cPanel Product Owner
Staff member
Mar 21, 2013
Houston TX
cPanel Access Level
DataCenter Provider
Cross Posted from:

Over the past year, we've talked prominently about the impending deprecation of X3, the previous generation user interface for cPanel. Today's the day we are officially announcing a deprecation schedule and its eventual removal from the product.

Here's the schedule:

In 11.52...
  • Brand new installations of cPanel & WHM will consider Paper Lantern to be the default theme for all new accounts. Already existing installations of cPanel & WHM will not be affected. If you are using a third-party theme, you will also not be affected.

In 11.54...
  • Non-emergency and non-security related maintenance for X3 will wind down. cPanel's development and release teams will retarget all upcoming development to Paper Lantern only.
  • As a result of updating from any previous version of cPanel & WHM to 11.54, pre-existing accounts and packages/plans which are found to still be using X3 will be updated to use Paper Lantern with the Retro style applied. There are a couple of important exceptions to this rule:
    • Accounts using third-party themes like RVSkins, CleanPanel, or CPSkins will not be migrated to Paper Lantern.
    • Accounts using a forked copy of X3 (a folder within /usr/local/cpanel/base/frontend) will not be migrated to Paper Lantern.
    • Accounts using a customized brand of X3 will not be affected. If you have created a branding package for X3, your accounts will not be migrated.
    • Accounts which are using one of the default styles like "Black Ice", "Blue Lagoon" or "Mobile" shipped with X3 WILL be migrated to Paper Lantern with the Retro Style applied.
  • cPanel and WHM's public documentation for 11.54 will assume the Paper Lantern interface. Public documentation for previous versions of cPanel & WHM will be unaffected.

In 11.56...
  • We are intentionally leaving 11.56 empty in the deprecation schedule to accommodate any unforeseen schedule changes as well as customers and third party plugin developers requiring time to perform any manual migrations.
In 11.58...
  • X3 will no longer be shipped in cPanel & WHM.
  • Customization features inside WHM which operate only on X3 will be removed.
A couple of things you need to keep in mind going forward:
  • X3 will not be removed from pre-existing installations of cPanel & WHM during the update process to 11.58. If you are using a branded X3 interface, you may continue to do so. We will simply be halting all updates to X3.
  • For those of you who have forked X3 and are maintaining your own theme, you will be unaffected by this change.
  • It is the responsibility of third-party developers to update their plugins to run within Paper Lantern. If you think that an important plugin you use is not Paper Lantern ready, please contact its developers and let them know.
  • The legacy LANG system which was deprecated in cPanel & WHM 11.46 will be removed entirely with the removal of X3. If your third party plugin relies on this deprecated localization system, it will begin to error at this point.
  • We will not be releasing X3 in the form of a plugin or any other distribution. Customers who choose to continue to use X3 from previous installations will do so at their own risk.
  • While the Retro Style for Paper Lantern will approximate the appearance of X3, it will not be a perfect implementation. We are providing the Retro Style to ease the transition for users, not as a final destination for users. We may chose to disable new user interface features in the Retro Style rather than forcibly adapt them into this holdover style. A separate deprecation schedule for the Retro Style will be announced in the future.
Roughly speaking, this schedule will take about 1 calendar year to complete. We will be updating this schedule from time to time so that everyone will know what can be expected. During this time, all general maintenance and ongoing bug fixes for any previous version of cPanel we have shipped will continue according to our Long Term Support Policy. Once 11.58 reaches 'End of Life' status, X3 will no longer be maintained by cPanel for all versions 11.58 and newer.

We realize that large deprecations like this can cause concern and alarm. Please comment below on this blog post, or reach out to your cPanel account manager if you have any questions.


Well-Known Member
Dec 13, 2003
I appreciate the work. At the same time I think it is a HUGE disservice to cPanel customers to get rid of X3 since the newer paper lantern has yet to offer much of the functionality that X3 has. Forcing customer to use a "new and improved" flat UI is a bad decision IMHO. Many of us who are server admins still use desktop computer to work and a flat UI is really only a viable UI on a handheld device. I implore the team to NOT drop X3 until ALL of the features are ported to PL and I strongly suggest that a standard non-flat UI be offer parallel to PL.
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Well-Known Member
Dec 13, 2003
Michael, having read your posted schedule I have a couple of questions.

1) In the initial product you state that this is a "a deprecation schedule and its eventual removal from the product", yet you go on in the following paragraphs to state (in multiple places) that "Accounts using a customized brand of X3 will not be affected". This schedule does not speak to when the final date is for user who have custom X3 skins to be able to use them. As such are we to assume that X3 is not actually going to be totally removed?

2) You also address the Retro skin for PL in at least one place. At some pint during the development of PL, the word was that the Retro skin was not going to stay and that it was only in place to more or less ease the transition. Is this still the case?

3) With 11.58 will you provide instructions on how to manually edit existing custom X3 skins? I am guessing it would not be too dissimilar to the that PL must be customized, in that there in no (very limited) customization offer via WHM and most of it must be done at the command line.

4) At what point will we be REQUIRE to no longer use X3?

That's it for now.
Thank You!


Active Member
Feb 11, 2009
I must agree about forcing this "handheld device" style is really stupid, it is like all accessing to cPanel over mobile phone and tablets now and this is not case, did anybody even test new style of paper lantern v54 ... I am even considering to return to RETRO style after this last changes.


Well-Known Member
Dec 13, 2003
Well it has been almost a year now since I asked my questions in response to the depracation schedule and ZERO answers form cPanel. I'd expect that if InfoPro was heading up this project but not Adam or Michael. You guys are seriously dropping the ball on this issue.