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Thread: Cpanel to DirectAdmin MIGRATION steps - experience/review

  1. #1
    Fli is offline
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    Mar 2013

    Cpanel to DirectAdmin MIGRATION steps - experience/review

    DirectAdmin REVIEW after moving from cPanel (09/2019):

    Overal i think cPanel features are a bit more refined into detail and if both cost same price, i would use cPanel.
    But there is no major problem, only small problems :-)

    - DA interface is very easy to get used to. is convenient and i am not missing any features
    - i am having problem with slow loading File manager. Sometimes even 10 second to move from folder to folder
    - File manager lacks convenient copying/moving of files. One have to do it in 4 steps instead of one: make sure clipboard is clearen (it does not automatically clean after pasting its contents), select files to copy or move, click "clipboard", browse to proper directory (not too fast), click Clipboard options to select copying or moving, scroll down the page and again click clipboard options to erase clipboard content to be prepared for next copying. Unnecessarily annoying.
    - File manager editor does not support Ctrl+F to find something in the editted file.
    - Recursive permission change, when initiated on some folder, changes not only sub-folders permissions (as one would expect), but also files so one end up with quite messed permission structure.
    - DA does not support converting domain into a subdomain?
    - E-mail accounts page does not contain easily accessible details like e-mail server address, username, password, SMTP, POP3, IMAP port
    - Password resetting of the user account passwords from within reseller account should also allow resetting FTP and mysql passwords (mysql password unticked checkbox), i am missing option to tick multiple accounts and change pwd for these all at once.

    - turn cpanel account to addon domain:
    - combine multiple cpanels:
    - CWP (free control panel) has some cP migration tool:
    - Vesta free panel (Filemanager paid?) has some possibly outdated cP migration script:


    How i migrated / How to migrate from cPanel to DirectAdmin

    Some higlights:

    - DirectAdmin is quite easy to get familiar with after leaving cpanel. I am not missing any features, though file edittor and file moving/copying in File manager is not that convenient.
    - SPF record was automaticaly updated to reflect new server IP (old domain was removed from a SPF record), so not needed any hard modifications
    - SOME MySQL passwords was resetted due to me running old MySQL 5.5 and destination server v. 5.6+: so good to setup some script to reset passwords back or manually set old passwords back after migration - good if many databases share single username for simplicity.
    - During restoration of the cpanel backups, directadmin removed "-" from database names so i hd to update some php files to match new database names :-/
    - cosmetic: resulting directadmin accounts keeps NS records in its DNS section, so if you have changed nameservers after migration, then edit these NS records in each account
    - sites that works at cpanel server with 750 permission may show 403 error on DA server. Use 755.
    - some subdomains are not properly handled and one have to create them manually and move the data folder, more
    - some domains lost AutoSSL generated LetsEncrypt certificate after migration. Other domains not. you may need to initiate reinstall LetsEncrypt SSL for each domain manually.
    - some sites may show bad characters, question marks instead of spec. characters or a blank page. Lowering PHP version fixed it
    - Sites with config files that contained mysql credentials and engine variable set to mysql had to be changed to mysqli

    Steps done before and after the migration:

    1. shows the list of accounts primary domains, but if you want to check all domains and subdomains for errors after migration, you can compose some clickable list of all hosted sites so you have it at hand after migration and can quickly find & fix possible errors (due to PHP version change?)

    2. Find accounts that are using Cloudflare or other proxy and invite them to change the server IP on their side:
    I ran script that try to report domains with non standard IPs (those that using cloudflare, other proxiesor different hosting):
    for entry in $(ls -A1 /var/cpanel/users/|grep -v "/");do
    echo "$entry": && dig a +short $(grep DNS /var/cpanel/users/"$entry"|sed -e "s|DNS.*=||g"|grep -E "\.")|grep -v "mycurrentcpanelserverIPhere"
    Then create generic e-mail for inviting user to change the DNS records IP of their domain on the Cloudflare or other proxy, then i will send this to these users (searching billing system for the username returned by previously mentioned script).
    Users of Cloudflare etc. have to also adjust SPF records on Cloudflare/DNS to reflect new IP.

    Hello dear client,

    per my findings, it may be possible that your domain DNS is managed out of our hosting servers.
    If you are still hosting with us, and the IP to which your domain is pointed is some kind of proxy (like Cloudflare), then please edit your DNS records at cloudflare or other proxy to reflect our new server IP.
    Old IP: *******
    New IP: *******

    You can also point your domain to your hosting account by setting following nameservers on your domain:

    If you have any questions, please reply this message or submit support ticket.
    3. lower the TTL of the nameserver DNS records your hosted cpanel accounts are using. For example, go to webhosting account, go to DNS and lower TTL of the appropriate NS records to something like 5 minutes maybe - 300 seconds? in order to limit delays in propagation of the IP change you will do on these records later.

    5. schedule the migration with your new reseller hosting provider on the date/time where is low traffic on hosted sites

    6. did the migration, once completed, i have edited my DNS NS records in hosting account (, IP change) and other DNS records under same domain where was old server IP. And turned it into shared IP found in new server: DirectAdmin reseller account / Nameservers.

    7. Send the e-mail composed in the step 2.

    8. Check the sites for errors (see the step 1.)

    9. change billing system to work with directadmin
    Modiffy offers on a reseller site so it reflect new panel DirectAdmin.

    10. backup important files of the old server

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2018

    Is this useful / helpfull? Yes | No
    Nice tutorial, if anyone have any problem I've also made tutorial on how to manually migrate one cpanel account to directadmin, I hope it will be usefull too.

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