Less Talk…More Code – First Webinar Recap!

We’ve hosted our first of two webinars leading up to the cPanel Plugin Hackfest. During this recent webinar, I promised attendees some downloadables!

From Webinar #1:

Thanks to everyone who attended and don’t forget to register for the January 14 webinar.

If you’re interested in coming to Houston on February 21 for the Hackfest, then please sign up and let us know!

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Internal PHP Upgrade

In cPanel & WHM software version 11.42, we will upgrade our internal PHP to version 5.4. This version offers dramatic improvements in performance, introduces new features, and removes deprecated functions. For more information about the changes you can expect from PHP 5.4,  see the PHP 5.4.0 Release Announcement.

If you would like to test our new PHP 5.4 installation, it is now available through a special “next” build. This build should only be used on testing servers because it is unsupported and you will be unable to downgrade to a previous version of cPanel & WHM. We will explain how to get this build via our Plugin Devs mailing list. To subscribe to this mailing list, please contact our Integration Developer, Ruth Bavousett.

Below, we have outlined how this internal PHP upgrade could impact your cPanel customizations so that you can prepare for these changes now.

Removed PHP directives

Several features are removed in PHP 5.4, which could cause compatibility issues. The following core php.ini directives will no longer be available in cPanel & WHM version 11.42:

  • gpc_order
  • magic_quotes
  • register_globals
  • safemode
  • y2k_compliance

If you are using the LiveAPI PHP Class to customize cPanel, then you should insure that your customizations will be compatible with the new version of PHP. You should also review and test your customizations if you use PHP Plugin pages, the deprecated .cpphp or .phpcp tags, or cPanel’s internal PHP in any way.

Upgraded RPMs

Because the following PEAR modules are bundled with PHP 5.4, they will not ship as separate RPMs when you upgrade to cPanel & WHM version 11.42:

  • Archive_Tar
  • Console_Getopt
  • PEAR
  • Structures_Graph
  • XML_Util

We will update all of our other PEAR and PECL RPMs to use PHP version 5.4. For a full list of RPMs to be shipped with cPanel’s internal PHP, see our cPanel PHP documentation.

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[UPDATED] Reminder: EasyApache EOL Items to be Removed by End of 2013

Latest Update: The EasyApache team has pushed the release of a new version to early 2014. Please follow cPanel Blog and the Forums for further updates.

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Less Talk…More Code

One of the concerns that came up in feedback from my “Pluginology 101” presentation at cPanel Conference 2013, as well as the live lab that followed, was that more training is needed regarding the basics of plugin development. Well, we’ve listened and we’re going to give it to you in a series of upcoming events!

On December 17, join us for a free webinar on plugin development. We’ll review the overall process, look at use cases, and talk about some of the basic tools in our API that you can use. Afterward, we’ll provide downloadable code samples that you can use as a starting point for your own work.

Another free webinar is planned for January 14, where we’ll explore plugin development in greater depth and study one of our most common use cases. We’ll also show code, which you can download later.

These two webinars lead up to an exclusive event on February 21—the cPanel Plugin Hackfest. We’ll invite developer attendees to come to Houston with their plugin work, spend time with cPanel’s Integrations Team and developers, and get their plugins written and tested. No ties allowed! The Hackfest is an invitation and developer-only event and will focus solely on writing and debugging plugin code.

To attend the webinar on December 17, register using the link below. During each webinar, we’ll provide a link through which you can express interest in attending the Hackfest. However, please note that if you’re not a developer, then you won’t get much value out of this event.

We’re very excited about these upcoming events and, if your organization is looking to develop a plugin for cPanel & WHM software, you should be too. It’s time for “Less Talk…More Code” at the cPanel Plugin Hackfest!

Register for the December 17 webinar

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It’s Time to Upgrade MySQL

Beginning sometime in 2014, cPanel & WHM software will no longer support MySQL 5.1.

This EOL will provide several benefits:

  • Better pre-release testing
  • Simplified EasyApache support
  • Simplified database support

In cPanel & WHM version 11.42, we will add support for MySQL 5.6, in addition to our continued support of MySQL 5.5. Please note: If you haven’t upgraded to one of these versions before we remove support for MySQL 5.1, then you will be blocked from upgrading your server.

You can easily upgrade your server’s MySQL version with WHM’s “MySQL Upgrade” interface, which is located at: Home >> Software >> MySQL Upgrade.

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What’s Up, Docs?

Hi there. I’m Laurence Simon, one of the technical writers here at cPanel.

Once upon a time, I was like you. I was a technical support representative, in a large hosting environment, who provided support for resellers of cPanel software.

While supporting the customers, I would frequently refer them to the cPanel documentation, but every so often there would be an ambiguity or issue, or something that it just didn’t cover adequately.

For the longest time, I wanted to do something about it, so I packed up my Torani syrups and joined the cPanel Documentation Team last year.

I joined because I respect their philosophy of providing better service to the customers through better documentation, offering as much transparency as possible, and working with a team that has high standards and expectations.

Good documentation reduces frustration for the customer, gets them up and running faster, and reduces support costs. It also educates and empowers the customer so they can focus on running their business, not running their server.

So, how do you create good documentation?
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Introducing EasyApache’s Optimal Profiles

We are happy to announce the upcoming release of a new Profile page that will make EasyApache quicker and easier to use.

This new Profile page will include cPanel & WHM’s new Optimal Profiles. The purpose of the new profiles is to ensure that you will receive a safe and secure EasyApache build without having to access the Short or Exhaustive Options list. Each new Optimal Profile will include a selection of modules to match the current PHP version we recommend, and an Apache version that will deliver safe and reliable performance.

We will also introduce profiles that utilize the advantages of the CloudLinux operating system. One of the recommendations we make for CloudLinux users is to use the Apache MPM ITK module. This upcoming release will add the MPM ITK module to EasyApache. We will provide links to learn more about CloudLinux, and an opportunity to upgrade to the operating system.

Server administrators will continue to have access to the Short and Exhaustive Options list. You will still be able to create new profiles, customize any profile you save, and use previous profiles.

Below, we have included wire frame drafts of our new EasyApache Profile pages. Please note: These drafts do not reflect a finalized product and are subject to change. We welcome your comments and suggestions.

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Removed Scripts in cPanel & WHM Version 11.42

All good things must come to an end. In version 11.42, we will remove several deprecated service update scripts from cPanel & WHM. These scripts have been deprecated since version 11.36. Because of this, system administrators should make certain that they have already updated any cronjobs or other dependencies that might include them. Otherwise, you may be depending on out-of-date or broken scripts to perform important service-related tasks on your server.

What’s the difference between deprecated and removed?
Parts of cPanel & WHM that have been deprecated may remain in the product for one or more versions following their deprecation, but are no longer supported. On the other hand, a removed item has been completely taken out of our product and will no longer function in any capacity.

Removed Service Update Scripts
The following service scripts’ functions are now performed through the rpm.versions system. The check_cpanel_rpms script ensures that RPMs for each of the services below are up-to-date whenever you update your server.

  • /scripts/bandminup — This script updated Bandmin. Bandmin is a set of Perl scripts that monitor and log bandwidth usage by IP address.
  • /scripts/courierup — This script updated the Courier mail server.
  • /scripts/dovecotup — This script updated the Dovecot mail server.
  • /scripts/eximup — This script updated the Exim mail transfer agent.
  • /scripts/ftpup — This script updated FTP services. This could be either Pure-FTPd or ProFTPd, depending on your FTP server settings.
  • /scripts/imapup — This script updated the IMAP mail server.
  • /scripts/mydnsup — This script updated MyDNS packages.
  • /scripts/mysqlup — This script updated MySQL.
  • /scripts/nameserverup — This script updated the BIND nameserver.
  • /scripts/nsdup — This script updated NSD.

Additional Removed Script
The following script, which was not replaced by the rpm.versions system, will also be removed.

  • /scripts/checksyspkgsetup
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Upgrades in cPanel & WHM Version 11.40 and Beyond

Understanding our upgrade process will help you keep your servers up-to-date with the level of stability that you need. In cPanel & WHM version 11.40, we have added a few new changes to how upgrades work, to help make the transition between major versions better for everyone.

How do upgrades work?
Before an upgrade takes place, compatibility checks are performed for the target version. If any blockers are found, the upgrade exits and leaves the system at the current version. If no blockers are found, the upgrade takes place. This process of checks followed by an upgrade happens once if you upgrade to the next major version immediately after your current version.

When you upgrade across nonconsecutive major versions, the system must perform compatibility checks for, and upgrade to, each intermediate version. The process repeats until you reach the target version.

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cPanel Conference 2013: Day Two

cPC13 lab

Day Two of cPanel Conference 2013 supplied even more opportunities for relationship building, knowledge sharing, and slingshot flinging. Peter Pollock, author of Web Hosting for Dummies, joined us in New Orleans to present his keynote on “Communicating 21st Century Hosting to 20th Century Clients.” For keynote takeaways, see Ping! Zine’s coverage: cPanel 2013 – Web Hosting for Dummies with Peter Pollock.

With speakers from Open-Xchange, SiteLock, WHMCS, HP, SpamExperts, CloudFlare, eNom.com, and of course, cPanel, the afternoon was packed with enlightening sessions and spirited debate.

A record number of conference attendees achieved cPanel & WHM certification. These web hosting professionals passed one or more of cPanel University’s rigorous exams:

  • Christian Dawson of ServInt – Sales Professional
  • Jay Sudowski of Handy Networks – Technical Expert and Technical Veteran
  • John Kam of ServInt – Technical Professional
  • Joseph Still of HostDime – Technical Professional
  • Samir Jafferali of HostGator – Technical Professional
  • Teh Jy of Exabytes – Technical Professional

cPC13 cPU Cert Emblem

We placed a golden cPanel University emblem on the badge of each conference attendee who became cPanel & WHM certified. For more information, visit the cPanel University website.

Most impressive was Jay Sudowski’s triumph over our veteran-level technical exam. He was the first test taker to reach this level. Jay then went on to become the first test taker to attempt our master-level technical exam. Though he was unsuccessful this time around, he plans to brush up on his Perl skills and try again at cPanel Conference 2014.

As exhibits were packed up, business cards were exchanged, and cP Cache was redeemed for cPanel goodies, it was difficult not to feel at least a touch of sadness that this year’s cPanel Conference was coming to an end.

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