cPanel installation can be difficult for the first time, but this tutorial will help you in the setup of cPanel on an ElasticHosts cloud server.
If you are not an ElasticHosts customer yet, start a free trial today:
cPanel is the leading web hosting platform that provides a graphical interface and automation tools designed to simplify the process of hosting a website or multiple websites. Given its popularity, we provide a pre-installed cPanel image for our customers.
The cPanel image is almost ready to go as soon as it's installed, which saves a lot of time spent waiting for the installation process to run. After creating your cPanel server, the virtual machine(VM) and container versions of cPanel will each require more or less the same initial setup:
- Create server/container using cPanel image
- Log in, set root password
- Log into WHM, log in/complete settings process
- Log into cPanel
- Contact us for licensing.
1. Create server/container using cPanel image
Start by navigating to your ElasticHosts control panel. Here, click the 'Add' button, then click 'Server' under 'Virtual Machines' or 'Linux Containers'.
A new window will open where you can configure your new server.
You will have many options here, among others you can set the server name and the configuration (set to 2000MHz and 1024 MB RAM as default), but let's skip these for now. What we will need is the 'Image' box: open the drop-down menu, and choose the cPanel 11.52.
Lastly, set your drive size to at least 10 gigabytes, then click Add. This will begin the imaging process, which may take a few minutes.
2. Log in, and set the root password
As soon as the imaging process is complete, power up your server using the green power button in the server box.
Both Linux Containers and Virtual Machines can be accessed using SSH; the most commonly-used SSH client for Windows, and the one we recommend, is PuTTY. For the most part, Mac and Unix machines have SSH built in. If you are unsure about using SSH, check out our video tutorial.
You can connect to your server using the IP address which appeared on the control pane when powering up; put this into Putty's New Connection window.
You'll get a message saying
login as:, to which you should respond:
...or 'root' backwards. The password for this user will also be on the server's pane, just below the IP address; you can click the clipboard icon next to the password to automatically copy it for easy pasting. In PuTTY, simply right-clicking will paste. Don't worry if you don't see anything happen; the password is never shown at this stage, so just right-click, then press Enter.
Once logged in, run:
...to set a root password for your machine. This will be necessary and you should make sure this password is strong, as it will grant full administrative access to your machine.
3. Log into cPanel's WebHost Manager (WHM)
Open up a browser, then type in:
...where you replace '10.11.12.13' with the IP address on your server's pane.
This may give you a warning that the site is not secure, as you will not have set up an SSL certificate at this time. That's okay! It is safe to ignore this warning (often you will need to click 'Advanced Options' to do so) and proceed to your site.
You should get a login panel for WHM, cPanel's administrative backend:
root as your username, and whatever password you chose, to log in.
There will be several steps you need to complete as you go along; if you're new to cPanel, you basically won't need to change anything away from default settings to get started. Each step will take a few moments to finish, as this is finalizing your settings for cPanel. All these settings may be adjusted later, so don't worry if you're not sure what you're doing yet. This process is designed to result in a functional installation of cPanel.
Soon, you'll be at the administrative page for WHM. There are many options here, but the easiest thing to do is to use the search bar on the top left to 'create a new account'. Typing this in will narrow the options down to just a single one, which will allow you to create your first cPanel account and get started using cPanel in earnest.
There are several options in the account creation process, but none of these are awfully complex, and most may be safely left as default; again, all settings can be changed later.
Once you've successfully created an account (don't be afraid to take a few tries at settings - it's a little fearsome if you're new to this stage), you're ready to log in and start using cPanel.
4. Log into cPanel
Now that you've created a cPanel account, you can log into it by going to:
Again, where '10.11.12.13' is your server's IP address from the Elastichosts Control panel box.
This will allow you to log in using your cPanel account name and password (not your root password). Once this is done, setup is complete, and you can start using cPanel.
You'll have to have a cPanel license to continue using the panel past your trial period.
In order to finalize your license, please email firstname.lastname@example.org requesting a license, and include your cPanel machine's main IP address.
Please note: if this is not already set as a static IP, you will have to purchase one for you to continue, as licenses are locked to IP addresses.
Congratulations, you have successfully set up your cPanel server! If you've enjoyed the tutorial, let us know on Twitter!
To read more useful guides, check out our Tutorials section.