The Perfect Server CentOS 8 with Apache, PHP, Postfix, Dovecot, Pure-FTPD, BIND and ISPConfig 3.2

This tutorial shows the installation of ISPConfig 3.2 on a CentOS 8 (64Bit) server. ISPConfig is a web hosting control panel that allows you to configure the following services through a web browser: Apache web server, PHP, Postfix mail server, MySQL, BIND nameserver, PureFTPd, SpamAssassin, ClamAV, Mailman, and many more.

1 Requirements

To install such a system you will need the following:

  • A Centos 8 minimal server system. This can be a server installed from scratch as described in our Centos 8 minimal server tutorial or a virtual-server or root-server from a hosting company that has a minimal Centos 8 setup installed.
  • A fast Internet connection.

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 Prepare the server

Set the keyboard layout

In case that the keyboard layout of the server does not match your keyboard, you can switch to the right keyboard (in my case "de" for a German keyboard layout, with the localectl command:

localectl set-keymap de

To get a list of all available keymaps, run:

localectl list-keymaps

I want to install ISPConfig at the end of this tutorial, ISPConfig ships with the Bastille firewall script that I will use as the firewall, therefor I disable the default CentOS firewall now. Of course, you are free to leave the CentOS firewall on and configure it to your needs (but then you shouldn't use any other firewall later on as it will most probably interfere with the CentOS firewall).


dnf -y install net-tools wget rsyslog curl
systemctl stop firewalld.service
systemctl disable firewalld.service

to stop and disable the CentOS firewall. It is ok when you get errors here, this just indicates that the firewall was not installed.

Then you should check that the firewall has really been disabled. To do so, run the command:

iptables -L

The output should look like this:

[root@server1 ~]# iptables -L
Chain INPUT (policy ACCEPT)
target prot opt source destination
Chain FORWARD (policy ACCEPT)
target prot opt source destination
Chain OUTPUT (policy ACCEPT)
target prot opt source destination

Or use the firewall-cmd command:

firewall-cmd --state
[root@server1 ~]# firewall-cmd --state
not running
[root@server1 ~]#

Now I will install the network configuration editor and the shell based editor "nano" that I will use in the next steps to edit the config files:

dnf -y install nano wget NetworkManager-tui yum-utils

If you did not configure your network card during the installation, you can do that now. Run...


... and go to Edit a connection:

Edit Network connection

Select your network interface:

Select network interface

Then fill in your network details - disable DHCP and fill in a static IP address, a netmask, your gateway, and one or two nameservers, then hit Ok:

Set netmask

Next select OK to confirm the changes that you made in the network settings

Confirm network settings

and Quit to close the nmtui network configuration tool.

Quit nmtui

You should run


now to check if the installer got your IP address right:

[root@server1 ~]# ifconfig
ens33: flags=4163<UP,BROADCAST,RUNNING,MULTICAST>  mtu 1500
        inet  netmask  broadcast
        inet6 fe80::20c:29ff:feee:b665  prefixlen 64  scopeid 0x20<link>
        inet6 2003:e1:bf22:1b00:20c:29ff:feee:b665  prefixlen 64  scopeid 0x0<global>
        ether 00:0c:29:ee:b6:65  txqueuelen 1000  (Ethernet)
        RX packets 2874  bytes 1369892 (1.3 MiB)
        RX errors 0  dropped 546  overruns 0  frame 0
        TX packets 968  bytes 160901 (157.1 KiB)
        TX errors 0  dropped 0 overruns 0  carrier 0  collisions 0
lo: flags=73<UP,LOOPBACK,RUNNING>  mtu 65536
        inet  netmask
        inet6 ::1  prefixlen 128  scopeid 0x10<host>
        loop  txqueuelen 1000  (Local Loopback)
        RX packets 0  bytes 0 (0.0 B)
        RX errors 0  dropped 0  overruns 0  frame 0
        TX packets 0  bytes 0 (0.0 B)
        TX errors 0  dropped 0 overruns 0  carrier 0  collisions 0

If your network card does not show up there, then it not be enabled on boot, In this case, open the file /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-eth0

nano /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-ens33

and set ONBOOT to yes:


and reboot the server.

Check your /etc/resolv.conf if it lists all nameservers that you've previously configured:

cat /etc/resolv.conf

If nameservers are missing, run


and add the missing nameservers again.

Now, on to the configuration...

Adjusting /etc/hosts and /etc/hostname

Next, we will edit /etc/hosts. Make it look like this:

nano /etc/hosts   localhost localhost.localdomain localhost4 localhost4.localdomain4 server1

::1 localhost localhost.localdomain localhost6 localhost6.localdomain6

Set the hostname in the /etc/hostname file. The file shall contain the fully qualified domain name (e.g. in my case) and not just the short name like "server1". Open the file with the nano editor:

nano /etc/hostname

And set the hostname in the file.

Save the file and exit nano.

Set SELinux to permissive

SELinux is a security extension of CentOS that should provide extended security. ISPConfig does not ship with an SELinux rule set, therefore I set it to permissive (this is a must if you want to install ISPConfig later on).

Edit /etc/selinux/config and set SELINUX=permissive:

nano /etc/selinux/config
# This file controls the state of SELinux on the system.
# SELINUX= can take one of these three values:
#     enforcing - SELinux security policy is enforced.
#     permissive - SELinux prints warnings instead of enforcing.
#     disabled - No SELinux policy is loaded.
# SELINUXTYPE= can take one of these two values:
#     targeted - Targeted processes are protected,
#     mls - Multi Level Security protection.

Afterwards we must reboot the system:


4 Enable Additional Repositories and Install Some Software

First, we import the GPG keys for software packages:

rpm --import /etc/pki/rpm-gpg/RPM-GPG-KEY*

Then we enable the EPEL repository on our CentOS system as lots of the packages that we are going to install in the course of this tutorial are not available in the official CentOS 8 repository:

dnf -y install epel-release

Activate Power Tools:

dnf config-manager --set-enabled powertools

Then we update our existing packages on the system:

dnf -y update

Now we install some software packages that are needed later on:

dnf -y groupinstall 'Development Tools'

5 Quota

(If you have chosen a different partitioning scheme than I did, you must adjust this chapter so that quota applies to the partitions where you need it.)

To install quota, we run this command:

dnf -y install quota

Now we check if the quota is already enabled for the file system where the website (/var/www) and Maildir data (var/vmail) is stored. In this example setup, I have one big root partition, so I search for ' / ':

mount | grep ' / '
[root@server1 ~]# mount | grep ' / '
/dev/mapper/centos-root on / type xfs (rw,relatime,attr2,inode64,noquota)
[root@server1 ~]#

If you have a separate /var partition, then use:

mount | grep ' /var '

instead. If the line contains the word "noquota", then proceed with the following steps to enable quota.

Enabling quota on the / (root) partition

Normally you would enable quota in the /etc/fstab file, but if the filesystem is the root filesystem "/", then quota has to be enabled by a boot parameter of the Linux Kernel.

Edit the grub configuration file:

nano /etc/default/grub

Search for the line that starts with GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX and add rootflags=uquota,gquota to the commandline parameters so that the resulting line looks like this:

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX="crashkernel=auto resume=/dev/mapper/cl-swap rootflags=uquota,gquota"

and apply the changes by running the following command.

cp /boot/grub2/grub.cfg /boot/grub2/grub.cfg_bak
grub2-mkconfig -o /boot/grub2/grub.cfg

and reboot the server.


Now check if quota is enabled:

mount | grep ' / '
[root@server1 ~]# mount | grep ' / '
/dev/mapper/centos-root on / type xfs (rw,relatime,attr2,inode64,usrquota,grpquota)
[root@server1 ~]#

When quota is active, we can see "usrquota,grpquota" in the mount option list.

Enabling quota on a separate /var partition

If you have a separate /var partition, then edit /etc/fstab and add ,uquota,gquota to the / partition (/dev/mapper/centos-var):

nano /etc/fstab

# /etc/fstab
# Created by anaconda on Sun Sep 21 16:33:45 2014
# Accessible filesystems, by reference, are maintained under '/dev/disk'
# See man pages fstab(5), findfs(8), mount(8) and/or blkid(8) for more info
/dev/mapper/centos-root / xfs defaults 1 1
/dev/mapper/centos-var /var xfs defaults,uquota,gquota 1 2
UUID=9ac06939-7e43-4efd-957a-486775edd7b4 /boot xfs defaults 1 3
/dev/mapper/centos-swap swap swap defaults 0 0

Then run

mount -o remount /var
quotacheck -avugm
quotaon -avug

to enable quota. When you get an error that there is no partition with quota enabled, then reboot the server before you proceed.

6 Install Apache, PHP, MySQL and phpMyAdmin

Enable the Remi repository to get newer PHP versions (currently PHP 7.4):

dnf install
dnf -y install yum-utils
dnf -y module reset php
dnf -y module install php:remi-7.4
dnf update

We can install the needed packages with one single command:

dnf -y install httpd mod_ssl mariadb-server php php-mysqlnd php-mbstring

To ensure that the server cannot be attacked through the HTTPOXY vulnerability, we will disable the HTTP_PROXY header in apache globally. 

Add the apache header rule at the end of the httpd.conf file:

echo "RequestHeader unset Proxy early" >> /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf

And restart httpd to apply the configuration change.

service httpd restart

Install phpMyAdmin:

cd /tmp
tar xzvf phpMyAdmin-5.0.2-all-languages.tar.gz
mkdir /usr/share/phpmyadmin
mv phpMyAdmin-5.0.2-all-languages/* /usr/share/phpmyadmin/
mkdir /usr/share/phpmyadmin/tmp
chown -R apache:apache /usr/share/phpmyadmin
chmod 777 /usr/share/phpmyadmin/tmp

Optional: Change the Apache MPM Module

CentOS 8 uses the Apache MPM Event module by default, this is good on one side, as it allows you to use HTTP/2 protocol. On the other hand, it does not allow you to use the apache mod_php module. In general, one should use PHP-FPM as default today and ISPConfig supports that. In case you need the old mod_php mode for compatibility reasons, then you can switch the Apache MPM like this:

nano /etc/httpd/conf.modules.d/00-mpm.conf

Add a # in front of the MPM event line so it looks like this:

# LoadModule mpm_event_module modules/

Then remove the # in from of the MPM Prefork line, so it looks like this:

LoadModule mpm_prefork_module modules/

Then restart httpd to apply the configuration change.

service httpd restart

7 Install Dovecot

Dovecot can be installed as follows:

dnf -y install dovecot dovecot-mysql dovecot-pigeonhole

Create an empty dovecot-sql.conf file and create symlinks:

touch /etc/dovecot/dovecot-sql.conf
ln -s /etc/dovecot/dovecot-sql.conf /etc/dovecot-sql.conf
ln -s /etc/dovecot/dovecot.conf /etc/dovecot.conf

Now create the system startup links and start Dovecot:

systemctl enable dovecot
systemctl start dovecot

8 Install Postfix

Postfix can be installed as follows:

dnf -y install postfix postfix-mysql

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

nano /etc/postfix/

Uncomment the submission and smtps sections as follows and add lines where necessary so that this section of the file looks exactly like the one below. IMPORTANT: Remove the # in front of the lines that start with smtps and submission too and not just from the -o lines after these lines!

submission inet n - 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 smtpd_reject_unlisted_recipient=no
# -o smtpd_client_restrictions=$mua_client_restrictions
# -o smtpd_helo_restrictions=$mua_helo_restrictions
# -o smtpd_sender_restrictions=$mua_sender_restrictions
# -o smtpd_recipient_restrictions=
# -o smtpd_relay_restrictions=permit_sasl_authenticated,reject
# -o milter_macro_daemon_name=ORIGINATING
smtps inet n - n - - smtpd
-o syslog_name=postfix/smtps
-o smtpd_tls_wrappermode=yes
-o smtpd_sasl_auth_enable=yes
-o smtpd_client_restrictions=permit_sasl_authenticated,reject
# -o smtpd_reject_unlisted_recipient=no
# -o smtpd_client_restrictions=$mua_client_restrictions
# -o smtpd_helo_restrictions=$mua_helo_restrictions
# -o smtpd_sender_restrictions=$mua_sender_restrictions
# -o smtpd_recipient_restrictions=
# -o smtpd_relay_restrictions=permit_sasl_authenticated,reject
# -o milter_macro_daemon_name=ORIGINATING

Then turn off Sendmail and start Postfix and MariaDB (MySQL):

systemctl enable mariadb.service
systemctl start mariadb.service
systemctl enable postfix.service
systemctl restart postfix.service

We disable sendmail to ensure that it does not get started in case it is installed on your server. So the error message "Failed to issue method call: Unit sendmail.service not loaded." can be ignored.

To enable support for old/outdated devices, run this command (optional, only use when you want old mail devices to connect as it weakens the SSL/TLS setup by allowing less secure ciphers):

update-crypto-policies --set LEGACY

9 Install Getmail

Getmail can be installed as follows:

dnf install python2
cd /tmp
tar xvfz getmail-5.14.tar.gz
cd getmail-5.14
python2 build
python2 install

10 Set MySQL Passwords and Configure phpMyAdmin

Set passwords for the MySQL root account:

[root@server1 tmp]# mysql_secure_installation

In order to log into MariaDB to secure it, we'll need the current
password for the root user. If you've just installed MariaDB, and
you haven't set the root password yet, the password will be blank,
so you should just press enter here.
Enter current password for root (enter for none):
OK, successfully used password, moving on...
Setting the root password ensures that nobody can log into the MariaDB
root user without the proper authorisation.

Set root password? [Y/n]
 <-- ENTER
New password: <-- yourrootsqlpassword
Re-enter new password: <-- yourrootsqlpassword
Password updated successfully!
Reloading privilege tables..
 ... Success!

By default, a MariaDB installation has an anonymous user, allowing anyone
to log into MariaDB without having to have a user account created for
them. This is intended only for testing, and to make the installation
go a bit smoother. You should remove them before moving into a
production environment.

Remove anonymous users? [Y/n]
 <-- ENTER
 ... Success!

Normally, root should only be allowed to connect from 'localhost'.  This
ensures that someone cannot guess at the root password from the network.

Disallow root login remotely? [Y/n]
 <-- ENTER
 ... Success!

By default, MariaDB comes with a database named 'test' that anyone can
access. This is also intended only for testing, and should be removed
before moving into a production environment.

Remove test database and access to it? [Y/n]
 <-- ENTER
 - Dropping test database...
 ... Success!
 - Removing privileges on test database...
 ... Success!

Reloading the privilege tables will ensure that all changes made so far
will take effect immediately.

Reload privilege tables now? [Y/n]
 <-- ENTER
 ... Success!

Cleaning up...

All done! If you've completed all of the above steps, your MariaDB
installation should now be secure.

Thanks for using MariaDB!

[root@server1 tmp]#

Now we configure phpMyAdmin. Create this phpMyAdmin configuration file:

nano /etc/httpd/conf.d/phpmyadmin.conf

Add this content to the file:

# phpMyAdmin - Web based MySQL browser written in php
# Allows only localhost by default
# But allowing phpMyAdmin to anyone other than localhost should be considered
# dangerous unless properly secured by SSL

Alias /phpMyAdmin /usr/share/phpmyadmin
Alias /phpmyadmin /usr/share/phpmyadmin

<Directory /usr/share/phpmyadmin/>
   <IfModule mod_authz_core.c>
     # Apache 2.4
  #  <RequireAny>
     #  Require ip
     #  Require ip ::1
  #  </RequireAny>
   <IfModule !mod_authz_core.c>
     # Apache 2.2
     Order Deny,Allow
     Deny from All
     Allow from
     Allow from ::1

Next, we change the authentication in phpMyAdmin from cookie to http:

cp -pf /usr/share/phpmyadmin/ /usr/share/phpmyadmin/
nano /usr/share/phpmyadmin/
/* Authentication type */
$cfg['Servers'][$i]['auth_type'] = 'http';

Then we create the system startup links for Apache and start it:

systemctl enable httpd
systemctl restart httpd

Now you can direct your browser to or and log in with the user name root and your new root MySQL password.

11 Install Amavisd-new, SpamAssassin, ClamAV, and Postgrey

To install amavisd-new, SpamAssassin and ClamAV, run the following command:

dnf -y install amavisd-new spamassassin clamav-server clamav-data clamav-update clamav-filesystem clamav clamav-scanner-systemd clamav-devel clamav-lib clamav-server-systemd unzip bzip2 perl-DBD-mysql postgrey re2c

Then we start freshclam, amavisd, and clamd.amavisd:

systemctl enable amavisd.service
systemctl start amavisd.service
systemctl start [email protected]
systemctl enable postgrey.service
systemctl start postgrey.service

In the next step, we configure postgrey. Open the file /etc/sysconfig/postgrey in an editor:

nano /etc/sysconfig/postgrey

and change the line:




Save the file and restart postgrey:

service postgrey restart

To configure amavisd, edit the file /etc/clamd.d/amavisd.conf:

nano /etc/clamd.d/amavisd.conf

and change the line:

LocalSocket /run/clamd.amavisd/clamd.sock


LocalSocket /var/spool/amavisd/clamd.sock

Save the changed configuration file and restart ClamAV:

systemctl restart [email protected]

Now we have to create a system unit for the freshclam service. Create a new file /usr/lib/systemd/system/freshclam.service:

nano /usr/lib/systemd/system/freshclam.service

and enter the following content into that file:

Description = ClamAV Scanner
After =

Type = forking
# if you want to scan more than one in a day change the number 1 with your desired number in below line.
ExecStart = /usr/bin/freshclam -d -c 1
Restart = on-failure
PrivateTmp =true


Save the file and then enable and start the service.

systemctl enable freshclam.service
systemctl start freshclam.service
systemctl status freshclam.service

12 Installing Apache with mod_php, mod_fcgi/PHP, PHP-FPM

ISPConfig 3 allows you to use mod_php, mod_fcgi/PHP, cgi/PHP, and PHP-FPM on a per website basis.

We can install Apache2 with mod_php, mod_fcgid, and PHP as follows:

dnf -y install php php-devel php-gd php-imap php-ldap php-mysql php-odbc php-pear php-xml php-xmlrpc php-pecl-apc php-mbstring php-mcrypt php-snmp php-soap php-tidy curl curl-devel perl-libwww-perl ImageMagick libxml2 libxml2-devel mod_fcgid php-cli httpd-devel php-fpm php-intl php-imagick php-pspell wget

Next, we open /etc/php.ini...

nano /etc/php.ini

... and change the error reporting (so that notices aren't shown any longer), set the timezone and uncomment cgi.fix_pathinfo=1:

;error_reporting = E_ALL & ~E_DEPRECATED
error_reporting = E_ALL & ~E_NOTICE & ~E_DEPRECATED & ~E_STRICT
; cgi.fix_pathinfo provides *real* PATH_INFO/PATH_TRANSLATED support for CGI.  PHP's
; previous behaviour was to set PATH_TRANSLATED to SCRIPT_FILENAME, and to not grok
; what PATH_INFO is.  For more information on PAppp.tldTH_INFO, see the cgi specs.  Setting
; this to 1 will cause PHP CGI to fix its paths to conform to the spec.  A setting
; of zero causes PHP to behave as before.  Default is 1.  You should fix your scripts
date.timezone = 'Europe/Berlin' [...]

Enable httpd and PHP-FPM to get started at boot time and start the PHP-FPM service.

systemctl start php-fpm.service
systemctl enable php-fpm.service
systemctl enable httpd.service

Finally, we restart Apache:

systemctl restart httpd.service

Now we will add support for Let's encrypt. ISPConfig is using now as Let's Encrypt client. Install using the following command:

curl | sh -s

13 Installation of mod_python

The Apache module mod_python is not available as RPM package, therefore we will compile it from source. The first step is to install the python development files and download the current mod_python version as .tar.gz file

dnf -y install python3-devel
cd /usr/local/src/
tar xfz mod_python-3.5.0.tgz
cd mod_python-3.5.0

and then configure and compile the module.

./configure --with-python=/usr/bin/python3

There is an error in the compiled module that will cause the installation to fail with the error "version = "fatal: Not a git repository (or any of the parent directories): .git". To fix that, run this sed command (the command is one line!).

sed -e 's/(git describe --always)/(git describe --always 2>\/dev\/null)/g' -e 's/`git describe --always`/`git describe --always 2>\/dev\/null`/g' -i $( find . -type f -name Makefile\* -o -name )

Then install the module with this command.

make install

and enable the module in Apache:

echo 'LoadModule python_module modules/' > /etc/httpd/conf.modules.d/10-python.conf
systemctl restart httpd.service

14 Install PureFTPd

PureFTPd can be installed with the following command:

dnf -y install pure-ftpd

Then create the system startup links and start PureFTPd:

systemctl enable pure-ftpd.service
systemctl start pure-ftpd.service

Now we configure PureFTPd to allow FTP and TLS sessions. FTP is a very insecure protocol because all passwords and all data are transferred in clear text. By using TLS, the whole communication can be encrypted, thus making FTP much more secure.

OpenSSL is needed by TLS; to install OpenSSL, we simply run:

dnf install openssl

Open /etc/pure-ftpd/pure-ftpd.conf...

nano /etc/pure-ftpd/pure-ftpd.conf

If you want to allow FTP and TLS sessions, set TLS to 1 by removing the # in front of the TLS line. It is highly recommended to enable TLS.

# This option can accept three values :
# 0 : disable SSL/TLS encryption layer (default).
# 1 : accept both traditional and encrypted sessions.
# 2 : refuse connections that don't use SSL/TLS security mechanisms,
#     including anonymous sessions.
# Do _not_ uncomment this blindly. Be sure that :
# 1) Your server has been compiled with SSL/TLS support (--with-tls),
# 2) A valid certificate is in place,
# 3) Only compatible clients will log in.

TLS                      1

In order to use TLS, we must create an SSL certificate. I create it in /etc/ssl/private/, therefore I create that directory first:

mkdir -p /etc/ssl/private/

Afterward, we can generate the SSL certificate as follows:

openssl req -x509 -nodes -days 7300 -newkey rsa:2048 -keyout /etc/ssl/private/pure-ftpd.pem -out /etc/ssl/private/pure-ftpd.pem

Country Name (2 letter code) [XX]: <-- Enter your Country Name (e.g., "DE").
State or Province Name (full name) []:
<-- Enter your State or Province Name.
Locality Name (eg, city) [Default City]:
<-- Enter your City.
Organization Name (eg, company) [Default Company Ltd]:
<-- Enter your Organization Name (e.g., the name of your company).
Organizational Unit Name (eg, section) []:
<-- Enter your Organizational Unit Name (e.g. "IT Department").
Common Name (eg, your name or your server's hostname) []:
<-- Enter the Fully Qualified Domain Name of the system (e.g. "").
Email Address []:
<-- Enter your Email Address.

Change the permissions of the SSL certificate:

chmod 600 /etc/ssl/private/pure-ftpd.pem

Create a DHParam file:

openssl dhparam -out /etc/ssl/private/pure-ftpd-dhparams.pem 2048

Finally, restart PureFTPd:

systemctl restart pure-ftpd.service

That's it. You can now try to connect using your FTP client; however, you should configure your FTP client to use TLS.

15 Install BIND

We can install BIND as follows:

dnf -y install bind bind-utils haveged

Make a backup of the existing /etc/named.conf file and create a new one as follows:

cp /etc/named.conf /etc/named.conf_bak
cat /dev/null > /etc/named.conf
nano /etc/named.conf
// named.conf
// Provided by Red Hat bind package to configure the ISC BIND named(8) DNS
// server as a caching only nameserver (as a localhost DNS resolver only).
// See /usr/share/doc/bind*/sample/ for example named configuration files.
options {
        listen-on port 53 { any; };
        listen-on-v6 port 53 { any; };
        directory       "/var/named";
        dump-file       "/var/named/data/cache_dump.db";
        statistics-file "/var/named/data/named_stats.txt";
        memstatistics-file "/var/named/data/named_mem_stats.txt";
        allow-query     { any; };
				allow-recursion {"none";};
        recursion no;
logging {
        channel default_debug {
                file "data/";
                severity dynamic;
zone "." IN {
        type hint;
        file "";
include "/etc/named.conf.local";

Create the file /etc/named.conf.local that is included at the end of /etc/named.conf (/etc/named.conf.local will later on get populated by ISPConfig if you create DNS zones in ISPConfig):

touch /etc/named.conf.local

Then we create the startup links and start BIND:

systemctl enable named.service
systemctl start named.service
systemctl enable haveged.service
systemctl start haveged.service

16 Install AWStats

AWStats can be installed as follows:

dnf -y install awstats perl-DateTime-Format-HTTP perl-DateTime-Format-Builder

The alternative web statistics application 'webalizer' is not available for CentOS 8 anymore, so you will only be able to use AWStats.

17 Install Jailkit

Jailkit is used to chroot SSH users and cronjobs. It can be installed as follows:

ln -s /usr/bin/python2 /usr/bin/python
cd /tmp
tar xvfz jailkit-2.21.tar.gz
cd jailkit-2.21
make install
cd ..
rm -rf jailkit-2.21*

18 Install Fail2Ban

This is optional but recommended, because the ISPConfig monitor tries to show the log.

dnf -y install iptables-services fail2ban fail2ban-systemd
systemctl stop firewalld.service
systemctl mask firewalld.service
systemctl disable firewalld.service

Next we create the /etc/fail2ban/jail.local file and enable monitoring for ssh, email and ftp service.

nano /etc/fail2ban/jail.local

Add the following content to the jail.local file:

enabled = true
action = iptables[name=sshd, port=ssh, protocol=tcp]

enabled = true
action = iptables[name=FTP, port=ftp, protocol=tcp]
maxretry = 3

enabled = true
action = iptables-multiport[name=dovecot, port="pop3,pop3s,imap,imaps", protocol=tcp]
maxretry = 5

enabled = true
action = iptables-multiport[name=postfix-sasl, port="smtp,smtps,submission", protocol=tcp]
maxretry = 3

Then create the system startup links for fail2ban and start it:

systemctl enable fail2ban.service
systemctl start fail2ban.service

19 Install rkhunter

rkhunter can be installed as follows:

dnf -y install rkhunter

20 Install Mailman

If you like to manage mailing lists with Mailman on your server, then install mailman now. Mailman is supported by ISPConfig, so you will be able to create new mailing lists trough ISPConfig later.

dnf -y install mailman

Before we can start Mailman, a first mailing list called mailman must be created:

touch /var/lib/mailman/data/aliases
postmap /var/lib/mailman/data/aliases
/usr/lib/mailman/bin/newlist mailman
ln -s /usr/lib/mailman/mail/mailman /usr/bin/mailman

[root@server1 tmp]# /usr/lib/mailman/bin/newlist mailman
Enter the email of the person running the list:
 <-- admin email address, e.g. [email protected]
Initial mailman password: <-- admin password for the mailman list
To finish creating your mailing list, you must edit your /etc/aliases (or
equivalent) file by adding the following lines, and possibly running the
`newaliases' program:

## mailman mailing list
mailman:              "|/usr/lib/mailman/mail/mailman post mailman"
mailman-admin:        "|/usr/lib/mailman/mail/mailman admin mailman"
mailman-bounces:      "|/usr/lib/mailman/mail/mailman bounces mailman"
mailman-confirm:      "|/usr/lib/mailman/mail/mailman confirm mailman"
mailman-join:         "|/usr/lib/mailman/mail/mailman join mailman"
mailman-leave:        "|/usr/lib/mailman/mail/mailman leave mailman"
mailman-owner:        "|/usr/lib/mailman/mail/mailman owner mailman"
mailman-request:      "|/usr/lib/mailman/mail/mailman request mailman"
mailman-subscribe:    "|/usr/lib/mailman/mail/mailman subscribe mailman"
mailman-unsubscribe:  "|/usr/lib/mailman/mail/mailman unsubscribe mailman"

Hit enter to notify mailman owner...
 <-- ENTER

[root@server1 tmp]#

Open /etc/aliases afterwards...

nano /etc/aliases

... and add the following lines:

mailman:              "|/usr/lib/mailman/mail/mailman post mailman"
mailman-admin:        "|/usr/lib/mailman/mail/mailman admin mailman"
mailman-bounces:      "|/usr/lib/mailman/mail/mailman bounces mailman"
mailman-confirm:      "|/usr/lib/mailman/mail/mailman confirm mailman"
mailman-join:         "|/usr/lib/mailman/mail/mailman join mailman"
mailman-leave:        "|/usr/lib/mailman/mail/mailman leave mailman"
mailman-owner:        "|/usr/lib/mailman/mail/mailman owner mailman"
mailman-request:      "|/usr/lib/mailman/mail/mailman request mailman"
mailman-subscribe:    "|/usr/lib/mailman/mail/mailman subscribe mailman"
mailman-unsubscribe:  "|/usr/lib/mailman/mail/mailman unsubscribe mailman"



afterwards and restart Postfix:

systemctl restart postfix.service

Now open the Mailman Apache configuration file /etc/httpd/conf.d/mailman.conf...

nano /etc/httpd/conf.d/mailman.conf

... and add the line ScriptAlias /cgi-bin/mailman/ /usr/lib/mailman/cgi-bin/. Comment out Alias /pipermail/ /var/lib/mailman/archives/public/ and add the line Alias /pipermail /var/lib/mailman/archives/public/:

#  httpd configuration settings for use with mailman.

ScriptAlias /mailman/ /usr/lib/mailman/cgi-bin/
ScriptAlias /cgi-bin/mailman/ /usr/lib/mailman/cgi-bin/
<Directory /usr/lib/mailman/cgi-bin/>
    AllowOverride None
    Options ExecCGI
    Order allow,deny
    Allow from all

#Alias /pipermail/ /var/lib/mailman/archives/public/
Alias /pipermail /var/lib/mailman/archives/public/
<Directory /var/lib/mailman/archives/public>
    Options Indexes MultiViews FollowSymLinks
    AllowOverride None
    Order allow,deny
    Allow from all
    AddDefaultCharset Off

# Uncomment the following line, to redirect queries to /mailman to the
# listinfo page (recommended).

# RedirectMatch ^/mailman[/]*$ /mailman/listinfo

Restart Apache:

systemctl restart httpd.service

Create the system startup links for Mailman and start it:

systemctl enable mailman.service
systemctl start mailman.service

After you have installed ISPConfig 3, you can access Mailman as follows:

You can use the alias /cgi-bin/mailman for all Apache vhosts (please note that suExec and CGI must be disabled for all vhosts from which you want to access Mailman!), which means you can access the Mailman admin interface for a list at http://<vhost>/cgi-bin/mailman/admin/<listname>, and the web page for users of a mailing list can be found at http://<vhost>/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/<listname>.

Under http://<vhost>/pipermail/<listname> you can find the mailing list archives.

21 Install Roundcube webmail

To install the RoundCube webmail client, download the latest version with wget to the /tmp folder:

cd /tmp

Unpack the tar.gz archive and move the RoundCube source to /usr/share/roundcubemail

tar xfz roundcubemail-1.4.3-complete.tar.gz
mkdir /usr/share/roundcubemail
mv /tmp/roundcubemail-1.4.3/* /usr/share/roundcubemail/
chown -R root:root /usr/share/roundcubemail
chown apache /usr/share/roundcubemail/temp
chown apache /usr/share/roundcubemail/logs

Create a roundcubemail.conf configuration file with nano editor:

nano /etc/httpd/conf.d/roundcubemail.conf

And add the following content to that file:

# Round Cube Webmail is a browser-based multilingual IMAP client

Alias /roundcubemail /usr/share/roundcubemail
Alias /webmail /usr/share/roundcubemail # Define who can access the Webmail # You can enlarge permissions once configured <Directory /usr/share/roundcubemail/> Options none AllowOverride Limit Require all granted </Directory> # Define who can access the installer # keep this secured once configured <Directory /usr/share/roundcubemail/installer> Options none AllowOverride Limit Require all granted </Directory> # Those directories should not be viewed by Web clients. <Directory /usr/share/roundcubemail/bin/> Order Allow,Deny Deny from all </Directory> <Directory /usr/share/roundcubemail/plugins/enigma/home/> Order Allow,Deny Deny from all </Directory>

Restart Apache:

systemctl restart httpd.service

Now we need a database for RoundCube mail, we will initialize it as follows:

mysql -u root -p

At MariaDB prompt use:

CREATE DATABASE roundcubedb;
CREATE USER roundcubeuser@localhost IDENTIFIED BY 'roundcubepassword';
GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES on roundcubedb.* to roundcubeuser@localhost ;

I am using the details for the RoundCube database as an example, please replace the values as per your choice for security reasons.

Now we will install RoundCube in the browser at

Now create the file:

nano /usr/share/roundcubemail/config/

/* Local configuration for Roundcube Webmail */

// ----------------------------------
// ----------------------------------
// Database connection string (DSN) for read+write operations
// Format (compatible with PEAR MDB2): db_provider://user:password@host/database
// Currently supported db_providers: mysql, pgsql, sqlite, mssql, sqlsrv, oracle
// For examples see
// NOTE: for SQLite use absolute path (Linux): 'sqlite:////full/path/to/sqlite.db?mode=0646'
// or (Windows): 'sqlite:///C:/full/path/to/sqlite.db'
$config['db_dsnw'] = 'mysql://roundcubeuser:roundcubepassword@localhost/roundcubedb';

// ----------------------------------
// ----------------------------------
// The IMAP host chosen to perform the log-in.
// Leave blank to show a textbox at login, give a list of hosts
// to display a pulldown menu or set one host as string.
// To use SSL/TLS connection, enter hostname with prefix ssl:// or tls://
// Supported replacement variables:
// %n - hostname ($_SERVER['SERVER_NAME'])
// %t - hostname without the first part
// %d - domain (http hostname $_SERVER['HTTP_HOST'] without the first part)
// %s - domain name after the '@' from e-mail address provided at login screen
// For example %n = mail.domain.tld, %t = domain.tld
// WARNING: After hostname change update of mail_host column in users table is
// required to match old user data records with the new host.
$config['default_host'] = 'localhost';
$config['smtp_server'] = 'localhost';
$config['smtp_port'] = 25;

// provide an URL where a user can get support for this Roundcube installation
$config['support_url'] = '';

// This key is used for encrypting purposes, like storing of imap password
// in the session. For historical reasons it's called DES_key, but it's used
// with any configured cipher_method (see below).
$config['des_key'] = 'pb0UucO0eqjgvhrqYlFTBVjE';

// ----------------------------------
// ----------------------------------
// List of active plugins (in plugins/ directory)
$config['plugins'] = array();

// Set the spell checking engine. Possible values:
// - 'googie' - the default (also used for connecting to Nox Spell Server, see 'spellcheck_uri' setting)
// - 'pspell' - requires the PHP Pspell module and aspell installed
// - 'enchant' - requires the PHP Enchant module
// - 'atd' - install your own After the Deadline server or check with the people at before using their API
// Since Google shut down their public spell checking service, the default settings
// connect to which is a hosted service provided by Roundcube.
// You can connect to any other googie-compliant service by setting 'spellcheck_uri' accordingly.
$config['spellcheck_engine'] = 'pspell';
$config['enable_installer'] = true;

Then press "continue" in the web installer. On the following page, press on the button "Initialize database".

Finally, disable the Roundecubemail installer. Change the RoundCube configuration file

nano /usr/share/roundcubemail/config/

and change the line:

$config['enable_installer'] = true;


$config['enable_installer'] = false;

Roundcube is available now under the aliases /webmail and /roundcubemail on your server:

The RoundCube login is the email address and password of an email account that you create later in ISPConfig.

22 Install ISPConfig 3.2

The ISPConfig installer will configure all services like Postfix, Dovecot, etc. for you.

You now also have the possibility to let the installer create an SSL vhost for the ISPConfig control panel so that ISPConfig can be accessed using https:// instead of http://. To achieve this, just press ENTER when you see this question: Do you want a secure (SSL) connection to the ISPConfig web interface (y,n) [y]:.

To install ISPConfig 3.2 nightly build, do this:

cd /tmp 
wget -O ispconfig.tar.gz
tar xfz ispconfig.tar.gz
cd ispconfig3*/install/

The next step is to run:

php -q install.php

This will start the ISPConfig 3 installer. The installer will configure all services like Postfix, Dovecot, etc. for you.

[root@server1 install]# php install.php

_____ ___________ _____ __ _ ____
|_ _/ ___| ___ \ / __ \ / _(_) /__ \
| | \ `--.| |_/ / | / \/ ___ _ __ | |_ _ __ _ _/ /
| | `--. \ __/ | | / _ \| '_ \| _| |/ _` | |_ |
_| |_/\__/ / | | \__/\ (_) | | | | | | | (_| | ___\ \
\___/\____/\_| \____/\___/|_| |_|_| |_|\__, | \____/
__/ |

>> Initial configuration
Operating System: CentOS 8.2
Following will be a few questions for primary configuration so be careful.
Default values are in [brackets] and can be accepted with <ENTER>.
Tap in "quit" (without the quotes) to stop the installer.

Select language (en,de) [en]: <-- Hit Enter
Installation mode (standard,expert) [standard]: <-- Hit Enter
Full qualified hostname (FQDN) of the server, eg server1.domain.tld []: <-- Hit Enter
MySQL server hostname [localhost]: <-- Hit Enter
MySQL server port [3306]: <-- Hit Enter
MySQL root username [root]: <-- Hit Enter
MySQL root password []: <-- Ente the MySQL root password here
MySQL database to create [dbispconfig]: <-- Hit Enter
MySQL charset [utf8]: <-- Hit Enter
Configuring Postgrey
Configuring Postfix
Generating a 4096 bit RSA private key
writing new private key to 'smtpd.key'
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) [XX]: <-- Enter 2 Letter country code, e.g. US
State or Province Name (full name) []: <-- Enter anme of State or Province
Locality Name (eg, city) [Default City]: <-- Name of city
Organization Name (eg, company) [Default Company Ltd]: <-- Company name
Organizational Unit Name (eg, section) []: <-- Hit Enter
Common Name (eg, your name or your server's hostname) []: <-- Enter server hostname here, in my case:
Email Address []: <-- Enter Email address
Configuring mailman
Configuring Dovecot
Configuring Spamassassin
Configuring Amavisd
Configuring Getmail
Configuring Jailkit
Configuring Pureftpd
Configuring BIND
Configuring Apache
Configuring vlogger
[INFO] service OpenVZ not detected
Configuring Bastille Firewall
[INFO] service Metronome XMPP Server not detected
Configuring Fail2ban
Configuring Apps vhost
Installing ISPConfig
ISPConfig Port [8080]: <-- Hit Enter
Admin password [fad579a6]: <-- Enter new password for ISPConfig admin user
Re-enter admin password []: <-- Repeat the password
Do you want a secure (SSL) connection to the ISPConfig web interface (y,n) [y]: <-- Hit Enter
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) [XX]: <-- Enter 2 Letter country code, e.g. US
State or Province Name (full name) []: <-- Enter anme of State or Province
Locality Name (eg, city) [Default City]: <-- Name of city
Organization Name (eg, company) [Default Company Ltd]: <-- Company name
Organizational Unit Name (eg, section) []: <-- Hit Enter
Common Name (eg, your name or your server's hostname) []: <-- Enter server hostname here, in my case:
Email Address []: <-- Enter Email address
Please enter the following 'extra' attributes
to be sent with your certificate request
A challenge password []: <-- Hit Enter
An optional company name []: <-- Hit Enter
writing RSA key

Configuring DBServer
Installing ISPConfig crontab
Installing ISPConfig crontab
no crontab for root
no crontab for getmail
Detect IP addresses
Restarting services ...
Installation completed.

The installer automatically configures all underlying services, so there is no manual configuration needed.

23 First ISPConfig Login

Afterwards you can access ISPConfig 3 under http(s):// or http(s):// (http or https depends on what you chose during installation).

Log in with the username admin and the password admin (you should change the default password after your first login):

The ISPConfig Login


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