Setup Open Web Analytics on Ubuntu 16.04 | 18.04 with Nginx, MariaDB and PHP

For those who want to install Open Web Analytics on Ubuntu with Nginx support, the steps below should be a great place to start.. Our previous tutorial showed you how to install it with Nginx…

Open Web Analytics (OWA) is an open source analytics platform built with PHP  that you can use to track and analyze how people use your websites and applications….

It provides full website analytics for small and medium size businesses and webmasters who want know how their web pages are performing and how to improve them..

When you want to take full control of your own website analytics and data without using third party solutions, like Google Analytics, then OWA is a great place to start…

OWA also comes with built-in support for tracking websites made with popular content management frameworks such as WordPress and MediaWiki and comes with other features that may not be available with other analytics platforms..

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

For more on OWA, please vist its home page

Step 1: Install Nginx HTTP Server

Nginx HTTP Server is probably the most popular web server in use today… so install it, since OWA 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 whether Nginx is installed, open your browser and browse to the server hostname or IP address… 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 OWA… 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-curl php7.2-mbstring php7.2-xmlrpc php7.2-mysql php7.2-gd php7.2-xml php7.2-cli

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 OWA Database

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

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

sudo mysql -u root -p

Then create a database called owadb

CREATE DATABASE owadb;

Create a database user called owauser with new password

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

Then grant the user full access to the database.

GRANT ALL ON owadb.* TO 'owauser'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'user_password_here' WITH GRANT OPTION;

Finally, save your changes and exit.

FLUSH PRIVILEGES;
EXIT;

Step 5: Download and Install OWA

Run the commands below to download OWA latest content.. At the time of this post, the latest version is 1.6.2.

cd /tmp 
wget https://github.com/padams/Open-Web-Analytics/archive/1.6.2.zip
unzip 1.6.2.zip
sudo mv Open-Web-Analytics-1.6.2 /var/www/html/owa

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

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

Step 6: Configure Nginx OWA Site

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

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

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

    client_max_body_size 100M;

    location / {
         try_files $uri $uri/ /index.php?q=$uri&$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;
         include fastcgi_params;
    }
}

Save the file and exit.

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

Step 7: Enable the OWA Site and Rewrite Module

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

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

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

http://example.com/

Let’s Get Started… to begin the installation wizard…

Open Web Analytics Ubuntu

On the next page, type in the database connection info and create an administrator account to manage the platform in the back-end… and continue

Open Web Analytics Ubuntu

After entering the info above, click Next to create a superuser account to manage the platform..

Open Web Analytics Ubuntu

You’ll then be given the tracking code to add to the website you want to track…

Open Web Analytics Ubuntu

To track your web traffic with OWA you need to make sure some extra code is added to each of your web pages.

In most websites, blogs, CMS, etc. you can use a pre-made plugin to do the technical work for you. If no plugin exists you can edit your website templates and add this code to the </head> tag which is often defined in a ‘header.php‘, ‘header.tpl‘ or similar template file.

JavaScript Tracking Code

Make sure this code is on every page of your website. We recommend to paste it immediately before the closing </head> tag.

You’ll find the private website configuration system in http://example.com/index.php

Enjoy!

You may also like the post below:

WordPress 5.1.1 Available — Here’s How to Install / Upgrade on Ubuntu 16.04 / 18.04

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