How to Install cPanel & WHM on DigitalOcean®

Last modified: March 27, 2024


This document explains how to create a DigitalOcean® Droplet™ running the cPanel & WHM drive image.

  • cPanel & WHM requires a valid license. If this is a new installation, you can activate a free 15-day trial license.

  • In order to activate a new license, you must have a cPanel Store account with a verified email address.

  • Due to networking requirements, you cannot run an IPv6-only cPanel & WHM server. You must have at least one IPv4 address.

Create a Droplet

  1. Navigate to the DigitalOcean website.

  2. Click Log In in the top right corner, and log in to your DigitalOcean account.


    You must first create a DigitalOcean account before you can log in.

  3. The Projects page will appear.

  4. Click Marketplace in the lefthand navigation bar. The Marketplace interface will open.

  5. In the Search bar, enter cPanel & WHM. The cPanel & WHM listings will appear.

  6. Select the listing you wish to install:

    • For AlmaLinux OS 8, select cPanel & WHM® for AlmaLinux 8, then click Create cPanel & WHM® Droplet.
    • For Ubuntu®, select cPanel & WHM® for Ubuntu, then click Create cPanel & WHM® for Ubuntu Droplet.

    The Create Droplets page will appear.

  7. The Choose Region section allows you to select the region in which your server will reside. Select the datacenter region that provides the fastest access for you and your customers.

  8. The Choose an image section allows you to select an image for your desired Droplet. The Marketplace tab shows the cPanel & WHM image you selected previously.


    If you select an image other than cPanel & WHM® for AlmaLinux 8 or cPanel & WHM® for Ubuntu, you will need to manually install cPanel & WHM.

  9. The Choose Size section lists the available Droplet sizes with the number of CPUs, disk size, bandwidth quota, and pricing. Select a Droplet type and a CPU option for your Droplet.


    Even though cPanel & WHM requires a minimum of 1GB of RAM and 20GB of disk space, we recommend at least 2GB of RAM and 40GB of disk space.

    For more information about hardware requirements, read our Installation Guide - System Requirements documentation.

  10. The Additional Storage section allows you to configure additional storage space for your server.

    We recommend that you skip this step until after you configure your cPanel & WHM server.

  11. The Choose Authentication Method section allows you to set either a root password or SSH keys to securely access your server.

    • If you do not set a root password in this section, you must change the root password after you log in to the server via SSH.

    • We strongly recommend that you use SSH keys to access your server via SSH, as they provide greater security than passwords.

      To add an SSH key, perform the following steps:

      1. Select the SSH Key option.
      2. Click Add SSH Key.
      3. Follow the instructions in the SSH Keys section to generate a new SSH key on your local system.
      4. Copy and paste the contents of the public key file you created into the SSH key content field.
      5. Enter a name for the key in the Name field.
      6. Click Add SSH Key.

  12. The Advanced Options section allows you to enable IPv6 and add initialization scripts.

  13. The Finalize Details section allows you to duplicate your Droplet instance, set your server’s hostname, add reference tags, and select a project.

  14. Enter a fully-qualified domain name (FQDN) as the hostname for your server.

    • This is the same FQDN that you will use as the server’s hostname when you configure WHM for the first time.

    • If your server does not use a resolvable fully-qualified domain name as the hostname, it will automatically receive one from WebPros International, LLC. For more information, read our Automatically-Issued Hostnames documentation.

      • Do not select a hostname that begins with www or a number, or a hostname that ends with a hyphen (-).

      • You must use a fully-qualified domain name (FQDN) that uniquely identifies the server (for example, or

      • Do not choose a hostname that a cPanel account on your server will use.

      • Do not choose a potential service subdomain as a hostname. For more information, read our Service and Proxy Subdomains documentation.

      • Do not select a socially-unacceptable hostname. The hostname will appear in mail headers.

      • Only use lowercase, Latin-script letters in hostnames.

  15. Click Create Droplet. DigitalOcean will provision your server, and its profile page will appear.

  16. Your server’s IP address will appear in the Droplets section of the Projects page. You will use this address to log in to your server.

    This IP address is also the IP address for which you will purchase a cPanel & WHM license.

The cPanel & WHM installation process

When you create a Droplet, cPanel & WHM will automatically begin installation in the background. To watch the installation progress, log in to the instance via SSH immediately after you create the Droplet.


The installation process takes about 10-15 minutes. You cannot log in to WHM until the installation process is complete.

Log in via SSH

To log in to the server via SSH, run the following command, where IPADDRESS represents the server’s IP address.

ssh root@IPADDRESS

The server will respond with a Message of the Day that contains helpful links.

Change the root password

If you did not set a root password when you created the Droplet, you must change the root user’s password so you can log in to WHM. To change the root user’s password, perform the following steps:

  1. Enter the passwd command.
  2. Enter a new password.
  3. Enter the new password again.

The system will update the root password.

Log in to WHM

To log in to WHM, perform the following steps:

  1. In your preferred browser, navigate to the https://IPADDRESS:2087 URL, where IPADDRESS represents your server’s IP address. The WHM interface will appear.

  2. Log in with the root username and password you set.

  3. Click Agree to All. The Get started with a Free cPanel Trial! interface will appear.

  4. You will need to log in to or create a cPanel Store account. For information about how to do this, read our How to Sign Up for a Trial License documentation.

  5. After you log in to the cPanel Store and obtain a trial license, click Server Setup in the WHM interface. The Contact Information interface will appear.

  6. Enter your email address and nameserver information, then click Next. The WHM Home interface will appear.

cPanel & WHM requires a valid license. Since this is a new installation, you can activate a free 15-day trial license.

Configure WHM

Now you’re ready to configure cPanel & WHM.

  • You may wish to change your server’s hostname to the hostname you chose when you created the Droplet. For more information on how to change your server’s hostname, read our Change Hostname documentation.

  • For more information about WHM and how to configure your server, read our WebHost Manager documentation.

  • For more information on how to quickly build a website on a newly-installed cPanel & WHM server, read our From WHM to Website documentation.

cPanel & WHM requires a valid license. Since this is a new installation, you can activate a free 15-day trial license.

Additional Documentation