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How to Install and Set Up Plesk Onyx 12

How to Install and Set Up Plesk Onyx 12

What Do I Need?

What is Plesk Onyx 12?

Plesk Onyx is one of the most popular server control panels in the world, competing with cPanel. Originally released in 2001, Plesk is now one of the leading control panel solutions for both Linux and Windows servers. Now, with a multitude of improved features, including Docker and Git. With support for all of the major database management systems, MySQL, PostgresSQL, MariaDB, and Microsoft SQL. Support of SSL, Ruby, and Node.js. Basically, simply awesome.

  1. Prepare your Hardware
    1. Before starting the installation, we need to remove the pre-existing instances of Apache, MySQL, Cyrus, and PHP that are installed as part of most CentOS setups.
    2. Open terminal and enter:
    1. yum remove http*
    2. yum remove php*
    3. yum remove cyrus*
    4. yum remove mysql*

    1. To disable SELinux, enter:
    1. setenforce 0

  1. Download the Plesk 1-Click Installer and Run the Script
    1. Change the working directory to the installation directory:
    1. cd /usr/local/src

    1. Assign the actual domain name to your install instance:
    1. hostnamectl set-hostname example.com

    1. Download the 1-click installer script with the wget command and execute it:
    1. wget -O - https://autoinstall.plesk.com/one-click-installer | sh

    1. All of the appropriate packages will now download with Plesk if you follow the default prompts.
    2. Installation should take between 10 and 20 minutes dependent on the specification of your hardware. I’d recommend going for a coffee.
    3. Once the installation has finished a congratulations message will be displayed including all your admin login URLs. Make a note of them.

  1. Unblock Ports for Plesk Admin
    1. In order to be able to access the Plesk admin port (8443), it must be unblocked:
    1. firewall-cmd --permanent --add-port=8443/tcp
    2. firewall-cmd --reload
    3. sudo shutdown -r

  1. Run the Installation/Configuration Wizard
    1. Visit the installation URL at https://example.com:8443.
    2. Select logging in as the ‘root’ user.
    3. Accept the ‘Terms and Conditions’ by selecting the checkbox at the bottom of the dialog.
    4. At ‘View Selector’ select ‘Commercial Web Hosting’.

    How to Install and Set Up Plesk Onyx 12

    1. Check the checkbox at the bottom of the ‘Terms and Conditions’ to proceed to the next dialog.
    2. Scroll to the end of the dialog and generate a new password or enter one manually and then click ‘Ok’. Always remember to create a complex password as this represents primary protection for your server.

    How to Install and Set Up Plesk Onyx 12

    1. Copy and paste your ‘activation code’ for Plesk Onyx 12 or upload an appropriate ‘license key file’. Click ‘Ok’ when you’ve finished.

    How to Install and Set Up Plesk Onyx 12

    1. You can now breathe a sigh of relief – you’ve successfully installed Plesk Onyx 12 on your CentOS server.

Next Steps

There’s a lot that can be done next to your server dependent on its intended use case. Whatever you’re planning to use your new server for, I advise logging in as the ‘root’ superuser at your soonest opportunity and then running the following commands to ensure you have the latest updates and fixes:

  • yum upgrade
  • yum update
  • reboot

Always keep an eye on security updates and upgrades as this now represents one of the most desirable targets of an exploit for would-be hackers and bot-net creators.

Log into your control panel and select ‘Tools & Settings’. First select ‘IP Address Banning (Fail2Ban)’, enable it, and then secondly select ‘Web Application Firewall (ModSecurity)’, enable it and feel a little bit safer knowing that anyone attempts to brute-force your server they’ll receive the banhammer automatically.

How to Install and Set Up Plesk Onyx 12

Conclusion

Plesk Onyx 12 offers a level of security and flexibility that cannot, in my humble opinion, be matched, even by cPanel. The control panel may seem simple in appearance but hides a high-level competency in managing any bare-metal server or VPS installation. The single biggest thing to be aware of in managing any hosting server is security and protecting your users’ data and content. Take it seriously. Your customers will.

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