Setup Chamilo e-Learning Platform on Ubuntu 16.04 / 18.04 with Nginx, MariaDB and PHP 7.2-FPM

When looking for a free e-Learning platform for your students and teachers, Chamilo should probably be evaluated… This platform works great with Apache2 web server… however, for those wantting to run it with Nginx, the steps below should be a great place to start….

Chamilo is a free e-Learning Management System (LMS) platform built on the LAMP / LEMP stack which allows users to create educational community and empower students to publish, work together while improving access to education and knowledge globally…

Some of its features include, course management, user and authentication and enrollment, allowing students to easily post to site, use hashtags, view and edit posts from any device and many more… It also supports WYSIWYG with strong privacy setings to create space for individuals to share personal thoughts with groups or other users…

For more about Chamilo LMS, please check its Homepage

This brief tutorial shows students and new users how to install Chamilo LMP on Ubuntu 16.04 and 18.04 with Nginx, MariaDB and PHP 7.2-FPM support…

When you’re ready to get Chamilo, installed, follow the steps below

Step 1: Install Nginx HTTP Server on Ubuntu

Nginx HTTP Server is the second most popular web server in use… so install it, since Chamilo LMS needs it..

To install Nginx HTTP on Ubuntu server, run the commands below…

sudo apt update
sudo apt install nginx

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

sudo systemctl stop nginx.service
sudo systemctl start nginx.service
sudo systemctl enable nginx.service

To test Nginx setup, open your browser and browse to the server hostname or IP address and you should see Nginx default test page as shown below.. When you see that, then Nginx is working as expected..

http://localhost

nginx default home page test

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 Magento… 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-FPM and Related Modules

PHP 7.2-FPM 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-FPM

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

Then update and upgrade to PHP 7.2-FPM

sudo apt update

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

sudo apt install php7.2-fpm php7.2-common php7.2-sqlite3 php7.2-curl php7.2-intl php7.2-mbstring php7.2-xmlrpc php7.2-mysql php7.2-gd php7.2-xml php7.2-cli php7.2-ldap php7.2-apcu php7.2-zip

After installing PHP 7.2, run the commands below to open PHP default config file for Nginx…

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

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

file_uploads = On
allow_url_fopen = On
short_open_tag = On
memory_limit = 256M
cgi.fix_pathinfo = 0
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 Nginx

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

To restart Nginx, run the commands below

sudo systemctl restart nginx.service

Step 4: Create Chamilo Database

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

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

sudo mysql -u root -p

Then create a database called chamilo

CREATE DATABASE chamilo;

Create a database user called chamilouser with new password

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

Then grant the user full access to the database.

GRANT ALL ON chamilo.* TO 'chamilouser'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'user_password_here' WITH GRANT OPTION;

Finally, save your changes and exit.

FLUSH PRIVILEGES;
EXIT;

Step 5: Download and Install Chamilo LMS

Run the commands below to download Chamilo LMS content… then unzip the download file and move the content to Nginx default root directory…

cd /tmp && wget https://github.com/chamilo/chamilo-lms/releases/download/v1.11.6/chamilo-1.11.6-php7.zip
unzip chamilo-1.11.6-php7.zip
sudo mv chamilo-1.11.6 /var/www/html/chamilo

Next, run the commands below to change the root folder permissions…

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

Step 6: Configure Nginx Chamilo LMS Site

Finally, configure Nginx configuration file for Chamilo LMS . This file will control how users access Chamilo LMS content. Run the commands below to create a new configuration file called chamilo

sudo nano /etc/nginx/sites-available/chamilo

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.

server {
    listen 80;
    listen [::]:80;
    root /var/www/html/chamilo;
    index index.php index.html index.htm;
    server_name  example.com www.example.com;

    client_max_body_size 100M;

    location / {
          try_files $uri /index.php$is_args$args;
    }
    location ~ \.php$ {
        include snippets/fastcgi-php.conf;
        fastcgi_pass       unix:/var/run/php/php7.2-fpm.sock;
        fastcgi_param      SCRIPT_FILENAME $document_root$fastcgi_script_name;
     }

}

Save the file and exit.

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

Step 7: Enable the Chamilo LMS Site

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

sudo ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/chamilo /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/
sudo systemctl restart nginx.service

Next, open your brwoser and go to the URL.. and continue with the installation….

http://example.com/

Start the setup wizard by clicking Install Chamilo button… Next, select the installation language and continue…

Chamilo ubuntu install

Confirm that all the required packages are installed….

Your server must provide the following libraries to enable all features of Chamilo. The missing libraries shown in orange letters are optional, but some features of Chamilo might be disabled if they are not installed. You can still install those libraries later on to enable the missing features.

Chamilo Ubuntu setup

When you’re ready, click New Installation

Type in the site name and the database connection info…

Chamilo needs a single MySQL database, with a user that can connect to it. They recommend that this is a user you have created just for Chamilo, rather than one you share with other applications. You should create your database before entering the details here. If you’re using a shared host, you may have an option called “MySQL Database Wizard” that will speed you through the process.

Ubuntu chamilo setup

Create the admin account to complete the setup…

Enjoy!

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