How to Uninstall Plesk Obsidian on Ubuntu

How to Uninstall Plesk Obsidian on Ubuntu

Plesk Obsidian is a popular web hosting control panel that offers a user-friendly interface to manage web servers. While it’s a valuable tool for many webmasters, there might be instances where you need to uninstall it, perhaps to switch to another control panel or to perform a clean installation.

In this guide, we will walk you through the process of uninstalling Plesk Obsidian from an Ubuntu server. Before proceeding, it’s worth noting that uninstalling Plesk will also remove all the data associated with it, including websites, databases, and email accounts.

Let’s get started.

Step 1: Backup Your Data

Before making any significant changes to your server, especially uninstalling software like Plesk Obsidian, it’s imperative to ensure that all your data is safely backed up. This precautionary step will safeguard you from potential data loss, which can be both time-consuming and costly to recover.

1. Website Files:
Your website files include all the elements that make up your site, such as HTML files, CSS stylesheets, JavaScript files, images, and other media. These files are crucial for the proper functioning and appearance of your website.

2. Databases:
Databases store essential data for your websites, such as user information, posts, pages, and other dynamic content. For websites using CMS platforms like WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal, databases are the backbone that holds all the site’s content.

3. Emails:
If you’re using Plesk to manage your email accounts, it’s vital to back up all email data. This includes incoming, outgoing, and stored emails, along with any attachments and settings related to your email accounts.

4. Configurations:
Configuration files determine how your server and websites operate. These files include settings for your web server (like Apache or Nginx), PHP configurations, and other server-side software. A backup ensures you can quickly restore these settings if needed.

Backup Using Plesk Backup Manager:

Plesk comes with a built-in Backup Manager that makes the backup process straightforward. To use it:

  1. Log in to your Plesk dashboard.
  2. Navigate to the “Tools & Settings” section.
  3. Click on “Backup Manager.”
  4. Choose “Back Up” to create a new backup.
  5. Follow the on-screen instructions, ensuring you select all the data you want to back up.
  6. Once the backup is complete, download it to a safe location or store it in a cloud storage service for added security.
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Backup Using Command-Line:

Though Plesk Backup Manager offers a streamlined backup process, many administrators also utilize other methods, ranging from third-party applications to command-line techniques. When opting for an alternative, prioritize reliability and routinely check the backup’s integrity.

To back up your website files, you can use the tar command. Navigate to the directory containing your website files and run:

tar -czvf backup_websitefiles.tar.gz /path/to/website/directory/

For MySQL databases, you can use the mysqldump command:

mysqldump -u [username] -p[password] [database_name] > backup_database.sql

Note: There’s no space between -p and your password.

If you’re storing emails on the server, they’re typically in the /var/mail or /var/vmail directory. To back them up:

tar -czvf backup_emails.tar.gz /var/mail/

Configuration files, like those for Apache or Nginx, can be backed up using the tar command. For instance, to back up Apache configurations:

tar -czvf backup_apacheconfig.tar.gz /etc/apache2/

After creating these backups, you can move them to a secure location, perhaps an external storage device or a cloud storage solution. To ensure the integrity of your backups, you can use the sha256sum command to generate and verify checksums:

sha256sum backup_filename.tar.gz

This command will produce a checksum for your backup file. By saving this checksum and comparing it when you need to restore, you can verify the backup’s integrity. If the checksums match, your backup hasn’t been tampered with or corrupted.

Step 2: Access Your Server

Log in to your Ubuntu server using SSH. Ensure you have root or superuser privileges to execute the uninstallation commands.

SSH is a protocol that allows secure remote access to your server. It’s the most common method used to connect to Linux servers. If you’re on a Linux or macOS machine, you can use the terminal. Windows users can use clients like PuTTY.

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Logging In:

  • Open your SSH client or terminal.
  • Use the following command, replacing your_username with your server’s username and your_server_ip with your server’s IP address:
ssh your_username@your_server_ip
  • You’ll be prompted for a password. Enter your server’s password.

To uninstall software and make significant changes, you need elevated privileges. If you’re not logged in as the root user, you can switch to the root user using the command:

sudo su

Alternatively, you can prefix commands that require elevated privileges with sudo.

Always double-check commands before executing them, especially when logged in with root or superuser privileges. A wrong command can lead to data loss or system malfunctions.

Step 3: Stop Plesk Services

Before uninstalling, stop all Plesk services to ensure a smooth process:

sudo service psa stopall

Step 4: Run the Plesk Uninstaller

Plesk provides a built-in uninstaller. Navigate to the Plesk installer directory and execute the uninstaller:

cd /opt/psa/admin/bin/
sudo ./plesk-installer --remove

Follow the on-screen prompts to complete the uninstallation process.

Step 5: Remove Plesk Packages

To ensure all Plesk-related packages are removed, you can use the following command:

sudo apt-get purge plesk-*

Step 6: Clean Up Remaining Files and Directories

Some Plesk files and directories might remain even after uninstallation. To remove them, use the following commands:

sudo rm -rf /etc/psa
sudo rm -rf /var/lib/psa
sudo rm -rf /usr/local/psa
sudo rm -rf /opt/psa

Commands Mentioned

  • sudo service psa stopall – Stops all Plesk services
  • sudo ./plesk-installer –remove – Runs the Plesk uninstaller
  • sudo apt-get purge plesk-* – Removes all Plesk-related packages
  • sudo rm -rf /etc/psa – Removes the Plesk configuration directory


  1. What will happen to my websites after uninstalling Plesk?

    After uninstalling Plesk, all the websites hosted on it, including their files, databases, and email accounts, will be removed. It’s crucial to back up any essential data before proceeding with the uninstallation.

  2. Can I reinstall Plesk after uninstalling it?

    Yes, you can reinstall Plesk after uninstalling it. However, you’ll need to configure it from scratch and restore any backups if you wish to retrieve your previous data.

  3. Is there a way to uninstall Plesk without losing my data?

    Uninstalling Plesk will remove all associated data. To ensure you don’t lose your data, create a complete backup before uninstalling. You can then restore this backup if you decide to reinstall Plesk or move to another control panel.

  4. Are there alternatives to Plesk for managing web servers?

    Yes, there are several alternatives to Plesk, such as cPanel, Webmin, and DirectAdmin. The choice depends on your specific needs, server configuration, and personal preferences.

  5. Why might someone want to uninstall Plesk?

    Reasons for uninstalling Plesk might include switching to another control panel, performing a clean installation, troubleshooting specific issues, or migrating to a different hosting solution.

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Uninstalling Plesk Obsidian from an Ubuntu server is a straightforward process, but it’s essential to approach it with caution. Always ensure you have backed up all critical data before proceeding. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can successfully remove Plesk and all its associated data from your server.

If you’re considering other hosting solutions after uninstalling Plesk, remember to explore the various options available, such as dedicated server hosting, VPS server hosting, cloud hosting, and shared hosting. Each hosting solution offers its unique set of features and benefits, so it’s essential to choose one that aligns with your specific needs and goals.

After uninstalling Plesk Obsidian, you might want to explore other control panels or even consider managing your server without a control panel. Whatever path you choose, always prioritize the security and performance of your server. Regularly update your server’s software, monitor its performance, and ensure you have reliable backup solutions in place.

Lastly, remember that while control panels like Plesk offer convenience, they also come with their complexities. Whether you’re migrating to a new control panel or managing your server manually, always invest time in understanding the tools and technologies you’re working with. This knowledge will empower you to make informed decisions and troubleshoot issues more effectively.


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