Setup MyBB Forum Software On Ubuntu 18.04 | 16.04 With Nginx

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We recently showed you how to install MyBB Forum bulletin board software on Ubuntu with Apache2 HTTP server. This post shows you how to do it with Nginx instead.

This brief tutorial shows students and new users how to install and configure MyBB bulletin board Forum software on Ubuntu.

MyBB is a free, open source forum software powering thousands of engaging and vibrant communities online. It enables individuals and webmasters to set up community bulletin boards in minutes to stay in touch with group of people or ideas.

MyBB is a highly customization with advanced plugin system, built-in template and theme editor, Powerful and convenient tools for forum moderators and features that you can’t find in some of the traditional forum platforms.

So if you’re a student or new user looking for a bulletin board software that has the look and feel of phpBB but with many more features, then MyBB is what you’ll want to install.

This brief tutorial is going to show students and new users how to install and use MyBB Ubuntu 18.04 | 16.04 with Nginx, MariaDB and PHP support.

Some of the features included with MyBB are:

  • phpBB bulletin board and permission system
  • CMS features allowing the creation of new pages and blocks
  • Clean administration interface
  • Many ready to use features: Photo Gallery, Downloads, Knowledge Base, Links, Chat.
  • Multi-language and multi-template ready
  • Lots of community modifications
  • .and many others.

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

Step 1: Install Nginx

MyBB is PHP-based and requires a webserver. The most popular open source web server in use today is Nginx. To install Nginx, run the commands below:

sudo apt update
sudo apt-get 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.

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 MyBB. 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

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

Step 3: Install PHP 7.2-FPM and Related Modules

PHP 7.2 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-curl php7.2-intl php7.2-mbstring php7.2-xmlrpc php7.2-mysql php7.2-gd php7.2-pgsql php7.2-xml php7.2-cli php7.2-imagick php7.2-bcmath php7.2-gmp 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.

To restart Nginx, run the commands below

sudo systemctl restart nginx.service

To test PHP 7.2 settings with Nginx, create a phpinfo.php file in Nginx root directory by running the commands below

sudo nano /var/www/html/phpinfo.php

Then type the content below and save the file.

<?php phpinfo( ); ?>

Save the file. then browse to your server hostname followed by /phpinfo.php


You should see PHP default test page.

PHP 7.2 ubuntu nginx

Step 4: Create MyBB Database

Now that you’ve install all the packages that are required, continue below to start configuring the servers. First create a MyBB database.

Run the commands below to logon to MariaDB. When prompted for a password, type the root password you created above.

sudo mysql -u root -p

Then create a database called mybb


Create a database user called mybbuser with new password

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

Then grant the user full access to the mybbuser database.

GRANT ALL ON mybb.* TO 'mybbuser'@'localhost' WITH GRANT OPTION;

Finally, save your changes and exit.


Step 5: Download MyBB Latest Release

Next, continue below to download MyBB package. To download, go to the link below and download the latest version.

After downloading, run the commands below to extract the downloaded file into Nginx root directory.

sudo mv Upload /var/www/mybb

Change or modify the directory permission to fit Nginx configuration.

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

Step 6: Configure Nginx

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

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

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/mybb;
    index  index.php;
    access_log /var/log/nginx/;
    error_log /var/log/nginx/;

    client_max_body_size 100M;
    autoindex off;

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

    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 MyBB

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

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

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

Continue below at the Welcome screen.

MyBB Ubuntu Install

Then validate that all requirements are met and proceed.

MyBB Ubuntu Install

Next, type in the database username, database name and password. then proceed.

MyBB Ubuntu Install

After that, setup the main site configurations and continue

MyBB Ubuntu Install

From there setup the site admin account and complete the setup.

MyBB Ubuntu Install

After that, all should be installed and ready to use

MyBB Ubuntu Install


Run the commands below to delete the install directory

sudo rm -rf /var/www/mybb/install

Congratulation! You have successfully installed MyBB bulletin board on Ubuntu 18.04.

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