“A” (Address) Entry: A record, residing on your server, that contains your server’s hostname and IP address. The “A” entry is essential because it tells DNS servers the identity of your server, allowing visitors to find your server on the Internet.
Account-Level Filter: A rule that determines where email, delivered to a domain's main email account and meeting certain criteria, will be delivered. See also Filter.
Addon Domain: An additional domain name associated with a cPanel account. Each addon domain is stored in its own directory that can be configured by website owners. This allows website owners to manage multiple domains from a single cPanel account. Addon domains must be registered with a domain name registrar to properly function.
AIM (AOL Instant Messenger): A widely used instant messaging program. WHM can notify you via AIM if there is a problem with your server. More information about AIM can be found athttp://dashboard.aim.com/aim.
Analog: A program that provides information about the visitors to a website in both graphical and statistical views. More information about Analog can be found at http://www.analog.cx/.
Anonymous FTP: A process whereby visitors without FTP accounts may upload and download files to and from a website. Although it poses security risks, anonymous FTP can be convenient if the site owner wishes to make files publicly available for downloading. When setting up anonymous FTP, it is important to protect any sensitive information by changing file permissions and directory access permissions.
Apache Handler: A means of telling the Apache software how to process a given type of file. By default, Apache only handles certain file types. You can configure Apache handlers for other file types using cPanel. For more information, see Apache's handler documentation.
atd: A daemon for the
at command in Linux operating systems, which performs scheduled tasks. This daemon is disabled by the WHM Quick Security Scan feature.
Authentication: A process for confirming the identity of someone with whom the server will share sensitive information. On the web, authentication usually involves either a username and password set or a public/private key pair.
Autoconfig: A process that sets up a user’s Outlook® or Outlook Express account to receive their cPanel email. You can enable or disable this feature using WHM's Enable/Disable Outlook® Autoconfig feature. This feature was not available in WHM version 11.34, but is available again in version 11.36.
Auto Responder: Auto responders allow you to automate replies to incoming email. In cPanel, this feature can be useful for confirming the receipt of mail, or for informing correspondents that the recipient is unavailable (for example, while on vacation).
AWStats (Advanced Web Statistics): A program that provides information about the visitors of a website. This information is presented in both graphical and statistical views. More information about AWStats can be found at http://awstats.sourceforge.net/.
Backscatter: Bounce email messages (or failed Delivery Status Notifications) erroneously sent to a domain whose name has been forged as the sender of spam. Using SPF on your mail server should reduce backscatter.
Bandmin: Bandmin is a set of Perl scripts that monitor and log bandwidth usage by IP. You can access Bandmin at the following location:
example.com is your domain name).
Bandwidth: The amount of data transferred to and from a server. Every time a visitor views a file (whether it’s a web page, image, video, or audio file), that file is transferred to the visitor’s computer. Bandwidth is the total size of all these files transferred to visitors’ computers. Hosting providers often limit a site owner's bandwidth, as it can affect the performance of the server.
Bayes Testing (aka Bayesian Spam Filtering): Bayesian spam filtering is a method of filtering spam based on statistics. This method uses tokens, generally words, found in emails to determine whether an incoming message is spam. This filtering technique relies on Bayesian statistics. Bayesian classifiers calculate a probability that an email is or is not spam by correlating the use of tokens with spam and non spam emails.
BIND (Berkeley Internet Name Domain): The most prominently used DNS server software. Also referred to as
named. More information about BIND can be found at https://www.isc.org/software/bind.
Blackhole: An option for handling mail received by the default or catch-all email addresses of cPanel users. The “blackhole” option discards mail after it is accepted; for this reason, it can result in more spam being sent to your users, and it places a larger load on your server than the “fail” option.
Blocker: A blocker is a check that is performed before a version change takes place. This check reviews your system for possible compatibility issues with a desired upgrade. This concept was introduced in 11.30.
BoxTrapper: An application included with cPanel that filters spam by requiring would-be senders to reply to a verification email (also known as challenge-response verification). The original email will only be accepted after the sender replies to the verification message.
BoxTrapper Blacklist: A list of email addresses from which incoming mail will be automatically blocked by the BoxTrapper application. cPanel automatically sends a configurable warning message upon receipt of mail from a blacklisted address. See also BoxTrapper Ignore List and BoxTrapper Whitelist.
BoxTrapper Ignore List: A list of email addresses from which incoming mail will be blocked. cPanel does not send a warning message upon receipt of mail from an address ignored by the BoxTrapper application. See also BoxTrapper Blacklist and BoxTrapper Whitelist.
Brute Force (Attack): A type of attack wherein the attacker enters a large number of combinations of characters, in an attempt to decrypt a key. WHM includes cPHulk, a protection system that lets you lock out brute force attackers after a specified number of failed attempts.
Build: Formerly, a minor version of cPanel. These are now referred to as Release Tiers.
CA (Certificate Authority) Bundle: A file on your server that verifies that your public and private keys were issued by a trusted entity. If your Certificate Authority sent you a CA bundle file, you can install it to your server using WHM’s Install a SSL Certificate and Setup the Domain feature, or the Manage Service SSL Certificates feature.
Cache: A stored piece of information to which the server refers instead of accessing the information source, to save bandwidth and time. In WHM, you can configure caching of DNS records using the Edit DNS Zone feature. You can configure caching of disk usage data via the Tweak Settings page.
CGI (Common Gateway Interface): A protocol that lets a web server communicate with scripts and other software. cPanel’s CGI Center provides an array of CGI scripts that let website owners generate and manage useful features for websites, including a guestbook, clock, hit counter, countdown clock, and banner ads.
Character Set: (Also sometimes known as “charset”). A code that pairs a sequence of characters with a set of numbers, allowing a computer to store and transmit the characters. ASCII is one popular character set; several character sets exist for Cyrillic and Asian alphabets. More information about character sets can be found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Character_set.
CIDR (Classless Inter-Domain Routing): A routing method that assigns each Internet user to a four-part IP address, with each part separated by a decimal, followed by a slash and a number between 0 and 32.
CLI (Command Line Interface): A means of communicating with a computer by typing commands. On Unix systems, this is also often called a shell.
Compiler: A computer program that translates source code written by people into a language readable by a computer. As a security measure, WHM allows you to disable your web server’s compilers for most users.
Courier: Mail server software, known for its IMAP component. More information about Courier can be found at http://www.courier-mta.org.
cPAddons: Pieces of software that website owners can install on a website through cPanel. cPAddons provide useful tools to a website. Common examples include bulletin boards, chat programs, and online shopping carts.
CPAN (Comprehensive Perl Archive Network): The main repository of Perl modules, pieces of Perl software. The CPAN library (located at http://www.cpan.org) contains over 12,000 modules, most of which are free of charge. cPanel allows you to search CPAN and install Perl modules.
cPanel Packages: Pieces of software that are bundled together for archiving and installation. cPanel packages, such as FTP and MySQL software, can be updated using the WHM Update Config feature.
cpdavd: The cPanel daemon that provides access to the Web Disk feature.
cPHulk: A WHM feature that helps protect your web server from malicious users who try to gain unauthorized access through brute force attacks.
CPU Load: The amount of processing ability currently being consumed by programs on your server, measured in a percentage. More information about CPU loads can be found here.
CSR (Certificate Signing Request): A request, which you send to a certificate authority, for an identity certificate. cPanel can generate a CSR for you, but since authorities vary with regard to the information they require, you should check their requirements before applying for a certificate.
cupsd: Common Unix Printing System Daemon, used by the web server for printing. This daemon is disabled by the WHM Quick Security Scan feature. We strongly suggest disabling
cupsd as it is vulnerable to attacks.
CVE (Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures) System: An archive of publicly known security threats, vulnerabilities, and exposures. The CVE system assigns numbers, known as CVE identifiers. These identifiers provide a reference point when evaluating the coverage and effectiveness of security tools and services.
Data Center: A facility used to house servers. A data center is generally a safe place to keep a server as it typically includes backup power supplies, multiple communication connections, and environmental controls.
Default Address: The email address to which cPanel routes any email message sent to email accounts which do not exist at a domain. Also known as a Catch-All Address.
DKIM (Domain Keys Identified Mail): The replacement for the older DomainKeys protocol. Like DomainKeys, DKIM attempts to verify the origins of email messages.
DNS (Domain Name System): The component of the Internet which acts as a “phone book,” converting human-readable domain names (such as
www.example.com) into computer-readable IP addresses (such as
184.108.40.206, in the case of
DNS Zone: An administrative space or portion of the Domain Name System. This space is responsible for directing web traffic to the correct location. An example is
example.com, a DNS zone whose servers direct its web traffic.
Domain Forwarding: A technique that allows you or your users to automatically send visitors to a domain when they access another domain. For example, a user may reach
example.com by typing
example2.com. See also redirect.
Dovecot: Mail server software designed for optimal security. More information can be found at http://www.dovecot.org.
EIDE (Enhanced Integrated Drive Electronics): A method for connecting hardware to a computer. WHM’s Optimize EIDE Hard Drives? feature can speed up communications between your server and external hard drives connected by EIDE.
Environment Variables: Values that advanced administrators place within specific files on the server to change the behavior of Apache and PHP. More information about environment variables can be foundhere.
Error Pages: These pages display warning messages when visitors encounter problems while trying to access your site. cPanel lets you configure the error messages that display for your site. For an in-depth look at HTTP error codes, please visit our HTTP error codes documentation.
Exim: Mail server software, known for its configurable nature. More information about Exim can be found at http://www.exim.org.
Filter: In cPanel, a tool that processes mail according to your preferences. For example, a filter can automatically discard spam or save mail from a specified sender to its own folder. In cPanel, filters can be applied to the main email account on a domain (Account Level Filters), or customized for each individual account (User Level Filters).
Forceful Reboot: 1 of 2 methods for restarting your server. This forces the server to restart regardless of what error(s) it may have encountered. You should only use a forceful reboot if you cannot reboot gracefully, as it may case data loss.
FormMail Clone: A piece of software that imitates the function of FormMail. FormMail is used to create an email message from data that a user enters into the text fields on a web page, and send the message to the intended recipient.
Forwarder: A tool that lets you forward a copy of every email message you receive to another address. When a forwarder is set up, you will still receive mail at the original recipient address. If, however, you create a forwarder without first creating the original address, messages will be forwarded to the end address without being sent to the original address, as it does not exist.
FQDN (Fully Qualified Domain Name): A name that uniquely defines a domain’s location. It is usually seen as
host.example.com. with a trailing dot. For the purposes of cPanel, including a final dot is not necessary, but the domain name must contain at least 2 dots. FQDNs must be written in lowercase letters.
FrontPage®: A Microsoft® application that allows site owners to edit a web page in WYSIWYG (“what-you-see-is-what-you-get”) format, rather than using raw HTML code and CSS. WHM provides FrontPage extensions, so site owners can publish their sites using FrontPage, allowing them to skip the FTP process.
FTP (File Transfer Protocol): A method of transferring files from one computer to another. cPanel & WHM comes equipped with an FTP server that can be configured to the website owner's preference. An FTP client must be installed on the local computer in order to send files to and receive files from the FTP server. Some FTP clients include FileZilla (for Windows®, Linux, and Unix), and Cyberduck (for Mac®).
Gem: A piece of software in the Ruby language. The central repository for these pieces of software is called RubyGems. For more information, see http://rubyforge.org/projects/rubygems.
Generators (web stats): Pieces of software that will compile statistics for your web server. For example, they can tell you how much bandwidth has been transferred per domain. 3 generators can be configured through WHM: Analog, AWStats, and the Webalizer.
GnuPG (GNU Privacy Guard): A suite of tools used for data encryption and signing. These tools are most commonly used for signing emails. For more information, see the GnuPG website.
gzip: A program which compresses files for disk space conservation, minimizing transfer times, and making the transfer of multiple files easier. The compressed files use the filename extension
.gz. In Unix and Linux systems,
gzip is often used with
tar to create a “tarball” file (which ends with
Home Directory: A cPanel account’s highest-level directory, which contains all the files and directories used by websites managed by the account. Files placed in a home directory are not viewable online unless they reside in the
public_html directory or a subdirectory of
Hostname: The unique, human recognizable name by which a server will be known across the Internet. For example,
host.example.com. You can specify or change your server’s hostname using WHM’s Hostnamefeature. Please note that the server hostname is distinct from your domain name.
HotLink: Also known as an “inline link.” A hotlink is a direct link that embeds a file (such as an image or video) from your site into another website. When another site embeds your files, it is using your bandwidth to serve those files.
httpd.conf: The configuration file for the Apache web server. More information about httpd.conf can be found at http://httpd.apache.org/docs/2.2/configuring.html.
ICQ: An instant messaging service. You may choose to receive updates from your server via ICQ. More information about ICQ can be found at http://www.icq.com.
IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol): Along with POP3, one of the two most widely used email transfer methods. IMAP synchronizes email account information with the mail server on a regular basis. If a user logs into multiple computers to check email, IMAP will allow the user to see what messages they have viewed, replied to, forwarded, etc. POP3 does not display this information.
Include (file): A file that is automatically included within another file by the program reading it. In WHM, includes pertain to a series of specifications that can be added to your Apache configuration file (
httpd.conf) through the
Index Page: The page, most often titled
index.php, viewed by default when a visitor accesses a directory of a website. If no index page exists for the specified directory, the visitor will see a list of files in that directory, unless indexing is disabled in cPanel.
Jailed Shell (also Jailshell): A CLI configuration that restricts users’ access rights by partitioning the system into smaller parts. This will prevent a user from leaving his or her user directory, restricting access to the file system and some commands.
Java: A computer programming language used by many web applications. cPanel uses the Java language to provide the SSHTerm and Java Telnet features. These small applications, which run within the context of a web browser, are called applets.
Key: In cryptography, a key is used to encrypt or decrypt information. Keys are an important part of encryption and security and should be guarded appropriately. A key file is saved with the filename extension
Leech: A visitor who uses another person’s password to access a restricted area of a website. cPanel allows you to prevent leeching by redirecting likely offenders or disabling accounts whose passwords have been compromised.
Loader: The part of a system that loads a program. In WHM, you can use the Tweak Settings screen to choose the loader that cPanel uses for PHP.
Local User: A user accessing a service on the machine on which the service is located, as opposed to remotely. When you select this option from the Tweak Settings feature, it lets a cPanel user set up an email address that will receive any mail sent to an invalid address at his domain.
Log: A file, automatically created by the server, that records activities performed by specific programs and applications on the server. For instance, error logs are lists, generated by Apache, of errors that visitors have encountered on a website.
Logaholic: A web analytics program that delivers information about your website's traffic, keywords, and content. More information about Logaholic can be found at http://www.logaholic.com.
Log Files (see also the definition of Log, above):
- access_log — A file containing a record of IP addresses of visitors that have accessed sites hosted by your server. This file can be found at
- cpdavd_error_log — A file that contains a record of errors that were encountered by cpdavd. This file can be found at
- cphulkd_errors_log — A file that contains a record of errors encountered by the cPHulk daemon, cphulkd. This file can be found at
- error_log — A file that contains a record of errors encountered by the Apache web server. This file can be found at
- license_log — A file that contains a record of errors that were encountered when cPanel checked its license. This can be found at
- login_log — A file that contains a record of failed login attempts. This file can be found at
- stats_log — A file that contains a record of the activities of cpanellogd, the daemon that compiles your server’s web statistics. This file can be found at
- tailwatchd_log — A file that contains a record of errors encountered by tailwatchd, the daemon that monitors your server’s logs. This can be found at
Maildir: A format for storing email wherein individual messages are stored with unique filenames. Maildir is rapidly becoming the standard mail storage format. We recommend using Maildir. See also mbox.
Mailing List: A list of email addresses which list members can use to communicate. Alternatively, such a list can be used to send email messages to a large group of people. cPanel & WHM uses a program called Mailman for mailing list software. More information can be found at the Mailman website, http://www.list.org.
Mailman: Mailing list software that sends email messages to a group of specified email addresses. More information about Mailman can be found at http://www.list.org.
mbox: A format for storing email wherein messages are kept in a single file. This method is outdated and is not recommended. See also Maildir.
MIME (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions) Type: Now called an Internet media type, this component of a file identifies the file type, so that web browsers know how to handle it. cPanel lets you specify which application should be used to open files with a given extension.
Modulus: In encryption algorithms such as RSA, the modulus is the number that both the private and public keys have in common. The plural of modulus is moduli. You can view a key’s modulus using the SSL Key/Crt Manager feature.
mod_userdir: A feature of Apache that lets visitors view websites on your server by typing your hostname followed by a tilde and the website owner’s username. (Example:
http://host.example.com/~username). Disabling this via the WHM Security Center is desirable, as the bandwidth used when the site is accessed using this method is attributed to the web host’s main domain, skipping bandwidth monitoring systems. More information about
mod_userdir can be found at http://httpd.apache.org/docs/2.0/mod/mod_userdir.html.
Mount: In general computing, this is the act of making the file system accessible to users. In a Unix or Linux operating system, mount can be used as a command to tell the operating system that a file system or device is ready to use and to affix that system or device to a certain directory.
MRTG (Multi Router Traffic Grapher): Software that allows you to monitor network traffic. More information can be found on the MRTG website.
MX (Mail eXchanger) Entry: A record that specifies where email should be sent for a domain, as it contains the mail server’s IP address. When using an email scanning service or custom mail delivery, the server administrator may need to change the MX record for a domain using the Edit MX Entry feature in WHM.
MySQL: A relational database management tool and server, as well as the type of database it manages. Databases are an integral part of web applications, such as bulletin boards and blogs. cPanel provides an integrated MySQL interface as well as a MySQL database editing tool called phpMyAdmin. WHM lets server administrators manage MySQL database services via the SQL Services section.
Nameserver: A piece of software that obtains DNS information from a physical nameserver, a computer that contains a list of domain names and their corresponding IP addresses. These computers are spread through the Internet and allow visitors to access a domain via its IP address. Nameserver software gathers data about domains over time; therefore, changes to DNS records can take up to a week to reach all the nameservers on the Internet (or “propagate”).
NFS (Network File System): Allows users to access remote files as though the hardware they are accessing to manipulate the file was attached directly to the local machine. This daemon is disabled by the WHMQuick Security Scan feature.
nfs statd: A process used for NFS file system mounting. This daemon is disabled by the WHM Quick Security Scan feature.
nis (Network Information Service): A directory protocol for distributing information across or within networks. This daemon is disabled by the WHM Quick Security Scan feature.
Nobody: This is a Unix or Linux system account with the UID of 99. This system account is used to execute CGI and PHP scripts if SuEXEC and PHPsuExec are disabled. EasyApache no longer supports the PHPsuExec configuration.
nsd: DNS server daemon. More information about nsd can be found at http://www.nlnetlabs.nl/projects/nsd/.
open_basedir: A feature that uses PHP to prevent users from opening files outside their home directories. This can be enabled using WHM’s PHP open_basedir Tweak feature.
Option Module (“opt mod”): An Apache configuration option that advanced administrators can add to the EasyApache (Apache Update) interface.
- A set of resource limits assigned to a user’s account. You can create, edit, and delete packages using the WHM Packages feature.
- Pieces of software that are bundled together for archiving and installation. cPanel packages, such as FTP and MySQL software, can be updated using the Update Config feature.
Parked Domain: A second domain that points to a primary domain. When users attempt to access the parked domain, they will see the main website. For example, both http://www.cpanel.net andhttp://www.cpanel.com go to the same place, as
cpanel.com is a parked domain for
PASV (Passive Mode): A mode for FTP connections that will initiate connections from the client side. Using this mode may be helpful if a user is having problems connecting to an FTP server through a firewall.
PEAR (PHP Extension and Application Repository): A repository of PHP code. cPanel allows you to search for and install PEAR packages consisting of PHP programs which can perform useful functions for your website.
PECL (PHP Extension Community Library): A repository for C extensions (pieces of software) designed for use in PHP. More information can be found on the PECL website.
Perl: Known for its ability to process text, Perl is a useful language for web applications. Perl applications are commonly found as
.cgi files and may require Perl modules. Perl modules can be installed from cPanel (using the Perl Modules screen) and in WHM (using the Install a Perl Module screen).
Perl Module: A piece of software written in the Perl language. Modules are common pieces of software that are reused often. For example, rather than writing a set of functions to display calendars, a user can simply use a calendar module.
PHP: A computer scripting language in which many web-based applications are written. PHP applications are commonly found with the filename extensions
.php5. Some PHP applications require PEAR packages, which can be installed in cPanel through the PHP PEAR Packages feature and in WHM through the Module Installers feature.
phpMyAdmin: A graphical application that allows server administrators to manipulate and manage MySQL databases over the Internet. Full documentation for phpMyAdmin can be found at its creators’ website:http://www.phpmyadmin.net.
PHPsuExec: Like suEXEC for CGI, PHPsuExec allows users to execute PHP code under their own user ID. By default, PHP is executed using the system account known as nobody with the UID of 99. EasyApache no longer supports this configuration.
POP3 (Post Office Protocol version 3): Along with IMAP, one of the two most widely used email transfer methods. POP3 simply copies every message in an email account to a local computer, removing it from the mail server. No information is sent back to the email account about message replies, forwarding, etc. If an account owner uses multiple computers to check email, it is advisable to use IMAP instead of POP3.
Portmap: A service that maps program numbers to network addresses on a server. Often seen as
portmap. This service is not widely used; it is disabled by the Quick Security Scan feature.
PostgreSQL: A database management system, much like MySQL. More information can be found on the PostgreSQL website.
Private Key: A string of characters that a computer uses to encode or decode encrypted messages it receives. Encryption schemes use a matching pair of keys (one public, one private) to create a secret code so that anyone looking at messages sent from or received by your computer will be unable to determine the contents of those messages without access to the private key. A private key is integral to protecting your confidential information and should be safeguarded appropriately.
public_ftp: A subdirectory, located inside your home directory, that contains files that are publicly accessible via FTP. FTP users may also upload files to this directory. This is the default directory users will access when they connect to your site via anonymous FTP.
public_html: A subdirectory, located inside the home directory, that contains files that are publicly accessible via HTTP. The
www directory is a link to
public_html. Any files and folders inside of
public_html are visible over the Internet, unless the website owner specifically protects them with password protection or using the
Public Key: A string of characters that a computer uses to encode or decode encrypted messages it receives. Typically, a public key will be placed on a server so that you can establish an encrypted connection to that server.
Pure-FTPd: One of 2 FTP servers included in your installation of WHM. The other is ProFTPd. More information about Pure-FTPd can be found at http://www.pureftpd.org.
Python: A programming language which is used for many applications. When you encounter this term under Update Config, it refers to the Python interpreter, which must be installed on your server before it can run Python programs. More information about Python can be found at http://www.python.org. Courses on Python can be found at https://www.courseduck.com/programming/python/
Quotas: Limits to the amount of disk space a user is allowed to take up. In order to set up quotas for your users, you must first use WHM’s Initial Quota Setup feature.
Raw Opts: (Also known as “custom configure flags”). Lines of data that advanced users can add to a specific file on the server in order to customize the configuration of Apache. More information about configuring raw opts can be found here.
RBL (Realtime Blackhole List): A list of mail servers known to send spam. You are able to subscribe to the list and block incoming mail from such mail servers using the WHM Exim Configuration Editor.
Redirect: A feature that sends users to a different domain than the one they were trying to access. For example, a user may reach
example.com by typing
example2.com. cPanel allows website owners to set up either temporary or permanent redirects. See also domain forwarding.
Regular Expressions: Often seen as regex or regexp. Regular expressions are a means of formatting text so that a specified program can process it, using it to search in a prescribed way. A wildcard character such as an asterisk (*) is an example of a regular expression.
Relayer: A user who forwards email to a secondary destination. WHM’s View Relayers feature lets you view users on your server who have relayed mail.
Release Tiers: These exist in four types which are, in order from least to most stable, EDGE, CURRENT, RELEASE, and STABLE. Please visit our documentation on cPanel versions and the release process for an in-depth discussion of Release Tiers.
Resolver: The client side of the DNS system. Resolvers are programs that process DNS queries, working to obtain an IP address from a human-recognizable URL. In Unix and Linux, the file
/etc/resolv.confusually points to a server’s resolvers.
Root: 1) Specific to Unix and Unix-based systems, the system account. This account is used by a system administrator and carries full privileges for configuring a computer system. Also called “superuser.”
2) The highest level directory in a Unix or Unix-based system, usually notated by a forward slash (
Root Language File: A file that supplies wording for your cPanel interface when a needed term in the interface is missing from the primary language files. The root language file is located in the directory
/usr/local/cpanel/lang. The primary language files are located in directories specific to their themes; for example,