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How to: Install Pterodactyl Panel on a KVM Machine



This guide is going to cover configuring an Ubuntu 18.04 KVM Server and installing Pterodactyl Panel on it to host game servers. First things first, you will need to download a copy of Ubuntu 18.04's ISO file. Head on over to the official Ubuntu downloads page --> https://ubuntu.com/download/server 

Once you have the file downloaded, open your VPS dashboard at https://skysilk.com/dashboard/images and click on the Create VPS button.

Select your plan class and then click on the Upload ISO button at the top of the page.

Click on the dropdown that says Select OS Type and pick Modern Linux. You can now press Upload New OS Image. A small window will appear asking you to select your Datacenter. After you confirm your choice, a window will open that asks you to select the ISO you wish to upload. Select your ISO and press open.

This process will likely take some time depending on your connection speed. Once it completes, we can finish setting up our basic VPS options below. Select your plan and give the VPS a name. Once it is finished setting up, we will use the VNC button from our dashboard to complete the installation of the Ubuntu Server.

When the VNC window opens and connects, you will be presented with an installer that will guide you through setting up your system. For more specific instructions on installing Ubuntu Server, we recommend the official documentation starting from Step #4. https://ubuntu.com/tutorials/tutorial-install-ubuntu-server#4-choose-your-language 

Once you reach the above step, press enter to reboot the machine. You will be prompted to remove the installation media - when this comes up press enter. A moment or so will pass and the machine will boot. 

Updates and Install

When this is completed we can continue with installing our updates and packages.

After the boot is finished, press enter and you should be prompted to log in with the user you created before. Once we're logged in we will update the system with:

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade 

Firewall Access

The next step is to make sure that we configure UFW to allow SSH connections and then to enable it so we can switch to our favorite terminal.

sudo ufw allow ssh
sudo ufw enable

Required packages

Now we can continue with SSH for ease. We're going to install our dependencies and Composer:

sudo apt install curl php7.2 php7.2-cli php7.2-gd php7.2-mysql php7.2-pdo php7.2-mbstring php7.2-tokenizer php7.2-bcmath php7.2-xml php7.2-fpm php7.2-curl php7.2-zip mariadb-server nginx tar unzip git redis-server

curl -sS https://getcomposer.org/installer | sudo php -- --install-dir=/usr/local/bin --filename=composer

Then we will create a folder for our panel to live in and download the panel software:

mkdir -p /var/www/pterodactyl

cd /var/www/pterodactyl

curl -Lo panel.tar.gz https://github.com/pterodactyl/panel/releases/download/v0.7.16/panel.tar.gz

tar --strip-components=1 -xzvf panel.tar.gz

sudo chmod -R 755 storage/* bootstrap/cache/

Installing the panel

We are now able to begin installing the panel software that we just downloaded. To start with we are going to copy our default environment settings file, install the core dependencies, then generate a new application encryption key.

NOTE: Please only run the php artisan command with a clean panel install with a fresh database

cp .env.example .env
composer install --no-dev --optimize-autoloader

php artisan key:generate --force

Note from Pterodactyl's Official documentation: "Back up your encryption key (APP_KEY in the .env file). It is used as an encryption key for all data that needs to be stored securely (e.g. api keys). Store it somewhere safe - not just on your server. If you lose it, all encrypted data is useless and can't be restored, even if you have database backups"

Database Setup

Now we will set up our MariaDB/MySQL Database user and Database to use for the panel.

sudo mysql -u root
use mysql;

flush privileges;
CREATE DATABASE pterodactyl;

CREATE USER 'username-that-isn't-pterodactyl' IDENTIFIED BY 'changethispassword';

GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON *.* TO 'username-that-isn't-pterodactyl' IDENTIFIED BY 'changethispassword';
SHOW GRANTS FOR 'username-that-isn't-pterodactyl';

We will continue with setting up and configuring the database. It's recommended that you configure the mail setting to use an SMTP server/relay, however, PHP's mail function will work for development purposes.

php artisan p:environment:setup
php artisan p:environment:database

php artisan p:environment:mail

PLEASE NOTE: The command below may take some time to run depending on your machine. Please DO NOT exit the process until it is completed! 

php artisan migrate --seed

Making our first Admin User

It's time to create our first Pterodactyl Administrative User. A note from the official installation documentation: "At this time passwords must meet the following requirements: 8 characters, mixed case, at least one number."

php artisan p:user:make

Setting File Ownership

One of the last steps for setting up the panel is to ensure that the files are properly owned for our webserver. Run this command in the pterodactyl folder at /var/www/pterodactyl

chown -R www-data:www-data * 

Configuring Cron

Now we will configure Cron to process our pterodactyl tasks.

sudo crontab -e
* * * * * php /var/www/pterodactyl/artisan schedule:run >> /dev/null 2>&1

Configure to Run in the Background

Next, we need to create a new systemd worker to keep our queue process running in the background.

sudo nano /etc/systemd/system/pteroq.service
# Pterodactyl Queue Worker File
# ----------------------------------

Description=Pterodactyl Queue Worker

# On some systems the user and group might be different.
# Some systems use `apache` or `nginx` as the user and group.
ExecStart=/usr/bin/php /var/www/pterodactyl/artisan queue:work --queue=high,standard,low --sleep=3 --tries=3


Enable the redis-server service to run at boot:

sudo systemctl enable --now redis-server

Enable our pteroq.service to run at boot:

sudo systemctl enable --now pteroq.service

Cerbot SSL Encryption and Webserver Setup

That completes the setup for the panel itself. Now we will move on to configure the webserver. The first thing to do is to install certbot and use it to generate an SSL certificate for our domain.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:certbot/certbot
sudo apt update

sudo apt install certbot

After, we will use certbot to run a standalone minimal webserver for its configuration purposes. First, stop your webserver. We are using NGINX, so we will do the following:

sudo systemctl stop nginx

Then run the following command, be sure to change example.com to your domain.

certbot certonly -d example.com

Since we are using an SSL for this example, we will use the following configuration file for NGINX. This is saved in /etc/nginx/sites-available

nano /etc/nginx/sites-available/pterodactyl.conf

server_tokens off;

server {
    listen 80;
    server_name <domain>;
    return 301 https://$server_name$request_uri;

server {
    listen 443 ssl http2;
    server_name <domain>;

    root /var/www/pterodactyl/public;
    index index.php;

    access_log /var/log/nginx/pterodactyl.app-access.log;
    error_log  /var/log/nginx/pterodactyl.app-error.log error;

    # allow larger file uploads and longer script runtimes
    client_max_body_size 100m;
    client_body_timeout 120s;

    sendfile off;

    # SSL Configuration
    ssl_certificate /etc/letsencrypt/live/<domain>/fullchain.pem;
    ssl_certificate_key /etc/letsencrypt/live/<domain>/privkey.pem;
    ssl_session_cache shared:SSL:10m;
    ssl_protocols TLSv1.2;
    ssl_prefer_server_ciphers on;

    # See https://hstspreload.org/ before uncommenting the line below.
    # add_header Strict-Transport-Security "max-age=15768000; preload;";
    add_header X-Content-Type-Options nosniff;
    add_header X-XSS-Protection "1; mode=block";
    add_header X-Robots-Tag none;
    add_header Content-Security-Policy "frame-ancestors 'self'";
    add_header X-Frame-Options DENY;
    add_header Referrer-Policy same-origin;

    location / {
        try_files $uri $uri/ /index.php?$query_string;

    location ~ \.php$ {
        fastcgi_split_path_info ^(.+\.php)(/.+)$;
        fastcgi_pass unix:/run/php/php7.2-fpm.sock;
        fastcgi_index index.php;
        include fastcgi_params;
        fastcgi_param PHP_VALUE "upload_max_filesize = 100M \n post_max_size=100M";
        fastcgi_param SCRIPT_FILENAME $document_root$fastcgi_script_name;
        fastcgi_param HTTP_PROXY "";
        fastcgi_intercept_errors off;
        fastcgi_buffer_size 16k;
        fastcgi_buffers 4 16k;
        fastcgi_connect_timeout 300;
        fastcgi_send_timeout 300;
        fastcgi_read_timeout 300;
        include /etc/nginx/fastcgi_params;

    location ~ /\.ht {
        deny all;

Next, link the file we just created to the sites-enabled folder and then restart nginx:

sudo ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/pterodactyl.conf /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/pterodactyl.conf
systemctl restart nginx

Docker Installation

That completes the setup for the webserver. Next up is to install and enable Docker

curl -sSL https://get.docker.com/ | CHANNEL=stable bash
sudo systemctl enable docker

Install and Configure NodeJS

When this completes, we will move on and install NodeJS.

curl -sL https://deb.nodesource.com/setup_10.x | sudo -E bash -
sudo apt install nodejs make gcc g++ -y

Configure the Pterodactyl Daemon

Next up we're going to install the daemon. Start by creating the daemon's folder and data folder. Move into the daemon's folder and download the daemon software with curl. Then install the software with NPM. Be sure to customize the <user>:<dockergroup> section to match your configuration.

sudo mkdir -p /srv/daemon /srv/daemon-data
sudo chown <user>:<dockergroup> /srv/daemon /srv/daemon-data

cd ~

curl -L https://github.com/pterodactyl/daemon/releases/download/v0.6.12/daemon.tar.gz | tar --strip-components=1 -xzv

mv * /srv/daemon

cd /srv/daemon

npm install --only=production

Configuring the Panel

Once you have installed and configured the daemon, the next step is to create a node on your Panel.

When this is completed, a tab named Configuration should appear when you view the node.

Simply copy and paste the code block on the configuration page into a file named core.json located in /srv/daemon/config and save it. You may also use the Auto-Deployment feature rather than manually creating the files.

To start the daemon, use the following command from the daemon's directory </srv/daemon/:

sudo npm start

Now that we've tested, we want to start the daemon when the server boots:

sudo nano /etc/systemd/system/wings.service

Description=Pterodactyl Wings Daemon

ExecStart=/usr/bin/node /srv/daemon/src/index.js


Now we will enable the newly created service.

sudo systemctl enable --now wings


Testing the Panel

We can now visit our newly installed panel.

Below are a few helpful links to assist you with more in-depth information about Pterodactyl Panel.




Join our Private Discord Chat to chat with, as well as find community assistance from other Verified SkySilk Users: https://invite.gg/SkySilk  


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