Install Pico CMS on Ubuntu 16.04 | 18.04 | 18.10 with Apache2 and PHP 7.2

Pico is a free open source, flat-file CMS (Content Management System) that allows you build fully functional websites or blogs with no administration backend or database to deal with…. Just upload the web content files to your server and enjoy!

With Pico, you simply create .md files in the content folder and those files become your pages….  It offers features that may not be available to other PHP based CMS, like WordPress Joomla or Drupal…

For one, it doesn’t need a database server, call it database-less… It comes all features that you need but is smaller than WordPress, like SEO friendly design, flexible CSS framework and more…

For more about Pico, please check it homepage

This brief tutorial shows students and new users how to install Pico on Ubuntu 16.04 and 18.04 LTS  / 18.10 with Apache2 and PHP 7.2 support….

Step 1: Install Apache2 HTTP Server

Pico CMS requires a web server and Apache2 HTTP server is the most popular open source web server available today… To install Apache2 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

Now that Apache2 is installed…. to test whether the web server is working, open your browser and browse to the URL below…

http://localhost

Apache2 Test Page

If you see the page above, then Apache2 is successfully installed…

Step 2: Install PHP 7.2 and Related Modules

Pico CMS is a PHP based CMS and PHP is required… However, PHP 7.2 may not be available in Ubuntu default repositories… To run PHP 7.2 on Ubuntu 16.04 and previous, you may need to run the commands below:

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-mbstring php7.2-xmlrpc php7.2-sqlite3 php7.2-soap php7.2-gd php7.2-xml php7.2-cli php7.2-curl php7.2-zip

After installing PHP 7.2, run the commands below to open PHP default configuration file for Apache2…

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

The lines below is a good settings for most PHP based CMS… Update the configuration file with these and save….

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

Everytime you make changes to PHP configuration file, you should also restart Apache2 web server… To do so, run the commands below:

sudo systemctl restart apache2.service

Now that PHP is installed, to test whether it’s functioning, create a test file called phpinfo.php in Apache2 default root directory…. ( /var/www/html/)

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

Then type the content below and save the file.

<?php phpinfo( ); ?>

Next, open your browser and browse to the server’s hostname or IP address followed by phpinfo.php

http://localhost/phpinfo.php

You should see PHP default test page…

PHP Test Page

Step 4: Download Pico Latest Release

To get Pico latest release you may want to use Github repository… Install Composer, Curl and other dependencies to get started…

sudo apt install curl git
curl -sS https://getcomposer.org/installer | sudo php -- --install-dir=/usr/local/bin --filename=composer

After installing curl and Composer above, change into the Apache2 root directory and download Pico packages from Github…

cd /var/www/html/
sudo composer create-project picocms/pico-composer pico

Then run the commands below to set the correct permissions for Pico to adjust the directory permissions…

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

Step 5: Configure Apache2 Pico Site

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

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

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

     ErrorLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/error.log
     CustomLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/access.log combined
    
     <Directory /var/www/html/pico/>
            RewriteEngine on
            RewriteBase /
            RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
            RewriteRule ^(.*) index.php [PT,L]
    </Directory>
</VirtualHost>

Save the file and exit.

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

Step 6: Enable Pico Site and Rewrite Module

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

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

Next, open your browser and browse to the server hostname or IP address and you should see Pico page…

http://example.com/

PICO CMS Ubuntu install

Pico began as a databaseless flat file content management system…. It’s structure allowed you to have just the amount of functionality you needed in a flat file CMS solution, adding extensions (blade packs) for further functionality, whilst allowing setup on simple servers with no database….

You may also like the post below:

Install Herbie CMS on Ubuntu 16.04 / 18.04 / 18.10 with Apache2 and PHP 7.2

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.