Common paths in cPanel and WHM

For those users who use cPanel/WHM on their virtual or dedicated servers the following article describes common system paths and utilities.

Paths of Base Modules




/usr/local/bin/convert or /usr/bin/convert




Ruby Gems




FLV Tool

User Directories

Document Root

WWW Directory

CGI Directory

cPanel / WHM Core Directories and Files

Houses only scripts and binaries which provide installation and configuration of many cPanel services.

Houses proprietary configuration data for cPanel, including:

  • Primary cPanel configuration
  • User configurations
  • Reseller configurations
  • Accounting, conversion, and update logs
  • Bandwidth data
  • Customized service templates


The primary cPanel configuration file. Each variable within influences the way cPanel behaves, variables are line delimited, with variables separated by an equal sign. If this file does not exist cPanel falls back to defaults.

Lists each reseller with a comma-delimited list of WHM resources that reseller has access to.

Contains a list of accounting functions performed through WHM, including account removal and creation.

Files contain a list of bandwidth history for each account, each named after their respective user. History files are stored in human-readable format, while actual bandwidth data are stored in round robin databases.

File name is inherited from the feature list name. Contains a line delimited list of feature variables and a zero or one value. Variables control what cPanel resources are available to users.

Contains a list of packages named after the packages they represent. If a package belongs to reseller file name is prefixed with reseller username. Each of these values determines the value created in cPanel user file.

Contains a list of cPanel user configuration files named after the user they pertain to. Variables define account resources, themes, domains, etc.

Other /var/cpanel Directories

This directory contains logs from account copies/transfers.

Contains the output of each cPanel update executed on the server.

Named after the respective reseller users they represent, each contains only the IP address which should be used as resellers main shared IP.

Contains customized DNS zone templates created in WHM.

This directory houses a large number of scripts which serve as building blocks for many cPanel/WHM features.
These scripts can be used to:

  • Update cPanel and many of its services
  • Customize account creation routines
  • Perform backups of cPanel accounts
  • Install and update cPanel managed services


cPanel Maintenance Scripts

By default cPanel applies nightly updates at 2:13AM server time via the root crontab.
/scripts/upcp dispatches these updates using the following key components:

  • /scripts/updatenow – synchronizes /scripts directory
  • /scripts/sysup – updates cPanel managed rpms
  • /scripts/rpmup – updates all other system updates

Updates are logged to timestamped files in /var/cpanel/updatelogs. Update configuration is stored in /etc/cpupdate.conf

Account Management Scripts

/scripts/wwwacct (account creation)
/scripts/killacct (account termination)
/scripts/suspendacct (account suspension)
/scripts/unsuspendacct (account resuming)
/scripts/addpop (create pop account)
Updates the user:owner and user:domain tables stored in:
These tables are used to enumerate and keep track of accounts and their owners.

Package Management

Takes argument list of rpms, which are then passed to the underlying package manager.

The equivalent of ensurerpm for FreeBSD. Updates specified packages from ports.

Takes argument list of perl modules to install via CPAN. Each of the aforementioned scripts can accept an argument of ‘–force’ to force package installations.

Can be called to apply MySQL updates independent of upcp.

Will clean up the default MySQL privilege tables, by installing a more restrictive privilege schema.

Will verify that mysql is accessible with password stored in /root/.my.cnf and force a reset with a random 16 character string if inaccessible.

Can be called to apply exim updates independent of upcp.

Will rebuild exim.conf, and merge local, distribution, and cPanel configurations.

Rebuild named.conf based on existing zone files

Download, extract, and execute apache build script

Rebuilds httpd.conf based on DNS entries found in each cPanel user configuration

Other cPanel Scripts

The majority of cPanel managed service can be scripts named appropriately.

Will rebuild the PHP interpreter used internally by cpsrvd.

Will scan for and install any Perl modules required by cPanel.

Updates horde and resets the horde mysql user password.

Will attempt to rebuild quota database per information stored in /etc/quota.conf

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