HowTo: Hosting multiple sites using the free EHCP panel.

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HowTo: Hosting multiple sites using the free EHCP panel.

Postby Admin » Wed Oct 03, 2012 10:56 am

Hello all !

Many people try to switch from limiting shared hosting to the freedom of VPS hosting but lack the knowledge and funds to invest in cPanel.
Actually, there are many alternatives to cPanel, one of which is EHCP (Easy Hosting Control Panel) which runs on Debian and the like (Ubuntu most notable derivative).
I intend to provide here a very basic tutorial with pictures that will not need you to know linux (but it would help a lot if you have at least a basic idea).
Prerequisites:
1. One VPS (dedicated would work too, but we will be assuming you do not have the funds for that) running Debian 6 32 bit. (64 will work too, as well as Ubuntu, but if you want the job done following strictly this tutorial, better use that). 256 MB RAM are enough for a few wordpress sites with like 10 max concurrent visitors, for heavy sites as Drupal with many visitors, 1024 RAM is highly recommended, for something inbetween, like even heavy forums with 20-30 concurrent visitors in total, 512 will suffice, especially if they are backed by SSD storage). For further info, please refer to our "choose your vps" article in the same section of the board.
2. A file where you will write down a lot of info such as passwords, domains, anything you haven't done before and you think you might forget. If you like pen and paper, no problem, it will do.
3. While not required, a domain at least could be useful, but we will not need it just for this to work. Since the purpose of a panel is to host multiple sites or give your friends hosting access too, it doesn't really make sense not to have some domains, but as I said, it is no problem at all if you use free ones or free subdomains. My demonstration will make use of free subdomains from freedns.afraid.org but you may use your preferred ones.

It should be working the same on any other high quality host. Location does matter if you are hosting big movies, streaming content (EHCP has ffmpeg installed by default, this being one of the reasons I picked it for the demonstration) or game servers (but for that you do not really need a hosting panel, at most a special one). Otherwise, any location within an 100-150 ms or so ping will do. (ping board.prometeus.net to test prometeus suitability)

Phase one: Preparing the VPS

You should have an email about your new VPS. It should look like this:
Image
Of course, that is just an example, we will not use the 50cents plan for a panel, it simply lacks the memory required.
We need from there the solusvm information. Address, username and password. Write them down.
Now go to SolusVM panel: https://solusvm.prometeus.net:5656 (Your actual provider will, of course, have a different address.)
Login. Will look like this:
Image
Select your VPS, click manage. If it says Debian 6 32 bit (like in the picture, we are ready to go, if not, you need to reinstall it... Don't worry, with solus and OpenVZ it is simple as clicking around and waiting a bit.
Click reinstall (only if it is not already debian 6 32 bit ! Otherwise go to the update root password step) and you will be presented with a choice like this:
Image
Make sure to select the Debian 6 32 bit radio button and proceed with the reinstallation. It should take about 2 minutes or less.
Update root password: Go back to the solusvm panel and select root password. Input something at least 8 chars long, only letters and numbers because solusvm has a bug that will prevent some special characters from working. We will change the password later while inside, for now, mypass1234 or anything like that will work.
From now on we will stop using graphical tools for a while and only use command line. It should not be hard if you follow my instructions.
If you use a MacOS of some kind, you will use the terminal (ssh root@yourvps IP will do the trick) but we are mostly here to help windows people which do not know much linux if at all so the rest of the tutorial will make heavy use of windows specific tools.
So, the windows users should download putty from here: http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~sgta ... nload.html (get the putty.exe version).
Fire it up and put there the IP of your VPS and a session name. Before loging in, save the settings.
Image
At first login putty will ask you if you accept the key. This will happen each time you reinstall or connect to a new VPS, but not in regular conditions.
Put your username (always root), hit enter, then the password you just put in solusvm (or the one in the provisioning mail if you already had Debian 6 32 bit installed-make sure it is the ssh password, not the solusvm one) and you should receive a disclaimer from your Debian server showing that it is ready to work for you.
Image
(without the disclaimer, tho, your image will be a bit different)
Change root password to something more complex than only numbers and letters, include special chars such as *&#$ in the next step. You will be asked to insert your new UNIX password and confirm it:

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passwd
[Enter]
After this, your root password used to login with putty will be the new one.
Now, we update the installation, a thing we will need to do from time to time to keep the risk of exploit minimal. Type (or copy-paste to be sure) exactly as below hitting enter after each line.

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apt-get update

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apt-get upgrade

Answer yes (y) at all prompts if any.
Now we are ready to install the panel. It will take a while and we will need to answer a few questions along the way as well as input many passwords and usernames we will need later. Make sure you write them down, use fairly complex ones (could be only one though, if you really have a problem with passwords, but make it at least 10 characters long, use only letters and numbers to be sure it works in all places).
It will be continued in the next post on this thread.

Admin

jcaleb
Posts: 92
Joined: Fri Aug 03, 2012 8:56 am

Re: HowTo: Hosting multiple sites using the free EHCP panel.

Postby jcaleb » Thu Oct 04, 2012 3:08 am

hello admin. what if you write something like how to setup a basic debian system, and how to setup a basic centos system. and then when you write specialize tutorials, you dont have to go over those again.

Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 490
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2012 10:54 pm

Re: HowTo: Hosting multiple sites using the free EHCP panel.

Postby Admin » Thu Oct 04, 2012 2:23 pm

You wont believe how lazy are the ppl these days :) If they do not have everything in a single page will not really appreciate it.
The good thing is that I only have to write each tutorial once.
One option is to copy the start section in every tutorial :)

Admin

Admin
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Posts: 490
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Re: HowTo: Hosting multiple sites using the free EHCP panel.

Postby Admin » Thu Oct 04, 2012 10:33 pm

Now, the installation.
At first it is simple but we need to pay attention and write down the passwords we put in various places:

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wget -O ehcp.tgz www.ehcp.net/ehcp_latest.tgz

Unpack:

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tar -zxvf ehcp_latest.tgz

Then we go to the directory:

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cd ehcp

and launch installer:

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./install.sh

I will now present you screenshots from various points during installation with the necessary input:
Image
Ignore typos, the author is not native English speaker.
You get next a warning this only works on Debian-like systems, hit enter again. It will fail to detect correctly the OS because of some specifics with OpenVZ, but continue (press enter). You may get another warning about few sources for apt (the program that fetches and installs programs for you) but it is normal to have just one source, continue. It goes the first batch of programs.
Image
There is a notice about a hosting account created in ehcp to support the program. I always delete that as I do not trust anyone with some access to my servers, I will show you how when need will come.
Image
You need to specify a password here. Either make it very complex like Ehbp09iiKJ or very long like IAmNeverForgettingMyPasswords. Write it down. You can use the same all over when you are asked, or make a new one, but you should make sure you have them when needed later. Failure to do so might lead to a need to reinstall.
There will be another round of downloading and installing, all automatic, then you will be presented with this screen:
Image
Make sure you read well, you answer and write down your answers. You will also need to input your main IP because on OVZ EHCP does not know where to get it from, input it very carefully.
One other important question is this:
"Do you want to install some additional programs which are not essential but useful for a hosting environment, such as ffmpeg,... etc.. ? Answer no if you have small ram or you need a light/fast system (y/[n])" If you have less than 512 MB you can consider saying no, otherwise is better to say yes (y) enter. It will make sure even less used things in hosting such as embedded players are working.
When you are asked if you continue, always say y.
At the question what kind of mail system will you need, answer Internet site. At system name insert a FQDN name such as mail.mydomain.net It would better match your rDNS setup and be a subdomain of yours pointed to your VPS in the DNS.
More downloads and installs, then another question:
Image
Answer no.
A ssl certificate will be generated. Select apache2 (hit space when in the right place with the red stripe)
Image
Say yes and insert the mysql database root password you set before (you did write it down, right ?)
Configure database for roundcube with dbconfig-common? yes
Next choose mysql, then again use the database root password (as i said use the same all over, roundcube too).
More installing follows.
Image
So you are done, now time to login :)
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Welcome to your free hosting panel :)
For now only go to list panel users and delete the admin with ehcp email. We will continue on this thread on how to actually use it, some of you will recognize some functions already :)

Admin

jcaleb
Posts: 92
Joined: Fri Aug 03, 2012 8:56 am

Re: HowTo: Hosting multiple sites using the free EHCP panel.

Postby jcaleb » Fri Oct 05, 2012 5:34 am

Thank you admin. Could you kindly share resource requirements so we could match with our target usage and what plans to buy?

Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 490
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2012 10:54 pm

Re: HowTo: Hosting multiple sites using the free EHCP panel.

Postby Admin » Fri Oct 05, 2012 7:31 am

The actual resource usage depends on the number of visitors.

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root@bigmao:~/ehcp# free -m
             total       used       free     shared    buffers     cached
Mem:          1024        127        896          0          0         50
-/+ buffers/cache:         76        947
Swap:         1024          0       1024



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Filesystem           1K-blocks      Used Available Use% Mounted on
/dev/simfs            83886080    905388  82980692   2% /
tmpfs                   524288         0    524288   0% /lib/init/rw
tmpfs                   524288         0    524288   0% /dev/shm


That is with the panel loaded on an 80 GB 1 GB ram VM.

Admin

jcaleb
Posts: 92
Joined: Fri Aug 03, 2012 8:56 am

Re: HowTo: Hosting multiple sites using the free EHCP panel.

Postby jcaleb » Wed Nov 28, 2012 9:21 am

Hello, Admin.

Do you have experience with Froxlor? Is it also easy to use and low on resources?

Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 490
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2012 10:54 pm

Re: HowTo: Hosting multiple sites using the free EHCP panel.

Postby Admin » Wed Nov 28, 2012 7:37 pm

No... But maybe I should, I will look into it when I will have time.

Admin

mitnick
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Jun 18, 2013 8:54 pm

Re: HowTo: Hosting multiple sites using the free EHCP panel.

Postby mitnick » Wed Jun 19, 2013 7:22 pm

my favorite is Virtualmin - Webmin is hightly configurable but not user friendly. I use Zpanel now because is very easy to use its like cpanel!

Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 490
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2012 10:54 pm

Re: HowTo: Hosting multiple sites using the free EHCP panel.

Postby Admin » Thu Jun 20, 2013 12:46 am

zPanel seems to be very insecure, at least some people clam it is and I know at least one customer turned into an open proxy after using it.


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