Best Practice: Automatic Updates vs Manual Updates


Well-Known Member
Dec 17, 2014
Tokyo, Japan and Atlanta, Georgia
cPanel Access Level
Root Administrator

I have been meaning to ask this question for a while.

It is for the those system admin gurus who has had a 10-15 years server administration under their belt.

The cPanel team does a great job ensuring that each roll-out is as least disruptive as it can be to majority of systems.

But just like one cannot test every scenario on a test cPanel machine, the cPanel team can't test everything.

Thus after each new version is released, it normally takes 3 - 7 days to iron out a couple of bugs to get everything ship-shape.

For a stable production cPanel server that can offer consistent user experience, what do you use when a new cPanel release version comes out?

Automatic cPanel/OS Daily Updates or Scheduled cPanel/OS Manual Updates?

What would you consider to be best practice?


Well-Known Member
Aug 10, 2002
cPanel Access Level
Root Administrator
It really depends on what you are talking about. Are you talking about major releases (i.e. cPanel 78 to cPanel 80) or minor fixes (i.e. cPanel 78.0.23 to 78.0.24)...

But actually my answer is the same for both - manual updates.

Minor updates, I usually try to push out as soon as possible - usually the same day.

Major updates... yea... it can be a while. I'm still sticking to cPanel 78 despite 80 hitting Release this past week. It's been my experience that the whole Quality Assurance that cPanel versions are suppose to go through (Edge -> Current -> Release -> Stable) leaves a LOT to be desired. It's like there's 2 people that run Current and they don't even know what cPanel is. It takes a version of cPanel to reach Release before the masses get it and start uncovering problems. And for that reason, it's worth it to me to keep the servers held back until those problems can be addressed.

Keep in mind, I have about 60 servers to update. It's no fun when I update them all, only to find that there is a major issue and I can't downgrade any of them. Or if I stagger their upgrades (which I do, to some extent) then I might have 30 or 40 on a release with problems and 30 or 20 on an older version.

From my point of view - stability trumps "new pretty features" every time.

I might try working on a procedure to upgrade the servers from 78 to 80 - I might do that this week. I have to look and see at what all has changed and how that affects some of the custom work I've done on all of our servers. But it'll probably be another week or two before I'm ready to update all of the servers to 80. Probably about the time 80 hits Stable.

For what it's worth - this is all actually quite a bit easier than it used to be. 76 to 78 wasn't a lot of major changes. 74 to 76 wasn't a lot of major changes. cPanel is pushing out a lot of "major" releases that aren't really anything major - just a bigger number. Way back when - this used to mean a bit more - say cPanel 11.18 to cPanel 11.20. But now the "major" updates aren't really that much different. Every one in a while an update will contain some philosophical change - and maybe 78 to 80 is one of them. But I don't get too terribly worked up about it.

Still - I prefer manual updates so that I'm not caught off guard. I can't wake up one morning and have problems galore because all 60 servers updated to cPanel 80 overnight.
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