ISPConfig 3.1: Automated installation on Debian and Ubuntu

As you might know, ISPConfig is one of the best free open source hosting control panels available to manage Linux hosting servers in single and multi-server environments.

With version 3.1, a lot of great features were introduced, you can get a full list there at

Today you will see how to deploy and install this amazing control panel with the ispconfig_setup script. This script is available for free on GitHub at, developed and maintained free from Servisys by Matteo Temporini with the help of the community.

The script works on many Linux distributions:

  • Debian 7
  • Debian 8
  • Ubuntu 14.10
  • Ubuntu 15.10
  • Ubuntu 16.04
  • Centos 7

In this article we'll see how to use it to on Ubuntu 16.04 (16.10 will be supported very very soon...).


There are some prerequisites needed to use this script:

  • The installation works only on a fresh installed (empty) server, so if you already had installed something (like Apache, MySql or something else needed by ISPConfig) the install script may not work, or cause strange things.
  • For the installation of the server, before you start, i'll sugget you to follow this guide
  • A working internet connection on your server.

Download and preparation

Now we download and decompress the files needed for the installation, to do so, we execute the following commands as root user:

apt-get update && apt-get -y upgrade
apt-get install -y unzip
cd /tmp
wget --no-check-certificate -O installer.tgz ""
tar zxvf installer.tgz
cd *ispconfig*

Now you have a folder called servisys-ispconfig_setup-SOMETHING in your /tmp directory, SOMETHING will change in form of the version number you are using, but do not bother about that.

ISPConfig 3.1 Installation

Now it's time to install our ISPConfig control panel with the autoinstall script. The script has two install modes: the standard mode and the expert mode.

The two modes are similar, the main difference is that in standard mode the ISPConfig installation is completely unattended, with the expert mode you can configure your ISPConfig for special environments like a multiserver setup, mirror or to select only some services to be configured.

In the standard setup the following components will be installed:

  • Web Server (Apache or Nginx)
  • FTP server (with pureftpd)
  • DNS Server (bind9)
  • MySQL server as database server
  • Awstats for statistics purpose
  • Clamavd for antivirus
  • Let's encrypt for certificate generation
  • IMAP and POP3 (with courier or dovecot)
  • webmail (with RoundCube or squirellmail)
  • ... and obviously ISPConfig

Let's start with the common commands for both modes, then we follow the install process from both modes.

At this point, the process shoul already be started, we can see now the following output

Welcome to ISPConfig Setup Script v.2.2.1
This software is developed by Temporini Matteo
with the support of the community.
You can visit my website at the followings URLS
and contact me with the following information
contact email/hangout: [email protected]
skype: matteo.temporini
ISPConfig 3 System installer

This script will do a nearly unattended intallation of
all software needed to run ISPConfig 3.
When this script starts running, it'll keep going all the way
So before you continue, please make sure the following checklist is ok:

- This is a clean standard clean installation for supported systems
- Internet connection is working properly

The detected Linux Distribution is: Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS

Is this correct? (y/n)

At this point, the installation process checks your distribution to detect if the installed OS is compatible with the script, in my case, it will detect Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS.

If it's correct for you press 'y', and now you'll be asked some question before the automated install process will start. If you don't know the answer to a question then choose the default by just hitting enter.

  • You will be asked for the Mysql version: Mysql o Mariadb
  • You will be asked for the MySql password
  • Next, you have to choose between Apache and Nginx
  • Next, you will be asked for Xcache (compression system for PHP)
  • Next, you will be asked for the PHPMyAdmin installation
  • Next, you have to choose between mail server type dovecot or courier
  • Next, you have to choose to update virus definition (recommend to say yes)
  • Next, you have to choose to enable or not quota (recommend to say yes)
  • The last thing at this chapter is standard or expert mode installation

Standard mode

So we choose standard mode installation, the fastest and most easy way to install ISPConfig in a single server setup with all features enabled.

In case that you don't know what to respond to a question, simply hit enter, the defaults are good in most cases.

  • Next you have to choose to install Jailkit (attention: Jailkit as normal installation, could only be installed now)
  • Next you have to write data for you SSL certificate for ispconfig: Country, State, Locality, Organization, Organization Unit
  • Next you'll be asked for SSL Configuration: Country, STATE, Locality, Organization, Organization Unit

Now you can go to take a coffee and relax, waiting for the install process to finish.

When everything is installed you can see something similar on the console:

Checking internet connection... OK

Installing pre-required packages
whiptail found: OK

Updating apt and upgrading currently installed packages... [DONE]

Installing basic packages...
Lettura elenco dei pacchetti...
Generazione albero delle dipendenze...
Lettura informazioni sullo stato...
Il pacchetto "apparmor-utils" non è installato e quindi non è stato rimosso
I seguenti pacchetti saranno RIMOSSI:
apparmor liblxc1 lxc-common lxd snapd ubuntu-core-launcher
0 aggiornati, 0 installati, 6 da rimuovere e 0 non aggiornati.
Dopo quest'operazione, verranno liberati 53,5 MB di spazio su disco.
(Lettura del database... 91867 file e directory attualmente installati.) (Lettura del database...
Rimozione di snapd (2.15.2ubuntu1)...
Warning: Stopping snapd.service, but it can still be activated by:
Rimozione di ubuntu-core-launcher (
Rimozione di lxd (2.0.4-0ubuntu1~ubuntu16.04.1)...
Warning: Stopping lxd.service, but it can still be activated by:
Rimozione di lxc-common (2.0.4-0ubuntu1~ubuntu16.04.2)...
Rimozione di apparmor (2.10.95-0ubuntu2.2)...
Rimozione di liblxc1 (2.0.4-0ubuntu1~ubuntu16.04.2)...
Elaborazione dei trigger per man-db (2.7.5-1)...
Elaborazione dei trigger per libc-bin (2.23-0ubuntu3)...
Reconfigure dash... [DONE]

Installing MySQL... [DONE]

Installing Apache and Modules... [DONE]

Installing PHP and Modules... [DONE]

Installing needed Programs for PHP and Apache... [DONE]

Attention: When asked 'Configure database for phpmyadmin with dbconfig-common?' select 'NO'
Due to a bug in dbconfig-common, this can't be automated.
Press ENTER to continue...

Due to a bug in dbconfig-common we can't automate the PHPMyAdmin installation for now. Hit 'enter' and on the next question select 'NO' (attention because the default is 'YES').

One last question, is required to complete the installation.

As a new feature in ispconfig, native support for Let's encrypt as been introduced, wich allows you to create SSL certificate completely free and supported from all major browser.

To complete the installation of the script certbot you will be prompted with this warning message:

Elaborazione dei trigger per libc-bin (2.23-0ubuntu3)...
Attention: answer no to next Question Dialog
Press ENTER to continue...

After hit "enter" and waiting for some package to be installed you'll be asked for

Letsencrypt screen

Here select "no".

After some time the Ispconfig 3.1 will start install and ask for Mysql Port and Admin password.

You can both times hit enter, or change if you want. In future ispconfig releases, this question will be removed so you can skip this questions.

Expert mode

The only difference with the standard mode is the ISPconfig installation script, that is not automated yet and has to be run manually. As mentioned before, this is necessary for multiserver setups, single server setups that run just some services and cluster setups.

For detailed installation process of ISPConfig, you can refer to the following article

Multiserver and cluster setup considerations

This kind of configuration has been implemented in this script, but for now, they are working only for Debian 8, and no other distributions.

For installation and use you need to have two server,s from where to run this script.

Final consideration

After everything is installed, you can check for errors or strange things with the command

cat /var/log/ispconfig_setup.log

As the script is in costant development any help or suggestion will be appreciated, you can follow us on GitHub at the url, or contact us on ISPconfig forum.

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10 Comment(s)

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From: Chris at: 2016-10-04 15:06:12

Great! Thanks a lot.

From: Alexandros Ioannides at: 2016-10-04 21:33:20

Very good work. However why install php5 instead of php7 in Ubuntu 16.04? (and PHP7-FPM for nginx setup).

Also, roundcube is missing with nginx setup.

From: Carras at: 2016-10-05 18:48:13

I was getting a 502 error untill I did "apt-get -y install php7.0-fpm".I'm with you, it should install php7-fpm on nginx setup.

From: Michael Kennedy at: 2016-10-05 01:49:02

Thank you for adding Ubuntu 16.04.  Saving me so much time.

From: MikySal78 at: 2016-10-05 20:30:53

ling Certbot-auto... /tmp/servisys-ispconfig_setup-cf9d1ed/distros/debian8/ riga 64: certbot-auto: comando non trovato

From: Steve at: 2016-10-07 23:04:23

Installing Certbot-auto... /tmp/servisys-ispconfig_setup-cf9d1ed/distros/debian8/ line 64: certbot-auto: command not found

Same here, bump!

From: Israel at: 2016-10-09 09:38:55

I found one bug. You have to enable client functions inside System > Remote users > Roundcube in order to enable functions like autoreply, change password, forwarding etc inside roundcube.

From: raykai at: 2016-10-15 00:46:40

Let's encrypt is just not working no matter what .... but does work on Debian 7 and 8

From: Jack at: 2016-10-20 07:21:43

Hi.  This is a great script and it saved me a ton of time.  Thanks so much for creating it.  However, when installing on Ubuntu 16.04LTS I get the following error:

Errors were encountered while processing:


Any ideas why that would be happening?

From: Jack at: 2016-10-20 07:23:10

I scrolled back through the install, and found these two error messages:

invoke-rc.d: initscript mysql, action "start" failed.

dpkg: error processing package mysql-server-5.7 (--configure):

 subprocess installed post-installation script returned error exit status 1

dpkg: dependency problems prevent configuration of mysql-server:

 mysql-server depends on mysql-server-5.7; however:

  Package mysql-server-5.7 is not configured yet.


dpkg: error processing package mysql-server (--configure):

 dependency problems - leaving unconfigured

Setting up php7.0-fpm (7.0.8-0ubuntu0.16.04.3) ...

invoke-rc.d: initscript php7.0-fpm, action "start" failed.

dpkg: error processing package php7.0-fpm (--configure):

 subprocess installed post-installation script returned error exit status 1

I am hosting with a container-based VPS provider.