Initial config with new server, domain and 2 IP adresses

Discussion in 'Installation/Configuration' started by eddie-prefere, Sep 21, 2011.

  1. eddie-prefere

    eddie-prefere New Member

    Thank you Falko and thank you for the tutorials on "perfect server with ..." They have helped me twice now, and I really appreciate it.

    The one thing that I need more help understanding - which has always been a problem for me with your tutorials (both lenny and ispconfig2 and squeeze + ISPConfig 3) - and it's not adequately covered in the documentation or manual - is the very first step. So I will post a thread on this:

    Basically, your guide to installing the perfect server doesn't address the following in terms many of us newbies can understand:

    I order my first real dedicated server and I am given 2 IP addresses. I must use a domain, so I choose "". and that is assignedIP #1. I go to my registrar and create child nameservers and and give them IP #1 and IP #2 - OR is this already a mistake, since how can IP #1 work for BOTH and ? SO, do I have to create child namservers of and ? This is unclear and seems crucial. I have tried it BOTH ways and still cannot get a dig with to return anything for any domain. Also, I cannot get the webmail to work for my main domain,

    I saw your guide about how to do this, but it says you need 2 servers. So, it is unclear to me if you mean 2 actual hardware servers or 2 virtual instances on a server - OR do you mean creating 2 servers - without virtualization - on 1 dedicated server? - ISPConfig3 doen't let me add another server.

    So, I am hoping someone will help with this very first step - which I really want to get right.


  2. Mark_NL

    Mark_NL Member

    The configuration of the ISPConfig system falls outside the scope of the "Perfect How-to's" for installing them.

    Just register the 2 IP's at your registrar as being the "Authoritative" servers for " (You can use hostnames, if your registrar supports glue records)

    "A glue record is the IP address of a name server held at the domain name registry.
    Glue records are required when you wish to set the name servers of a domain name to a hostname under the domain name itself."

    When you've done that, all dns lookup requests for "*" will be forwarded to one of those 2 IP's. From that point on, it's up to what you enter in de DNS admin part of the ISPConfig web interface.
  3. eddie-prefere

    eddie-prefere New Member

    Yes I have done this

    Thanks for your response. Of course I have already done this. I am wondering if the tutorial on "How To Run Your Own DNS Servers (Primary And Secondary) With ISPConfig 3 (Debian Squeeze) "

    actually requires you to have two stand-alone servers or two virtual server instances - or is that use of the word "server" referring to something else?

    In other words, can that tutorial be sucessfully completed with one (1) un-virtualized server?


  4. Mark_NL

    Mark_NL Member

    Well, if you keep it on one server, then there's no real secondary dns server. It's the same server that hosts the 2nd ip.

    You can use 2 physical servers or 2 vm's to set up a more real pri/sec dns server setup.

    It can be completed, just ignore all the replicating stuff, just set up the primary server and you're done.
  5. eddie-prefere

    eddie-prefere New Member

    Problem with Squirrelmail

    Thanks for your response Mark.

    Youll be glad to know that I bought the ISPConfig 3 Manual!

    I installed the squeeze for amd_64 with courier and ispconfig3

    I added the symbolic links to use "webmail" as shown in the guide.

    I have followed the instructions very carefully, and now cannot access any squirrelmail or webmail - a security pop-up box appears and tells me that it is downloading a file called "webmail".

    when I "" the server's main domain,, and two add-on domains, and, I get no errors.

    I have a feeling that I am still missing something in the DNS zone area. Would you tell me if the following looks like a good setup, please?

    I set to IP1 and to IP2 - GLUE is good.

    My server is called "" and has IP1

    1.) Did I make a fatal mistake by using the domain as the server hostname (instead of something like ?

    2.) I added IP2 to the servers' IP address list in ISPConfig3. IP1 was already there. Was this the right thing to do? The manual doesn't cover when or why one would do this. (I also added 2 DNS servers that the server provider let me use as local resolvers for he server, IP3 and IP4. I veriied that all 4 IP's are in the /etc/resolv.conf file along with

    3.) Is it recommended to use IP1, IP2 or * when adding web sites in ISPConfig3. The difference between these is not dealt with in the manual.

    All websites are resolving, but I cannot get webmail on individual sites, only at the ip1:8080/squirrelmail URL.

    I appreciate your help,

  6. till

    till Super Moderator Staff Member ISPConfig Developer

    1) You can not use for email addresses now on that server. If you plan to use this server as emailserver as well for domain, you will have to reconfigure the hostname in /etc/hostname, /etc/hosts, /etc/mailname and postfix file.

    2) Thats ok. You add all IP addresses there that you want to use on your server. But dont forget to add the IP in the network card settings of your linux distribution too as described in the manual.

    3) See pages 87, 241 and 245 of the manual. You select the IP address where the domain points to in dns or *, if its not a ssl website and no other website is assigned to that IP already. If you select the IP address as shown in chapter 5.3, then you are on the safe side.
  7. eddie-prefere

    eddie-prefere New Member

    Thanks - different problem now

    Thanks for your response Till.

    This server is an IBM and maybe that explains why it has eth0:67 instead of eth0:1 for the second ip address I added as regards the network card. The second IP ends in 67. If this doesn't seem right, please let me know.

    Now that I have made the changes to change the server hostname to, I receive the ISPConfig3 index.php landing page for all the sites, and I obtain the Squirrelmail login. Now I get the following error message when attempting all squirrrelmail logins - even newly created ones, even when I deleted email accounts and mailboxes and recreated, and with domains having both fast cgi and mod_php:

    Error opening ../config/default_pref
    Could not create initial preference file!
    /var/lib/squirrelmail/data/ should be writable by user www-data
    Please contact your system administrator and report this error.

    I tried chmod ing the acl for the folder /var/squirrelmail/data/ and the .perf files inside it to allow group read, write and execute, but that did not help.

    Is it supposed to work with fast_cgi or only with mod_php ? - I read about the mod_php fix in a different thread, but that was for a virtualized instance.

    What would you suggest to allow login to squirrelmail?

    Thanks again.

    Also, I re-read the pages in the manual you listed, and nowhere in there does it explain why one would want to have ns1 rather than ns2 be the listed nameserver for any given website.
  8. eddie-prefere

    eddie-prefere New Member

    More problems and 2 questions


    7 hours later my server is different - and I can no longer get the squirrelmail login page on most domains, only on 1! This seems very "buggy" to me.

    Aditionally now "" shows no reverse pointer record for MX

    So I have a few questions:

    1. How long after making changes to the DNS zones or websites areas in ISPConfig3 does it take for the changes to be reflected in the server? And, do I need to reload apache2 or not to make the changes in ISPConfig3 stick? Or is a full server reboot needed?

    2. I have added the TXT record to my DNS Zones as follows (without really understanding it - just following the guide): "v=spf1 a mx ip4: -all"

    I am trying to use for mail (this is also the main IP for the and the IP for - it IS possible to have the same IP for these, isn't it?) and am using for and setting the websites to that IP. Since I am trying to do it this way, - please tell me i this is wrong, if the "a" and the "mx" in that TXT record, above refer to A and MX records, should I remove the "a" from that TXT record?

    3. The manual doesn't mention anything about whether or not it is important to set up a web domain or a DNS Zone first - could this be important, and what do you recommend, please?

    4. Is it possible to change a Web Domain from fast_CGI to mod_PHP and back again at will in the ISPConig3 Manage - or is that the problem - since they involve different permissions/problems? Is there a tutorial on how to fix this?
    Do we have to decide definitively which type of PHP we will use for each Web Domain when we create it, and then never change it for ISPConfig3 to work properly with squeeze?

    5. Would an uninstall and then re-install of squirrelmail be the easiest thing to do at this point to get this server working right with email functioning with logins at each domain functioning? Or would you recommend deleting all web domains, dns zones, email accounts and mailboxes and start fresh?

    There is nothing of value on this server, I want to get it right before starting to use it.

    Thanks for your help.

    Best regards,

  9. eddie-prefere

    eddie-prefere New Member

    Error Example - buggy ISPConfig3?

    For example, "" and "" are setup EXACTLY the same way in ISPCongif - down to the least detail in DNS Zones, and Web Domains - yet when trying to access webmail - one gives a login screen which does not work and has the above-mentioned error, while the other does not give a login screen and a security pop-up box pops up and tries to download a file called "webmail"?

    Lastly, I re-read Till's response, above in this thread, and perhaps did not comprehend what he states about choosing * or an IP for each Web Domain. I am hosting many many sites on this server, so without talking about ssl - which I know requires a dedicates Ip for each site, I want to use one IP for a hundred or more sites - Till says to choose the *, or if no other website is using an Ip an IP address, then says it is safer to choose an IP? I don't understand - I don't think this is very important, but I am trying to eliminate errors and set up the server properly - is it better to use the *, IP1 (which is being used for and or IP2, which is being used for, OR try to balance the web domains and give half to each IP? I would appreciate a recommendation on this - or a clear statement that it doesn't matter at all.


    How can this be possible?


  10. till

    till Super Moderator Staff Member ISPConfig Developer

    If you dont use ssl, then you can either use * for ALL websites or the IP for ALL websites, but dont mix that! You can also balance it between the IP addresses as long as you dont mix it with *, but this wont give you any benefits.
  11. eddie-prefere

    eddie-prefere New Member

    Thanks Till - any response to the ilportant questions re ISPConfig3, please?

    Hello Till,

    Just wanted to let you know that i really did buy the manual
    ([email protected] - Date: 2011-09-21)

    and either i've done somehing wrong;, or ISPConfig is buggy.

    1.) I am wondering if it takes more than a minute for ISP config to write modifications - there were times I made modiications in ISPConfig and then rebooted the server after only a minute or two - could this have caused problems?

    2.) Does it matter whether I creat a dns zone file first and then a website for a domain - or vice-versa? Is order important her?

    3.) Is it a known problem that fast_CGI - the default - will not allow squirrelmail with postfix and courier to work properly?

    4.) Is it a known problem that once a dns zone and website have been setup that a change in the type of PHP will cause errors when trying to login to squirrelmail - an inability to login ? And, if so, is there a fix?


    I've got to get this thing right and i've been at it 3 days of 12 hoiurs and can't find another pos with the exact same problem.

    Would you recommend removing squirrelmail and the re-installing it? Could I do this without touching postfix or courier?


    Last edited: Sep 22, 2011
  12. falko

    falko Super Moderator ISPConfig Developer

    If the shut down was executed the moment the ISPConfig backend process ran, the backend process might have been cut in the middle, so yes, this could have caused problems. Please check if the /usr/local/ispconfig/server/temp/.ispconfig_lock exists - if so, either there is a backend process running currently, or it is a remainder from an interrupted backend process. If it is till there after a few seconds, it probably is a remainder, and you can delete it. The next time the backend process runs, it should catch up on everything.

    No. It's only important when you register a domain - the zone should exist before you register a domain because otherwise you will get a warning from the registry.
  13. eddie-prefere

    eddie-prefere New Member

    Still having problems with permissions I think?

    OK, I am giving ISPConfig time to make its changes before rebooting.

    I am still having the same problem trying to get webmail login with, and there is a brower security popup - instead of the login page - I have just tried to install phpmyadmin, and have created an alias and <Directory> entry in the /etc/apache2/sites-available file for the main domain, and when I try to get that page, I receive the same security popup asking me if I want ot download the "phpmyadmin" file.

    SO, there is something going on here that I don't understand. Is it a permissions problem for accessing the page and If so, what is the recommended fix? "chmod 755 /etc/apache2/sites-available/ - for each of them and "chmod 755 for /etc/apache2/sites-available/ vhost/phpmyadmin" OR would it be
    "chmod 755 for /etc/apache2/sites-available/"

    I really don't get how to make this work. Any help is truly appreciated. I saw that no-one answered another member who asked about this problem. I don't know why.


  14. falko

    falko Super Moderator ISPConfig Developer

    The phpMyAdmin and SquirrelMail configuration files for Apache must be in the /etc/apache2/conf.d directory.

    Is mod_php enabled for the websites from which you try to access phpMyAdmin/SquirrelMail?
  15. eddie-prefere

    eddie-prefere New Member

    Problems still exist


    Thanks for your advice. I have done extensive testing and have the following problems:

    1. Squirrelmail, phpMyAdmin and phpPgAdmin at, and ONLY show a login screen in sites that are set as MOD_PHP and NEVER show a login screen for sites that are set in ISPConfig3 as FastCGI.

    2. To get the mod_php sites to show a login screen I had to make the following changes:

    in /etc/phpmyadmin/ I had to add the line:
    $cfg['PmaAbsoluteUri'] = 'http://localhost/phpmyadmin';

    in /etc/phppgadmin/ I had to modify the 'host' value to be 'localhost'

    3. When I try to access the login for any of the 3, squirrelmail, phpmyadmin or phppgadmin, at sites which are set to FastCGI I get no login screen, and a file is trying to download. In squirrelmail I also get the following error message:

    Error opening .../config/default_pref
    Could not create initial preference file
    /var/lib/squirrelmail/data should be writeable by user www-data

    And most strange of all, in my /etc/apache2/conf.d directory I have entries for phppgadmin and squirrelmail:

    [email protected]
    [email protected]

    but NO entry for phpmyadmin.

    I am able to successfully login to squirrelmail, phpmyadmin and phppgadmin on MOD_PHP sites.

    4. In my /etc/apache2/conf.d/squirrelmail.conf file I have:

    Alias /squirrelmail /usr/share/squirrelmail
    Alias /webmail /usr/share/squirrelmail

    and I have:

    <Files configtest.php
    deny from all
    allow from etc

    everything else looks OK

    5. In my /etc/apache2/conf.d/phppgadmin file I have:

    Alias /phppgadmin /usr/share/phppgadmin


    #deny from all
    allow from ::1/128
    #allow from all

    Can you make any sense of this and give me any advice, please. I do want to use FastCGI on some sites.

    Thank you very much,

  16. falko

    falko Super Moderator ISPConfig Developer

    Thanks for the detailed report. :) I've added this to our bugtracker.
  17. falko

    falko Super Moderator ISPConfig Developer

    Are you sure that phpMyAdmin doesn't work under FastCGI? For me it works out of the box under all PHP modes with the following configuration in /etc/apache2/conf.d/phpmyadmin.conf:

    # phpMyAdmin default Apache configuration
    Alias /phpmyadmin /usr/share/phpmyadmin
    <Directory /usr/share/phpmyadmin>
            Options FollowSymLinks
            DirectoryIndex index.php
            <IfModule mod_php5.c>
                    AddType application/x-httpd-php .php
                    php_flag magic_quotes_gpc Off
                    php_flag track_vars On
                    php_flag register_globals Off
                    php_admin_flag allow_url_fopen Off
                    php_value include_path .
                    php_admin_value upload_tmp_dir /var/lib/phpmyadmin/tmp
                    php_admin_value open_basedir /usr/share/phpmyadmin/:/etc/phpmyadmin/:/var/lib/phpmyadmin/
    # Authorize for setup
    <Directory /usr/share/phpmyadmin/setup>
        <IfModule mod_authn_file.c>
        AuthType Basic
        AuthName "phpMyAdmin Setup"
        AuthUserFile /etc/phpmyadmin/htpasswd.setup
        Require valid-user
    # Disallow web access to directories that don't need it
    <Directory /usr/share/phpmyadmin/libraries>
        Order Deny,Allow
        Deny from All
    <Directory /usr/share/phpmyadmin/setup/lib>
        Order Deny,Allow
        Deny from All
    SquirrelMail works under mod_php; for FastCGI and suPHP, I had to modify /etc/apache2/conf.d/squirrelmail.conf as follows:

    Alias /squirrelmail /usr/share/squirrelmail
    Alias /webmail /usr/share/squirrelmail
    <Directory /usr/share/squirrelmail>
      Options FollowSymLinks
      <IfModule mod_php5.c>
        [COLOR="Red"]AddType application/x-httpd-php .php
        php_flag magic_quotes_gpc Off
        php_flag track_vars On
        php_admin_flag allow_url_fopen Off
        php_value include_path .
        php_admin_value upload_tmp_dir /var/lib/squirrelmail/tmp
        php_admin_value open_basedir /usr/share/squirrelmail:/etc/squirrelmail:/var/lib/squirrelmail:/etc/hostname:/etc/mailname[/COLOR]
        php_flag register_globals off
      <IfModule mod_dir.c>
        DirectoryIndex index.php
      # access to configtest is limited by default to prevent information leak
      <Files configtest.php>
        order deny,allow
        deny from all
        allow from
    (Despite these changes, it doesn't work under CGI + suExec (CGI without suExec does work), but you don't use this mode.)

    Create /var/lib/squirrelmail/tmp and make it writable for the www-data user...
    mkdir /var/lib/squirrelmail/tmp
    chown www-data /var/lib/squirrelmail/tmp
    ... and reload Apache:
    /etc/init.d/apache2 reload
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2011

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