Install InvoiceNinja on Ubuntu 17.04 / 17.10 with Nginx, MariaDB and PHP Support

InvoiceNinja is a popular open source application for invoicing and time tracking management system based on PHP. It is 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’ll find InvoiceNinja to be useful. This brief tutorial is going to show students and new users how to install InvoiceNinja on Ubuntu 17.04 / 17.10 with Nginx, MariaDB and PHP support.

This post covers installing the latest version of InvoiceNinja, which at the time of writing was  v4.0.1

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

Step 1: Install Nginx Web Server

InvoiceNinja requires a webserver to function and the most popular webserver in use today is Nginx. So, go and install Nginx on Ubuntu by running the commands below:

sudo apt install nginx

Next, run the commands below 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

Step 2: Install MariaDB Database Server

InvoiceNinja also requires a database server to function.. and MariaDB database server is a great place to start. To install it run the commands below.

sudo apt-get install mariadb-server mariadb-client

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

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.

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

sudo systemctl restart mariadb.service

Step 3: Install PHP-FPM and Related Modules

InvoiceNinja is based on PHP.. so you’ll need to install it. To install PHP and related modules run the commands below

sudo apt install php-fpm php-common php-mbstring php-xmlrpc php-soap php-gd php-xml php-intl php-tidy php-mysql php-cli php-mcrypt php-ldap php-zip php-curl php-sqlite3

After install PHP, run the commands below to open PHP-FPM default file.

sudo nano /etc/php/7.1/fpm/php.ini                 # Ubuntu 17.10
sudo nano /etc/php/7.0/fpm/php.ini                 # Ubuntu 17.04

Then make the change the following lines below in the file and save.

file_uploads = On
allow_url_fopen = On
memory_limit = 256M
upload_max_file_size = 64M
max_execution_time = 360
date.timezone = America/Chicago

Step 4: Create InvoiceNinja Database

Now that you’ve install all the packages that are required, continue below to start configuring the servers. First go and create a blank InvoiceNinja database.

Run the commands below to logon to the database server. When prompted for a password, type the root password you created above.

sudo mysql -u root -p

Then create a database called invninjadb


Create a database user called invninjauser with new password

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

Then grant invninjauser full access to the database.

GRANT ALL ON invninjadb.* TO 'invninjauser'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'user_password_here' WITH GRANT OPTION;

Finally, save your changes and exit.


Step 5: Download InvoiceNinja Latest Release

Next, visit InvoiceNinja site and download the latest version.

After downloading, run the commands below to create a root directory for InvoiceNinja and extract the downloaded file into Nginx root directory.

cd /tmp && wget
sudo mv ninja /var/www/html/invoiceninja

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 Nginx

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/nginx/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.

server {
    listen 80;
    listen [::]:80;
    root /var/www/html/invoiceninja/public;
    index  index.php index.html index.htm;

     client_max_body_size 100M;

    location / {
        try_files $uri $uri/ /index.php?$query_string;       

    location ~ \.php$ {
    try_files $uri =404;
    fastcgi_split_path_info  ^(.+\.php)(/.+)$;
    fastcgi_index            index.php;
 #  fastcgi_pass             unix:/var/run/php/php7.0-fpm.sock;        # for Ubuntu 17.04
    fastcgi_pass             unix:/var/run/php/php7.1-fpm.sock;        # for Ubuntu 17.10
    include                  fastcgi_params;
    fastcgi_param   PATH_INFO       $fastcgi_path_info;
    fastcgi_param   SCRIPT_FILENAME $document_root$fastcgi_script_name;

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 ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/invoiceninja /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/

Step 8 : Restart Nginx

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

sudo systemctl restart nginx.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.

invoiceninja ubuntu setup


invoiceninja ubuntu setup

Congratulation! You have successfully installed InvoiceNinja on Ubuntu 17.04 / 17.10

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