Setup Mono CMS on Ubuntu 16.04 | 18.04 with Nginx and PHP 7.2-FPM

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Our previous tutorial showed you how to install Mono CMS with Apache2 and PHP support. To read that post, please click here.

For those who want to run Mono CMS with Nginx and PHP-FPM support instead, the steps below should help them get there and configure their websites powered by Mono.

Mono CMS offers a clean and minimalistic approach to content management system. Built with PHP and no database requirement, this CMS platform lets you built great websites for personal and professional use.

If you looking for a flat-file CMS platform that is easy to install, simple to maintain and flexible, then you should be looking at Mono CMS. With Mono CMS, you get a simple and fast editor for creating posts, clean design and lightweight.

This CMS platform is fast and gives webmasters extensible features to collaborate and automate engaging experiences with users across multiple devices, including mobile.

For more about Mono CMS, please check their Homepage

This brief tutorial is going to show students and new users how to install Mono CMS on Ubuntu 16.04 | 18.04 LTS.

To get started with installing Mono CMS, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Install Nginx HTTP Server

Mono CMS 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.

nginx default home page test

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

Step 2: Install PHP 7.2-FPM and Related Modules

Mono CMS is a PHP based CMS and PHP is required. However, PHP 7.2-FPM may not be available in Ubuntu default repositories. To run PHP 7.2-FPM 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-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-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-FPM, 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


You should see PHP default test page.

PHP Test Page

Step 3: Download Mono CMS Latest Release

To get Mono CMS latest release you may want to go and download from its download page. Or use the commands below to use wget and get it downloaded.

Once downloaded extract the downloaded content into the newly created Mono CMS directory.

cd /tmp
sudo mkdir /var/www/html/monocms
unzip MonoCMS -d /var/www/html/monocms

Next, run the commands below to set the correct permissions for Mono CMS root directory and give Nginx control.

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

Step 4: Configure Nginx

Finally, configure Nginx site configuration file for Mono CMS. This file will control how users access Mono CMS content. Run the commands below to create a new configuration file called monocms

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

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/monocms;
    index  index.php index.html index.htm;

    client_max_body_size 100M;

     location / {
            try_files   $uri $uri/ /index.php;

    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 5: Enable the Mono CMS and Rewrite Module

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

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

Then open your browser and browse to the server domain name to bring up Mono CMS portal.
Mono CMS Ubuntu Install

When you first upload Monocms, you must change the password and username but you don’t have to do that if you just want to transfer from a directory to another.

To change password, you must login using the default username and password and then you can change your password from the settings page and your username from the accounts management page.

Congratulation! You have successfully installed Mono CMS on Ubuntu 16.04 | 18.04.

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