i2Coalition Roundup

You might think that going to Washington, D.C. and speaking with government officials about the Internet would be boring, but, let me assure you, that is not that case. Last week, representatives from the Internet Infrastructure Coalition (i2Coalition) showed up in force for Internet Education Day to discuss topics that impact our businesses and to discuss key issues with senators, legislators, and staff members.


Image credit: i2Coalition (http://www.i2coalition.com/)

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Ruby is Still Shining!

Thank you to everyone who has participated in the discussion about the Ruby and Passenger updates. As 2014 rolls on, we’re always adjusting and reconsidering our options. Ruby and Passenger continue to be a very appealing project and one that will stay on our to-do list. With that in mind, our research has led us to a new implementation idea for Ruby and Passenger. This new theory would deliver Ruby and Passenger in a fast and efficient manner, but will affect the delivery date that we were originally targeting.

As with all software projects this information is subject to change. Please stay tuned to the cPanel Blog as well as the EasyApache Forums for continuing updates concerning our current projects and work!

To learn more about our implementation of Ruby and Passenger, please read our original Ruby and Passenger blog post from August 2013.

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Brand New cPanel Documentation Site!

The cPanel Documentation Team and I are proud to announce the release of the new cPanel Documentation site. This system features a better search engine (it actually works!) and a more modern, streamlined look and feel.

Debuting with cPanel & WHM version 11.42, the new site features documentation for all supported versions of cPanel & WHM software. You’ll also find a new feature in our documentation: the cPanel Knowledge Base. In this section, you can access documents and how-to articles written by technical analysts, technical writers, and developers that cover a wide variety of topics, including in-depth information about cPanel & WHM software, such as understanding DNS and overall system administration.

If you have feedback to share or run into any issues, please email me at docmgr@cpanel.net. The transition from our old system to our new system is a work in progress and we’d love to hear what you think.

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Blockers for New Installations of cPanel & WHM

With the latest version of our installer, new installations of cPanel & WHM software will be subject to the following blockers:

  • The target version must be cPanel & WHM version 11.40 or higher.
  • For CentOS, CloudLinux, or RHEL operating systems, the installation must be version 6 or higher.

If either of these statements are not true, the installation will fail. These blockers are meant to encourage system administrators to use the most up-to-date software, which will prevent future issues.

To allow additional time for anyone whose servers do not yet meet these requirements, you can perform the following actions:*

  • Install cPanel & WHM version 11.38 as the target version.
  • For CentOS, CloudLinux, or RHEL operating systems, install on version 5.

*When running the installer, you must use the --force command line option. For example, sh latest --force or sh latest-dnsonly --force.
These blockers will not affect existing installations of cPanel & WHM. However, we strongly encourage system administrators to always upgrade their servers’ software to the newest version as soon as possible.

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Meet Paper Lantern

Paper LanternWith heavy development and the incorporation of ongoing, open discussion, Paper Lantern is the next look and feel for cPanel.

What this means for you

Initially, our emphasis has been on immediate changes that provide a large amount of benefit. For a product with an incredible amount of depth and complexity, one of the first things we decided to do was adopt Twitter Bootstrap 3 as our standard UI kit and solid base for future work. With Twitter Bootstrap, one of the most common UI kits utilized by web professionals today, we hope that web developers and designers will be able to crack open the code and easily create beautiful, new themes.

Next, we began identifying and reusing elements across more of the user interface to increase consistency throughout the project. Consistency helps users to quickly become familiar with using their cPanel account. Once a user learns one feature with a consistent layout, the next feature becomes that much simpler to navigate.

After we establish a sound foundation to build on, even more dramatic changes will take place that will separate Paper Lantern from it’s X3 roots. We have many, many more ideas in mind for Paper Lantern—11.42 is only the beginning.

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Update to Recent Database Prefixing Post

First, we would like to thank everyone who has provided us with feedback on our recent blog post about database name length restrictions and database prefixing.

In response to the conversations that we have had, both online and offline, we have developed a new set of minimum delivery requirements for database users and names in cPanel & WHM version 11.44.

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Changing in 11.44 – Database Name Length Restriction

UPDATE - We have updated our plans for database prefixing and maximum username and database name lengths. For more information, read our latest post: Update to Recent Database Prefixing Post.

This year, we have worked to remove the restrictions on database name length. As of cPanel & WHM version 11.44, you will be able to create:

  • MySQL databases with names that are up to 64 characters long
  • PostgreSQL databases with names that are up to 63 characters long
  • PostgreSQL usernames that are up to 63 characters long

We will also disable database prefixing for new databases and remove the Database Prefixing option from WHM (Home >> SQL Services >> Disable Database Prefix).

New databases that you and your users create will not automatically include a username prefix. However, existing databases and databases that you transfer or restore will retain their username prefixes. You will still have the option to manually add a username prefix in a new database’s name.

Administrators and developers of plugins and other third-party software should plan accordingly.

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MySQL 5.1 End Of Life

As of December 31, 2013, Oracle will no longer distribute updates for MySQL 5.1.

To facilitate migration from MySQL 5.1 to 5.5 or 5.6, we will continue to support MySQL 5.1 through the life of cPanel & WHM software version 11.42. Of course, we also encourage you to upgrade your version of MySQL sooner if at all possible.

Beginning with cPanel & WHM version 11.44, upgrades will require MySQL 5.5 or higher. We expect to release this version in May or June of 2014.

To upgrade your version of MySQL, use WHM’s “MySQL Upgrade” interface, which is located at Home >> Software >> MySQL Upgrade.

For more information about the upgrade from MySQL 5.1 to 5.5, see Oracle’s documentation or visit MySQL Technical Support.

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Horde Groupware Webmail Edition 5

In cPanel & WHM software version 11.42, we’re making the leap from Horde 1.2 to Horde Groupware Webmail Edition 5.1. We’re also shipping this and future versions of Horde as an RPM, to ensure consistent installation and updates.

Some of the new and improved features that you’ll find in our installation of Horde Groupware Webmail Edition 5.1 include:

  • A mobile interface
  • A customizable web interface
  • Threaded conversations
  • Mail filtering
  • A built-in calendar with event reminders
  • An advanced task list system

Removed Horde scripts

It’s important to know that the upgrade process will remove the following Horde 1.2 scripts and symlinks:

  • /bin/killhordeobjs
  • /bin/real-updatehorde
  • /bin/update-horde
  • /bin/updatehorde

We encourage system administrators to prepare for the removal of these scripts by updating any cron jobs or other dependencies that could be affected during the upgrade to cPanel & WHM version 11.42.

Upgrading your Horde data

If Horde 1.2 data is detected when you upgrade your server, then the MySQL database will be backed up to the /var/cpanel/horde/ directory. You can access the last five backups in this directory.

After your existing data is safely backed up, we will update the database schema and convert your Horde tables from Latin 1 to UTF-8 encoding.

Updated configuration values

When you update, any Horde 1.2 configurations will be backed up and stored in /var/cpanel/horde/horde_1.2_config.tar.gz. Unfortunately, we can’t guarantee that existing customizations of Horde won’t be lost during the upgrade process. Horde 1.2 themes and customizations will not be supported in the new version.

When you update to cPanel & WHM version 11.42, the following configuration values will be changed:

  • $conf[‘sql’][‘password’] — MySQL database password
  • $conf[‘sql’][‘hostspec’] — MySQL database hostname
  • $conf[‘sql’][‘database’] — MySQL database name
  • $conf[‘auth’][‘admins’] — Username(s) of the Horde administrator(s), as found in the hordeadmins variable in the /var/cpanel/cpanel.config file
  • $conf[‘spell’][‘params’][‘path’] — Path to the third-party binary for the spellchecker

Customizing Horde

As with any of the RPMs that we ship, system administrators will be able to make their own customizations to the cPanel-provided Horde RPM. For example, you can add more of Horde’s extensive collection of modules or tweak Horde’s default settings to customize your Webmail users’ experience.

You can find out more about Horde Groupware and its available modules at the Horde Project website.

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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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