The Perfect Server - Debian Wheezy (Apache2, BIND, Dovecot, ISPConfig 3) - Page 3

4 Install The SSH Server (Optional)

If you did not install the OpenSSH server during the system installation, you can do it now:

apt-get install ssh openssh-server

From now on you can use an SSH client such as PuTTY and connect from your workstation to your Debian Wheezy server and follow the remaining steps from this tutorial.


5 Install vim-nox (Optional)

I'll use vi as my text editor in this tutorial. The default vi program has some strange behaviour on Debian and Ubuntu; to fix this, we install vim-nox:

apt-get install vim-nox

(You don't have to do this if you use a different text editor such as joe or nano.)


6 Configure The Network

Because the Debian Wheezy installer has configured our system to get its network settings via DHCP, we have to change that now because a server should have a static IP address. Edit /etc/network/interfaces and adjust it to your needs (in this example setup I will use the IP address (please note that I replace allow-hotplug eth0 with auto eth0; otherwise restarting the network doesn't work, and we'd have to reboot the whole system):

vi /etc/network/interfaces
# This file describes the network interfaces available on your system
# and how to activate them. For more information, see interfaces(5).

# The loopback network interface
auto lo
iface lo inet loopback

# The primary network interface
#allow-hotplug eth0
#iface eth0 inet dhcp
auto eth0
iface eth0 inet static

Then restart your network:

/etc/init.d/networking restart

Then edit /etc/hosts. Make it look like this:

vi /etc/hosts       localhost.localdomain   localhost     server1

# The following lines are desirable for IPv6 capable hosts
::1     localhost ip6-localhost ip6-loopback
ff02::1 ip6-allnodes
ff02::2 ip6-allrouters

Now run

echo > /etc/hostname
/etc/init.d/ start

Afterwards, run

hostname -f

It is important that both show now!


7 Update Your Debian Installation

First make sure that your /etc/apt/sources.list contains the wheezy-updates repository (this makes sure you always get the newest updates for the ClamAV virus scanner - this project publishes releases very often, and sometimes old versions stop working), and that the contrib and non-free repositories are enabled (some packages such as libapache2-mod-fastcgi are not in the main repository).

vi /etc/apt/sources.list
deb wheezy main contrib non-free
deb-src wheezy main contrib non-free

deb wheezy/updates main contrib non-free
deb-src wheezy/updates main contrib non-free

# wheezy-updates, previously known as 'volatile'
deb wheezy-updates main contrib non-free
deb-src wheezy-updates main contrib non-free


apt-get update

to update the apt package database and

apt-get upgrade

to install the latest updates (if there are any).


8 Change The Default Shell

/bin/sh is a symlink to /bin/dash, however we need /bin/bash, not /bin/dash. Therefore we do this:

dpkg-reconfigure dash

Use dash as the default system shell (/bin/sh)? <- no

If you don't do this, the ISPConfig installation will fail.


9 Synchronize the System Clock

It is a good idea to synchronize the system clock with an NTP (network time protocol) server over the Internet. Simply run

apt-get install ntp ntpdate

and your system time will always be in sync.


10 Install Postfix, Dovecot, MySQL, phpMyAdmin, rkhunter, binutils

We can install Postfix, Dovecot, MySQL, rkhunter, and binutils with a single command:

apt-get install postfix postfix-mysql postfix-doc mysql-client mysql-server openssl getmail4 rkhunter binutils dovecot-imapd dovecot-pop3d dovecot-mysql dovecot-sieve sudo

You will be asked the following questions:

General type of mail configuration: <-- Internet Site
System mail name: <--
New password for the MySQL "root" user: <-- yourrootsqlpassword
Repeat password for the MySQL "root" user: <-- yourrootsqlpassword

Next open the TLS/SSL and submission ports in Postfix:

vi /etc/postfix/

Uncomment the submission and smtps sections as follows (leave -o milter_macro_daemon_name=ORIGINATING as we don't need it):

submission inet n       -       -       -       -       smtpd
  -o syslog_name=postfix/submission
  -o smtpd_tls_security_level=encrypt
  -o smtpd_sasl_auth_enable=yes
  -o smtpd_client_restrictions=permit_sasl_authenticated,reject
#  -o milter_macro_daemon_name=ORIGINATING
smtps     inet  n       -       -       -       -       smtpd
  -o syslog_name=postfix/smtps
  -o smtpd_tls_wrappermode=yes
  -o smtpd_sasl_auth_enable=yes
  -o smtpd_client_restrictions=permit_sasl_authenticated,reject
#  -o milter_macro_daemon_name=ORIGINATING

Restart Postfix afterwards:

/etc/init.d/postfix restart

We want MySQL to listen on all interfaces, not just localhost, therefore we edit /etc/mysql/my.cnf and comment out the line bind-address =

vi /etc/mysql/my.cnf
# Instead of skip-networking the default is now to listen only on
# localhost which is more compatible and is not less secure.
#bind-address           =

Then we restart MySQL:

/etc/init.d/mysql restart

Now check that networking is enabled. Run

netstat -tap | grep mysql

The output should look like this:

[email protected]:~# netstat -tap | grep mysql
tcp        0      0 *:mysql                 *:*                     LISTEN      26757/mysqld
[email protected]:~#


11 Install Amavisd-new, SpamAssassin, And Clamav

To install amavisd-new, SpamAssassin, and ClamAV, we run

apt-get install amavisd-new spamassassin clamav clamav-daemon zoo unzip bzip2 arj nomarch lzop cabextract apt-listchanges libnet-ldap-perl libauthen-sasl-perl clamav-docs daemon libio-string-perl libio-socket-ssl-perl libnet-ident-perl zip libnet-dns-perl

The ISPConfig 3 setup uses amavisd which loads the SpamAssassin filter library internally, so we can stop SpamAssassin to free up some RAM:

/etc/init.d/spamassassin stop
update-rc.d -f spamassassin remove
Share this page:

Suggested articles

15 Comment(s)

Add comment



I do everything excatly like described here in the tutorial. I was not able to send Mails. After some hours of searching, I found the solution:  

In Debian 7 /etc/postfix/ has this entry by default:

inet_interfaces = loopback-only

change this, with

inet_interfaces = all

Restart postfix, and you're able to send Mails.

By: Jan

I just installed a Debian 7.1 server (16.7.2013) and this is not needed anymore - it's fixed in an update.

Thanks to the OP though.


Mannnnnyyyyy THX suther,

 that was also my problem.... 

By: Anonymous

I can confirm this!

Clean install of Debian 7.0.

Then apt-get update &&  apt-get upgrade && apt-get dist-upgrade

 Then following The Perfect Server - Debian Wheezy (Apache2, BIND, Dovecot, ISPConfig 3)

Results in  inet_interfaces = loopback-only in /etc/postfix/, which prohibits all incoming emails and causes hours of troubleshooting.

This guide needs to be updated.

By: insink71

As of 7.1 (Debian Wheezy), dependency based boot is used by default; so for example in step 11 of your tutorial, in lieu of:

update-rc.d -f spamassassin remove

you would use:

insserv -rf spamassasin

otherwise you get a lil message:

update-rc.d: using dependency based boot sequencing

and the init.rc isn't updated.



By: Jan

There is a typo the correct command is:

insserv -rf spamassassin

(one s is missing in OP)

By: Thomas CARTER

I had :
Clamav signatures not found in /var/lib/clamav ... failed!
Please retrieve them using freshclam ... failed!
Then run '/etc/init.d/clamav-daemon start' ... failed!

I ran freshclam and /etc/init.d/clamav-daemon start as suggested and it worked. 

By: The redbaron

You have to run in first this command line:


then check the log in /var/log/clamav/freshclam.log

 If it's work. you can run clamav without error in launching this command:

/etc/init.d/clamav-daemon start

That's all



PuTTY could be used after the Network Interfaces are set correctly and the Network were restarted. It wasn't work for me as suggested after point 4 were completed.

By: Gandalf4711

If you may encounter problems in Debian 7 at mySQL restart like:

/usr/bin/mysql: Unknown OS character set 'ISO-8859-15'.
/usr/bin/mysql: Switching to the default character set 'latin1'.

you probably configured your locales with @Euro ....

Fill in the following in the /etc/mysql/debian.cnf file, in the client part:


Then restart mysql....


Hey Gandalf. You missed installation of char-sets before you installed mysql.

Try this...

dpkg-reconfigure locales
export LC_ALL=en_US.UTF-8
update-locale LC_ALL="en_US.UTF-8"


In Debian 7.3 Wheezy the sources.list is set by default:
deb wheezy main non-free contrib
deb-src wheezy main non-free contrib

deb wheezy/updates main contrib non-free
deb-src wheezy/updates main contrib non-free

# wheezy-updates, previously known as 'volatile'
deb wheezy-updates main contrib non-free
deb-src wheezy-updates main contrib non-free




On fresh installation of Debian Wheezy 7.3, we need to comment out the DVD source in source.list, or we will get this message:
[email protected]:/tmp# apt-get install ntp ntpdate
Reading package lists... Done
Do you want to continue [Y/n]? y
Media change: please insert the disc labeled
 'Debian GNU/Linux 7.3.0 _Wheezy_ - Official amd64 DVD Binary-1 20131215-04:56'
in the drive '/media/cdrom/' and press enter


System mail name: <--
 should be:
System mail name: <--
because postfix as for FQDN of the system, not server name. 

By: admin

The tutorial is correct. You have to enter here. If you would use , then the mail System will fail later as you cant use  for mailboxes in ispconfig as all mailboxes are virtual postfix domains and a domain in postfix may not be lisetd as virtual domain and system domain.