DirectAdmin | New Server Checklist


Verified User
With myself regularly recommending dedicated server owners to Foggys Ensim checklist on EV1 i thought it would be a good idea to setup something similar for DirectAdmin users.

Hopefully this will come in useful for both experienced users and beginners with DirectAdmin servers

Thats all i need to say, so i will leave you to read the rest :)


Before you try any how-to guides listed below, please remember that i do not take responsibilty for any problems, that may occur whilst using them or setting them up.

Linux basics
New to Linux? These guides may help you out

-> Using SSH on windows OS
-> Using SSH on MAC OS
-> Using VI text editor
-> Directory of linux commands
-> Linux resource websites
-> Beginners guide to SSH

DirectAdmin Installation
Useful advice for setting up your server

-> DirectAdmin server setup guide

Server Updates

-> Update Kernel using UP2DATE
-> Update kernel on dual processor servers (normal kernel update wont work)
-> Update PHP (4.3.4) using DA custom apache build system
-> Update apache (1.3.29) Using DA custom apache build system
-> Update Mod_SSL (2.8.16) Using DA custom apache build system

ModSSL, Apache and PHP updates above are all upgraded together using the custom apache build system

Server Security
The best software i have found to secure your server Please note that only 1 firewall should be installed)

-> APF Firewall (make sure you allow port 2222 for DirectAdmin to work)
-> KISS My Firewall 2.0(make sure you allow port 2222 for DirectAdmin to work)
-> Disable Direct Root Login
-> Disable Telnet
-> Mask apache server & services version numbers
-> Upgrade OpenSSH to fix recent exploit
-> Upgrade ProFTPd to fix recent exploit
-> Configure POP3S (Secure POP3) with xinetd
-> Change Shell Passwords - Below


(set new password)


su -
(set new password)

Other Users:

su - <username>
(set new password)

Go back to root:


Software & Service Updates
How-To upgrade software on your server such as PHP, MySQL & Perl

-> Upgrading OpenSSH
-> Upgrading OpenSSL
-> Custom Apache build system

General Server Setup
The simple things that you need to do with your server

-> Control panel login under https (secure space)
-> Change Host Name (change "server name" under admin settings - admin control panel)
-> Setup Default Nameservers
-> Provide personal nameservers without using additional IP addresses
-> Set Date & Time
-> Remove logging of Lame-Server

Server Monitoring
The software applications and script listed below will help you view your servers status

-> SIM - System intergrity monitor
-> RPM based MRTG installation Only install 1 MRTG, do not follow both guides
-> MRTG manually compile, configure and run
-> Domain Monitoring Tool - (CPU usage monitor for individual domains)

Install either Zend Optimzer OR PHPAccelerator, the 2 will not work together

-> Zend Optimizer
-> PHPAccelerator
-> Install Mod_GZIP
-> Optimize MySQL 4

Find out how many visitors your website is going and much more information with the following

-> Fresh install of Urchin 5
-> Urchin V4 > Urchin V5 Upgrade
-> Automate Urchin V5
-> AWStats For all Domains
-> MailScanner MRTG guide

Add-ons & advice
Hidden secrets in DirectAdmin along with some useful advice and other extras

-> Adding a login form from your website
-> SubDomain Secret >> (make
-> Setting up an SSL certificate for the server
-> Generating a self signed SSL certificate
-> Requirements to install an SSL certificate
-> Ensim -> DirectAdmin conversion script
-> Read mail sent to root@localhost
-> Site-Helper (DirectAdmin Information website)
-> Reset MySQL Password
-> Install PRM (process resource monitor)
-> Install Bandwidth Bar
-> Mask apache server & services version numbers
-> Install Darwin streaming server
-> Provide a MySQL user with an additional database
-> Backup or Transfer MySQL Databases without shell or phpMyAdmin access
-> Script to convert users to resellers & vice versa
-> MailScanner 4.24 for Exim 4.24
-> Full (unofficial) DirectAdmin backup guide / software

To reset the MySQL password with DA, you have to additionally edit: /usr/local/directadmin/conf/mysql.conf to reflect your new da_admin password. also replace "root" with "da_admin"

Known problems / bugs & fixes [NEW]
Found a bug or problem? see if there is already a fix!

-> TroubleShooting Section
-> Webmail gives errors on a fresh install
-> Fatal error: Call to undefined function: mail()
-> Mail & POP3 errors on a fresh installation
-> Exim fails to start - Exim configuration error
-> Webalizer binary not found
-> Apache fails to start

you have DirectAdmin, now time to get that new look!

-> DirectAdmin skinning guide

Skins coming soon:
-> DirectSkin (default skin) - [Developer: DirectSkins]
-> DA-3D - [Developer: DirectSkins]
-> Florida Sun - [Developer: MindLash]

Skins currently available:
-> LoopX - [Developer: LoopForever] [Status: Unsupported]
-> Hermes - [Developer: CyberAlien] [Status: Active]

Skinning Extras
Get some extra features in your skins

-> Bandwidth graphs (percentage used) - can be easily modified for disk space also

Have a how-to you want listed here
To get your DirectAdmin How-to guides listed here, contact me using the link below

-> E-Mail me :)

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Verified User
At the moment i do not have a server running DirectAdmin to test these, although as soon as we have the servers i will get all of them tried and tested.

If you have followed any of the guides please leave a message here with the status, if it worked or if it failed.

Also feel free to contact me to have how-to guides added to the list. You can post a reply here or email me using the link in the above message



Verified User
MRTG removed, RPM will be made by me soon.

Also, John / Mark, if you read this can you please contact me with the details i asked for in the main post if possible, thanks :).

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Verified User
The following HOWTO, tried and tested:

-> Provide personal nameservers without using additional IP addresses

Enjoy ;)

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Verified User
Didnt realise you were MattDH, well count yourself lucky, being in the DA server checklist before you were even known as MattDH here :D

Good to see you here as another of DA Groupies :)

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Verified User
added an instal guide, updated APF link due to old one being deleted or moved, added custom apache build system also, added how to do bandwidth graphs under a new skiining how-to section ;)



Verified User
How comes your weedling lil checklist that ain't even been checked to see if it works yet got made sticky and my big one with lots of how-tos and stuff all tested on my DA server didn't :(


Verified User
lots of this how-to is tested on a few red hat servers of ours, plesk and ensim are the main ones, there are hundreds i could of got from rackshack for servers although im not *sure* if they would work so i have left them out, if any one comes across a problem with these, most have uninstall and remove procedures available if needed. Basically everything *should* work on that list. There is a section of this checlist that allows you to add new howto guides if you want them added which you could have done :)



Verified User
Changing the hostname wouldn't be complete without updating 'Server Name' under Administrator Settings in the Admin Panel :)