Setup Piwigo on Ubuntu 16.04 | 17.10 | 18.04 with Nginx, MariaDB and PHP 7.2 Support

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If you’re a photographer and want to show your work via intuitive photo management platform, Piwigo should be a great place to start. The steps below shows you how to install it on Ubuntu with Nginx HTTP server support.

Piwigo is a free, open-source, and photo gallery software built on the LAMP  / LEMP stack and licensed under the GNU General Public License (version 2). Organisations, teams and individuals can use it to display their photos gallery and porfolio to current and perspective clients.

This brief tutorial is going to show students and new users how to install Piwigo on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS with Nginx, MariaDB and PHP 7.2 support.

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

Step 1: Install Nginx HTTP Server

Piwigo requires a webserver and the second most popular webserver in use today is Nginx. So, go and install Nginx on Ubuntu by running the commands below:

sudo apt update
sudo apt install nginx

Next, run the commands below 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

Step 2: Install MariaDB

Piwigo also requires a database server. and MariaDB database server is a great place to start. To install it 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

sudo systemctl restart mysql.service

Step 3: Install PHP7.2-FPM and Related Modules

PHP 7.2 isn’t available on 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

Run the commands below to install PHP 7.2-FPM and related modules.

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

After install PHP, run the commands below to open FPM PHP default file.

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

Then make the change the following lines below in the file and save.

file_uploads = On
allow_url_fopen = On
memory_limit = 256M
cgi.fix_pathinfo = 0
upload_max_filesize = 100M
date.timezone = America/Chicago

Step 4: Create Piwigo Database

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

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

sudo mysql -u root -p

Then create a database called piwigo


Create a database user called piwigouser with new password

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

Then grant the user full access to the database.

GRANT ALL ON piwigo.* TO 'piwigouser'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'user_password_here' WITH GRANT OPTION;

Finally, save your changes and exit.


Step 5: Download Piwigo Latest Release

Next, visit Piwigo site and download the latest version.

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

sudo apt install curl
cd /tmp && curl -o
sudo mv piwigo /var/www/html/piwigo

Then run the commands below to set the correct permissions for Concrete5 to function.

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

Step 6: Configure Nginx

Finally, configure Apahce2 site configuration file for Piwigo. This file will control how users access.

content. Run the commands below to create a new configuration file called piwigo

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

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/piwigo;
    index  index.php index.html index.htm;

    client_max_body_size 100M;

    location / {
        try_files $uri $uri/ =404;

    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.

Step 7: Enable the Piwigo

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

sudo ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/piwigo /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/

Step 8 : Restart Nginx

To load all the settings above, restart Nginx by running the commands below.

sudo systemctl restart nginx.service

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

Then follow the on-screen instructions until you’ve successfully installed Piwigo.

ubuntu piwigo install

piwigo ubuntu install

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  1. For anyone googling and finding this tutorial out there. I see that there are some potential issues or atleast things to think about.

    1. It would seem in initial PPA adding step the maintainer of the ppa recommends to install his nginx.mainline PPA as well.
    2. Under step 7, it lists the incorrect syntax (as they have copied this from another one of their tutorials the correct path is sudo ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/piwigo /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/
    this will allow nginx to restart.
    3. please name your local hosted website, dont just use
    4. think about the body size limit within the piwigo file in step 6. couple this with a potential increase with upload max file size in step 3. These currently are only 100M
    5. Those new to nginx is port 80 is already in use by some container or other program you may need to change this port to something not currently in use by something else

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  4. Great tutorial! I installed piwigo successfully. Thanks!

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