Configure open_basedir for subdomains

Follow the 3 steps to fix open_basedir restriction for subdomains.

We assume that the domain name is $, the name of the subdomain is $subDomName. You have to replace these values with the appropriate values.

Our goal is to open access to the public website directory and the /tmp directory for the special subdirectory. The directories are mentioned in the php_admin_value open_basedir

Create vhost.conf file for subdomain

Create /srv/www/vhosts/$$subDomName/conf/vhost.conf with the following content:
<Directory /srv/www/vhosts/$$subDomName/httpdocs>
<IfModule sapi_apache2.c>
php_admin_flag engine on
php_admin_flag safe_mode off
php_admin_value open_basedir "/srv/www/vhosts/$$$subDomName/httpdocs:/tmp"
<IfModule mod_php5.c>
php_admin_flag engine on
php_admin_flag safe_mode off
php_admin_value open_basedir "/srv/www/vhosts/$$$subDomName/httpdocs:/tmp"

Apply the configuration

The next step is to apply the created configuration and recreate the apache configuration.
Execute the following command on the command line to update the Plesk configuration:
/usr/local/psa/admin/sbin/websrvmng -u --vhost-name=domain.tld

Restart apache

Final and last step is to restart apache:
apache2ctl  restart

That’s all, now your open_basedir restriction is gone.

subdomain accessible with www


subdomain & www in Plesk


Follow the 4 steps to make your subdomain accessible with www .

step 1: update vhosts.conf

Add one line to the special configuration file for the subdomain. Normally this file is located in /srv/vhosts/domain/subdomains/subdomain/vhosts.conf .

Create the file, if there is no file yet. Add the following line, save it and exit the editor.

What does ServerAlias mean?
This is a Apache configuation that says that Apache will also serve the subdomain if you access it with www. This is normally used for the domain name, but also working for sub-domains.

step 2: update dns settings (optionally)

(optional – maybe necessary in Plesk 7/7.5, but works without in Plesk 8)

  1. Add a record type in the DNS zone of the domain for the subdomain starting with www. Select the following menu entries:
    Server => Domains => => DNS
  2. There you’ll see a list of DNS entries for the domain. Check the IP address for the subdomain entry – copy to clipboard or write it down, if you don’t know it.
  3. Now you create a new entry with the button Add new entry – use the following values:
    • Record type: A
    • Domain name: www.subdomain (Plesk 8)
    • IP address: enter the IP address that you copied in step 2.2, e.g.

    Press OK to add the new entry to the DNS.

  4. Check if there is a new entry wit the following value: A 111.1111.111.111

step 3: update plesk config file

Recreate the Plesk / Apache configuration for the whole domain with this command:
/usr/local/psa/admin/sbin/websrvmng -u

step 4: restart apache

Restart Apache to read the new configuration and serve pages with

apache2ctl restart

Plesk 8 installation on debian 4

Installing Plesk 8.x on debian 4.x “etch” seems a bit uncommon, but the mixture of a rockstable and secure base system as debian and the common webserver management interface Plesk makes sense.

How to install Plesk on debian

  1. Install a fresh debian and perform a dist-upgrade:
    apt-get update && apt-get dist-upgrade
  2. Add the following line to the apt sources list located at /etc/apt/sources.list (replace 8.2.1 and etch with your versions)
    deb etch all
  3. Force apt-get to update database with new information from Plesk
    apt-get update
  4. Install Plesk base system with apt-get, say Yes to accept the packages from Plesk that have a problematic signature.
    apt-get install psa
  5. Install Plesk Autoupdate module with apt-get:
    apt-get install psa-autoinstaller
  6. Install package with PHP5 suport for Plesk
    apt-get install psa-php5-configurator
  7. Restart PSA – don’t forget this! Otherwise you’ll get 404 errors instead the login page.
    /etc/init.d/psa restart
  8. Access the fresh installed Plesk interface with your browser (replace your-server-name with the url/ip of your server). The default login is admin, the default password setup.
  9. That’s it. The rest can be done via the Plesk interface.

More information can be found in the Plesk v8.2.1 build82070918.10 for Debian-4.0 x86_64 Release Notes.

Change admin password

Change admin password in Plesk

Plesk provides a nice script to change the admin password: /usr/local/psa/admin/bin/ch_admin_passwd

More information how to use it can be found at

You should shutdown mysql before performing this and not break the execution of the script. It takes some time! Otherwise you might get this:

Broken database PSA in MySQL

After changing the passwort as described above, the following error message was displayed in the mysql log file and on the console – e.g. when starting plesk.:

Incorrect information in file: psa/xxx.frm

This indicates a broken database index. Since the tables in the psa database are InnoDB tables, the InnoDB recovery tools are interesting. I tried and googled for about an hour, without success. Finally, I just tried to restart the whole server. And then the server was available again, Plesk was running and the errors where gone.

What was the reason? Interupting the password changing script might have caused the trouble. The database files haven’t been closed properly on the filesystem level, which has been fixed with the reboot of the operating system.