Install Phabricator Platform on Ubuntu 16.04 | 18.04 with Apache2, MariaDB and PHP 7.2

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Phabricator is an open source version control platform similar to Github and other hosted version control service… It comes with code review, repository hosting, bug tracking, project management, and more. This makes it probably the easiest way of setting up a self-hosted Git service….

If you’re looking for an alternative development platform with set of tools to help build better software quickly, then Phabricator might be a great place to start…

Phabricator has rich features like issues and time tracking, repository branching, file locking and tagging, merging  and many others features that you will find in a typical source control platform.

For more about Phabricator, please check its homepage.

This brief tutorial is going to show students and new users how to easily install Phabricator on Ubuntu 16.04 and 18.04 LTS servers…

Step 1: Install Apache2 HTTP Server

Apache2 HTTP Server is the most popular web server in use. so install it, since Phabricator needs it. To install Apache2 HTTP on Ubuntu server, run the commands below.

sudo apt update
sudo apt install apache2

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

To test whether Apache2 is installed, open your browser and browse to the server hostname or IP address. When you see that, then Apache2 is working as expected.

Apache2 Test Page

Step 2: Install MariaDB Database Server

MariaDB database server is a great place to start when looking at open source database servers to use with Phabricator. To install MariaDB run the commands below.

sudo apt-get install mariadb-server mariadb-client

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

Run these on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

sudo systemctl stop mysql.service
sudo systemctl start mysql.service
sudo systemctl enable mysql.service

Run these on Ubuntu 17.10 and 18.04 LTS

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 by creating a root password and disallowing remote root access.

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

To test if MariaDB is installed, type the commands below to logon to MariaDB server

sudo mysql -u root -p

Then type the password you created above to sign on. if successful, you should see MariaDB welcome message

mariadb welcome

Step 3: Install PHP 7.2 and Related Modules

PHP 7.2 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 7.2

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

Then update and upgrade to PHP 7.2

sudo apt update

Next, run the commands below to install PHP 7.2 and related modules.

sudo apt install php7.2 libapache2-mod-php7.2 php7.2-common php7.2-curl php7.2-mbstring php7.2-xmlrpc php7.2-mysql php7.2-gd php7.2-xml php7.2-json php7.2-cli

After installing PHP 7.2, run the commands below to open PHP default config file for Apache2.

sudo nano /etc/php/7.2/apache2/php.ini

Then make the changes on the following lines below in the file and save. The value below is great settings to apply in your environments.

file_uploads = On
allow_url_fopen = On
short_open_tag = On
memory_limit = 256M
upload_max_filesize = 100M
max_execution_time = 360
date.timezone = America/Chicago

After making the change above, save the file and close out.

Step 3: Restart Apache2

After installing PHP and related modules, all you have to do is restart Apache2 to reload PHP configurations.

To restart Apache2, run the commands below

sudo systemctl restart apache2.service

To test PHP 7.2 settings with Apache2, create a phpinfo.php file in Apache2 root directory by running the commands below

sudo nano /var/www/html/phpinfo.php

Then type the content below and save the file.

<?php phpinfo( ); ?>

Save the file. then browse to your server hostname followed by /phpinfo.php


You should see PHP default test page.

PHP 7.2 ubuntu nginx

Step 4: Download and Install Phabricator

Run the commands below to get Phabricator and its dependencies. You’ll create a new home folder for Phabricator to run from.

sudo mkdir /var/www/html/repository
cd /var/www/html/repository

sudo apt install git
sudo git clone
sudo git clone
sudo git clone

To configure phabricator MariaDB configurations file, execute the following commands: Change the highlighted lines with settings for your environment.

cd /var/www/html/repository/phabricator
sudo ./bin/config set localhost
sudo ./bin/config set mysql.user root
sudo ./bin/config set mysql.pass type_root_password_here

Next, run the commands below to upgrade. This script will load the database schema
sudo ./bin/storage upgrade --user root --password type_root_password_here

You should be prompted whether to continue. type y for Yes.

Before running storage upgrades, you should take down the Phabricator web
interface and stop any running Phabricator daemons (you can disable this
warning with --force).

    Are you ready to continue? [y/N] y

After that, run the commands below to change the root folder permissions.

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

Step 5: Configure Apache2 Phabricator Site

Finally, configure Apache2 configuration file for Phabricator. This file will control how users access Phabricator content. Run the commands below to create a new configuration file called phabricator.conf

sudo nano /etc/apache2/sites-available/phabricator.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>
     DocumentRoot /var/www/html/repository/phabricator/webroot
           RewriteEngine on
           RewriteRule ^/rsrc/(.*)     -                       [L,QSA]
           RewriteRule ^/favicon.ico   -                       [L,QSA]
           RewriteRule ^(.*)$          /index.php?__path__=$1  [B,L,QSA]

     ErrorLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/error.log
     CustomLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/access.log combined
     <Directory /var/www/html/repository/phabricator/webroot/>
            Require all granted

Save the file and exit.

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

Step 6: Enable the Phabricator Site and Rewrite Module

After configuring the VirtualHost above, enable it by running the commands below, then restart Apache2 server.

sudo a2ensite phabricator.conf
sudo a2enmod rewrite
sudo systemctl restart apache2.service

You won’t be able to logon with MariaDB root account…

When you attempt to logon using MariaDB root account it will fail… That’s because MariaDB and MySQL have switch their authentication method to auth_socket

The auth_socket plugin authenticates users that connect from the localhost through the Unix socket file… which prevents users from connecting with password… So, you won’t be able to connect using the root account…

When you attempt to logon, you see the error “#1698 – Access denied for user ‘root’@’localhost’”

To fix that, run the commands below:

sudo mysql -u root

That should get you into the database server. After that, run the commands below to disable plugin authentication for the root user

use mysql;
update user set plugin='' where User='root';
flush privileges;

Restart and run the commands below to set a new password.

sudo systemctl restart mariadb.service

Next, open your browser and go to the URL. and continue with the setup.

You will be prompted to create an admin account. please do.

Phabricator Ubuntu install


Phabricator ubuntu setup

Congratulations! You have successfully installed and configured Phabricator on Ubuntu 16.04 | 18.04 servers.

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  1. I have problem in sudo ./bin/config set localhost command. Output:

    FATAL ERROR: Unable to load the “Arcanist” library.

    Any solution?_

  2. How would I get on ssl?

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