How to Configure and Deploy CloudLinux’s Node.js Selector

Why Node.js for CloudLinux?

In the last few years, the stability and ease of use of Node.js has lead to heavy adoption in application development.  However, deploying and configuring a Node.js application to work with cPanel presents a number of hurdles. CloudLinux’s recently released Node.js Selector is a great solution that includes a graphical interface to make deployment go more smoothly. To use this utility, you will need to have CloudLinux installed along with the LVE Manager plugin. In this configuration, your Node.js application will also benefit from the resource usage monitoring that comes with the CloudLinux LVE Manager.

Step 1 – Installation of Phusion Passenger

We’ll need to enable Phusion Passenger for EasyApache. In Web Host Manager, navigate to EasyApache.  From there, in the upper left corner of the screen type in “EasyApache 4”.  Select “Customize” in the menu that follows and then “Apache Modules”. In the list of Apache modules searching for “Passenger” will bring up the option to install mod-alt-passenger as shown below:

After selecting mod-alt-passenger, all that needs to be done is to skip to the “Review” step on the left sidebar and click “Provision” on the review menu to apply the changes.

Step 2 – Installation of CloudLinux Node.js Selector

To start the installation of Node.js Selector for your users, proceed to the LVE Manager page in Web Host Manager. Under the Options tab, click on the Node.js line to expand the section containing the install menu for the various Node.js versions:

Only the Node.js versions installed here will be available for each cPanel user. So for each Node.js version, first click “Install” to put in place the needed packages. Then, select the “Enable” switch for each version of Node to make it available. Once each version you would like to use is installed and enabled, be sure to also enable the overall toggle switch where it says “Node.js” to make the system available for your users.

 Post-installation,  with everything in place, the install menu should look like this:

Step 3 – Web Host Manager (WHM) Configuration:

At this point, you’ll have the LVE Manager configured, as well as Node.js setup for your cPanel users. However, the default cPanel memory limit is sometimes insufficient to install Node.js packages using NPM.  It is recommended to increase this memory limit to avoid issues during deployment. To make the change in WHM, proceed to the “Tweak Settings” page, and search for “Max cPanel process memory”.  Increase this from the default of 768MB to at least 1024MB to avoid issues with the NPM installer.  This setting does not affect the memory allocated to a Node.js application, but it does allow for the initial installation of Node.js packages to make use of additional memory needed for dependency resolution. Once the change is made, the Tweak Settings page will show the updated limit in the System section:

Step 4 – Version Control with Git

Before we can configure your Node.js application, the first step is getting that application on your server. There are a few options. You can use FTP to upload the copy of your application to your server, or you can use cPanel’s native Git support to clone the repository onto your server and deploy from there. Either method meets the requirement to get the application onto the server. In this example, we’ll be using cPanel’s native Git support to clone the application onto your server and then deploy it.

Within the cPanel user account that you’d like to host the application on, under the “Files” tab, select the “Git Version Control” option. This will bring you to a page where you can create a Git repository. In this example, we’ll be using the https://github.com/socketio/chat-example repository to deploy a simple chat application.

To keep your application data secure be sure not to clone or upload into the public_html folder since this makes the code itself potentially accessible from the web. CloudLinux strives to keep your data safe, and during deployment, it’s not a requirement that your application data be publicly accessible.

Here’s an example of the Git page, before the clone is completed.

Once you click on “Create” this will bring you back to the repository page showing the full path of the application being deployed. This page is important, so save that path for later.

Step 5 – Application Configuration

With the application files in place on the server, we are ready to configure Node.js to launch that application from the web.  From cPanel on the same account under the “Software” tab, select “Setup Node.js App”. On this setup screen, you’ll select “Create Application” to bring up the options for choosing the Node.js version as well as whether to use a Development or Production environment.

Notes on Choosing Development vs. Production:
Development generally has different application hooks in the code of the application, depending on how this environment variable is set. As a general rule, Production is going to have more levels of caching, as well as minimal logging. So, for a Development environment set, you can expect the inverse, with fewer levels of application caching, and more verbose logging and error message output.

Example: In production, you may only see an error page, but in development, you may see a full stack trace on an application error, letting you know exactly where the error took place inside the code.

Here’s an example of an application that’s ready to be saved:

Node.js applications, in general, depend on several environment variables. These can be added by using the “Add Variable” button near the bottom right of the page. Your Node.js production or development variable is already set separately in the top section using the “Application Mode”, so it is not necessary to set it again in the Environment variables section.

This same menu is where you can select the version of Node.js that you’d like to use as well as the application’s startup file. This might be index.js, app.js or any number of variations; it depends on the application.

Once you’ve saved your application, you’ll need to resolve its package dependencies.  The NPM package manager does this automatically based on the package.json file packaged with the application, so all that you’ll need to do here is click on the ‘NPM Install” button.  (This step will require your domain to resolve to an IP address, or the installation script will have an error) . NPM will read the contents of the package.json file and install the needed packages into a virtual environment specific to the application.

If you are familiar with the command line, you can follow the instructions at the top of the page to gain access to the “npm” and “node” commands to make additional changes manually, allowing for a great deal of customization: 

Step 6 – Application Deployment

By this point, you’ll have your application configured and Node.js modules installed, so you’re ready to launch the application! CloudLinux makes this very easy: on the same page where you configured your application, click “Run JS Script”. This will execute the application startup file that you defined earlier during setup. As Node.js applications have several different options, this can bring up another menu with different options to select depending on the application that you’re running. In general, you’ll want to select the “Start” option next. Finally, you can select the “Open” option to visit your page, and see your application!

CloudLinux’s Node.js Selector has many advantages over manual deployment.  It allows for several different applications to be run under the same user, accessed under the “Setup Node.js App” page in your cPanel account. Phusion passenger is used for application handoffs, so you won’t need to set up any .htaccess redirects to tell the web server to forward to the applications port.  With Node.js Selector this is all handled for you.

Node.js Selector and CloudLinux do not support Litespeed’s Web server, nor NGINX at this time. As always, if you’d like to have us configure and install this software on your Liquid Web server, please open a ticket or a chat with our Heroic support team!

Install Multiple PHP Versions Using EasyApache 4

EasyApache 4 installs, configures, updates, and validates your Apache, PHP and other services on your server. EasyApache 4 also supports multiple versions of PHP.  This allows you to assign different versions of PHP to each of your domains. There are great tools that have been implemented with EasyApache 4 that makes managing PHP versions simple. Two of these are the MultiPHP Manager and MultiPHP INI Editor. These can be found within the Web Host Manager, or “WHM” for short.  With the addition of these tools in cPanel/WHM, users can now complete most of these tasks from the Graphical User Interface. However, it is worth mentioning, attempting these tasks from the command line is recommended as we have seen better performance when compiling Apache builds.  

Note:
If you are still using EasyApache 3, please contact our support for assistance upgrading your server to EasyApache 4. EasyApache 3 is no longer being supported as of December 31st, 2018. This means there will be no further updates for this service. This can create security risks and should be addressed. Also, cPanel will not allow you to update to version 78 or newer using EasyApache 3. Before considering upgrading, please be sure you meet the following requirements.

EasyApache 4 requirements

  • Utilize Apache 2.4 or newer, updating Apache from 2.2 to 2.4 can be done from WHM using EasyApache 3, but it is recommended to run from the command line.  You can read more about this here.
  • It is recommended for the system to use suPHP as the default PHP handler.  More information on handlers can be found here.
  • CentOS 6, CloudLinux 6, Red Hat Linux 6 or higher

          

Note:
If you are still running CentOS 5 or older “due to the security risks” we would highly recommend migrating to a newer operating system as soon as possible. More than likely your current server’s hardware is also obsolete. Due to the complexities of our packages, we would recommend migrating to a new server. If you need any assistance choosing a new server, please reach out to us. Our team will gladly assist you in selecting the perfect package that will provide you with the best performance possible.

  • PHP versions 5.4 or higher. If your site is using PHP 5.3 or older, you will need to update and confirm your site is compatible with PHP Versions 5.4 or higher.  
  • MySQL/MariaDB are using updated hashes. The older versions of MySQL use an incompatible hashing algorithm.  Mysql 5.6 and later use an updated secured hash.  Since EasyApache 4 uses mysqlnd “the MySQL Native Driver” this will need to be addressed before upgrading since mysqlnd does not support older hash.  

Once you have met these requirements, your server is ready to upgrade EasyApache 3 to EasyApache 4.  When upgrading EasyApache we would recommend beginning this task at a time your server is not expecting much traffic as the process can take 20 minutes to a few hours.  This depends on your specific server’s performance and overhead. If you require any assistance with meeting the requirements needed to upgrade or would like to schedule an upgrade.  Please call, start a chat or submit a ticket with our support team.

Other than the requirements there are a few other obstacles you may need to check.

  1. Be sure the suPHP_ConfigPath directive is not being used in any .htaccess file as unexpected behavior may occur. You can correct this by removing or commenting this directive out within the .htaccess file. (The .htaccess can be found in /home/$cpaneluser/public_html  or /home/$cpaneluser/)
  1. Find any php.ini or .user.ini that will try to reference the old environment variable,  extension_dir, either the line will need to be removed or corrected. (The .php.ini/.user.ini can be found in /home/$cpaneluser/public_html  or /home/$cpaneluser/)

Upgrading EasyApache 3 to EasyApache 4 Script

Access your server via SSH and insert the following command:  

/scripts/migrate_ea3_to_ea4 –run 

To revert back to EasyApache 3

/scripts/migrate_ea3_to_ea4 –revert –run

Once EasyApache 4 is installed, please be sure to test your sites for any errors and confirm that WHM/cPanel is up to date.

 

Configuring Apache and PHP Using EasyApache 4 

1. Login to WHM and access EasyApache 4 by using the search bar.

       WHM >> Software >> EasyApache 4

2. Once you have navigated to EasyApache 4 you can view, customize and provision available EasyApache profiles.  Click the  button under Currently Installed Packages.

Note:
By default EasyApache 4 comes with additional profiles that help minimize setup up time as there are a few options tailored to the end users’ needs. If needed you still have the ability to create your own profiles for even further customization. For more information on EasyApache 4 profiles, you can view this documentation from cPanel.

3. From the “Apache MPMmenu you can select which MultiProcessing Module, or “MPM” you would like to use.  This will determine how Apache will handle incoming requests and how it processes them. You can select which MPM you would like to use by clicking the toggle button to the right of the module. If you are unsure on which MPM to use, check our tutorial to help you decide. Once selected click Next.

4. The “Apache Modules” section will allow you to select and install needed Apache Modules.  Once the needed modules are selected, click Next. Apache Modules can add extra functionality to Apache.  For example, the mod_ssl module can be selected from this interface.  This allows Apache to process traffic using the Secure Sockets Layer “SSL v2/3” and TLS “Transport Layer Security”. For more Information on Apache Modules visit this link, which details more specific information on Apache Modules.

5. From the PHP Versions menu, you can select which versions of PHP you wish to install.  WHM will automatically check for extensions currently being used by other versions of PHP on your server.  More than likely these extensions are currently being used by one of your domains, and because of this, we recommend selecting the PHP X.X and Extensions button when selecting a version.  After you have selected the versions you want to install, click Next.

Note:
If possible we would highly recommend using the most recent version of PHP as PHP version 5.6 and 7.0 will no longer have security updates as of January 1, 2019. For more information on supported PHP versions visit this link.

6. From the next menu, the PHP Extensions menu, you can select all PHP extensions you require.  PHP extensions enable particular functions used in your PHP code, an example of this would be if your PHP code communicates with MySQL you will need to utilize the mysqlnd extension.  EasyApache 4 has already selected recommended extensions that existed on previously installed versions of PHP on your server by default.   A good tip is to limit the selection view to only the version of PHP you are installing.  You can do so at the top of this page by deselecting the boxes next to Filter by PHP Version.  Once you have selected your PHP extensions click Next.

7.  The next two sections are not commonly used, however, they are included for those that require these functions.  Ruby via Passenger allows you to integrate Ruby, Node.js, and Python applications on your server.  Within this menu, you can install/select which Ruby modules you would like to use.  More information on this can be found in this link

Within the Additional Packages menu, you can select custom packages to be installed on your server.  Currently, by default, the only option available is Tomcat 8.5.  Tomcat is a Java Servlet Container that allows you to run Javabased application on your server. You can save the profile to be used for later by clicking Save as profile button on the bottom-right corner of the page.

Once you have finished your selections, click Next or Review.   You should see a notification like the one we have included below.  This can take a few minutes to complete so allow it some time to poll your results.

8.  Please be sure to review this next page to make sure you have selected the desired configuration. If you notice anything is missing or should be changed, you may return to the relevant menu to adjust the selections. Once reviewed, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click the Provision” button.Once you have begun provisioning, please allow EasyApache some time to finish.  You will be prompted once the process has finished.

Congratulations, you have selected an MPM, installed additional Apache Modules, PHP versions, and PHP extensions using EasyApache 4.

 

Using the MutliPHP Manager from WHM

cPanel’s MultiPHP Manager allows users to manage cPanel accounts PHP configuration on a per domain basis.  This feature is only available on EasyApache 4.  You can also set the systems default global PHP version for all accounts, enable PHP-FPM globally or per domain, and adjust PHP-FPM pool options.

Selecting System default PHP Version 

  1. Navigate to the MultiPHP Manager (WHM >> Software >> MultiPHP Manager)
    Note:
    Setting the system default PHP version will not change the PHP version for all domains. Your cPanel account “if not defined” is set to inherit by default. If the inherit option is enabled, the account will use the system’s default PHP version.
  1. Click Edit under System PHP Versions.
  1. Select the desired PHP version and click Apply. You should see a Success notification at the top right of the page if the change was successful.  It will also display any errors that may have occurred. 

Define PHP Versions per Domain

Within the MultiPHP Manager, you also can set the desired PHP version on a per domain basis.  

  1. Select the domain or accounts you wish to alter.
  2. Click the dropdown menu located in the PHP column.
  3. Select your desired PHP version. The interface will prompt you once the change has completed.

 

Changing PHP Versions on Multiple Accounts

  1. Select which accounts you would like to alter by clicking the check boxes next to the domain.
  2. Click the dropdown located in the type right.
  3. Select the desired PHP version and click Apply The interface will prompt you once the change has completed.

 

MultiPHP INI Editor

MultiPHP INI Editor is a great tool that allows you to manage PHP settings per version.  You can quickly edit the most commonly adjusted PHP directives from within the Basic Mode or for more advanced users you can edit the configuration files directly using the Editor Mode.   For information on directives, please read PHP’s documentation which can be found here.

To access the MultiPHP INI Editor login into WHM. (WHM >> Home >> Software >> MultiPHP INI Editor)

Basic Mode allows you to view and edit directive values for your selected PHP version.  WHM will save changes to the PHP configuration file.  Also, directives will only show if the version of PHP you are editing supports that directive. With WHM assistance this greatly helps minimize errors as the syntax within these files are sensitive.  

Edit PHP Configuration Using MultiPHP INI Editor in Basic Mode

  1. Select a PHP version from the dropdown menu.
  2. Adjust directives as needed.  For example, you can increase upload_max_filesize by editing the field to the right of the directive.
  3.  Click Apply to submit changes.  If the edit was submitted successfully WHM will notify you at the top right of the page.  It will also inform you if any errors have occurred.
  4. Adjust directives as needed.  For example, you can increase upload_max_filesize by editing the field to the right of the directive. 
  5.  Click Apply to submit changes.  If the edit was submitted successfully WHM will notify you at the top right of the page.  It will also inform you if any errors have occurred.

 

Edit PHP Configuration Using MultiPHP INI Editor in Editor Mode

Editor Mode allows you to modify additional directives and PHP configurations that are not available in Basic Mode.  Please note, errors within this interface can result in errors causing PHP scripts not to function correctly.  Unlike Basic Mode which loads directives available to that version of PHP, Editor Mode loads the contents from the .ini file for the selected PHP version.  If the file does not exist then, the interface will load a blank editor.  When saving values or configurations to a blank editor, the systems will create a new file. 

  1. From within MultiPHP INI Editor click the Editor Mode tab. 
  2. Click the dropdown menu to select PHP Version.
  3. The Editor will open the file as a text document. From here you can simply edit the configuration to your needs.
  1. Click Save to submit your changes.  If the changes were successful WHM will display a success notification in the top right of the screen as well as any errors that may have occurred.  

EasyApache 4 makes adjustments and server tuning a breeze.  However, there is still a chance the end user can make a fatal mistake.  A quick call to our support staff could bring a quick resolution to your issue.  There are some cases where the best solution possible, is the fastest the end user can apply themselves.  For cases such as these, we would highly recommend utilizing our Cloud Backups.  Cloud Backups offer an extra layer of protection as your backups are stored on a remote device we manage here at Liquid Web.  This ensures full restoration in the unlikely event of a total system failure. The end user can manage and restore easily from our manage page.  For more information on how Cloud Backups can work for you visit products page

Editing MX Records

How to Edit MX Records in DNS

Perhaps you are moving from using your web server for e-mail to a new service that offers advanced features such as Liquid Web’s Premium Business Email Hosting, or maybe you want your e-mail address to better reflect the business you conduct with your inbox. Either way, when changing mail servers, you will find yourself editing MX records. Each time you send a message, these records help an e-mail server figure out how to get your message where it needs to go. Once the message is ready to leave the server you send it from, it looks up the record for the domain where your receiver checks their mail. By the end of this article, you will be able to edit your domain’s MX records in cPanel or Plesk.

Continue reading “Editing MX Records”