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

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OpenCart is a popular and widely used open source eCommerce content management system (CMS) based on PHP. It has everything you need to create and manage an online store.

If you’re looking for a functional, high performance eCommerce CMS platform to manage your online store and products profiles, you’ll find OpenCart to be useful. This brief tutorial is going to show students and new users how to install OpenCart on Ubuntu 17.04 | 17.10 with Nginx, MariaDB and PHP support.

This post covers installing the latest version of OpenCart, which at the time of writing was at version 3.0.2.

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

Step 1: Install Nginx

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

sudo apt install nginx

After installing Nginx, the commands below can be used to stop, start and enable Nginx to startup everytime your computer starts up.

sudo systemctl stop nginx.service
sudo systemctl start nginx.service
sudo systemctl enable nginx.service

Step 2: Install MariaDB

OpenCart 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

OpenCart also requires PHP to function. 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-mysql php-cli php-mcrypt php-ldap php-zip php-curl

Step 4: Create OpenCart 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 OpenCart 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 opencart


Create a database user called magentouser with new password

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

Then grant the user full access to the database.

GRANT ALL ON opencart.* TO 'opencartuser'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'user_password_here' WITH GRANT OPTION;

Finally, save your changes and exit.


Step 5: Download OpenCart Latest Release

Next, visit OpenCart site and register for a free account. You must register before you’re allowed to download a copy. The community edition is what you’ll want to download.

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

cd /tmp && wget
sudo mv upload/ /var/www/html/opencart

Run the commands below to configure OpenCart

sudo cp /var/www/html/opencart/config-dist.php /var/www/html/opencart/config.php
sudo cp /var/www/html/opencart/admin/config-dist.php /var/www/html/opencart/admin/config.php

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

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

Step 6: Configure Nginx

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

sudo nano /etc/nginx/sites-available/opencart

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/opencart;
    index  index.php index.html index.htm;

    location / {
    try_files $uri $uri/ =404;        

    location ~ [^/]\.php(/|$) {
    fastcgi_split_path_info  ^(.+\.php)(/.+)$;
    fastcgi_index            index.php;
    fastcgi_pass             unix:/var/run/php/php7.1-fpm.sock; # Ubuntu 17.10
#   fastcgi_pass             unix:/var/run/php/php7.0-fpm.sock; # Ubuntu 17.04
    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 OpenCart and Rewrite Module

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

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

Step 8 : Restart Nginx

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

sudo systemctl restart nginx.service

Then open your browser and browse to the server domain name followed by install. You should see OpenCart setup wizard to complete. Please follow the wizard carefully.
opencart on ubuntu

Then enter the database information as well as the site administrator login credentials.

opencart ubuntu installation

Wait and OpenCart should install successfully. Login and begin using your program.


ubuntu opencart 2

Run the commands below after the installation.

sudo rm -rf /var/www/html/opencart/install/

1 Comment

  1. Hi.

    Thanks for the post. At the end is a typo..
    Took me ages of debugging but eventually found it. In your nginx server block the root directory is already pointing to opencart. In the last statement to start the install the url contains this sub-directory as part of the url. This leads to a error 404.
    Just point to the server/install will be good enough.

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