Install Joomla on Ubuntu 17.04 | 17.10 with Nginx, MariaDB and PHP

This post shows students and new users how to install Joomla on Ubuntu 17.04 | 17.10 with Nginx, MariaDB and PHP support. Like many other content management systems, Joomla runs on top of the LAMP stack. LAMP is a collection of opensource software that allows webmasters to create dynamic and powerful websites and applications.

For those who don’t know, Joomla is an opensource content management system (CMS) that helps webmasters and bloggers create dynamic websites. It might be the second most popular CMS installed 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 Nginx

Joomla requires a webserver to function and a great place to start is with Nginx. So, go and install Nginx webserver on Ubuntu by running the commands below:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get 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

Joomla 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

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

sudo systemctl restart mariadb.service

Step 3: Install PHP and Related Modules

Joomla also requires PHP to function. To install PHP and related modules run the commands below

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

Some of the packages above depend on Apache2 webserver.. so installing them might also install Apache2. Run the commands below to disable Apache2, since we’re using Nginx instead.

sudo systemctl disable apache2.service

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 database for Joomla.

The commands below log you on 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 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/
sudo chmod -R 755 /var/www/html/

Step 6: Configure Nginx

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/nginx/sites-available/joomla

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/joomla;
    index  index.php index.html index.htm;

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

    location ~ [^/]\.php(/|$) {
    fastcgi_split_path_info  ^(.+\.php)(/.+)$;
    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 Joomla site

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

sudo ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/joomla /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/

Step 8 : Restart Nginx and PHP-FPM

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

sudo systemctl restart nginx.service
sudo systemctl restart php7.1-fpm.sevice
sudo systemctl restart php7.0-fpm.service

Then browse to the domain name and you should see Joomla site setup wizard.


joomla ubuntu install page

Follow the onscreen instructions until you’re successfully installed Joomla.

joomla ubuntu installation


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