Install SuiteCRM on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS with Apache2, MariaDB, PHP 7.1 and Let’s Encrypt free SSL/TLS

When deciding on which open source CRM platform to use to run your business, don’t ignore SuiteCRM… this is a true open source CRM applications.. unlike other CRM platforms, SuiteCRM is still being developed and maintained.

SuiteCRM is an open source alternative to the popular customer relationship management (CRM) software, SugarCRM. SuiteCRM became popular when SugarCRM decided to stop development of its open source version of their popular application.

Now, SuiteCRM continues to innovate and extend its software.. and if you’re looking for a functional, high performance CRM platform to interact with your customers, you’ll find it in SuiteCRM. This brief tutorial is going to show you how to install SuiteCRM on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS with Apache2, MariaDB and PHP support.

This post covers installing the latest version of SuiteCRM, which at the time of writing was at version 7.9.6.

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

Step 1: Install Apache2

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

sudo apt-get 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

SuiteCRM also requires a database server… 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 mysql.service
sudo systemctl start mysql.service
sudo systemctl enable mysql.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 mysql.service

Step 3: Install PHP and Related Modules

PHP 7.1 isn’t available on 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 7.1

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

Then update and upgrade to PHP 7.1

sudo apt update

Run the commands below to install PHP 7.1 and related modules.

sudo apt install php7.1 libapache2-mod-php7.1 php7.1-common php7.1-mbstring php7.1-xmlrpc php7.1-soap php7.1-gd php7.1-xml php7.1-intl php7.1-mysql php7.1-cli php7.1-mcrypt php7.1-ldap php7.1-zip php7.1-curl

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

sudo nano /etc/php/7.1/apache2/php.ini

Then edit the below lines to look like this and save the file.

file_uploads = On
allow_url_fopen = On
memory_limit = 256M
upload_max_filesize = 100
max_execution_time = 360
date.timezone = America/Chicago
session.save_path = "/var/lib/php/session"

Step 4: Create SuiteCRM 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 SuiteCRM 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 suitecrm

CREATE DATABASE suitecrm;

Create a database user called magentouser with new password

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

Then grant the user full access to the database.

GRANT ALL ON suitecrm.* TO 'suitecrmuser'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'user_password_here' WITH GRANT OPTION;

Finally, save your changes and exit.

FLUSH PRIVILEGES;
EXIT;

Step 5: Download SuiteCRM Latest Release

Next, visit SuiteCRM 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.

sudo apt-get install git
cd /tmp && git clone https://github.com/salesagility/SuiteCRM.git suitecrm
sudo mv suitecrm /var/www/html/suitecrm/

Change or modify the directory permission to fit Apache2 configuration.

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

Step 6: Configure Apache2

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

sudo nano /etc/apache2/sites-available/suitecrm.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@mysuitecrm.com
     DocumentRoot /var/www/html/suitecrm/
     ServerName example.com
     ServerAlias www.example.com

     <Directory /var/www/html/suitecrm/>
        Options Indexes FollowSymLinks MultiViews
        AllowOverride All
        Order allow,deny
        allow from all
     </Directory>

     ErrorLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/error.log
     CustomLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/access.log combined
</VirtualHost>

Save the file and exit.

Step 7: Enable the SuiteCRM and Rewrite Module

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

sudo a2ensite suitecrm.conf
sudo a2enmod rewrite

STEP 9: OBTAIN AND CONFIGURE LET’S ENCRYPT SSL CERTIFICATES

Now that the SuiteCRM configuration is done, continue below to get Let’s Encrypt installed and configured. Let’s Encrypt now provides a Apache2 module to automate this process. To get the client/module installed on Ubuntu, run the commands below

sudo apt-get install python-certbot-apache

After that run the commands below to obtain your free Let’s Encrypt SSL/TLS certificate for your site.

sudo certbot --apache -m admin@example.com -d example.com -d www.example.com

After running the above commands, you should get prompted to accept the licensing terms. If everything is checked, the client should automatically install the free SSL/TLS certificate and configure the Nginx site to use the certs.

Please read the Terms of Service at
https://letsencrypt.org/documents/LE-SA-v1.2-November-15-2017.pdf. You must
agree in order to register with the ACME server at
https://acme-v01.api.letsencrypt.org/directory
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
(A)gree/(C)ancel: A

Choose Yes ( Y ) to share your email address

Would you be willing to share your email address with the Electronic Frontier
Foundation, a founding partner of the Let's Encrypt project and the non-profit
organization that develops Certbot? We'd like to send you email about EFF and
our work to encrypt the web, protect its users and defend digital rights.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
(Y)es/(N)o: Y

This is how easy is it to obtain your free SSL/TLS certificate for your Nginx powered website.

Please choose whether or not to redirect HTTP traffic to HTTPS, removing HTTP access.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1: No redirect - Make no further changes to the webserver configuration.
2: Redirect - Make all requests redirect to secure HTTPS access. Choose this for
new sites, or if you're confident your site works on HTTPS. You can undo this
change by editing your web server's configuration.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Select the appropriate number [1-2] then [enter] (press 'c' to cancel): 2

Pick option 2 to redirect all traffic over HTTPS. This is important!

After that, the SSL client should install the cert and configure your website to redirect all traffic over HTTPS.

Congratulations! You have successfully enabled https://example.com and
https://www.example.com

You should test your configuration at:
https://www.ssllabs.com/ssltest/analyze.html?d=example.com
https://www.ssllabs.com/ssltest/analyze.html?d=www.example.com
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

IMPORTANT NOTES:
 - Congratulations! Your certificate and chain have been saved at:
   /etc/letsencrypt/live/example.com/fullchain.pem
   Your key file has been saved at:
   /etc/letsencrypt/live/example.com/privkey.pem
   Your cert will expire on 2018-02-24. To obtain a new or tweaked
   version of this certificate in the future, simply run certbot again
   with the "certonly" option. To non-interactively renew *all* of
   your certificates, run "certbot renew"
 - If you like Certbot, please consider supporting our work by:

   Donating to ISRG / Let's Encrypt:   https://letsencrypt.org/donate
   Donating to EFF:                    https://eff.org/donate-le

The highlighted code block should be added to your Apache2 SuiteCRM site configuration file automatically by Let’s Encrypt certbot. Your SuiteCRM site is ready to be used over HTTPS.

<VirtualHost *:80>   
  ServerAdmin admin@example.com
     DocumentRoot /var/www/html/suitecrm/
     ServerName example.com
     ServerAlias www.example.com

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

     ErrorLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/error.log
     CustomLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/access.log combined

RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{SERVER_NAME} =example.com [OR]
RewriteCond %{SERVER_NAME} =www.example.com
RewriteRule ^ https://%{SERVER_NAME}%{REQUEST_URI} [END,NE,R=permanent]
</VirtualHost>

A new configuration file for the domain should also be created named /etc/apache2/sites-available/example.com-le-ssl.conf. This is Apache2 SSL module configuration file and should contain the certificate definitions defined in it.

<IfModule mod_ssl.c>
<VirtualHost *:443>
     ServerAdmin admin@example.com
     DocumentRoot /var/www/html/suitecrm/
     ServerName example.com
     ServerAlias www.example.com
     
      <Directory /var/www/html/suitecrm/>
        Options +FollowSymlinks
        AllowOverride All
        Require all granted
     </Directory>
     ErrorLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/error.log
     CustomLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/access.log combined

SSLCertificateFile /etc/letsencrypt/live/example.com/fullchain.pem
SSLCertificateKeyFile /etc/letsencrypt/live/example.com/privkey.pem
Include /etc/letsencrypt/options-ssl-apache.conf
</VirtualHost>
</IfModule>

Step 8 : Restart Apache2

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

sudo systemctl restart apache2.service

After that, open your browser and browse to your domain name to start Joomla configuration wizard. You should see Joomla setup wizard… Please follow the wizard carefully.

https://example.com

suitecrm ubuntu

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

suitecrm database setup

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

Enjoy!

ubuntu suitecrm login

To setup a process to automatically renew the certificates, add a cron job to execute the renewal process.

sudo crontab -e

Then add the line below and save.

0 1 * * * /usr/bin/certbot renew & > /dev/null

The cron job will attempt to renew 30 days before expiring

You may also like the post below:

Install SuiteCRM on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS with Nginx, MariaDB, PHP 7.1 and Let’s Encrypt free SSL/TLS

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