WHM (Web Host Manager) provides backend functionality for cPanel, and must be configured on new cPanel servers before cPanel becomes accessible. This guide will help you access WHM to complete the server’s basic configuration process.
- Identify your connection details. You will need:
- Your server’s IP address
- 'root' password
- Your server’s IP address
- Access the WHM login page using the server’s IP address as part of the URL. Please ensure that you include https:// in front of the address and :2087 at the end of it.
- Example: https://192.168.1.100:2087/
- Example: https://192.168.1.100:2087/
Your browser will produce an SSL security warning because a trusted SSL certificate hasn’t been installed on the server yet. This is normal, but ensure that you install a valid certificate as soon as possible once the basic configuration is complete.
Note: Once the server is fully configured you’ll be able login using the server’s hostname, such as https://server.example.com:2087/ instead of the IP address.
3. Allow your browser to connect using the server’s default SSL certificate.
Warning: You should not do this while connecting to any server you don’t control. An attacker may try to spoof a server’s identity to collect sensitive details that you have provided over the connection.
3a. For Chrome browsers, click "ADVANCED"
3b. For Firefox browsers, click "ADVANCED"
And then click "Proceed to <Server's IP> (unsafe)"
Click "Add Exception"
And then click "Confirm Security Exception"
4. You should now reach the WHM login page. Fill in the root login details and click “Log in.” The username will be: 'root'
You should now see one of the following screens:
Initial Setup Wizard
When accessing a new server, the first WHM login will take you to the Initial Setup Wizard. Most options can be left as default. Full documentation of the various options can be found at https://documentation.cpanel.net/display/ALD/Initial+Setup+Wizard
Step 1: Agreement
To proceed, read and then accept the license agreement by clicking “I Agree/Go to Step 2”.
Step 2: Setup Networking
Fill in all details marked with a red asterisk (*) and click ”Save & Go to Step 3”.
Server Contact Email Address*:
Enter an email address the server can reach you at for notifications.
This Server's Hostname*:
Enter a subdomain of a domain you own or control. Example: server.example.com.
Primary Resolver* and Secondary Resolver*:
Enter a pair of DNS servers that the server will use to resolve domain names. The default resolvers are Google’s DNS servers and are most commonly used: 22.214.171.124 and 126.96.36.199.
Step 3: Set Up IP Addresses
Most users will not need to configure any additional IPs during this initial setup. Click “Skip This Step and Use Default Settings” or click “Go to Step 4”.
Note: Each server comes with one dedicated IP address that is automatically configured. cPanel will assign this IP as the server’s main-shared IP and will be used as the default IP address for all sites and services. cPanel will always refer to the main IP as a “shared” IP because of this.
Step 4: Nameservers
This page allows you to configure your server to host custom DNS nameservers for your domains. Review the settings below and then click “Save & Go to Step 5”.
Leave the default service, BIND, selected unless you have a preferred DNS service or don’t need custom nameservers.
Choose which nameservers domains on this server will use:
To use custom nameservers, you will need to choose two or more hostnames to assign to them. These will typically be subdomains of one of the domains that you own. Example: ns1.example.com and ns2.example.com.
The “Nameserver 1” and “Nameserver 2” boxes will automatically have entries for “ns1.vm” and “ns2.vm.” These are not valid nameservers, so they should only be left in place if you don’t plan to configure custom nameservers, or haven’t decided what hostnames to use yet. Replace them with your desired nameserver hostname, or the nameservers of your default DNS provider.
Add “A” entries for all Nameservers:
This will create “A” records on the server for the custom hostnames that you specify. Don’t select this checkbox if you haven’t chosen hostnames for your custom nameservers. Select the checkbox if you’ve entered your nameserver hostnames in the previous section. Set both IP addresses to your server’s primary IP address if the server will be hosting your DNS for you. If you have a 2nd IP address, you can use it for the 2nd nameserver.
Add “A” entries for Hostname:
Select the checkbox to create an “A” record on the server for the hostname. Ensure the text box contains your server’s IP address.
Step 5: Services
Review the settings below and then click “Save & Go to Step 5”.
Leave the default FTP service selected (Pure-FTPD) unless you have a preferred FTP service.
Configure cPHulk Brute Force Protection:
Select the checkbox to enable cPanel’s default bruteforce protection service. This will automatically block access from any IP addresses that submit multiple failed login attempts.
Documentation for cPHulk can be found here:
Important Note: cPHulk will also lock accounts that receive too many failed login attempts. This will prevent anyone from accessing the account even if they have the correct password. This can severely limit your access to the ‘root’ account as it’s the most common target of brute-force attacks.
If you need a more flexible brute-force solution, you may want to consider disabling cPHulk and installing a more flexible alternative such as CSF. Documentation for CSF can be found here: http://www.configserver.com/cp/csf.html.
Install Common set of Perl Modules:
Select this check box if you need support for Perl. This option will cause an additional load while the modules are being installed, and can take a significant amount of time to complete. Most users shouldn’t select this unless they actually know they will need the Perl modules.
Note: Older versions of WHM/cPanel will also ask you to select an email service during this step. The default settings should work for most users.
Step 6: Set Up Quotas
Select whether or not you’d like the server to use file system quotas, and then click “Finish Setup Wizard”
Quotas are used to track the amount of disk space each cPanel account uses and will allow you to place limitations on the amount of space each account is allowed to use.
This is ideal if you plan to host multiple sites under different cPanel accounts, but also causes some overhead and will slow down the boot process for servers with a large amount of disk usage. If the server will only be hosting a few sites or will have a limited number of accounts, you might want to consider disabling quotas.
This page displays a selection of advanced options that cPanel believes may be useful. We won’t cover any of them in this article, but review them if you’d like. If you click “Exit to WHM” the showcase will be displayed again the next time you log into WHM.
There are many options available in WHM. Each is organized under various categories and menus.
The search box in the top-left of the screen can help you quickly find a specific menu that you’re looking for.
For example, one of the first changes you’ll want to make is to create a new cPanel account. You can find the correct option for this by searching for “Create” in the search box.
Another common option is the “List Accounts” tool, which will display all cPanel accounts on the server, and allow you to access and manage them. You can find it by searching for “list” or “accounts”.
You should experiment with searching for various keywords to familiarize yourself with the way that the search box behaves.
Please review cPanel’s official documentation and our other support articles for assistance with the various functions available in WHM.
If you have any problems or questions about this process, please contact our support team by opening a chat or creating a ticket .