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Classic Linux migration procedure

[ Note. This page is now outdated. Our migration to the cloud is now completed, and all old servers have been taken offline. Some information here might still be relevant and useful if you are having issues with your account. ]

This describes a migration procedure if you have at least one custom domain.

If you have no custom domain, i.e., if you only use the domain, then please see the simplified Classic Linux migration procedure -- no domain.

In the description below, USER means your login name in the existing (old) Classic Linux environment.

We will create a login in the new Classic Linux environment on the server Your existing email will not be affected yet. However, we will create a mail alias called Mail arriving for this mail alias will be delivered to you on the new server

We will also copy your old data from the old Classic Linux environment to the new server This will not replace your new home directory. Instead, you will find it in a subdirectory called OLD. Inside the OLD directory you will find one or more subdirectories called by these names: www, cgi-bin, shell, each corresponding to the directories that you have in the old Classic Linux environment.

(After we copy the above files, if you make changes on the old servers, these copied files might become out of date. If you want us to refresh them we can do so.)

Some recommended reading:

  1. The Classic Linux page tells you how to access the shell and email in the new environment.
  2. The File layout in Classic Linux page summarizes the locations of various files and directories.
  3. The Account conversions and updated billing page tells you how account types map from old to new.

Then please follow the steps below in the listed sequence. It's OK to skip any step that doesn't apply to you. If you encounter a problem, please mention on which step you encountered the problem.

General strategy

The general strategy below is to migrate things one at a time, and always test on the new server before making your changes visible to the outside world. This way, you have tested the correct functioning of your email or website before you actually begin getting website hits or email from the outside world.

There are many steps below, but each one is quite simple. Not every step will even apply to you, so the sequence is likely simpler than it looks.

Bundled items

If your account had additional items bundled with it, e.g., POP mailboxes, please check to make sure those were migrated too.

Migration questions

In case of problems, please let us know by adding a reply to any open migration ticket, or opening a new ticket, and we will make sure that things get fixed promptly.

However, it is highly recommended that if you run into any generic problems, of a type not specific to your account, you mention them on our forum website where your experience will benefit others.

Mail for

All references to USER here and in the rest of this document are to your own Classic Linux login name.

Your mail is still going to the old servers at this point. However, you can test mail on the new server as follows. From somewhere outside the servers (e.g., from a free email account on services such as Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook, and the like), send test email to This an alias that will cause mail delivery on the new server Don't forget to replace USER with your own login name.

Verify that this mail correctly reaches you on the new server Verify that you can read this email using your preferred methods, e.g., IMAP, POP, webmail, Alpine, or Mutt. Instructions for using these can be found in the Classic Linux pages.

Virtualmin control panel

Log into the Virtualmin control panel by pointing your web browser to

Your account will already include a subdomain called There is a menu item near the bottom on the left-hand-side List Virtual Servers that will list all your domains (each being called a virtual server). At this time you will probably see only the domain

You may use for email or a website, or you may leave it unused. The domain is portable to other service providers, should you ever wish to move it (subject to a modest continuing fee paid to us).

If you have any trouble with the control panel, which is somewhat intricate and not always intuitive, please let us know and we will set things up for you as you request. However, it will be useful if you learn to navigate the control panel so you can make changes at your convenience without waiting for us.

Please see the Virtualmin page for more details.

Access the new webmail

Webmail on the new server will let you access mail on the new server without having to re-point your current mail client. Then you can keep accessing mail on the old servers during migration with your existing mail client, while still being able to access mail on the new server via webmail.

Point your web browser towards The login name is USER which is just your Linux username. The password is the same as your Virtualmin password, which you have already set above.

Before you send any mail via this webmail interface, please go to

  • Settings ⇒ Identities

and set your correct reply address for use in the From: line. Right now, we recommend you make it Later on you can use your own domain, if you have one.

Add needed domains

(Skip if you have no custom domain, i.e., you only use the domain.)

Using the control panel, add any other custom domains that you were already using, and add any more domains that you now wish to use. (Note: No nameserver changes are needed just yet.)

When you add a domain, a DKIM record is automatically added into the DNS for that domain.

Populate website(s)

The control panel will give you the pathname of the website directory for each domain that you add.

To populate the website simply move the files from within OLD/www (and possibly OLD/cgi-bin) into the new directories, or add new files.

If you had a website in the domain (i.e., of the form, then put your files into a subdirectory /home/USER/ and they will become available as on the new server. Make sure you have a valid index.html file in this directory.

On the other hand, if you don't want a website, just make sure there is no index.html file inside the directory. (Or just delete the directory.) Then anybody accessing will get an error message.

(Any problems? We can move your files for you.)

None of these new websites will not yet be accessible from a web browser. That step comes below.

Test website(s)

(Skip if you have no website.)

Note: If you have difficulty following the instructions in this section, you can opt to skip it. The only possible consequence is that after you switch DNS servers below, you might encounter some website down time in case any fixes are needed in your website. If you follow the instructions in this section, then you will very likely have no website down time.

To test the website(s) that you populated above, temporarily add entries into your machine's hosts file that will point each of the relevant domains to the IP address for On a Linux machine, these entries will look something like this:

(Use the IP address shown above, but use your own domains instead of the examples above.)

This will make your web browser go to when it tries to access any of the listed domains. Now you should be able to visit the newly-populated websites from your web browser. You may need to clear your web browser's cache.

Your hosts file is a plain text file, so you can edit it with any text editor (vim, nano, notepad, etc.)

For more hints try web searches for [hosts file] and [how to edit your hosts file].

The exact location of your hosts file varies from operating system version to operating system version. Below are the most common locations.

  • Linux or OS X: edit the file /etc/hosts.
  • Microsoft Windows 7 or 10: edit the file c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts.

You will likely need to be administrator, root, or some similar privileged account to be able to edit the hosts file on your machine.

Don't forget to do the recommended web searches (see above) to get a lot more hints.

Once you have added all the domains you need, go to your domain registrar, and repoint the name servers for each domain to:


After a sufficient time, all web and mail traffic should be going to the new server Now you can test email and website traffic.

Test email for

If everything has gone well so far, please ask us to switch all mail for to the new server. We will do so. Then check to make sure all your mail is correctly reaching you on Also, please note that the new environment supports so-called plus addressing using both + (plus) and - (hyphen-minus) characters.

Test email in your custom domain(s)

(Skip if you have no custom domain, i.e., you only use the domain.)

Time now to test how well your custom domain on is able to receive mail.

Test email locally on

Send yourself some email in your custom domain(s) while you are connected to for email using any of these methods: IMAP, POP, webmail, Alpine, or Mutt.

Since you are already on, mail addressed to any address in one of your domains should reach you on the same server.

Also, you can quickly test the mail system on with a command like the following, while logged into the linux shell:

/sbin/sendmail -bv anybody@anyplace

This command will send you a mail message within a few seconds, and that message will tell you what would have happened had you actually sent mail to anybody@anyplace, without actually sending mail. This is a quick and easy way of finding out how would handle mail for any email address.

Test email remotely on

Log into the Linux shell into any one of these old Classic Linux servers:


We have supplied a program called /usr/local/bin/lsmtp that will let you send test email and make it go to

The command syntax is:

  /usr/local/bin/lsmtp -d -s -r -H

In the command above, in place of use your own email address. In place of use any email address that you want to test on

This program as used above will always deliver mail to regardless of the recipient address (However, if that email address does not reside on, it will reject the email and you will get an error from the lsmtp command.)

So if you have added a domain to your account on, you can send test email to any desired address in without having to switch DNS servers first.

Final domain switch

(Skip if you have no custom domain, i.e., you only use the domain.)

If everything worked so far, for any domain(s) for which you did not already repoint the nameservers above, please go to your domain registrar and switch nameservers for those domain(s) so they point to these new nameservers:


One this change becomes effective (can take an hour or two, sometimes more hours, worst case as much as 48 hours), all your mail and web traffic should be reaching the new server.

Verify domain switch with

(Skip if you have no custom domain, i.e., you only use the domain.)

After switching nameservers, please go to and check your domain. If you see any colors other than yellow and blue, please take steps to correct the errors. Yellow and blue are just advisory and nothing to worry about.

Sometimes after a nameserver change it takes a while for all servers to be in sync. So if reveals any errors, simply waiting an hour or two (or three or four) will often make them go away.

If any errors don't go away after 3–4 hours, please let us know and we will assist you.

SSL certificates

Once your nameserver switch is complete, you can go into the SSL certificate menus and request a free Let's Encrypt SSL certificate for each of your domains. It will be fetched and automatically installed so your website(s) can benefit from https connections.

Mail leakage

There will still be some leakage. If somebody on one of the old servers send mail to you, it will stay on the old servers. This leakage will go away when our migration is complete and old servers go offline.

Or you can add a .forward entry in your old home directory that forwards mail to Then any stray mail reaching the old servers will be forwarded to user USER on which should, ideally, be you. If you do this, please send email to yourself on one of the old servers and make sure it reaches you on the new server.

Domain deletion from old nameservers

If you have had a custom domain with us, its DNS might be on our old nameservers and That will no longer be needed. Once your migration is complete, please ask us to delete your domain from our old nameservers and we will do so.

Accessing legacy mail

Old mailboxes are copied to the new server, but are not merged with new mail. To access legacy mail, please see this page: Classic Linux legacy mailboxes.

And By the Way

Be sure to follow announcements in


Below is a small selection of useful pages. Please see the sidebar menu for many more.

Some pages reside in a separate Hints menu. It you find yourself there, just follow the Top link to get back to the main menu.

classic_linux_migration.txt · Last modified: 2021/02/05 11:00 by admin