Taking cPanel 76 for a test drive!

OK, version 75.9999.199 to be precise, but it’ll eventually become known as cPanel 76! We were keen to try out cPanel 76 and see what it’s all about, and how it can benefit us [as a web hosting provider] and our customers.

To begin with, we spun up a VPS with 2 GB RAM and created the file /etc/cpupdate.conf with the contents CPANEL=edge, as laid out here. This allowed us to install a fresh copy of the upcoming cPanel release without needing to first install version 74, and then upgrade to 76 manually.

As noted in the Release Notes, we quickly found the new installation process to be much more simple, eliminating a series of steps for just two (a license agreement, and space to enter a contact email address, and name servers), as shown below:

Going through the Release Notes in more detail, we found that cPanel 76 automatically enables PHP-FPM out-of-the-box. In our testing, this worked as expected – excellent! This is a huge leap-forward for both server administrators and webmasters like, given the performance boost that PHP-FPM has to offer, and, there’s no denying we all love websites which load quickly.

One of the things that caught our eye most, and is likely to be one of the favourites amongst end-users is the new Domains interface. This feature has a lot of potential, and greatly simplifies how customers manage their sub, addon and alias domains. We love the idea behind this!

This version of cPanel also updates SpamAssassin from version 3.4.1, to 3.4.2, as well as cPanel’s internal PHP version from 5.6 to 7.2 (which should give a nice performance boost when using the cPanel interfaces!).

Whilst software developers often add features and functionality, there also comes a time to wave goodbye, too. In version 76, the PHP open_basedir option inside of WHM has been removed for servers running EasyApache 4 (most of them, I’d hope, at this point!). It also waves goodbye to SquirrelMail for all new installations, as well as the ability to share SSL certificates and the Zendguard Optimizer option that you’d normally find inside of WHM’s Tweak Settings.

All-in-all, this is shaping up to be an excellent release with many helpful improvements, and we say well done to the team at cPanel!

To learn more, visit the 76 Release Notes page, as well as the Changelog.

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