Setup YetiForce CRM on Ubuntu 18.04 | 16.04 with Nginx

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This brief tutorial shows students and new users how to install and configure YetiForce CRM platform on Ubuntu 18.04 | 16.04 with Nginx HTTP servers.

Our previous tutorial showed you how to install YetiForce CRM on Ubuntu with Apache2 HTTP server. This one shows you how to use Nginx instead.

For the uninitiated, YetiForce is an open source Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software forked from Vtiger CRM that can serve as a strong alternative to the popular CRM systems in use today.

If you currently run Vtiger CRM platform and feel like it’s lacking in some areas, you might want to try YetiForce. It comes with intuitive mechanisms that allow to easily migrate from Vtiger to YetiForce.

YetiForce helps you manage relations with customers, suppliers, partners and can easily be integrated with maps, social portals, LDAP, DAV, PBX, and other web services.

This free CRM is built on the LAMP / LEMP stack, and offers features that will help you run your business and collaborate with your customers, employees and partners.

For more about YetiForce, please check its homepage.

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

Step 1: Install Nginx HTTP Server

YetiForce 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 MariaDB Database Server

YetiForce 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

YetiForce is a PHP based platform and for now, only PHP 7.2-FPM.  PHP 7.2-FPM may not be available in Ubuntu default repositories. To run PHP 7.2-FPM on Ubuntu 14.04, 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 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-bcmath php7.2-soap php7.2-ldap php7.2-imap php7.2-xml php7.2-cli php7.2-zip

After installing PHP 7.2, 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
cgi.fix_pathinfo = 0
memory_limit = 256M
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 YetiForce Database

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

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

sudo mysql -u root -p

Then create a database called yetiforce


Create a database user called yetiforceuser with a new password

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

Then grant the user full access to the database.

GRANT ALL ON yetiforce.* TO 'yetiforceuser'@'localhost' WITH GRANT OPTION;

Finally, save your changes and exit.


Step 5: Download YetiForce Latest Release

YetiForce community edition can be downloaded from its download page here.

On Ubuntu terminal, run the commands below to download, then extract to its root directory.

cd /tmp
sudo mkdir /var/www/yetiforce
sudo unzip -d /var/www/yetiforce

Then run the commands below to set the correct permissions for YetiForce root directory and give Nginx control.

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

Step 6: Configure Nginx

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

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

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

    client_max_body_size 100M;
    autoindex off;

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

    location ~ \.php$ {
         include snippets/fastcgi-php.conf;
         fastcgi_pass unix:/var/run/php/php7.2-fpm.sock;
         include fastcgi_params;
         fastcgi_intercept_errors on;

Save the file and exit.

Step 7: Enable the YetiForce and Rewrite Module

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

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

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

Then follow the on-screen instruction to complete the setup

YetiForce Ubuntu Setup

Next, type in the database name, username and password. then create a backend admin account and continue.

YetiForce Ubuntu Setup

The YetiForce system has strictly defined requirements for the server on which it will be installed. The verification of requirements at an early stage of the installation process ensures that the next steps and subsequent use of the system will run without problems.

YetiForce Ubuntu Setup

Enter your company details and continue

YetiForce Ubuntu Setup

After that, your environment should be installed and ready to use.

YetiForce Ubuntu Setup


You have successfully learned how to install YetiForce CRM platform on Ubuntu. You may need to configure additional settings, but the steps above give you a basic starting point.

If you find errors with the steps above, please comment below:

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  1. Hi there! Thank you for the tutorial! I followed your steps exactly, but was unable to even get the install page up.

    I am facing this error, but unable to solve it, do you think you could help? Thank you!

    [06-Mar-2020 12:42:09 UTC] PHP Warning: Directory /var/www/html/cache/vtlib/HTML not writable, please alter file permissions in /var/www/html/vendor/ezyang/htmlpurifier/library/HTMLPurifier/DefinitionCache/Serializer.php on line 304
    [06-Mar-2020 12:42:09 UTC] PHP Warning: Directory /var/www/html/cache/vtlib/HTML not writable, please alter file permissions in /var/www/html/vendor/ezyang/htmlpurifier/library/HTMLPurifier/DefinitionCache/Serializer.php on line 304
    [06-Mar-2020 12:42:09 UTC] PHP Warning: Directory /var/www/html/cache/vtlib/HTML not writable, please alter file permissions in /var/www/html/vendor/ezyang/htmlpurifier/library/HTMLPurifier/DefinitionCache/Serializer.php on line 304
    [06-Mar-2020 12:42:09 UTC] PHP Warning: SessionHandler::read(): open(/var/www/html/cache/session/sess_8tt5cj78hl0lrm7omhluvouu6e, O_RDWR) failed: Permission denied (13) in /var/www/html/app/Session.php on line 34
    [06-Mar-2020 12:42:09 UTC] PHP Warning: session_start(): Failed to read session data: user (path: /var/www/html/cache/session) in /var/www/html/app/Session.php on line 34
    [06-Mar-2020 12:42:09 UTC] PHP Fatal error: Uncaught –> Smarty: unable to write file /var/www/html/cache/templates_c/wrt5e624521e243f6_88984694 <–
    thrown in /var/www/html/vendor/smarty/smarty/libs/sysplugins/smarty_internal_runtime_writefile.php on line 60

  2. It seems that the permissions für the path on the server, where yetiforce files where extracted or uploaded.
    In the example abouve we have:

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

    If you moved or extracted the files on into /var/www/html/ than you need to change it here as well and try to run this command, than restart nginx and refresh your page in your browser

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

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