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Author Topic: Softaculous: To use, or not to use?  (Read 449 times)

jelv

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Softaculous: To use, or not to use?
« on: September 19, 2018, 11:52:34 PM »

What do people think about using Softaculous to install packages? Do you think it better to download and install yourself?

Do they apply updates automatically or do you have to ask for updates through the control panel? My concern would be that they may not be that prompt in applying updates. I can see they have an option to report new releases and I guess on the common packages like WordPress they would update very quickly. What are they like on the less common packages?
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jelv

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Re: Softaculous: To use, or not to use?
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2018, 12:24:01 AM »

Hmm... I've just experimented and think I have answered my own question. It won't work for me because of an absolute stupidity in the way it's installer works.

It asks for the name of a database to be created and the table name prefix to be used. If you enter the name of an existing database it gives an error so it can't share a database with other packages. What the hell is the point of it asking for a table name prefix if you can't tell it to use an existing database? That's what the table name prefix is for! That means every package has to have it's own database.

My hosting package is limited to one database.
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d2d4j

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Re: Softaculous: To use, or not to use?
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2018, 09:39:56 AM »

Hi Jelv

Many thanks and softaculous is a third party integration of which we have no control.  However, we are NOC partner with them and yes, I believe it can auto update an installation but everyone I know prefers to have an email to let you know a new version is available to install.  The reason for this is so that the website does not stop working after an autoupdate which can fail for many reasons, such as code been altered previously by the user.

I am sorry, we set MYSQL databases to 1 db and 1 db user, so it stops users setting up more then they need or using our platforms for other projects requiring db's.

However, that said, I now see and understand your point over the need for more db's, so we have matched the db's to subdomains, which now mean you have 10 db and 10 db users.  This we have completed for all Kitz users on our platforms and updated the kitz template for any new users.

As I have said, we are pretty flexible, so a PM, text/email or support ticket would have resolved this quickly, as I hope others would confirm on here.

Softaculous upon first install does require a unique database and db user and sharing a db from a different installed package or self created db would not work correctly in a shared platform.  However, as above I hope I have understood correctly what you meant and so resolved issue for you.

Also, if creating your own database or db user, you can set the names, same with softaculous but IW may try to place the unix name infront of them, which you can change if needed but I see now point in changing them as they are just names.  If importing a website and not using the import features, so importing manually, you can just edit the names as above or edit your website connector file to reflect new credentials.

I hope that's alright, and if you have not tried softaculous, it does intall in less the 2 minutes (usually about a minute) and you have a default installed package.  A warning though, we have left all packages as installable, but some packages are not installable on our platforms for various reasons such as wrong distro but these are very small and I think over 450 packages are available to install.

Many thanks and I hope you are happy with our service

John
« Last Edit: September 20, 2018, 09:42:05 AM by d2d4j »
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jelv

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Re: Softaculous: To use, or not to use?
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2018, 02:15:45 PM »

John,

It wasn't a criticism of your service in any way. Limiting users to one database is perfectly reasonable and using table name prefixes is a good way around this. I've used previous hosting platforms which also only gave you one database. If it wasn't such a common hosting feature, why would nearly all packages have the ability to specify the prefix? I'm looking at three packages which I have been running (not very well) on my NAS box and a fourth I want to familiarise myself with for some potential new work. All are available through Softaculous and ALL of them have the table name prefix option.

When I hit the problem I Googled it and found a number of posts going back years from people using Softaculous on other hosting providers who were complaining about the same issue. The one thing I wasn't sure about was from one post there was a suggestion that this may have been resolved and I did wonder if there was a switch you could flip in the global Softaculous configuration to allow this. It may be that the person that made the post resolved it by installing the package manually and specifying the prefix.

As I said in my post, the stupidity is on Softaculous' part - they don't allow for what is a very common hosting feature of one database per user. It may be that a lot of people only have hosting to run a single package and hence haven't hit the issue However, I'm sure I'm not the only person to have multiple instances of one package (e.g. Live and dev/test)!

I think it is essential for the db user names to be prefixed with the unix name on a shared platform - otherwise two people could create the same user name on different databases - don't forget the databases can be accessed from externally. I was expecting to have one database and to configure and run MySQL Workbench locally with a user configured on the database against my IP.
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d2d4j

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Re: Softaculous: To use, or not to use?
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2018, 02:43:18 PM »

Hi jelv

Many thanks and Iím so sorry if I sounded bad sorry

You could easily now assign more dB users to same dB as we upgraded to 10 dB and 10 user db.

You would need to be careful though if using same dB for live and dev. Usually where  dev are concerned, they have a second dB and just match the dB, which you can now do :)

The only real issue we have seen with softaculous is if say you want to install the same package but on a main and subdomain or main and main but different folders. Letís say Wordpress. Softaculous knows itís already installed and stops you installing for a second time.

Now we have only been notified over word press and if using word press, you need to choose multi install.  Other packages from softaculous has not been reported the same issue but it could be because it has not been tried sorry

To answer your original question sorry, softaculous is not the maintainer for the packages but softaculous does check daily for any updates that package maintainers update, and if softaculous is setup with package maintenance, then the update is available to install.

Itís no different to if you manually install a package but the package maintainers do not update in a timely fashion if you see what I mean.

Overall, softaculous is a lovely installer and I use it regularly 

I hope that helps a little

Many thanks

John
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kitz

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Re: Softaculous: To use, or not to use?
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2018, 04:17:56 PM »

I have the softaculous installer available to me on my hosting.   I used it a couple of times (years ago), but TBH I much prefer installing myself.
If memory serves correct I used it to install mediawiki the first time, but after a while it wasn't working very well with the updates  (mediawiki updates arent very user friendly anyhow).   So I now don't bother with them at all.

For SMF updates I would much prefer to go direct rather than wait for Softaculous to update.  I guess it has its uses, but my own preference is not to.
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jelv

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Re: Softaculous: To use, or not to use?
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2018, 05:28:47 PM »

You would need to be careful though if using same dB for live and dev. Usually where  dev are concerned, they have a second dB and just match the dB, which you can now do :)

I've done it both ways in the past. If using one database I've scripted the database (schema and data) and then done a global search and replace of the prefix.
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jelv

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Re: Softaculous: To use, or not to use?
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2018, 05:32:34 PM »

Thanks @Kitz

I was leaning towards a self install to "take back control" (where have I heard that before?).

Never having come across softaculous before I wasn't sure about it. The one thing that does look good is the easy setup and configuration of backups.
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d2d4j

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Re: Softaculous: To use, or not to use?
« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2018, 06:06:13 PM »

Hi

Sorry softaculous is not for everyone, more so the advanced users but it can still serve a purpose and is better then a few years ago. About that time we were using simplescripts for 1 click installers.

@jelv, you could try it and see it if manually installing, you could always try the softaculous import so it makes backups

Talking of backups though, we use R1soft and you can access this directly from siteworx login, which covers MySQL

Many thanks

John
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jelv

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Re: Softaculous: To use, or not to use?
« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2018, 11:01:51 PM »

Talking of backups though, we use R1soft and you can access this directly from siteworx login, which covers MySQL

Interesting - looking at that I think means I can forget about backups myself. Perhaps just downloading particular R1soft backups at key points.

How many backups do you keep?

Do I need to use Softaculous backups given you are running R1soft backups. If not is there any other benefit from importing an installation in to Softaculou?

I'm liking this more and more as I look around. Far better than what I've used before. My recent experience has been cpanel on UK2 hosting for a charity I help.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2018, 12:04:36 AM by jelv »
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d2d4j

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Re: Softaculous: To use, or not to use?
« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2018, 09:42:50 AM »

Hi jelv

Many thanks, interworx is a lovely control panel but works differently to CPanel and allows server admins choice.

The backups should contain a rolling 14 day daily backup. The exact time of the actual backup is not within our control as it runs but goes into a backup que on the R1soft servers. These backup are outside of UK and we use R1soft as an external provider but it is fully integrated into the control panel, so you only see your backups, including databases.

It is entirely up to you if you want to  backup manually yourself or dump databases. If downloading from R1soft backup, this is not using our resources

Importing packages into softaculous is your choice but depends if you have altered any package code away from default in terms of upgrading but if using purely for backup, should work and it is another backup outside of R1soft and any you make.  You can never have enough backups.

For R1soft backup, login to your siteworx account, click R1restore, access backup, then on the list shown, hover your mouse over the 4 right hand side icons, so you see browse folders, databases etc. to download or restore, you just browse to what you want to restore/download and click go

A warning though, the restore process does not delete any files, it overwrites them so if you have been hacked say, the restore will not remove any files the hackers may have set, so in that case, it is best to fully delete all files/folders from the HTML folder, and then restore

I hope that helps

Many thanks

John
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