Plesk. Just... Plesk.



  • Plesk is the bane of my existence.

    The company I work for has a managed server which we use to host customer data. The server also manages all customer domains and mail accounts. It does so using Plesk, the server management platform designed to give PHP a bad^W worse name. I regularly wrestle with beautiful things like an XML-RPC interface that occasionally lies (inventing errors where none are or returning success for a failed operation). Or the fact that adding a domain to Plesk, even if that domain has no hosting configured, triggers a restart of Apache. Plesk runs on top of Apache. By default, the restart happens before the XML-RPC call has been replied to. Cute.

    But today I stumbled across another gem. I try to remove a subscription (essentially a domain) from Plesk via the XML-RPC interface and get... an empty string. No XML document, no non-200 status code, nothing. Apparently the interface has crashed and didn't feel like telling me. Nothing too unusual for Plesk; I'll have to remove subscriptions manually, then. So I log into the web interface, navigate to the subscription, hit the delete button and... the frame gets replaced with a blank page. At least this time the server was considerate enough to give me an HTTP 500 status code.

    I fire off an email to the hosting company's support team and half an our later I hear back from them: The subscription could not be removed because a few mail accounts associated with it still had forwarding set. If that's the case you have to manually delete the mail accounts first. So, just to get this straight:

    • Despite the fact that removing a subscription removes all mail accounts associated with it, Plesk can't do so if a mail account is configured to forward its mail somewhere.
    • Instead of returning an appropriate error message when encountering this problem Plesk just silently crashes.
    • If the request to do so came via XML-RPC the crash doesn't even generate an HTTP 500 status code.

    And this is the software the hosting company describes as "the best on the market". What does the competition do to be even worse? Randomly delete files? Replace all email bodies with goat porn?


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @j6cubic said:

    And this is the software the hosting company describes as "the best on the market".
    Just define the word “market” to be small enough and you'll be correct. “The best on the market (at the corner of Hoover and 34th, third floor).”



  • And that's why non-IT people cannot be the ones deciding on the hosting package to take. Just take a (V)PS somewhere and be done with it. Managing a few small linux updates here and there is much less work than trying to understand Plesk (or DirectAdmin and whatever other kind of crap is out there).



  • @j6cubic said:

    And this is the software the hosting company describes as "the best on the market". What does the competition do to be even worse?

    I don't think you grasp quite how this sort of business works. Everyone can claim to be the best because all the software does certain things that nobody else does in quite the same way. Thus, it is possible to write any spec such that a particular company will be the only one who can get the contract, because the tweaks required to make any other software fit the bill would require inflating the cost of the quote. Basically, it ensures that none of the other companies will be able to bid competitively.



  • "Plesk" is a Doomed Name, like "Zope" and "Plone". As soon as the product's name was picked, that was it. It never had a hope.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @j6cubic said:

    Replace all email bodies with goat porn?

    I. Er. My friend would like to subscribe to your email newsletter.



  • @anotherusername said:

    @j6cubic said:
    And this is the software the hosting company describes as "the best on the market". What does the competition do to be even worse?

    I don't think you grasp quite how this sort of business works. Everyone can claim to be the best because all the software does certain things that nobody else does in quite the same way. Thus, it is possible to write any spec such that a particular company will be the only one who can get the contract, because the tweaks required to make any other software fit the bill would require inflating the cost of the quote. Basically, it ensures that none of the other companies will be able to bid competitively.

    Amazingly enough, the hoster claims that they tried various other packages like cPanel and Plesk was the one that worked best. Then again it's probably okay as long as you don't want to manage thousands of domains or automate anything. I mean, who would ever want to do that?

    But yeah, TRWTF is running mission-critical services on a glorified web hosting package. It's pretty much par for the course for this one-and-a-half bit shop, though. We can't afford two bits. Bits are expensive, just like sysadmins.



  • @j6cubic said:

    Amazingly enough, the hoster claims that they tried various other packages like cPanel and Plesk was the one that worked best.

    I've used cPanel and found it to be good but I don't do anything too crazy - just a single domain with something like a Wordpress or Drupal site. A few friends have asked me to do websites for them and this was the easiest way I found to get it done. They handled updates surprisingly painlessly and I had access to all the tools I needed, like backup, file explorer, editors, email accounts, etc.

    I admit that I am essentially playing at being a web developer so my needs probably differ greatly from someone who does it for a living.



  •  plesk works as long as you do no nothing special with it and never ever try to remove anything ( customers, domains, web user, whatever ).

    last one for me was plesk taking down subdomains, but never enabling them back up, if the 'suspend domaine during backup' option was on in the backup manager.

    subdomains remained in an unstable state, with no way to restore them (unless you go sql within the plesk database).

     

     



  • When I was "having a play webhosting" I used something called VHCS. Written in PHP and perl, the formatting of the code was pretty but there were hidden dangers. I note that their website is currently flagged "this site may harm your computer". Well, my install did get owned too. I learnt quite a bit making security-related changes. Mostly escaping data. From memory someone caused a 404 with a script tag URL which then provided cookies to their server when viewing the error logs.



  • Plesk's release notes make interesting reading for anyone who's considering using it.

    There's an average of about one release per week, and pretty much every week you see a list of fixes for bugs that would fuck your life (or at least break your website/reseller service/wtv) if you ran into them. These fixes are often for bugs that were introduced in previous recent releases, and the admin panel constantly moans at you to enable automatic updating. Much as I love the idea of sticking by my computer in case Plesk decides to (for example) break my SSL setup in an automatic update, I'll pass until they can release updates that don't cause more problems than they solve.


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