The Perfect Server - OpenSUSE 12.3 x86_64 (nginx, Dovecot, ISPConfig 3)

This tutorial shows how to prepare an OpenSUSE 12.3 64bit (x86_64) server with nginx for the installation of ISPConfig 3, and how to install ISPConfig 3. Since version 3.0.4, ISPConfig comes with full support for the nginx web server in addition to Apache, and this tutorial covers the setup of a server that uses nginx instead of Apache. ISPConfig 3 is a webhosting control panel that allows you to configure the following services through a web browser: nginx and Apache web server, Postfix mail server, MySQL, Dovecot POP3/IMAP, BIND or MyDNS nameserver, PureFTPd, SpamAssassin, ClamAV, and many more.

If you want to use nginx instead of Apache with ISPConfig, please note that your nginx version must be at least 0.8.21, and you must install PHP-FPM as well. For CGI/Perl support, you must use fcgiwrap. This is all covered by this tutorial.

I will use the following software:

  • Web Server: nginx with PHP 5
  • Database Server: MySQL
  • Mail Server: Postfix with virtual users
  • DNS Server: BIND
  • FTP Server: pureftpd
  • POP3/IMAP: Dovecot
  • Webalizer and AWStats for web site statistics

In the end you should have a system that works reliably and is easily manageable with the ISPConfig 3 control panel. The following guide is for the 64bit version of OpenSUSE.

I want to say first that this is not the only way of setting up such a system. There are many ways of achieving this goal but this is the way I take. I do not issue any guarantee that this will work for you!

Notice: This guide is for ISPConfig 3.0.4 or newer. It is not suitable for ISPConfig 2.x!


1 Requirements

To install such a system you will need the following:


2 Preliminary Note

In this tutorial I use the hostname with the IP address and the gateway These settings might differ for you, so you have to replace them where appropriate.


3 The Base System

Boot from your OpenSUSE 12.3 DVD and select Installation:

Select your language, keyboard layout and accept the license terms:

The installer analyzes your hardware and builds the software repository cache:

Select New Installation:

Select the region and timezone:

We select Other > Minimal Server Selection (Text Mode) here as we want to install a server without X-Window desktop. The X-Window system is not necessary to run the server and would slow down the system. We will do all administration tasks on the shell or through an SSH connection, e.g. via PuTTY from a remote desktop.

Click on Edit Partition Setup... to change the proposed partitions. As this is a server setup, we need a large /srv partition instead of the /home partition:

Select /dev/sda3 and click on Edit & Change the Mount Point to /srv and click on Finish:

Click on Accept:

Click on Next

Now I create a user named administrator. You may use any username you like. Make sure that you disable the Automatic Login checkbox for this user. The password that you enter here will be used as the root password:

The installer shows an overview of the selected install options. Scroll down to the Firewall and SSH section and enable SSH...

... and then disable the firewall (ISPConfig 3 comes with its own firewall):

Click on Install to start the installation process and Confirm that you want to start the installation::

The installer formats the hard disk, installs the software packages and prepares the system configuration for the first boot:

After the basic installation is finished, the system will do an automatic reboot & the automatic configuration starts right after the system has rebooted:

Now log in with the username root and the password that you selected during the installation.


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