Tell them about the Twinkie

We have started on this ‘path’ of redesigning cPanel’s current primary theme called x3. We have even gone so far as to begin calling this new project x4. When Egon is explaining to Winston that the coming psychokinetic activity would be a Twinkie…”thirty-five feet long, weighing approximately six hundred pounds”, Winston simply replies, “Thats a big Twinkie.”

The redesign of cPanel into x4 is, well, a big Twinkie. The home page of cPanel alone has over 65+ icons linking to roughly 120+ pages. These numbers don’t even take into count any additional pages and icons individual hosts have added. Now, almost all of you reading this have gotten used to this enormous Twinkie we call cPanel. Though if you think back and remember the first time you saw cPanel?

So where in the world am I going, talking about a thirty-five foot long Twinkie and what does it have to do with x4? Continue reading

, | Category: Inside cPanel®, Product Development | 3 Comments

Wedding, Interview, or a Good Cause; You Decide.

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This week I had the honor to represent cPanel, Inc. on Capitol Hill with the likes of some of the most influential organizations in our industry. Beyond throwing our first pebble into the mysterious political pond, I had a once in a life time opportunity to see longtime friends and industry icons in suits. Continue reading

, | Category: Partners & Customers | 3 Comments

How to replace MySQL with Percona in 11.36

Important: This setup is considered to be unsupported by the cPanel/WHM team. Please note that once cPanel/WHM no longer maintains MySQL on your system it is on the Systems Administrator to manage and maintain any updates and maintenance on the database software.  We recommend only experienced systems administrators perform the above and we are not responsible for any possible data loss.

Below you will find some steps on how to affectively stop cPanel/WHM from maintaining MySQL and begin utilizing Percona for any and all database activity on your server. You can find the Percona website at www.percona.com.The guide found below is based around utilizing the new RPM tools we provide in 11.36. Continue reading

, , , , , | Category: Tips & Tricks | 23 Comments

On to Capitol Hill

2/26/13
Houston, TX-
cPanel and Capitol Hill

Local software company, cPanel Inc., will be taking part in the first Internet Advocacy Day, Wednesday, February 27, 2013, on Capitol Hill. cPanel will be represented by their Vice President of Operations, and Internet Infrastructure Coalition board member, Aaron Phillips.  Continue reading

Category: Tips & Tricks | 2 Comments

How to replace MySQL with MariaDB in 11.36

Important: This setup is considered to be unsupported by the cPanel/WHM team. Please note that once cPanel/WHM no longer maintains MySQL on your system it is on the Systems Administrator to manage and maintain any updates and maintenance on the database software.  We recommend only experienced systems administrators perform the above and we are not responsible for any possible data loss.

Below you will find some steps on how to affectively stop cPanel/WHM from maintaining MySQL and begin utilizing MariaDB for any and all database activity on your server. MariaDB is “An enhanced, drop-in replacement for MySQL” (Source: https://mariadb.com/). The guide found below is based around utilizing the new RPM tools we provide in 11.36. Continue reading

, , , , , | Category: Tips & Tricks | 45 Comments

You’re my boy, Blue!

One of the first things you will notice in the new cPanel interface is a concentrated effort to make the work flow as clear and discernible as possible. Keeping that in mind, each page of cPanel/WHM has one ‘primary’ action that is easily recognizable.

For example, the change password page has one action, but it might be overlooked. While the user is asked to enter the old password, and then the new password twice, the page’s ‘primary’ action is the “Change your password now!” button. Currently, though not completely hidden, the button doesn’t stand out as the primary action.  The Change Password page is clearly a simple page, however, the principle is the same: make the primary action as clear to the user as possible. Continue reading

, , | Category: Inside cPanel®, Product Development | 8 Comments

Capitol Hill & the i2C

On February 27th, I will be joining fellow Internet Infrastructure Coalition (i2C) board members for a day to meet with various Congress and media outlets on Capitol Hill about our efforts to preserve our Internet freedoms. This gives cPanel the chance to join in the effort to protect the legislation that will one day affect you, hosting companies, and even cPanel. Continue reading

, | Category: Partners & Customers | 1 Comment

Foundations and Beginnings

“To put it bluntly, I seem to have a whole superstructure with no foundation. But I’m working on the foundation.” – Marilyn Monroe

It’s probably safe to say, this is the first article about UI/UX that you have ever read that quoted Marilyn Monroe. cPanel has been at the forefront of the managed hosting business since its inception, and the changes that you are starting to see in WHM and cPanel ‘x4’ are just the beginning of the next step in not only maintaining that lead position, but more importantly, helping our customers and partners to move there as well. Continue reading

, | Category: Product Development | 3 Comments

Introducing the Most Stable, Best Looking and Most Dependable Web Hosting Platform Ever, cPanel!

The results are in, 2012 ended on a high note for us at cPanel!

I’d like to take a moment here and look back at some of the changes we’ve made over the course of the past year and how those changes has turned an exciting, prosperous, and very busy 2012 for this company as a whole, into something that is already generating a great deal of momentum for us, going into 2013. Full speed ahead!

But first, a message from our sponsors! In what can only be described as our largest and most successful conference ever, for cPanel, Inc., the cPanel Conference 2012 in Houston, Texas last year was a major milestone in many ways. In 2013, we’re taking this Conference thing to a whole other level: cPanel Conference – New Orleans 2013!

In cPanel & WHM version 11.34, we introduced a fresh look and feel for WHM and several new features including Web Disk Support, Email Archiving, and a new Hooks Management interface. cPanel’s Development, Quality Assurance and Support teams really pulled together to roll out a stable code base for us in 2012, and this has resulted in a very strong, and feature packed release, going into 2013. Continue reading

Category: Product Development | 3 Comments

cPanel RPMs Q&A

What are RPMs?

RPM stands for Red Hat Package Manager. This allows for the easier and quicker deployment of files. RPMs create a standard for installation of how different pieces of software are installed on a system. This software can be anything from wget to Perl or Python. Instead of building files from source, RPMs come prebuilt. RPMs also allow for easier updating of systems.

Why is cPanel & WHM Switching to RPMs?

For much of its early history cPanel & WHM was used on a number of different operating systems (FreeBSD being one of the biggest Outliers). Many of these operating systems put libraries, and other assets, in dissimilar locations. For application distribution, the lowly source tarball was the common denominator. Over the years, as cPanel & WHM bundled more and more third party applications invariably they were distributed as source tarballs, built on demand during product installation and upgrade.

As the web hosting market matured, we saw a significant shift toward operating system consolidation, specifically toward Red Hat Enterprise Linux and its chief variant and major market share holder, CentOS. With this change, it became more viable to ship applications using the RPM package format. Providing pre-built applications via RPM allows us to improve the overall quality of cPanel & WHM.

How does this change benefit Server Admins?

Server Admins benefit in the following ways:

1. Benefits come from the moment you install cPanel & WHM. On average, installation time is reduced by 30%. This is due directly to shipping Perl, and all necessary CPAN modules, via pre-built binary RPMs.



2. Future upgrades will also see a reduction in time as all new applications will be provided as pre-built binary RPMs. It was a rather common occurrence for applications to be rebuilt during upgrade. This is no longer a possibility.

3. Installation and upgrades will be of higher quality. Automating source builds across thousands of machines, which often are customized by their owners, is a difficult and error-prone task. A notable percentage of our support tickets generated by installation and upgrade errors stem from applications failing to build. Using pre-built RPMs we can remove an entire class of errors, plus improve our pre-installation checks to detect problems before they occur.

How Are Updates Changing?

The update process is changing two significant ways:

1. All files needed by cPanel & WHM are downloaded to a staging area.
2. A variety of tests are performed, such as RPM dependency checking, prior to installation

Once all tests pass the product is updated. This two-step operation results in improved experience with both product installation and updates.

When are you going to move everything else to RPMs?

The move to RPM distribution began with cPanel & WHM 11.30. With that release, we changed our RPM distribution system, introducing the RPM version system, and overhauled our update system. With cPanel & WHM 11.36, we take a further step forward by providing a number of third party applications via RPM. Chief of these is Perl 5.14.

Future releases will see further applications provided via RPM. For example in 11.36 the webmail applications are still provided via source tarball. Changes will also be made to EasyApache, as new features will be delivered via RPM.

Now that you are using a packaging format, does this mean you will soon support Debian or Ubuntu?

Not yet. While switching to RPM for application distribution does simplify some aspects of supporting Debian and its variants, cPanel & WHM is still very much a Red Hat-centric product. Many of the core behaviors and assumptions built into cPanel & WHM are formed around how things work and behave on a Red Hat Linux system. There is nothing definitive in place for a progression towards a platform that supports a larger variety of Operating Systems. We can state that it does have potential and it’s an avenue we continue to explore.

, | Category: Product Development | 4 Comments
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