Install MODX CMS on Ubuntu 17.04 | 17.10 with Apache2, MariaDB and PHP Support

MODX is an open source lightweight, secure and fast content management system based on PHP. It is designed for ease of use to allow webmasters and owners create powerful and dynamic content websites.

If you’re looking for a simple and straightforward content management platform to manage your websites or blogs and 100% free, you’ll find MODX to be useful. This brief tutorial is going to show students and new users how to install MODX CMS on Ubuntu 17.04 | 17.10 with Apache2, MariaDB and PHP support.

This post covers installing the latest version of MODX, which at the time of writing was  2.6.1

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

Step 1: Install Apache2

MODX requires a webserver to function and the most popular webserver in use today is Apache2. So, go and install Apache2 on Ubuntu by running the commands below:

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

Next, run the commands below 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

MODX 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 and Related Modules

MODX 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 libapache2-mod-php libapache2-mod-php 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 php-sqlite3

After install PHP, run the commands below to open Apache2 PHP default file.

sudo nano /etc/php/7.1/apache2/php.ini                 # Ubuntu 17.10
sudo nano /etc/php/7.0/apache2/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_filesize = 64M
max_execution_time = 240
max_input_vars = 1500

Step 4: Create MODX Database

Now that you’ve install all the packages that are required, continue below to start configuring the servers. First run the commands below to create MODX 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 modx

CREATE DATABASE modx;

Create a database user called modxuser with new password

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

Then grant the user full access to the database.

GRANT ALL ON modx.* TO 'modxuser'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'user_password_here' WITH GRANT OPTION;

Finally, save your changes and exit.

FLUSH PRIVILEGES;
EXIT;

Step 5: Download MODX Latest Release

Next, visit MODX site and download the latest version.

After downloading, run the commands below to extract the downloaded file into Apache2 root directory.

cd /tmp && wget https://modx.com/download/direct?id=modx-2.6.1-pl.zip
unzip direct?id=modx-2.6.1-pl.zip
sudo mv modx-2.6.1-pl /var/www/html/modx

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

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

Step 6: Configure Apache2

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

sudo nano /etc/apache2/sites-available/modx.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/modx
     ServerName example.com
     ServerAlias www.example.com

     <Directory /var/www/html/modx/>
        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.

Step 7: Enable the MODX and Rewrite Module

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

sudo a2ensite modx.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 MODX setup wizard to complete. Please follow the wizard carefully.

http://example.com/setup

Then follow the on-screen instructions until you’ve successfully installed MODX.

modx ubuntu install

Select your language and continue

modx ubuntu wizard

Then choose new install and continue

modx ubuntu setup

Next, enter the database information you created above and continue

ubuntu modx

Then click the link to create or test selection of your database… this will allow you to create the site admin account

ubuntu modx

Finally, install MODX

modx ubuntu install

Enjoy!

install modx ubuntu

Congratulations! You’ve successfully installed MODX CMS on Ubuntu with Apache2, MariaDB and PHP

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