Getting Started with DirectAdmin

What kind of server do I need?

Operating system

Operating systems supported by DirectAdmin are listed in the table below.

OS Versions
CloudLinux (recommended) 6.x 32/64-bit, 7.x 64-bit, 8.x 64-bit
RedHat Enterprise / CentOS 6.x 32/64-bit, 7.x 64-bit, 8.x 64-bit
Debian 8.x 64-bit, , 9.x 64-bit, 10.x 64-bit (click for Ubuntu)
FreeBSD 11.x 64-bit, 12.x 64-bit
Which OS am I using?
Operating System End-of-Life Policy

Partition scheme

We suggest a simple partition structure of:

Partition Size
/boot 500 MB
swap For < 2GB of RAM: 2 x RAM, for 2GB - 8GB of RAM: equal to the amount of RAM, for > 8GB of RAM: at least 4GB
/ Rest of drive

For a less simple partition structure:

Partition Size
/boot 500 MB
swap For < 2GB of RAM: 2 x RAM, for 2GB - 8GB of RAM: equal to the amount of RAM, for > 8GB of RAM: at least 4GB
/tmp 1 GB. Highly recommended to mount /tmp with noexec,nosuid in /etc/fstab
/ 6 - 10 GB
/var 8 - 20 GB. Logs, and Databases with CentOS
/usr 5 - 12+ GB. DA data, source code, mysql backups with custombuild option
/home Rest of drive. Roughly 80% for User data. Mount with nosuid in /etc/fstab if possible.

Feel free to modify these numbers as needed. FreeBSD and Debian store mysql databases in /home/mysql/.
For CentOS 7, use the xfs quota system. If you use ext4, add use_xfs_quota=0 to the directadmin.conf.

Please have Basic development/compiling tools such as gcc, g++, and perl.

***Please do not install services such as Apache, PHP, MySQL, Ftp, Sendmail, etc., as we will do this for you. All we need is a CLEAN install of your operating system.***
We do not recommend installing DirectAdmin on an existing live production server.
DirectAdmin does not convert existing data upon install.


We highly recommend a processor of at least 500 Mhz even though DirectAdmin will run on slower systems. The more cores the better. A minimum 1 GB of memory is required (2+ GB is preferred), with at least 2 GB of swap memory. (CentOS 8: 2Gig required, 4+ Gig preferred). A hard drive with at least 2 gigabytes of free space (after the Linux install) is also required, not including any website data. If you are expecting high traffic levels then you will need more memory, processor power, and hard drive space than we recommend here. Intel and AMD should work fine. Solaris/Sparc will not.


Please ensure SSH is installed and working.
Please ensure named (Name Daemon) is selected during the Redhat install.
gcc and g++ are required to compile apache and php.
The system kernel and filesystem must support quotas. The kernel should support IPv6.

Authority Level

You must have root access on the server.

IP Addresses

At a bare minimum your server must have one static IPv4 IP address. However, for DNS control you will sometimes need at least two (2) IP addresses. With only one IP address you might be forced to use an external DNS service, depending on your registrar. -- this means web sites you create through the control panel will not propagate automatically.
Your server IP must be an external IP address. Local IP addresses (192.168.x.x or 10.0.x.x) cannot be set in your license. The IP that connects to our system must patch the license IP, or downloads will not work. More info on IP requirements.
DirectAdmin can be installed on a LAN using this guide.

Installing DirectAdmin: How is it done?

We will install DirectAdmin for you at no cost (free installs may not be included with bulk purchases). If you prefer to install DirectAdmin yourself, please refer to the DirectAdmin Installation Guide.

What Gets Installed?

Complete list of software which gets installed is located at:

Need More Information?

You can e-mail questions to or send an inquiry by visiting the contacts page. We are available Monday through Friday, 9 AM - 5 PM Mountain Standard Time. You may also visit the forum to see if your question has been answered there.

Interested to try DirectAdmin? Get a 30-day Free Trial!