Certain aspects of the behavior of both Plesk and various Plesk extensions cannot be managed via the GUI, XML API, or the command line. Instead, they are governed by entries in the panel.ini configuration file. For example, by editing this file, you can:

  • Forbid logging in to Plesk using ‘root’ or ‘Administrator’ credentials.
  • Hide an IP address registered in Plesk, so that it does not appear in the interface and cannot be assigned to subscriptions or resellers.
  • Specify a custom URL for the Extensions Catalog, and so on.

The panel.ini file can be found here:

  • (Plesk for Linux) /usr/local/psa/admin/conf/panel.ini
  • (Plesk for Windows)  %plesk_dir%\admin\conf\panel.ini

If the file is missing on your server, create an empty file at the specified location and name it panel.ini. You can also rename the panel.ini.sample file found in the same directory to panel.ini. This way, the file will contain a number of pre-configured settings you can use for reference.

Configuring Settings in panel.ini

To configure settings via the panel.ini file, you need to edit it in either of the two ways:

Regardless of the option you choose, to configure one or more settings via the panel.ini file, you need to add entries to it according to the following pattern:

[Section name]
Setting name = Value

Note: If a setting accepts a boolean (‘yes’ or ‘no’) value, you can use either ‘true’, ‘on’, or ‘yes’ to enable it, and ‘false’, ‘off’, ‘no’, or ‘none’ to disable it.

Changes take effect immediately after saving the file. There is no need to restart any services.

For example, to disable IP Address Banning (Fail2Ban), add the following lines to the panel.ini file:

[fail2ban]
enabled = false

As a result, IP Address Banning (Fail2Ban) disappears from the Security group on the Tools & Settings screen, and you can no longer manage it via CLI commands.

Every setting that can be configured via the panel.ini file belongs to a pre-defined section. To customize a setting, you must place it in the panel.ini file within the section to which it belongs. Do not include any individual section more than once. If you want to customize multiple settings belonging to a single section, include it once and place all settings you want to customize within it.

For example, to customize the URL for the application catalog and to enable application catalog customization, add the following lines to the panel.ini file:

[aps]
catalogUrl = "http://example.com"
catalogsCustomization = on

To configure settings via the Panel.ini Editor extension, go to Extensions > My Extensions > Panel.ini Editor > Open.

image-1-Copy

Here, on the “Viewer” tab, you can see the complete list of all settings that can be managed via the panel.ini file, broken down by section. The “Setting” column displays the machine-readable parameter name, the “Value” column displays its currently assigned value, and the “Description” column can show the description of a setting.

You can easily tell which settings were added to the panel.ini file: their values are shown in bold, and their default value is shown in parentheses after the currently assigned one.

For example, on the screenshot below, the setting catalogUrl was assigned the value http://example.com instead of the default one (http://cdn.apscatalog.plesk.com).

image-example

Note: Certain settings have no default values. For these settings, only the currently assigned value is displayed even if the settings were added to the panel.ini file.

To see only those settings that were added to the panel.ini file, click Modified. To return to the full list of settings, click All. You can also search for a specific setting using the search box.

To add settings to the panel.ini file via Panel.ini Editor:

  1. Go to Extensions > My Extensions > Panel.ini Editor > Open.
  2. Select one or more settings that you want to add to panel.ini and click Copy settings. You can select settings that belong to the same section or different sections.
  3. Go to the “Editor” tab and click Paste settings. Panel.ini Editor will paste the copied setting or settings.
  4. Click Save to save the current panel.ini configuration.

Descriptions of panel.ini Settings

Some settings in Panel.ini Editor have descriptions. When Panel.ini Editor is installed or updated, you receive the descriptions that were approved by the Plesk team. However, you can also fill in the missing descriptions or edit the existing ones yourself. You do it differently depending on your Plesk version.

Note: When Panel.ini Editor is updated, it preserves both new descriptions added by you and the changes you made to default descriptions.

Note: If you feel that other Plesk users can benefit from your descriptions, share them! Approved descriptions become available to other Panel.ini Editor users. Read how to share the descriptions.

(Plesk 18.0) To edit descriptions of settings in Panel.ini Editor:

  1. Go to Extensions > My Extensions > Panel.ini Editor > Open.
  2. Click the image-pencil_icon icon in the row of a setting which description you want to fill in or edit.
  3. Type the description and then click image-checkmark to save changes.

(Plesk 17.8 and earlier) To edit descriptions of settings in Panel.ini Editor:

  1. Open the following file:

    • (Plesk for Linux) /usr/local/psa/var/modules/panel-ini-editor/default-descriptions/en-US.json
    • (Plesk for Windows) %plesk_dir% \var\modules\panel-ini-editor\default-descriptions\en-US.json
  2. Add descriptions complying with the JSON file structure:

    {
      "section1": {
        "setting1": "description",
        "setting2": "description"
      },
      " section2": {
        "setting1": "description"
      }
    }
    

    For example, if you want to add a description for the file setting

    image-setting-example

    then the JSON entry will look like this:

    {
      "log": {
        "file": "description"
      }
    }
    
  3. Save changes made to the en-US.json file.

Editing panel.ini via Panel.ini Editor Using Presets

You can make switching between different configurations easier using presets. A preset is a configuration of panel.ini settings, which is created once and then can be loaded on demand without the necessity to manually add or remove settings.

To create a preset:

  1. Go to Extensions > My Extensions > Panel.ini Editor > Open.
  2. Go to the “Editor” tab and edit the panel.ini file to create the desired configuration.
  3. Click Add, give the preset a name, and then click Save.

The preset was created. You can now load the desired configuration of settings at any time by loading the preset.

To load a preset:

  1. Go to Extensions > My Extensions > Panel.ini Editor > Open.
  2. Go to the “Editor” tab.
  3. Click Load and select the desired preset.
  4. The “Editor” tab now shows the configuration of settings that were saved in the preset. Click Save to apply it to the panel.ini file.

Now the panel.ini file contains the chosen configuration of settings. You can delete unneeded presets by clicking Delete and selecting the preset that you want to delete.

Restoring the Default Settings

To restore a setting customized via the panel.ini file to its default value, open the file for editing and either remove the corresponding line or comment it out by adding the ‘;’ character at the beginning of the line, like this:

[fail2ban]
; enabled = false

The setting reverts to the default value immediately after saving the file.

To restore all settings customized via the panel.ini file to their default values, do one of the following:

  • Log in to the server via SSH or RDP and remove or rename the panel.ini file.
  • Open the Panel.ini Editor extension and click Reset to defaults.

Reference

Here are some customization user scenarios that can be implemented via the panel.ini file. Note that the list is not exhaustive. The behavior of certain Plesk extensions can be customized via the panel.ini file - refer to the extensions’ documentation for details.