New Server Checklist


Verified User
Jul 29, 2004
MODERATOR'S NOTE 27-Dec-2006: This list is in work and has some problems. Some of the suggestions in it may break DA. Please do not use it until this disclaimer disappears.

This is a new server checklist for DirectAdmin users. It should be useful to you, whether you're a DirectAdmin server beginner or expert.


Before you try any how-to guides listed below, please remember that I do not take responsibility 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 Microsoft Windows []
-> Using SSH on Mac OS
-> Using the VI text editor []
-> Directory of Linux commands
-> Linux resource websites []
-> Beginner's 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 won't 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

-> Default versions of software included with DA

Firewall Software
Please note that only one (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)

A full list of ports to keep open when installing a firewall with DA (including UDP)


FTP - 21
SSH - 22
Telnet (if you have it on) - 23
SMTP - 25
HTTP - 80
HTTPS: 443
POP3 - 110
IMAP - 143
DNS - 53
DirectAdmin - 2222

Passive FTP (information in post below)

Server Security
The best software I have found to secure your server.

-> 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:


Spam Assassin

-> Installation

If you get the error "Can't locate HTML/ in @INC", install the required HTML/ Perl module.

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)
-> 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 integrity 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 Optimizer 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

Note: You may also wish to look into Google Analytics for independent statistics tracking.

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
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 under development
-> DirectSkin (default skin) - [Developer: DirectSkins]
-> DA-3D - [Developer: DirectSkins]
-> Florida Sun - [Developer: MindLash]

Skins currently available
None of these skins are supported nor updated anymore. Accordingly, I've removed their links; however, you can easily find them with a search.
-> LoopX - [Developer: LoopForever]
-> Hermes - [Developer: CyberAlien]

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 guide listed here, contact me
-> You can also post additions and corrections as replies to this thread. Upon review, I'll add them to this top post.

Original list created and maintained by Chris (ProWebUK). This thread based on his latest version, last edited 11-26-2003 at 05:52 PM. This newer version of the checklist was created 12-26-2006 by me, and has been updated to reflect new developments.

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