Installing A Web, Email & MySQL Database Cluster On Debian 6.0 With ISPConfig 3 - Page 3

3 Installing ISPConfig On The First (Master) Server

In this step we will install ISPConfig on the master server. To get the download URL of the latest ISPConfig 3 stable release, please visit the ISPConfig website:

Now we have to add two new mysql root user records in the master database to allow root access from the slave server hostname and IP address.

On server1:

Log into the MySQL database as root user...

mysql -u root -p

... and execute these mysql queries:

CREATE USER 'root'@'' IDENTIFIED BY 'myrootpassword';

CREATE USER 'root'@'server2.example.tld' IDENTIFIED BY 'myrootpassword';

In the above SQL commands, replace with the IP address of the second server, replace server2.example.tld with the hostname of the second server and 'myrootpassword' with the desired root password.

Now you shpuld be back on the shell on server1.example.tld and download the latest ISPConfig 3 stable release:

cd /tmp
tar xfz ISPConfig-3-stable.tar.gz
cd ispconfig3_install/install/

Start the install script:

php -q install.php

Select language (en,de) [en]: <-- en
Installation mode (standard,expert) [standard]:
<-- standard
Full qualified hostname (FQDN) of the server, eg server1.domain.tld [server1.example.tld]:
<-- server1.example.tld
MySQL server hostname [localhost]:
<-- localhost
MySQL root username [root]:
<-- root
MySQL root password []:
<-- Enter your mysql root password here
MySQL database to create [dbispconfig]:
<-- dbispconfig1 (the local ispconfig database name of the master and slave must be different, as both servers share the same data directory)
MySQL charset [utf8]:
<-- utf8

Country Name (2 letter code) [AU]: <-- DE (Enter the ISO country code where you live here)
State or Province Name (full name) [Some-State]:
<-- Niedersachsen (Enter the state where you live here)
Locality Name (eg, city) []:
<-- Lueneburg (Enter the city here)
Organization Name (eg, company) [Internet Widgits Pty Ltd]:
Organizational Unit Name (eg, section) []:
Common Name (eg, YOUR name) []:
Email Address []:

Installing ISPConfig
ISPConfig Port [8080]:

Do you want a secure (SSL) connection to the ISPConfig web interface (y,n) [y]:

Generating RSA private key, 4096 bit long modulus
e is 65537 (0x10001)
You are about to be asked to enter information that will be incorporated
into your certificate request.
What you are about to enter is what is called a Distinguished Name or a DN.
There are quite a few fields but you can leave some blank
For some fields there will be a default value,
If you enter '.', the field will be left blank.
Country Name (2 letter code) [AU]:
State or Province Name (full name) [Some-State]:
Locality Name (eg, city) []:
Organization Name (eg, company) [Internet Widgits Pty Ltd]:
Organizational Unit Name (eg, section) []:
Common Name (eg, YOUR name) []:
Email Address []:

Please enter the following 'extra' attributes
to be sent with your certificate request
A challenge password []:
An optional company name []:

Clean up the install directories:

rm -rf /tmp/ispconfig3_install
rm -f /tmp/ISPConfig-3-stable.tar.gz

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From: at: 2012-02-19 10:57:56

I can't get the MySQL sync to work.
After scp command and MySQL config edit it fails start on server2. Is there something missing from this tutorial?

From: at: 2012-03-01 09:47:28

The tutorial is complete and works on the servers that I installed. If you need help with your setup, please make a post in the forum which includes the detailed error messages etc.

From: Anonymous at: 2012-11-09 09:56:39

I'm having big-time trouble with Slave_IO_Running: No Why is this happening? The Slave_SQL_Running is Yes.... Help cause I'm stuck

From: poisen at: 2012-04-12 19:09:30

...I have the same problem with the mysql sync, after stopping mysql service and editing /etc/mysql/my.cnf there is no way to restart MySQL again.

 Starting MySQL database server: mysqld . . . . . . . . . . . . . . failed!

From: HansB at: 2012-06-09 15:50:23

Works like a charm with older Mysql.

Trying to do it with Mysql5.5+ (from dotnet) and I get the same error as above.

The following options are removed in MySQL 5.5. If you attempt to start mysqld with any of these options in MySQL 5.5, the server aborts with an unknown variable error.


What way to work around?

From: at: 2012-10-18 05:16:27

I know this works cause I have followed it in the past but I now notice something that is incorrect. 

 Where you have the command: ssh-copy-id -i $HOME/.ssh/ root@

Right below that section in the next block is code you obviously copied out of your xterm window.

 All the IP's are different, not hugely so but for anyone walking through this the first time and clueless about what they are doing and what is really going on and just following verbatim.  Small problem I thought you might care to know about and possibly address. I had to verify if I was reading your How-To or notes of my own in one of my wiki's and I don't think it was there before but hard to say, worked for me each time none the less.


From: Anonymous at: 2012-11-20 22:19:54

On server 2:

Log into the MySQL shell as root user..

You should use : 

/etc/init.d/mysql start (again)

Then you have an error like that:


ERROR 29 (HY000): File '/var/lib/mysql/' not found (Errcode: 13 or similar. You should use chmod 777 /var/lib/mysql/ .

Then the error dissapear. If you are more serious , you should give the correct priveligies to mysql.


From: at: 2013-03-20 23:00:05

Hi guys

im new to this , is there a setup like this that works with ubuntu 12.04 lts.

i will be thankfull for life.


From: Anon at: 2013-09-22 12:04:58

I had problems following this set of instructions organising the base setup and MYSQL config. As I see it it only sets up replication one way. 

 I followed the following instructions to setup master-master and then carried on :

From: at: 2012-06-06 19:29:50

  • Create a user calle unison on server2
  • Make a private key on server1 and add it to the authorized list for unison on server2


On server2:

  • Add unison to the sudoers with `unison ALL = NOPASSWD: /usr/bin/unison-wrap`
  • mv /usr/bin/unison /usr/bin/unison-wrap
  • vi /usr/bin/unison

/usr/bin/sudo /usr/bin/unison-wrap $*

  • chmod +x /usr/bin/unison

What happens now is that the user unison has no rights really but can get full root rights BUT ONLY FOR unison. Ofcouse you could potentially use unison to inject the full system. But unison itself account has no password and the private key is on server1. So as long as that private key is not been compromised you should be golden. If some one want i can write a full tutorial on setting up unison like this.

From: ColdDoT at: 2012-06-05 19:29:24

Good info
Only thing i find insecure is that you use root accounts for sync...
perhaps make a different user for that?

From: Anonymous at: 2012-12-02 15:19:21

thank you for this tutorial, it would be very nice when it works but after 6 tries with fresh installation of slave i give it up,

i think it is not working when the master server still is running  (

the SHOW SLAVE STATUS \G gives error, which can be solved with


in /etc/mysql/my.cnf

but after all, i see no choice in the "server is mirror of" LIST  in ispconfig

the databases on the slaves are all without any tables

the mirroring of www and vmail with unison, dont work

i tried very hard and concentrated and 1:1 like in this tutorial but now i am frustrated and give up

From: Anonymous at: 2013-01-09 15:43:59

ISPConfig create a new system user for new client. The new user, is used to applied permission to access publish directory.

How I can sync the files (/etc/passwd, /etc/group and /etc/shadow)?

 Will I use rsync or unison to this...

From: Giulio PR at: 2014-06-14 01:46:49

 I think so.

Also as I'm mostly interested in apache2, what about /etc/apache2? What's the point in having the mysql synched if the slave server doesn't know anything about the newly created site?

From: admin at: 2014-06-14 19:32:26

Everything related to the Website, database, mailuser and other configuration is synced by ispconfig automatically. No Need to install any other Software then the sftware described in the guide to get a fully replicated cluster.

From: admin at: 2014-06-14 19:30:50

Thats all synced by ispconfig automatically.

From: at: 2014-02-11 22:52:34

Just a quick comment on using crontab to launch unison, we are using it to sync emails between servers and started with a large var/vmail folder (20GB). During the initial sync unison was launched numerous times as a cron job and I believe each instance tried to sync the whole var/vmail folder structure which caused everything to grind to a halt and was eventually fixed by a reboot.
Anyway to avoid multiple instances of unison running again in the future I simply wrote the following bash script to check if unison was running and if it was simply. I then called this script from crontab rather than unison directly. Hope it helps someone.
if [ "$(pidof unison)" ]
echo "Unison Already Running"
echo "Launching Unison"
echo "Unison Finished"

From: Richard Ablewhite at: 2014-06-04 02:53:49

On page 3 the guide adds unison into cron to run every 5 minutes. 

This is potentially dangerous as if the task takes more than 5 mins to complete then multiple copies of unison run simultaneously and will consume large amounts of bandwidth and memory. This is particularly dangerous as unison will then run multiple instances on both cluster nodes, I've seen this bring down clusters.

A quick fix is to add the following to cron instead, ensuring unison does start if the process is already running:

*/5 * * * * pgrep unison || unison

From: Benjamin at: 2013-05-17 15:06:12

I don't understand the last step.

For which reason we would use it ?

The SCP command copy the config of master to slave, in order to slave server use the database of master... but what is the advantage, because databases of both server will be synchronized.

And when the master server will failed, its database will not be able to used by slave server... that's not a problem ? 

I have used the port 8080 for both servers, I hope I can use my servers without that..

 Thank you for response..


From: at: 2013-08-11 13:31:17

in the file you can read: $conf['db_host'] = 'localhost'; so even if you copy the file, each ispconfig server will connect to it's own database. if you don't use the same database, you'll always have 2 different setup. at this point, I think the dbispconfig2 databases become useless and could be deleted

From: Anonymous at: 2012-02-18 19:03:48

Easy to understand written toutorial - but I miss some points you mentioned in the introduction:


This tutorial describes the installation of a clustered web, email, database and DNS server to be used for redundancyhigh availability and load balancing on Debian 6 with the ISPConfig 3...


What I miss are postfix (queue) redundancy, amavis (temp + quarantine)redundancy as well as handling logfiles (if complete logfiles to be archived for some month -> Vorratsdatenspeicherung). Just copying /vmail from server 1 to server 2 isn't redundancy, the loss of mails is possible.

How to switch between services (or servers) if one goes down or isn't reachable and how is load balancing solved?

just my 2 cents

From: nitesh at: 2014-08-28 14:03:08


 I also read that tutorial and this is too good. But i just want to ask if my master server goes down then how can  i run services on server 2 so my webistes will not go down.

 Please update on this.

From: at: 2012-03-16 18:57:48

 Hello, What user and password i need to ISPConfig control panel login ?

From: at: 2012-03-27 06:06:43

The default ISPConfig login is:

Username: admin
Password: admin

From: at: 2012-04-12 08:06:47

How IspConfig 3 manage the load balancing apache clusters sessions?

From: qqkk at: 2012-04-29 15:15:17

Then open System > Server Config and enable the checkbox "Connect Linux userid to webid" on the "Web" tab:

this config for server1 or server2??

From: at: 2012-06-27 10:48:47

I've done on both servers and works correctly

From: Shelby99 at: 2012-05-11 15:49:13


I can't login on default admin admin account. Every time i try on both servers i get this error:


Username or Password wrong.1

Password lost?

 Anybody know what to do?

From: Ariel at: 2012-10-18 17:25:01

Same incident here.

 I've used these queries to the DB:

 mysql> select username, passwort, md5('admin')  from sys_user\G

*************************** 1. row ***************************

    username: admin

    passwort: 21232f297a57a5a743894a0e4a801fc3

md5('admin'): 21232f297a57a5a743894a0e4a801fc3

1 row in set (0.00 sec)

So, the password for 'admin' user is 'admin' but the interface does not allow me to log on.

From: at: 2012-11-01 03:19:23

Get the password again:

grep -i db_password /usr/local/ispconfig/interface/lib/
Set the password:
mysql -u root -p
mysql> update mysql.user set password=PASSWORD("<PASSWORD>") where User='ispconfig';
mysql> flush privileges;
mysql> quit

From: Anonymous at: 2012-06-19 13:28:14

Hello! First of thank your very much for this nice tut. I also solved the problem regarding to the login problem for the ISPconfig web interface. 

Only one thing I left: The configuration at the end "Connect Linux userid to webid". Do I have to set this configuration for both servers?

 Thank you, mic.

From: berry at: 2013-02-17 19:55:11

hello, thank you very much unbelievable

From: at: 2013-04-11 10:03:58

Same question: How IspConfig 3 manage the load balancing and HA?

From: Djerk at: 2015-03-25 14:59:28

For those using unison between differing OS releases. You can update unison by adding a repository to the older OS to bring both versions in sync.

Now for two questions:

1) unison fails to sync two folder. Something about not having permission. I looked in the destination folder and there are a number of hidden unison files there that I can't remove even as root. Will have to keep digging to find an answer for that

2) I don't use * in the IP field (eith v4 or v6). is this a prerequisite for multiserver setups? Or can we somehow link the IPs from the various servers to specific accounts?

From: Djerk at: 2015-03-26 18:49:17

Unison sync sorted, turns out I needed to learn about the immutable attribute. Lesson learned...

One thing I've noticed is that website quota usage isn't displayed anymore. The page is just empty. Is this a known bug or due to the master being Ubuntu 10.04 LTS and the slave being 14.04 LTS?