Setup HostCMS on Ubuntu 16.04 / 18.04 with Nginx, MariaDB and PHP 7.2-FPM

HostCMS works great with Apache2 HTTP Server… However, if you rather run it with Nginx and PHP 7.2-FPM, then the steps below should be a great place to start…

HostCMS is a content management system (CMS) software built on PHP that has a focus on online stores, corporate and content projects….

If you are looking for a solution that combines CMS, CRM and eCommerce in one platform, then HostCMS is a good place to start… It is built to manage content, create online stores with a responsive template to display correctly in browsers on any device — phone, tablet, laptop or PC, which might be very useful in helping you run your digital content…

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 HostCMS, please check their Homepage

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

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

Step 1: Install Nginx HTTP Server

HostCMS requires a web server and Nginx HTTP server is probably the second most popular open source web server available today… To install Nginx 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

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

http://localhost

nginx default home page test

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

Step 2: Install MariaDB Database Server

HostCMS 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

HostCMS 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-fpm 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 Nginx…

sudo nano /etc/php/7.2/fpm/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
cgi.fix_pathinfo = 0
upload_max_filesize = 100M
max_execution_time = 360
date.timezone = America/Chicago

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

sudo systemctl restart nginx.service

Now that PHP is installed, to test whether it’s functioning, create a test file called phpinfo.php in Nginx 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 HostCMS Database

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

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

sudo mysql -u root -p

Then create a database called hostcms

CREATE DATABASE hostcms;

Create a database user called hostcmsuser with a new password

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

Then grant the user full access to the database.

GRANT ALL ON hostcms.* TO 'hostcmsuser'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'user_password_here' WITH GRANT OPTION;

Finally, save your changes and exit.

FLUSH PRIVILEGES;
EXIT;

Step 5: Download HostCMS Latest Release

Download HostCMS install file from the link below:

http://www.hostcms.org/hostcms/editions/free/

You can also use the commands below to download and install

sudo mkdir /var/www/html/hostcms
cd /var/www/html/hostcms
sudo wget http://www.hostcms.org/download/install/install.php

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

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

Step 6: Configure Nginx

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

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

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/hostcms;
    index  index.php index.html index.htm;
    server_name  example.com www.example.com;

    client_max_body_size 100M;

    location / { 
       index index.php index.html; 
       if (! -e $ request_filename) { 
       rewrite ^ / (. *) $ /index.php last; 
         } 
    }

    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;
         include fastcgi_params;
    }
}

Save the file and exit.

Step 7: Enable the HostCMS and Rewrite Module

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

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

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

http://example.com/install.php

Then follow the on-screen instruction…  The first page should be in russian… Click Next to choose the installation language

HostCMS Ubuntu Install

Choose the installation language and continue

HostCMS Ubuntu Install

Next, validate that all PHP requirements are met, and continue..

HostCMS Ubuntu Install

After that, type in the database connection info created above and continue

HostCMS Ubuntu Install

HostCMS has a free and paid versions… the free version offer limited sets of features. .If you have license key, type it in or just click Next to use the free version…

HostCMS Ubuntu Install

Finally install with standard modules and complete the setup

HostCMS Ubuntu Install

Enjoy~

HostCMS Ubuntu Install

Congratulation! You have successfully installed HostCMS on Ubuntu 16.04 / 18.04 and 18.10….

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