Important Facts About and How to Update to Plesk Obsidian

Switching Plesk to a short release cycle

Progress does not stand still. Every day new technologies emerge, and Plesk partners’ and customers’ requirements change accordingly: they want to get their hands on new features as fast as possible, with as little hassle as possible.

Previously, new versions of Plesk were released every year (too slow for the current pace of technology), included a lot of changes (which could confuse some customers and end-users), and required a lot of time and resources to update Plesk on many servers.

To answer these challenges we decided to switch to a monthly release cycle. Yes, this means a new Plesk version every month! This way we match the development cycles in R&D, the changes coming with each new version will not overwhelm conservative users, the latest technologies and features will become available faster for early adopters, and updating to a new version will be faster and more seamless.

Plesk Obsidian is the first version of Plesk to be released on such schedule.

Updating to Plesk Obsidian 18.0

Can I update to Plesk Obsidian 18.0 on the same hardware? The flowchart below lists all possible update paths to Plesk Obsidian 18.0:


Update notes

  • You can update to Plesk Obsidian from Plesk Onyx 17.0 or later. If you have an earlier Plesk version, consider migrating instead.
  • If you have been using Plesk Obsidian preview builds prior to the official release (September 25), we strongly recommend to either re-install Plesk or to install Plesk on a different server and migrate the data there if necessary. Though it is possible to update to the Plesk Obsidian release version from a preview build, we strongly recommend not to run preview builds in production.
  • Support for Ubuntu 14.04 and Windows 2008 R2 is discontinued in Plesk Obsidian 18.0. If your Plesk installation is working on an Ubuntu 14.04 or Windows 2008 R2 systems, consider migrating instead.
  • During the update all installed extensions will also be updated to the latest versions.

Supported Operating Systems

Plesk Obsidian requires a 64-bit CPU architecture. The following OSes are supported by Plesk Obsidian:

Linux Windows
RHEL 6 / CentOS 6 Windows Server 2019 ( new! )
RHEL 7 / CentOS 7 Windows Server 2016
RHEL 8 / CentOS 8 Windows Server 2012 R2
CloudLinux 6 Windows Server 2012
CloudLinux 7  
Virtuozzo Linux 7  
Debian 8  
Debian 9  
Debian 10  
Ubuntu 16.04  
Ubuntu 18.04  
Ubuntu 20.04  

Note: Windows Server Standard and Datacenter editions, including Server Core installations, are supported.

Plesk Obsidian Licensing

Plesk domain-based lease licenses (Plesk 10.x/11.x and Later) and edition-based lease licenses (Web Admin, Web Pro, Web Host) are compatible with Plesk Obsidian and do not have to be upgraded.

Plesk Perpetual (purchased) licenses will be upgraded automatically if they have active SUS (Software Update Service).

Old Plesk perpetual licenses (such as Plesk 10, Plesk 11, Plesk 12 (upgraded from 10/11) must first be upgraded to Plesk Onyx.

New and updated components

The following components are now supported in Plesk Obsidian:

  • SmarterMail 100.x (previously called 17.x) – mail server for Microsoft Windows Server. Note that the new features introduced in this SmarterMail version are not supported yet.
  • nginx 1.16.0 – proxy and web server used in Plesk for Linux.
  • MariaDB 10.3 is shipped with Plesk Obsidian for Windows by default. It is used as both the Plesk database server and the customer database server. When upgrading Plesk Onyx to Plesk Obsidian, Plesk SQL Server (which hosts the Plesk configuration database) is migrated to MariaDB, while the customer database server is left as is.
  • PostgreSQL 10.x is supported by Plesk Obsidian for Linux.
  • Postfix 3.4 is shipped with Plesk Obsidian on all supported Linux OSes except Debian 8 and CentOS/RHEL/CloudLinux 6.
  • The GD library shipped with Plesk PHP packages now supports WebP.
  • PHP shipped with Plesk now supports Argon2.

Deprecated / dropped components

The following components have been dropped from Plesk Obsidian:

  • Plesk VPN was a component that allowed to set up the OpenVPN service on the Plesk server. However, due to consistently low installation numbers and significant resources needed to update it for compatibility with Plesk Obsidian, we have decided to stop its development. If you have Plesk VPN installed on your server when you update to Plesk Obsidian, you will lose the ability to configure the OpenVPN server from the Plesk interface.
  • ASP.NET Core 2.0 is no longer supported in Plesk for Windows. If you are updating to Plesk Obsidian from an earlier Plesk version, you will still have ASP.NET 2.0 handlers available on your websites. However, ASP.NET 2.0 will be removed after any reconfiguration of these sites. If this happens, Plesk will switch to ASP.NET 4.0, depending on the OS version.
  • The FileServer component is no longer supported. It will no longer be installed on new Plesk Obsidian servers.

Changed Functionality

Read our What’s New

Read our FAQ

  • To simplify firewall configuration on cloud services (Lightsail, DigitalOcean, etc.) or inside your network, in Plesk Obsidian you can access the Plesk interface via the standard https port 443. All new Plesk Obsidian servers have this feature enabled by default, while on updated servers you need to enable it using the following CLI command. plesk bin admin --enable-access-domain
  • It is now possible to define what features and controls both the main administrator and additional administrators can access using Restricted Mode (known before as Custom View). Unlike Custom View, Restricted Mode applies both in Service Provider view and Power User View. Restricted Mode can be applied during the creation of additional administrator accounts, and can also be applied to all Plesk administrators via the following CLI command: plesk bin poweruser –off -simple true -lock true
  • Introduced new Plesk notifications which are now shown in a separate pane. To see the notifications, click the bell icon in the upper right corner of the screen. Here you can also manage the notifications’ settings. To do so, click the gear icon.
  • Both the Plesk mail server and webmail are now available via HTTPS by default. They are secured with the default SSL/TLS certificate that secures Plesk itself.
  • It is now possible to select which NS server will act as the primary name server in the Plesk interface. It can be done using the SOA record, for DNS Template – using the SOA record template.
  • The system PHP component is no longer mandatory for Plesk. It is now possible:
    • To install Plesk without the system PHP component.
    • To install Horde without the system PHP component.
    • To remove the system PHP component after installing or updating to Plesk Obsidian.
    • To install and use custom PHP builds instead of the system PHP component.
  • Email settings shown in the “Configure Email Client” window (mail server username, incoming and outgoing mail servers, and supported incoming and outgoing mail protocols) can now be customized via the [mail] section settings in the panel.ini file.
  • The Plesk administrator can now help customers, resellers, and additional users change their Plesk passwords by automatically sending them an email with a password reset link.
  • Mail users and additional users can now specify an external email address which will be used to reset their Plesk password if they lose access to the primary email address.
  • Users can now create email addresses for subdomains.
  • Plesk now shows the specific MySQL fork (MariaDB or Percona) installed on the server in the interface.


  • Mail users now receive email notifications when more than 95% of their mailbox disk space is occupied. Users can also see the information about the mailbox storage disk space, its usage, and limits in the Horde and Roundcube webmail clients.
  • On new Plesk servers, the poppassd service on TCP port 106 no longer accepts external connections from the Internet.
  • Significantly reduced the disk space necessary for creating full server backups in remote storage. Now the space necessary for backing up two subscriptions or 2 volumes (for multivolume backups) is enough.
  • By default, systemd now automatically restarts crashed Plesk services after 5 seconds.
  • Added the support for TLSv1.3 (enabled by default) for customers’ websites that are served by nginx and accessed by HTTPS.
  • Webmail clients now use modern PHP 7.3 shipped with Plesk. We update PHP within 2 business days which allows us to promptly fix security issues.
    • Webmail clients on existing domains will be automatically switched to use plesk-php73 fastcgi.
    • Webmail clients on newly created domains will use plesk-php73 fastcgi right from the start.
    • The Horde and Roundcube components in Plesk Autoinstaller now require the plesk-php-7.3 component.


  • The Plesk database is now managed by MariaDB. Clean Plesk installations use MariaDB right from the start, while existing ones will be switched from MySQL to MariaDB during update to Plesk Obsidian.
  • MariaDB is now used as the database server for customers’ websites on new installations of Plesk Obsidian. If you have updated to Plesk Obsidian, we strongly recommend that you switch from MySQL to MariaDB. To do so, go to Tools & Settings > Updates > select MariaDB under “MySQL server” and then click Continue. Existing MySQL databases will not be updated anymore, even for security reasons, while MariaDB will be updated regularly.
  • Plesk administrators and customers can now choose in which mode IIS will run applications: the default 64-bit mode for new applications or optional 32-bit mode for old ones.
  • Plesk administrators can now change the location of the customers’ MySQL data directory in Plesk Reconfigurator.
  • It is now possible to set up a MySQL data folder in a custom location using Plesk (all necessary permissions and adjustments will be configured automatically according to the custom path).

Known Issues and Limitations

  • On Plesk Obsidian for Windows servers with SmarterMail 100 installed the contents of mailboxes are currently not being backed up. This issue will be resolved in a future Plesk Obsidian update.
  • As part of the security improvements we made in Plesk Obsidian, we changed the frames policy to ‘Same origin’. This has led to issues with integration with Odin Business Automation Standard. If you are affected, you can resolve the issue by editing the panel.ini file. Add the following lines to the file:

    sameOriginOnly = false