Debian Web/mail/ftp server operation

Discussion in 'Server Operation' started by tomde, Apr 15, 2007.

  1. tomde

    tomde New Member

    I plan on setting up a web server that will include POP3 and SMTP services. I never did any real server configuration before and nor I done any unix/linux based server configurations that include both mail and web (I know how to manage and unix machine with multiple users).
    I am pretty much thinking of having each website as a separate user account in my debian system. The user can then ssh my server to run statical shell scripts I give them permission to since they will have no other access to anything else on the system. Of course commands like ls, mkdir, mv, cp, ping...etc will be accessible. There will be no viewing outside of they're home directory, they'll be jailed when in ssh mode or ftp...etc. Now I would like for them to update they're sites via vsftpd and like said they will be jailed in they're home directory. They will have full permissions except group and others will have no rwx permissions.
    I will of course link my apache virtual hosts to each corresponding user account's directory. Now is there a way to give the user full permission to a folder without letting them change the name?
    Since one user account contains the website will will be a master account.
    Now for mail configuration I will have the mbox in the master account.
    I would then write a few scripts to add subdomains and to allow more email address accounts to be made with the corresponding domain.
    Would this be a good linux web/mail server configuration?
    I intend to serve a site for my friend, two sites for me and one for my dad. Maybe others if I'm good, idk yet.
    Also just to add I have port 80 open and 25 with my ISP...etc and I have a DDNS manager from my ISP.
    Thanks for the advice and criticism.
  2. falko

    falko Super Moderator ISPConfig Developer

  3. tomde

    tomde New Member

    Thanks I did look at the tutorial. I have two questions though. The first is why did the tutorial setup a DNS server with BIND? The second is that ISPConfig is basically just a front panel for managing multiple web sites right (like cpanel or something)? There is a admin version and a host version both accessible through HTTP on port 81? Now whats the popularity of ISPConfig in the real world of hosting? I know most pros make they're own interface but would ISPConfig but sufficient? You say it would work for most of my things, but what won't it work with? I know I will have to use proftpd which I don't really prefer over vsftpd.
    Also was the tutorial is written with intentions of accommodating multiple hosts with a site and several email accounts on they're domain?

    Other then that if I was to use my own interface, would my original method be pointing in the right direction or way off where I would be laughed at? I know I could make a web interface where users can login through a php interface to manage they're site instead of ssh. But The tricky part of that would be connected the interface to the linux side of things.

    As you can see I'm lost. I think I will go give ISPconfig a shot though.

    Just thinking about the whole thing and would ISPconfig have users have they're own user account or would this be entirely through MySQL or something?
  4. till

    till Super Moderator Staff Member ISPConfig Developer

    Bind is the most used DNS server. It is required by ISPConfig.


    No. There is just one version with 4 different logins for administrator, resellers, clients and mailusers.

    I know most pros dont make their own interface ;) ISPConfig is used by many hosting companys around the world and according to the download numbers its probably one of the most popular open source ISP controlpanel now.

    Compare your setup with the perfect setup or just try it.


    ISPConfig uses linux system users. If you want to enable shell access for them, I recommend to compile your SSHD with chrooting enabled and then enable SSH chrooting in ISPConfig too.
  5. tomde

    tomde New Member

    Thank you very much till and falko,
    Okay I have a setup like in the tutorial. My last question is how can I configure ISPconfig without a domain. I'm only doing this since I don't plan on buying a domain. offers free ddns subdomains, right now at least at this time my server will have a free subdomain through The other websites being hosted will be apache virtual hosts setup through ISPconfig and will have their own domains. When I tried to setup ISPconfig with my subdomain it would not work.

    So I think I will just have my server's hostname as the name of the computer like dell poweredge and the domain left blank? This is a possible configuration no? Is there a default I could use like "hostname.local" used in the macs? Thanks again.
  6. till

    till Super Moderator Staff Member ISPConfig Developer

    You can install ISPConfig without a domain but you can not use it without a domain. But a domain is a domain, so you have a domain ;)

    1) During ISPCOnfig installation, when the installer asks for the hostname, leave it blank, when the installer asks for the domain, enter the IP address.

    2) When you create a website in ISPConfig for, enter yourdomain as hostname and as domain.

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