How to Install Plesk on Ubuntu

Parallels Plesk includes a convenient one-click Linux installer, so the trickiest part of installing Plesk in Ubuntu is configuring your server to run and update Plesk components. The default Ubuntu installation includes most of the software needed to run Plesk, but you must edit your network configuration file to connect to a static IP address and install the latest version of PHP 5. If you use a firewall, you must open several ports to allow Plesk to update components, and you must turn off Ubuntu's AppArmor security feature because it conflicts with Plesk.

Technician sitting on floor working on laptop
The Plesk control panel simplifies setting up websites and email, DNS and reseller accounts.
credit: Wavebreakmedia Ltd/Wavebreak Media/Getty Images

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Open your network configuration file in a text editor as the root user. To open the file in Gedit as root, open Gnome Terminal and enter “gksudo gedit /etc/network/interfaces” (without quotes, here and throughout) at the prompt. Ubuntu's default interface uses DHCP to assign an IP address at boot, but you must change this configuration to use a static IP address instead. Comment out the line “iface eth0 inet dhcp” by adding a “#” symbol to the beginning of the line, then add the following seven lines to the bottom of the file:

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iface eth0 inet static addressnetworknetmaskbroadcastgatewaydns-nameservers

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Substitute your server's value for each number inside brackets in the above lines, but don't include the brackets in the code you add to the file. You can get these values from your Web host or Internet service provider. Save the file and close Gedit.

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Restart your network interface to apply the changes by entering “sudo ifdown eth0 && sudo ifup eth0” at the prompt.

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Install PHP 5 by entering “sudo apt-get install php5” at the prompt. If you already have the latest version of PHP 5 installed or you don't plan to install the Web Presence Builder, you can skip this step. The Parallels Web Presence Builder is a custom website designer that supports drag-and-drop graphical site construction, shopping cart checkout and traffic analytics. Many hosting resellers use Presence Builder as an all-in-one solution for their customers.

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Uninstall AppArmor to prevent conflicts between the two services. By removing AppArmor, you introduce a level of vulnerability to your system, so you may want to install an alternative kernel security layer such as SELinux or Grsecurity. To uninstall AppArmor, enter “sudo apt-get remove apparmor” at the prompt.

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Open firewall ports for any Plesk components you want to use. Visit the Parallels site to see a list of Plesk components and their associated ports (link in Resources). At the minimum, you probably need FTP, SSH, DNS, HTTP, Auth and a database component such as MySQL or PostrgreSQL. To open a port in the default Ubuntu firewall, enter the following command at the prompt:

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sudo ufw allow

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Substitute the appropriate port number for “port number,” but don't include the brackets in the command.

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Download the one-click installer from the Plesk site using the wget command. At the terminal prompt, enter the following command to launch the installer:

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wget -O - http://autoinstall.plesk.com/one-click-installer | sh

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This command downloads the Plesk installation script to your current directory and installs Plesk in Ubuntu. After about five minutes, when the installation completes, you can log in to the Plesk control panel and initialize the service.

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Open a Web browser and enter “http://:8443” in the address bar, substituting your IP address for “” and omitting the brackets. The Plesk control panel displays a first-time configuration page, and you're prompted to enter your name, phone number and email address and create a new password.

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Purchase a Plesk license by clicking “Tools and Settings,” selecting “License Management” and choosing “Order New Key.” You can use the Plesk control panel through the trial key until your license is authenticated.