Since cPanel dramatically raised prices everyone in the web hosting industry are thinking about alternate options. The price hike follows the news last year of cPanel being acquired by Oakley Capital. This group also owns Plesk and SolusVM. And the interesting news is people are looking for alternatives, this blog explains one such alternative- how to migrate from cPanel to DirectAdmin.
We have a wide variety of control panels available for managing web hosting. Plesk, DirectAdmin, Webmin, Centos web panel, VestaCP, the list never ends. Here we are put in a situation where we have to choose the best one, more specifically the best one to replace cPanel. We have to consider too many factors here. cPanel is still the King out there in the web hosting industry. It is very user-friendly, feature packed, and reliable. And it was cost effective too. Once!
Choosing an alternative is a tough decision to take, one has to use it for a long term, have to keep the damage minimal and with lot many options out there, which one should you use?
Plesk is always a good competitor for cPanel. But this time we cannot rest our heads on the shoulders of Plesk. As you know Plesk and cPanel are owned by the same team. We cannot predict if they will implement the same licensing structure to Plesk.
Along with with cost, we must consider the features cPanel offered and the plans we built on top of that to meet the customer’s requirements. One major functionality is the reseller feature. Many customers could grow their business merely on reseller plans, there they could provide hosting accounts for their customers without having to own/manage a server itself. The new solution should be at least on a similar scale of cPanel.
So, which one ticks all the boxes for these requirements? DirectAdmin is a strong competitor. It has a good user interface, reseller features, community support and reliable. Also, APIs are available for WHMCS to manage the control panel. As a support engineer working some of the best hosting companies, I have across the situation to try DirectAdmin or how to migrate from cPanel to DirectAdmin. This blog is to let you walk through those steps.
The cPanel backup itself can be restored in DirectAdmin. Good news, right? But there are some prerequisites to avoid issues. We will discuss them soon. Let me start with the migration in simple steps here:
cPanel part:
Create full cPanel backup
Move the backup files to DirectAdmin server
DirectAdmin part:
Restore the backup file from the DirectAdmin admin panel
It’s that simple! Now let’s dive into the details. First things first.
The backup files should be in the format cpmove-user.tar.gz. The backup generation script /scripts/pkgacct $username will generate backups in this format.
Maximum username length is 16 characters for MySQL users by default, and 10 for system user in DirectAdmin. The system username length should match in cPanel and DirectAdmin to avoid conflicts such as database name, database username, etc. The maximum length of the cPanel username can be found using the following command.

#ls /var/cpanel/users | awk ‘{print length, $0}’ | sort -nr | head -n1
8 youaremy 

The maximum length of username can be set in DirectAdmin using this command
/usr/local/directadmin/directadmin set max_username_length 16 restart

The DirectAdmin version should be 1.57.4 or higher.
The backup converter script in DirectAdmin should be the latest one. To update the convertor script
cd /usr/local/directadmin/custombuild
./build update
./build cpanel_to_da


cPanel server:
What we are doing here is creating the backups of desired users and store them in a separate directory and move them to the DirectAdmin server.

mkdir -p /home/backup_files
/scripts/pkgacct username /home/backup_files
rsync -avt -e “ssh -p “ /home/backup_files/

DirectAdmin server:
The backup files at /home/admin/backup_files/ should be owned the the ‘admin’ user.
chown -R admin. /home/admin/backup_files/ 

Now login as admin in DirectAdmin console and go to Admin tools >> Admin Backup/Transfer >> Restore

We can specify the path to the backup directory here.

In the next step, specify the IP that should be assigned to the account.

In the next step select the backup file to be restored. Click on restore button. That’s it!

Smtalk of DirectAdmin wrote a detailed post here
Hope this helped!

We offer free migrations from cPanel to DirectAdmin* Contact Us for a free support.

Thanks for dropping by. Ready for the next blog?

Introduction to vSphere Security Hardening

Get new insights right to your inbox

How can our experts help you?

Schedule your consultation

You may also like

  • By admin
  • in DevOps

Agile vs DevOps: What’s the difference

  • Nov 18, 2022 .
  • 9 min min
Read More
  • By admin
  • in DevOps

DevOps as a Service: All You Should Know

  • Aug 9, 2022 .
  • 9 min min
Read More
  • By admin
  • in Containerization

Containerization VS Virtualization: Understanding the Differences

  • Aug 4, 2022 .
  • 8 min min
Read More

Be in the know

Techno tips served hot! Subscribe now and stay atop.