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apnscp Installation Bootstrap Utility
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LICENSE Initial commit Nov 3, 2017 Checkout latest tag Feb 10, 2019

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apnscp Bootstrap Utility

Bootstrap Utility ("") provides an automated installation process to setup apnscp on a compatible CentOS/RHEL machine. Not to be confused with apnscp Bootstrapper, which is a specific component of apnscp's playbooks and called by this utility once the minimum environment is setup.


Trial mode

Trials are valid for 30 days and during development may be continuously rearmed as necessary. Trials can also be used to benchmark cloud providers (see below).

curl | bash

Registered licenses

After registering on, use the token to automatically download the key.

curl | bash -s - <api token> <optional common name>

Alternatively, if you have the x509 key ("license.pem") available where <keyfile> is the absolute path.

curl | bash -s - -k <keyfile>

Optional common name

An optional common name may be specified after <api token>. This is a 64 character long unique identifier that describes your certificate and may be any printable character. Emojis will be transcoded to their 4-byte sequence. Sorry 🍆!

Setting initial configuration

apnscp may be customized via's customizer or command-line. provides a selection of options that are adequate for most environments. Any variable may be overwritten for any play in the playbook. Common options are located in apnscp-vars.yml and apnscp-internals.yml.

Command-line overrides

-s may be used to set variables at installation in apnscp-vars.yml, which is the initial configuration template for apnscp. Additionally any role defaults may be overridden through this usage (such as "rspamd_enabled"). Escape sequences and quote when necessary because variables are passed as-is to apnscp-vars.yml.

# Run from CLI setting apnscp_admin_email and ssl_hostnames in unattended installation -s -s ssl_hostnames="['','']"

These arguments may be passed as part of the one-liner too. Note usage of - after first -s.

curl | bash -s - -s -s ssl_hostnames="['','']"

Standard options may also be applied after the options, for example

curl | bash -s - -s someactivationkey

Benchmarking providers can also be used to benchmark a provider since it runs unassisted from start to finish. For consistency commit 3f2944ae is referenced ("benchmark" tag). If RELEASE is omitted will use master, which may produce different results than the stats below.

curl | env RELEASE=benchmark bash 

Check back in ~2 hours then run the following command:

IFS=$'\n' ; DATES=($((tail -n 1 /root/apnscp-bootstrapper.log | grep failed=0 ; grep -m 1 -P '^\d{4}-.*u=root' /root/apnscp-bootstrapper.log ) | awk '{print $1, $2}')) ; [[ ${#DATES[@]} -eq 2 ]] && python -c 'from datetime import datetime; import sys; format="%Y-%m-%d %H:%M:%S,%f";print datetime.strptime(sys.argv[1], format)-datetime.strptime(sys.argv[2], format)' "${DATES[0]}" "${DATES[1]}" || (echo -e "\n>>> Unable to verify Bootstrapper completed - is Ansible still running or did it fail? Last 10 lines follow" && tail -n 10 /root/apnscp-bootstrapper.log)

A duration will appear or the last 10 lines of /root/apnscp-bootstrapper.log if it failed. This tests network/IO/CPU.

A second test of backend performance once apnscp is setup gives the baseline performance between frontend/backend communication to a single vCPU. This can be tested as follows,

cpcmd config_set apnscp.debug true  ; sleep 5 ; cpcmd test_backend_performance ; cpcmd config_set apnscp.debug false

debug mode will be temporarily enabled, which opens up access to the test module API.

Converting into production panel

A server provisioned using the benchmark branch can be converted to a normal build without resetting the server. Use cpcmd to set any apnscp-vars.yml value; use the Customization Utility on apnscp as cross-reference.

# Launch new bash shell with apnscp helper functions
exec $SHELL -i
cd /usr/local/apnscp
# Save remote URL, should be
REMOTE="$(git config --get remote.origin.url)"
git remote remove origin
git remote add -f -t master origin "$REMOTE"
git reset --hard origin/master
cpcmd config_set apnscp.bootstrapper populate_filesystem_template true
# Set any other Bootstrapper values from apnscp-vars.yml...
# cpcmd config_set apnscp.bootstrapper varname varval
upcp -sb
# After Bootstrapper completes - it will take 5-30 minutes to do so
cpcmd config_set apnscp.bootstrapper populate_filesystem_template auto
cpcmd auth_change_password newadminpassword
cpcmd common_set_email your@email.address

populate_filesystem_template must be enabled to update any packages that have been added/removed in apnscp. Once everything is done, access apnscp's interface to get started.

Provider stats

Bootstrapping should complete within 90 minutes on a single core VPS. Under 60 minutes is impressive. These are stats taken from Bootstrapper initial runs as bundled with part of apnscp. Note that as with shared hosting, or any shared resource, performance is adversely affected by oversubscription and noisy neighbors. Newer hypervisors show better benchmark numbers whereas older hypervisors show lower performance figures.

  • AWS

    • t3.small
      • Install: 1:15:48, Backend: 7331 requests/second (2 GB, 2x vCPU, 2.5 GHz, P-8175 - 5000 bogomips)
    • Lightsail
      • Install: 2:31:08, Backend: 1475 requests/second (2 GB, 1x E5-2676 - 4789 bogomips)
  • Azure

    • B1ms

      • Install: 4:39:00, Backend: 4477 requests/second (2 GB, 1x E5-2673 v4 - 4589 bogomips)
    • D2s v3

      • Install: 1:47:43, Backend: 3932 requests/second (8 GB, 2x E5-2673 v4 - 4589 bogomips)
    • D4 v3

      • Install: 1:54:18, Backend: 3730 requests/second (16 GB, 4x E5-2673 v3 - 4788 bogomips)
  • DigitalOcean

    • Install: 1:40:55, Backend: 6234 requests/second (2 GB, 1x E5-2650 - 4399 bogomips)
  • Hetzner

    • Install: 1:05:52, Backend: 11397 requests/second (2 GB, 1x Skylake, IBRS - 4199 bogomips)
    • Install: 1:26:13, Backend: 10776 requests/second (2 GB, 1x Skylake, IBRS - 4199 bogomips)
  • Linode

    • Install: 1:12:16, Backend: 8199 requests/second (2 GB, 1x E5-2697 - 4599 bogomips)
  • OVH

    • Install: 1:22:54, Backend: 7232 requests/second (2 GB, 1x "Haswell, no TSX" - 6185 bogomips)
  • Virmach

    • Install: 3:27:12, Backend: 1302 requests/second (4 GB, 3x "QEMU Virtual CPU" - 4399 bogomips)
  • Vultr

    • Install: 0:59:09, Backend: 11568 requests/second (2 GB, 1x "Virtual CPU" - 5187 bogomips)

Role profiling includes role profiling. Set ANSIBLE_STDOUT_CALLBACK=profile_roles as a wrapper:

curl | env WRAPPER='ANSIBLE_STDOUT_CALLBACK=profile_roles' bash

An average runtime of the top 20 most expensive roles. This completed 1:00:05 on February 10, 2019 (Vultr, 2 GB).

Role Time (seconds)
php/build-from-source 887.54
packages/install 603.77
apnscp/initialize-filesystem-template 569.42
software/passenger 322.41
mail/configure-postfix 253.48
clamav/support 74.50
mail/configure-postfix 71.56
common 71.20
mail/spamassassin 52.93
apnscp/install-vendor-library 38.34
php/install-pecl-module 34.33
clamav/setup 32.24
network/setup-firewall 19.58
mail/configure-dovecot 18.82
apnscp/bootstrap 17.55
system/pam 13.15
software/argos 12.14
software/rbenv-support 9.67
software/watchdog 9.19


Fork, benchmark, and submit a PR - even for benchmark results. This project is licensed under MIT. Have fun!

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