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I love Plesk – it’s a work of art that makes my life easier. Rather than a “programme” as such, it’s a web interface that takes control of several thousand services on a web server and makes administering domains and hosting a breeze.

Since 2012 I’ve been a certified Parallels Plesk Automation Technician.

  • Jay Versluis 4:28 pm on July 17, 2015 Permalink | Reply
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    Categories: Plesk ( 66 )

    How to enable resuming FTP uploads in Plesk 

    Plesk uses ProFTP as the default FTP server. It has a handy feature that allows file uploads to resume or append should a connection be broken during transmission. This means that partially transferred data doesn’t have to be uploaded again, it can simply be added to – potentially saving a lot of time.

    Although easy to activate, this feature is not enabled by default on Plesk installations for security reasons. Here’s how to make it happen:

    Edit /etc/proftpd.conf and add the following few lines:

    # allow resuming file uploads
    AllowStoreRestart on
    AllowOverwrite on

    You may find the AllowOverwrite directive in there already, in which case replace it with the above block. For the changes to take effect, restart the xinetd service (of which proFTP is part):

    service xinetd restart

    Works on both CentOS 6 and CentOS 7.

    Note that for this to work, it also needs to be enabled in your FTP client. In FileZilla it’s under Settings – Transfers – File Exists Action:


  • Jay Versluis 9:55 am on May 3, 2015 Permalink | Reply

    Categories: Linux, Plesk ( 71 )

    How to update Plesk via the Command Line 

    Plesk-LogoYou can update Plesk via the Web Interface (under Tools and Settings – Updates and Upgrades). However sometimes the interface times out, or browsers get confused – therefore it’s good to know that you can apply updates via the command line interface as well. In this article I’ll show you how (in Linux – I don’t know much about running Plesk on Windows I’m afraid).

    We need to download the standard installer script for this. It’s a powerful little tool which can also be used to add or remove components from the current Plesk installation, or to install Plesk on a barebones server.

    As of 2015 the link can be found here:

    Screen Shot 2015-05-03 at 09.39.40

    If you click the option “Download Plesk installer for Linux”, you’ll see the actual script open in a new browser tab. Not what we want, although you could copy and paste this into a new file on your Linux system. Instead, right-click on the link and choose “Copy Link” instead.

    Screen Shot 2015-05-03 at 09.41.27

    With that link in your clipboard, connect to your server via SSH and download the file with something like wget:


    This will result in a file called “plesk-installer” with some nasty parameters at the end, several hundred characters in total. Let’s rename it to something easier and tweak the execution permissions:

    mv plesk-installer* plesk-installer
    chmod +x plesk-installer

    Now we can run the script like so:

    Welcome to the Parallels Installation and Upgrade Wizard!
    This wizard will guide you through the installation or upgrade process. Before
    installing or upgrading Parallels products, be sure to back up your data.
    To start the installation or upgrade, press N and then press Enter.
    To quit the installer, press Q and then press Enter.

    Follow the instructions to upgrade Plesk. You can also call the script with several options, for a full list of those call it with “–help”. To see all available versions of Plesk during the installation, use “–all-versions”, which will eventually lead you to a screen similar to this:

    Select the desired products and their versions
    The following product versions are available:
    1. [*] Parallels Plesk
      2. ( ) Parallels Plesk Panel 12.1.21 (testing)
      3. ( ) Parallels Plesk Panel 12.1.20 (testing)
      4. ( ) Parallels Plesk Panel 12.1.19 (testing)
      5. ( ) Parallels Plesk Panel 12.1.18 (testing)
      6. ( ) Parallels Plesk Panel 12.1.17 (testing)
      7. ( ) Parallels Plesk Panel 12.1.16 (testing)
      8. ( ) Parallels Plesk Panel 12.1.15 (testing)
      9. ( ) Parallels Plesk Panel 12.1.14 (testing)
      10. ( ) Parallels Plesk Panel 12.1.13 (testing)
      11. ( ) Parallels Plesk Panel 12.1.12 (testing)
      12. ( ) Parallels Plesk Panel 12.1.11 (testing)
      13. ( ) Parallels Plesk Panel 12.1.10 (testing)
      14. ( ) Parallels Plesk Panel 12.1.9 (testing)
      15. ( ) Parallels Plesk Panel 12.1.8 (testing)
      16. ( ) Parallels Plesk Panel 12.1.7 (testing)
      17. ( ) Parallels Plesk Panel 12.1.6 (testing)
      18. (*) Parallels Plesk 12.0.18 (Stable) (currently installed)
    N) Go to the next page; P) Go to the previous page; Q) Cancel installing
    To select a version, type the respective number;
    Select an action [N]: 

    If you call the script without any parameters, only micro updates and additional components are applied. Micro updates are usually applied automatically if this feature is enabled (it is by default).

  • Jay Versluis 11:58 am on April 27, 2015 Permalink | Reply  
    Categories: Plesk, WordPress ( 66 )

    How to fix WordPress Media upload trouble caused by open_basedir restriction 

    I’ve recently migrated a WordPress site from one server to another (running Plesk) and noticed that file uploads were no longer working. All existing files showed up fine, but new uploads were always aborted with a message such as “Is your uploads directory writable?” – which of course it was.

    Here’s what it looked like – a familiar sight for anyone with WordPress issues:

    Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 11.29.46

    Uploads had been working fine on the pervious server, and other sites on the new server didn’t have a problem. Puzzles like that rob me of sleep and sweet dreams. I decided to poke into any error logs on the new server (which wasn’t even that new mind you).

    To my surprise I found that in /var/www/vhosts/system/, there was an error log that was seemingly growing out of control very quickly. At one point it was over 500GB in size. Obviously this had a very adverse effect on the that server, which was running out of space when it shouldn’t have.

    The repeating error message was this:

    mod_fcgid: stderr: PHP Warning:  is_dir(): open_basedir restriction in effect. 
    File(/) is not within the allowed path(s): (/home/www/vhosts/ 
    in /home/www/vhosts/ on line 1501

    Sure I thought, I can understand why the server had a problem with this: the path is just NOT where domain data is saved on my target server. Why was it addressing a path that may have worked on the source server? Shouldn’t WordPress adjust itself automatically?

    Why yes, usually it does – unless of course there’s an old database entry that specifies this path. Many options have been removed from the WordPress admin interface over time, but the values that could be set are still in effect. Thankfully it was an easy fix – even though it took me days to think of this: that nasty path was defined under Settings – Media:

    Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 11.28.24

    Anything in the top field is a full server path. If it starts with a slash it’s a root path, while no slash at the beginning is a relative path. A wrong path (like mine) messed up all future uploads. All I had to do was delete anything in that field.

    Note that this option only shows up if a path is defined: as soon as I cleared the field, the option disappeared.

    Thanks to cleasterwood for this tip, who had this problem 5 years ago (goes to show how old my WordPress installation really was):

    As for that huge 500GB log file, that’s another story: simply deleting it was not enough to free up space on the server. Because Apache kept an open write connection to that file, I was still running low on space – even though the file was gone. Restarting Apache didn’t do the trick either.

    What did work here was a full server restart. It took a little longer than usual, but the massive log file was gone, and over 500GB of space was back at my disposal. And more importantly, my WordPress instance was accepting uploads again.


    • Denis 8:17 am on September 13, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I have the same problem, and i don’t find “Settings – Media” in wordpress…
      For information i use plugin : Media File Manager

      Many thanks


      • Jay Versluis 9:10 am on September 14, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        I’m afraid I’m not familiar with the Media File Manager plugin. Do you see the Settings menu? If not, you may not be logged on as administrator – that’s required to change those settings.

  • Jay Versluis 4:05 pm on April 23, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    Categories: Linux, Plesk ( 71 )

    How to open SMTP port 587 to send emails in Plesk 

    Plesk-LogoBy default Plesk on Linux uses Postfix for outgoing email, and by default listens on port 25 for outgoing SMTP mail. Some service providers do not allow to send emails on that port, and tragedy occurs: clients can’t send email with their Plesk servers. Not good.

    Other SMTP ports will usually work, such as the other favourite 587 – but by default, Postfix is not listening on this port for email submissions – at least not in Plesk 12.0.8 on CentOS 7.

    Here’s how to enable port 587 for such ventures:

    Open the Postfix configuration file at /etc/postfix/ and find the following line. It’s commented out. All we have to do is to remove the hash in front of it, and email can be sent via port 587:

    submission inet n       -       n       -       -       smtpd

    Restart Postfix for the changes to take effect. In CentOS 5 and 6:

    service postfix restart

    This will also work in CentOS 7, but to be more precise:

    systemctl restart postfix.service


    Note that port 587 needs to be open in your firewall. If the Plesk Firewall Extension is enabled, it’ll take care of it for you automagically.


  • Jay Versluis 6:03 pm on April 22, 2015 Permalink | Reply

    Categories: Linux, Plesk ( 71 )

    How to turn off all Plesk Health Monitor alert emails 

    Plesk-LogoI have previously described how to adjust the values that the Plesk Health Monitor uses to determine when an email should be sent out.

    There is also a way to switch these emails off entirely. Here’s how:

    To turn off the daemon that is responsible for sending these emails, issue this:

    /etc/init.d/psa-health-monitor-notificationd stop

    No more emails until you restart the server, when the daemon will be resumed. If you don’t want that, switch it off at boot time using

    chkconfig psa-health-monitor-notificationd off

    To remove the Health Monitor altogether, head over to Tools and Settings – Updates and Upgrades and uninstall the component.

  • Jay Versluis 8:24 am on April 21, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , NGINX   

    Categories: Plesk ( 66 )

    How to fix Apache/NGINX trouble after restarting your Plesk server 

    Plesk-LogoSome of my servers have a weird habit of throwing an Apache error after a restart: NGINX is running fine, but Apache can’t start and all websites are down. I have no idea why some servers do it and some do not. But when they do, it’s just plain annoying.

    Here are two ways to fix this problem.

    Restart Apache gracefully

    The quickest option is to shutdown NGINX, restart Apache, tell it to shutdown gracefully and then bring up NGINX again. Here are the commands that will work on CentOS 7:

    systemctl stop nginx.service
    systemctl restart httpd.service
    apachectl graceful
    systemctl restart nginx.service

    Likewise, on CentOS 6 we can use the service command to do the same:

    service nginx stop
    service httpd restart
    apachectl graceful
    service nginx restart

    Note that Apache doesn’t always like a restart – in which case, stop the service first, give it a moment and then restart it. Quirks and habits I guess.

    Thanks to Mike Yrabedra for this tip!

    If you find yourself doing this a lot, consider writing a quick script with the above commands, or restart your server less often (sometimes it’s enough to restart Plesk, or not reboot the machine at all). Alternatively, you can remove NGINX altogether and avoid such problems in the future.

    Removing NGINX from Plesk

    NGINX is not necessary – Apache will do a good job by itself. If you want to get rid of it completely, head over to Tools and Settings (or the Server Tab if you’re in Power User Mode) and select Updates and Upgrades. You’ll be taken to the Parallels Installer. Select Add/Remove Components.

    Screen Shot 2015-04-21 at 08.10.45

    Scroll down to the NGINX section under Web Hosting Features and untick both NGINX options. Now click Continue at the bottom and NGINX will be removed, leaving Apache in charge for all website connections. There’s no need to restart Plesk.


    Why would anyone want to use both NGINX and Apache together?

    Very good question indeed. Both are excellent web servers, and logic dictates that you should use one or the other. Using two web servers together is a certain sign of trouble.

    From what I understand, NGINX is not designed to be a replacement web server in Plesk (even though NGINX can be used in this way on a LAMP Stack). Instead it is implemented as an enhancement to Apache, sitting in front of it. Static files are therefore served from NGINX via Apache, and NGINX acts as a reverse proxy server.

    The benefits are faster connections and a smaller memory footprint. Read more about how NGINX and Apache are implemented in Plesk in the following articles:

  • Jay Versluis 9:47 am on April 20, 2015 Permalink | Reply

    Categories: Plesk, Screencast, Windows ( 66 )

    How to setup Plesk Mail in Mozilla Thunderbird for Windows 

    In this video I’ll show you how to setup Plesk Mail in Thunderbird for Windows. Unlike most email clients, Thunderbird can figure out the correct settings by itself – something neither Outlook nor Mac Mail can do. Therefore, the real magic with Thunderbird is figuring out how to get to the account settings.

    To do so, click the three little lines next to the search box. It will bring up a fly-out menu. Under Options – Account Settings, setup a new account or change the settings for an existing one.


    Thunderbird is clever usually enough to detect the settings it needs to connect to the Plesk server. In case it fails, use the following:

    • STARTTLS as encryption
    • Authentication: use encrypted password
    • your full email address as user name (such as
    • Port 143
    • Outgoing Mail Server: Port 587
    • Incoming Mail Server: Port 143 OR 993

    Good luck!

  • Jay Versluis 6:21 pm on April 13, 2015 Permalink | Reply

    Categories: Plesk, Screencast, Windows ( 66 )

    How to setup Plesk Mail in Microsoft Outlook for Windows 

    In this video I’ll show you how to setup Plesk Mail in Microsoft Outlook on Windows. It’s often a big stumbling block for users. The instructions will also work for Microsoft Essentials, the predecessor of Outlook Express. I’m using Outlook 2010 here, but the instructions are also applicable to later versions.

    The two important windows are under Account Settings, there’s a window with six tabs. One of which is labelled Outgoing Server and the other one is called Advanced:

    Screen Shot 2015-04-13 at 18.16.03


    Screen Shot 2015-04-13 at 18.16.13

    Make sure Outlook is set to use TLS for both incoming and outgoing connections. The Root Folder Path needs to be set to INBOX (in all capitals).

    Good luck 😉

    • Olivier Bourhis 4:04 am on May 7, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      To the WPGURU after several trials: while true; do kill $(ps -ef | grep -i SyncServices | grep -v grep | awk ‘{print $2} ‘); finally worked! It is done. I made it. This so cool. Apple care killed one MacBook (I have 2: #2 and #7) pro in my time machine while they were trying to do this. They are just @pple civil servants.
      I have one identity to get back from my time machine. WPGURU should you come to Paris be my guest and tell me how I can help you. YOU ARE MOR THAN A GURU!

    • Jay Versluis 8:43 am on May 7, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Hi Olivier, thank you for the invitation and your very kind words! I’m so glad you could finally update Office on your Macs :-)

      All the best!

  • Jay Versluis 4:15 pm on April 9, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    Categories: Plesk ( 66 )

    How to allow resuming FTP uploads in Plesk and ProFTP 

    Plesk-LogoProFTP has a handy feature that lets uploads resume if they were interrupted, much like Safari downloads. This feature has to be enabled both on the server and the client.

    By default however, resuming uploads are disabled for security reasons – a wise precaution if anonymous uploads are allowed to a server. Here’s how to enabled it.

    Plesk uses ProFTP, and all we have to do is add a couple of lines to the /etc/proftpd.conf file. Anywhere will do, as long as it’s outside the “global” tags:

    # allow resuming file uploads
    AllowStoreRestart on
    AllowOverwrite on

    ProFTP is part of the xinetd system service, and for the change to take effect we’ll have to restart this:

    service xinetd restart

    To make use of this feature, an FTP client needs to support this feature too: in FileZilla it’s under Settings – Transfers – File Exists Action:

    Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 12.40.26

  • Jay Versluis 4:39 pm on April 6, 2015 Permalink | Reply

    Categories: Plesk ( 66 )

    How to move the vhosts directory in Plesk 

    Plesk-LogoThe default directory for all web files in Plesk on Linux is /var/www/vhosts. Usually this works well, but if you’d like to use another partition instead, you’ll be pleased to hear that you can!

    Parallels (or Odin as we call them now) have written a handy script which moves the content and patches the relevant configuration file and copies all content at the same time. The script is called transvhosts and you can download it here:

    Download it using wget and make the file executable:

    chmod +x

    It’s a PERL script, which means it needs prefixed with ‘perl’ to be called. Say you want to move your vhosts directory to /home/vhosts, you’d call it like this:

    perl --dest-dir /home/vhosts --correct-scripts
    Moving files to new directory...
    Correct psa configuration file...
    Correct passwd file...
    Correct server configuration files...
    Clean up symlinks...
    Correct php-fpm pools configuration...
    Moving files to new directory...
    Correct psa configuration file...
    Correct passwd file...
    Correct server configuration files...
    Clean up symlinks...
    Correct database...
    Update hosting settings...
    Update subdomains settings...
    Update system users settings...
    The service node 'local' was successfully updated.
    Correct user scripts...

    This may take a moment or two depending on the amount of content you have in the current directory. The script will patch Plesk’s configuration file and restart the panel. There’s minimal downtime in involved in this process.

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