Migration from ISPmanager 4


Migration from ISPmanager 4 is supported only on Unix-based operating systems.

The migration process may influence performance of your server. Server performance recovery cannot be predicted in advance.

Before you start:

1. We strongly recommend that you create a full backup copy of your server's files (the directories /bin /sbin /etc /lib /lib64 /usr /var). The migration process does not affect user data (contents of/var/www if you run Linux or /home if you run FreeBSD), so you may not back up those directories.

Following are examples of the commands for creating a backup copy for various operating systems. Execute the command from the console with root privileges. The directory /lib64 must be excluded from the backup for 32-bit OS.

If you run Debian:

tar -cvzf /var/server_backup.tgz --exclude=/var/www --exclude=/var/cache/apt --exclude=/var/cache/man --exclude=/usr/share/man --exclude=/usr/share/doc --exclude --exclude=/var/server_backup.tgz -- /bin /sbin /etc /lib /lib64 /usr /var


tar -cvzf /var/server_backup.tgz --exclude=/var/www --exclude=/var/lib/yum --exclude=/usr/local/man --exclude=/usr/share/doc --exclude=/usr/share/man --exclude=/var/run --exclude=/var/spool --exclude=/var/server_backup.tgz -- /bin /sbin /etc /lib /lib64 /usr /var


tar -cvzf /var/server_backup.tgz --exclude /home --exclude /usr/ports --exclude /var/run --exclude /var/server_backup.tgz -- /bin /sbin /etc /lib /libexec /usr /var

2. Activate the function for displaying debugging information in the logs to be able to search possible errors that may occur during migration.

In the COREmanager directory (normally, it is /usr/local/mgr5) in the file etc/debug.conf change

* 6


* 9

During installation of ISPmanager 5, the installation module will check if ISPmanager 4 is installed on the server. This check will be performed once you select a version of the application you want to install.

The executable file /usr/local/ispmgr/bin/ispmgr indicates that ISPmanager 4 is installed.

For ISPmanager 5 Lite: the installation module checks that ISPmanager 4 Lite is installed, otherwise the error message will display and the installation will fail.

If ISPmanager 4 is installed on the server, you will be asked if you want to import the data or select the ISPmanager 5 installation type. Clearing the "Import data" check box will not import the data. In that case all the server settings including those of the web-servers and mail servers will be lost.

Clicking "Next" will stat preparing the data for migration if the "Import data" was selected. The migration process is performed if ISPmanager is set up as the COREmanager background task, that will be executed once all the components are installed and customized. In the "Background tasks" module it is displayed with the script name "pkgispmgr_lite" in the "installer" queue.

Once the migration and installation of ISPmanager 5 is successfully completed, if you changed the level of debugging information, make sure you set it as it was. In the COREmanager directory in the file etc/debug.conf change

* 9


* 6

and stop the COREmanager processes.

sudo killall core

Before you start migrating, the installer will ask to confirm your actions. Specify:

I have backup of my server

If an error occurred while migrating

The migration process in constantly improving, because it is difficult to predict all possible variants of server settings. If you can do so, do not change any data on the server in case of error, submit a ticket to the ISPsystem Technical support department providing access details to your server and the backup copy of your server's files. Our developers will help you resolve the issue. Please note, investigating the issue and its resolution may take a long time, besides developers do not work 24 hours and have weekends. If you cannot contact our technical support, please post your question at ISPsystem Forum and be ready to send the logs var/core.log var/ispmgr.log var/installer.log var/isppkg.log (the paths to log files are related to the COREmanager installation directory on the server) to the developer's mailbox, if needed. All the developers and testers are assigned to the "ISPsystem team" group. To recover your server, recover all the data from the backup copy and reboot the server.

Following is the example of data recovery from the backup copy that was created before migration. Execute the command as root in the console.

cd / && tar -xvzf /var/server_backup.tgz

Migration includes

The migration process will import only the data that are described below.

Modifying you software program to meet ISPmanager 5 requirements

Before migration, the installer will get a list of activated modules from the "Software" module in ISPmanager 4. The software products that will be installed and customized while installing ISPmanager 5 are specified by that list except for issues with mail server (see description below).

Migration of Web-domains

Migration of domain names (DNS)

Domain names (DNS zones)

Domain names are migrated according to the list of domain names in ISPmanager 4. For each domain names, the DNS-server must be specified the configuration file and the owner of this domain name must exist. The information will be specified in the ISPmanager 5 internal database.

 If view that was used in ISPmanager 4 for creation of domain names differs from a default one, 
 before data import specify a name for that view using the "ViewName" parameter of 
 the ISPmanager 5 configuration file (etc/ispmgr.conf).
   ViewName ispmgr.ns

Creating domain names

Domain names creation settings are migrated according to the settings specified in ISPmanager 4 except for the "Administrator email" field. In ISPmanager 5 this value is specified and checked as an email, while in ISPmanager 4 it is specified according to the SOA-record standards. Before you start data import, make sure the value in ISPmanager 4 is correct. Examples:

Converting value:

admin.somedomain.com. => [email protected]

admin.some.domain.com. => [email protected]

Correct values in ISPmanager 4:



Incorrect values in ISPmanager 4:



as the above data cannot be converted into a correct email value

External domain name settings

Settings of the external name servers (NS) are migrated according to the values specified in ISPmanager 4. While migrating the values for control panel URL, username and password are checked, so before you start, make sure those fields contain correct values. Accessibility of the external name server is not checked during migration.

Migration of backup parameters

Backup settings cannot be migrated.

Migration of database settings and user databases

Migration of the above elements during ISPmanager 5 installation will not transfer user data.

The following operation will be performed:

  • a database will be registered according to the settings from ISPmanager 4;
  • user databases will be assigned to the control panel's users.
 If an attempt to define a database owner failed, that database will not be added into the list.

Migration of FTP-server settings

While migrating FTP-server settings, the server will be fully reconfigured and additional packets required for managing virtual FTP-users will be installed. For each ISPmanager 4 user a list of FTP-users with current settings will prompted. After getting the list of FTP-users, they will be recreated as virtual users of the ftp-server. They are created through ISPmanager 5 API. As you do not have real passwords of ftp-users, they will be recreated using the current password hash from /etc/passwd (/etc/shadow).

Migration of PHP parameters

PHP user settings (~/php-bin/php.ini) will be migrated into the file ~/php-bin/.php.ini.

For more information on the "PHP settings module", please refer to the article How the "PHP settings" module works when modifying parameters.

Migration of user access privileges to panel functions

Migration of Firewall rules

Firewall settings will be migrated according to the documentation description and will be deleted from ISPmanager 4.

Migration of domain names and mailboxes

Following is the procedure of migrating mailboxes and mail domains.

  1. On the first step all the domain and mailboxes settings are saved (quota, greylisting, auto-responders, etc.).
  2. Configuration files of mail services are reconfigured for running on ISPmanager 5.
  3. All the configuration files containing data about domains and mailboxes will be cleared and recreated according to ISPmanager 5 requirements. (directories of the mailboxes, domains and email messages are not deleted).
  4. If Mailbox format was used prior to migration, the mb2md utility will be used to convert mail into Maildir.
  5. If postfix or sendmail, that in ISPmanager 4 required a real user for each mailbox, were used, those users will be deleted from the system and all the mailboxes will become virtual, privileges of the mailbox owner will be set for their directories.
  6. Mail domains and mailboxes will all the settings will be recreated by ISPmanager 5 in the configuration files.

Email filter rules are not migrated. ISPmanager 4 used procmail and maildrop for that purposes, ISPmanager 5 uses the sieve plugin of Dovecot so old filter rules are not compatible with them.

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