cPanel Blog

It’s time to say goodbye to X3

Over the past year, we’ve talked prominently about the impending deprecation of X3, the previous generation user interface for cPanel. Today’s the day we are officially announcing a deprecation schedule and its eventual removal from the product.

Here’s the schedule:

In 11.52…

  • Brand new installations of cPanel & WHM will consider Paper Lantern to be the default theme for all new accounts. Already existing installations of cPanel & WHM will not be affected. If you are using a third-party theme, you will also not be affected.

In v54…

  • Non-emergency and non-security related maintenance for X3 will wind down. cPanel’s development and release teams will retarget all upcoming development to Paper Lantern only.
  • As a result of updating from any previous version of cPanel & WHM to v54, pre-existing accounts and packages/plans which are found to still be using X3 will be updated to use Paper Lantern with the Retro style applied. There are a couple of important exceptions to this rule:
    • Accounts using third-party themes like RVSkins, CleanPanel, or CPSkins will not be migrated to Paper Lantern.
    • Accounts using a forked copy of X3 (a folder within /usr/local/cpanel/base/frontend) will not be migrated to Paper Lantern.
    • Accounts using a customized brand of X3 will not be affected. If you have created a branding package for X3, your accounts will not be migrated.
    • Accounts which are using one of the default styles like “Black Ice”, “Blue Lagoon” or “Mobile” shipped with X3 WILL be migrated to Paper Lantern with the Retro Style applied.
  • cPanel and WHM’s public documentation for v54 will assume the Paper Lantern interface. Public documentation for previous versions of cPanel & WHM will be unaffected.

In v56…

  • We are intentionally leaving v56 empty in the deprecation schedule to accommodate any unforeseen schedule changes as well as customers and third party plugin developers requiring time to perform any manual migrations.

UPDATE: 2016-03-04: we are delaying the plans to no longer ship X3 until v60, a delay of about 4 months. Please see Updated Deprecation Schedule for X3 for more details.


In v58…

  • X3 will no longer be shipped in cPanel & WHM.
  • Customization features inside WHM which operate only on X3 will be removed.

A couple of things you need to keep in mind going forward:

  • X3 will not be removed from pre-existing installations of cPanel & WHM during the update process to v58. If you are using a branded X3 interface, you may continue to do so. We will simply be halting all updates to X3.
  • For those of you who have forked X3 and are maintaining your own theme, you will be unaffected by this change.
  • It is the responsibility of third-party developers to update their plugins to run within Paper Lantern. If you think that an important plugin you use is not Paper Lantern ready, please contact its developers and let them know.
  • The legacy LANG system which was deprecated in cPanel & WHM 11.46 will be removed entirely with the removal of X3. If your third party plugin relies on this deprecated localization system, it will begin to error at this point.
  • We will not be releasing X3 in the form of a plugin or any other distribution. Customers who choose to continue to use X3 from previous installations will do so at their own risk.
  • While the Retro Style for Paper Lantern will approximate the appearance of X3, it will not be a perfect implementation. We are providing the Retro Style to ease the transition for users, not as a final destination for users. We may chose to disable new user interface features in the Retro Style rather than forcibly adapt them into this holdover style. A separate deprecation schedule for the Retro Style will be announced in the future.

Roughly speaking, this schedule will take about 1 calendar year to complete. We will be updating this schedule from time to time so that everyone will know what can be expected. During this time, all general maintenance and ongoing bug fixes for any previous version of cPanel we have shipped will continue according to our Long Term Support Policy. Once v58 reaches ‘End of Life’ status, X3 will no longer be maintained by cPanel for all versions v58 and newer.

We realize that large deprecations like this can cause concern and alarm. Please comment below on this blog post, or reach out to your cPanel account manager if you have any questions.

Updates since publication

2015-10-16: We announced that we are dropping the 11 from the version number (read more here). The above deprecation schedule has been updated to clarify the new version numbers.

Photo Credit: https://www.pexels.com/photo/road-dawn-mountains-sky-5110/CC0 1.0 License

  • Krxon

    Hello
    I’m webmaster and designer and I’ve used Cpanel since it started on many many websites.
    It’s one of very (if not the most) important tools for me.
    IMHO Paper Lantern (PL) is big step back from usability perspective. Icons are too big and space is over-done.
    I bought 27” panel for a reason: so that I can stuff as much as possible on the screen.
    Also my clients are calling me every so: WTF is happened, why big icons, problem with webmail width.
    I know that current trend is: make everything big. It looks nice for many things but not so on usable tools, which Cpanel is. It should be usable first, and pretty after that.
    Whenever I login into my client’s Cpanel with PL, 1st thing I do is to switch it back into retro style.
    I’ve also read somewhere (not sure if true) that you also plan to deprecate retro style soon.
    For (any) God’s sake, please don’t do it, at least provide an option to use smaller/condensed version of PL.
    Best regards

  • zxoiesru

    I ам nеvеr updаting сpаnеl еvеr аgаin bеfоrе уоu dо this updаtе. Sо whiсh updаtе is thе LАST updаtе tо usе thе х3 thеме? I аlrеаdу turnеd ОFF аutомаtiс updаtеs аnd did nоt plаn оn еvеr updаting сpаnеl аgаin аs а rеsult оf this HОRRIBLЕ DЕСISIОN bесаusе I will NеVеR usе pаpеr lаntеrn аnd will NеVеR fоrсе thаt piесе оf sh it оn му сliеnts.

    Аlsо I маnuаllу rемоvеd thе оptiоn fоr pеоplе tо сhаngе frом thе х3 thеме, sо thаt nоnе оf му сliеnts еvеn hаvе thе оptiоn tо usе thе pаpеr lаntеrn gаrbаgе.

    Аlsо is it sаfе tо run аn updаtе (IF THЕ Х3 THЕМЕ IS GОNЕ THЕN IT IS NЕVЕR SАFЕ TО UPDАTЕ ЕVЕR АGАIN), оr hаvе уоu аlrеаdу соммittеd соrpоrаtе suiсidе bу killing thе х3 thеме?

    • cPanelbenny

      Though we haven’t posted about this yet, in our planning meeting yesterday we decided to extend support of X3 through 60, so you’re still safe to upgrade for a couple more versions. Too, we won’t be removing X3 from any server that already has it installed, and we won’t be preventing users from continuing to use it at all.

      I’m extremely interested in hearing what you think about Paper Lantern, though. We’re planning some more changes for version 58 and I’d love to get your input. Can you send me an email with your thoughts? benny@cpanel.net

      • zxoiesru

        The only way I will ever use paper lantern is if you make it look EXACTLY like the x3 theme. In other words, only using the x3 theme. You company is going to lose millions.

        You know what I should do, I should short stocks right before your version 60 update and profit off your massive corporate losses from you changing millions of user experiences so drastically that no one wants to use cpanel anymore.

        The ONLY reason cpanel is better than the others is SOLELY because of the easy-to-use non-responsive X3 THEME!!! But with paper lantern, it will be time for many of your users to leave cpanel and go with one of your many competitors, some of which are completely free.

        “IF IT ISN’T BROKEN DON’T FIX IT”!!!

        • cPanelbenny

          Thanks so much for that feedback! We have gotten a load of positive feedback about Paper Lantern, so getting critical feedback from you is also very helpful. I think we may have a solution that will work for you, and allow you to move to Paper Lantern without the disruption you’re anticipating. In this case the solution would be to move to the Retro style of the Paper Lantern theme. We posted about that here:

          https://blog.cpanel.com/the-retro-style-for-paper-lantern-arrives-with-11-48/

          Essentially it allows for a smoother upgrade path for all cPanel users, but replaces the outdated code behind the X3 theme. The post above also discusses how to set the Retro as the default for all users. If you have any problems getting that implemented, or have any questions about it at all, our support team would be more than willing to help you! You can quickly and easily open up a ticket here: https://tickets.cpanel.net/

          • zxoiesrus

            WRONG EVERYONE HATES PAPER LANTERN, IF CPANEL DEVELOPERS HAD A BRAIN YOU WOULD NOT FORCE THE WORLD TO CHANGE TO IT AND ELIMINATE THE ONLY THING THAT MAKES CPANEL GOOD – THE X3 THEME!!

          • zxoiesrus

            AND WRONG!!! RETRO THEME IS TOTAL SH IT!!!! I DO NOT WANT THE F*CKING RETRO THEME, I ONLY WANT THE X3 THEME!!!

  • zxoiesru

    I am never updating cpanel ever again before you do this update. So which update is the LAST update to use the x3 theme? I already turned OFF automatic updates and did not plan on ever updating cpanel again

  • Scott Neader

    Can you explain more about how we would go about getting the “retro style” Paper Lantern? We are running 11.50 Release on all servers, but cPanel uses only see the “normal” paper_lantern option (lots of white space)

    • cpanelAdamF

      The retro style is available under the ‘change style’ interface in Paper Lantern. A previous blog post describes how you can set it on behalf of your users: http://blog.cpanel.com/the-retro-style-for-paper-lantern-arrives-with-11-48/

      • Scott Neader

        I read the article but it is not helping. As a cPanel user, if I go to User Preferences > Change Style, my options are “root”, “black_ice”, “blue_lagoon”, “business2business”, “clocks”, “crimson_smoke”, “falltheme”, “mobile”, “monsoon”, “motor_city”, “servers”, “sundaymorning”, “tealmadness”, “the_beach” and “x”. We tend to run very standard servers and I do not recall purposely “refusing” retro being installed. What are we doing wrong?

        • cpanelAdamF

          If you are seeing those options, your theme is still set to X3. You want to find the ‘Change Theme’ pulldown at the top of X3 and then select Paper Lantern from the list. (Your hosting provider may have this dropdown disabled

          • Scott Neader

            I *am* the hosting provider. What I meant is that, as a cPanel user, our users are not seeing the option. In WHM, where are we supposed to be able to “enable” retro? I do not see it mentioned anywhere in WHM.

          • Kenneth Power

            Hello Scott, did you get your question answered?

          • Scott Neader

            Hi Kenneth. No, I have no idea how to offer the retro theme to our customers. I do not see retro mentioned anywhere in WHM. Sorry to be a bother.

          • Kenneth Power

            Hi Scott. “Retro” is a style of the Paper Lantern theme. Unlike the various X3 styles, it does not appear anywhere in WHM. Right now each user will need to do the following:

            1. Login to cPanel
            2. Set their theme to Paper Lantern
            3. Change their style to Retro

            You can change the theme for all your users using the new /scripts/modify_accounts, or scripts/modify_packages command line utilities. You can use the Modify/Upgrade Multiple Accounts feature in WHM to change the theme for a lot of accounts at once.

            Users will still need to change their own style.

            I quickly created, and tested, the following command line that will set all accounts to the Retro style. They still need changed to the Paper Lantern theme.

            for user in `ls -C1 /var/cpanel/users`; do
            echo “Setting retro style for $user”;
            runuser -l $user -c ‘/bin/mkdir -p ~/var/cpanel/styled && /bin/ln -s /usr/local/cpanel/base/frontend/paper_lantern/styled/retro ~/var/cpanel/styled/current_style’
            done

            If that command comes out poorly, let me know and I’ll send it to you via email. Using that command, as root, I was able to set several hundred test accounts to the Retro style in just a few seconds. It’s not very robust, so I cannot state it is completely bug free 🙂

          • Scott Neader

            Thanks, Kenneth! If I enter cPanel as a user, I do not see a “Theme” option. I see “Change Style” and I’ve already iterated what I see there further up the thread. I checked the feature list and both “Change Style” and “Theme Switching” are checked. Any other ideas? BTW, this is the first time I knew (or realized) that Themes and Styles are different. Guess I need to get with the times. 🙂

          • Kenneth Power

            Please send me a screen shot of your cPanel interface to my email address. I’d like to know what you are seeing 🙂

  • Monarobase

    We hate the retro theme and do not feel like it’s a step towards paper lantern but a step back. In cPanel 11.50 it’s not quite finished and needs quite a few things fixing in terms of presentation to make it into a stepping stone. In our oppinion, either finish the retro theme before moving people towards it or move people directly to paper lantern.

    • zxoiesru

      we also hate that piece of sh it

    • zxoiesru

      I ам nеvеr updаting сpаnеl еvеr аgаin bеfоrе уоu dо this updаtе. Sо whiсh updаtе is thе LАST updаtе tо usе thе х3 thеме? I аlrеаdу turnеd ОFF аutомаtiс updаtеs аnd did nоt plаn оn еvеr updаting сpаnеl аgаin аs а rеsult оf this HОRRIBLЕ DЕСISIОN bесаusе I will NеVеR usе pаpеr lаntеrn аnd will NеVеR fоrсе thаt piесе оf sh it оn му сliеnts.

      Аlsо I маnuаllу rемоvеd thе оptiоn fоr pеоplе tо сhаngе frом thе х3 thеме, sо thаt nоnе оf му сliеnts еvеn hаvе thе оptiоn tо usе thе pаpеr lаntеrn gаrbаgе.

      Аlsо is it sаfе tо run аn updаtе (IF THЕ Х3 THЕМЕ IS GОNЕ THЕN IT IS NЕVЕR SАFЕ TО UPDАTЕ ЕVЕR АGАIN), оr hаvе уоu аlrеаdу соммittеd соrpоrаtе suiсidе bу killing thе х3 thеме?

      Thanks

  • cpanelAdamF

    We stand ready to answer your questions about this important deprecation.