Parallels Plesk Expand 2.3.2-17 Release Notes.

Please read chapter "Known Problems and Limitations" attentively prior to starting any install/upgrade routines

Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Requirements
  3. Parallels Plesk Expand Installation Instructions
  4. PSA API RPC Installation Instructions
  5. What's new
  6. Known Problems and Limitations
  7. License Installation
  8. Centralized DNS
  9. Centralized Mail
  10. Contact Information

Introduction

Plesk Expand is the hosting automation software that unites multiple Plesk servers on a single hosting platform. It centrally manages all of your customers, domains, IP pools, provides centralized log-in across Plesk servers, implements intelligent provisioning according to the server load rules and more.

Plesk Expand can be easily integrated with provider's infrastructure through a set of special APIs.

Plesk Expand can be installed over a Plesk for Linux/Unix server (see "Software Requirements" topic for a list of Plesk version supported), or on a clean Linux server (i.e., with no Plesk installed).

Before starting the installation or upgrade process, we strongly recommend that you create a full system backup of the entire server.

Plesk Expand requires the PSA API RPC software to be installed on every managed Plesk Server. PSA API RPC is included in the Plesk for Linux software as an optional package and must be installed prior to connecting Plesk server to Plesk Expand.

PSA API RPC for FreeBSD is included in the base Plesk for FreeBSD distribution. No additional steps are required.

For Windows servers, no additional steps are required as well; all components are included in the base distribution package.

Plesk Expand software is available on the Parallels website.

This SOFTWARE is provided on an "AS IS" basis, without warranty of any kind, including without limitation the warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose and non-infringement. The entire risk as to the quality and performance of the SOFTWARE is borne by the USER. Should the SOFTWARE prove defective, you and not Parallels assume the entire cost of any service and/or repair. All warranties, either express or implied, are disclaimed.

Requirements

Hardware Requirements

Plesk Expand installation requires an IBM PC-compatible computer with the following minimal hardware configuration:

Software Requirements

Plesk Expand 2.3.2 can be installed either in standalone mode or over existing Plesk for Linux installation.

In both modes Plesk Expand can be installed on the server configuration of the following operating systems:

  1. RedHat Enterprise Linux 3 i586
  2. RedHat Enterprise Linux 4 i586 and 64bit
  3. RedHat Enterprise Linux 5 i586 and 64bit
  4. Fedora Core 4 i586
  5. Fedora Core 5 i586 and 64bit
  6. Fedora Core 6 i586 and 64bit
  7. Fedora 7 i586 and 64bit
  8. Fedora 8 i586 and 64bit
  9. CentOS 3 i586
  10. CentOS 4 i586 and 64bit
  11. CentOS 5 i586 and 64bit
  12. Debian GNU Linux 3.1 x86
  13. Debian GNU Linux 4.0 x86 and 64bit
  14. SuSE Linux 9.3 i586
  15. SuSE Enterprise Server 10 i586 and 64bit
  16. openSuSE 10.3 i586 and 64bit

Plesk Expand can be installed over following Plesk server installations:

  1. Plesk 8.1.x for Linux
  2. Plesk 8.2.x for Linux
  3. Plesk 8.3.x for Linux
  4. Plesk 8.4.x for Linus
  5. Plesk 8.6.x for Linus

Make sure you've chosen proper Plesk Expand distribution prior to starting installation.

See the "Centralized Mail" topic for Centralized Mail specific requirements.

See the "Centralized DNS" topic for Centralized DNS specific requirements.

Special Requirements to Plesk Expand installation inside Virtuozzo.

We recommend that you use the following VPS configuration at least:

You can use the 'unlimited' template for VPS creation. Be sure that VPS has no MySQL template installed.

Incompatible Software

none known;

Plesk Requirements

Plesk Expand supports the following Plesk versions:

  1. Plesk 8.1.x for Linux/Unix
  2. Plesk 8.1.x for Windows
  3. Plesk 8.2.x for Linux/Unix
  4. Plesk 8.2.x for Windows
  5. Plesk 8.3.x for Linux/Unix
  6. Plesk 8.3.x for Windows
  7. Plesk 8.4.x for Linux/Unix
  8. Plesk 8.4.x for Windows
  9. Plesk 8.6.x for Linux/Unix
  10. Plesk 8.6.x for Windows

Plesk servers for Linux platforms must have the psa-api-rpc package installed. See the 'PSA API RPC Installation instructions' topic for details.

Plesk Expand Installation Instructions

You can select one of the following Plesk Expand installation methods:

  1. Use web-based installer;
  2. Use console-based interactive autoinstaller;
  3. Perform manual installation;
  4. Installing Virtuozzo application template (if Plesk Expand is installed to Virtuozzo VPS)

Web-based Installation

  1. Run a web browser and open the page https://expand-webinstall.parallels.com/wui/
  2. Follow the on-screen instructions.
  3. NOTE: Only the following OSes are supported by Web-based installation:

Console-based Installation

  1. Download the expand_installer-2.7.4-2.sh file to your server.
  2. Run the installer by issuing the following command:
    	# sh expand_installer-2.7.4-2.sh
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions.
  4. NOTE: Only the following OSes are supported by Expand console-based installer:

Manual Installation

Additional Software Requirements

The following packages need to be pre-installed:

All the above packages can be installed from a distribution CD for an appropriate OS. For Your convenience, we provide them along with Plesk Expand.

The rest of the packages archived in the tarball cannot be substituted for packages of other vendors because they contain patched code to meet the requirements of Plesk Expand:

Installation Procedure

Plesk Expand and required software are distributed in the RPM packages rolled into a single tarball:

To install Plesk Expand, follow these instructions:

  1. Log in as 'root' to your system.
  2. Decompress an appropriate Plesk Expand archive:
    	# tar xf expand_2.3.2-17*.tar
  3. Install the extracted RPM packages:
    	# cd expand_2.3.2-17*
    	# rpm -Uhv *.rpm

NOTE: After the Plesk Expand package is installed, you will be notified of your login details for the Plesk Expand control panel (URL, login and password). The message of the following kind will appear:

*****************************************************************
* Congratulations! You have just installed Plesk Expand v.2.3.2
* You can access the system at https://expandhost.domain:8442
* Use 'root@expandhost.domain' as e-mail and
* 'setup' as password to connect to the Plesk Expand frontend.
* You can change this login data after logging into the frontend.
*****************************************************************

Upgrade Procedure

The upgrade procedure is rather straightforward.

NOTE: If you are trying to upgrade the Plesk Expand version 2.1.3-8 or earlier, you will need to install the following packages first:

NOTE: To change the default certificate please open /etc/sw-cp-server/applications.d/01_expand.conf file and modify the following option:

	ssl.pemfile = "/usr/local/expand/frontend/conf/httpsd.pem"

NOTE: After the Plesk Expand package is upgraded, the message of the folllowing kind appears:

*************************************************************************
* Congratulations! You have just upgraded your Plesk Expand to v.2.3.2
*************************************************************************

Deinstallation Procedure

To deinstall Plesk Expand, issue the following command (being logged in as 'root'):

	# rpm -e expand expand-dist-repository expand-locale-base-en-US

This will erase the Plesk Expand installation files from the /usr/local/expand directory and drop the 'expand' MySQL database. However, the /usr/local/expand directory will not be erased and the following files will be left for post-mortem reviews:

Upon the installation, all configuration files being patched by Plesk Expand will be pre-saved as '<filename[.extension]>.exp_bak'. However, these files will NOT be reverted to their previous copies upon deinstallation.

Installation Plesk Expand on Debian GNU Linux 3.1/4.0 OS

You can select one of the following Plesk Expand installation methods on Debian:

  1. Use console-based autoinstaller script;
  2. Perform manual installation from tarball

Installation Using Console-based Autoinstaller

  1. Download the expand-2.3-debian-autoinstall.sh file to your server.
  2. Run the installer by issuing the following command:
    	# sh expand-2.3-debian-autoinstall.sh
  3. The script will update your /etc/apt/sources.list file and will run apt-get to install Plesk Expand automaticaly.
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions.

Manual Installation From Tarball

Plesk Expand and required software are distributed in the DEB packages rolled into a single tarball:

To install Plesk Expand, follow these instructions:

  1. Log in as 'root' to your system.
  2. Decompress an appropriate Plesk Expand archive:
    	# tar xf expand_2.3.2-17*.tar
  3. Update your /etc/apt/sources.list file, insert into it one of the following lines according to your OS:

    NOTE: Specify a path to decompresed directory instead of <path>

  4. Resynchronize the apt-get package index files:
    	# apt-get update
  5. Install Plesk Expand:
    	# apt-get install expand expand-dist-repository

License Installation

A purchased license key may be installed through the Plesk Expand control panel or manually.

To install a license key manually, follow the instructions below:

  1. Copy the key file to /usr/local/expand/etc/expand.key
  2. Restart Plesk Expand using the following command (being logged in as 'root'):
       # /etc/init.d/expand restart

Centralized DNS

You may skip this step if you are not going to provide the Centralized DNS service. But if you choose to provide it later, you need to go back and complete this step.

The Centralized DNS feature allows to process all DNS requests from the outside by a pool of dedicated DNS servers.

The centralized DNS software can be installed on one machine with Plesk Expand, but it is highly recommend to install services be running on separate dedicated or virtual servers, otherwise it may cause operation problems if server is overloaded. Also the centralized DNS software cannot be installed on one machine with Plesk (or with a Centralized Mail server).

Centralized DNS server is available for the same set of OSes as Plesk Expand. It is possible (but not guaranteed) that it will also run on another Linux platform.

Requirements:

  1. Make sure that bind 9.2.1 or higher is installed on the host that you are going to make a dedicated DNS server.
  2. Make sure that bind is running properly (see item 4.1 of the list below).

Now you can go to the Plesk Expand Control Panel and register a Centralized DNS server in Plesk Expand. The DNS controller software is required to manage your DNS server, so it will be installed on your server automatically. You can choose not to install it automatically and perform manual installation of dnscontroller package.

Follow these instruction to install the DNS controller software manually:

  1. 1. Prepare a Unix server (see supported OSes above) with bind 9.2.1 (or higher) installed.
  2. 2. Go to your Plesk Expand distribution and upload the following files to your server:
  3. 3. Now log in to your server and install the packages uploaded:
    # rpm -Uhv dnscontroller/dnscontroller-2.0.0-*.i586.rpm
  4. 4. After the installation is complete, ensure that dnscontroller is configured properly.
    1. 4.1. Check that your bind installation works properly, try
      # /etc/init.d/named status
      # /etc/init.d/named stop
      # /etc/init.d/named start
      # /etc/init.d/named restart
      
      All these commands must succeed.
    2. 4.2. Check if your bind installation is running in a 'chroot' mode or not. Typically, it is not, unless you (or some software) have changed this option. If you do not know how to check your bind configuration, you can follow these instructions:
      1. 4.2.1 start the bind server (if it is not started yet):
        # /etc/init.d/named start
        
      2. 4.2.2 look at its options:
        # ps -ax | grep named
        31200 ?        S      0:30 /usr/sbin/named -u named -n1 -c /etc/named.conf -u named -t /var/named/run-root
        
        If you found a '-t' option, then the parameter following it is a chroot directory and your bind server is running in a "chroot" mode.
    3. 4.3. If you found that your bind server is running in the 'chroot' mode, then you need to open the /usr/local/expand/conf/dnscontroller.conf file:
      # vi /usr/local/dnscontroller/conf/dnscontroller.conf
      
      and change line
      #chroot_dir = /var/named/run-root
      
      to
      chroot_dir = /your/chroot/dir
      
    4. 4.4. Since dnscontroller-2.0.0 there is a /usr/local/dnscontroller/conf/hosts.allow file which is used to restrict unauthorized management of your DNS server. DNS controller software won't accept any connections from hosts which IPs are not included to hosts.allow file. Thus you need to open it and add IP of your Plesk Expand host to this file. The file syntax is quite easy:
      • each host should be on separate line
      • line break is a delimiter
      • asterisk '*' allows accepting connections from any host - USE FOR TROUBLESHOOTING ONLY!!
    5. 4.5. By default DNS Controller will generate SOA serial in YYYYMMDDnn format. If you prefer UNIX timestamp format, then change "serial_type" parameter in /usr/local/dnscontroller/dnscontroller.conf to "unix_timestamp" value:
      	serial_type = unix_timestamp
      
      It is recommended to choose SOA serial type BEFORE Central DNS server keeps any DNS zones. If you change SOA serial format having any DNZ zones already configured in DNSController,then you will have problems with updating your DNS zone content by outer DNS servers because new serial is lower than previous one (being compared as positive integer numbers).

Centralized Mail

You may skip this step if you are not going to provide the Centralized Mail service. But if you choose to provide it later, you need to go back and complete this step prior to registering the Centralized Mail server in Plesk Expand.

The Centralized Mail server is configured on the basis of a regular Plesk server. Just like a regular Plesk server, it can be installed either standalone (on a separate host) or on one host with Plesk Expand.

You can use the following Plesk versions (among versions available on the moment of the release notes publication) as Central Mail server:

You see, both Linux/Unix- and Windows-based hosts can be used as Central Mail server. Any Central Mail server (Linux/Unix- and Windows-based) can serve for any Plesk server (Linux/Unix- and Windows-based). But there are some limitations, see them below:

See the Plesk Installation Guide for instructions on how to install the Centralized Mail server (the installation of PSA API RPC is a mandatory step). Then return back to follow the instructions below:

  1. 1) Complete the Plesk postinstallation process.
  2. 2) Make sure that you have added a SHARED default IP address to the Centralized Mail server IP Pool.
  3. 3) Make sure that you have removed all clients (including the one named 'My Domains') from the Centralized Mail server.
  4. 4) Install the proper Plesk license key on the Centralized Mail server. It should allow to create as many domains as this server is going to serve.
  5. 5) It is highly recommended to switch the Cenrtalized mail server to using full POP3/IMAP mail accounts names. Login to the Centralized mail server, go to "Server > Mail" page and enable the "Only use of full POP3/IMAP mail accounts names is allowed" option. Unless this option is enabled, there might be a situation when one mail user can read mail of another mail user (if they have the same password).

When this feature is activated (a Plesk server is assigned to the Centralized Mail Server), the 'Remote Mail' button appears in the Plesk Control Panel of each domain user residing on the assigned Plesk server. By clicking this button in the Plesk control panel, users can open a special page where they can manage their remote mail settings.

What's new in Plesk Expand 2.3.2

Plesk Expand 2.3.2 includes the following features:

  1. [+] Extended the list of OSes supported by Expand web- and console-based installers. The new OSes are Fedora 7 i586, Fedora 8 i586 and CentOS 5.2 i586.
  2. [+] Added the ability to repair relations between a Plesk server and a centralized mail server without servers reassigning. After restoration of a centralized mail server from a backup, the relations can be repaired by the 'Centralized Mail / Reload Accounts' command.
  3. [+] Added the ability to autodetect the conflicts between a domain name and domain aliases names in centralized mail. The detected conflicts can be resolved on the centralized mail account`s page.
  4. [+] Added the ability to enable/disable centralized mail accounts synchronization. The synchronization can be enabled/disabled on the centralized mail account`s page by the 'Unignore Account'/'Ignore Account' command.
  5. [+] The information about a mail migration process is displayed on the 'Plesk Migrations' page at the moment of assigning a Plesk server to a centralized mail server.
  6. [*] Fixed an issue with synchronization of disk usage statistics data in centralized mail.
  7. [*] Fixed issues with Expand clients rights.
  8. [*] Fixed issues with incorrect migrations statuses processing.
  9. [+] Improved the presentation of information about migration processes. The migrations statuses and errors are displayed in total and per objects on the corresponding info pages.
  10. [*] Fixed an issue with incorrect IP-addresses mapping for mail migration processes.
  11. [*] Fixed an issue with update of DNS setting for migrated domains.
  12. [*] Fixed an issue with domains creation/update in Plesk 8.1.
  13. [*] Fixed 'Unilogin' page. The clients can select Expand or Plesk interface that they wish to connect to.
  14. [*] Fixed issues with the 'Total mailboxes quota' limit processing in operations on Expand client`s instances and domains.
  15. [*] Fixed an issue with refreshing domains deleted from Plesk servers.

Legend:

[+] new feature

[-] bug fixed or removed

[*] bug fixed and improvement made


Known Problems and Limitations

  1. It is impossible to migrate a domain from one Plesk server to another if both of them use the same DB server. In this case all databases of the damain will be lost (issue #132426).
  2. [B92045] If you have Plesk and Plesk Expand installed together in one Virtuozzo VE, then you need to change /etc/hosts file. Open it and find a line like that:
      127.0.0.1  your-host.com your-host localhost localhost.localdomain
    replace it with the following line:
      127.0.0.1  localhost localhost.localdomain
    Otherwise you may experience problems when using CDNS feature.
  3. Make sure you have properly configured DNS zone for all you hosts including Plesk servers, Central Mail servers, Central DNS servers, Plesk Expand host. Plesk Expand might use DNS lookup to resolve hostname to IP, and reverse lookup to resolve IP to hostname. So if the PTR record for Central Mail server IP points to wrong name - you will experience problems with "Remote Mail" button in Plesk.
  4. It is impossible to use one Plesk host as Central Mail and as usual Plesk server, but if you did this before upgrade tp Plesk Expand 2.0, you will be able to continue such usage (issue #91532).
  5. For security purposes only 'root' users and those belonging to the 'expand' group are allowed to execute Expand command-line tools.
  6. After upgrade from version <= 1.0.1-10, the 'validity period' limit in all client and domain templates will be changed to 'unlimited'.
  7. It is recommended that you disable the 'offline management' option for Plesk servers running in Virtuozzo VPS. Otherwise, you might have problems using features like 'Login to Plesk server', 'Centralized Mail', etc.
  8. Do not install psa-rsession-*.rpm. The psa-api-rpc utility already has psa-rsession built-in. Forced installation of psa-rsession over psa-api-rpc will cause problems, as psa-rsession-*.rpm conflicts with psa-api-rpc-7.5.4-*.rpm.
  9. Centralized mail: remote mail management is available only if a SHARED IP address is used as a default one for Plesk Mail server.
  10. Centralized mail: a custom logo and the corresponding URL (if any) will not be displayed when Plesk users manage a remote mail service.
  11. Centralized DNS: manual installation of Bind is required in order to use a Centralized DNS server.
  12. During the assignment of a Plesk server to a Centralized Mail server, Plesk Expand will offer you to migrate the existing mail content (content of user mailboxes and mailing list archives) from the Plesk server to a Centralized Mail server. Be careful, as the migration may take considerable time (the migration of a server with about thousand domains hosted on it may take a few days(!)). Make sure that you have enough diskspace in the /tmp folder on your Plesk server, Plesk Expand server and Centralized Mail server.

Contact Information

Parallels Headquarters
13755 Sunrise Valley Drive
Suite 600
Herndon, VA 20171 USA
Phone: +1.703.815.5670,
Fax: +1.703.815.5675
World Wide Web: http://www.parallels.com

E-mail:
For billing information, email accounting@parallels.com
For purchasing or partnering information, email sales@parallels.com
For technical support, use our Online Support Form.
To report problems with Plesk software, email bugreport@parallels.com
For information on career opportunities with Parallels, email careers@parallels.com
For press contact information, email press@parallels.com
For general product information, email info@parallels.com

Copyright 2004-2008, Parallels. Virtualization and Automation Software. All rights reserved.

Patented hosting technology protected by U.S.Patents 7,099,948; 7,076,633.
Patents pending in the U.S.