How to Install Cerb Workflow Automation Tool with Apache on Ubuntu Linux

laptop 4662049 640
laptop 4662049 640

This tutorial provides a step-by-step guide to install Cerb Workflow Automation Tool on Ubuntu 18.04 and 16.04. Cerb is an open-source, web-based application facilitating teamwork and workflow automation to help teams become more efficient. It requires the installation of an Apache2 HTTP server, MariaDB database server, PHP 7.2, and related modules. Afterward, Cerb can be downloaded, a database created, and finally, the Apache2 virtual host configured for Cerb.

This brief tutorial shows students and new users how to install Cerb Workflow Automation Tool on Ubuntu 18.04 | 16.04 with an Apache2 HTTP server.

For the uninitiated, Cerb is a commercial open-source, web-based, teamwork, and workflow automation tool that helps teams become more productive and efficient.

With Cerb, businesses can triage and distribute work across teams in different departments based on email, calls, orders, projects, tasks, reminders, calendar events, and more.

Cerb lets you and your team communicate and collaborate whether you’re a small or large enterprise. And these conversations will be available on the desktop, mobile devices, and everywhere you have Cerb installed.

This Tool is designed for ease of use to allow businesses to collaborate and automate engaging experiences with users across multiple devices, including mobile.

For more about Cerb, please check their Homepage

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

Install Apache2 HTTP Server

Curb works as a web server, and the Apache2 HTTP server is the most popular open-source web server available today. To install and use Apache2 with Cerb, run the commands below:

sudo apt update
sudo apt install apache2

After installing Apache2, the commands below can be used to stop, start and enable the Apache2 service to always start up with the server boots.

sudo systemctl stop apache2.service
sudo systemctl start apache2.service
sudo systemctl enable apache2.service

Now that Apache2 is installed browse your browser to the URL below to test whether the web server works.

Apache2 Test Page

If you see the page above, then Apache2 is successfully installed.

Install MariaDB Database Server

Curb also requires a database server to store its content. MariaDB is a great place to start if you’re looking for a truly open-source database server.

To install MariaDB run the commands below:

sudo apt-get install mariadb-server mariadb-client

After installing MariaDB, the commands below can stop, start and enable the MariaDB service to 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

Once MariaDB is installed, run the commands below to test whether the database server was installed.

sudo mysql -u root -p

Type the root password when prompted.

mariadb welcome

The server was successfully installed if you see a similar screen.

Install PHP 7.2 and Related Modules

Cerb is a PHP-based app, and PHP is required. However, PHP 7.2 may not be available in Ubuntu’s default repositories. To run PHP 7. Ubuntu’sntu 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

sudo apt update

Next, run the commands below to install PHP 7.2 and related modules.

sudo apt install php7.2 libapache2-mod-php7.2 php7.2-common php7.2-mailparse php7.2-mysql php7.2-gmp php7.2-curl php7.2-mbstring php7.2-imap php7.2-ldap php7.2-gd php7.2-xml php7.2-cli php7.2-zip php7.2-yaml php7.2-dev php-pear

After installing PHP 7.2, run the commands below to open the PHP default configuration file for Apache2.

sudo nano /etc/php/7.2/apache2/php.ini

The lines below are a good setting 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
upload_max_filesize = 100M
max_execution_time = 360
date.timezone = America/Chicago

Every time you change the PHP configuration file, you should restart the Apache2 web server. To do so, run the commands below:

sudo systemctl restart apache2.service

Once PHP is installed, create a file called info.php in the Apache2 default root directory to test whether it’s functioning. ( /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 server’s


You should see the PHP default test page.

PHP Test Page

Create Cerb Database

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

To log on to the MariaDB database server, run the commands below.

sudo mysql -u root -p

Then create a database called cerb

CREATE DATABASE cerb character set utf8;

Create a database user called cerbuser with a new password

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

Then grant the user full access to the database.

GRANT ALL ON cerb.* TO 'cerbuser'@'localhost' WITH GRANT OPTION;

Finally, save your changes and exit.


Download Cerb Latest Release

To get Cerb’s latest release, you may want to use CoCerb’s. Composer allows you to download and manage packages and their dependencies easily.

To install Composer on Ubuntu, run the commands below:

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

After installing Composer above, change the Apache2 home directory and download Cerb packages into a new project folder called cerb.

cd /var/www/
sudo git clone cerb

You can enable URL rewriting for the Apache web server with the following commands.

sudo cp /var/www/cerb/.htaccess-dist /var/www/cerb/.htaccess

Since you just ran the web server as root, you should ensure the www-data user and group own any newly created files. To do that, run the commands below:

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

Configure Apache2 Virtual Host

Finally, configure the Apahce2 virtual host configuration file for Cerb. This file will control how users access Cerb content. Run the commands below to create a new configuration file called cerb. conf

sudo nano /etc/apache2/sites-available/cerb.conf

Then copy and paste the content below into the file and save it. Replace the highlighted line with your domain name and directory root location.

<VirtualHost *:80>
     DocumentRoot /var/www/cerb

     <Directory /var/www/cerb/>
          Options FollowSymlinks
          AllowOverride All
          Require all granted

     ErrorLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/error.log
     CustomLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/access.log combined

Save the file and exit.

Enable the Cerb

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

sudo a2ensite cerb.conf
sudo systemctl restart apache2.service

Then open your browser and browse to the host’s domain name or server IP address—setup wizard.

The first step of the installer checks if your server meets the requirements for installing Cerb. Correct any problems before proceeding, and then click the Continue button.
Cerb Ubuntu Install

Next, continue and type in the database name, username, and password created above.

Cerb Ubuntu Setup

After that, choose to set up an SMTP account or ignore it and continue

Cerb Ubuntu Install

In this step, you’ll create the administrator account thatyou’llse to log in. After a few seconds, your application should be installed and ready to use.

Cerb Ubuntu setup

That’s it! You’re ready to start using Cerb. That’s why you’re setting up your environment.

Cerb Ubuntu setup

If this is a production installation, you need to delete the /install directory since it is no longer necessary and it provides access to some sensitive information about your environment.


This post shows you how to install Cerb Team and Workflow Automation Tool on Ubuntu 18.04 | 16.04. If you find any error, please report it in the comment form below.

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