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LFD saying “Suspicious process running under user XXXX”? Here’s how we fixed it

Here at Bobcares, our Dedicated Support Engineers maintain servers of web hosts, web designers, and other online businesses.

In cPanel and Plesk servers, a common error we see from LFD (Login Failure Daemon) is Suspicious process running under user XXXX. (more…)

The right way to fix “The certificate is not trusted” error in Plesk

VPS or Dedicated server owners who use Plesk sometimes receive the error “The certificate is not trusted” when accessing the Plesk panel.

This is due to Plesk using a “self-signed” certificate – which means that the certificate is not an authentic CA certificate issued by a recognized authority like Verizon or Comodo.


Top 6 best practices in Plesk server management

Top 6 best practices in Plesk server management

Plesk is one of the commonly used control panels in web hosting servers. Bobcares engineers help web hosts provide a smooth hosting experience to their customers with our efficient Plesk server management services.

Anything from an undetected hardware error to a DOS attack can impact server uptime. So regular maintenance and monitoring of servers is vital to prevent a downtime that adversely affects the customer businesses hosted in them. (more…)

2 common causes for Email Error 551, and How to fix it in MailEnable, Plesk, Outlook, Thunderbird and Eudora

2 common causes for Email Error 551, and How to fix it in MailEnable, Plesk, Outlook, Thunderbird and Eudora

Email Error 551 is an SMTP error commonly seen in MailEnable servers, and is seen in two forms:

551 Sender address is not valid for your login


551 This mail server requires authentication before sending mail from a locally hosted domain


Good Riddance to SPAM: Effective Spam Filtering with SpamAssassin

Deleting spam everyday is a sheer waste of time and it sure is frustrating to see them take over our mailbox. Have you ever imagined how nice it would be, if your mailbox could identify these problem makers, get rid of them and help you regain the control of your mailbox?

To help our mailbox battle spam, Parallels Plesk Panel has a perfect killer on job:-SpamAssassin. SpamAssasin keeps an eye on your mailbox and uses efficient scoring heuristics to identify and snatch spam. In fact, it is very powerful and a much sought after filter which explains why it is popularly being used in other web hosting control panels too, like cPanel. So, as a web host, you might want to opt enabling SpamAssassin in the control panel, to give your customers , the best of deals.


Installation, Configuration and Administration of Plesk 7.5 for windows (part 5)

Plesk Binaries

Located in the %plesk_bin% directory

1) websrvmng.exe

To install hosting for a domain

websrvmng.exe --install-vhost --vhost-name=<domain name>

To remove hosting for a domain

websrvmng.exe --remove-vhost --vhost-name=<domain name>

To reconfigure hosting for a domain

websrvmng.exe --reconfigure-vhost --vhost-name=<domain name>

To reconfigure a subdomain

websrvmng.exe  --update-subdomain --vhost-name=<domain name> --subdomain=<subdomain>

Passwords for system user and IIS user can be unsynchronized or synchronised using

websrvmng.exe  --update-anon-password --domain-name=<domain name>

To reconfigure webmail

websrvmng.exe  --reconfigure-webmail
defpackagemng.exe" --fix --type=webmail

2) mchk.exe

To Reset server-wide and domain’s mail settings forcefully

mchk.exe --all --fix-all

To Check and restore mail settings for a domain defined

mchk.exe --domain

To Check and restore only server-wide mail settings

mchk.exe --global-settings

3) protdir.exe

protdir.exe --create Protected_Dir -domain -add_user MyGuest -passwd "MyPass"

To set a password for the user of a web-protected directory:

protdir.exe --update Protected_Sample -domain -update_user johndoe -passwd Password1

To remove protected directory user:

protdir.exe --update Protected_Dir -remove_user johndoe

4) Subdomain.exe

subdomain.exe --create subdomain2 -domain -hard_quota 50 -ssi true

To remove from domain:

subdomain.exe --remove subdomain1 -domain

To change the existing subdomain name to the new one –

subdomain.exe --update subdomain1 -domain -new_name subdomain1_new

To enable FrontPage support for

subdomain.exe --update subdomain1 -domain -fp true

To retrieve information on

subdomain.exe --info subdomain1 -domain

5) domain.exe

domain.exe --create -clogin John_Doe -dom_user false -www true -hosting true -ip -cgi true -notify false

To retrieve domain information:

domain.exe --info

To rename domain to domain:

domain.exe --update -new_name

To enable domain user account with password “somepass” for domain:

domain.exe --update -dom_user true -du_passwd somepass

To set name for domain user of a domain to “John”:

domain.exe --update -du_pname "John"

To enable hosting for domain:

domain.exe --update -hosting true

6) plesksrvmng.exe

To reset the password for admin control panel


To get the existing password for the admin control panel

plesksrvmng.exe -get

7) statistics.exe

Updates the statistics for all domains on the server

Articles by Prasanth K About the author: Prashanth K is a B.Tech CSE and has worked on the Windows System administration for over a year in Poornam. His expertise lies primarily on Plesk Windows administration.

Installation, Configuration and Administration of Plesk 7.5 for windows (part 3)

Administration Tasks

Editing Administrator’s Information and Password

To enter or edit Administrator’s information, click Edit On the Server administration page. The Administrator’s information editing page appears:

If you forget your password, you can use the plesksrvclient.exe utility located in <plesk installation directory>adminbin to set up a new password.

Managing Plesk Services

To manage Plesk services from the control panel Click the Service Management icon on the Server administration page. The Services management page appears.

Managing Plesk Components

To manage the components controllable under Plesk and choosing the default ones, select the Component Info icon on the Server Administration page.

The component version information is refreshed every 24 hours. When updating system components, you might have to reboot the server or restart the “Plesk Management Service” to have the component versions displayed correctly.

Using the Plesk Service Control Utility

In addition to the service management facilities provided within control panel, there is the Service Control utility available from the system taskbar. It allows managing the following services:

  • Plesk Control Panel – the control panel’s web server engine,
  • Plesk Management Service – handles control panel settings, security and statistics,
  • Plesk Miscellaneous Service – handles IP assignment, time management, Plesk utilities and user accounts,
  • Plesk Scheduler – task scheduling and management,
  • Plesk List Connector – mail service,
  • Plesk Mail Transfer Agent – mail service,
  • Plesk POP Service – mail service,
  • Plesk Postoffice Connector – mail service,
  • Plesk SMTP Connector – mail service,
  • Plesk SQL Server – MySQL database that stores all Plesk objects,
  • Stunnel – enables SSL support for mail server,
  • Plesk Name Server – DNS service,
  • Plesk Java Servlet Container – enables support for Java applets.

Managing Server IP Addresses

If your server has more than one IP address or is on more than one network interface, you can use the IP Addresses function in order to control IP addresses on system network interfaces.

To do this, click the IP Addresses icon on the Server administration page. The IP addresses management page appears displaying the list of IP addresses available in the system.

Managing the DNS Zone Template

Plesk allows creation and use of default DNS Zone Template, intended to simplify setting up the DNS records for a freshly created new domain. This feature provides you with a number of DNS records that are more or less standard for a DNS zone.

Backing Up Using Acronis True Image

Acronis True Image Enterprise Server allows you to create the exact server disk image for complete server backup.

The server disk backup file includes all the server disk data including system, programs, databases, and the like.

Plesk has integration with Acronis True Image. You can set up either one-time or recurring backup of server’s hard drives via Plesk control panel interface. Presently, restoring of backup data is possible only via separate Acronis True Image utilities.

Managing Scheduler

In the Path to executable file or script box, specify the absolute path to executable file or script. This file may be:

  • a generic windows application,
  • a PHP script
  • a PHP, Perl or Python script (identified by the first line #!script interpreter name),
  • a file with any of the following extensions: .BAT or .CMD (batch files), .VBS, .VBE, .JS, .JSE (visual basic or java scripts), .PL, .PM (perl scripts), .PY, .PYC (python scripts), .PHP, .PHP3 (php scripts).

The path to file may include the environment variables related to a user, on behalf of which the application or script is executed, therefore the users may specify the strings like to run the applications or scripts residing in their home folders.

For example, is a user’s home folder. If user specifies %homedrive%%homepath%httpdocsapplication.exe as the application to be executed, the application.exe file located in c:Inetpubvhostsdomain.comhttpdocs will be run.

Using Application Vault

Application vault functionality allows for managing web applications. Server Application vault also gives the opportunity of viewing the list of all application packages installed on the server.

Managing User Sessions

You can monitor and manage the following currently active user sessions from the control panel: control panel sessions, FTP sessions and terminal server sessions. To access the user sessions management functions, select the Sessions shortcut in the navigation pane.

Viewing Server Statistics

Plesk compiles statistics on server usage. You can access this information at any time. The report is especially helpful if the server is slow or is experiencing performance problems, it may help you diagnose and correct such problems.

To access the System Statistics page Click the Statistics icon on the Server administration page

Articles by Prasanth K About the author: Prashanth K is a B.Tech CSE and has worked on the Windows System administration for over a year in Poornam. His expertise lies primarily on Plesk Windows administration.

Installation, Configuration and Administration of Plesk 7.5 for windows (part 4)

Managing Hosting

Using Plesk you can select any of three different types of hosting services, as listed below: Physical hosting: the most common type of hosting service, creating a virtual host (disk space on the local server) for the client. The client controls and publishes his own web site without having to purchase a server and dedicated communication lines.

Standard forwarding: With this type of forwarding, all requests to the domain are forwarded by your server to another Internet address (no virtual server is created). When an end user searches the Internet for the client’s domain, he is routed to another URL, and the address in his browser window changes to the new URL.

Frame forwarding: all requests to this domain are forwarded to another Internet address (no virtual server is created). But with this type of forwarding, the end user sees the client’s domain name in his browser, not the forwarding address. Plesk uses frames to ‘trick’ the browser into displaying the correct domain name. The problem with this type of forwarding is that some search engines do not index these frame pages and some browsers do not support frames.

Setting Up a Domain User Account

If you wish to allow a domain owner to use Plesk control panel for managing his/her domain, you should create a domain user account in Plesk. When a user is logged in to a domain user account, his/her control panel environment comprises the specific Domain’s administration page, and access to the domain management capabilities is limited in accordance with the permissions you define.

For accessing the domain user account, a user should specify his/her domain name as the control panel login name.

Managing Web Users

A web user is a user account within a web server. It is used to define locations for personalized web pages with individual FTP access. The result of creating a web user is a subdirectory within your domain (e.g.

Managing Anonymous FTP Access

Within Plesk the Administrator, or Client(given domain creation capabilities), can set up Anonymous FTP capabilities for a given virtual host. Anonymous FTP is used to allow an open, yet controlled, environment for visitors to the domain to download and/or upload files to and from the domain account.

Users will be able to log into ftp.’domain name’ with the standard anonymous user name and any password. Plesk allows the setup and limitation of incoming file space, number of connected users, and bandwidth usage throttling. NOTE : You can set up anonymous FTP only for domains that have physical hosting configured on exclusive IP.

Using File Manager

The File Manager functions become available after you have configured physical hosting for a domain. File Manager is designed for working with files (e.g. web pages, text files, images etc) on a domain and its subdomains. Using File Manager, you can easily upload, create and delete files as well as organize them in folders and change file timestamps and permissions.

Accessing Microsoft FrontPage Web Administrator

You can access the Microsoft FrontPage Web Administrator directly from the Control Panel, using the FP Webadmin icon, or FP-SSL Webadmin if you wish to access it over secure SSL connection. These icons are located at the bottom of the Domain Administration page, provided that hosting is set up for the domain, and Microsoft FrontPage is available. FrontPage Web Admin software should be installed and configured properly for this function to work, and the FrontPage and FrontPage over SSL support should be enabled within Plesk.

Articles by Prasanth K About the author: Prashanth K is a B.Tech CSE and has worked on the Windows System administration for over a year in Poornam. His expertise lies primarily on Plesk Windows administration.

Installation, Configuration and Administration of Plesk 7.5 for windows (part 2)

Configuring Plesk software

After you have installed Plesk software on your server, configure your system and set up all services required for its operation

Configuring Access Policy

To alleviate security concerns, it is recommended that you use security measures, that restrict access to control panel with administrator privileges from certain IP’s. You can make use of this function, by creating a list of IP addresses to which a restriction policy will be applied, two modes are available:

  • Allow access from all IP’s except those added to the list.
  • Deny access from IP’s, which are not in the list.

Managing control panel access

To use the access restriction function, select the Server shortcut in the navigation pane. The Server administration page will open. Click the Access icon on the Server administration page.

Enabling Plesk Firewall

Firewall is a protection measure aimed at prohibiting specific incoming network connections that may be used to compromise your server. Plesk Firewall operates on the base of rules, which specify parameters of connections, which are to be blocked or passed through.

It filters only incoming IP connections for TCP and UDP protocols. All outcoming connections are allowed. Each rule controls filtering only for one specific network interface (adapter).

Some rules for widespread protocols are predefined, and you can only enable or disable them.

To start setting up the firewall, click the Server > IP Addresses > Firewall icon.The page allows seeing and changing status of firewall protection for the network interfaces installed on the server.

To add your own rule, click the Add Firewall Rule button. A page will open where you have to specify rule’s properties. To edit properties of an existing rule, click on its name. The screen of editing an existing rule is very similar to the screen of adding a new rule, except that it does not allow renaming the rule.

The Panic button enables special mode to protect the server from unknown worms, etc. It closes the server as tightly as possible, disabling all incoming and outgoing connections except for accessing Plesk Control Panel and Remote Desktop administering. Note that the panic mode disables access to the client’s sites; it is only recommended to use it when there are no other options left, e.g. if the server was compromised.

Setting Session Security Parameters

  • Session idle time: the allowable idle time for a user session. Should a user session remain idle for a length of time exceeding that specified as the session idle time, Plesk terminates the current session.
  • Invalid login interval: an interval between two invalid login attempts within which the invalid login attempts counter is increased. If the time between two invalid login attempts exceeds this value, then the invalid login counter is reset back to 0.
  • Invalid login attempts: the maximum number of invalid login attempts allowed. Once a user has exceeded this value, he/she is locked out for the time specified as theInvalid login lock time.
  • Invalid login lock time: the lockout time for a user once the invalid login attempts counter has exceeded its maximum limit. Upon completion of the lockout time, the invalid login attempts counter is reset to zero and the user is again given the ability to login to Plesk.

Managing IIS Application Pools

Choosing Application Pools Assignment Policy – One of the new features of the IIS 6.0 web server is worker process isolation mode where each web site has the possibility to allocate a separate process pool for execution of its web applications. This way, malfunction in one application will not cause stopping of all the others.

Plesk has a shared application pool; each domain can use dedicated application pool if administrator and client policy permit this. Plesk has three modes of working:

  • Always assign one application pool for each domain
  • Place domains in a shared application pool by default and allow use of dedicated pools for selected clients
  • Always place all domains in the shared application pool

To choose the application pool assignment policy, go to the Global Settings tab and choose one of the three aforementioned strategies.

Setting Up Server-wide ASP.NET Framework Configuration

Plesk allows to specify the Microsoft ASP.NET configuration settings that most commonly need to be customized in order for ASP.NET applications to function in a desirable way. You can set up the server-wide framework configuration that will be the default configuration for all domains registered in the system.

To access the page designed for the server-wide ASP.NET configuring , click the ASP.NET icon located in the Services field set on the server administration page.

On this page you can specify the following parameters:

Connection String manager – meant for determining string variables that contain database connection information. If there are any ASP.NET applications on the server, that intend to use databases, the connection strings should be specified. Note that editing this settings is available only for 2.0 framework version and above. When you open the ASP.NET configuration page for the first time, you see sample connection parameters, showing common constructions. You can then delete them and specify your own.

Custom Error Settings – designed for defining the information about custom error messages for an ASP.NET application.

To set the custom error messages mode, select one from the corresponding drop-down list:

  • On – Custom error messages are always enabled.
  • Off – Custom error messages are disabled and detailed errors are to be shown.
  • RemoteOnly – Custom error messages are displayed only to remote clients and ASP.NET errors are shown to the local host.

Unless the custom error messages are fully disabled (the Off mode chosen), the parameters for custom error documents can be specified:

  • The Status Code parameter defines the HTTP status code resulting in redirection to the error page.
  • The Redirect URL parameter defines the web address of the error page presenting information about the error to the client..

To add an entry to the custom errors list, enter the necessary data to the text input fields corresponding to the Status Code and the Redirect URL columns and click the icon to the right of the fields. If the parameters for an error are not specified, users see a generic error.

To remove an entry from the custom errors list, click the icon to the right of the entry you wish to remove.

Setting System Date and Time

You can set manually the server date and time through the interface and enable server time synchronization with the Network Time Protocol (NTP) server. To manage the system date and time settings click the System Time icon on the Server administration page. The system date and time management page will open:

Setting Up Server-wide Mail and Spam Filtering

Configuring Mail Configure these server-wide mail system settings:

  • The maximum allowable size of any e-mail received on the server.
  • Relaying mode. Relaying affects only the mail sending, it does not in any way change the way mail is received on the server. Mail relaying can work in one of three modes: open relay, closed relay and relay with authorization.
    • Open relay – selecting this allows any host computer to utilize the mail services of any domain on the server, to send and/or receive mail. In this mode, no password is required.
    • Closed relay – selecting this only allows mail to be sent and received locally (to and from domains residing on the server). The only exception would be hosts specified as allowable relay hosts in the White list.
    • Authorization is required – selecting this allows any host computer to utilize the mail services of a domain on the server, provided that a valid username and password are used to authenticate the mail user.
      • POP3 – requires a POP3 login before sending mail. The lock time field sets the allowed time given for sending mail after login. During the lock time, any e-mail sent from the initial IP address will be accepted without requiring a password to be re-entered.
      • SMTP – smtp authentication (the Plesk mail system supports LOGIN, CRAM-MD5 and PLAIN methods of smtp authorization) requires a password every time you send an e-mail.
  • White List. Use it to define several IP-addresses with masks from which mail will always be accepted.
  • Black List. Use it to define the mail domains from which you do not allow mail to be received.
  • MAPS spam protection. Enable the external mail abuse prevention system, which can help you defend your customers from abuse by spammers.

In order to set up the mail system, follow these steps: <l>

  • Click the Mail icon on the Server administration page. The Mail system management page will open:
  • To set the maximum letter size allowed on the server, click in the Maximum letter size text box and enter the desired value in Kilobytes. Click Set to submit.
  • To set the mail system relay mode, select a corresponding radio button. For relaying that requires authorization, select the Authorization is required radio button. You must then select an authorization type, which can be POP3, SMTP or both.
    • POP3 – Click in the checkbox next to POP3 to enable this mode of authorization. You must then set the lock time; the default setting is 20 minutes.
    • SMTP – Click in the checkbox next to SMTP to enable this authorization mode.
  • To add an IP address/mask to the White List, type in the appropriate IP address and mask in the fields provided. Click Add to submit. The address selected will appear in the IP list.
  • To remove an IP address/mask from the White List, select the IP address you wish to delete from the IP list. Click Remove.
  • To add a mail blocker, click in the text box in the Domain Name field and enter the domain name from which you want the mail to be rejected. Click Add to submit. The domain you selected will appear in the list of blocked domains.
  • To remove a mail blocker, select the domain you wish to remove from the list of blocked domains. Click Remove.
  • To enable the external Mail Abuse Prevention System (MAPS) select the Enable MAPS spam protection checkbox, specify the MAPS zone in the MAPS zone(s) field and click Set.
  • Configuring the Server-wide Spam Filter

    For the purpose of filtering spam out of incoming mail you can use the integrated spam filter software.

    Using its rule base, it uses a wide range of heuristic tests on mail headers and body text to identify “spam”, also known as unsolicited commercial email. Once identified, the mail can then be optionally tagged as spam for later filtering using the user’s own mail user-agent application.

    Managing Control Panel SSL Certificates

    An SSL certificate represents a set of rules used when exchanging encrypted information between two computers. Certificates ensure secure communications; this is especially important when handling e-commerce transactions and other private transmittals. Only authorized users can access and read an encrypted data stream.

    Managing Shared SSL

    SSL stands for “Secure Socket Layer” and you can use this feature to protect all data exchanged between your Web site and the client. Shared SSL is a means of secure Web server access without requiring users to purchase a digital key.

    In this case, only one domain should have real SSL sertificate. We will call it Master SSL Domain. Other domains, which are set up to use Shared SSL will use its resources.

    To choose the Master SSL Domain from the list of domains which have SSL support enabled, go to the Server > Shared SSL page. In order to do this, set the Enable shared SSL checkbox and choose, which domain you want to be the Master SSL Domain.