Ispmanager 6 business documentation

How to migrate from ISPmanager 4 Lite to ISPmanager 6 Lite

How to migrate from ISPmanager 4 Lite to ISPmanager 6 Lite




  • Migration from ISPmanager 4 is supported only on CentOS 6 OS.
  • Dovecot 2 and later
  • you can migrate only from ISPmanager 4 Lite into ISPmanager 6 Lite (Pro, Host)
  • data can be migrated only from the stable release version of ISPmanager 4
  • ISPmanager 4 must use the new Web-module. Make sure the following parameter is specified in the configuration file /usr/local/ispmgr/etc/ispmgr.conf
    Web web

  • Check that Apache is enabled in Features

We strongly recommend that you update your software programs on the server.

The migration process might disturb the function of your server, and it's difficult to predict how much time the server recovery may take

Before you start:

We strongly recommend that you create a full backup copy of your server's files (the directories /bin /sbin /etc /lib /lib64 /usr /var). The migration process does not affect user data (contents of /var/www if you run Linux or /home if you run FreeBSD), so you don't need to back up those directories.

The following are examples of the commands for creating a backup copy for various operating systems. Execute the command from the console with root privileges. The directory /lib64 must be excluded from the backup for 32-bit OS.

Before performing the above operations, be sure to disable the services that consume HDD resources, such as MySQL database server.


tar -cvzf /var/server_backup.tgz --exclude=/var/www --exclude=/var/cache/apt --exclude=/var/cache/man --exclude=/usr/share/man --exclude=/usr/share/doc --exclude=/var/server_backup.tgz /bin /sbin /etc /lib /lib64 /usr /var


tar -cvzf /var/server_backup.tgz --exclude=/var/www --exclude=/var/lib/yum --exclude=/usr/local/man --exclude=/usr/share/doc --exclude=/usr/share/man --exclude=/var/run --exclude=/var/spool --exclude=/var/server_backup.tgz -- /bin /sbin /etc /lib /lib64 /usr /var

The executable file /usr/local/ispmgr/bin/ispmgr indicates that ISPmanager 4 is installed on the server

If the migration process failed

Do not change any data on the server in case of error, and submit a trouble ticket to the ISPmanager Technical support department providing access details to your server.

To restore your server's performance, recover all the data from the backup copy and reboot the server.

The following is the example of data recovery from the backup copy that was created before migration. Execute the command as root:

cd / && tar -xvzf /var/server_backup.tgz

How to migrate

Download and start the script that will install ISPmanager 6 and migrate data from ISPmanager 4:


Enter the first letter of a required version:

Which version would You like to install ?
r) release version - time-proved version 
b) beta version - has the latest functionality 
Choose repository type to work with: b

The script performs the following operations:

  • connects the corresponding ISPmanager repository
  • installs ISPmanager 6 (minimal configuration)
  • collects data from ISPmanager 4
  • installs required packages based on the Application module in ISPmanager 4 (this procedure may take a long time)
  • imports data into ISPmanager 6
  • shuts down ISPmanager 4

When the migration is completed you will see the message: "Migration completed successfully".

The information about the migration errors is displayed in the console or in the log var/migrate_errors.log.

Migration includes

Only the data described below can be migrated

Migration requirements

Before you start migrating, the installer will get a list of activated modules from the "Applications" module in ISPmanager 4. That list will specify software products that will be installed and customized while installing ISPmanager 6 except for issues with the email server (see description below).

Migrating Web-domains

Due to changes made to Apache and Nginx configuration, during migration, all the information related to web-domains in the configuration files will be re-generated. All the changes made to the configuration manually will be lost. The procedure includes the following steps:

  1. Web-domains' settings are saved into a separate file
  2. Software is installed and configured; all the information related to the web-domain is deleted from the configuration file
  3. The data that was saved on step 1 is put into the ISPmanager 6 internal base
  4. The panel functions are started updating Nginx and Apache configuration according to the data in the ISPmanager 6 internal base

Templates of Apache and Nginx configuration files that were used in ISPmanager 4 won't be migrated into ISPmanager 6.

Migrating domain names (DNS)

Domain names (DNS zones)

Domain names are migrated according to the list of domain names in ISPmanager 4. The DNS-server must be specified in the configuration file and the owner of this domain name must exist for each domain name. The information will be specified in the ISPmanager 6 internal database.

If view that was used in ISPmanager 4 for creation of domain names differs from a default one, before you start, specify the name for that view using the "ViewName" parameter in the ISPmanager 6 configuration file (etc/ispmgr.conf). Example:

ViewName ispmgr.ns

Creating domain names

Domain names creation settings are migrated according to the settings specified in ISPmanager 4 except for the "Administrator email" field. In ISPmanager 6 this value is specified and checked as an email, while in ISPmanager 4 it is specified according to the SOA-record standards. Before you start data import, make sure the value in ISPmanager 4 is correct. Examples:

Converting value: => =>

Correct values in ISPmanager 4:

Incorrect values in ISPmanager 4:



as the above data cannot be converted into a correct email value

You also need to check default A-records (subdomains). In ISPmanager 4 it was possible to specify values for those records as a fully-qualified domain name( FQDN). In ISPmanager 6 you cannot change this data as it may lead to errors while creating a domain zone. Make sure that this field in ISPmanager 4 does not contain FQDN.

External domain name settings

Configuration of external name servers (NS) is migrated according to the values specified in ISPmanager 4. While migrating the values for control panel URL, username and password are checked, so before you start, make sure the values are correct. Accessibility of the external name server is not checked during migration.

Migrating backup parameters

Backup settings cannot be migrated.

Migrating database settings and user databases

The migration of the above elements during ISPmanager 6 installation will not transfer user data.

The following operation will be performed:

  • a database will be registered according to the settings from ISPmanager 4;
  • user databases will be assigned to the control panel's users.
If an attempt to define a database owner failed, that database will not be added to the list.

Migrating FTP-server settings

While migrating FTP-server settings, the server will be fully reconfigured and additional packets required for managing virtual FTP-users will be installed. For each ISPmanager 4 user, a list of FTP-users with current settings will be requested. Then they will be re-created as virtual users of the FTP-server. They are created through the ISPmanager 6 API. As you do not have real passwords of FTP-users, they will be re-created using the current password hash from /etc/passwd (/etc/shadow).

Migrating PHP parameters

PHP user settings (*~/php-bin/php.ini*) will be migrated into the file *~/php-bin/.php.ini*.

For more information on the "PHP settings module", please refer to the article How the "PHP settings" module works when modifying parameters.

Migrating Firewall rules

Firewall settings will be migrated according to the documentation description and will be deleted from ISPmanager 4.

Migrating domain names and mailboxes

Following is the procedure of migrating mailboxes and mail domains.

  1. First, all the domain and mailboxes settings are saved (quota, greylisting, auto-responders, etc.).
  2. Configuration files of mail services are reconfigured for running on ISPmanager 6.
  3. All the configuration files containing data related to the domains and mailboxes will be cleared and recreated according to ISPmanager 6 requirements. (directories of the mailboxes, domains and email messages are not deleted).
  4. If the Mailbox format was used prior to migration, the mb2md utility will be used to convert mail into Maildir.
  5. If postfix or sendmail, that in ISPmanager 4 required a real user for each mailbox, were used, those users will be deleted from the system and all the mailboxes will become virtual, privileges of the mailbox owner will be set for their directories.
  6. Mail domains and mailboxes (including all the settings) will be re-created by ISPmanager 6 in the configuration files.

Email filter rules are not migrated. ISPmanager 4 used procmail and maildrop for this purpose, ISPmanager 6 uses the sieve plugin of Dovecot, so the old filter rules are not compatible with them.