How to Install Postleaf CMS on Ubuntu 18.04 | 16.04 with Nginx

This brief tutorial shows students and new users how to install Postleaf CMS on Ubuntu with Nginx proxy.

Postleaf is a lightweight, simple, open source, content management system (CMS) based on Node.Js for the modern publisher who wants to leverage modern technologies.

With its minimal admin panel, you’ll be creating content in no time.. Postleaf also comes with a beautifully designed backend, supports inline editing, semantic markups, provides simple backup and more.

When looking for a flat-file open source CMS to power your content and websites, you might want to consider Postleaf. It has features and speed that other platforms can’t provide or match.

For more about Postleaf, please check it homepage

To get started with installing Postleaf, please continue below:

Step 1: Install Dependencies

To get your system ready for Postleaf, you will have to install some dependencies.. Run the commands below to do that.

sudo apt update
sudo apt-get install git curl sqlite3 graphicsmagick

After installing all required dependencies, continue below to installing Postleaf.

Step 2: Install Node.Js

Postleaf runs on Node, specifically Node.Js 7 or 8. To install Node.js on Ubuntu from its LTS repository, run the commands below to install:

curl -sL | sudo -E bash -
sudo apt install nodejs

After that, Node.js should be installed and ready to use.

Step 3: Download Postleaf Content

To get Postleaf, you’ll want to clone it from Github to the web server root directory….To do that run the commands below

cd /var/www/
sudo git clone
sudo git clone postleaf/themes/empower-theme

After downloading Postleaf content, create a new .env file. This file contains important settings that Postleaf needs to run. We’ll use the .env.example file to create our new environment file.

cd /var/www/postleaf
sudo cp .env.example .env

Next, open the .env file we just created by running the commands below:
sudo nano .env

The file should look similar to the one below: Edit the highlighted lines and save.

# App

# Slugs

# Security


If you have a domain, change the value of APP_URL to reference your domain name..

Next, change AUTH_SECRET to a random string.. You can use a password generator if you like. Just make sure it’s reasonably long and random.

You can also configure your mail server settings if you have one..

After that, save the file and exit.

Step 4: Install and Configure Nginx Proxy

To use a web proxy you will need a web server and Nginx HTTP server is probably the second most popular open source web server available today…

To install Nginx server, run the commands below:

sudo apt update
sudo apt install nginx

After installing Nginx, the commands below can be used to stop, start and enable Nginx service to always start up with the server boots…

sudo systemctl stop nginx.service
sudo systemctl start nginx.service
sudo systemctl enable nginx.service

Now that Nginx is installed…. to test whether the web server is working, open your browser and browse to the URL below…

nginx default home page test

If you see the page above, then Nginx is successfully installed…

Finally, configure Nginx site configuration file for Postleaf. This file will control how users access Postleaf content. Run the commands below to create a new configuration file called postleaf

sudo nano /etc/nginx/sites-available/postleaf

Then copy and paste the content below into the file and save it. Replace the highlighted line with your own domain name and directory root location.

server {
  listen 80;

  # Max upload size for proxy
  client_max_body_size 100m;

  location / {
    proxy_set_header X-Real-IP $remote_addr;
    proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
    proxy_set_header X-NginX-Proxy true;
    proxy_pass http://localhost:3000/;
    proxy_set_header Host $http_host;
    proxy_cache_bypass $http_upgrade;
    proxy_redirect off;

Save the file and exit.

Enable the site by running the commands below:

sudo ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/postleaf /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/
sudo systemctl restart nginx.service

After running the commands above, run these ones to complete the setup

cd /var/www/postleaf
sudo npm install --only=prod
sudo npm install -g pm2
pm2 start app.js
sudo pm2 startup systemd

After that, wait for server to get started… It will automatically install all dependencies and will start running..

Next, run the commands below to change Postleaf directory permission to enable Nginx to operate correctly.

sudo chown -R www-data:www-data /var/www/postleaf/
sudo chmod -R 755 /var/www/postleaf/

At this point, Postleaf should be installed and ready…

Open your browser and browse to the host domain name and begin building your site!

You should see Postleaf home page..

Postleaf Ubuntu Install

Congratulations! You have successfully installed Postleaf CMS on Ubuntu 16.04 | 18.04

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