Install Elgg Social Networking Engine on Ubuntu 16.04 | 17.10 | 18.04 with Apache2, MariaDB and PHP 7.2 Support

Elgg is an opensource social networking engine framework that makes it easy for anyone to build and maintain social networking websites for any purpose….  This open source CMS enables you to will help you build robust social networking websites for your school, company or for any group looking to collaborate around the same ideas or issues….

Whether you’re creating a personal or company social networking platform, Elgg CMS can help you build and manage your content on every device with its intuitive and powerful user and admin dashboard…

This brief tutorial is going to show students and new users how to install Elgg CMS on Ubuntu 16.04 / 17.10 and 18.04 LTS.

If you are looking for an open source platform to manage your social communities, Elgg may be able to help you build and manage your communities…

For more on Elgg social platform , please vist its home page

When you’re ready to get Elgg platform working on Ubuntu, please 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 Elgg CMS 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 may not be available in 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-sqlite3 php7.2-curl php7.2-intl php7.2-mbstring php7.2-xmlrpc 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
short_open_tag = 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 Elgg CMS 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 elgg

CREATE DATABASE elgg;

Create a database user called elgguser with new password

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

Then grant the user full access to the database.

GRANT ALL ON elgg.* TO 'elgguser'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'user_password_here' WITH GRANT OPTION;

Finally, save your changes and exit.

FLUSH PRIVILEGES;
EXIT;

Step 5: Download and Install Elgg CMS

Run the commands below to download Elgg CMS latest content… then unzip the download file and move the content to Apache2 default root directory…

cd /tmp && wget https://elgg.org/download/elgg-2.3.7.zip
unzip elgg-2.3.7.zip
sudo mv elgg-2.3.7 /var/www/html/elgg

Next, create Elgg data directory to store data content…

sudo mkdir -p /var/www/html/elgg/data

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

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

Step 6: Configure Apache2 Elgg CMS Site

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

sudo nano /etc/apache2/sites-available/elgg.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/elgg
     ServerName example.com

     <Directory /var/www/html/elgg/>
          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 Elgg CMS Site and Rewrite Module

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

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

Next, open your brwoser and go to the URL.. and continue with the installation….

http://example.com

You should see Elgg installatioin wizard page… click Next to continue..

Elgg Ubuntu install

Validate that PHP requirements are met, then enter the database connection ingo you created above and continue….

Elgg Ubuntu install

Next, type in the site info and specify the database directory you created above and continue…

Elgg Ubuntu setup

Next, create the admin password and complete the wizard….

After that, Elggshould be installed and ready to use..

Elgg Ubuntu install

To logon to the backend, type the URL below:

http://example.com/admin

Enjoy!

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