Install SeeCMS on Ubuntu 18.04 | 16.04 with Apache2

This brief tutorial shows students and new users how to install and configure SeeCMS on Ubuntu 18.04 | 16.04 LTS servers..

SeeCMS is an open source, PHP based content management systems (CMS) that gives you all the tools and resources you need to build great websites without the need for HTML or PHP skills.

With it intuitive and powerful backend, you’ll be able to put together a website with ease.. You also get a powerful search tool, backend analytics, drag n drop media panel and more..

If you are looking for a solution to to build and manage you own websites without the need for any coding skill, then SeeCMS is a great place to start…

This CMS platform is designed for ease of use to allow webmasters to collaborate and automate engaging experiences with users across multiple devices, including mobile…

For more about SeeCMS, please check their Homepage

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

Step 1: Install Apache2 HTTP Server

You will need a web server to run SeeCMS and Apache2 HTTP server is the most popular open source web server available today… So go and get it for SeeCMS…

To install Apache2 server, run the commands below:

sudo apt update
sudo apt install apache2

After installing Apache2 webserver, 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 MariaDB Database Server

SeeCMS also needs a database server to store its content… and MariaDB database server is a great place to start when looking at open source database servers to use with SeeCMS…

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

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

Step 3: Install PHP 7.2 and Related Modules

SeeCMS 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-sqlite3 php7.2-mysql php7.2-gmp php7.2-curl php7.2-intl php7.2-mbstring php7.2-xmlrpc php7.2-gd php7.2-bcmath php7.2-xml php7.2-cli 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: Create SeeCMS Database

Now that you’ve install all the packages that are required, continue below to start configuring the servers. First create a SeeCMS database.

Run the commands below to logon to MariaDB. When prompted for a password, type the root password you created above.

sudo mysql -u root -p

Then create a database called seecms

CREATE DATABASE seecms;

Create a database user called seecmsuser with new password

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

Then grant the user full access to the seecms database.

GRANT ALL ON seecms.* TO 'seecmsuser'@'localhost' WITH GRANT OPTION;

Finally, save your changes and exit.

FLUSH PRIVILEGES;
EXIT;

Step 5: Download SeeCMS Latest Release

After installing the server and packages above,  go and get the latest copy of SeeCMS from its download site..

After downloading, use the commands below to extract the archived content into Apache2 root directory…

cd ~/Downloads
sudo mkdir -p /var/www/seecms
sudo unzip 'SeeCMS v3.46.zip' -d /var/www/seecms

Then run the commands below to set the correct permissions for SeeCMS root directory and give Apache2 control….

sudo chown -R www-data:www-data /var/www/seecms/
sudo chmod -R 755 /var/www/seecms/

Step 6: Configure Apache2

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

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

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

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

Save the file and exit.

Step 7: Enable the SeeCMS and Rewrite Module

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

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

Then open your browser and browse to the server domain name. You should see SeeCMS setup wizard to complete.

http://example.com/

Type in the site information and continue..

SeeCMS Ubuntu Install

Next, type in the database username and password.. and click Install

SeeCMS Setup Ubuntu

After setting up, you should be able to login and begin setting up your site..

SeeCMS Ubuntu Setup

Enjoy~

Congratulation! You have successfully installed SeeCMS on Ubuntu 16.04 | 18.04

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