How to Setup Linode with cPanel/WHM

Linode’s cloud hosting doesn’t offer cPanel and WHM in its standard plans but you can manually install WHM and cPanel yourself in order to make the hosting environment better and manageable for you. Although there is a managed solution by Linode as well where everything is managed for you for additional $100 per month per server where you get cPanel and WHM as well. But I feel that you would love to save those additional $100 if your goal is just to have cPanel and WHM available on your system.

Here in this guide, I’ll take you through the simple steps that are involved in cPanel and WHM installation. Let’s proceed.

In Brief:

In this guide, we will be learning about the installation process in three easy steps:

  1. In the first step, you will have to buy a Linode server
  2. In the second step, you will have to deploy CentOS image on the server
  3. And in final step, you will have to sign in as root via SSH and install cPanel

Let’s dig deeper into the installation process step-by-step.

 Step 1: Buy a Linode Server


First of all, you will obviously have to buy a server at Linode. If you haven’t bought a server yet, then you can buy it through my referral link here. The referral link will earn me a small commission (not from you but Linode will pay me).

After choosing the preferred plan on the pricing page, make a payment. Once your server is created, proceed to the next step.

Step 2: Configure Operating System


The next step is to configure the operating system on your newly created server. Don’t worry, the process is not complex as Linode provides a list of several deployable operating systems including the CentOS that we will be configuring on the server in order to run cPanel on it.

In Linode control panel, go to the management section of your newly created server. There, you will see a screen like this:

build-linode

Click on ‘Deploy an Image’ and you will be taken to a new screen. Select CentOS 7 as the image, set 512MB as swap space and set a root password to deploy the OS image. Once the OS installation completes, boot the server up by clicking Boot button.

Step 3: Install cPanel


Now it’s time to start the actual cPanel and WHM installation. Sign in to your server via SSH using the IP address of the server from its Remote Access tab in Linode control panel and using the password that you set during deploying the image. On Windows, PuTTY SSH client can be used while on Mac OSX and Ubuntu, there are inbuilt terminals available. Moreover, you can use the web-based console provided by Linode as well.

To sign into the server via SSH, execute this command in a terminal:

ssh root@your-server-ip

Use your root password and you should get in if you do things properly. After signing in, run an update to update all available packages on your server:

yum update

This would take up to 5 or more minutes. Once the update is done, you can proceed to install the cPanel and WHM package. Execute this command to start the installation:

cd /home && curl -o latest -L https://securedownloads.cpanel.net/latest && sh latest

This single command downloads the latest cPanel installer from their official website and executes it. The up-to-date information about this installation process can be found at cPanel official website as well.

After executing the installation command, you need to wait for at least 30 minutes or it may take even up to an hour or more. Sit back and relax while cPanel installation completes.

Final Configuration:

Once the installation is complete, visit https://server-ip:2087 and use root as username and the password that you set during deploying the image. As soon as you will sign in, you will be presented with a setup guide. Follow the steps keeping default values but if you want to use custom nameservers and so on, I suggest these changes:

  • In DNS resolvers, use 8.8.8.8 in first field, 8.8.4.4 in the second field and delete the IP from the third field (I prefer to use Google DNS)
  • In hostname, type in cpanel.yourdomain.com and set ns1.yourdomain.com and ns2.yourdomain.com as the nameservers. Add the IP of your server in IPV4 fields (same for both nameservers) and you can also get the IPv6 address from your server’s Remote Access tab in Linode control panel
  • Add 3 A records in your domain’s DNS control panel:
    • A record cp should point to your server’s IP
    • A record ns1 should point to your server’s IP
    • A record ns2 should point to your server’s IP
  • Add ns1 and ns2 as glue records in your DNS control panel in order to use them as valid nameservers for other domains

After configuring these settings, you can start creating new cPanel accounts. For new domains, you can now use your custom nameservers ns1.yourdomain.com and ns1.yourdomain.com. Please remember that this initial DNS configuration needs some solid understanding of networking. If you aren’t sure about this, then you should use the default values suggested by the setup guide.

License Activation:

You get a 15-day trial initially and you can try WHM and cPanel for free during this period. After that, you will have to subscribe a license from cPanel directly or any of its resellers (recommended). I recommend LicensePal where you can buy cPanel licenses at cheap rates (even cheaper than the official pricing). After purchasing the license, you need to sign into your server via SSH once again and execute this command:

/usr/local/cpanel/cpkeyclt

If your license is valid, your WHM/cPanel installation will be activated. To verify either you have bought a valid license or not, you can visit https://verify.cpanel.net/.

Rehmat

A web developer, server administrator and a blogger from Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan.

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