Install Backdrop CMS on Ubuntu 16.04 / 17.10 / 18.04 with Apache2, MariaDB, PHP 7.2 and Let’s Encrypt SSL/TLS Certificates

Backdrop CMS is a free open source content management system for small to mid-size businesses and non-profit organizations looking to publish their content easily and quickly with a customize-able platform…

Besides building great websites and blogs, Backdrop comes with integrated security for granular access control and speed… It’s similar to Drupal, but includes numerous usability improvements and new features that are not available to Drupal users….

This brief tutorial shows students and new users how to install Backdrop CMS on Ubuntu 16.04 / 17.10 and 18.04 LTS with Apache2, PHP 7.2 support and Let’s Encrypt free SSL/TLS certificates enabled… {LAMP + Let’s Encrypt}

When you’re ready to get Backdrop working, continue with the steps below:

Step 1: Install Apache2 HTTP Server on Ubuntu

Apache2 HTTP Server is the most popular web server in use… so install it, since Backdrop needs it..

To install Apache2 HTTP on Ubuntu server, run the commands below…

sudo apt update
sudo apt install apache2

After installing Apache2, the commands below can be used to stop, start and enable Apache2 service to always start up with the server boots.

sudo systemctl stop apache2.service
sudo systemctl start apache2.service
sudo systemctl enable apache2.service

To test Apache2 setup, open your browser and browse to the server hostname or IP address and you should see Apache2 default test page as shown below.. When you see that, then Apache2 is working as expected..

http://localhost

apache2 ubuntu install

Step 2: Install MariaDB Database Server

MariaDB database server is a great place to start when looking at open source database servers to use with Magento… To install MariaDB run the commands below…

sudo apt-get install mariadb-server mariadb-client

After installing MariaDB, the commands below can be used to stop, start and enable MariaDB service to always start up when the server boots..

Run these on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

sudo systemctl stop mysql.service
sudo systemctl start mysql.service
sudo systemctl enable mysql.service

Run these on Ubuntu 17.10 and 18.04 LTS

sudo systemctl stop mariadb.service
sudo systemctl start mariadb.service
sudo systemctl enable mariadb.service

After that, run the commands below to secure MariaDB server by creating a root password and disallowing remote root access.

sudo mysql_secure_installation

When prompted, answer the questions below by following the guide.

  • Enter current password for root (enter for none): Just press the Enter
  • Set root password? [Y/n]: Y
  • New password: Enter password
  • Re-enter new password: Repeat password
  • Remove anonymous users? [Y/n]: Y
  • Disallow root login remotely? [Y/n]: Y
  • Remove test database and access to it? [Y/n]:  Y
  • Reload privilege tables now? [Y/n]:  Y

Restart MariaDB server

To test if MariaDB is installed, type the commands below to logon to MariaDB server

sudo mysql -u root -p

Then type the password you created above to sign on… if successful, you should see MariaDB welcome message

mariadb welcome

Step 3: Install PHP 7.2 and Related Modules

PHP 7.2 isn’t available on Ubuntu default repositories… in order to install it, you will have to get it from third-party repositories.

Run the commands below to add the below third party repository to upgrade to PHP 7.2

sudo apt-get install software-properties-common
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ondrej/php

Then update and upgrade to PHP 7.2

sudo apt update

Next, run the commands below to install PHP 7.2 and related modules.

sudo apt install php7.2 libapache2-mod-php7.2 php7.2-common php7.2-mbstring php7.2-xmlrpc php7.2-soap php7.2-mysql php7.2-gd php7.2-xml php7.2-cli php7.2-zip

After installing PHP 7.2, run the commands below to open PHP default config file for Apache2…

sudo nano /etc/php/7.2/apache2/php.ini

Then make the changes on the following lines below in the file and save. The value below are great settings to apply in your environments.

file_uploads = On
allow_url_fopen = On
memory_limit = 256M
upload_max_filesize = 100M
max_execution_time = 360
date.timezone = America/Chicago

After making the change above, save the file and close out.

Step 3: Restart Apache2

After installing PHP and related modules, all you have to do is restart Apache2 to reload PHP configurations…

To restart Apache2, run the commands below

sudo systemctl restart apache2.service

To test PHP 7.2 settings with Apache2, create a phpinfo.php file in Apache2 root directory by running the commands below

sudo nano /var/www/html/phpinfo.php

Then type the content below and save the file.

<?php phpinfo( ); ?>

Save the file.. then browse to your server hostname followed by /phpinfo.php

http://localhost/phpinfo.php

You should see PHP default test page…

PHP 7.2 ubuntu nginx

Step 4: Create Magento Database

Now that you’ve installed all the packages that are required for Magento to function, continue below to start configuring the servers. First run the commands below to create a blank Magento database.

To logon to MariaDB database server, run the commands below.

sudo mysql -u root -p

Then create a database called backdrop

CREATE DATABASE backdrop;

Create a database user called backdropuser with new password

CREATE USER 'backdropuser'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'new_password_here';

Then grant the user full access to the database.

GRANT ALL ON backdrop.* TO 'backdropuser'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'user_password_here' WITH GRANT OPTION;

Finally, save your changes and exit.

FLUSH PRIVILEGES;
EXIT;

Step 5: Download and Install Backdrop

Run the commands below to download Backdrop latest… Then create a root director for Backdrop and unzip the content there…

cd /tmp && wget https://github.com/backdrop/backdrop/releases/download/1.9.2/backdrop.zip
unzip backdrop.zip
sudo mv backdrop /var/www/html/backdrop

Next, run the commands below to change the root folder permissions…

sudo chown -R www-data:www-data /var/www/html/backdrop/
sudo chmod -R 755 /var/www/html/backdrop/

Step 6: Configure Apache2 Backdrop Site

Finally, configure Apache2 configuration file for Backdrop. This file will control how users access Backdrop content. Run the commands below to create a new configuration file called backdrop.conf

sudo nano /etc/apache2/sites-available/backdrop.conf

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.

<VirtualHost *:80>
     ServerAdmin admin@example.com
     DocumentRoot /var/www/html/backdrop/
     ServerName example.com
     ServerAlias www.example.com

     <Directory /var/www/html/backdrop/>
          Options FollowSymlinks
          AllowOverride All
          Require all granted
     </Directory>

     ErrorLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/error.log
     CustomLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/access.log combined

</VirtualHost>

Save the file and exit.

After configuring the VirtualHost above, enable it by running the commands below

Step 7: Enable the Backdrop Site and Rewrite Module

After configuring the VirtualHost above, enable it by running the commands below, then restart Apache2 server…

sudo a2ensite backdrop.conf
sudo a2enmod rewrite
sudo systemctl restart apache2.service

Step 8: Install Let’s Encrypt Client

To get Let’s Encrypt free SSL/TLS certificates on your Ubuntu machine, you should first install its client. The client helps automate the process for you. To install it, run the commands below.

sudo apt-get install python-certbot-apache

If python-certbot-nginx isn’t already installed, you may have to add its PPA repository and install the package..

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:certbot/certbot
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install python-certbot-apache

Step 9: Obtaining your free SSL/TLS Certificates

After installing Let’s Encrypt Certbot client module for Apache2, run the commands below to obtain your free Let’s Encrypt SSL/TLS certificate the domain specified… make sure to replace example.com with your own domain..

sudo certbot --apache -m admin@example.com -d example.com -d www.example.com

After running the above commands, you should get prompted to accept the licensing terms. If everything is checked, the client should automatically install the free SSL/TLS certificate and configure the Apache2 site to use the certs.

Please read the Terms of Service at
https://letsencrypt.org/documents/LE-SA-v1.2-November-15-2017.pdf. You must
agree in order to register with the ACME server at
https://acme-v01.api.letsencrypt.org/directory
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
(A)gree/(C)ancel: A

Choose Yes ( Y ) to share your email address

Would you be willing to share your email address with the Electronic Frontier
Foundation, a founding partner of the Let's Encrypt project and the non-profit
organization that develops Certbot? We'd like to send you email about EFF and
our work to encrypt the web, protect its users and defend digital rights.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
(Y)es/(N)o: Y

This is how easy is it to obtain your free SSL/TLS certificate for your Apache2 powered website.

Please choose whether or not to redirect HTTP traffic to HTTPS, removing HTTP access.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1: No redirect - Make no further changes to the webserver configuration.
2: Redirect - Make all requests redirect to secure HTTPS access. Choose this for
new sites, or if you're confident your site works on HTTPS. You can undo this
change by editing your web server's configuration.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Select the appropriate number [1-2] then [enter] (press 'c' to cancel): 2

Pick option 2 to redirect all traffic over HTTPS. This is important!

After that, the SSL client should install the cert and configure your website to redirect all traffic over HTTPS.

Congratulations! You have successfully enabled https://example.com and
https://www.example.com

You should test your configuration at:
https://www.ssllabs.com/ssltest/analyze.html?d=example.com
https://www.ssllabs.com/ssltest/analyze.html?d=www.example.com
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

IMPORTANT NOTES:
 - Congratulations! Your certificate and chain have been saved at:
   /etc/letsencrypt/live/example.com/fullchain.pem
   Your key file has been saved at:
   /etc/letsencrypt/live/example.com/privkey.pem
   Your cert will expire on 2018-02-24. To obtain a new or tweaked
   version of this certificate in the future, simply run certbot again
   with the "certonly" option. To non-interactively renew *all* of
   your certificates, run "certbot renew"
 - If you like Certbot, please consider supporting our work by:

   Donating to ISRG / Let's Encrypt:   https://letsencrypt.org/donate
   Donating to EFF:                    https://eff.org/donate-le

The highlighted code block should be added to your Apache2 Backdrop configuration file automatically by Let’s Encrypt certbot. Your Backdrop site is ready to be used over HTTPS.

<VirtualHost *:80>
     ServerAdmin admin@example.com
     DocumentRoot /var/www/html/backdrop/
     ServerName example.com
     ServerAlias www.example.com

     <Directory /var/www/html/backdrop/>
          Options FollowSymlinks
          AllowOverride All
          Require all granted
     </Directory>

     ErrorLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/error.log
     CustomLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/access.log combined

RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{SERVER_NAME} =example.com [OR]
RewriteCond %{SERVER_NAME} =www.example.com
RewriteRule ^ https://%{SERVER_NAME}%{REQUEST_URI} [END,NE,R=permanent]
</VirtualHost>

A new configuration file for the domain should also be created named /etc/apache2/sites-available/example.com-le-ssl.conf. This is Apache2 SSL module configuration file and should contain the certificate definitions defined in it.

<IfModule mod_ssl.c>
<VirtualHost *:443>
   ServerAdmin admin@example.com
     DocumentRoot /var/www/html/backdrop/
     ServerName example.com
     ServerAlias www.example.com

     <Directory /var/www/html/backdrop/>
          Options FollowSymlinks
          AllowOverride All
          Require all granted
     </Directory>

     ErrorLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/error.log
     CustomLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/access.log combined

SSLCertificateFile /etc/letsencrypt/live/example.com/fullchain.pem
SSLCertificateKeyFile /etc/letsencrypt/live/example.com/privkey.pem
Include /etc/letsencrypt/options-ssl-apache.conf
</VirtualHost>
</IfModule>

You’ll have to manually renew the certificates. You’ll get email reminder to reset when the certificates are about to expire. To test the renewal process run the commands below.

sudo certbot renew --dry-run

To setup a process to automatically renew the certificates, add a cron job to execute the renewal process.

sudo crontab -e

Then add the line below and save.

0 1 * * * /usr/bin/certbot renew & > /dev/null

The cron job will attempt to renew 30 days before expiring

After that, open your browser and browse to your domain name to launch Backdrop configuration wizard.

You should see Backdrop setup wizard to complete. Please follow the wizard carefully.

https://example.com

You should see Backdrop setup wizard…

Choose language

If you want to install using a language other than English, click the Learn how to install Backdrop in other languages link.

Backdrop ubuntu

Verify requirements

If your installation directory is not configured properly, you’ll be informed on this page. Correct each problem, and either refresh the browser window or click ‘Proceed with the installation’ to see if there are any other errors.

Set up database

Enter the database name, the username, and password that you noted in Step 2. Note that this is not the username and password for your Backdrop site; those will be created in the next step.

Backdrop ubuntu setup

Set site info & main account

Provide basic settings like your site name and logo. Also supply information for the first user account (this account will be assigned full administration permissions) After the installation is complete, you will be redirected to your site’s home page.

Backdrop ubuntu setup

Enjoy!

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Installing RabbitMQ with Erlang/OTP Support on Ubuntu 16.04 / 17.10 and 18.04

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