through the tutorial, did they also installed any Name Server service?. Do we have a Name Server? Should I put in these fields I know that these is probably a big rookie question. Let me remind that I know what is a Name Server, I know for what is needed, but I don't know how to install and/or configure. :(
    DKIM enabled: It is checked and don't let me unckeck it
    Sign Zone (DNSSEC): it is unchecked

    Thanks for all the help, mates
  17. Taleman

    Taleman Well-Known Member HowtoForge Supporter

    For name service problems,. you should read the tutorial I posted a link to. It tells among other things how to test name service is working.
    If those collegues followed the usual tutorial, they have installed name service. But make sure if you have doubts, see previous paragraph.
    When I test from public Internet, I see the following:
    $ host has address mail is handled by 1 mail is handled by 0
    host has address
    $ host has address
    So it looks like name service is working and with wildcard dns for * But whois does not seem to work, which is strange. That IP number may be permanent and not dynamic, since the description reads
    If you want to use that server from internal network with internal IP -number, then you set up internal name service that shows the Internal IP-number.
    David Almeida likes this.
  18. David Almeida

    David Almeida New Member

    The site is on a hosting service.
    The server is at headquarter of our school (for instance, my department is about 30km from headquarter). As we aren't sure if the IP is static or dynamic, we used a ddns service. I will investigate if the IP is static or dynamic. Thanks for the info.

    Yesterday, one of my collegues of headquarters create a wildcard at the host of main domain to redirect all the subdomains * to our server.
    But as I understand of you and Jesse wrote, that wildcard does not have to be put at the server but instead at the server through ISPConfig.
    Am I right?
    Should I ask my collegue to remove that wildcard that he put at webserver "" and should I put that wildcard at ""?
    At this moment, after my collegue put that wildcard, if I try to open or it will open in some folder that I'm not sure what folder is it. I already create the client a12345 and I already saw the content of the folder created relative to client a12345, but at the moment the server is not redirecting to that folder, but instead to some folder that has no content except a cgi-bin folder.
    Before yesterday, without that wildcard that my collegue put, it didn't open anything. It just said that didn't know that subdomain.
  19. Taleman

    Taleman Well-Known Member HowtoForge Supporter

    You wrote you created a client. Did you also create a website?
    If the name service wildcard works now, why do you want to change it?
  20. David Almeida

    David Almeida New Member

    I don't know if I have to change it. I don't know if is better to have server to handle the nameserver or if should I let to handle it.

    Yes, I created the site.

    And when I click at a12345 I have this

    And if I go to the server, I have this

    And this:

    And if I go to /etc/apache2/sites-available I have this:

    And if I go to /etc/apache2/sites-enable I have this:

    So I think that it's all right.

    But when I try to go to it goes to a default folder (that I even have not found the exact location on the server) that is the same folder that if I go to and it isn't opening the content of /var/www/clients/client1/web1/web as it is supposed to do.

    Probably I have to do what @Jesse Norell wrote: add a zone for and add an A record to each site or create a wildcard for all the sites. But if I already have the other wildcard, I don't know what to do next.

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