Migrating from Directadmin to Virtualmin... any pointers?


first of all, hats off to the developers/community. Just installed Virtualmin on Debian 6 without a breeze. It looks very nice (different then what i am used to though) and extensive.

I have a deadline in about 3 weeks to migrate all my exisiting customers from a FreeBSD 8.2-Release with Directadmin to my new setup, which is a Debian 6 box runnin Virtualmin.
My plan is to manually migrate all the users (they are not that many) and i was wondering if anyone has experience with this. My main concern is continuity/availability of email.
The user folders i can handle, the databases will be good as well i presume but the mail i have no clue how to go about. (tips in general for migrating to virtualmin also very welcome)

I apologize if the answer to my question is easily found here, but my normal googling did not return satisfactory results.




Well, I doubt this could be added in the next 3 weeks, but I know it’s on Jamie’s todo list to get DirectAdmin backups importing to Virtualmin. I’m not sure where he is with that.

So, I’d continue to plan the way you’re planning – but I’d also suggest taking a moment to file a quick feature request :slight_smile:

Using the Support link above, can you put in a request to have Virtualmin import a DirectAdmin backup file? It may help him if you’re able to provide an example backup file.

As far as email goes though – what format is that in on your current server?

In some cases, the mail can simply be copied over directly (though the format would need to be identical, which is unlikely unless you’re using Dovecot… it uses Maildir+).

Another alternative is to use an IMAP sync’ing tool such as “imapsync”. That’s a great tool… you can purchase it from their site, or (legally) obtain it for free from other sites (just Google for it).

Using imapsync, you could loop over all the accounts on both of your servers, and sync all your email. You can run that as often as you like, so you can run it both before and after your new server is live.

Would something like that do the trick for you?


Hi Eric,

Thanks for the reply. An IMAP syncing tool that would definitely solve my problem.
Great to hear that importing DA backups is an upcoming feature. Facilitating migration is always a good thing if you want people to come over.
User backups i can most certainly provide, and when my users are migrated i could even “hand over the keys” so the team here can have a look at my DA box if that would be of any assistance. I’ll file a support request right away.
Thanks again for your reply Eric, now lets get to migratin’ !



Hi Guys,

Just wondering if you had any movement on the DirectAdmin to Virtualmin backups? I’d be interested in migrating a 50+ client base from DA to VMin and wondered how mailboxes were going to behave.

Any help will be greatly appreciated.



There isn’t currently support for importing DirectAdmin backups.

I don’t recall the specifics, though since it’s taken more than a few months it’s likely he ran into some snags with getting them to import into Virtualmin.

I’ll talk to Jamie to see where that’s at, but would you be willing to offer a backup file for him to use and test if he needs one?


Sorry I didn’t get notifications on my posts by default and since we no longer work with the DA client, we can’t offer a backup sorry :frowning: Would have been very handy at the time.

Thanks Eric.


While there is no “official” support for importing a DA backup into Virtualmin, there’s this guy named Peter (oh wait, that’s me heh heh) who can assist in accomplishing the task in a manual process if desired for a minimal fee.

Drop me a line if you’d like to over details, and schedule some time to make the transition as smooth as possible.

Best Regards, Peter Knowles TPN Solutions

E: pknowles@tpnsolutions.com
P: 604-782-9342
W: http://www.tpnsolutions.com

I’m actually in the middle of (manually) porting over several domains from DA to virtualmin.

It shouldn’t be too hard; I can give you a rough idea of how DA organizes the domains/emails:

DA uses dovecot (Maildir++) and exim.

There’s a bunch of files in /etc/virtual/example.com/*, most import is “passwd” which dovecot uses to look up the user using “args = username_format=%n /etc/virtual/%d/passwd” in the auth sectino of dovecot.conf file. That part will be easy to port.

The UID and GID are set to the domain name owner (shared uid), the user’s home directory stored in there is /home/owner/imap/example.com/user

The web pages are stored in /home/owner/domains/example.com/public_html (and /home/owner/public_html is a symbolic link to there)

DA gets rather tricky and complex with mail delivery though (it uses exim while virtualmin uses Postfix–and DA uses some advanced features like perl scripting in the exim configuration). I’m just about ready to dig into the Postfix configuration to punch that in.

No idea on the backup format though (I’m not doing this from backups, I’m doing this from nfs-mounted live directory on the DA server)

Honestly, my biggest concern right now is on the web page end: I have customers STILL using Frontpage to update their pages, and using FP’s web forms; DA (at least the old version we were still running) had full support for FPE. Getting them to use webdav to upload is part of the battle–the rest is dealing with ALLLL those forms. I’m tempted to just write my own version of shtml.exe to handle it.

Curious if any progress has been made on importing the DA backups.

I’m looking for a new host, and my DA options seem to be dwindling. I’m seriously considering moving everything to a Webmin/Virtualmin setup.

I would also consider contracting it out if I could find a reliable source.

My other option would e cPanel, but I’m not crazy about the licensing fees… this is just for my own personal domains and some small sites that I host. They don’t make me any money.


The most recent Virtualmin version includes a feature that will import Direct Admin backups.

Give that a shot and let us know how it works for you!


Thanks for the info.

Is that available in the GPL version? Or just the Pro?

It’s in both versions.


I finally found the feature… I’m still getting used to the different layout of Webmin/Virtualmin

It “mostly” seemed to work. It does not seem to handle domain aliases very well (or at all), and there are still some old DNS records hanging around.

Changing the DNS entries seems a lot more difficult than in DA, so I’m still working through that.


You can make DNS changes in Server Configuration -> DNS Records.

The Direct Admin import is fairly new – if you find things that it’s not doing, and you have a backup that you can offer as a sample, Jamie will be able to correct that.

You could file a request using the “Support” link, and in there, explain what the import isn’t doing. Mark the issue as “Private”, and then post a link to where Jamie can download your backup and test the feature.


Thank you.

I’ve created an issue and tried to provide as much information as possible.


I have some DA accounts that will migrate to Virtualmin.

The first one went fine, the only thing is that my customers use the login name name@domain.com to access their e-mail accounts on Thunderbird or Outlook and the login name on Virtualmin is name.domain. I have read that this can be changed and I need to add a new user to make this work fine. Please give advise of the steps I have to do to accomplish the migration.

Thanks on advance!



You can configure Virtualmin to use the user@domain.tld format prior to your migration.

To do that, go into System Settings -> Server Configuration -> Default -> Mail for Domain, and there, you can set the “Format for usernames that include domain” option to username@domain.

Once you do that, you should be able to import your domains using the DirectAdmin migration tool with no problem.


i can’t found it
where is this feature ?