PLESK Alternative? VESTACP!

Since years I had the same vServer… with PLESK. Plesk is a very good Server Management Tool, especially in the last years and serval updates. But it is also expensive. 

Recently I noticed that the server prices have become so cheap that I pay about 50% too much for my server including the domains. So it needed to change.

But on my quest, I came across a problem. There is a lot of server management software:

  • Webmin
  • ISPConfig
  • Virtualmin
  • ZPanel
  • Froxlor
  • Sentora

… and a lot more (I’ve tested a lot), but none could match the simplicity and breadth of Plesk, or ultimately didn’t work properly in practice.

Except VestaCP + Debian 8 minimal.

The reason for my decision: Clear good looking GUI, all settings easy to reach, activate SSL for every website with Lets Encrypt via “Checkbox” (SSL certificates are automatically installed and set up for the domain!), MAIL, DNS, DATABASEs, CRON, BACKUP, …


After about 5 hours of searching and testing it was clear that VestaCP is the ideal replacement. But also here there were small hurdles, which cost me hours, and which I would like to save the reader. The result was a handful of console commands that solved all the problems and saved others a lot of time (Hint: please use Debian 8 only! I had some problems with Debian 9 (PHP7) and Ubuntu 12/14/16, namely nginx: FTP, PHP, SSH):

  • Debian 8
  • apt update && apt upgrade
  • apt install curl
  • curl -O
  • chmod +x

Then install with (Hint: replace <…> fields!):

bash –nginx no –phpfpm no –apache yes –vsftpd yes –proftpd no –exim yes –dovecot yes –spamassassin yes –clamav no –named yes –iptables yes –fail2ban yes –mysql yes –postgresql no –remi yes –quota no –hostname <domain name> –email <email name> –password <email password>

The complete installation will take ~8-10 minutes.

(Why –proftpd no ? Because I wanted to have my global FTP access, and not an extra FTP access for each domain, Why –nginx no ? Becuase nginx has no .htaccess files!)


Webhome: /home/admin/web/<domain name>/public_html/

Name server: Under “VestaCP” enter User -> Nameserver! (otherwise the email accounts will not work)

Set Server Time: timedatectl set-timezone 

Transfer data from one server to another via SSH (limit to 5 MB/s to prevent transfer interruptions!):

scp -l 50000 -r root@xx.xx.xx.xx:<remote path/*> <local path>

If Emails are not working: vi /etc/dovecot/dovecot.conf

namespace inbox {
    inbox = yes