Install Dotclear CMS on Ubuntu 16.04 | 18.04 with Apache2, MariaDB and PHP 7.2

Dotclear CMS is an open source, user-friendly content management platform (CMS) that allows anyone to publish on the web, regardless of their technical skills…

If you looking for a CMS platform that is easy to install, simple to maintain and flexible, then Dotclear is a good place to start… With Dotclear, you get a platform with feature-rich editor, user-friendly administration, flexible and customizable themes and template system, built-in support for features such as antispam, XML/RPC and more …

This CMS platform is fast and lightweight, gives webmasters modular and extensible features to collaborate and automate engaging experiences with users across multiple devices, including mobile…

For more about Dotclear, please check their Homepage

This brief tutorial is going to show students and new users how to install Dotclear on Ubuntu 16.04 / 18.10 and 18.04 LTS…

To get started with installing Dotclear, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Install Apache2 HTTP Server

Dotclear requires a web server and Apache2 HTTP server is the most popular open source web server available today… To install Apache2 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

Now that Apache2 is installed…. to test whether the web server is working, open your browser and browse to the URL below…

Apache2 Test Page

If you see the page above, then Apache2 is successfully installed…

Step 2: Install MariaDB Database Server

Dotclear also requires a database server to store its content… If you’re looking for a truly open source database server, then MariaDB is a great place to start… 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 18.10 and 18.04 LTS

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

Next, run the commands below to secure the database server with a root password if you were not prompted to do so during the installation…

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

Now that MariaDB is installed, to test whether the database server was successfully installed, run the commands below…

sudo mysql -u root -p

type the root password when prompted…

mariadb welcome

If you see a similar screen as shown above, then the server was successfully installed…

Step 3: Install PHP 7.2 and Related Modules

Dotclear is a PHP based CMS and PHP is required… However, PHP 7.2 may not be available in Ubuntu default repositories… To run PHP 7.2 on Ubuntu 16.04 and previous, you may need to run the commands below:

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-mysql php7.2-gmp php7.2-curl php7.2-intl php7.2-mbstring php7.2-xmlrpc 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 configuration file for Apache2…

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

The lines below is a good settings for most PHP based CMS… Update the configuration file with these and save….

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

Everytime you make changes to PHP configuration file, you should also restart Apache2 web server… To do so, run the commands below:

sudo systemctl restart apache2.service

Now that PHP is installed, to test whether it’s functioning, create a test file called phpinfo.php in Apache2 default root directory…. ( /var/www/html/)

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

Then type the content below and save the file.

<?php phpinfo( ); ?>

Next, open your browser and browse to the server’s hostname or IP address followed by phpinfo.php


You should see PHP default test page…

PHP Test Page

Step 4: Create Dotclear CMS Database

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

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

sudo mysql -u root -p

Then create a database called dotclear


Create a database user called dotclearuser with a new password

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

Then grant the user full access to the database.

GRANT ALL ON dotclear.* TO 'dotclearuser'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'user_password_here' WITH GRANT OPTION;

Finally, save your changes and exit.


Step 5: Download Dotclear Latest Release

To get Dotclear latest release you may want to go and download from its download page… Or use the commands below to use wget and get it downloaded…

Once downloaded extract the downloaded content into the newly created Dotclear directory….

cd /tmp
tar xvf latest.tar.gz
sudo mv dotclear /var/www/html/dotclear

Next, run the commands below to set the correct permissions for Dotclear root directory and give Apache2 control….

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

Step 6: Configure Apache2

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

sudo nano /etc/apache2/sites-available/dotclear.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>
     DocumentRoot /var/www/html/dotclear

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

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

Save the file and exit.

Step 7: Enable the Dotclear and Rewrite Module

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

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

Then open your browser and browse to the server domain name. You should see Dotclear setup wizard to complete. Please follow the wizard carefully.

Then follow the on-screen instruction to complete the setup… On the first screen, type in the database name, database user and password… and click Continue..

Dotclear ubuntu install

On the next screen, create an admin account to manage the site… after that, click Save to complete the setup..

Dotclear ubuntu install

When the installation is complete, logon to the backend with the admin account and start customizing your website… Save your changes and enjoy!

Dotclear ubuntu installCongratulation! You have successfully installed Dotclear CMS on Ubuntu 16.04 | 18.04….

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