Import Virtual Server question

OS type and version Ubuntu Linux 22.04.2
Virtualmin version 7.5 Pro

This looks like a very powerful tool (Import Virtual Server) but without documentation I am afraid to use it.

I am trying to transfer an entire website on my production (CPanel) machine to my new Virtualmin server. This contains no databases but multiple .html and .jpeg files. 40 gigs worth.
I have a number of questions about this tool

  1. Will it alter the data on the source site. If it won’t I am less scared to experiement with it
  2. Will it transfer the content of the source site to my destination site.
  3. Do I first need to create a virtual server on my destination site to hold this information
  4. Yes I am confused by all the fields–how does the source server know the username and password for verification.

I realize this is a dumb newbie question but it would be nice if the documentation existed so I would not have to ask these dumb questions. It would be nice if one could click on the field heading and it told you what information it needs.

Don’t get me wrong–your forum support is great. I think your software is great–I like it much better than CPanel. But I tried to look this up in the documentation and nothing was there. I am afraid to use it because of the potential power of this command and my uncertainty about what it would do to the source server which I want to leave unaltered.

How on earth would it do that? Virtualmin has no access to your cPanel server. You’re copying a backup over.

Again, you’re restoring a backup from your cPanel site. There is no communication between the Virtualmin server and the cPanel server.

No. You should not.

I don’t know what you mean. What are you looking at?

Go to your Cpanel and back up your entire site.

Download that file.

Go to Virtualmin / Add Servers / Migrate Virtual Server

Under backup file type, select CPanel and select the backup file you downloaded.

Enter any other relevant information to that site and hit the Migrate Now button.


Thanks for your help. There are two parts to my response, first what I did and second about the tool–Import virtual server which I did not use.

  1. Turns out that my server contained over 100 gigs of data.
    a) I tried to create tar.gz file using Bluehost’s file manager tool which cut off and did not finish
    b) went to command line and ran Tar with compress options which worked and created a file 105 gigs (tar -czvf archive.tar.gz /usr/local/something)
    c) Used the upload download tool in Virtualmin which transferred the file and worked
    d) Used the filesystem backup/restore tool in Virtualmin which did not complete but stopped after 15 gigs
    e) went to the command line and ran TAR with extract options which worked
    -tar -xzvf archive.tar.gz -C /tmp
    f) Yay–My only question is why did the filesystem backup/restore tool not work–I tried it 3 times

  2. What does the Import Virtual Server tab do

  3. I appreciate Gomez’s instructions–Might try that next time but since I already succeeded in what i wanted to do, I stopped.


That imports an existing Apache VirtualHost into being managed by Virtualmin. You probably should never get yourself into a situation where you need that.

If you can’t, for some reason, backup your domains in cPanel and copy those backups over to the Virtualmin server, you should probably instead create the new domain(s) in Virtualmin, and then import the data manually from the tarball(s) you manually produced on the old server. Using Import is very likely to create a suboptimal configuration (because it is limited in what it can safely do, in terms of ownership, paths, etc.).

What most cPanel users should do when migrating to Virtualmin is to make backups using cPanel, and then use the Migrate Virtual Server in Virtualmin to restore the domain accounts from those backup files. This is also unlikely to be perfect (because cPanel and Virtualmin are not the same thing, and we do things differently in many places…different mail server, different conventions for the web server and PHP execution, etc.), but usually you can expect most things to Just Work after the migration, and you only need to learn your way around what’s different.

Note that for a large backup like this, you probably shouldn’t use the GUI to do either backup or restore in realtime. Your browser is likely to time out (though Virtualmin tries to keep the connection alive and tries to do the right thing even if the browser goes away, if you network temporarily drops out or whatever or if your browser is just having a bad day, it might be interrupted and you might miss errors or problems). You can use the Virtualmin CLI via ssh in a screen or tmux session to guarantee nothing like that happens.

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