Install Thunder CMS on Ubuntu 16.04 | 18.04 | 18.10 with Apache2, MariaDB and PHP 7.2

Thunder is an open source fork and modified version of Drupal CMS that serves the business and professional publishers market.… It is based on Drupal, enabling its users to benefit from the Drupal community’s continuous development efforts and establishing a culture of collaboration and sharing within the publishing industry…

With Thunder, you get a clean and simple administrative area without the clutter… Webmasters and users who still appreciate Drupal’s classic interface will feel comfortable building online databases, e-commerce and multilingual sites….

If you want an enhanced version of Drupal that works like the original, then Thunder CMS is a good place to start… Thunder is built on an open source core with support for open standards, which might be very useful in helping you run your digital content…

For more about Thunder, please check their Homepage

This brief tutorial is going to show students and new users how to install Thunder CMS on Ubuntu 16.04 / 18.10 and 18.04 LTS…

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

Step 1: Install Apache2 HTTP Server

Thunder 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 MariaDB Database Server

Thunder also requires a database server to store its content… If you’re looking for a truly open source database server, then MariaDB is a great place to start… 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 18.10 and 18.04 LTS

sudo systemctl stop mariadb.service
sudo systemctl start mariadb.service
sudo systemctl enable mariadb.service

Next, run the commands below to secure the database server with a root password if you were not prompted to do so during the installation…

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

Now that MariaDB is installed, to test whether the database server was successfully installed, run the commands below…

sudo mysql -u root -p

type the root password when prompted…

mariadb welcome

If you see a similar screen as shown above, then the server was successfully installed…

Step 3: Install PHP 7.2 and Related Modules

Thunder 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-mysql php7.2-gmp php7.2-curl php7.2-intl php7.2-mbstring php7.2-xmlrpc php7.2-gd 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 Thunder Database

Now that you’ve installed all the packages that are required for Thunder to function, continue below to start configuring the servers. First run the commands below to create a blank Thunder database.

To logon to MariaDB database server, run the commands below.

sudo mysql -u root -p

Then create a database called thunder

CREATE DATABASE thunder;

Create a database user called thunderuser with a new password

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

Then grant the user full access to the database.

GRANT ALL ON thunder.* TO 'thunderuser'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'user_password_here' WITH GRANT OPTION;

Finally, save your changes and exit.

FLUSH PRIVILEGES;
EXIT;

Step 5: Download Thunder Latest Release

To get Thunder 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 Nginx root directory and download Thunder packages from Github…

cd /var/www/html
sudo composer create-project burdamagazinorg/thunder-project thunder
cd /var/www/html/thunder/
sudo composer install

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

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

Step 6: Configure Apache2

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

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

     <Directory /var/www/html/thunder/docroot/>
          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/thunder/docroot/>
            RewriteEngine on
            RewriteBase /
            RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
            RewriteRule ^(.*) index.php [PT,L]
    </Directory>
</VirtualHost>

Save the file and exit.

Step 7: Enable the Thunder and Rewrite Module

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

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

Then open your browser and browse to the server domain name. You should see Thunder setup wizard to complete. Please follow the wizard carefully.

http://example.com/

Then follow the on-screen instructions… select the installation language and continue….

Thunder CMS Ubuntu Install

Next, type in the database information you created above and continue…

Thunder CMS Ubuntu Install

Next, configure your site info and admin account, then continue

Thunder cms ubuntu

After a moment, Thunder should be installed and ready to use… You should be able to logon with the admin account created above..

thunder cms

That’s it!

Congratulation! You have successfully installed Thunder CMS on Ubuntu 16.04 | 18.04 and 18.10….

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One Reply to “Install Thunder CMS on Ubuntu 16.04 | 18.04 | 18.10 with Apache2, MariaDB and PHP 7.2”

  1. Hi friend, how are you? I was following the tutorial of Thunder installation and went until “Then open your browser and browse to the server domain name.” I do not know what is my domain name… Can you better explain it? Thank you…

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