Setup Siberian CMS on Ubuntu 16.04 | 18.04 with Nginx, MariaDB and PHP 7.2

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Recently we showed you how to install Siberian CMS with Apache2 support. For those who want to run it with Nginx HTTP server, then steps below should help them get there.

Siberian CMS is a smooth, open source and user-friendly content management system (CMS) for agencies. You can use it to build apps and manage your content on your own servers.

If you looking for a simple CMS system that is easy to install, simple to maintain and flexible, then you should be looking at Siberian.

With Siberian, you get a platform with feature-rich editor, user-friendly admin portal to manage your users and create as many roles as needed, from a customizable and powerful administrative dashboard.

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

For more about Siberian, please check their Homepage

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

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

Step 1: Install Nginx HTTP Server

Siberian requires a web server and Nginx HTTP server is the 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 MariaDB Database Server

Siberian 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-FPM and Related Modules

Siberian 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 4: Create Siberian CMS Database

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

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

sudo mysql -u root -p

Then create a database called siberian


Create a database user called siberianuser with a new password

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

Then grant the user full access to the database.

GRANT ALL ON siberian.* TO 'siberianuser'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'user_password_here' WITH GRANT OPTION;

Finally, save your changes and exit.


Step 5: Download Siberian Latest Release

To get Siberian latest release you may want to use Github repository… Install Composer, Curl and other dependencies to get started…

sudo apt install curl git
curl -sS | sudo php -- --install-dir=/usr/local/bin --filename=composer

After installing curl and Composer above, change into the Nginx root directory and download Siberian packages from Github…

cd /var/www/html
sudo git clone

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

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

Step 6: Configure Nginx

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

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

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/SiberianCMS/siberian;
    index  index.php;
    access_log /var/log/nginx/;
    error_log /var/log/nginx/;

    client_max_body_size 100M;
    autoindex off;

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

   location ~ ^/app/configs {
        deny all;

Save the file and exit.

Step 7: Enable the Siberian

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

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

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

Then follow the on-screen instruction to complete the setup. Select the arrow pointing right to continue.

Siberian CMS Ubuntu Install

On the database connection page, type in the database user and password you created above and continue.

Siberian CMS Ubuntu Install

Next, create an admin account and continue

Siberian CMS Ubuntu setup

Create your first app and complete the installation.

Siberian CMS install

After that, installation should complete and site ready to use.

siberiancms ubuntu install 4

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

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  1. Thanks for the tutorial to setup SiberianCMS.

    But unfortunately I have some failure.
    1. On step 3, on the very last, I can’t test http://localhost/phpinfo.php, it always ask if I want to open the phpinfo.php file or to save it. But I can access public website that use file.php, so the php is installed and running well.

    2. On step 7, I can’t access to run SiberianCMS.
    It always try to access as if is real domain.

    How can I set the browser to go to that is in the local server?

    Note: I am running VirtuaBox latest version on MacOS 10.13.6 on MacMini with 16Gb RAM.

  2. Hi,
    I followed your installation guide up until I surfed to my installation in a chrome browser and I get the following message:
    { “error”: true, “message”: “SQLSTATE[HY000] [1045] Access denied for user ”@’localhost’ (using password: NO)” }
    and I can’t find any useful advice…
    Do you have an idea what went wrong? Or you can give me a hint, where to search for a solution?
    I really appreciate your help!
    Best regards

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