User's Guide - Administrator's Guide - Needed

Discussion in 'General' started by fatbear, Jul 23, 2010.

  1. fatbear

    fatbear Member HowtoForge Supporter

    I'm looking to switch from Virtualmin Pro to using ISPConfig because it purports to be able to do clustering and other features that I need.

    The problem is that I haven't found any comprehensive, single-source documentation for users and administrators. That is, I'm looking for a single document (pdf, word, or html tree) that describes all of the features of the software.

    I have found scattered how-to articles here, but what I've found is not even close to comprehensive documentation sufficient for setting up and doing provisioning of services using ISPConfig. Good documentation surely has to be something that every newcomer needs. I'd like something that describes every item of the UI so that I can do all of the provisioning post-install needs of a hosting business.

    So, is there any comprehensive documentation out there? If not, is there at least documentation beyond the "Perfect Server" series? I've done that, but I still need to figure out how to configure DNS, EMail (including greylisting and other spam-fighting options), FTP, etc.

    If there isn't any comprehensive documentation, I volunteer to help get us there in "payment" for help along the way.
  2. MrCompTech

    MrCompTech New Member

    You, me and others have been searching for the same also.

    But there isn't one yet, to the best of my knowledge.
  3. Toucan

    Toucan Member

    There's a few articles here

    Feel free to learn a function of ISPConfig3, register and submit an article
  4. fatbear

    fatbear Member HowtoForge Supporter

    Evaluating the Risks

    It is disappointing that the documentation for ISPConfig is so weak. While any documentation at this point is welcome, the documentation that Toucan references is within a commercial website and looks to be barely started. And, the format (articles) is no different than on

    So, given that there is only poor documentation for ISPConfig, I need to identify additional risks in choosing ISPConfig as a hosting control panel.

    • Strength? How many developers are working on ISPConfig?
      • How many core developers?
      • How many other developers contribute code?
    • Growth? How are new developers added to ISPConfig?
      • If I'm going to choose ISPConfig, I suspect that I'll want to be improving the code and feel that it might as well benefit everybody.
    • Why no Manuals? Why isn't there a wiki on aimed at achieving comprehensive documentation?
      • If the developers could start a wiki (like MediaWiki/ that people could add content to without initial moderation, that would help.
      • Can host a wiki? Disjoint articles are a poor choice for manuals. While I commend the effort Toucan referenced, it is article-based, just like What is really needed is a wiki or a traditional pdf document.
      • If the developers can create a wiki and construct some initial outline, then this would be a good start at comprehensive documentation.
      • I note that moderates submission. If they provide a wiki, I would strongly encourage wikipedia's approach: allow for unmoderated submission with community policing.
      • If can't/won't put up a wiki (not part of a commercial website), then maybe others could do this.
    • Support? When problems come up, what support options are there?
      • doesn't have any forums of its own, but instead uses forums. I do note that and whois information is essentially the same, so maybe it is "all in the family."
    If I and others are going to choose ISPConfig, it seems that adopting ISPConfig is going to require more time and effort than buying a solution from a commercial vendor because of the lack of comprehensive documentation. So, I invite any comments that help evaluate the risks in choosing ISPConfig.
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2010
  5. studiox

    studiox New Member

    I have to agree with you. An administration guide would be good.

    Every time one ask a stupid question (from a developers point of view) here one is ignored or gets stupid replies like "yes everything works".

    Instead of the developers or the community around ISP Config writes replies here 1000 times a wiki would make better use. Even we ISP Config users could contribute in a nice open source family to the software and help others.
  6. Horfic

    Horfic Member

    Well the core developer is Till, but he isn't the only one contributing to the system. There are people around the globe who are translating it, others are helping Till to add/update features which are wished by the community. I for example contribute with the Mailuser interface based on Roundcube, which is now also available in Squirrelmail. And will continue to develop extensions, which might and up than in the system as default.

    Everybody can contribute to it, you just have to contact Till.

    Well there was a wiki, but nobody added to it, so it went to heaven.
    What about you, why don't you start a wiki or write a manuel, ISPConfig isn't a complicated system. It is nicely structured and good understandable.

    The support is great in this community, if you got any problems, somebody will most definetly have a solution.

    PS: If you don't like ISPConfig, don't use it.
  7. till

    till Super Moderator Staff Member ISPConfig Developer

    More then 80 external developers. But the main development is done by projektfarm GmbH, a german IT company.

    See Horfic's post.

    As you see on, the howtoforge forums are the ispconfig forums.

    As a side note, ISPConfig has about 15 - 20 thousand new installs per month and is used by many professionsal ISP's. These ISP's have mostly written own documentation for their clients buty they do not publish it as they dont want to help other ISP's.
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2010
  8. fatbear

    fatbear Member HowtoForge Supporter

    Documentation Website Challenge Accepted

    Thanks Horfic and Till for your replies.

    Thanks for this comment because it raises an important point: from what I see, I do like ISPConfig. When people see something they like, people want to know more. Also, in most endeavors, people want to mitigate risk. Documentation goes a long way to satisfy both of these wants.

    I am encouraged by both of your responses, especially Till's up-front answers to my questions. I have decided to move forward with ISPConfig and will do a couple of things:

    1. Documentation Domain - In consideration of Horfic's encouragement, I've acquired a domain onto which I'll write documentation. The domain will not be affiliated with my hosting business. I'm thinking that I'll do this as a Joomla website with a wiki, forum, etc. and will be developed to render well on both desktops as well as iPhone devices. The wiki will be open to all registered members to make initial unmoderated submissions. The main Joomla website will be open to anyone who wishes author status, again without initial moderation. I've also created a Twitter account to be used to notify subscribers of documentation releases.
    2. Sign up as a Developer - I'm quite sure that I'll want to be extending ISPConfig. As I'm leaving a commercial solution behind, I'll hope to add those things that are missing and are most important to me and my customers.
    Since I'm very new to ISPConfig, I'm sure I've got a lot to learn... and I will need community support when I have questions. First, I'd like to solicit any ISPs that have documentation to send it to me for use in constructing the documentation website.

    Bottom Line: I will post the ISPConfig documentation website URL within a week. It will start pretty empty, but that will change over time. Thanks in advance for your support.
  9. Horfic

    Horfic Member

  10. fatbear

    fatbear Member HowtoForge Supporter

    Documentation Input is Very Welcomed!

    Wonderful, or should I say, "Wunderbar!" With the many translators out there, this is a valuable resource.

    While we're talking about documentation, I thought I'd share with the community that the documentation website will be published over this upcoming weekend. I will be adding documentation to it as I learn ISPConfig, so it will, of course, not have a lot of initial content. Even so, any and all feedback will be welcome.

    I'll send out an e-mail with the URL when the website is published.
  11. Nicram

    Nicram Member

    I made some simple documentation that make ppl understand what is all about, and how to start, but it is in polish language, if someone need it, please contact with me, it;s not a problem to share the knowdlege for me :)
  12. Walker

    Walker New Member

  13. falko

    falko Super Moderator ISPConfig Developer

    The ISPConfig 3 manual is finally available (in PDF format)!

    On nearly 300 pages, it covers the concept behind ISPConfig (admin, resellers, clients), explains how to install and update ISPConfig 3, includes a reference for all forms and form fields in ISPConfig together with examples of valid inputs, and provides tutorials for the most common tasks in ISPConfig 3. It also lines out how to make your server more secure and comes with a troubleshooting section at the end.

    Version 1.0 for ISPConfig 3.0.3 (Date: 09/30/2010)
    Author: Falko Timme <[email protected]>
    299 pages

    The manual can be downloaded from these two links:

    Now the bad news: we can’t offer it for free. But it will be available for as low as 5 EUR per copy – we think this price is more than fair for a manual with nearly 300 pages.

    Why Do We Charge For The ISPConfig 3 Manual?

    We hope that this will allow us to employ an additional full-time ISPConfig developer who can disburden the core team. This would accelerate ISPConfig development a lot and also allow us to provide more support for ISPConfig users.
  14. PermaNoob

    PermaNoob Member

    That's a good idea. Here's my 2 bits:

    make sure you select Auto-Subdomain www when you setup a site.

    Also, -1 means unlimited except for the mailbox quota where 0 means unlimited.

    Don't change the base directory for a shell user from the default, especially if you're using jailkit.
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2010
  15. PermaNoob

    PermaNoob Member

    Nice--just got my copy--looks like good reading:cool:
  16. Nicram

    Nicram Member

    Very good idea to get it from the manual/book selling. And it's cheap also. Good way to support project :) I already ordered also :)

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