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

    Categories: Plesk, Screencast, Windows ( 70 )

    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!

    • Maliwaince 5:19 am on May 25, 2017 Permalink | Reply


      I am facing isse while adding my Plesk panel email in thunderbird its showing.

      “username or password invalid”

      but i have checked its working on webmail.

      I trying to manual setting also.


      i read on other forum problm is with SSL its genrating SSL certificate by it self signed but not taking the real one. Need to change this with SSH.

      any luck to get help on this?

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

    Categories: Plesk, Screencast, Windows ( 70 )

    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 😉

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

    Categories: Plesk ( 70 )

    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 ( 70 )

    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.

    • Karan Sharma 11:20 am on August 6, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Now I’m getting 503 Service Temporarily Unavailable. Please help.

      • Jay Versluis 3:46 pm on August 6, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Dang! That’s difficult to troubleshoot remotely. Best put that directory back where it was then.

        • Karan Sharma 5:13 pm on August 6, 2017 Permalink | Reply

          I fixed the issue. Restarted the server and restarted nginx and it was running fine.

  • Jay Versluis 9:29 am on March 27, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    Categories: Plesk ( 70 )

    Parallels Cloud Services changes into Odin 

    Odin Logo

    Parallels have announced this week that they’ve changed their name to brand cloud services from Parallels to Odin. This blog post has more details:

    While I dislike change for the sake of change, I believe that it makes a lot of sense in this case. I have been working with Parallels products since 2008, and when I started out I always thought there was a dissociation between the consumer products, such as Parallels Access and Parallels Desktop, and the professional products, such as Plesk.

    The Odin branding will be used for the latter line of products, while the Parallels branding will continue to be used for Parallels Desktop & Co. Parallels Plesk will simply be known as “Plesk”.

    The company itself will remain a single unit for now, simply operating under two brands.

    In case you’re wondering what will become of all those Parallels Summits, they will be renamed to Odin Summits. The first one with this branding will be in May:

    Long live Odin!

  • Jay Versluis 8:18 am on March 9, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ENOM   

    Categories: Plesk ( 70 )

    How to view Plesk websites even if your domain does not resolve to your server 

    Plesk-LogoIt’s never good if your server is working fine, but the domains that resolve to it are down for one reason or another. This has happened to me TWICE this year already, and both times it was out of my hands (yes @ENOM, I’m looking at you).

    Many of my clients use websites for data storage, and while it’s not nice when one goes down, it’s even worse if you can’t access information you may have saved as part of a web application. Thankfully there is a way to access Plesk websites even if the domain no longer resolves properly.

    Let me show you how in this article.


    1.) Accessing Plesk without a domain

    First let’s gain access to our Plesk server via it’s numeric IP instead of a domain name. Let’s assume that you’ve had access via before, but is currently down due to a DNS resolve issue.

    In that case, find out your numeric IP and access your Plesk server with – replacing with the IP of your server. If you can’t remember, login to your domain host’s control panel and find out what it is.


    2.) Preparing an external domain that’s still working

    We need a domain that still works and is not affected by the DNS outage. It doesn’t have to point to the Plesk server whose domains you want to access, but you need access to the DNS records. Perhaps your domain resolves via CloudFlare or DNSMadeEasy, or even your domain registrar’s control panel.

    Let’s call this domain We must create an A record that looks like this:


    Replace your own IP for your Plesk server here, replacing the dots in your numeric IP with dashes. Don’t forget the asterisk in the front so all requests can be redirected properly.

    You will also have to supply the IP to your Plesk server with the A record. Don’t worry, this change will not impact on the other services hosted with this domain, we’ll simply make an addition.

    One last note: you want this to kick in as soon as possible, so set your TTL to something like 60 rather than 4000. TTL describes the “time to live” in seconds – and we want this emergency preview in place sooner rather than later.


    3.) Setting up Plesk with an external Preview Domain

    In Plesk, head over to Tools and Settings – General Settings – Website Preview Settings. If you can’t see Tools and Settings, look for the Server Tab.

    Define an external preview domain here, like this:

    Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 07.36.53

    This is designed for customers who want to see their websites before a domain has switched to this server. We’re borrowing this functionality in these troubled times.

    Plesk lets you choose a domain from the drop down menu, but assuming none of them are working at this point, our tweaked external domain should work just fine.

    Now head over to the customer control panel for a domain that is not resolving on this server. In our example it’s Under Websites and Domains, find the Preview option:


    Clicking this will open a new browser tab which will attempt to display your website on a URL much like this one:

    If all works well you should see your website, all the while bypassing the broken domain, with full PHP scripting capabilities. You can also access subfolders by simply appending them to the URL like this:


    Caveat: Subdomains, Permalinks and Redirects

    This isn’t a perfect solution, and several things won’t work with this approach. Webmail for one thing, or anything that is accessed as a subdomain (like

    Another thing that won’t work is permalinks: all Apache mod_rewrite rules will attempt to turn the URL back into its original state, and this means requests may be redirected to the broken domain.

    In addition, web applications like WordPress are usually aware of where they live and you may have to teach them their new (temporary) home URL.

    Here’s how you can fix a WordPress site. It will allow you to write new and access existing posts until the DNS problem has been fixed.

    Try to login using /wp-login.php instead of /wp-admin. Then head over to Settings – General and tweak the two values for WordPress Address and Site Address by changing them to the temporary Plesk Preview URL (see above).

    Before you do, make a note of what these values were before you hit Save. You’ll have to change them back when your real domain resolves again:

    Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 07.57.37


    Next, head over to Settings – Permalinks and simply click the save button. This will update the .htaccess files so that all mod_rewrites can be redirected to the correct temporary URL.

    As soon as the DNS panic is over, change these two URL values back to their original and once again click save under Permalinks.

    • Jay Versluis 8:34 am on March 9, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      What about emails?

      I just had a question in regards to accessing emails. There’s no need to change anything on the server for that – simply replace your incoming and outgoing email server settings with the numeric IP of your server.

      This needs to be done in your email client (i.e. Mac Mail, Outlook, Mail for iOS, etc).

      So instead of, use This will bring up a certificate warning dialogue – ignore it and you’ll have access to your emails again!

  • Jay Versluis 7:09 pm on February 14, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    Categories: Plesk ( 70 )

    How to fix ProFTP Handshake Trouble in Plesk 

    Plesk-LogoI fixed a problem this morning which wouldn’t let the latest version of FileZilla v3.10.1.1 connect to one of my client’s servers anymore.

    This had not been a problem in the past.

    The connection itself worked, but FileZilla failed due to a problem with the TLS Certificate. Here’s the error:

    Status: Initializing TLS...
    Error:  Received TLS alert from the server: Handshake failed (40)
    Error:  Could not connect to server

    Turns out that FileZilla have made a few changes and deprecated the insecure RC4 algorithm in FTP over TLS. Since ProFTP didn’t know the path to the server certificates, TLS failed and hence no connection was possible.

    Thankfully there was an easy fix for this, courtesy of this Parallels Knowledge Base article:

    To add the default Plesk certificates to the server, all I had to do was tweak the ProFTP config file at /etc/proftpd.conf and add the following at the bottom:

      <IfModule mod_tls.c>
        TLSEngine on
        TLSLog /var/log/tls.log
        TLSProtocol SSLv23 
        # Are clients required to use FTP over TLS?
        TLSRequired off
        # Server's certificate
        TLSRSACertificateFile /usr/local/psa/admin/conf/httpsd.pem
        TLSRSACertificateKeyFile /usr/local/psa/admin/conf/httpsd.pem
        # Authenticate clients that want to use FTP over TLS?
        TLSVerifyClient off
        # Allow SSL/TLS renegotiations when the client requests them, but
        # do not force the renegotations.  Some clients do not support
        # SSL/TLS renegotiations; when mod_tls forces a renegotiation, these
        # clients will close the data connection, or there will be a timeout
        # on an idle data connection.
        TLSRenegotiate required off

    In this example the Server Certificate section contains the default path to Plesk’s certificates, but feel free to substitute them if yours are stored elsewhere.

    There’s no need to restart xinetd because ProFTP creates a new process for every new connection, which will then include the new configuration. NOw FileZilla can connect without a hitch, only displaying the new Server Certificate the first time it is encountered:


    Note that this issue no longer occurs with newer installations of Plesk. This particular instance of Plesk has seen many updates since version 10.4, hence the tweak was necessary.

  • Jay Versluis 11:10 am on February 6, 2015 Permalink | Reply

    Categories: Plesk ( 70 )

    How (and when) to disable Plesk Mail Services 

    Plesk-LogoImagine the following scenario:

    A website is hosted on Server 1. Let’s call it The email services for are hosted on another server, let’s say with Google (via MX records set at the domain level).

    Email sent from other servers gets through fine, but when you send email from a domain also hosted on Server 1 to, Plesk returns an error message – such as “there’s no such mailbox”. Or mail is delivered, but it never reaches

    What’s going on? And how do we fix this?


    The solution is simple: switch off the mail service in Plesk for this domain.

    What’s happening here is that two servers are volunteering to control mail requests, but only one server can be in charge. Otherwise mail requests will be processed in places they are not supposed to, and mail does not reach the correct destination.


    Screen Shot 2015-02-06 at 10.49.30


    Here’s why: when we send mail from Server 1 to, Plesk doesn’t look for external DNS records. It can see that mail is supposed to be hosted right here on Server 1 and tries its best to deliver it. That’s when the error is produced.

    It may get confusing if a mailbox with the same name exists on both servers, email is delivered but will likely never reach client’s inbox.

    Other servers look at the external MX records and bypass Server 1 completely, therefore mail is delivered as it’s supposed to be.


    How can we fix it, Cap’m?

    To force Plesk to check external MX records too, head over to the subscription’s control panel and

    • select the Mail tab
    • Mail Settings
    • tick the checkbox next to the domain in question
    • click Activate/Deactivate Services
    • and in the overlay window, select Disable
    • (and finally click OK to close the overlay window)

    Screen Shot 2015-02-06 at 10.59.39

    Now Plesk will no longer use its own MX records for mail requests and it will deliver mail as you would expect.

  • Jay Versluis 4:58 pm on January 4, 2015 Permalink | Reply

    Categories: Plesk ( 70 )

    How to recalculate statistics in Plesk 

    Plesk-LogoPlesk recalculates all usage statistics once every day as part of a daily maintenance script. Sometimes however you’ve made a change and would like to see statistics updated immediately rather than “sometime tomorrow”.

    The solution: run the statistics recalculations script manually.

    On CentOS the path to the file is /usr/local/psa/admin/sbin/statistics. When used on its own all statistics are recalculated on the spot.

    You can use the script with options too, for example to update a single domain only. Use the –help switch to see the full array of options:

    /usr/local/psa/admin/sbin/statistics --help
    Usage: /usr/local/psa/admin/sbin/statistics [ options ]
    --calculate-all               Calculate statistics for all domains
    --calculate-one               Calculate statistics for <domain-name>
    --domain-name|-d <string>     
    --calculate-list              Calculate statistics for listed domains
    --generate-all-webstat        Generate web-statistics pages for all domains
    --generate-domain-webstat     Generate web-statistics pages for <domain-name>
    --domain-names|-n <string>    List of domains, comma separated
    --domain-ids|-i <string>      List of domains IDs, comma separated
    --process-domains|-p <string> Calculate statistics for <domain-name>
    --all                         Calculate all aspects of statistics
    --antivirus                   Calculate antivirus and antispam statistics
    --no-webstat                  Do not generate web-statistics pages (always set for PPA mode or Windows)
    --help|-h                     display this help and exit
    If no options specified - calculate statistics for all domains

    Depending on the amount of domains you have this can take a minute or two. If you’re only interested in refreshing statistics for a single domain you can use this syntax:

    /usr/local/psa/admin/sbin/statistics --calculate-one -d

    Have fun 😉

  • Jay Versluis 3:34 pm on January 3, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: dovecot, , ,   

    Categories: Linux, Plesk ( 96 )

    How to install and secure Dovecot in Plesk 12 

    dovecotI’ve just installed the Dovecot Mail Service on one of my Plesk 12 servers. It’s an alternative to the old favourite Courier IMAP/POP and a new addition in Plesk 12.

    Dovecot does more or less the same as Courier (i.e. lets you receive mail), but it’s a bit more configurable and debug friendly. It also offers server-side mail filtering which is accessible via the Plesk Webmail services Roundcube and Horde.

    In this article I’ll show you how to install Dovecot in Plesk 12, and how to add your own SSL certificates for mail. In my previous article I’ve explained how to do this with the standard Courier Mail service.


    Installing Dovecot in Plesk 12

    Head over to

    • Tools and Settings (or the Server Tab)
    • under the Plesk heading
    • Updates and Upgrades

    Select Add or Remove Components and under Mail Hosting Features, find the option for Different IMAP/POP3 server:

    Screen Shot 2015-01-03 at 15.14.37

    You can only install either Courier or Dovecot. Switching will automatically uninstall the component you currently have and instead install the other one.

    Note that switching Courier for Dovecot will preserve all mailboxes and will not affect your outgoing mail services. Give Plesk a moment until your see the “installation has finished” message.

    You’re now running Dovecot!


    Patching Dovecot SSL Certificates

    As with Courier, Dovecot will use self-signed certificates for secure connections. This means that a nasty window is likely to pop up when clients connect. You can suppress this window by specifying your own SSL Certificates.

    Screen Shot 2015-01-03 at 15.12.08


    The default configuration file for Dovecot is in /etc/dovecot/dovecot.conf. However the file states that any changes you make here are wiped when an upgrade comes along. Instead, take a look at the /etc/dovecot/conf.d/ directory in which you’ll find three files by default:

    • 10-plesk-security.conf
    • 15-plesk-auth.conf
    • 90-plesk-sieve.conf

    You can add your own configuration snippets here, each beginning with a number and ending with .conf. The lower the number, the earlier your snippet is loaded. The higher the number, the later it is loaded. You get the picture.

    Let’s create /etc/dovecot/conf.d/5-ssl.conf for our purposes. Because I had already configured my certificates for Courier they are still in /usr/share/imapd.pem – but feel free to place your .pem files anywhere you like. Here’s what my file looks like:

    # SSL Certificates for Dovecot are defined here
    ssl = yes
    # Path to your Certificate, preferred permissions: root:root 0444
    ssl_cert = </usr/share/imapd.pem
    # Path to your Private Key, preferred permissions: root:root 0400
    ssl_key = </usr/share/imapd.pem

    Dovecot lets you have separate files for the certificate and the private key, something that’s not possible in Courier as far as I know. Dovecot is also happy to keep those in the same file though as in my example, and as in Courier. Easy going I say!

    For the changes to take effect we need to restart the Plesk Mail Service like so:

    /usr/local/psa/admin/sbin/mailmng --restart-service

    That’s it!


    How do I add a certificate for outgoing mail?

    Postfix (and QMail) deal with sending mail, Dovecot and Courier only deal with receiving it. I’ve described how to add SSL Certificates to Postfix in my article about Courer.


    Further Reading


    • prupert 2:32 pm on January 18, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      You may want to add the following directives for added security:

      Strong DH params

      ssl_dh_parameters_length = 2048

      Disable insecure SSL protocols

      ssl_protocols = !SSLv2 !SSLv3

      • Jay Versluis 3:35 pm on January 18, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you for the tip, prupert! Very much appreciated!

    • good advise 4:30 pm on September 22, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      for dovecot in debian/ubuntu you have to add a > before the paths otherwise it gives an error.
      i wasted a few hours for this little detail. also in debian/ubuntu use

      Path to your Certificate, preferred permissions: root:root 0444

      ssl_cert = </path/to/cert.pem

      Path to your Private Key, preferred permissions: root:root 0400

      ssl_key= </path/to/private.key

    • Patrick 5:29 pm on December 9, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I followed the steps, but when i open ssl test i get the following message:


      no peer certificate available

      No client certificate CA names sent

      SSL handshake has read 0 bytes and written 249 bytes

      New, (NONE), Cipher is (NONE)
      Secure Renegotiation IS NOT supported
      Compression: NONE
      Expansion: NONE

      • Jay Versluis 11:24 pm on December 9, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Which SSL test did you use? What were the results before you patched the certificates (i.e. Please default)?

    • Patrick 9:15 am on December 10, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I used this “openssl s_client -showcerts -connect” to test the SSL.

      After loading the new SSL certificate my email stops working as-well.

      Before patching, the results showed the default PLESK certificate.

    • Patrick 1:58 pm on December 10, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I also noticed that i’m not able to access my mail. Webmail login stops working, and imap connections are closed.

      • Jay Versluis 2:05 pm on December 10, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Oh yes, I had that problem on a couple of systems too. I’m sure there’s a perfectly logical explanation for it, and with several decades of research we’ll probably get to the bottom of it.

        But a much easier solution is to ditch Dovecot and use Courier instead. I know it makes zero sense, but I’ve noticed that on some systems, Dovecot just doesn’t want to work – and on others, I have trouble with Courier. They’re really easy to switch, and all your mail account settings are preserved.

    • Patrick 3:49 pm on December 10, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      ok i will try that out, glad to know if not the only one experiencing this issue. Thanks alot for your help. Appreciate it 🙂

      • Jay Versluis 4:21 pm on December 10, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Any time! Out of interest, what operating system are you using? I’ve had these issues with both CentOS 6 and 7, with plain vanilla installations. Let me know and I’ll forward the issue to the Plesk team – they love fixing things 😉

    • Patrick 4:43 pm on December 10, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I’m using ‪CentOS 6.7, it’s a new setup. Dedicated server from 1and1.

      I just tried courier, followed your other article. I am getting the exact error 🙁
      (CERT OK fails on TLS check.)

      This is weird. Would you be able to take a look for me? I don’t mind paying for the service.

      • Jay Versluis 5:26 pm on December 10, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Sure Patrick, I’ll see what I can discover. I can’t make any promises, but I have a few ideas. Head over here to make a payment, we’ll discuss everything else via email:

        • Daniel McDonald 7:47 pm on April 5, 2016 Permalink | Reply

          Yes, i followed that instructions.
          as i deleted the 10-ssl.cnf thing it just worked. :-S

    • Arno T 7:41 pm on September 30, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I’ve had a good bit of trouble getting it to work and testing it correctly.
      Here is my configuration

      for debugging

      verbose_ssl = yes

      ssl = yes

      Path to your Certificate, preferred permissions: root:root 0444

      ssl_cert = </usr/local/etc/ssl/dovecot-cert.pem

      Path to your Private Key, preferred permissions: root:root 0400

      ssl_key = </usr/local/etc/ssl/dovecot-key.pem

      Path to your CA file,

      ssl_ca = </usr/local/etc/ssl/comodo-positiveSSL/AddTrustExternalCARoot.crt
      ssl_ca = </usr/local/etc/ssl/comodo-positiveSSL/COMODORSAAddTrustCA.crt
      ssl_ca = </usr/local/etc/ssl/comodo-positiveSSL/COMODORSADomainValidationSecureServerCA.crt

      ssl_verify_client_cert = yes
      auth_ssl_require_client_cert = yes

      #auth_ssl_username_from_cert = yes


      openssl s_client -CApath /etc/ssl/certs -CAfile /etc/ssl/certs/ca-bundle.crt -cert ./postfix-cert.pem -key ./postfix-key.pem -connect -starttls pop
      openssl s_client -CApath /etc/ssl/certs -CAfile /etc/ssl/certs/ca-bundle.crt -cert ./postfix-cert.pem -key ./postfix-key.pem -connect -starttls imap

      Post about Postfix & Dovecot, *(post is still under moderation)

    • Ari 3:57 pm on July 12, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Hi there!

      I noticed on your Further Reading section you mentioned “Check your new mail server with this handy online tool”.

      We created a secure email checker with a little better UI that may give a better experience to your readers.

      Here’s the link:

      Let me know if you think it’s an improvement, thank you!


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