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

office 4694143 640

Invoice Ninja is an open source web invoicing application that allows users and busineses to manage their invoices, track expenses and payments and many more. This free open source platform is built on the LAMP or LEMP stack and can a great alternative to your current implementation.

Whether you’re a small or medium-size business, you may find this app useful. It’s designed from the ground up for ease of use to allow business owners create and manage their business invoices and expenses.

If you’re looking for a robust, secure and easy to use invoicing and time tracking system that’s 100% free, you may want to give Invoice a try. This brief tutorial is going to show students and new users how to install InvoiceNinja on Ubuntu 16.04 | 18.04 with Apache2, MariaDB and PHP 7.2 support.

To get started with installing InvoiceNinja, follow 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 Invoice Ninja 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.

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 18.04 and 18.10 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-gmp 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


You should see PHP default test page.

PHP 7.2 ubuntu nginx

Step 4: Create Invoice Ninja Database

Now that you’ve installed all the packages that are required for Invoice Ninja 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 invoiceninja

CREATE DATABASE invoiceninja;

Create a database user called invoiceninjauser with new password

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

Then grant the user full access to the database.

GRANT ALL ON invoiceninja.* TO 'invoiceninjauser'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'user_password_here' WITH GRANT OPTION;

Finally, save your changes and exit.


Step 5: Download InvoiceNinja Latest Release

To get Invoice Ninja latest release you may want to use Github repository. Install Composer, Curl and other dependencies to get started.

sudo apt install curl git
curl -sS | sudo php -- --install-dir=/usr/local/bin --filename=composer

After installing curl and Composer above, change into the Apache2 root directory and downaload Invoice Ninja packages from Github.

cd /var/www/html
sudo git clone
cd /var/www/html/invoiceninja
sudo composer install

Then run the commands below to set the correct permissions for InvoiceNinja to function.

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

Step 6: Configure Apache2

Finally, configure Apahce2 site configuration file for InvoiceNinja. This file will control how users access InvoiceNinja content. Run the commands below to create a new configuration file called invoiceninja.conf

sudo nano /etc/apache2/sites-available/invoiceninja.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/invoiceninja/public

     <Directory /var/www/html/invoiceninja/public>
        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 InvoiceNinja and Rewrite Module

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

sudo a2ensite invoiceninja.conf
sudo a2enmod rewrite

Step 8 : Restart Apache2

To load all the settings above, restart Apache2 by running the commands below.

sudo systemctl restart apache2.service

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

Then follow the on-screen instructions. you will be asked to input your database configuration, administrative details and other configuration settings. When complete you may sign-in and start using InvoiceNinja. Return to anytime thereafter to sign-in.

Invoice Ninja Ubuntu Install


invoiceninja ubuntu setup

Congratulation! You have successfully installed InvoiceNinja on Ubuntu 16.04 | 18.04 and may work on upcoming 18.10.

You may also like the post below:


  1. Good mornig.
    About the tutorial:
    I followed this tutorial, all went fine until the very last part.
    When I browse to, doesn’t appears the setup wizard, instead appears a wierd page saying: EXAMPLE DOMAIN This domain is established to be used for illustrative examples…
    I really need give Invoiceninja a try, please help.

  2. Sorry, the next day I repeated the process and it works!, obviously, something I did wrong the first time.
    The software is very easy and intuitive to use. Excellent!

  3. Awesome work guys. Got it running on my EC2 with no sweat.

  4. Hi,

    I have followed this tutorial and was successfully able to use Invoice Ninja on a subdomain. I have one question though. Is it possible to use an SSL certificate with this setup? I already have a wildcard SSL certificate. I just need to know how to configure the server so that Apache can use it, HTTP gets redirected to HTTPS, etc.

  5. Might want to add these to the instructions:

    sudo a2dissite 000-default.conf
    sudo rm /var/www/html/index.html
    sudo rm /var/www/html/phpinfo.php

    1. Thanks! It helps me.

  6. I have setup according the instruction when i am hit the url at server directory is open of invoicenija . No setup here

  7. Fails at composer install step, as described here.
    1) “Do not run Composer as root/super user!”

    2) “Warning: The lock file is not up to date with the latest changes in composer.json. You may be getting outdated dependencies. It is recommended that you run `composer update`”

    I don’t –want– to know how to ‘update composer,’ I just want to install invoiceninja. And there are several dependencies that each need to be resolved.

    The majority of this document is very helpful. Shame that the update process for the composer tool made this a hot mess. Oh, might also be worth changing out the ‘mysql’ notes with mariadb, except in the database type section.

    1. Lachlan Fielding

      sudo composer self-update –1
      then carry on with sudo composer install
      chances are youre on composer 2

      1. Does not work “[InvalidArgumentException]
        Version “–1” could not be found.

        The “–1/composer.phar.sig” file could not be downloaded (HTTP/2 404 )”
        But sudo sudo composer self-update 1.10.19

  8. I tried to install invoice ninja using 2 versions and none worked. I mean it does not look easy for me. I am not really trying to learn that much, trying to get the thing running for office work. I can show you why its difficult if you want to learn how to rewrite the instructions. Unless its my machine is broke,. I have a telephone number to set up an appointment to iron out the difficulties

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.