Install Joomla CMS on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS with Apache2, MariaDB and PHP 7.1 Support

I recently installed Ubuntu 18.04 LTS version for testing purposes… for new users and students looking for help installing Joomla CMS on Ubuntu 18.04, the steps below should be a great place to start…

This post shows students and new users how to install Joomla on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS. For those who don’t know, Joomla is an open source content management system (CMS) that helps webmasters and bloggers create dynamic and power websites.

Like many other content management systems, Joomla runs on top of the LAMP stack and might be the second or third most popular CMS in use today, right behind WordPress. So, if WordPress isn’t meeting your needs, you may want to give Joomla a try.

This post should be easy to follow even for new users.

To get started with installing and configuring Joomla on Ubuntu, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Install Apache2

Joomla needs a web server and the most popular webserver in use today is Apache2. So, go and install Apache2 on Ubuntu by running the commands below:

sudo apt update
sudo apt install apache2

After installing Apache2, run the commands below to disable directory listing.

sudo sed -i "s/Options Indexes FollowSymLinks/Options FollowSymLinks/" /etc/apache2/apache2.conf

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

Step 2: Install MariaDB

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

sudo apt 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

After configuring above, restart MariaDB server by running the commands below

sudo systemctl restart mariadb.service

Step 3: Install PHP 7.1 and Related Modules

PHP 7.1 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 7.1

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

Then update and upgrade to PHP 7.1

sudo apt update

Finally, run the commands below to install PHP 7.1 and related modules..

sudo apt install php7.1 php7.1-common php7.1-mbstring php7.1-xmlrpc php7.1-soap php7.1-gd php7.1-xml php7.1-intl php7.1-mysql php7.1-cli php7.1-mcrypt php7.1-zip php7.1-curl

After installing PHP 7.1, run the commands below to open PHP default file.

sudo nano /etc/php/7.1/apache2/php.ini

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_filesize = 100M
max_input_vars = 1500
date.timezone = America/Chicago

Step 4: Create Joomla Database

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

To logon to MariaDB, run the commands below.

sudo mysql -u root -p

Then create a database called joomla


Create a database user called joomlauser with new password

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

Then grant the user full access to the database.

GRANT ALL ON joomla.* TO 'joomlauser'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'user_password_here' WITH GRANT OPTION;

Finally, save your changes and exit.


Step 5: Download Joomla Latest Release

Next, run the commands below to download Joomla latest release.

cd /tmp && wget

Then run the commands below to install unzip package, create Joomla folder in Apache2 root folder and extract the Joomla archived file.

sudo apt-get install unzip
sudo mkdir -p /var/www/html/joomla
sudo unzip Joomla*.zip -d /var/www/html/joomla

Change modify the directory permission.

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

Step 6: Configure Apache2

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

sudo nano /etc/apache2/sites-available/joomla.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 [email protected]
     DocumentRoot /var/www/html/joomla/

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

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


Save the file and exit.

Step 7: Enable the Joomla Site and Redirect Module

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

sudo a2ensite joomla.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 browse to the domain name and you should see Joomla site setup wizard.


joomla ubuntu install page

Follow the on-screen instructions until you’ve successfully configured Joomla.

joomla ubuntu installation


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  1. Great guide.
    At the end of step 8, with you configuration of apache, the url should be “localhost/joomla”, not only the site/localhost, but also the “/joomla”

  2. Wonderful job on this article. Best I’ve come across to get this done right.
    (We’re now at Joomla 3.8.12).

  3. Your instructions for setting up apache2 and php are more clear than the ubuntu lamp/getting started tutorials. Thanks for taking the time to write this up!

  4. Your article was a great help but I am stuck on the final step as I cannot seem to open a browser from the server. Every command I have tried has failed! Any help would be greatly appreciated!!!

  5. On a new install, I had to add php location block with parameters into default as well as ensure root directory was set properly in that file.

  6. Hi,
    Thank you very much, very helpful. One last thing I am stuck on, the joomla http://localhost/joomla/installation/index.php is displaying “Error”. I don’t know where I have gone wrong, if you can kindly help I will be grateful.

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