How to Install ClusterControl to a Custom Location

Ashraf Sharif


ClusterControl consists of a number of components and one of the most important ones is the ClusterControl UI. This is the web application through which the user interacts with other backend ClusterControl components like controller, notification, web-ssh module and cloud module. Each component is packaged independently with its own name, therefore easier for potential issues to be fixed and delivered to the end user. For more info on ClusterControl components, check out the documentation page.

In this blog post, we are going to look into ways to customize our ClusterControl installation, especially the ClusterControl UI which by default will be located under /var/www/html (default document root of Apache). Note that it’s recommended to host ClusterControl on a dedicated server where it can use all the default paths which will simplify ClusterControl maintenance operations.

Installing ClusterControl

For a fresh installation, go to our Download page to get the installation link. Then, start installing ClusterControl using the installer script as root user:

$ whoami
$ wget
$ chmod 755 install-cc
$ ./install-cc

Follow the installation wizard accordingly and the script will install all dependencies, configure ClusterControl components and start them up. The script will configure Apache 2.4, and use the package manager to install ClusterControl UI which by default located under /var/www/html.


Once ClusterControl is installed into its default location, we can then move the UI directories located under /var/www/html/clustercontrol and /var/www/html/cmon into somewhere else. Let’s prepare the new path first.

Suppose we want to move the UI components to a user directory under /home. Firstly, create the user. In this example, the user name is “cc”:

$ useradd -m cc

The above command will automatically create a home directory for user “cc”, under /home/cc. Then, create the necessary directories for Apache usage for this user. We are going to create a directory called “logs” for Apache logs, “public_html” for Apache document root of this user and the “www” as a symbolic link to the public_html:

$ cd /home/cc
$ mkdir logs
$ mkdir public_html
$ ln -sf public_html www

Make sure all of them are owned by Apache:

$ chown apache:apache logs public_html

To allow Apache process to access public_html under user cc, we have to allow global read to the home directory of user cc:

$ chmod 755 /home/cc

We are now good to move stuff.

Customizing the Path

Stop ClusterControl related services and Apache:

$ systemctl stop httpd # RHEL/CentOS
$ systemctl stop apache2 # Debian/Ubuntu
$ systemctl stop cmon cmon-events cmon-ssh cmon-cloud

We basically have two options in moving the directory into the user’s directory:

  1. Move everything from /var/www/html into /home/cc/public_html.
  2. Create a symbolic link from /var/www/html/clustercontrol to /home/cc/public_html (recommended).

If you opt for option #1, simply move the ClusterControl UI directories into the new path, /home/cc/public_html:

$ mv /var/www/html/clustercontrol /home/cc/public_html/
$ mv /var/www/html/cmon /home/cc/public_html/

Make sure the ownership is correct:

$ chown -R apache:apache /home/cc/public_html # RHEL/CentOS
$ chown -R www-data:www-data /home/cc/public_html # Debian/Ubuntu

However, there is a drawback since ClusterControl UI package will always get extracted under /var/www/html. This means if you upgrade the ClusterControl UI via package manager, the new content will be available under /var/www/html. Refer to “Potential Issues” section further down for more details.

If you choose option #2, which is the recommended way, you just need to create a symlink (link reference to another file or directory) under the user’s public_html directory for both directories. When an upgrade happens, the DEB/RPM postinst script will replace the existing installation with the updated version under /var/www/html. To do a symlink, simply:

$ ln -sf /var/www/html/clustercontrol /home/cc/public_html/clustercontrol
$ ln -sf /var/www/html/cmon /home/cc/public_html/cmon

Another step is required for option #2, where we have to allow Apache to follow symbolic links outside of the user’s directory. Create a .htaccess file under /home/cc/public_html and add the following line:

# /home/cc/public_html/.htaccess
Options +FollowSymlinks -SymLinksIfOwnerMatch

Open Apache site configuration file at /etc/httpd/conf.d/s9s.conf (RHEL/CentOS) or /etc/apache2/sites-enabled/001-s9s.conf (Debian/Ubuntu) using your favourite text editor and modify it to be as below (pay attention on lines marked with ##):

    ServerName  ## 

    ServerAdmin [email protected]
    DocumentRoot /home/cc/public_html  ##

    ErrorLog /home/cc/logs/error.log  ##
    CustomLog /home/cc/logs/access.log combined  ##

    # ClusterControl SSH & events
    RewriteEngine On
    RewriteRule ^/clustercontrol/ssh/term$ /clustercontrol/ssh/term/ [R=301]
    RewriteRule ^/clustercontrol/ssh/term/ws/(.*)$ ws://$1 [P,L]
    RewriteRule ^/clustercontrol/ssh/term/(.*)$$1 [P]
    RewriteRule ^/clustercontrol/sse/events/(.*)$$1 [P,L]

    # Main Directories
            Options +FollowSymLinks
            AllowOverride All

            Options +Indexes +FollowSymLinks +MultiViews
            AllowOverride All
            Require all granted

The similar modifications apply to the HTTPS configuration at /etc/httpd/conf.d/ssl.conf (RHEL/CentOS) or /etc/apache2/sites-enabled/001-s9s-ssl.conf (Debian/Ubuntu). Pay attention to lines marked with ##:


               ServerName  ##
               ServerAdmin [email protected] ##

               DocumentRoot /home/cc/public_html  ##

                # ClusterControl SSH & events

                RewriteEngine On
                RewriteRule ^/clustercontrol/ssh/term$ /clustercontrol/ssh/term/ [R=301]
                RewriteRule ^/clustercontrol/ssh/term/ws/(.*)$ ws://$1 [P,L]
                RewriteRule ^/clustercontrol/ssh/term/(.*)$$1 [P]
                RewriteRule ^/clustercontrol/sse/events/(.*)$$1 [P,L]

                        Options +FollowSymLinks
                        AllowOverride All

                        Options +Indexes +FollowSymLinks +MultiViews
                        AllowOverride All
                        Require all granted

                SSLEngine on
                SSLCertificateFile /etc/pki/tls/certs/s9server.crt # RHEL/CentOS
                SSLCertificateKeyFile /etc/pki/tls/private/s9server.key # RHEL/CentOS
                SSLCertificateKeyFile /etc/ssl/certs/s9server.crt # Debian/Ubuntu
                SSLCertificateKeyFile /etc/ssl/private/s9server.key # Debian/Ubuntu

                <filesmatch ".(cgi|shtml|phtml|php)$"="">
                                SSLOptions +StdEnvVars

                                SSLOptions +StdEnvVars
                BrowserMatch "MSIE [17-9]" ssl-unclean-shutdown

Restart everything:

$ systemctl restart httpd
$ systemctl restart cmon cmon-events cmon-ssh cmon-cloud

Consider the IP address of the ClusterControl is and domain resolves to, you can access ClusterControl UI via one of the following URLs:


You should see the ClusterControl login page at this point. The customization is now complete.

Potential Issues

Since the package manager simply executes the post-installation script during package upgrade, the content of the new ClusterControl UI package (the actual package name is clustercontrol.x86_64) will be extracted into /var/www/html (it’s hard coded inside post installation script). The following is what would happen:

$ ls -al /home/cc/public_html # our current installation
$ ls -al /var/www/html # empty
$ yum upgrade clustercontrol -y
$ ls -al /var/www/html # new files are extracted here

Therefore, if you use symlink method, you may skip the following additional steps.

To complete the upgrade process, one has to replace the existing installation under the custom path with the new installation manually. First, perform the upgrade operation:

$ yum upgrade clustercontrol -y # RHEL/CentOS
$ apt upgrade clustercontrol -y # Debian/Ubuntu

Move the existing installation to somewhere safe. We will need the old bootstrap.php file later on:

$ mv /home/cc/public_html/clustercontrol /home/cc/public_html/clustercontrol_old

Move the new installation from the default path /var/www/html into user’s document root:

$ mv /var/www/html/clustercontrol /home/cc/public_html

Copy bootstrap.php from the old installation to the new one:

$ mv /home/cc/public_html/clustercontrol_old/bootstrap.php /home/cc/public_html/clustercontrol

Get the new version string from bootstrap.php.default:

$ grep CC_UI_VERSION /home/cc/public_html/clustercontrol/bootstrap.php.default
define('CC_UI_VERSION', '');

Update the new version string for CC_UI_VERSION value inside bootstrap.php using your favourite text editor:

$ vim /home/cc/public_html/clustercontrol/bootstrap.php

Save the file and the upgrade is now complete.

That’s it, folks. Happy customizing!


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